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Thursday, 26 November 2015
Page: 13977

Mr HOWARTH (Petrie) (11:58): It is great to be able to talk here today in the Federation Chamber. One of my last election promises back in 2013 was to address crime in strategic areas of my electorate throughout Petrie. In the 2014-15 federal budget, I was pleased to see a lot of funding—some $380,000—allocated for CCTV projects in parts of my electorate. There was $200,000 for CCTV cameras for Redcliffe-Suttons Beach, where there are a number of small businesses operating, including Pilpel by the Sea, and the local surf lifesaving club. There was also $170,000 for upgraded CCTV cameras in Margate, and $10,000 for the CCTV cameras at the Redcliffe PCYC. The funding was done through the Safer Streets Program. The cameras were up and running as of late last year, and are monitored by the local council and by local police, who can monitor these areas. We see how well these CCTV cameras are used, not just throughout Queensland but right around Australia, if there is a crime or an issue where police need to go back and look at some of the footage.

So graffiti has been a bit of an issue around that Margate area in particular as well, and vandalism in some of the shopfronts down there. This is not what you want when you are trying to shop in the local area—to see that sort of graffiti. It is also a cost for the small businesses in having to clean that off. There are literally hundreds of small businesses throughout that Margate area and some 3,000 throughout the federal electorate of Petrie. I would like to thank the hardworking small business owners in my electorate for what they do—for the services they provide, the products they provide and also the jobs they provide.

I recently ran a job-seeker 'boot camp' out at Deception Bay, and I am looking to hold another one in early 2016 down in the Redcliffe area. Perhaps some of those Margate businesses and some of the businesses from CIRP—Commerce & Industry Redcliffe Peninsula—may be able to come on along. I met some of them the other night at an awards night that CIRP put on. They may be able to come along to that and talk to the local job seekers there about what it is they look for when they are hiring—what it is that small businesses look for. The last one was really successful, with some 50 job seekers coming along and 15 small businesses. I am sure that the next one that we run early next year will also go well.

Of course, the government is very supportive of small businesses. We know that they provide jobs. Our $20,000 instant asset tax write-off this year is great because it enables them to buy some new products or infrastructure that will help their business, and they get an instant tax write-off rather than depreciating it over several years. There are also company tax cuts as well. But as we approach Christmas, I really want to encourage consumers to shop small this year, if they can—to think about who is providing local jobs. And if you are unsure what it is that you want to provide for family and friends this Christmas then perhaps gift vouchers or other products from small businesses in the area may be something that you could purchase.

There are lots of local businesses down in Margate, like the Golden Ox Restaurant, the Marconi Coffee Shop and Big Dad's Pies. They all provide local people with jobs and so forth. We have tourism down there, like Dolphin Wild Island Cruises—Lisa Edwards runs snorkelling trips over to Flinders Reef and other reefs throughout Scarborough. There are skydiving companies and whale-watching companies, or maybe a local mechanic when a friend or family needs their vehicle serviced. Someone might need a dental appointment, so you can pop down to Smiles Dental Care there and see Dr Amol and perhaps buy a voucher from him for a family member. And Cleaver Firearms are in my electorate—one of the biggest gun shop owners throughout Australia. That provides some 20 people with employment. If you are sporting shooter then perhaps you can get a gift voucher there.

There are lots of things happening down there, so I really just encourage people to shop small, to think about how they spend their money this Christmas and perhaps support a small business. I know that is what I will be doing, and not just in Margate, which is an important area, but down in the Brisbane City Council areas—perhaps in Carseldine, Aspley, Bracken Ridge or up in North Lakes. There are lots of businesses and employment and so forth happening in North Lakes alone.

So shop small and have a great Christmas, and thanks for supporting local business in the Petrie electorate.