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Government abolition of industry programs and the ACCI response

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38th Floor Exchange Plaza Sherwood Court PERTH VVA 6001


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17 May 1996

Mr Ian Henderson, The Australian CANBERRA 2600

Dear Ian,

Government abolition of industry programs and the ACCI response - as discussed. (I did try to keep it brief!)


The ACCI should be encouraged to take a tougher line with the Government.

The wholesale abolition of business support programs by the Howard Government is a direct attack on small business.

The ACCI’s response is to find a way of ameliorating the impact of the removal of those programs vital to the survival of many Australian companies.

Amelioration is not good enough. It misses two vital points:

First - Australia is part of the global economy. Other countries have these on more generous schemes. Robbing Australian companies of this support tilts the playing field steeply against Australian business. It hands an advantage to every foreign company and a handicap to us.

If all countries removed these supports simultaneously, fine. For Howard to do it unilaterally simply throws our small business to the wolves.

Second, these programs are not handouts that breed dependence and sloth, they are only of use to companies who want to be competitive, grow and export.

Small companies don’t have the time, scale or money to replace Austrade international market intelligence, EMDG, R & D grants and the NIES scheme and the like.

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