I am here as part of a national small business roadshow which is going right across Australia – and this is not the first time I have been to Tasmania as the Small Business Minister! So it’s nice to be back.
I am here listening to the issues small businesses want to raise with me. Small business owners and operators are delighted that the tax rate is now down to 27.5 per cent. That’s the lowest it’s been since 1940. Recently, we delivered yet another very, very friendly small business budget which builds upon our redefinition of what is a small business up to a $10 million turnover.
But importantly, on that night – Budget night – we extended the $20,000 instant asset write off by 12 months. That enables small businesses to be able to buy capital equipment – whether they’re in Hobart, Launceston, Devonport or wherever – they can buy capital equipment and write it off immediately.
This enables them to invest in their business, to get more customers through the door – and at the end of the day that’s what being a small business owner and operator is all about.
There was a rather unique and novel approach to reserving some Tasmanian produce right here for the state. I know Tassie is very much a tourism-driven state. And we had a very much tourism-driven forum this morning.
We heard from a range of people about the policies, the ideas, they think are important. We heard some feedback as far as red tape reduction is concerned. Some of the small businesspeople I heard from are very concerned about the red tape they have to comply with.
That’s why as part of the Budget, we put $300 million on the table to incentivise the States and Territories – as a Federal Government – to work with us and cut through some of that red tape. We want to help reduce some of those layers of State and Federal duplication.
The Federal Government is working with Will Hodgman and the State Government here in Tasmania to try to ease some of that burden on small businesses. Because, if small businesses don’t have to fill out all that paperwork, then they can get on with doing what they do best. That is delivering the goods, the services, the jobs that we all know Tasmania is renowned for.
This is a roadshow to listen to Australia’s small business owners and operators. It’s because of the feedback I have received from small businesses across the country that we were able to extend the $20,000 instant asset write-off programme for another year.
So I certainly take back what I hear. That’s how I know the cuts to the company tax rate have been very much welcomed. That’s how I know our extension to the instant asset write-off has been welcomed.
So I want to keep travelling, to keep listening. I intend to do this for many months and visit as many electorates as I can right around Australia. There are, of course, 150 electorates around Australia, so it’s a big, big job. I am only one Minister but I tell you I want to meet as many people as I can and I want to keep listening to them.
It’s great to hear feedback on the ground from people such as Eric Abetz and the other Tasmanian Senators. They have their ears to the ground too. But I will make a commitment to come back here again to listen to small business about what they expect the Government to do.
This is a Government which has delivered a lot for small business. We have delivered a lot for Tasmania’s small businesses. But I am here again to listen, because I know there’s still a lot of work to do.