Small business is a critical part of Indi’s social and economic fabric, and creates jobs across the region.
My vision is for the continuation of a diverse, competitive and prosperous small business sector in Indi.
As a small business owner, I understand and appreciate the satisfaction gained from growing and operating your own business. Indi has thousands of small businesses which are a vital part of our economy and community. All levels of government should be working to create an environment that allows small business to prosper.
It can often be difficult for small businesses to navigate complex regulation and reporting requirements. Many small businesses face problems attracting and keeping skilled staff, or training existing staff members. Our infrastructure—particularly broadband, mobile phones and rail—must be improved in order to serve the needs of a growing small business sector.
Legislation has to work in harmony for our community. As just one example, the harmonising of heavy vehicle legislation might threaten Victoria’s primary producer vehicle registrations for farmers. Cathy will work with the Commonwealth, NSW and Victorian Small Business Commissioners to advocate in Indi’s interest. NSW already has a cross-border Commissioner who is tasked with addressing these anomalies and it would be preferable if the Victorian and Federal Government could do the same.
The prosperity of small business is essential for Indi’s economic future. Cathy knows this and will bring the issues of small businesses to Canberra.
- I will advocate for reforms to reduce cross-border anomalies, particularly in the Albury-Wodonga region. Two sets of regulations, licensing, fees and registration forms can really impact on businesses that work across state boundaries. We need to work towards a more consistent approach.
- I will support moves for government to assume responsibility for administration of superannuation, relieving the administrative burden on small and medium businesses.
- I will endeavour to improve rail, road, broadband and mobile phone infrastructure in Indi. Quality infrastructure creates the foundation for regional business growth. The potential for business growth is huge in our region. Government needs to support this growth and commit to improving our failing rail system and delivering fast and affordable broadband to all in our region.
- I will strongly support initiatives that assist with training staff and developing a skilled workforce in Indi – including the proper resourcing of the TAFE sector. In 2012 nearly a quarter of businesses in Albury-Wodonga reported shortages in skilled staff. The impact of this is missed opportunities for businesses and workers.
- I will support small grant schemes for innovative local businesses who need to raise capital. Accessing start-up funds can be difficult in rural areas and loans and voucher schemes are an important avenue for assitance.