POLICY MATTERS: Election campaign misinformed public

Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland senior policy advisor Kate Whittle.
Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland senior policy advisor Kate Whittle. dbm

THROUGHOUT the Federal Election campaign, we witnessed a relentless misinformation campaign about the role small business plays in Australia's economic success story.

Business has been consistently pitched as out of touch with the nation's immediate challenges or searching for hand-outs through tax breaks.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) rejects this assumption. A strong and prosperous business environment benefits us all and our national discussion should be framed as such.

We should be embarking on reforms that incentivise entrepreneurs to start their businesses on the Sunshine Coast and enable flexibility in our workplaces.

We need to make our tax system more competitive, boost job creation and productivity through investment in infrastructure and curb regulation that scares off business decision-making and activity.

We face enormous challenges as a state and a nation as we transition from reliance on the resources boom and it is business that underpins our success.

Nearly one million Queenslanders are employed by small business, with 97% of Queensland businesses being small.

Furthermore, small business contributes over $100 billion to Queensland's gross state product and business to business economic activity generates around $88 billion per year in the Sunshine State.

Small businesses are also central to our local communities. They give Queenslanders a job, they provide the goods and services we need and deliver the income people depend upon to live out their lives.

We must not let our high standard of living slide.

We must create more and better paid jobs, ensure our health and education systems remain some of the best in the world and continue to deliver social services to the less privileged and marginalised in our society.

And it is a strong business operating environment that is critical to maintaining and improving on our enviable position as a nation and a state.

The global economy is changing and so too is Queensland's.

Global supply chains are forcing traditional businesses to revisit their product and service delivery, the downturn in the resources sector has impacted labour markets and our sources of revenue and there are new and continual adjustments to the notion of the "traditional workplace".

Queensland's businesses can be strong participants in sourcing and creating new opportunities in Asia, but our policy settings must best position business to do this.

There are also the challenges of demography, with a growing aging population impacting workforce participation, technological changes and the nation's deteriorating structural budgetary position.

We must focus on creating and promoting the necessary policy framework to best position small and medium enterprises at the forefront of this transition.

Topics:  cciq federal election 2016

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