Australian small businesses employ around half the private sector workforce.
To survive they grapple with a widening and costly range of challenges.
One such challenge is the overwhelming financial burden of federal, state and local government regulations. Yet, more and more regulations continue to be added without regard for the capacity of small businesses to cope.
The problem is worsened by the fact that most bureaucrats and politicians don't put their money on the line. The majority have never worked in small business, and often have little understanding, connection, or interest in its operations.
Alarmingly, the Albanese government has started its 2024 agenda with an unprecedented six-prong attack on Australia's family business network guaranteeing more complexity and costs.
Economic conditions are tough. Apart from destroying some businesses' regulations, governments only employ more public servants.
Federal and state politicians, councillors, and their bureaucrats should be looking at ways to reduce red tape to make it easier for businesses to fulfill their potential and employ more people in a productive workforce.
Small business has minimal influence on governments, unlike big business and big unions.
Who cares if more small businesses go under? We all should, particularly governments.
Michael McKenzie, Strathdale
Time to save our bacon
The pork industry needs your urgent help to save its bacon.
Premier Jacinta Allan is coming after a sector that contributes $488 million to the Victorian economy and supports almost 2700 full-time jobs.
Last week, the committee holding the looming "Inquiry into Pig Welfare in Victoria" was inundated by almost 500 powerful submissions entered on our website www.saveourbacon.com.au
There is so much support for the industry and although submissions officially closed last Friday, late submissions are just as important and I urge you to go to the website.
The industry, so strong throughout regional Victoria, is under threat by ideological inner-city animal extremists. The Inquiry is a sham and an insult to an industry that already has the support of independent, audited quality assurance programs.
We are in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, yet it is clear Labor has your Christmas ham in its sights, along with your favourite pork dumplings.
This dark cloud over the pork industry is both sad and disturbing - but not surprising given the botched closure of the native timber industry in this state.
We can't allow the pork industry to suffer the same fate.
Emma Kealy MP
Deputy leader of The Nationals, shadow minister for agriculture
Support available for flood affected
The Federal Albanese Government is working with the Victorian Allan Government to provide disaster assistance for communities impacted by the Victorian Floods and Storms that commenced on 24 December 2023, under the Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).
Every Local Government Area within the Federal Electorate of Bendigo qualifies for this support.
The funding will allow eligible community members whose homes have been impacted to access emergency relief assistance through the Personal Hardship Assistance Program (PHAP) led through the Victorian Department of Families, Fairness and Housing.
Assistance under the PHAP includes a one-off payment for household members and are not calculated based on how much money you earn.
Support from the Albanese and Allan Governments will also provide funding for Council's counter disaster operations, including making residential properties safe and habitable, and emergency works for urgent transport, infrastructure and public assets restoration.
We are funding local councils to help communities clean up and get back on their feet.
Information on disaster assistance is available on the Australian Government's website at www.disasterassist.gov.au and the VicEmergency website www.emergency.vic.gov.au/relief or via your local council.