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Tuesday, 14 February 2017
Page: 1027


Mr O'DOWD (Flynn) (16:27): Our mantra at the last election was 'jobs and growth', and it still is. Small business provides the jobs and growth the economy relies on. Small business is by far the biggest employer and it drives jobs, but the three levels of government need to get their parameters right for treating small business in a proper way so that they can grow and prosper. I have some examples here of where this does not happen.

A builder in Mundubbera set out to revive a building that had been used over the years for a backpackers' hostel, as Mundubbera is a big place for backpackers. He got his architect and the council certifier to go through the rules and regulations for revamping this used building. The council certifier and the architect drew up the plans in accordance with section 61 of the applied used buildings regulations—fire plan, signage, the whole lot—and they had it just about ready to go to work when the Queensland fire service inspector came in, unbeknownst to them. The inspector, who was there for 10 minutes at a cost of $2,700, told him that he had to put in new firewalls and better signage and so on and so forth, which cost another $200,000. Then the South Australia fire plan was introduced from South Australia. Without them even visiting the site, that cost him another $10,000. On top of that, it cost another $2,000 to audit the fire plan that was done in South Australia. The total cost for this project, over and above the budget, was $214,700 and, of course, he did not have the income coming in that he had planned on in the original budget. He missed the blueberry season; let us hope we can get all these things out of the road before the next blueberry season. He is already paying new insurance because the other policy has expired.

There is the Gin Gin quarry between Bundaberg and Mount Perry. He commenced the process of getting approval in 2013 and to date he still has not got the approval. It relates to 65 hectares of quarry site that he had planned. He had the offsets and the dams and the water catchment areas all approved by the state government and then suddenly the department heads from Canberra and Brisbane visited the site and said: 'This project is too big. We've got to reduce it from 65 hectares to two hectares.' This is impossible when you have to put in roads and dams and crusher plants and storage— (Time expired)

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mrs Wicks ): I advise that the time for three-minute constituency statements has expired; however, if no member present objects I will allow the period for statements to continue for another 30 minutes.