11 – Local Business

Category 11. Local Business

As the Independent Member for Robertson my purpose will be at one with local business, to provide, as best as possible, a business-friendly approach to local business, start-ups and continuing local business success. I will support Council and partner with other government and non-government organisations with existing expertise and programs (e.g. ATO and NSW Fair Trading, Chambers and Industry Groups) together with the local government area’s business and community committees in delivering tailored programs and expand opportunities.

Elements/Actions:
11.1 Local Community Engagement:
As the Independent Member for Robertson I will seek to reach agreement with the Central Coast Council on these following matters:
11.1.1 Council will adopt guiding principles for local Business similar to:
* Council, NSW & Federal governments should be concerned with the overall local business welfare of the region rather than merely with service provision.
* Council should encourage the empowerment of local business communities within the region & the citizens who constitute them, and will recognise the contribution of local local business organisations & enable, rather than control, that contribution.
* Council will ensure that the whole range of the local business resources in the community is used to the full for the good of the Region.
* Council will review and publish an annual plan on how needs are best met.
11.1.2 Council will maintain a joint register of active local business groups and organisations in the region and encourage them to prepare an annual “issues and action” list that will provide the basis of bi- annual liaison forums involving these groups with Council.
11.2 Central Coast Council:
11.2.1. Council will develop, with help from academics, workers, pensioners and local business-people, a working definition of a viable business. IN THE EVENT THAT CC COUNCIL IS UNABLE OR UNWILLING TO UNDERTAKE THIS THEN I SHALL DO SO IN PARTNERSHIP WITH OTHER LOCAL ORGANISATIONS.
11.2.2 Council will, in its first year, commission a local business study (Encouraging & Supporting Viable local Business Study) in concert with the university sector, to identify the best method(s) the
Council, NSW and Federal Governments can use to encourage, and strengthen the longevity of, viable local businesses. IN THE EVENT THAT CC COUNCIL IS UNABLE OR UNWILLING TO UNDERTAKE THIS THEN I SHALL DO SO.

11.2.3 Council will run an annual “Happy Workers, Happy Business” competition to highlight good wages, conditions and business practices and their association with satisfied and committed workers. IN THE EVENT THAT CC COUNCIL IS UNABLE OR UNWILLING TO UNDERTAKE THIS THEN I SHALL, WITH ASSISTANCE FROM MY ‘OFFICE ADVOCATE’, DO SO.

11.2.4 Council will encourage, in partnership with agencies and organisations, compliance with employment laws such as: payment of Award and over-Award wages; unpaid hours of work; use of457 visas to undercut payment of wages; unpaid superannuation entitlements. IN THE EVENT THAT CC COUNCIL IS UNABLE OR UNWILLING TO UNDERTAKE THIS THEN I SHALL, WITH ASSISTANCE FROM MY ‘ OFFICE ADVOCATE’, DO SO.
11.2.5 Council will produce a local booklet/online capacity to assist potential local business owners (Assistance for Potential local Business Owners), which:
(i) outlines the steps to assist a successful viable business
(ii) provides a check-list, in organisational order, of planning steps to be undertaken when establishing a viable local business
(iii) identifies and lists: common pitfalls to be avoided; legislative and regulatory for viable local businesses; contact names and numbers of voluntary mentors and professional advisors. IN THE EVENT THAT CC COUNCIL IS UNABLE OR UNWILLING
TO UNDERTAKE THIS THEN I SHALL, WITH ASSISTANCE FROM LOCAL ORGANISATIONS AND MY OFFICE ADVOCATES, DO SO.

11.2.6. Council will run annual workshops, in concert with TAFE/agencies, to assist people considering establishing a viable local business.
11.2.7 Council will appoint a Local Business Manager
11.2.8 Council will resource an entrepreneur coordinator who will assist start-up business and local businesses who are endeavouring to grow.
11.2.9 Council will hold bi-annual liaison forums with local businesses in each ward
11.2.10 Council will recognise and include in Council-organised forums , “commuting local businesses” that are resident in the region but operate substantially out of the region.
11.2.11 Council will include a local business development program in the Sister City program
11.2.12 Council will set up one or more sister city programs with another Australian city that has a complementary economy to that of the Central Coast. This program will offer local business in both cities opportunities to network, trade and collaborate with each other through joint Council-arranged processes.
11.2.13 Council will maintain a current database of local business “health” statistics for the region. Data will be made freely available.
11.2.14 Council will liaise with community and local business to advise on local traffic and parking planning.
11.3 _ NSW Government:
11.3.1 Council will make representations to, negotiate with, and if necessary campaign for, the NSW Government to seek funds, legislative and regulatory support for matters identified as priorities in the Encouraging and Supporting Viable Local Businesses Study [see 11.1.2]
11.4 Federal Government:
11.4.1 AS THE INDEPENDENT MEMBER FOR ROBERTSON I WILL make representations to the Federal Government to seek legislative and funding support for matters identified as priorities in the Encouraging and Supporting Viable Local Businesses Study [see 11.1.2].
11.5 Non Government Organisations:
11.5.1 AS THE INDEPENDENT MEMBER TO ROBERTSON I WILL make representations to business groups to seek support to reform the company administration laws to enable a US style protection from liquidation provision for a period of time to enable businesses to readjust and realign after turbulent financial circumstances.
11.5.2 AS THE INDEPENDENT MEMBER TO ROBERTSON I WILL lobby to have superannuation funds enact regional local business investment and loan funding programs.
11.5.3 AS THE INDEPENDENT MEMBER TO ROBERTSON I WILL make representations to technology industry groups to seek support for protection of local businesses from predatory business practices of digital giants in exploiting local business by: Not paying for; services, commissions or royalties in a timely fashion. Charging local businesses higher fees than larger customers or customers in other regions. Not protecting or respecting the privacy of local businesses. Not sharing information and data with local businesses, like service usage, hits, views and the like.

These policies have been drawn from work done by the party political neutral Community Plan Central Coast policies Section 11. Small Business.
Policies 11.5 have been drawn from my professional experience in local businesses and work on boards and committees.