29 January 2016
Transcript - #2016008, 2016

In the role of: Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer [21 September 2015 - 18 July 2016]

Interview with Kelly Fuller, ABC New England

SUBJECTS: Visit to Tamworth to discuss small business

KELLY FULLER:

The Assistant Treasurer is travelling to the region this morning; we have managed to catch up with Kelly O'Dwyer. Good morning to you Assistant Treasurer.

MINISTER O'DWYER:

Good morning Kelly and it is nice to be here in Tamworth.

FULLER:

Absolutely lovely to have you in the region and a bit of rain so it is – everyone is buoyant and worried about storms this afternoon but only a couple of minutes with you. We understand you are visiting a farm a little bit later on, why are you here?

MINISTER O'DWYER:

I am here for a couple of reasons, one because it is absolutely important that we don't just make policy in Canberra, that we get out and talk to people in small business who are on the front line working hard every day so that when we think about creating policies we create the right policies that are going to help those people to encourage investment and to grow their business and to create jobs.

FULLER:

Ok and is there anything in particular you are going to be doing while you are here?

MINISTER O'DWYER:

As you know I am going out and meeting with some farmers, I am also going to be meeting with some local businesses in the main street and I am also sitting down and having a round table discussion with various businesses, big and small, talking about potential competition changes.

FULLER:

Ok. In the farming stakes we spoke to, Richard Duddy, the farmer I think you are visiting a bit earlier this morning; and said basically for processes it is more of a make sure you just provide the right environment for them to keep doing their business in effect. Do as best you can to stay out of the way, are you focussing on that sector for any particular reason?

MINISTER O'DWYER:

Yes – I hear that message loud and clear and I think this is sometimes the big problem that government thinks it should be the solution to all of the problems and in fact the best thing that government can do is to create the right economic settings to allow business to get on and do what they do best which is to grow their business. That is part of the reason that we have had Andrew Robb going around the world making sure that we can nail these free trade agreements with China, with Japan, with South Korea, so that we can expand the opportunities for businesses, in particular agricultural businesses as well that will now have new markets open to them that they have not had access to before.

FULLER:

And briefly our Chamber of Commerce though are saying probably their biggest issue is penalty rates and working conditions and they really need this issue resolved because I guess the uncertainty around it is making it difficult to make long term business decisions – they need that stability, are you going to look at that issue today?

MINISTER O'DWYER:

I am here to listen to all of the issues that people want to raise around small business. I don't take things off the agenda that people want to raise with me I am here to listen to all of the issues that they would like to raise and if that is an issue that they are going to put on the table I am absolutely willing to listen.

FULLER:

Ok, and just briefly about 40 seconds to the news I understand you are also going to be involved in a discussion about free range egg definition, what is a fair definition from your point of view?

MINISTER O'DWYER:

We are determining that matter at the moment but we are looking at this very carefully. This has been a consumer issue but a number of people have raised issues around animal welfare practices. I am working very closely with the local member here Barnaby Joyce who is the Agriculture Minister to make sure that we get it right for the industry and we get it right for consumers.

FULLER:

Sorry, we are going to run out of time and into the news, Assistant Treasurer thank you for your time this morning.

MINISTER O'DWYER:

Great pleasure, Kelly.