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Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Page: 236

Ms BUTLER (Griffith) (11:10): I will make it brief for the benefit of the Treasurer. This is a bill, obviously, that is very important to start-ups, and it is very important to start-ups in this country that they have access to the capital that they need to get off the ground.

In my home town of Brisbane, there are a range of firms that are looking to create a situation where they can raise the capital that they need to get off the ground. There is a lot of, I have got to say, optimism in Queensland. The Advance Queensland strategy that the Palaszczuk government has brought in under the shepherdship of Leeanne Enoch, the minister, has inspired a lot of entrepreneurs and start-ups to really kick off their businesses in Queensland. It is incredibly encouraging.

As I said at the outset, access to capital is very important to those firms. It is important to their ability to grow, and to grow early. The crowd source funding equity regime is very important to a lot of start-ups that do want to have this additional arrow in their quiver when they are seeking to raise that capital. Accordingly, it is very disappointing that this model is going to be so useless for so many start-ups, because firms that are just getting off the ground—firms that are getting their ideas together, working out what their minimum viable product is going to be, looking at their marketing, looking at getting their structures in place and recruiting their talent—do not want the extra compliance obligations of becoming public companies. They do not, so they are not going to use this process until that is fixed.

So the question that I have—and, as I said, I will be short—is: what is the point of bringing half-baked, unfinished legislation to this House knowing that it will not be used? Isn't that just window dressing? Isn't that just an attempt to look like you are doing something when you are actually not doing something? Isn't it just another example of this government trying to give the appearance of activity while not actually getting much done? And how will that help those start-up firms in my state, in my town of Brisbane on the south side that I represent, to get access to capital, if the compliance costs just make it uneconomic to use this new regime?

Bill agreed to.