small business

Small Business Flees Victoria

13 October 2023

2.5 MINS

Small businesses are the engine house of the Australian economy. They represent the entrepreneurial spirit of the nation, the people who will work to establish a new enterprise and employ other Australians. Their health is a measure of the vibrancy of the economy.

I learnt this lesson from a young age. Long before the expression ‘small business’ became vogue, my parents were engaged in such an enterprise. They established a small livestock and general transport business, delivering sheep and cattle to market, and other goods, such as fuel, to local farmers.

They both drove the trucks. When my father died, my mother continued the business for another 15 years, rising at 3 and 4 a.m. to transport stock to the local markets.

When the seasons were good and the stock prices high, they could afford to employ another driver. But when they were not, they did all the driving themselves. I quickly learnt that it was their enterprise and hard work that enabled our family to live. We weren’t wealthy, but their efforts enabled my brothers and me to obtain the best education my parents could afford for us.

My story has been repeated millions of times throughout Australia over the decades.  Many migrants came to Australia with barely more than the clothes on their backs and started up businesses that enabled them to eventually sponsor wives and other family members to Australia. They employed other Australians and contributed to the wealth and fortune of the nation.

I recalled this past when I read recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics about the vitality of businesses in the various states.

Sobering Statistics

In 2022-23, there was an 11,031 increase in the number of businesses in Queensland, the largest net increase in any state/territory.

In contrast, there was a 7,606 decrease in the number of businesses in Victoria, the only state/territory to register a fall.

Victoria is the only state to see a reduction in businesses for the year, according to ABS data.

A drive through most suburban shopping areas will reveal a spate of vacant commercial and retail premises.

Under the Andrews government, Victoria became the highest taxing state in the nation, with businesses suffering under the burden of higher payroll taxes, higher Workcover premiums and higher land taxes.

Businesses that had expected to see a reduction in Workcover premiums because of their good record have been whacked with additional costs.

Since Andrews came to office, Victorians have suffered almost 50 new or increased taxes.

Too High a Price

Additionally, there are significant other increases in the costs of conducting a business due to the state government’s decisions.

In particular, energy prices have escalated considerably. The state has hundreds of years of coal reserves and decades of gas, but the Andrews government has refused to harness these resources, preferring to lift prices for energy produced by inadequate and unreliable renewables.

Profitable industries, such as forestry, are being hit by Labor’s policies.

Farmers fear that large tracts of prime agricultural land will become unusable following the installation of massive power lines.

Batteries of large wind turbines blot the landscape and divide rural communities.

At the same time as raising taxes, this Labor Government has wasted a billion dollars on a road that was not built, and $380 million — and perhaps as much as $600 million — on Commonwealth Games that won’t be conducted!

Yet the state is facing a $171 billion debt, by far the largest of any of the states, more than the combined debt of NSW and Queensland.

Yet promises to electrify various railway lines and provide additional services to regional cities have been neglected.

Promised funding for various hospitals has not materialised.

Nor has the Andrews Government funded its 2022 election promise to deliver more than 500 additional police officers.

The ABS data reveals that Victoria is in a state of decline.

___

Originally published in the Epoch Times Australia. Photo by Lisa Fotios.

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3 Comments

  1. John 13 October 2023 at 6:08 am - Reply

    You get the government you vote for.
    Andrews is gone now, but are you going to mark “Labour” or “Greens” again on your next ballot?
    Have you learned anything from previous mistakes?

    • Annette 13 October 2023 at 4:36 pm - Reply

      John, Only 37% of the primary votes in the Vic state election were given for Labor and that means that 63% of people didn’t vote for them. It’s the preferential voting system that got them elected, a system where voters are forced to give preferences to candidates who they don’t want to give any sort of vote to. It’s very disappointing when people keep making comments such as we got the government we voted for when 63% of us voted for a different outcome.
      In the federal election Labor only got 34% of the primary vote. The preferential voting system seems to be the major problem.

  2. Jim Twelves 13 October 2023 at 11:25 am - Reply

    Kevin, it is a great mystery to me that so many sane people in Victoria have voted in the Labour Andrews government for so long despite seeing the evidence against them, you so clearly enumerate. Why? The only thoughts I have had are that a. they have been put into a trans-like-state that sees the left as supporting the down trodden and they have to look after others first before themselves. b. They have been frightened off the right as they are anti-women and all bar labels are exactly like the left!
    I have family in Victoria and for their sake (very selfish of me!) I am praying that Victoria wakes up. Thank you so much for this piece. Your work and service are magnificent.

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