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Thursday, 28 June 2018
Page: 6815

Small Business


Ms MARINO (ForrestChief Government Whip) (14:25): My question is to the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services. Will the minister update the House on how the government is working to help small and medium-sized enterprises thrive? Is the minister aware of any threats posed by alternative approaches?


Ms O'DWYER (HigginsMinister for Revenue and Financial Services, Minister for Women and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service) (14:26): I thank the member for Forrest for her question. She gets small and family enterprises because, of course, she's built one. She's built a dairy business from the ground up, and her husband is still working in that business. She knows how hard it is to work in small and family enterprises, just as those people on this side of the chamber understand that. That is why we are providing tax relief for all of those small and medium-sized and family enterprises and for 17,000 people and businesses in her electorate of Forrest.

But, regrettably, those opposite unfortunately either don't understand it or, worse, actually want to punish these small or medium-sized or family enterprises. Thanks to a crazy captain's call from the Leader of the Opposition only this week, he is going to increase their taxes. He will hike up their taxes because, of course, he has declared war on small business. He believes that they are the top end of town. Well, I have news for him. They are not the top end of town, and the people they employ are not millionaires. In fact, these businesses employ more than half of the private sector workforce. Millions and millions of Australians are employed by these businesses. But, despite this, the Leader of the Opposition stubbornly clings to his divisive antibusiness plan. He clings to this because he wants to create something in Australia that doesn't exist, and that is class warfare. This is a guy who, of course, wants to embark upon a $200 billion tax-and-grab.

Make no mistake: if he gets his way, this grand assault on the Australian economy will have devastating impact on the Australian people. It will have a devastating impact on retirees, on small businesses, on family enterprises, on women, on anybody who's actually employed and on those people who are trying to get into a job. This Leader of the Opposition is dangerous and he cannot be trusted. Whether you live in Caboolture or on Kangaroo Island, the Leader of the Opposition is punishing aspiration. He's punishing retirees. He's punishing small business.

We have people who are prepared to stand up: people like Trevor Ruthenberg, who will stand up for the people of Longman; Brett Whiteley, who will stand up for the people of Braddon; and Georgina Downer, who will stand up for the people of Mayo. The truth is we know that the Leader of the Opposition is short on judgement. He cannot be trusted. He is Unbelieva-Bill. He is unelectable and, according to the member for Grayndler, he is Disposa-Bill.

Ms Rowland interjecting

The SPEAKER: I remind the member for Greenway that she's been warned. Member for Greenway, you've been warned.