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Tuesday, 26 June 2018
Page: 6372


Ms HENDERSON (Corangamite) (14:35): My question is to the Minister for Small and Family Business, the Workplace and Deregulation. Will the minister update the House on how the government's tax cuts benefit small and family businesses, including in my electorate of Corangamite? How would small and family businesses suffer if these tax cuts were repealed?

Mr LAUNDY (ReidMinister for Small and Family Business, the Workplace and Deregulation) (14:36): I thank the member for Corangamite for her question and her passion for small and family businesses. Today we've seen the latest demonstration of the ignorance of the Leader of the Opposition when it comes to how small and family businesses in this country operate. One of the most valuable business lessons I have learnt in my life is that you don't live off turnover; a business lives off its profit. Parramatta Road runs right through my electorate, and the Leader of the Opposition would have you believe that Tom and his wife, who are car wholesalers—they flip four to five cars a week at an average of 20 grand a car and are turning over $5.5 million a year—have a big business. They work out of a briefcase and off a mobile phone. The Leader of the Opposition will tell you that Rob and his father, who sell farm equipment in northern New South Wales—they sell bits of gear that average between $2,000 and $500,000 a pop and turn over $25 million a year—have a big business.

The reason the Leader of the Opposition doesn't get it is he's never done it. He wants to sully the reputation of the Prime Minister, who, in his life pre-politics, has taken on truckloads of bank debt, employed truckloads of people and paid truckloads of tax. He wants to sully not just the Prime Minister's reputation but the reputation of anyone who's done that. The reality is, when it comes to the Leader of the Opposition, the biggest financial transaction he will undertake in his life is signing his mortgage documents. That's the reality. He wants to run the biggest business in this country with no understanding of how business actually operates.

What do small and family businesses do? Like the Prime Minister, like Tom and like Rob and his father have done, they put their family's home on the line. Why? It is to give their children more opportunities than they've had. They are an invaluable part of the local community. That is why, for 4½ years, the Turnbull coalition government have stood with them. That's why, today, we stand shoulder to shoulder with them. That's how we got the result of a million jobs, the highest business confidence and 158,000 small and family businesses net opening in the last 4½ years. That's how you get the numbers.

The Leader of the Opposition doesn't get it because he's never done it. He wants to take an axe to people prepared to put their family home on the line to get their family ahead. That's what aspiration is. We on this side of the House get it. A lot of us have actually done it pre-politics and—who knows?—may go back to doing it post-politics. The Leader of the Opposition has never done it in his life, yet he wants to present himself to the Australian people as an alternative and, at the same time, sully the reputation of someone who gets on. Today, Labor declared war on small and family business—make no bones about it.