Today is certainly a very exciting day for the community. We’ve just opened up the refurbished classrooms at the Trinity Catholic Primary School in Murrumburrah-Harden and the Federal Government proved $391,000 towards this vital project and the local community as well as the Archdiocese also supplied $184,000.
So it’s a significant building. Almost half a million dollars to enable the kids of this great little school to have the very best state-of-the-art classrooms and learning facilities. This is a great little school; they’ve provided educational outcomes for kids since the 1870s, so I am delighted the Federal Government can provide that money, as well as the local community. The community has gotten behind this project and it’s fantastic to see it come to fruition today.
And, of course with a project this size, that requires small business to do work too. From the architects to the builders and everyone in between, that’s creating jobs and opportunities. So for me in my role as Small Business Minister I’m also delighted to be on hand to see the opening and to see the delight in the kids’ faces as they take to their new classrooms with great enthusiasm.
The Government has had a bad rap lately, in terms of the Budget, how important is it to have these school facilities provided.
Well there are more than 9,400 schools across Australia and all of those, except a handful in metropolitan areas, are receiving a funding boost.
Importantly, all 128 schools across the Riverina and Central West are getting more funding under the needs-based model than they’ve ever had before.
So the Federal Government is spending record funding on a needs-based funding model which teachers and parents have been asking for over many, many years. It’s going to provide great outcomes for children.
71 students here at Trinity Catholic Primary School at Murrumburrah-Harden, they’re going to be getting more money under our needs-based funding model than they’ve ever had before. And all schools across the Riverina and Central west are getting more money. I’ve had to work for that, I’ve had to lobby hard to make sure that has become a reality and I’m delighted that the Federal Government is providing that record funding.
What about your business visits in the region? What’s happening there?
We had a roundtable for the business community of Cootamundra as part of my National Small Business Roadshow. It was great that we had about a dozen or so Cootamundra business people come and to tell us what they think the Federal Government should be doing as far as small businesses are concerned.
They’re delighted the fact that the instant asset write-off has been extended by 12 months, they’re delighted the fact that the tax rate is now down to 27.5% - the lowest it’s been since 1940, the lowest it’s been since World War II.
So as Australia’s Small Business Minister and obviously a pretty passionate Federal Member for Riverina, I’m delighted our Riverina businesses are going to benefit from that extension of the instant asset write-off, from the tax rate down as low as 27.5%.
Now there’s more that we can do, of course, and that’s why I’m taking this Small Business Roadshow not just around the region but indeed around the nation and tomorrow I’ll be in Queensland talking to small business owners and operators there. But more importantly listening to them. It’s from forums such as this that we get our policy ideas, that we hear the feedback that small business owners and operators are telling us, and it’s from forums such as this that we learn how to even further cut into red tape.
I have met hundreds of small businesspeople across the country and listened to what they have to say. I have heard all sorts of feedback, so that’s why I think we as the Federal Government are the best friends that small business have ever had. We are the best friend that small business has had for a long, long time. Given the tax rates, given the extension of the instant asset write-off, this is certainly true.
The instant asset write-off enables small businesses to buy capital equipment and write it off instantly and that’s providing more money for small businesses so that they re-invest in their company, re-invest in their small little operations and hopefully hire more people, hire more young Australians, hire indeed even older Australians. So it’s creating jobs, its creating opportunity and that’s what the federal government is all about.