Media Releases

Small Business Helpline hits 150,000 in just one year

22 December 2014

The Fair Work Ombudsman’s Small Business helpline has received more than 150,000 calls since it was established in December last year. The priority service was created following a Coalition election commitment to provide quick and reliable information to small business operators around Australia. Minister for Employment, Senator Eric Abetz said it was essential that small […]

Bernie Ripoll and Labor misleading small business

17 December 2014

Labor has again resorted to its old tactic of trickery and scaremongering rather than doing anything positive to support Australian small businesses. Labor had no interest in small business when in Government and now relies on completely false and baseless claims to seek media attention.   In his mischievous and inaccurate press release, Labor’s Bernie […]

ACCC fuel monitoring

17 December 2014

A new direction has been issued under section 95ZE of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to monitor the prices, costs and profits relating to the supply of unleaded petroleum products in the petroleum industry in Australia for the next three years. I believe that competitive pressures […]

Signing of the historic right to repair Heads of Agreement

15 December 2014

Today I am pleased to announce that I witnessed the signing of a Heads of Agreement between participants in the automotive supply and service industry. Since the release of the CCAAC report in 2012, a number of key industry participants have been working towards a heads of agreement to establish principles for the sharing of […]

Opening doors offshore for our SMES

12 December 2014

Small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are the engine room of our country’s economy. The fortunes of millions of employees and their families across Australia – in our cities and the regions – are tied to their success. The Abbott Government is committed to supporting small businesses and family enterprises, by creating an environment for them […]

Supporting crowd-sourced equity funding

8 December 2014

The Government is committed to creating the right conditions to drive economic growth, support innovation and create jobs by improving Australia's competitiveness. The recently released Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda called for consultation on a potential regulatory framework for crowd-sourced equity funding. Crowd-sourced equity funding is an innovative type of online fundraising that allows a […]

Support small and shop local

3 December 2014

This holiday season is a great opportunity to support small businesses. We believe small businesses and family enterprise are the economic life blood of the country and we want to see them prosper. The best way to ensure competition and the security of our economy is to support small business and family enterprises by shopping […]

Taking care of small business a priority for logging review

1 December 2014

An independent review into the impact of the Illegal Logging Prohibition Amendment Regulation 2013 on small business was announced today by the Minister for Small Business, Bruce Billson MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, Josh Frydenberg MP. “Small Businesses are often time and […]

Business set to save $20m with less red tape in the super system

26 November 2014

Employers will benefit from $20 million in red tape savings as we further reduce the compliance burden faced by employers when making superannuation contributions for their workers. We are committed to reversing the deterioration in the small business environment experienced under six years of Labor and six Labor Small Business Ministers. Removing red-tape is an […]

Productivity Commission Inquiry into Barriers to Business Entries and Exits

19 November 2014

The Treasurer, Joe Hockey, and the Minister for Small Business, Bruce Billson, are pleased to announce a Productivity Commission inquiry into barriers to business entries and exits. Mr Hockey released the Terms of Reference for the review today. Mr Hockey said this review would identify ways to improve Australia’s productivity performance by encouraging entrepreneurship, innovation […]

Levelling the playing field for franchising

13 November 2014

The Abbott Government has released its improved, updated Franchising Code of Conduct. Australia is the franchise capital of the world and the sector is a great source of enterprise and innovation, and we want to ensure the system is as healthy as it can be. We have met our election commitment to strengthen the effectiveness […]

Motoring industry back around the table

30 October 2014

Today’s roundtable of peak bodies representing the whole of the automotive industry supply and service chain and consumers agreed on an action plan to finalise principles on the sharing of information and technical specifications. This will ensure the implementation of a competitive and transparent vehicle sales and service system for all Australian motorists A revised […]

Government cuts more than $2.1 billion of red tape

29 October 2014

The Abbott Coalition Government is cutting red tape to make life easier, help small business, strengthen our economy and create jobs. For the first time in history, the Abbott Government is dedicating two days of Parliament each year to removing red tape. During the Spring Red Tape Repeal Day on 29 October, nearly 1,000 pieces […]

Advancing Australian Exports

23 October 2014

The Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC) Amendment (Direct Lending and Other Measures) Bill 2014 was introduced into Parliament yesterday. This Bill enhances the capacity of the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC) to support small- and medium-sized businesses seeking to capitalise on global trade opportunities. This means real economic benefits delivered for small- and […]

Reducing red tape burdens for small business

22 October 2014

The Coalition Government knows small business is the engine room of the Australian economy and we are committed to reducing the red tape burden the sector faces. Cutting red tape is at the heart of this Government’s mission: to build a strong and prosperous economy for a safe and secure Australia. The Commonwealth Government is […]

Applications now open for $18 million programme to help small businesses grow

15 October 2014

Small business advisory service providers can now apply for funding of up to $200,000 per annum over three years to provide expert advice to small businesses under the Australian Small Business Advisory Services programme. Supporting small business is a central part of the Abbott Government’s Economic Action Strategy to build a strong, prosperous economy and […]

Encouraging employee share ownership and entrepreneurship

14 October 2014

The Government will reform the tax treatment of Employee Share Schemes to bolster entrepreneurship in Australia and support innovative start-up companies. Employee Share Schemes give employees a financial share of the company’s potential success. As such, they help start-up companies to attract and retain high-quality staff. Changes to the tax treatment of Employee Share Schemes […]

Energising enterprise: a key focus at the inaugural Small Business Ministers meeting

10 October 2014

The importance of small businesses, family enterprises and entrepreneurship to the strength and vitality of the Australian economy was again recognised at a meeting of Federal and State Small Business Ministers in Perth yesterday. Providing the right economic conditions to support enterprise formation and growth, sharing information on various State and Federal small business initiatives […]

Applications open soon for $18 million Australian Small Business Advisory Services programme

9 October 2014

A new funding round will soon open to improve the accessibly, volume and quality of low cost business advisory services available to small businesses and family enterprises as part of the $18 million Australian Small Business Advisory Services (ASBAS) programme. The Abbott Government is committed to helping established not-for-profit small business advisory service providers to […]

EFIC’s renewed focus on SMEs to boost jobs and growth

8 October 2014

This media release announces that Australia’s Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC) will be refocused to increase its capacity to finance small and medium sized businesses seeking to capitalise on global trade opportunities.

Government welcomes Draft Competition Review

22 September 2014

The Abbott Government today welcomed the Harper Competition Review Draft Report. This is the first comprehensive review of Australia’s competition law, policy and institutional framework in 20 years and delivers on a key election commitment. The review focuses on improving outcomes for Australians, by making markets work in the long term interests of consumers. It […]

New safety standard announced to protect children on our roads

19 September 2014

The Minister for Small Business, the Hon Bruce Billson, today announced important changes to the mandatory safety standard to increase protection for children travelling in motor vehicles. The changes mean that the latest developments in child restraints for motor vehicles are available in Australia and the Standard will continue to provide a high level of […]

Improved regulations for wheat exports: mandatory code announced

19 September 2014

The Australian Government has today released the mandatory port access code of conduct for bulk wheat exports, which will assist farmers and exporters to access the infrastructure that delivers Australia’s wheat to the rest of the world. Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, and Minister for Small Business, Bruce Billson, said the code will replace the […]

Government moves to strengthen ACCC’s powers to enforce Franchising Code of Conduct

11 September 2014

The Abbott Government has passed legislation to increase compliance and reduce disputes in the Franchise sector with franchisors and franchisees who breach the new Franchising Code of Conduct facing penalties of up to $51,000. The Competition and Consumer Amendment (Industry Code Penalties) Bill 2014 passed the Senate with bipartisan support and will give the ACCC […]

Showcasing Australia’s Small Business capabilities to China and Singapore

1 September 2014

Growing Australia’s small business exports will be top of the agenda during meetings in Singapore and China to be led by Minister for Small Business Bruce Billson this week. China and Singapore are already important trade partners for Australia and the Abbott Government is working to provide more opportunities for Australian small businesses to build […]

Infinity cables recall

27 August 2014

The Abbott Government welcomes the constructive work of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the regulatory taskforce in reaching an agreement on the recall of electrical cable produced by Infinity Cables Co Pty Ltd. Infinity cable does not represent an immediate threat to the health and safety of Australians. A clear plan of […]

Small business assistance to be strengthened

18 August 2014

A new way for small businesses to interact with the Commonwealth is set to be established to make it easier for the sector to access assistance. Following a period of consultation on a discussion paper the Federal Government has settled on a model with real powers for the transition of the Small Business Commissioner into […]

Consumer Price Index – June Quarter 2014

23 July 2014

Consumer prices rose by 0.5 per cent in the June quarter, according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics this morning. The June quarter outcome indicates that price growth has moderated in the first half of 2014. The 0.5 per cent rise in the CPI in the June quarter […]

Fines to be introduced for breaches of industry codes

17 July 2014

The Abbott Government has moved to give the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) more powers to allow it to apply fines to businesses which breach prescribed industry codes. This is the first step in the start of a new era for franchising regulation and is part of a package of reforms that will improve, […]

Small business key to G20’s growth target

17 July 2014

Australian and international SME leaders have recommended entrepreneurship should be integrated into the G20 target to boost growth by 2 per cent over the next five years. School curricula and post-education employment are encouraged as one way to help boost growth across the globe. The proposal is one of 12 which have been given to […]

Small Business Helpline receives 100,000 calls

16 July 2014

Minister for Employment, Senator Eric Abetz, said the Fair Work Ombudsman's Small Business helpline, a Coalition Government election commitment, has received more than 100,000 calls since it was established in December last year. The priority service was created to provide reliable information to small business. "More than 100,000 people have received quick and accurate advice […]

New science precinct to boost Australian research

14 July 2014

A new precinct that will boost research standards and help address national science skills shortages was officially opened at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra. The new Sciences Precinct, built with $165 million from the Australian Government includes a Chemical Science Hub, a Sciences Teaching Building, a Research Building and a Combined Science Workshop. […]

Billson visits Melbourne’s first Indigenous Vocational Training and Employment Centre

10 July 2014

Indigenous job seekers and small businesses will benefit from a new vocation and training centre in Melbourne which will provide 250 guaranteed jobs for Indigenous Australians who complete the necessary training requirements. Minister for Small Business Bruce Billson, who visited the Melbourne Vocational, Training & Employment Centre (VTEC) today, said Indigenous employment was a key […]

A new era for Australian industry and small business

1 July 2014

A new era for industry development in Australia has begun today, focussing on new investment, jobs growth, and new opportunities for Australian entrepreneurs. Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane said the Government was working with businesses on new programmes with a clear focus on making Australian industry more competitive. The programmes will drive business productivity gains across […]

New online tool makes it easier for small businesses to find dispute resolution services

24 June 2014

Small businesses in a dispute are set to benefit from the launch today of Dispute Support, a new online dispute resolution information and referral tool. There are a lot of dispute resolution services available to help resolve business disputes without going to court. However, small businesses have told us it can be difficult to find […]

Changes to tax system drives $56m in red-tape savings for small business

20 June 2014

The Abbott Government will reduce compliance costs for taxpayers by $56 million a year by making changes to the way tax obligations are met and reported. An estimated 372,500 small businesses will benefit from the administrative changes to PAYG instalment thresholds. We made it clear before the election we were going to remove $1 billion […]

State and Territory Ministers support unfair contract extension

13 June 2014

Australian State and Territory Ministers have thrown their support behind an extension of unfair contract term protections to small business at a meeting today in Cairns.   Australian Ministers were joined by the New Zealand Minister for Consumer Affairs, The Hon Craig Foss, and welcomed the release of the Consumer Affairs Australia and New Zealand […]

$48m in red-tape savings passes the House

3 June 2014

Businesses of all sizes and the not-for-profit sector are one step closer to securing $48 million in red-tape savings after the Federal Government successfully passed the Paid Parental Leave Amendment 2014 through the House of Representatives last night. If the legislation passes the Senate business will no longer have to act as the ‘pay-clerk’ for […]

Government payments to small business report released

30 May 2014

The number of invoices paid on time to small business by Commonwealth departments and agencies declined slightly in the 2012-13 financial year as revealed in the Australian Government Payments to Small Business report released today. Under the previous Labor Government the number of invoices paid on time dropped from 96.8 per cent to 96.1 per […]

Awards to celebrate our brilliant local business women

28 May 2014

The Minister for Small Business, the Hon Bruce Billson, and the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash are encouraging the community to celebrate brilliant local businesswomen by nominating them for the 2014 Telstra Business Women’s Awards. Minister Billson said the awards recognise the important role women play - from […]

Ministers agree to push for small business protections

23 May 2014

The Federal Government has moved on its election commitment to extend unfair contract term protections from consumers to small businesses, releasing a discussion paper with state and territory consumer affairs ministers today. While the Australian Consumer Law currently protects individual consumers from unfair terms in standard form contracts, it does not currently provide such safeguards […]

Small business to benefit from new Commonwealth contracting arrangements

13 May 2014

A new unit will be set up to provide specialist advice on contracts and to ensure small businesses are not disadvantaged as part of Commonwealth Departments tendering and procurement processes. The Abbott Government has allocated $2.8 million over four years to deliver on this important commitment which will help small businesses access Commonwealth contracts. Small […]

Access to the Commonwealth made easier for small business

13 May 2014

The Federal Government has allocated $8 million to establish the Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, delivering on its election commitment to establish a one-stop-shop for small business into the Commonwealth. The Abbott Government committed to establish this single entry-point for small businesses to provide an easy way to find out about services and programmes. […]

Small business to get the same protections as consumers

13 May 2014

Small businesses will get the same protections as consumers when it comes to unfair contracts imposed by big business. The Abbott Government will provide $1.4 million to extend unfair contract relief from consumers to small business. Currently, consumers are protected from unfair terms in standard form contracts. Small businesses have told us they have also […]

Government looks to make life easier for small business

30 April 2014

In keeping with its election commitment, the Federal Government has taken the first step in delivering a Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman with real power. The discussion paper released today details the Government’s vision of establishing a single entry‑point for small businesses, providing an easy way to find out about services and programmes. Small […]

Submissions on changes to improve franchise code close soon

28 April 2014

Those with an interest in the franchise sector are reminded submissions on proposed changes to improve the Franchising Code of Conduct will close this week. Earlier this month the Federal Government released its 'Future of Franchising' statement along with an exposure draft bill and regulations which outlined changes to the Code designed to save the […]

All eyes on industry with visit from Minister Macfarlane

23 April 2014

Local manufacturing and small businesses will today have the attention of two Cabinet Ministers with Minister for Industry, Ian Macfarlane, joining Minister for Small Business, Bruce Billson, visiting businesses in Frankston and Carrum Downs. The Minister for Small Business said hosting the Minister for Industry in his electorate of Dunkley provided a boost for local […]

Updated guide released to help businesses sell and promote products and services

17 April 2014

Businesses and consumers are set to benefit from a comprehensive advertising and selling guide released today by the ACCC. The guide will help businesses clearly understand their legal obligations when selling and promoting their products and services through television, radio, internet or print media.

Government welcomes Competition Policy Review Issues Paper

15 April 2014

The Federal Government has today welcomed the Issues Paper for the Competition Policy Review. The Issues Paper has been developed in line with the terms of reference to guide submissions and seek feedback on a wide range of issues. This is the first significant piece of work in stage one of the comprehensive review, which […]

New guide released to help businesses comply with country of origin claims

15 April 2014

A new and improved guide has been released by the ACCC to help businesses comply with the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) regarding country of origin labels and claims. Many consumers found the previous guide confusing and that it did not provide clarity around the true meaning of terms such as ‘made in Australia’, ‘product of […]

Billson opens Australia Week in China

8 April 2014

The Guangzhou programme for Australia Week in China (AWIC) has kicked off with the Government reaffirming its commitment to forge closer ties with China. Australia Week in China is about expanding our trade and investment ties and helping Australian businesses of all sizes grow, expand and create more jobs. As Minister for Small Business, I […]

Consumers to benefit from lower energy prices when carbon tax repealed

3 April 2014

Energy companies will be able to lower prices without delay once the carbon tax is repealed – delivering significant savings for Australian households and business. The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) today confirmed that it will use its discretion and allow retailers to lower prices straight away. “Power bills will fall as soon as Bill Shorten […]

Government seeks to strengthen franchising sector

2 April 2014

The Federal Government will seek to make changes to improve the viability of the franchise sector by the end of the year and save it $8.6 million in red-tape. The 'Future of Franchising' statement released by the Government today outlines plans to build on a review of the sector by Alan Wein last year and […]

Superannuation made simpler for small business

1 April 2014

Another piece of red-tape has been cut for small business, with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) taking over responsibility for the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House today. Small businesses already contact the ATO regularly, so it makes sense that they can speak to the ATO about super payments at the same time instead of another […]

Government improves safety standard to protect kids

28 March 2014

The Federal Government has moved to protect children from possible strangulation from corded blinds by strengthening standards for commercial installers. This standard will take effect on 1 January 2015 and will complement the existing supply standard, which requires suppliers to provide consumers with warnings about the risks associated with these products, installation instructions and safety […]

Working to remove barriers to help small businesses grow

28 March 2014

The Government has asked the Board of Taxation to conduct a review to identify features in the tax system that are hindering or preventing small businesses from reaching their commercial goals. We recognise the need to unshackle the small business sector and make life simpler for small business especially when it comes to their interaction […]

Government names competition review panel

27 March 2014

Today I am announcing the final terms of reference for the Government’s ‘root and branch’ review of competition law and the appointment of three members and a chair to serve on the review panel. All Australians stand to benefit from a review of this kind: a comprehensive examination of Australia’s competition framework. An agenda of […]

Opposition should support $48m red-tape reduction for business and not-for-profit sector

19 March 2014

If Labor was genuine in its words about removing barriers for business then it should support the abolition of the ‘pay-clerk’ burden from the paid parental leave scheme which would save businesses $44 million and the not-for-profit sector $4 million a year. The Leader of the Opposition said today: “We are committed in a bipartisan […]

Government to stay nimble in protecting consumers in the digital age

13 March 2014

Small Business Minister Bruce Billson has used a speech to the ACCC's Consumer Congress to highlight the need for business, policy makers and regulators to be flexible and responsive to emerging issues in the digital age. "Last year Australians spent $14 billion on online retail which is why it's important we have strong consumer laws […]

New assistance available for small businesses in the Morwell area

7 March 2014

Eligible small businesses in Morwell, indirectly affected by a loss of income as a result of the Hazelwood Mine Fire, will be able to apply for new $100,000 concessional loans under the jointly-funded Commonwealth and State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA). The Commonwealth Minister for Justice Michael Keenan and Minister for Small Business […]

International Women’s Day

7 March 2014

On the eve of International Women's Day, the Federal Government is recognising women who have played a significant role in building Australia's economy and encourage more to enter the small business sector. "Australia is fortunate to have around 617,000 women either employed or running their own small business," the Minister for Small Business Bruce Billson […]

$50m boost to help small businesses export

6 March 2014

The Abbott Government has moved to boost the Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) scheme by $50 million to help small and medium sized businesses reach their export potential. Trade and Investment Minister, Andrew Robb, today introduced legislation into the Parliament to pave way for the $50 million increase and to also make the program more […]

Labor blocks Government’s attempt to save business from $44 million red-tape burden

5 March 2014

Labor proved today they just don't get business and have no understanding of how unnecessary costs adversely impact on jobs and business viability. Instead of supporting the Government to remove the 'pay-clerk' burden from the paid parental leave scheme they moved to increase costs to business by $37.3 million, compared to the Government's plan. The […]

Government welcomes new ACCI chief

26 February 2014

I warmly welcome the appointment of Kate Carnell to the position of Chief Executive Officer at the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI). The Coalition and small business community has valued and appreciated a constructive and positive relationship with ACCI and acknowledges the Chamber’s successful and effective ‘Small Business – Too Big to Ignore’ […]

Risk assessment into ‘fire wallets’ released

25 February 2014

An investigation into the asbestos risk of ‘fire wallets’ sold by an eBay trader and at a stall at last year’s Royal Melbourne Show has found handling the items poses a negligible health risk. The risk assessment by the ACCC follows a product safety warning notice issued by the Federal Government last year after it […]

ACCC to keep a close eye on prices before carbon tax is axed

24 February 2014

The consumer watchdog will start monitoring electricity and gas prices to establish a baseline price, ensuring that customers, both business and consumers, are not charged higher prices once the carbon tax is abolished by the Federal Government. We are delivering on a key election commitment to abolish the carbon tax, to help build a stronger […]

Government to keep a close eye on misuse of market power case

13 February 2014

The Federal Government will keep a close eye on the ACCC’s case against Pfizer for its alleged misuse of market power ahead of an independent ‘root and branch’ review of competition law. The ACCC announced today that it had instituted proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against the pharmaceutical company for behaviour it alleges […]

Productivity Commission’s final report on National Access Regime released

11 February 2014

The Federal Government today released the final report of the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into the National Access Regime (‘the Regime’). The Regime is a regulatory framework that provides an avenue for firms to access essential infrastructure services owned and operated by others, when commercial negotiations are unsuccessful. Since its introduction in 1995, the National Access […]

Government sets about restoring ACCC budget

23 January 2014

The Federal Government is continuing to tackle the heavy challenge of Labor’s debt and deficit legacy this time turning its attention to addressing the dire financial position of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Late last year it was revealed that the ACCC would run out of money in April. This follows consecutive years of […]

Life made easier for small business

7 January 2014

The Federal Government has moved to make life easier for small business, taking the first step to reduce the compliance burden employers’ face when making superannuation contributions for their workers. As part of this first step the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will take over the running of the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House. The move […]