27 November 2017
Transcript - #2017064, 2017

Interview with Matt Tukaki

MATTHEW TUKAKI:

As the national broadband network is rolled out across the country we need to take a moment and consider the potential and for the bush and what it means for small business and jobs. Regional Australia growing the cost of living and our export markets growing, it seems as though the bush is finally getting what it needs – connectivity and access to the greater wider world.

Joining to talk about what's happening in the world in small business, the bush and more is Small Business Minister Michael McCormack. Michael, welcome.

MICHAEL MCCORMACK:

Thank you, Matt. There has never been a better time to move to regional area and never been a better time to start a small business.

MATTHEW TUKAKI:

That's right, well let's talk about small business first, I mean, we've got 2.1 million small businesses, owners and operators out there employing themselves or other people

MICHAEL MCCORMACK:

Half the nation's workforce.

MATTHEW TUKAKI:

That's right. Half the nation's workforce and technology is a big enabler.

MICHAEL MCCORMACK:

Well look, that's why just last week the Government announced the small business digital taskforce which we believe, will be a game changer.

MATTHEW TUKAKI:

Well talk to us about the taskforce. What is it and what is it going to do?

MICHAEL MCCORMACK:

Well, it's going to be headed by one of Australia's most successful entrepreneurs, Mark Bouris. And I think the Treasurer actually enjoyed far too much saying "You're hired", because we all know that Mark during his celebrity television appearances they said the opposite quite a few times. Mark has been hired including a very select committee who I am very pleased to say Su McCluskey. I mean it's a great committee. It's a great taskforce. And obviously has a real regional focus. But what this taskforce is going to be doing, it's going to be going around talking to small business owners around the country about the benefits of adopting digital technologies to operate more efficiently, giving them more time to grow their business and employ more Australians.

MATTHEW TUKAKI:

That's right. Because we have heard of quite a few challenges facing small business across Australia and we have a talk with Kate Carnell on the odd occasion about the time it's taken for a lot of bigger businesses to pay invoices on time and the challenge of managing cash flow and even the advent of Amazon into the country. So, moving forward without looking back too far is probably the way we want to be?

MICHAEL MCCORMACK:

Well look indeed, Deloitte's had a recent survey and found, actually the connected small business report discovered Australian small businesses which have increased and have advanced levels of digital engagement are one-and-a-half more likely to be growing revenue. They're eight more times more likely to be creating jobs and fourteen more times likely to be innovating and that's the sort of message we are trying to get out there. Get engaged, get digital and make it happen better for your business.

MATTHEW TUKAKI:

Now let's turn our attention to the bush and regional Australia on this show. It seems to me we talk about it often, the cost of living is lower and all that sort of stuff but there's also a lifestyle change there, isn't there? I mean it's just better living out country.

MICHAEL MCCORMACK:

Well I spent quite a bit of time last week in capital cities, I also spent quite a bit of time in my electorate. You know, getting clogged up in traffic for one-and-a-half hours to drive five kilometres as we did on one occasion last week and then the direct opposite taking seven minutes to get to work and that was through three sets of traffic lights the other morning, the difference could not be starker.

MATTHEW TUKAKI:

Absolutely. Well if you're looking for a move to the country there are hundreds, if not thousands upon thousands of jobs out there. A huge amount of demand for workers from drivers, projects managers, mine workers, construction workers, tradies, you name it. It's all there in a place and accessible from most of our capital cities and of course it is cheaper. I have been joined on the line by Small Business Minister Michael McCormack, mate, thanks for joining us.

MICHAEL MCCORMACK:

Thanks Mate. We'll talk soon.