New ministry urged to implement reforms

tax, GSTThe Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is urging the new Turnbull government ministry to continue to support retail and small business through key reforms.

Over the weekend, Victorian MP, Kelly O’Dwyer, was appointed to assistant treasurer and small business minister, a position previously held by Bruce Billson.

“Of course, the sssistant treasurer is in effect the minister for revenue and is responsible for the tax system which is at the very centre of our whole productivity agenda, indeed at the very centre of the small business agenda,” Turnbull said while announcing the cabinet reshuffle.

“It is vital we have a tax system that is fair, efficient and creates the right incentives so that we can get the gains in productivity we need.”

The ARA wants reforms such as the introduction of a competition effects test and introduction of the zero value import threshold before July 2017 to be carried out by the new cabinet.

ARA executive director, Russell Zimmerman, welcomed the announcement of the new ministry.

“The surge in confidence expressed this week within business is reflective of the government’s commitment to address issues including GST collection on overseas purchases and the possibility of real reform of competition policy,” said Zimmerman.

“The ARA is pleased to see small business remains in the cabinet, with the assistant treasury portfolio covering off many important areas for the retail sector, from the FSI payments reform to the Harper Review competition recommendations.

“It is now incumbent on the Turnbull government to commence the task of implementing many of the recommendations which have been made in recent reviews from the Productivity Commission, Harper Review to the FSI,” Zimmerman said.

“The 140,000 Australian independent retail business are demanding that the coalition bring in an effects test as per the recommendations of the Harper review, while a reduction in penalty rates for retailers is crucial in the upcoming Fairwork review.”

Billson considers future
Bruce Billson is considering his political future after he was dumped as small business minister.

Billson said he told Turnbull he wanted to stay in his portfolio.

“Having made this ambition clear, Prime Minister Turnbull and I spoke today and I was advised that I would not be provided that opportunity,” Billson said on Facebook.

“I will reflect on the next stage of my political career with my family and support network.

“I look forward to continuing to represent the wonderful Dunkley community with all of my energy and experience in the period ahead.”

Comments

1 comment

  1. Brett Stevenson posted on September 21, 2015

    Bilson was a good small business minister. One worries with the likes of Turnbull now as PM whether the big end of town will get more of the ears of those in power than the small business community. I hardly think many small business owners see the BCA or McKinseys or the Big Four accounting firms or even the ARA (which is more focussed on the bigger retailers) being on their side yet they seem to be the 'go to groups' whenever any sort of input from the business community is called for from government. Whenever I see Jennifer Westacott pushing the business barrow I just think the big end of town as that is her background and power base (Top 100 CEO's in Australia). One just needs to consider the opposition from the big players like Wesfarmers to the changes to the Competition Laws pushed by Ian Harper to see their colours. At least Bilson gave small business consideration and respect. I tend to think Turnbull will use his cleverness and contacts to manipulate a different story for the big end of town. After all you don't see too many small business owners acquiring such phenomenal wealth as Turnbull has done when he partnered with the likes of Trevor Kennedy (Yes, that's the same one who was involved in the Alpine Offset Printing insurance fire, along with the likes of Eddie Obeid, Graham Richardson, Rodney Adler, and even Ray Martin) in Ozemail. Networking at its best I would daresay!! Kelly O'Dwyer is an unknown apart from her willingness to go on Q&A (perhaps that's where she became friendly with Malcolm?) and being handed her seat on a plate by Peter Costello.

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