It’s fantastic to be here to the Gold Coast again.
The Gold Coast is very much the heart of entrepreneurship. We know that when the Gold Coast is doing well, Queensland is doing well. And when Queensland is doing well, the nation is doing well.
Certainly Steve Ciobo as the Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister is doing a fantastic job. That has been on display in my visits to small businesses on the Gold Coast today. We have brokered trade arrangements with South Korea, China and Japan, and Steve is building on all that good work and is negotiating even more trade with other countries. He is a hard worker and is making sure Australia’s presence is felt overseas.
Australia’s trading agreements are also very good news for small businesses. They are doing very well and taking advantage of those trade agreements and, with some good farming seasons recently, small businesses are in the box seat to grow even more.
Our recent budget was great for small business, great for farming, great for the regions. The $8.4 billion investment in the Brisbane to Melbourne inland rail is certainly going to help our regions grow, but importantly also help Steve Ciobo with his negotiations to help open even more markets to our farmers. This will help the regions and help the nation’s balance of payments. It will help create jobs.
What sort of feedback are you getting from around the region and from tonight’s event?
I am here on a listening tour. I’m on a national small business roadshow.
I am here, obviously, to help tell and sell the message, and it’s a good message. The Federal Government has delivered in spades in the small business space. There has never been a Government that has been friendlier to the great small business sector than the Liberals and Nationals.
We have cut the tax rate down to 27.5 percent – the lowest it’s been since 1940. We have redefined “small business” to a $10 million turnover. We have extended the instant asset write-off by 12 months. That’s so important for small business.
Steve Ciobo understands that. He is selling that message in his electorate, but its’s also important to get me here as the Small Business Minister not just to talk about it, but also to hear feedback, to listen to what small business owners want. I want to hear more of what they have to say.
It’s that feedback which helps us deliver as the Government for small business. That feedback gives us the insight to put, as part of the Budget, $300 million on the table to incentivise our State and Territory colleagues to work with us to cut red tape. I want to work wherever and however possible to reduce red tape; to cut and reduce bureaucracy where there is overload between States and Federal jurisdictions.
Steve Ciobo is out there listening. And I am too. We want to hear back from small business, small businesses on the Gold Coast, small businesses right throughout Queensland, small businesses right across this great nation, to see what they say that we could do to eliminate that red that red tape burden.
That’s why we are out here on this small business roadshow with the local members with my Ministerial colleagues. I want to hear from small businesses as to what we can do further to reduce that red tape and back small businesses to grow even further – because when that happens, they create jobs.
We have the Commonwealth Games coming – what insights do you have on that for small business?
Certainly the Commonwealth Games is a big boost for the Gold Coast.
I was there with Steve Ciobo when we launched the Royal Australian Mint coin, the commemorative coin, acknowledging that the Gold Coast is going to be the wonderful host venue on behalf of Australia for the Commonwealth Games.
That is going to be a great boon for small businesses – absolutely. It’s not just for accommodation, not just in the tourism trade, but directly and indirectly it’s going to affect in a positive way small businesses on the Gold Coast.
So I know that so many small businesses are gearing up for that fantastic opportunity for the Gold Coast and I know how Steve is getting behind it as the Local Member and as a Minister to boost all those opportunities that we need for small business for the Commonwealth Games next year.