Small business spooked by changes

Thursday 4 August, 2016 | By: Default Admin | Tags: State Budget, anti-business, foreign buyers

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIC) believes a string of anti-business decisions from the State Government are hurting investment and jobs.

CCIQ Director of Advocacy Nick Behrens said the government could not ignore this mounting concern from the business community.

He cited recent survey responses to CCIQ from small business owners that reflected the challenges they faced, including:

“An ineffectual, union-oriented State Government that will continue to create long-term, structural budget problems and increase public debt.” --- Business Operator, Central Coast

“Political uncertainty, and restraints made by the State Government Budget.” --- Business Operator, Gold Coast

“Inertia in the Queensland State Government, which is still slowing through resource sector demise, as well as State  Budget cutbacks that will stifle new government initiatives, translating into languishing business growth.”  --- Business Operator, Brisbane

“There appears to be a lot of spending and big promises, but nothing in the State Government Budget to support it, other than extending the deficit.” --- Business Operator, Brisbane

Whether justified or not these comments and their content are emerging as a key theme from the Queensland business community and is posing a risk to economic growth, Mr Behrens said.

It has serious repercussions as it undermines certainty and business decision making in relation to investment and employment.

Recent examples include:

Calling in of Cedar Woods; Mount Emerald Wind Farm; Calare Solar Farm; Pacific View Estate; and potentially calling in of West Village under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009

Implementation of a three per cent transfer duty surcharge for foreign buyers of residential property in Queensland.

Junking of the Logan Renewal Initiative.

From our perspective the State Government unfortunately has significant form in respect to bypassing consultation to arrive at policy implementation.

There has been a litany of Bills appearing before Parliament that quite simply have not been canvassed with impacted stakeholders.

These are all anti-business and lacked any semblance of meaningful consultation prior to their entry into Parliament.

Duties and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016

Environmental Protection (Chain of Responsibility) Amendment Bill 2016

Vegetation Management (Reinstatement) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016

North Stradbroke Island Protection and Sustainability and Others Acts Amendment Bill 2015

Tackling Alcohol-Fuelled Violence Legislation Amendment Bill 2015

Work Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2015

Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2015

Mineral and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016

In short the consultation associated with these Bills redefined the inadequacy of Government regulatory development and actioning of new legislation in this State.

The number of Bills that have entered Parliament on the premise that it was standing Queensland Labor policy prior to the election and the ALP has a mandate for its implementation after forming government is staggering.

Holding 42 seats in an 89 seat Queensland Legislative Assembly is not a mandate in anyone’s books.

Each of these have been introduced in isolation but collectively they have created a perception of an anti-business government.  Obviously this was not the State Government’s intent but it is certainly how it has been received.

If the State Government is to address the “sovereign risk” concerns it has to get serious about using the Queensland Productivity Commission to conduct regulatory impact statements to assess whether there is net public interest in the legislation it plans to implement.

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