24 November 2017
Transcript - #2017063, 2017

Interview for the Armidale Express

JOURNALIST: …

MICHAEL McCORMACK:

Well there is a plan to address it and we have addressed it through the quarantining of spending in the Building Better Regions Fund to regional areas and so no longer can metropolitan areas claim or even try to gain some of that funding through applications.

It is quarantined thanks to the former Regional Development Minister Fiona Nash, Senator Fiona Nash, and The Nationals. It's been quarantined to regional areas and I've got to tell you Barnaby Joyce had a big part to play in that, too. Barnaby Joyce made sure that that funding was going to regional areas only and so it should, because it's a regional fund – it's meant for towns like Armidale, it's meant for regional capitals like Tamworth, it's not meant for inner urban Labor electorates and unfortunately that's where some of the funding was going to under the previous government.

JOURNALIST: …

MICHAEL McCORMACK:

We cut some of it back and in this term we've eliminated any opportunity for metropolitan areas to get some of that – any of that regional funding.

JOURNALIST: …

MICHAEL McCORMACK:

Well look, energy costs for something is always raised, they were very pleased about the tax cuts. The tax rate at the moment is the lowest it's been since 1940 at 27.5 per cent and under us it's going down even further. The Instant Asset Write-off – a couple of people actually told me of what they had spent the Instant Asset Write-off, what they bought with the Instant Asset Write-off, so that was good.

One fellow, and I don't know if you were there or not, but he told the story how he bought a vehicle for him to be able to get around in his business, in his small business, through the Instant Asset Write-off Program which enables people to be able to buy, or companies, to be able to buy capital equipment up to $20,000 and write it off instantly and so no longer do they have to put it on a long depreciation schedule. And they also talked about the need for infrastructure – the Armidale airport was something that was raised. They're delighted that the new terminal is in, or the refurbished terminal and looking forward to Adam Marshall opening that but they also told me that the runway is something that they're looking to get a runway upgrade and indeed another runway there to get the larger aircraft which they hope to attract to the area.

I mean, Armidale is going ahead. It is a great community. A lot of small businesses and under Susan's leadership of the Chamber it can only onto bigger and better things.

JOURNALIST:

Absolutely and just a quick last one – in your experience as Minister what are some of the benefits of opening a small business in regional Australia?

MICHAEL McCORMACK:

Well at the moment we've got trade deals with China, with Japan, South Korea and last week clinched one with Peru, so there are trade opportunities for small businesses.

There are opportunities in regional Australia that you can run your own company, be somebody who is responsible for your own destiny whilst at the same time appreciating country lifestyles which, we all know because we live in the regions, are second to none. We all know that we can – we all know that we don't have to sit in a traffic jam for an hour and forty minutes just to get to work every day when you only live five kilometres from your workplace. We know that communities are large enough to get a good cup of coffee but small enough to care and, you know, there's no better living than in regional New South Wales, in regional Australia, there's none better whatsoever and this is a beautiful area and it's a shame that more people who want to live on the urban fringe don't realise it.

Come over the Blue Mountains and find what a wonderful area regional Australia is.

JOURNALIST:

Absolutely, well thanks so much for your time today, Michael.

MICHAEL McCORMACK:

No worries, and thanks for your interest, too.