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Small Business – Grant Nepotism

Cassy O'Connor MP

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Thursday, 9 June 2022

Tags: Small Business

Ms O'CONNOR - Thank you, Chair. Minister, I'm interested in the small business customer service project support which has a very modest allocation of -

Ms OGILVIE - Yes, it does, very modest.

Ms O'CONNOR - $50 000 which is about a third of the grant that you were able to secure for your daughter's rowing club. Why has so little money been allocated towards small business customer service project support? What will it buy, and can you see that that's actually almost insulting in terms of an allocation -

Ms OGILVIE - Oh goodness me. I don't think $50 000 is insulting.

Ms O'CONNOR - and particularly in the context of the $150 000 you secured for your daughter's rowing club.

Ms OGILVIE - I'm very excited about the customer service project. It is a good lead into securing and identifying and acknowledging the fantastic work that Business Tasmania has done, in flexing to a more customer-focussed model. We know during the pandemic that they have done an amazing job in getting the grants funding out there and looking after small business. Our small business survival rate is testament to that. This project can be a leading light. Not all projects require huge amounts of money, Ms O'Connor. I will ask

Ms O'CONNOR - Your daughter's

Ms O'CONNOR - Your daughter's rowing club required quite a lot of money.

Ms OGILVIE - I am not sure that comment is related to this output at all, Ms O'Connor.

Ms O'CONNOR - Well, relativities are related.

Ms OGILVIE - I will ask Mr Bowles to talk a little bit about the flavour of that project and what we hope achieve.

Mr BOWLES - The customer service project is designed to enhance the work that Business Tasmania has been particularly focused on over the past two years. That work is about providing a front door for small businesses to Government for a whole range of services. That's not only the services that are unique to small business - such as business enterprise centres - but all the portfolio or sector specific programs; whether it be for Primary Industries or Hospitality or Trade, Business Tasmania is there to be the front door.

The customer service project itself has two limbs. The first is about securing and then publicising regulatory timeframes that individual agencies are committing to, particularly for small businesses wanting to start or run their businesses. That work will commence next financial year in collating all of those regulatory timeframes and publishing them. Secondly, it will provide a feedback mechanism so small businesses can, independently and in an anonymous way, provide customer service ratings for whole of Government through that program.