by Marguerite Cuddihy
MARANOA residents had an opportunity to have a round table discussion with Canberra delegates to voice their questions and concerns regarding small business this week.
Maranoa MP David Littleproud was accompanied by Federal Small Business Minister Michael McCormack on a small business roadshow with stops in Roma, Dalby, Warwick and Stanthorpe.
Mr Littleproud and Mr McCormack fielded questions regarding small business tax cuts, the banking sector and the downturn of the industry sector.
Mr McCormack said a cut in the company tax rate - to its lowest level in half a century - would enable Maranoa small businesses to expand and hire more people to pursue their dreams.
"It is small business - not Government - which creates jobs. That's why the Federal Government's tax cuts, simpler paperwork and access to instantly write-off new equipment against a small business' tax is here to help,” he said.
Maranoa Councillor David Schefe said the banking sector needed to be addressed because banks bundle towns into the same category: the resource sector.
"Banks are asking for 30-40% home deposits here and a councillor from Emerald said to me they're asking for up to 80% deposits there. Young people aren't going to be able to get a house loan,” he said.
Business owners Peter Sharpe and Robert Arnold, who have more than 50 years' combined experience in the town's industry sector said big companies were making it impossible for local companies to do business.
"Peter and I have invested millions into this town but it's come up against the big boys like Halliburton and Schlumberger,” Mr Arnold said.
"I can't see the future. "When the gas is gone, what are we going to do to earn money for our children? When is the government going to realise that you can give people tax incentives but if you don't make money you can't pay tax. At the end of the day it hurts the little fella in the street.”