Who wins the marginal seats will determine the upcoming election and the vote of small business people in these seats cannot be underestimated, says the Council of Small Business of Australia (COSBOA).

 Peter Strong, CEO of COSBOA commented on the critical importance that small business will play in this Federal election, where small business people count for large numbers of voters in marginal seats. COSBOA will focus on the small business community being informed on key policy issues, and he warns that transparency should be at the heart of this election.

 “Small business people in electorates across Australia will play a vital part in the election. They make up between 8% – 16% of voters, on average around 11.7% per electorate.  This is significant when margins are as low as 0.2% for contested seats. There is no denying that the vote of every small business owner and those working for them count,” said Mr. Strong.

Small business represents a significant number of voters in marginal seats across Australia. For example, in the seat of McEwen (VIC) there is a 0.2% margin and the small business community makes up 9.4% of voters. In Eden-Monaro (NSW), the margin is 0.6% and small business is 11.3% of voters, while in Capricornia (QLD) the margin is 0.8% and small businesses make up 11.6% of voters.

 “It’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy of a Federal Election and focusing on the major two parties, but communities need to look to at the individuals who will representing their community and what they stand for. Small businesses impact everyone’s day-to-day lives, from local accountants, gyms, cafes and grocers to health practitioners and owner drivers. We need a government with a clear direction that includes key policies to support small business, then the entire community benefits and Australia’s cultural fabric gains strength.”

“It cannot be stressed enough the importance of being informed on policy when casting a vote. Small business drives the economy and supports a diverse culture. To disadvantage this sector would be disastrous,” said Mr Strong.

 COSBOA has outlined the key policy issues that need to be front and centre for small businesses in the upcoming election. These include Competition, Workplace Relations, Telecommunications, B2B Communications, Health, Training, Financing and Superannuation*.

 Above all else, COSBOA says the main election theme needs to be about transparency in government.

 “There must be an end to secret big union and big business influence on policy and process. It is not just small business people that suffer from covert influence, it’s also medium businesses, non-employing independent contractors and Australian workers. The economy cannot be managed effectively in back rooms and dark places,” warned Mr. Strong.

 *COSBOA’s wish list is below and Peter Strong is available to comment further. For more information, please visit: http://www.cosboa.org.au/election-2016/ 



An Effects Test in Competition (Section 46)

 As announced by the Turnbull Government, when the election is over this must be enacted.


The Road Transport Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) must not be reinstated

If road safety is to be achieved, it won’t be through the workplace relations system.


Health of the self-employed person must be considered

This is particularly important for mental health; we need equality in consideration and responsibility for health where everyone counts, including the self-employed and employees.


Reform of Vocational Education and Training (VET)

The current system is failing workers, unemployed, businesses and productivity. Small business needs to be funded for training through their own businesses and sectors.

 Efficiency from Employment Service Providers

Unemployed people and employers are not given the service needed from many of these government funded providers – provide assessment of performance by associations.


Ensure large businesses pay their tax

Most big businesses pay their tax, the ones that don’t need to be brought to task.


Telecommunications, Technology & Innovation

Get the NBN happening faster, ensure fair access to telecommunications and lower cost for businesses and consumers.

 B2B communications

There are billions to be saved in time and money if businesses can communicate faster and more efficiently. We need to support the Digital Business Council and e-invoicing.


Workplace Relations

Focus on small workplaces; use plain English in awards and agreements and create a small workplace industrial award and remove the industry/union cartels.



Remove employers from the superannuation collection process and place it in PAYG. Billions will be saved in administration costs for employers and funds.


The threshold for defining a small business must be up to $10m

This change picks up an additional 90,000 businesses who are still small businesses who employ, innovate and add to culture and diversity.


Financing for Small Business

The issues with banks, Fintech, P2P lending and financing in general needs urgent attention.


For more information on COSBOA, visit www.cosboa.org.au