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250,000 new business in 5 years - ambitious yes, needed yes, achievable yes.

COSBOA acnowledges the announcement by the coalition today where they say they will create 250,000 new small businesses in the next five years.

This policy is achievable when we consider that there are around 100,000 school students in Australia who are running real businesses. Probably 30,000 of these young men and women leave school every year but are the missing peice of the school to work transition puzzle. Governments have a great opportunity to enable society to better manage change, to indeed create constructive change, by focusing on those who want to run their own lives, who want to convert an idea into something special, who want to be different and constructive.

For this to happen several things must take place -

We must remove the complexity of workplace relations. Make it easier for new employers and for their employees to quickly understand what the rules are so that they can then concentrate on making businesses and joibs safe and secure.

We must change the culture in Australia where a business that closes or doesn't work is seen as a failure. It isn't, it often means that someone has learned some lessons that will make them a better business person the next time. We need to assist those struggling to close their business and move onto the next opportunity. We should not turn our backs on those who take a risk and hit problems.

We must make sure there are high quailty support services for people in business or starting a business. The use of business associations to provide expert support to businesses in their sectors is the best way to progress this policy. These associations should not be peak bodies likle COSBOA but must be associations that have direct small business members. The accounting associations can nthen work with industry associations to provide the best service and advic e. And sometimes that advice will be to NOT start a business, and that's OK.

We must make surer centralised decision making is only on issues that must be made at the national level, like taqx rates or trade policies. Let the businesses in the small economies around Australia have more say in their local economy.

We must stop saying let the market decide and start saying let's make sure the market can decide. So called freshwater economics or laissez-faire economic ideology has to be put with the dinosaurs and a more competitive and proactive market place develoiped in Australia.

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