6PR Interview - Small Business Support

18 October 2021


SUBJECTS: Covid support for small businesses
MARK GIBSON, HOST: There's a lot more of it. And I work a lot in the events industry as well. And I see it firsthand. There's a lot of people struggling. Matt Keogh is a Federal Labor MP for WA he's phoned through, he’s been listening. Hello, Matt.
MATT KEOGH MP, SHADOW MINISTER ASSISTING FOR SMALL BUSINESS: Hi, Mark. It's great to be with you. This is a really sad situation we're hearing. But I have to say I feel like this is just another example of how the Federal Government keeps doing things that don't help Western Australia - not recognising the circumstances of COVID don't just apply in in lockdown areas. I even wrote to the Prime Minister back in… a few… actually quite a few months ago now actually raising this sort of issue because so many businesses have been affected by COVID outside of the lockdown areas and especially – Frontier lighting, as your caller just said – they are the peak of this industry, but they're not just affected by the state border, they're affected by the international border as well. But I'm not seeing any understanding of that coming from Josh Frydenberg or Scott Morrison.
GIBSON: And what's happening with these businesses who are applying for this assistance, though, and by all accounts, no one's getting it.
KEOGH: Well, that's certainly what we've been hearing across the country as well. That's not unique to Western Australia. The government made a big flashy announcement like they've done with so many things. But it doesn't seem like the money is actually flowing through this system. They've announced it but the supports not coming.
It's a bit like when JobKeeper got withdrawn in March, what was there to follow it? Nothing - a huge gap when businesses still needed some form of support. We're not saying it needed to be exactly the same as that but because of these circumstances, the international borders are closed, state boarders, not just WA, Queensland, like lots of borders are closed to New South Wales, Tasmania - I was there in my capacity as Shadow Minister assisting for Small Business, they've been suffering hugely in exactly the same sort of way. The Federal Government should have been recognising that it's not just about the areas in lockdown. There are businesses in WA, Tasmania, the Northern Territory that is suffering and they need some sort of support to get them through. And then they make an announcement about a loan package and don't actually deliver.

GIBSON: Thank you Matt. There's the only problem here is there's a lot of State blaming Federal, Federal blaming State, Labor blaming Liberal, Liberal blaming Labor - Matt Keogh, I appreciate you calling.