Page 3401 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 19 August 2009

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liability offence. These requirements are an enormous imposition on a small cottage builder or a tradesman working with an offsider and an apprentice. These are things that are unreasonable and they are a dreadful imposition on costs.

Over the next little while I will be dwelling on the issues that have been raised by a whole range of organisations that have real dealings with small business and a real understanding of small business. The imposition on 1 October of the OH&S regulations will adversely affect small business. I hope that the government will be out there at these forums during September listening to what small business say about their daft OH&S regulations.

MR DOSZPOT (Brindabella) (5.45): Mr Speaker, I am pleased to contribute to the debate on this motion brought to us by Ms Burch. I am particularly pleased to be able to talk on a topic where I do have a reasonable amount of experience. My business experience takes in general management of a number of multinational companies in Canberra as well as running my own small business and assisting other small business enterprises.

I think most of us were riveted to our seats by Mr Barr’s absolutely impassioned speech about small business. Those of us who did not fall asleep are even more interested. But I am sure that there would be a lot of interest in the business community and a lot confidence generated by his wonderful words that really inspired all of us about how much he knows about business.

I also agree with Mr Smyth’s reference to the historical aspect of what has taken place with this government in relation to business and business support, or lack of business support. One of the first acts of the Stanhope government that was elected in 2001 was the abolition of Cantrade. It was one of the most successful enterprises that integrated small business and micro business, and provided international opportunities for small businesses. What did this government do? They abolished it as their very first act when they came in. As Mr Smyth rightly points out, we are now reinventing the wheel once again.

This is a very timely topic to discuss. This sector brings invaluable benefits to our community. The small business forum will be an important avenue for small businesses to voice their concerns to the government. I urge them to participate in this dialogue. Outcomes are another thing altogether. One would hope that this forum is not just a token gesture and that it does provide some real solutions and outcomes for small and micro businesses in the ACT.

I have had representations only this week from constituents in small business who are concerned about what they perceive and what they experience as a real problem. They believe they are consistently being overlooked by the ACT government as suppliers. I would urge you, Ms Burch, to look into some of those success stories that you spoke about where local businesses are actually winning national and international business. But they find it paradoxically quite hard to get support at the local level from the ACT government.

In fact, there was an interesting example some years back when a software company that actually received ACT government starter funding was then able to operate very

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