Retailers call for further SME support in new Government

By Sarah Stowe | 29 Oct 2015 View comments

Will the Turnbull Government uphold commitments made to SMEs? That's what the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is asking for.

Key reforms include the introduction of a competition effects test and instatement of the zero value import threshold before July 2017.

ARA executive director, Russell Zimmerman, welcomed the retention of Small Business in Cabinet with Kelly O’Dwyer tasked to see through these all important reforms.

“The surge in confidence expressed this week within business is reflective of the Government’s commitment to address issues including GST collection on overseas purchases and the possibility of real reform of competition policy,” said Zimmerman.

Retailers are expecting the Government to deliver a boost to retail, consumer and business confidence through its support for further GST reform, employment law reform and changes to the payments system recommended by the Financial Systems Inquiry (FSI).

“The ARA is pleased to see small business remains in the Cabinet, with the Assistant Treasury portfolio covering off many important areas for the retail sector, from the FSI payments reform to the Harper Review competition recommendations.

“It is now incumbent on the Turnbull Government to commence the task of implementing many of the recommendations which have been made in recent reviews from the Productivity Commission, Harper Review to the FSI,” Zimmerman said.

“The 140,000 Australian independent retail business are demanding that the coalition bring in an effects test as per the recommendations of the Harper review, while a reduction in penalty rates for retailers is crucial in the upcoming Fariwork review."

The point that the retail sector employs more than 10 percent of the working population, and is the largest private sector employer, is being highlighted to Ministers by the association.

“The ARA looks forward to working with all key economic productivity Ministers, including Treasurer, Scott Morrison, Simon Birmingham through Education, Alex Hawke as Assistant Minister to the Treasurer, and Mathias Cormann in Finance," said Zimmerman.