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Tuesday, 23 October 2018
Page: 10804

Mr RICK WILSON (O'Connor) (19:41): Small business is the driving force of our economy. In fact, almost seven million people are employed by the many small and medium sized businesses across Australia and 19,265 of those businesses reside in my electorate. One of these is a trucking firm, Southern Haulage, based in the great southern town of Mount Barker. Recently I took the Minister for Small Business and Family Business, Senator Michaelia Cash, to meet the owners, Chris and Penny Pavlovich, during her recent visit to my electorate. This first-class haulage company employs more than 100 people, including three young apprentices. The business also participates in work experience programs, providing opportunities for local school students to build their resumes. Chris and Penny reinvest as much money as they can into their business to ensure success. They have recently purchased a state-of-the-art tracking system to ensure the safety of their drivers and to better track their growing fleet. Chris and Penny believe in giving back to their regional communities as well, providing sponsorship to local organisations year in, year out—organisations like the Mount Barker Bulls footy club and the Mount Barker Turf Club.

On the same visit, I also took the minister to Albany's Wilson Brewing Company—no relation to me unfortunately! In August 2016, owners Matty and Jess Wilson sold their family home to pursue their dream to craft the perfect beer and create a fantastic family business. Many people don't understand how much families put on the line to start and maintain a small business. Thankfully, that gamble paid off for the Wilson family, and their award-winning beers are now building Albany's craft beer profile. They employ 13 people. That is 13 jobs that weren't available two years ago. Wilson Brewing recently won the people's choice award at the Perth Royal Show and their beers have been picked up by BWS, who are marketing their product in 30 outlets in WA. After seeing what they have achieved in two years, I cannot wait to see what they can achieve in the future.

Visiting these successful businesses around my electorate, I think it's important to remember that not every business enjoys immediate success. Many small family-run businesses struggle to stay afloat and get ahead. They invest all their money, blood, sweat and tears into a business that might not ever become successful. Unfortunately, government policies can often affect how successful that small business can be. That's why I'm so pleased the federal government is now fast-tracking plans to provide tax relief for small and medium sized businesses through the Treasury Laws Amendment (Lower Taxes for Small and Medium Businesses) Bill 2018 that passed the House last week. It is worth noting that we are achieving this five years earlier than planned. These changes are part of our plan for a stronger economy and will benefit the 3.3 million small to medium sized businesses Australia wide.

Under the new legislation, a business with a turnover below $50 million will have a tax rate of just 25c in the 2021-22 financial year. Similar timing changes will also apply to the rollout of the 16 per cent tax discount for unincorporated businesses. When businesses are able to keep more of their own money, they are able to invest back into their businesses to create jobs, to boost their productivity and to grow. It might mean an owner-operator, like Southern Haulage, could take on an extra apprentice and provide a promising future for a school leaver. More jobs mean more consumer spending, which in turn helps to grow the economy and provide more jobs for everyday Australians.

Under the economic leadership of the coalition government, the economy has grown at 3.4 per cent this year. That's the best result since the mining boom. More than one million jobs have been created since we came to government in 2013, as promised. Just this week, the Treasurer announced that the unemployment rate had dropped to five per cent, giving the hope of a prosperous future to more Australians than ever. Our plan to fast-track tax relief for Australian businesses is an important investment in the future economic growth of our nation. I believe it's important that we put more money back into the pockets of business owners. It's the business owners who are in the best place to know how to spend their profits, rather than it ending up in government coffers. This legislation builds on the first stage of the company tax relief that our government delivered in March 2017. This is a government that believes in a fair go for those who have a go. That's a fair go for the Wilson family in Albany and a fair go for the Pavlovich family in Mount Barker. That's what our tax plan is all about.