New scheme helps small businesses get paid on time

The Morrison Government is supporting millions of small businesses by helping to ensure they get paid on time.

Legislation to implement the Payment Times Reporting Scheme was passed by the Senate, which will put every big business on notice.

Under the scheme, large businesses and applicable government enterprises with a total annual income of over $100 million will have to report publicly on how and when they pay their small business suppliers.

This scheme will provide unprecedented transparency and will show Australians how big businesses pay their suppliers.

This transparency will help small businesses make more informed decisions about who they do business with, and the general public can make better decisions about the large businesses they purchase from.

We have already seen large companies change their practices following adverse media coverage. Recently, businesses such as Rio Tinto and Telstra rapidly abandoned payment practices which negatively impacted on small businesses once they were subject to public exposure.

As a result, their payment policies were shortened to ensure suppliers were paid within 20 days.

Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash said the measure would support small businesses, especially through COVID-19 challenges.

“Late payments have a significant impact on small business cash flow and inhibit the ability of a firm to invest, grow and employ,” Minister Cash said.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said shining a light on large business payment performance would lead to fairer and faster payments for Australia’s 3.5 million small and family businesses.

“Bad payers won’t be able to hide, as this Scheme will expose their poor practices,” Mr Vasta said.

“The Morrison Government is committed to striking the right balance to ensure faster and fairer payment terms to local small and family businesses in Bonner.”

The Government developed the legislation following extensive consultations with industry associations and representatives of small and large business since early 2019.

Their feedback has directly informed the design and operation of the scheme.

The Coalition Government has a strong record when it comes to ensuring small and family businesses get paid on time.

Since July 2019, Commonwealth agencies have paid invoices for contracts up to $1 million within 20 calendar days or paid interest on any late payments.

This captures approximately 95 per cent of procurement contracts entered into by the Commonwealth.

The scheme will begin on 1 January 2021.

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$2 Billion skills package to deliver economic growth in Bonner

The Morrison Government will invest $2 billion to give hundreds of thousands of Australians access to new skills by retraining and upskilling them into sectors with job opportunities.

The new JobTrainer skills package will also guarantee support for tens of thousands of apprentices in jobs across Australia, including the Bonner electorate, by subsidising their wages to keep them employed and training secured.

The new $1 billion JobTrainer Fund will provide up to an additional 340,700 training places across Australia to help school leavers and job seekers access pre-apprenticeships, short courses and full qualifications to develop new skills in growth sectors and create a pathway to more qualifications.

Courses will be free or low cost in areas of identified need, with the Federal Government providing $500 million with contributions matched by State and Territory Governments.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the JobTrainer skills package was focused on getting people into jobs.

“JobTrainer will ensure more Australians have the chance to reskill or upskill to fill the jobs on the other side of this crisis,” the Prime Minister said.

“COVID-19 is unprecedented, but I want Australians to be ready for the sorts of jobs that will come as we build back and recover.”

The package also includes an additional $1.5 billion to expand the wage incentive to help keep apprentices in work, which builds on the initial $1.3 billion package announced in March.

In addition to small businesses already covered, the wage subsidy will now be available to medium businesses with less than 200 employees for apprentices employed as at 1 July 2020.

Around 180,000 apprentices and 90,000 small and medium businesses employing them will now be supported, with the program extended by six months to March 2021.

The initiative covers 50 per cent of the wages paid to apprentices and trainees, up to $7000 per quarter.

Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business Michaelia Cash said the JobTrainer skills package would form a vital part of the national recovery efforts.

“Our nation has faced many challenges, and it is critical we keep our apprentices in jobs and help those looking for work,” Minister Cash said.

“This package will be essential as the economy rebuilds so people looking for work can reskill and upskill for in-demand jobs, provide school leavers with a pathway into their careers, and ensure businesses are able to get the skilled workers they need.”

Assistant Minister for Vocational Education, Training and Apprenticeships Steve Irons said the expanded wage subsidy would more than double the number of supported apprentices and trainees.

“The Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage subsidy will now help almost 90,000 businesses employing around 180,000 apprentices and trainees throughout Australia,” Assistant Minister Irons said.

“This will dramatically improve the viability of tens of thousands of apprenticeships and the businesses employing them right across the country.”

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the Skills Package would provide a much-needed boost to jobseekers and school leavers in his electorate to ensure jobseekers were trained in the skills needed by our local businesses community.

“Backing training, apprentices, and jobs is all part of the Morrison Government’s plan to restore our economy after the coronavirus pandemic and keep Australians in our local area in work.,” Mr Vasta said.

States and territories need to sign up to a new Heads of Agreement to access JobTrainer funding, with the agreement setting out immediate reforms to improve the vocational education and training sector, and providing the foundation for long term improvements as outlined by the Prime Minister in his recent speech to the National Press Club.

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Supporting Bonner’s small businesses to create jobs

The Morrison Government will help local small businesses as they move into the recovery phase of the coronavirus crisis by extending the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme which supports small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) to get access to the funding they need to adapt and innovate during the coronavirus crisis.

Under the existing Scheme, the Government is providing an unprecedented level of support to SMEs in partnership with 44 approved lenders by guaranteeing 50 per cent of new unsecured loans to SMEs.

The Scheme has already seen more than 15,600 businesses accept loans worth $1.5 billion.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the next phase of the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme would help small businesses in his electorate move out of hibernation, successfully adapt to the new COVID-safe economy and invest for the future.

“Extending the SME Guarantee Scheme is our Government’s way of supporting small businesses as they seek to rebuild, adapt and create local jobs on the other side of the coronavirus crisis,” Mr Vasta said.

Key changes to the Scheme include:

  • Extending the purpose of loans able to be provided beyond working capital, such that a wider range of investment can be funded;
  • Permitting secured lending (excluding commercial or residential property);
  • Increasing the maximum loan size to $1 million (from $250,000) per borrower;
  • Increasing the maximum loan term to five years (from three years); and
  • Allowing lenders the discretion to offer a repayment holiday period.

The extended terms of the Scheme will enable lenders to continue supporting Australian small businesses when they need it most.

The expanded Scheme will shift from providing access to working capital to helping businesses stay afloat during the crisis to now also enabling them to access more affordable and longer-term credit so that they can invest for their future.

The initial phase of the Scheme remains available for new loans issued by eligible lenders until 30 September 2020.

The second phase of the Scheme will start on 1 October 2020 and will be available until 30 June 2021.

For more information visit

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Extending the Instant Asset Write-Off for Bonner businesses

The Morrison Government continues to back small business with the announcement it will extend the $150,000 instant asset write-off for six months to December 31, 2020.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said this meant businesses with annual turnover of less than $500 million would be able to take advantage of the extended timeframe to invest in assets to support their business.

“As the economy reopens and coronavirus health restrictions continue to be eased, these measures will support over 3.5 million businesses nationally, employing more than 9.7 million employees,” Mr Vasta said.

“They are designed to support businesses to stick with the investment they had planned and encourage business to bring investment forward to support economic growth over the near term.”

The instant asset write-off also helps to improve cash flow for businesses by bringing forward tax deductions for eligible expenditure.

The threshold applies on a per asset basis, so eligible businesses can immediately write-off multiple assets provided each costs less than $150,000.

Mr Vasta said the extension of the instant asset write-off was great news for local businesses in Bonner, giving them additional time to acquire and install assets, as they now had until the end of the year.

“Assets can be new or second hand and could include for example a truck for a delivery business or a coffee machine for a cafe,” Mr Vasta said.

“Hardworking Australian businesses can rest assured the Morrison Government will do all that is necessary to support them to bounce back stronger and get to the other side of this crisis.

“Local business are the lifeblood of our economy and I want to do everything I can to assist them through this difficult time.”

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Tingalpa manufacturer receives Federal grant to modernise

Tingalpa manufacturing company Crystalaid has received a $100,000 Morrison Government grant through the Manufacturing Modernisation Fund (MMF) to help them adopt new technology to make their processes more efficient.

The MMF grant will be used to purchase an automated Printed Circuit Board Cleaner as well as some minor building extensions to house the new technology.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the Morrison Government’s MMF grants came at an important time for the local manufacturing sector.

“The Morrison Government is committed to Australian manufacturing and supporting small businesses like Crystalaid in my electorate of Bonner,” Mr Vasta said.

“This investment will not only strengthen this business and create jobs, it will provide a much needed confidence boost as we face this unprecedented pandemic.”

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said 200 projects were supported through the MMF program and were expected to create around 2,600 Australian jobs.

“We established the MMF before the coronavirus pandemic to help small and medium sized manufacturers invest in capital equipment and new technologies to transform and upgrade their manufacturing operations,” Minister Andrews said.

“Now as we face the coronavirus pandemic and look to come out the other side stronger, this investment will be more critical than ever as we prepare Australian manufacturing beyond COVID-19 and the challenges of today.”

For more information on the Manufacturing Modernisation Fund visit

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Australian Made logo grant to help our exporters

The Morrison Government is helping manufacturers and exporters to create more local jobs and take on the world, with an extra $5 million to extend the international reach of the Australian Made logo.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said expanding the reach of the trusted symbol would give local businesses the chance to grow and create new jobs in his electorate.

“The gold kangaroo on a green triangle is synonymous with quality and makes products produced in our own backyard instantly more desirable,” Mr Vasta said.

“The Morrison Government wants to increase the impact of this trusted symbol overseas so our exporters can grow and employ more people here at home.

“This builds on the extensive work our government has done to secure trade deals and open up more opportunities for Australian businesses overseas.”

The $5 million grant will allow the trade mark to be registered and promoted in key export markets like the European Union, the United Kingdom and Canada.

There will also be an effort to crack down on misuse of the logo by strengthening its legal position in key export markets.

“In these challenging economic times, with global trade being disrupted, our exporters will benefit from this extra support for our national brand,” Mr Vasta said.

The money will be provided over four years to the Australian Made Campaign Limited (AMCL), which administers the logo.

The logo is a registered trade mark in the United States, China, South Korea and Singapore and proceedings are underway to register it in Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

The Australian Made, Australian Grown logo is Australia’s only registered country of origin certification trade mark and can be used on all classes of goods.

It must always be used with one of the following descriptors: Australian Made, Australian Grown, Product of Australia, Australian Seafood or Australian.

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Laws passed to reunite Australians with their unpaid Super

Australians will now be reunited with the superannuation they are owed but have not yet been paid after the Morrison Government this week passed new legislation to encourage employers to do the right thing.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the government had implemented a one-off amnesty for historical underpayment of superannuation to incentivize employers to come forward and do the right thing by their employees.

“This policy will reunite hardworking Australians with their super by offering employers amnesty to come forward, admit the error and pay any unpaid super in full,” Mr Vasta said.

“The amnesty will make it easier for workers to secure the super they are owed by not hitting employers with the penalties usually associated with late payment.”

Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology Senator Jane Hume said they anticipate at least $160 million of super will be paid to Australian workers who would otherwise miss out.

“Since the one-off amnesty was originally announced back in 2018, over 7000 employers have already come forward to voluntarily disclose historical unpaid super,” Assistant Minister Hume said.

“We estimate an additional 7000 employers will come forward in the next six months before the amnesty ends. Employers will not be off the hook.”

To use the amnesty, employers must still pay all super owed to their employees, including the high rate of interest.

If employers do not take advantage of the amnesty, they will now face significantly higher penalties when they are caught – in general, a minimum 100 per cent penalty on top of the SG shortfall they owe, and up to 200 per cent for the most serious cases.

In addition, throughout the amnesty period the ATO will still continue its usual audit and enforcement activity against employers for historical obligations they do not own up to voluntarily.

The Amnesty will expire six months after the day the Bill receives Royal Assent.

The amnesty complements recent changes to the superannuation system to improve the visibility employees have over their superannuation.

“We encourage employers to check they don’t owe outstanding super – and if they do, to take advantage of this once-only opportunity to set things right before much tougher penalties apply,” Assistant Minister Hume said.

“Together, these measures reflect the Morrison Government’s ongoing commitment to reuniting Australians with lost and unpaid super.”

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Bonner business awarded defence grant

Bonner local business, Skyborne Technologies has been awarded $462,690 by the Morrison Governments Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority grant to make their mark in Australia’s Defence industry through the development of their armoured drone- Cereberus.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta says Skyborne Technologies unique combination of Artificial Intelligence and lightweight weaponised drone engineering is the way of Australia’s defence future.

“The Cereberus provides air force level support that does pin-point precision strikes that reduce collateral damage,” Mr Vasta said.

“Combined with artificial intelligence, the Cereberus closes the margin of error to help defence drone operators make accurate decisions under pressure in the line of duty.

“The incredible forward-thinking by the Skyborne Technologies team is bound to have a significant impact on Australia’s defence industry and on the world stage.”

The grant will help Skyborne Technologies further their research into artificial intelligence for strategic targeting planning as well as the development of lightweight unmanned aerial drones engineered for warfare.

“The Morrison government wants to use Australian businesses like Skyborne Technologies to help build up a robust and resilient defence industry that will also contribute to driving economic growth and employment opportunities.”

The next round of the Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority grants program close on 1 October 2019. Applications can be submitted through the Centre for Defence Industry Capability website at

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Helping Small Businesses Grow in Bonner

Small business owners in Bonner last night met with Federal Minister for Small Business, the Hon Bruce Billson, and Federal Member for Bonner, Ross Vasta, to discuss issues affecting the small business sector, and to announce new measures that will provide support to small business owners.


Speaking at a Small Business Forum in Carina with special guest Minister Billson, Mr Vasta said he was committed to cutting red tape for local small businesses and helping them improve their productivity and growth.


“Small businesses are an economic powerhouse that make a vital contribution to the Australian economy, and are an important driver of employment and innovation,” Mr Vasta said.


“From my own experience of running a small business, I recognise the many changing needs of small business owners, and I am dedicated to helping those in Bonner grow and thrive.”


High on the agenda was the impact of the Australian supermarket duopoly on small business, with many business owners voicing their concerns about the increasing market power of Coles and Woolworths.


Minister Billson encouraged attendees to make their voice heard by submitting a response to the Harper Review Panel’s Draft Report, calling the Harper Review the most comprehensive review of Australia’s competition law and policy in two decades.


Submissions to the Harper Review Panel can be made online at and are due by 17 November 2014.


Mr Vasta and Minister Billson also announced further help for small business with the new Australian Small Business Advisory Programme (ASBAS).


Applications for the ASBAS Programme open today for not-for profit small business advisory service providers, and will deliver low cost small business advisory and information services to the community.


“The Government will make available $18 million over three years for chambers of commerce, business enterprise centres and industry groups to deliver advice and information services to small businesses and start-ups,” Mr Vasta said.


“Small businesses in Bonner will be able to get help with funding avenues and financial analysis, building your business, making the most of your talent and team, management capabilities, and digital engagement implementation.”


Minister Billson highlighted the digital engagement aspect of the assistance, encouraging business owners to build and maintain an online presence.


“Almost 80 per cent of Australians are now online, and small businesses without an online presence may be losing out to their competitors at home and overseas,” Minister Billson said.


The Government will also unwind changes to the tax treatment of Employee Share Schemes that were introduced in 2009, which effectively brought to a halt the use of such schemes for start-up companies in Australia.


“Our reform will bolster entrepreneurship, and help innovative start-up companies attract and retain high-quality staff,” Minister Billson said.


Eligible not-for-profit small business advisors interested in receiving further information about ASBAS may register at


New services are expected to commence in February 2015, and small businesses seeking assistance should contact the single business service contact centre or visit


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