90 SECOND STATEMENT: Mt Gravatt Show

Deputy Speaker, I rise today to speak about the Mt Gravatt Show- the best little country show in the city.

A weekend long show more than just rides, fireworks, showbags and farm animals.

It was a show that showcased the very best of the Mt Gravatt community Deputy Speaker.

And this year the Show celebrated the huge milestone of 105 years.

Those who came along as children are now bringing their children or their children’s children.

A tradition Deputy Speaker which gets bigger and better every year.

I had the privilege of opening the show and was joined on stage by an Alpaca who completely stole the show.

Now what is seeing this show go from strength to strength are the people behind it.

The Show President Kim Goss, Loretta Smith from the Mt Gravatt Show Society and the entire committee.

All working tirelessly to make this show a calendar moment for people from across Brisbane.

Thank you for your hard work.

Deputy Speaker, this was no easy feat this year.

Unfortunately, last year’s show was cancelled because of the pandemic.

I know how much this show means to our community and that is why I fought for its return.

Over $43,000 in federal funding was delivered this year that enabled the show to get back on its feet.

And funding that saw stallholders and small businesses breathe a sigh of relief after the last year.

I want to thank the Morrison Government for the opportunity to see our community come together.

Our Government is securing our recovery by supporting local and giving confidence to these businesses.

And our community spirit is being made better because of it.

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5 MINUTE: Fuel Security Bill

Deputy Speaker I rise today to speak on the Fuel Security Bill 2021.

This incredible commitment by the Morrison Government not only locks in Australia’s sovereign refining capability and our long-term fuel security, it backs local jobs for local families in my electorate of Bonner.

Deputy Speaker, the Morrison Government is taking strong action to support the Australian economy and ensuring our critical services can keep running.

The Bill includes two key measures of the Morrison Government’s fuel security package: the Fuel Security Services Payment and the Minimum Stockholding Obligation.

Fuel is crucial across the economy and through these two key measures this Bill will champion our fuel dependent industries.

Our truckies, our tradies, our farmers, our commuters, our miners—and of course, everyone who travels in Australia.

This Bill will help secure our sovereign fuel stocks and back local jobs.

And this Bill will protect families and businesses from higher fuel prices ensuring that Aussie families can keep more of what they earn!

Deputy Speaker, Australia continues to lead the world in our comeback from the Covid-19 pandemic.

And we aren’t slowing down.

Our Prime Minister has made a commitment.

A commitment to maintaining a self-sufficient refining capability in Australia.

A commitment that has been applauded by the fuel industry and by peak industry bodies.

Deputy Speaker, locking in Australia’s fuel security will deliver benefits for all Australian’s.

Deputy Speaker, traditional fuels will continue to be the dominant fuel source for transport beyond 2030 – we cannot be complacent about fuel security because of this.

The Fuel Security Bill supports the Ampol refinery in Lytton, in my electorate of Bonner, and Victoria’s Viva Energy refinery in Geelong.

This bill will lock in these refineries until 2027 and safeguard levels of key transport fuels through the Minimum Stockholding Obligation measure.

This is critical for our farmers, our emergency services, our truckies and our industries who all rely on diesel to keep Australia moving.

Deputy Speaker, without the passage of this Bill, it is likely Australia’s remaining refineries will close within the next five years.

Between these two refineries, this would mean losing 1,250 direct jobs. That’s 1250 families.

It would mean forfeiting 1,750 new construction jobs.

The fallout would then have a devastating impact on jobs in all fuel dependent industries.

The ramifications would be catastrophic for our local economy.

That’s why I was extremely pleased to welcome the Prime Minister and Minister for Energy and Emission Reduction Angus Taylor to Bonner for the announcement of this Bill recently.

Deputy Speaker, as part of the Fuel Security Services Payment measure, the refineries will be paid a variable production payment.

What this means is if there was a time either of these refineries were not making profits, they would be supported.

It means our taxpayers are only supporting the sector when it is needed.

On a local level this support equates to 550 direct jobs in Bonner.

550 highly skilled workers who can keep their jobs.

The flow on effect of this certainty in the local community can not be underestimated!

This is a Government that is backing jobs.

Deputy Speaker, when I joined the Prime Minister and Minister Taylor on a tour of the refinery, we walked past a worker holding up a hand-written sign which read: Thank you for supporting the refinery.

I was beyond humbled to read this because this is exactly why we do what we do.

These are real people; people with families, loved ones and passions for their work.

These are people with incredible skills that we absolutely must harness to ensure our sovereign capability.

Deputy Speaker, ensuring our sovereign capability is essential.

It means we can prepare for any crisis and protect our families and businesses from higher prices at the bowser.

This is where the Minimum Stockholding Obligation measure of the Bill comes in to play.

The Australian fuel market operates on a near just in time basis and is heavily reliant on global supply chains operating under normal conditions.

Yes, this helps to keep operational costs low.

But Deputy Speaker it means the market is less prepared for disruptions.

Implementation of the Minimum Stockholding Obligation will provide certainty to fuel consumers that there is a baseline level of liquid fuel available in Australia at any point in time.

Deputy Speaker, I say again-locking in Australia’s fuel security will deliver benefits for all Australian’s.

Fuel is what keeps us and the economy going.

That is why the Morrison Government is backing our refineries.

And that is why the passage of this Bill is essential.

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ADJOURNMENT: Australian Made

Mr Deputy Speaker, I rise today to speak on the importance of buying Australian Made.

We just recently celebrated Australian Made Week which is a reminder for Aussie shoppers to embrace the incredible quality of locally-made products.

Mr Deputy Speaker, the Morrison Government recognises the job-creating power of Australian manufacturers.

Our Government has invested $1.5 billion in the Modern Manufacturing Strategy.

This means our much-loved green and gold logo can not only have a stronger presence on home soil, but also internationally.

Mr Deputy Speaker, the Morrison Government is backing local manufacturers to scale-up and grow. I am experiencing the benefits of this firsthand in my electorate of Bonner.

Bonner is home to some amazing businesses, proudly showcasing Australian Made products.

Local businesses like:

  • Make Your Life Easier in Carindale, specialising in premium home organisation products.
  • August Skincare in Upper Mt Gravatt manufacturing top quality cosmetics and skincare.
  • And Oz Backdrops and Props in Wynnum, a leader in printed and digital backdrops, printing and more.

And this is just a glimpse into the diverse range of Australian Made products we are manufacturing in Bonner.

Mr Deputy Speaker, I want to take this opportunity to talk about my recent visit to Couplemate in Wynnum.

This is a local business championing Australian Made.  Couplemate is based on the Bayside, specialising in the design, manufacture and distribution of caravan and trailer parts.

The last time I visited Steven and his team was late last year. Since then they have done fantastic work re-investing in Australian production.

The businesses dedication to what they do is second to none, resulting in their recent expansion and hiring of four new graduates.

Mr Deputy Speaker, last year was incredibly tough on small businesses.

But the Morrison Government delivered a plan that created jobs, supported our skilled workers and enabled growth.

We now have more Aussies in work than ever before.

Mr Deputy Speaker, since my last visit to Couplemate, their apprentice machinist has now completed his trade and is working full time as a qualified machinist.

Upskilling jobs and our young people has never been more important.

It is essential we are equipping Australians with the skills they need to get a job today and tomorrow.

As part of this year’s Budget, the Morrison Government doubled our commitment to the JobTrainer fund.

We already have around 1,400 apprentices in my electorate of Bonner and these new measures will lead to more opportunities for apprentices and trainees.

To see Aussie grown businesses just like Couplemate go from strength to strength during this time is remarkable.

Mr Speaker, the Morrison Government recognises local businesses are the engine room of our economy.

And to secure our recovery we are making sure they can get on with that they do best.

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Small Business in Bonner – Adjournment speech

Madame/Deputy Speaker I wish to update the House on what the Government has achieved for small businesses in my electorate of Bonner, what we are further doing to help local businesses, and what services and initiatives are now available to businesses in Bonner.

I’m pleased to report that my Small Business Forum, which I hosted with Minister for Small Business the Honourable Bruce Billson on October 14, was a great success. A number of business owners and representatives turned up on the night, and it was a pleasure to make the acquaintance of so many new people, as well as catch up with old friends, and see many in the room forge new connections over their shared passion for business.

With my own small business background managing and operating a chain of restaurants, I know the hard work and long hours involved in running a small business. It is easy to empathise with the daily predicaments business owners face.

One of the major talking points of my Small Business Forum was the need to protect small business in cases of misuse of market power and unconscionable conduct. Attendees on the night responded positively to Minister Billson’s overview of the current Competition Policy Review chaired by Professor Ian Harper, the first comprehensive review of Australia’s competition law, policy and institutional framework in 20 years.

I thank Minister Billson for his update on the Harper Review, and for encouraging attendees to ensure their important voice is heard by making a comment or submission on the Harper Review Panel’s recently released Draft Report. I look forward to seeing the outcome of the Harper Review and for some positive outcomes for small businesses in my electorate.

Other important issues Minister Billson and I addressed at the Forum included cutting red tape for small businesses, and helping employers grow their businesses and create jobs.

The Government’s first Red Tape Repeal Day back in March was a major win for small business.

We removed more than 50,000 pages of unnecessary government regulation and legislation as part of our commitment to cut $1 billion a year in red and green tape costs. Our second Repeal Day took place yesterday and will mean more savings and benefits for small business.

Of course, I must also mention the biggest win for small businesses in Bonner this year: the repeal of the carbon tax. At my Small Business Forum I was extremely pleased to hear from business owners who have seen significant savings in their power bills since the carbon tax was abolished in June.

Treasury has estimated that, with the carbon tax gone, retail electricity prices should be around nine per cent lower and retail natural gas prices should be around seven per cent lower in 2014-15.

This is a great win for small businesses, particularly those who rely on cold storage – as Minister Billson shared at the Forum, refrigerant gas prices went up an incredible 400 per cent after the carbon tax was introduced. What a relief this giant impost on small business is now dead and buried.

Minister Billson also informed attendees at the Forum, some of whom expressed reservations about the $1,000 GST low-value exemption on imported goods, that the GST threshold was a key focus at the inaugural Small Business Ministers meeting earlier this month. I eagerly await further progress on discussions over lowering the GST threshold, which will help small businesses in Bonner against fierce overseas competition.

I am pleased that small businesses in Bonner are also benefitting from new, existing and upcoming services available to them that are continuing to evolve and improve.

I thank the Wynnum and Districts Chamber of Commerce for coming out to the Forum and inviting attendees to register with their Small Business Advisory Service. Through this free service, local businesses can access experienced mentors with strong business expertise, business and marketing planning advice, a referral service, and small group think tanks and Q & A panels on selected business topics.

I also thank those from the Manly Chamber of Commerce and Bayside Women in Business who attended the Forum. Manly Chamber of Commerce also does great work for small businesses in Bonner, while Bayside Women provides local women in business with networking opportunities as well as assistance with building and running a small business. I have also been involved in plans for a new community-oriented business hub in Wynnum that will be another great boost for Bayside businesses.

Many thanks go to Minister Billson for attending my Small Business Forum, and to those who turned up on the night. I very much appreciate those who took the time out of their busy schedules to discuss with the Minister and myself the issues most important to them. I will continue to fight on behalf of all small businesses in Bonner and to assist them in any way I can.

Thank you.

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