The Victorian Government wants to make it easier for small retailers to do business and employ staff. To help achieve this, the Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade is leading a review of regulation impacting on small business retailers.
With the average small business in Australia spending around five hours per week on red tape, regulatory barriers are having a significant impact on the day-to-day operations of our small business community.
Over the next two years, the Victorian Government will examine how regulation is impacting Victoria's almost 542,000 small businesses across three sectors of the state’s economy, with Victoria's retail sector to be the first focus.
Retail reflects the regulatory experience of the vast majority of small businesses, with up to 30 per cent of all small businesses in Victoria involved in some form of retail.
With 95 per cent of Victoria's retail businesses employing 20 people or less, negotiating the regulatory steps needed for day-to-day tasks, such as putting up a sign or preparing a food safety plan, places tremendous strain on their resources.
The Victorian Government's conversation with the small business community will be guided by an Issues Paper that will give small business retailers the opportunity to submit their regulatory concerns and frustrations from.
Small businesses can have their say at one of the industry roundtable events that will be held across the state in metropolitan and regional Victoria or online at www.vic.gov.au/smallbizreview from 1 August 2016.
Ms Garonne was invited to spend a week in South Korea by the Korean Overseas Agri-development Association (KOAA), which represents some of South Korea’s biggest businesses and direct links with the South Korean government.
The relationship between MDC and KOAA has been developing since July 2015 when a South Korean delegation visited Mildura for the first time.
The two organisations formalised their relationship in March this year with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, which has paved the way for strong trade and partnership opportunities.
MDC demonstrated its commitment to the partnership during Ms Garonne’s recent visit to South Korea, where she made a number of significant connections including government, retail and wholesale markets, universities and research institutes. These contacts will lead to further export, trade and investment opportunities within the horticulture and education industries.
Ms Garonne also attended and presented at a conference in Gwang-Joo, Gyunggi Province in front of 160 government and corporate representatives working in overseas agro-development.
“As the only region in Australia to be selected to sign a MoU with KOAA, Mildura is in an enviable position,” Ms Garonne said.
“We are at the beginning of a relationship that, in time, will build to a significant global connection.
“During the visit, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to immerse myself in the culture and gain insight into the way the Korean government and businesses operate.
“Actually being on the ground and travelling across the country made it so much clearer why partnerships with overseas countries are so important.
“More than 70 per cent of the terrain is mountains and forests, which only leaves 30 per cent for agriculture and sprawling cities with a population of 50 million people.
“They rely on imported food, and Australia has much to offer investors with our safe and certain government and disease-free, clean, quality food.”
Ms Garonne said a number of promising outcomes had come from the trip, including
KOAA is committed to an investment in a $1 Million property in Mildura for pilot farm. KOAA has over investments in over 28 countries across many agriculture sectors, some well exceeding the size of the whole Sunraysia irrigation settlement. Given the relationship that is building between the two organisations, it is likely that investment will extend in the future.
Ten agriculture leaders will be undertaking a month long course at Sunraysia Institute of TAFE with Mr Jin, Vice President of KOAA accompanying the delegation.
Sample products of two manufacturing companies from Mildura have been provided to a major department store with strong interest for an initial order in the premium price range.
There is interest in investing in production in Mildura of two agriculture products that are currently not grown in this region with potential for value adding with one product. Research is underway with early indications that both products are suitable for production in the region.
A student programs with Korean University students travelling to Mildura were discussed during the trip. This includes a major University with students undertaking a trip to extend their knowledge into different agriculture environments and crops. At present students are only exposed to South Korean agriculture which is very limited given the small agriculture area and concentration on smaller crops.
At the Universities and research organisations visited, genuine interest in exchange of research and technology knowledge was proposed.
The advent of an exhibition and tourism facility, 1,000 delegation convention centre, retail as well as a five-star hotel and entertainment complex, will provide a range of tangible outcomes and new business opportunities. Apart from the many businesses that will be involved in trade and services in the construction phase, with global attention on Mildura and additional tourists, there will also be a flow on effect to other accommodation, restaurants and tourism operators. Importantly it is strategically placed to drive the redevelopment of the riverfront precinct.
MDC has assisted the Directors of Australia Cove Limited over the last six months to advance this proposal in the role to actively develop, grow and promote the Mildura region. Chair of MDC Jenny Grigg stated, “An important component of our strategic plan is focussed on investment attraction, ensuring the right infrastructure is in place and to build business capacity and this proposal encapsulates all these elements”.
Mildura is the centre of a major Australian centre for horticulture and agribusiness that is growing rapidly and a complex such as this will complement and diversify our economic base. With growing interest in tourism activities, there could also be additional attention on the many other industries in the region. Mildura has been, to some extent, an undiscovered gem in regional Australia, with the spotlight on the area, this could cascade into investment and development of other sectors.
The Directors of Australia Cove Limited have provided MDC with an undertaking of their ongoing commitment to the community and their recognition of the importance of engaging local businesses in the construction phase and ongoing needs. Ms Grigg said “They have also indicated a keen interest in working with others within the tourism industry to promote the region within Australian and overseas.”
Australia Cove Limited have shown their confidence in the project becoming a reality in this region. Through this proposal, they are highlighting to others that we have the right business environment, a sustained workforce and quality supporting trade and business services. “This community needs to acknowledge this, embrace the concept and the potential benefits and fully support this development to see it come to fruition” Ms Grigg said.
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For further information, please contact:
Mildura Development Corporation
0429 922 393
Chief Executive Officer
Phone: 03 5022 0722