Page 2608 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

the ACT are operated by a sole trader. A further 35 per cent employ between one and 19 people. The survival rate for small businesses here in the ACT is also something that should be noted with great alarm.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics indicates that 40 per cent of operating businesses do not survive after four years. For the ACT these statistics are dire and trending downwards. We now have the worst survival rate in the entire country and recent data tells us that only 57 per cent of small businesses in the ACT will survive after four years. This is down from 83 per cent in 2008. In other words, if you are brave enough to start up a small business in the ACT you may as well toss a coin to judge if you will still be in business in four years’ time. The odds are that bad.

For quite some time I have sat here and heard Andrew Barr claim to be the best friend of local business. He claims to be improving the way the government relates to and interacts with the business community. We also hear his sermons as he claims to be the great reformer, reducing red tape and lifting the burdens on small businesses. However, in the background, and contrary to this rhetoric, his cabinet colleague Mr Rattenbury has taken the decision to remove a convenience that has long been in practice and operating well by all accounts. Perhaps this is not one government after all.

The Chief Minster also used words at a Tuggeranong Community Council meeting earlier this year, when trying to allay concerns by a resident about connectivity and communication between directorates and ministers in her government, similar to the effect of, “We are not always one government”.

Madam Speaker, I bring this motion here today on behalf of small and medium business operators across the ACT who are sick and tired of the hurdles placed in their way by this government. It is legitimate and prudent financial management to ensure that credit is not offered to all and sundry and that proper risk assessments must be carried out. This is a fact also accepted by the business community.

In the particular situation that prompted my motion today, a new policy approach taken by the TAMS directorate has become evident. Betta Bins is a small family-owned business that has been operating in the ACT for a number of years. The business disposes of a significant amount of waste from building, commercial and domestic sites. Skip bins obviously need to be transported by a truck to the tip several times a day. This business has recently changed hands and is now a father-son operation that hopes to grow and employ many local staff over time.

For convenience and cash flow stability—most importantly convenience—Betta Bins applied to ACT NoWaste to open an account for use of the Mugga Lane waste resource management facility. The account was not approved on the grounds that the business had not provided sufficient trade history under the current ownership, a fact that the owners happily accepted.

Given that the proprietor of Betta Bins also operates a building company that has been in business in the ACT for over 30 years he then attempted to open an account under his building business name, which has an extensive trading history. But to his absolute

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video