201410.10

Energising enterprise: A key focus at the Inaugural Small Business Ministers Meeting


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The importance of small businesses, family enterprises and entrepreneurship to the strength and vitality of the Australian economy was again recognised at a meeting of Federal and State Small Business Ministers in Perth yesterday.

Providing the right economic conditions to support enterprise formation and growth, sharing information on various State and Federal small business initiatives and canvassing opportunities for further collaboration were the key themes discussed at the meeting.

Ministers updated colleagues on deregulation programs in each jurisdiction and discussed how these might best be extended to address the multiple regulatory and compliance burdens imposed by Federal, State and Local governments and agencies on small businesses.

Various Federal initiatives were discussed including franchising reforms, the extension of consumer unfair contract terms protection to small businesses and the creation of a Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman.

Ministers noted the decision of State and Territory Treasurers not to progress further work on options to lower the value at which the GST is applied to import goods given that States have been unable to agree a preferred workable approach on this issue.

Professor Ian Harper addressed the meeting to talk about progress with the ‘root and branch’ review of competition policy, laws and institutions.

Joshua Zwar from the Y20 youth engagement platform of the G20 gave a presentation on policies and potential solutions to support youth entrepreneurship.

All State and Territory Small Business Ministers were invited to participate and contribute to this important event.

The Forum was attended by:

The Hon Joe Francis (Western Australia) – host
The Hon Bruce Billson (Australian Government) – chair
The Hon Jann Stuckey (Queensland)
The Hon Russell Northe (Victoria)
The Hon Adam Brooks (Tasmania)
The Hon John Barilaro (NSW)