Date issued: 16 September 2013

Small business is the big winner in the Abbott Government’s ministerial line-up, CPA Australia chief executive, Alex Malley, said today.

Mr Malley said the appointment of Bruce Billson as Minister for Small Business, would mean a strong voice for the sector at the Cabinet table.

“After six ministers in 17 months under the previous government, Mr Billson’s appointment to the stand alone portfolio of small business is a welcome statement by the Prime Minister-elect about the importance of the sector to the national economy.

“Small businesses employ 4.8 million Australians and contributes over $300 billion each year to the economy.

“Compared with the mining industry, the small business sector occupies a much larger share of the economy and employs significantly more people.

“Small business truly is the engine room of the economy and I hope that today’s appointment will herald a new, concerted approach to tackling the regulatory and other issues confronting the sector.

“CPA Australia looks forward to working with Mr Billson on that task.”

Mr Malley also welcomed the appointment of Joe Hockey as Treasurer and Mathias Cormann to the Finance portfolio.

“Against a backdrop of a challenging budget position and rising unemployment, the country needs strong and effective financial management.

“A rush to surplus for the sake of it is not in the national interest and the business community will look to both Mr Hockey and Mr Cormann to provide the stability the country needs right now,” Mr Malley said.

“Australia has slipped further down the global competitiveness ladder and our future prosperity will hinge on our ability to stimulate broader-based economic growth and revitalise Australia’s international competitiveness.”

“Mr Hockey, Mr Cormann, along with Andrew Robb in Trade and Investment, will have a critical role to play in delivering the reforms needed for Australia to meet the competitiveness challenge.”

Mr Malley also noted the elevation of deregulation to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

“Putting the key central agency in charge of cutting red tape and tackling the systemic issues of duplication and over-regulation is a welcome acknowledgement of the scale and importance of this task.”