FEDERAL Small Business Minister Nick Sherry has cracked the regulatory whip on the Gold Coast, just three weeks into the job.
Speaking at the National Franchise Convention (NFC) at the Marriott Surfers Paradise, the Tasmanian Senator indicated that any move by State Government’s to localise national Franchising Code regulations would be squashed.
“In a seamless national economy it’s important to have consistent regulation particularly in economic and financial areas,” says Sherry.
“As for what other states do, in South Australia an announcement has been made and I understand that in WA an announcement has been made.
“I’ll wait and see the details of the proposed legislation, but when you’re dealing with reforms that are consistent nationally and operating across state borders, I don’t believe it is helpful for any state government to then try to cut across those changes by adding new regulations that will only apply (to them).
“I don’t believe that’s a helpful approach after what the franchising sector been through.”
Quoting figures from a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey, Sherry says the franchising sector generates $130 billion to the national economy, employs more than 400,000 people and achieved 12 per cent revenue growth over the last FY.
The Gold Coast has proven a breeding ground for successful national franchises including Retail Food Group (Donut King, Brumby’s Bakeries, Michel’s Patisserie), Zarraffa’s Coffee chain and until recently, Allied Brands (Baskin Robbins, Villa & Hut, Kenny’s Cardiology).
Allied Brands has reportedly fallen behind on its superannuation payments to employees, sparking further concern regarding the company’s future.
Sherry affirmed that the recent changes to the Franchising Code would not be revisited until 2013.
He says small businesses ‘are a sophisticated part of our economy’ and will continue to recovery strongly under ‘stability and certainty’.
“There has been a consultation; there has been a reform process which has delivered a set of nationally consistent regulatory oversight of the sector,” he says.
“The commitment is that we want to see how that reform works, so as a new minister the government doesn’t intend to revisit recent regulatory change until 2013. It’s a time for stability and looking at how the new code requirements operate.”
Sherry expects to see a reduction in company tax to 28 per cent, coming a year earlier for small business coupled with an increase in asset write off provisions to provide assistance to battling SMEs. Asset provisions will be increased from $1000 to $5000.
“There are some specific initiatives that we have carried out for small business and its maintaining a strong economy which is good for business large and small,” he says.
“The important thing for all business is that they will make decisions based on their own business model. We have one of the strongest advanced economies in the western world, we have good economic growth, good consumption and consumer growth and that is good for business.”
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