Page 5068 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 26 October 2011

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Mrs Dunne’s amendment is good. Table the information. Perhaps the minister will take it on notice and table it tomorrow. It cannot be that hard to come by. Somebody in the government must know. Any period you choose, Mr Barr. Choose a period—last month, last three months.

Mr Barr: Any period? All right, okay.

MR SMYTH: For this initial one. Pick a period and tell us how much interest you have paid on overdue bills.

Mr Barr: Pick a period. Okay, in the last 12 hours?

MR SMYTH: You can treat it with that sort of disdain. I will tell every business I run across that Mr Barr will go and find out what payments have been made in the last couple of hours. It is an important issue if you have got a small business and you are not getting your payments. It is a very important issue if you have staff to pay. It is a very important issue.

I know of businesses in the ACT that have gone broke because somebody has not paid them and they have not been able to pay somebody else. There is a domino effect here. And when you have got a big part of the ACT economy that is the ACT government’s budget, it is important that the bills are paid on time because that domino effect in small business can be fatal to more than just one business and it can be fatal to the jobs of employees. Without very much effort, it can bring down a small business that is trading at the margins.

Remember, common to a lot of misconceptions, most small business people are not rich. It is a lifestyle that they choose or it is something that they are intensely interested in that they choose to make a living out of. It does not make them rich. It does make them live, in many cases, near the edge. That is why this policy is important, that is why this motion should be supported, and that is why we will not be supporting the pat, self-congratulatory sort of amendment that the Greens have put forward today.

Question put:

That Ms Le Couteur’s amendment, as amended, be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 11

Noes 6

Mr Barr

Mr Hargreaves

Mr Coe

Mr Smyth

Dr Bourke

Ms Hunter

Mr Doszpot

Ms Bresnan

Ms Le Couteur

Mrs Dunne

Ms Burch

Ms Porter

Mr Hanson

Mr Corbell

Mr Rattenbury

Mr Seselja

Ms Gallagher

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

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