Govt to make faster payments

The Federal Government will mandate by July 2019 that all non-corporate Commonwealth entities must pay all invoices for contracts, up to a total value of a million dollars, within 20 days, cutting a third of the old payment time.

Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the move at an Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) Small Business Round Table attended by Andrew Macaulay, CEO of Printing Industries Association of Australia (PIAA).

Macaulay says, “We welcome commitment by the Federal Government to expedite payments to small and medium-sized businesses as delivering some relief to printers in the market environment, but are disappointed on the July 2019 timeframe for implementation. It is critical for our members.”

The Small Business Round Table also included discussion of other issues including the hot topic energy, as well as penalty rates and workplace reform,  migration and recent changes to skilled foreign worker visas, payroll tax, investment in VET and apprenticeships, and the need for longer commitment to instant asset write offs for small businesses.

Related: [PIAA creating Qld election scorecard]

Macaulay says, “The impact of energy affordability and availability on small business remains a critical issue in the sector, and printers are not alone in feeling the potentially devastating impact of the energy crisis on their business. We have an immediate need for action on policy for energy security. The impacts of electricity and gas costs are negative.”

Macaulay says, “We talked about VET training, how we need to improve it and invest more nationally. We also need to improve the scope of foreign workers allowed to come in, which could greatly benefit the printing industry.”

“I further discussed these issues in the context of the printing industry with the Minister for Small Business, Michael McCormack, in a subsequent meeting. It was positive, Michael McCormack is highly supportive and used to be a small businessman himself.

Macaulay says likewise of Turnbull, “The prime minister is supportive of Australian industry. He is actively interested in small business and employment. We have seen real engagement from the government. It is a testament to the profile that the Printing Industries Association of Australia has achieved, and an acknowledgement of the importance of our industry, that we were invited to participate in this discussion.

“The meetings are part of the ongoing engagement that Printing Industries is having with both the Federal Government and Opposition, prosecuting policy objectives set by our members.”

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