201404.30

Interview with Moira Major, Hot Tomato Drive

SUBJECTS: Small business, PPL, budget

MOIRA MAJOR:

Bruce, you are in town heading to the Mudgeeraba Chamber of Commerce Meeting tonight. What are you expecting?

MINISTER BILLSON:

Well we are encouraged by the high number of people who have come along tonight. I’m not sure it’s for the fine food available at the venue, the Woodchoppers Inn Restaurant, or whether it’s what I have to say, but I’m looking forward to catching up with the enterprising…what did you call them? Mudgeeraberans? Jeez that’s a tough one to get out isn’t it? I might stick with entrepreneurs – for some people that’s hard enough to say but we will go with that.

MOIRA MAJOR:

So what are you going to be talking about tonight?

MINISTER BILLSON:

Well essentially the Gold Coast is a real engine room of small business enterprise and I am here to talk about how we can get the mojo back into small business, to create the jobs and the economic opportunity our nation and the community needs. So that will be the primary focus and I will hear first-hand from those who have got skin in the game, mortgages on their houses and their first born and are creating opportunities for others.

MOIRA MAJOR:

Are you expecting questions tonight on the paid parenting leave scheme?

MINISTER BILLSON:

Yeah it will probably be raised because for small businesses this is a great policy where they can offer the kind of workplace advantages that you may well see in big corporations and in the public service, but has been out of reach for many of those working in small business. We want to say to people ‘consider a career in small business and here is an important workplace benefit that is available in the small enterprises, as well as those big corporates and in government.’ It’s a good measure for small business and bringing the income cap back doesn’t mean anyone misses out, it just recognises the tight budget situation we are in.

MOIRA MAJOR:

Have you noticed improvements to small business on the coast?

MINISTER BILLSON:

Yeah it’s looking better. I come here regularly and I’m pleased to see you had a great Easter, Christmas was good and there are lots of people around spending money. Margins are still tight though, that’s something we need to recognise and a lot of businesses have been battling through challenging economic times and that’s had an impact on job opportunities.

But I think the mojo on the Coast is back, momentum is good and we’ve got to keep working to make sure it provides the livelihood opportunities that your listeners are looking for and the good experiences the visitors expect.

MOIRA MAJOR:

Thank you for your time – I hope you have a great time here on the Coast.

MINISTER BILLSON:

Thanks for your interest – Hot Tomato – boy this is the place of enterprise on the Gold Coast isn’t it.

MOIRA MAJOR:

Absolutely. Thanks again.