Mark Coulton MP, Federal Member for Parkes

COULTON'S CATCH UP 16 JANUARY

Monday, 16 January 2017

Shining a spotlight on small business payment terms
Payment terms and times for local small businesses are currently in the spotlight, thanks to an Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Inquiry.

As I travel around my electorate and meet with local small businesses, I hear that cash-flow and payment terms are among the biggest issues small businesses face. The Coalition Government understands cash-flow is king for small business and this inquiry is seeking feedback from small businesses right across Australia to ensure payment terms are fair for Australia’s 2.1 million small businesses.

Now is the time for local small business owners and operators to have their say about levelling the playing field on payment terms and ensuring small business bills are paid on time.

As the first self-initiated inquiry of the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman since the Coalition Government established the watchdog in March 2016, Ombudsman Kate Carnell’s inquiry follows nation-wide consultation on issues affecting small business during 2016.

Small Business Minister Michael McCormack has praised the Ombudsman’s initiative confirming that the feedback we are all hearing from small business highlights why this inquiry into late payments and other adverse payment practices is necessary.

Minister McCormack says it is vital Australian small businesses take the opportunity to have their say so we can help strengthen the sector into the future.

The Ombudsman will also seek input from State and Territory Governments and Authorities, State Small Business Commissioners, the Council of Small Businesses Australia and the Australian Institute of Credit Management, as well as businesses large and small.

The Ombudsman’s survey is open until the end of February 2017 and can be accessed here: http://asbfeo.gov.au/inquiries/payment-times-and-practices/business-survey

Written submissions or comments can be emailed to inquiries@asbfeo.gov.au.

The Ombudsman will present her report to Minister McCormack in March 2017.
 

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Telecommunications Universal Service Obligation Public Hearing
The Productivity Commission will be holding a public hearing in Dubbo this month as part of its inquiry into the current Telecommunications Universal Service Obligation (TUSO).

The TUSO is the obligation placed on service providers to ensure that standard telephone services, payphones and prescribed carriage services are reasonably accessible to all people in Australia on an equitable basis, wherever they reside or carry on business.

The Productivity Commission has released a draft report pointing to the rapid evolution of Australia's telecommunications environment, including the shift in consumer preferences to broadband and mobile communications, as the impetus for recommending reforms to the voice based TUSO, which is fast becoming outdated.

The hearing in Dubbo will take place on Monday 30 January 2017 commencing at 8.30am at the Quality Inn. Morning tea will be provided.

To register your interest in attending this public hearing please visit http://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/current/telecommunications/public-hearings
 

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Belgium First World War exhibition tours Australia
I was pleased to receive the news that Belgium authorities are funding a travelling exhibition of WWI artefacts as a sign of their deep appreciation of the service and sacrifice of Australian soldiers.

The Belgians Have Not Forgotten exhibition features wartime artefacts, photographs, maps and film footage from the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 in Zonnebeke, Belgium and is supported by the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917, the Zonnebeke Council, the Flemish Government and the Embassy of the Kingdom of Belgium in Australia.

The Australian Government has provided a grant to transport the exhibition to regional areas, including Dubbo, Launceston, Warrnambool and Hervey Bay.

The Belgians Have Not Forgotten exhibition will be in Dubbo at the Western Plains Cultural Centre from 16 January 2017 to 7 February 2017.

For further information about this exhibition please visit http://www.westernplainsculturalcentre.org/current-exhibitions

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Mark coulton MP, Federal Member for the ELECTORATE Of Parkes

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