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Monday, 27 February 2012
Page: 1759

Mr NEUMANN (Blair) (13:49): Last Friday I had the privilege of attending the Business Health Check two-day seminar run by the Business Enterprise Centre Ipswich Region in my electorate. I often say that, after the funding I secured for the upgraded Ipswich Motorway, the funding I secured in the 2007 election for the Ipswich Region Business Enterprise Centre is the most important finding for my community that I have secured. The $1.2 million we provided plus the extra $100,000 we provided for the small business advisory service have enabled hundreds and hundreds of businesses in Ipswich, Somerset and the western corridor to get assistance. From Goodna to Grandchester to Grantham, the Ipswich Region Business Enterprise Centre has provided assistance to flood-affected businesses, small communities, agribusinesses and farmers in the whole of the Ipswich and West Moreton region. I thank Tony Axford for the work they have done. It is great that they have also initiated the Indigenous business enterprise centre to assist our Indigenous brothers and sisters with business advice, mentoring, counselling and help. It is great that the Ipswich Region Business Enterprise Centre has been so forthcoming for and so committed to small business. Small business is the engine of my community. Five million Australians work in small business, and I worked in small business before I was elected in 2007. I know how important it is and I congratulate the BEC Ipswich Region for their wonderful work.