It has been an exciting morning here this morning!
It’s actually rather appropriate that we have inclement weather because we’ve opened the new outdoor covered area here. It takes into account the canteen and where the kids will assemble before they play their soccer games here at Egdell Park in Cowra.
The Federal Government contributed $8,500. There were generous contributions from the Cowra Shire Council and the Cowra and District Soccer Club to make this a reality.
I’m delighted local small business owners have contributed to it, because it shows what can be delivered when the Federal Government collaborates with local Shires to enhance community capacity. It gives kids a shelter on those cold, wet winter mornings. It will be a great help when they’re down here enjoying their soccer, their family outing, when they’re getting ready for that game of soccer and also when they’re here waiting at the canteen.
Of course, having played a lot of junior footy myself – but many, many years ago – I know how important sporting facilities like this are. So well done to Cowra and District Soccer Club and well done to Derrick and his team and the kids who braved the chilly morning to kick a few balls to me. A couple of them got through to the goals but I’ve very much enjoyed the activity.
So how did the Government fund it?
Well the funding for this project was part of the Stronger Communities Programme, and that funding source has enabled a lot of communities to build these types of structures. BBQ areas and, in this case, an outdoor covered area. It builds community capacity for these small volunteer groups, it gives them a bit of help so they can construct these facilities which benefits communities like this right throughout the Riverina and Central West.
It’s the start of the 2017/2018 financial year, so what does that mean? What comes into play as a result?
There’s quite a bit, in fact; the lowering of the company tax rate to 27.5 per cent for more businesses. Now that was introduced on May 9, on Budget day, I actually took that legislation through the Parliament. Tax cuts for small business were backdated to last year actually, but that continues for more businesses now. It comes after the definition of a ‘small business’ which is now $10 million turnover.
Also this financial year there will be the simplified BAS (Business Activity Statement), so instead of seven categories there will only be three categories to complete on a Business Activity Statement. A bit later will come the Single-Touch Payroll.
So they are some really good things for small business. We are a Government which is very mindful of how important small business is, not just in metropolitan cities, but in regional Australia as well.
That’s why it’s so important that the 15,000 small businesses I represent in the Riverina and Central West not only have a lowering of the company tax rate, but even perhaps more importantly, that they can buy the capital equipment that they need and to write it off instantly. They don’t have to have that long depreciation schedule, they can do it right there and then, write it off instantly and buy that capital equipment they need and build their own businesses so that they can employ more staff, so they can get more customers through the door. That’s what it’s all about.
Cutting red tape is also so important, and a big focus of ours this financial year. We’re working on cutting through that bureaucratic paperwork that bogs business down. We don’t want small businesses when they get home at night to then spend hour upon hour filling in paperwork, we want them to be able to spend time with their family and friends. And if they want, they can put those extra hours back into their business because they’re not filling in paperwork, to build their business, to employ that young Australian. That’s what we’re trying to do. We’re building small businesses up right throughout the Riverina and Central West and I know our policies are doing just that.
How will these measures benefit small business owners and the community in general?
Our Budget measures will allow small businesses to instantly write-off up to $20,000 on their capital equipment expenditure items.
We have also put $300 million on the table to incentivise the States and Territories to work with the Federal Government to cut some of that red tape. We have already reduced the burden of bureaucratic overlay by $5.8 billion since coming into Government. However, we want to do more. We want to work with the States as well as local Councils to cut through some of that beaurcracy, to cut through that red tape, to ease and lift the pressure from small business and that’s what we’re doing.
So that’s a really good measure and it will reflect in a lot of small businesses. They might not see that at first, but eventually they will see that their paperwork burden has lifted. They will see that Single Touch Payroll is so beneficial. They will see that it is easier to fill out their Business Activity Statements and I know as a small business owner myself, that this is so important.
I know when I was running my own small business this would have helped me to spend more time with my family and friends and allowed me to invest in my small business.