Better Business March 00
I was pleased that 14 Members of Parliament recently visited the Lismore
electorate, for various reasons, all in one day. Not only does this type of
presence reinforce the significant role our region holds, but also highlights
this area as an economically viable option for investment. By visiting country
electorates MP's, from all sides of Parliament, see the needs of the electorate
and experience the positives first hand.
The Hon Mike Gallacher, Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations and Fair
Trading bought with him the new NSW Coalition's industrial relations policy
development paper, Future Directions in Industrial Relations: An Issues Paper.
This paper is a very important part of the Coalition's long-term process of
developing policy through wide consultation with the community. Comments are
being sought from local businesses on the issues raised in the paper to enable
the Coalition to attack this prevalent problem to facilitate businesses to be
viable. As I have said on a number of occasions that Governments need to address
Workers Compensation issue. Your comments on this paper will positively assist
us in developing an appropriate policy.
NSW THE HIGHEST TAXING STATE
The NSW Government has the dubious honour of being the highest taxing state in
Australia. The Commonwealth Grants Commission found that every man, woman and
child in NSW paid almost $2112 to the Carr Government alone.
The average family of two adults and two children paid $8447 a year, $162 week
or $23 a day. In comparison, last year Victorians each paid $1747 - $365 per
person less than NSW and Queenslanders $1727 - $385 less than NSW.
These high tax rates are harming our competitiveness of NSW, particularly in
this area being so close to the Queensland boarder. A recent business survey
shows that regional business optimism in NSW at its lowest levels since November
1998 and that employer confidence in regards to employment growth for the coming
quarter in NSW has slipped below the national average.
The Carr Government is preoccupied with the Olympic Games and whilst Sydney may
be experiencing economic boom, the regions are hurting.
It is time the Government began to recognise country taxpayers for the
deprivations we have suffered as a result of the multi-billion dollar Olympic
In its past budgets the Government has ignored the need to provide the necessary
stimulus to ensure rural and regional NSW does not slip into further decline.
We, as the Coalition are challenging the Carr Government to revise its taxing
and spending priority by providing in the upcoming State Budget innovative
solutions to the pressing issues facing the region.