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Benjamin hosts Business POLICY HEAVYWEIGHTS in seven hills


Thursday 5 March 2015


SEVEN HILLS 10:00am. Last Friday Susai Benjamin hosted NSW Shadow Treasurer, Michael Daley MP and a number of political and business leaders at a forum at Seven Hills. 


The forum, including panellists Federal Member for Greenway, Shadow Minister for Citizenship and Multiculturalism, Shadow Assistant Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland MP and Blacktown Mayor Stephen Bali, was chaired by Federal Member for Parramatta, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Small Business and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Education Julie Owens MP.


“I am grateful that our speakers have taken time in their busy schedules to listen to the voices of local businesses,” Susai said in welcoming participants.


“Hearing concerns from the business community is a critical aspect of policy development.” 


The theme of those in government listening to those in business, especially small businesses, loomed large during the two-hour meeting.


Participants spoke to the need to encourage innovation in business, especially smaller businesses, and encouraged the establishment of structures to promote such innovation.


Finding the right balance in regulation that facilitates business at the same time as it protects the community was also a key topic, along with infrastructure to support businesses.


“Governments should think of the provision of broadband, for example,” said Ms Rowland, “in the same way they think of providing water and electricity.”


Mr Daley spoke strongly about the importance of government investment in education and training – and Labor’s plan to rescue TAFE in light of the Liberals’ massive fee increases and course cuts.


“If there are not trained people in the community, or if people are insufficiently trained,” said Mr Daley, “business suffers.  Reducing investment in education reduces input into healthy business development.”


Julie Owens MP highlighted the significance of Western Sydney, which she called the “engine room of the NSW economy. Western Sydney is the fifth largest economy in Australia after Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane.”


Mayor of Blacktown Stephen Bali pointed out that the Blacktown Local Government Area, which includes part of the Seven Hills state electorate, is the largest Local Government Area in the state. It welcomes people from 182 of the world’s 195 nations. Its GDP exceeds that of 65 countries and is home to 18,000 businesses. By 2036, Blacktown LGA will be home to a larger population than that in Tasmania.


Mr Daley reminded those present that NSW Labor had managed surplus Budgets for 15 of their 16 years in Government.  


“A Labor Government will be fiscally conservative, economically responsible and will listen to business,” Mr Daley said.




Media Contact: Paul Murphy 0439 672 911