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Wednesday, 24 October 2018
Page: 10949

Small Business


Ms FLINT (Boothby) (14:39): My question is to the Minister for Jobs, Industrial Relations and Women. Will the minister update the House on how the government is helping to support the prosperity of small businesses and employees? What are the risks associated with different approaches?


Ms O'DWYER (HigginsMinister for Jobs, Industrial Relations and Women) (14:39): I thank the hardworking member for Boothby for her question. Our government stands for greater prosperity for all Australians. We don't subscribe to the divisive and harmful rhetoric that is spoken by the member for Lilley, when he says that we should have a class war, that we should divide Australians, we should pit them one against the other. We stand for successful Australians, for those Australians who want to be successful, and we're interested in backing them and making sure that those Australians who want to have a go can in fact have a go. We want to put more money back into their pockets, and we're doing that by bringing forward tax cuts for all Australians, to make sure that 98 per cent of those who have small businesses in this country have a tax cut. We know that when small business have a tax cut they can invest more in their business, and when they invest more in their business they can grow the job opportunities for their businesses and bring forward higher wages for those people who work for their small businesses.

We also want to make sure that we protect the superannuation savings of those people who work hard in this country. We are putting forward, with our bills in the Senate, protections for those people who would otherwise be ripped off by the changes made by the Leader of the Opposition, the rorts and rip-offs of those people who have low-balance accounts.

I'm sad to say that those opposite have a very different approach when it comes to ensuring the prosperity of all Australians, because they are hopelessly under the thumb of militant unions in this country. We have already seen it with their approach to the TPP, where they would shut down the opportunity for those people who want to export to countries overseas—our farmers, our manufacturers, our service providers. But that, of course, is just the start. At their party conference in December, those opposite will quietly sign up to industrial relations policies straight from the last century. In fact, it won't surprise me if the Leader of the Opposition strides onto stage with flares and platform shoes, because he is going to take the industrial relations policy of the Labor Party back to the 1970s. It is going to be a return to the dark days of mass walkouts and city-wide shut downs. We all got a little taste of it yesterday courtesy of the ACTU. We're going to see a return to the shut-down of our cities with widespread blockades, with picket lines, which will of course cause damage to small business, to the people who work for them and to the prosperity of the millions of Australians who rely on them. (Time expired)