Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan): My constituency question is directed to the Honourable Adem Somyurek, Minister for Local Government and Minister for Small Business. My question to the minister relates to his portfolio of responsibilities for small business. I am glad to hear that Wyndham City Council and Moreland City Council have joined the Small Business Friendly Council initiative. By cutting the red tape we can build a stronger small business culture in Wyndham city, and I thank the mayor, Cr Mia Shaw, for this. Like the small businesses in Wyndham city, there are many other small businesses in Western Metropolitan Region. Many of these businesses have been owned by people for several generations, while others may be owned by first generation immigrants. Starting a small business is not easy, but by cutting unnecessary red tape the Andrews Labor government is bringing these people’s dreams to reality. My question to the minister is: can the minister give me an update on how the Andrews Labor government plans to bring more councils from Western Metropolitan Region into the Small Business Friendly Council initiative?
Mr SOMYUREK (South Eastern Metropolitan—Minister for Local Government, Minister for Small Business) (6 February 2020):
The Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) has partnered with local councils to create the Small Business Friendly Council initiative as part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to creating a fair and competitive trading environment for small businesses. The VSBC has been in contact with all Victorian councils to promote the initiative. In the Western Metropolitan region, Wyndham, Moonee Valley and Moreland City Councils have already signed up to the initiative. VSBC is continuing discussions with Western Metropolitan region councils to encourage them to sign up for the benefit of their local small businesses.
The Small Business Friendly Council initiative builds on the success of the Victorian Government’s Better Approvals Project, which is cutting business permit processing times, making it quicker and easier for businesses to start and grow. The Better Approvals Project is implemented by Small Business Victoria working with individual councils to develop tailored services to meet the needs of local businesses. In the past twelve months in the Western Metropolitan Region, Moreland, Wyndham, Melton, Moonee Valley, Hobson’s Bay and Maribyrnong City Councils have all implemented the Better Approvals project, with discussions continuing with Brimbank City Council.