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Opposition fails to match government on small business policy



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MINISTER FOR

SMALL BUSINESS AND CUSTOMS THE HON. DAVID BEDDALL

IMMEDIATE RELEASE 18 FEBRUARY 1991 17/91

OPPOSITION FAILS TO MATCH GOVERNMENT ON SMALL BUSINESS POLICY

The Minister for Small Business and Customs, Mr David Beddall said that the Federal Opposition proved today in Parliament that it had no vision or understanding of what small and medium businesses require to successfully operate

and g r o w .

" The Government announced last November a comprehensive reform agenda for small business yet the Federal Opposition still has no policy for the sector," Mr Beddall said.

" The Government's reform agenda is based on an analysis of the reasons that people, including small business bankrupts, give for closing down their businesses."

These are:

. lack of business and management skills . lack of capital for business start-ups . economic environment [including unfair competition]

" The Government announced a comprehensive program to tackle these problems. This program was endorsed by the first ever meeting of State and Territory Small Business Ministers which I convened in December last y e a r , " Mr

Beddall said.

Mr Beddall detailed the steps taken by the Federal Government in the past year to assist the small business sector.

" The development of small business networks and clusters offers an important vehicle for small and large business trcT” ”"" pool their resources and provide mutual support in the j cS

development of market and export opportunities," Mr Beddall- S s a i d . Μή £2

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" The National Industry Extension Service [NIES] has 11 < <

developed a series of network pilot programs to e n c o u r a g e (d !z - small businesses to co-operate in joint marketing and ? |

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" With the co-operation of the States, integrated registers of business licences [Commonwealth and State] will be established this year in NSW and Victoria which will be readily accessible by small business through one stop shops. Other States will follow."

" Initiatives are in train to make sure that professional business advisers and bankers provide better advice to their small business customers by increasing their awareness of the assistance and resources available to assist small firms."

Mr Beddall said that a franchising task force will meet on the 1st March to develop a code of self regulation for

franchising in Australia.

" Franchising is a rapidly growing business sector which offers a supportive environment and high rate of success for small business start-ups. We need to ensure that franchising growth is not restricted by the dubious practices of a small minority of operators in the

franchising industry," Mr Beddall said.

" The twenty major business organisations represented at the Small Business Forum, which I convened last November provided unanimous support for this and other initiatives.

" The Government has introduced measures to reduce taxation compliance costs for small business. The remittance frequency has been reduced for wholesale sales tax, PAYE tax and fringe benefits tax."

" The Australian Taxation Office has made considerable progress in simplifying taxation procedures and paperwork and improving advisory services for small business."

" The Meet the Buyers - Canberra 1990 organised by my

department and Department of Administrative Services has been acknowledged as a great success in introducing small business to government purchasing opportunities."

" The Opposition however is more concerned with cheap political point scoring rather than these measures that address the fundamental problems of small business in Australia," Mr Beddall said.

CANBERRA Contact: John Mcllwain

[06] 2777080