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Labor's policy for small business - an action program

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R e l e a s e d b y M r B o b H a w k e ,

L e a d e r o f t h e O p p o s i t i o n

a n d M r J o h n D a w k i n s , S h a d o w M i n i s t e r f o r I n d u s t r y a n d

C o m m e r c e .

P e r t h , S u n d a y 1 3 F e b r u a r y

1 p m A u s t . E a s t e r n S u m m e r

T i m e .


Labor recognises the crucial importance of maintaining a small

business sector that is strong, viable and diverse. A Hawke

Government will implement the Australian Small Business Action

Programme^ It will provide Australian small businesses with a

New D e a l . The programme will revitalise the small business

sector and will be essential for the creation of new jobs.

The Action Programme will include:

. An upgrading of the Small Business Branch of the

Department of Industry and Commerce to a Division and

the reform of the Small Business Advisory Council so

as to give Small B u s i n e s s a m e a n i n g f u l say in

Government policy.

. seeking the co-operation of State Governments to

e s t a b l i s h State Small B u s i n e s s D e v e l o p m e n t

C o r p o r a t i o n s . The C o r p o r a t i o n s will p r o v i d e a

variety of functions and s e rvices.

. an e x t e n s i o n of the role of the C o m m o n w e a l t h

D e v e l o p m e n t Bank so as to e n s u r e the a d e q u a t e

p r o v i s i o n of d ebt and e q u i t y f i n a n c e to small

business. Its borrowing entitlement will be widened

and it will be allowed to directly advertise.

. e x t e n d i n g the A u s t r a l i a n In d u s t r y D e v e l o p m e n t

Corporation by giving it Bank status so as to provide

longer term, low cost finance particularly for new

technology industries.

. legislating to allow small firms full retention of

profits where they are used for business pur p o s e s ,

optional quarterly provisional tax payments and an

·' , i 1

extension of time permitted to pay sales taxes.

Industrial Resea r c h D e v e l o p m e n t G r a n t s will be

exempted from tax a n d , except for specific planning

p u r p o s e s , d i s c r i m i n a t o r y (against small business)

investment allowances will be phased o u t .

. creating small e n t e r p r i s e c o u n s e l l i n g training

programmes, establishing referral and advice centres

to be known as Small Business Bureaus, and ensuring

the adequate provision of marketing and promotion

services. Grants will be available to trade and

professional associations wishing to develop specific

management training programmes.

. increasing funds a v a i l a b l e for small b u s i n e s s

research and development small business in tertiary

institutions and for research grants generally; the

Australian Bureau of Statistics will be directed to

upgrade data relating to the small business sector

and an annual report relating to the Small Business

sector will be produced.

. giving small business a fair deal by stengthening the

Trade Practices Act and Commission and introducing

franchise laws to p r o t e c t small b u s i n e s s e s . In

co-operation with the States a standard retail lease

will be developed and planning processes will be

reviewed to ensure that proposed new shopping centres

are in the best interest of the community.

. the enactment of a Buy Australia Act with special

preference for small business.

A Hawke Labor Government will move to implement the Australian

Small Business Action Programme as soon as it is elected to


Labor is convinced that its programme will help revitalise and

r e c o n s t r u c t the m a n y A u s t r a l i a n small b u s i n e s s e s n o w

struggling to survive.




. On election to Government Labor will immediately


. We will consult with Small Business representatives

about the desirability of conducting a public Inquiry

to examine the Small Business sector. .,


. A Labor Government will convert the small business

branch of the Department of Industry and Commerce into

a division.

. The Small Business Advisory Council will be reformed.

. State Governments will be encouraged to establish Small

Business Development Corporations.


Labor will move to reverse the disastrous economic

policies of the Fraser Government.


A Labor Government will:

(a) ensure that the Commonwealth Development Bank is more

responsive to small business needs

(b) expand the charter of the C.D.B. to allow it to

provide equity finance or packages of equity and debt

(c) expand the capital base of the C.D.B.

(d) widen the borrowing entitlements of the C.D.B. and

ease the constraints on the C.D.B.'s capacity to

borrow in the market '

directly advertise the C.D.B. as a. source of small

business finance


(£) investigate the establishment of an over-the-counter

market in unlisted shares in small public companies

(g) convert the A u s t r a l i a n Indu s t r i e s Development

C o r p o r a t i o n into the /.ustralian Industries

Development Bank "

(h) administer monetary and banking policy to avoid sharp

increases in interest rates on Trading B ank

overdrafts 1 '

(i) encourage and facilitate any initiative by private

financial instit u t i o n s w h i c h will improve the

provision of finance for small business.·

5. TAX

A Labor Government will ease the tax burden by:

(a) legislating to allow small firms full retention of

profits where these funds are to be used for genuine

business purposes -

(b) allowing the option of provisional tax to be paid in

quarterly instalments - ' .

(c) terminating the massive tax avoidance industry that

has blossomed under the Fraser Government

(d) amending the Sales Tax Act to allow a full month for

remittances of tax owing

(e) exempting Industrial Research Development grants from


(f) phasing out investment allowances other than for

special planning purposes. ·


A Labor Government will:

(a) adopt a strategy for the co-ordinated and rational

. development of small business education and training

throughout Australia .

(b) e s t a b l i s h small e n t e r p r i s e c o u n s e l l i n g tr a i n i n g

programs ' ‘

(C) establish, referral centres known as Small Business

Bureaus in each State and in country regions

(d) arrange for private consultants to be available

(e) p r o v i d e g r a n t s to t r a d e a s s o c i a t i o n s w i s h i n g to

develop specific management training programs

(f ) establish marketing and promotion services attached

to the Small Business B u r e a u s .


A Labor Government will: ~

(a) direct the Australia Bureau of Statistics to upgrade

its data relating to the small business sector

(b) produce annually, through its upgraded administration

a report

(c) increase funds for research

(d) support and promote special research institutes which

monitor small business performance and trends

(e) increase dramatically the funding for the Australian

Research Grants Scheme

(f) exempt Industrial Research and Development Grants

from tax ,

(g) ensure that information relating to new technologies

is widely disseminated to small b u s i n e s s .


A Labor Government will:

(a) strengthen the Trade Practices Act

(b) upgrade the Trade Practice Commission

(c) introduce franchise laws to protect small businesses

(d) seek the c o - o p e r a t i o n of the S t a t e s to e n s u r e

p r o p o s e d n e w s h o p p i n g c e n t r e s are in the b e s t

interest of the community

(e) develop, in consultation with the States, a standard

lease agreement for retail shopping c e n t r e s .


A Labor Government will:

(a) enact a Buy Australia A c t , with a special preference

for small business.

(b) take steps to persuade State Governments to give

preference to Australian firms in general and small

business in particular.