Friday, September 17th, 2010
Gift and Homewares Australia (GHA) is calling on the new Labour Government to do its part for small business and establish a dedicated seat for the Minister for Small Business in Cabinet.

Recent legislative changes and the uncertainty surrounding Australia’s new Government have left small business owners feeling hard done by, with a recent survey commissioned by the Australian Retailers Association finding small business owners believe the Government is not providing enough support to independent retailers.

Gift and Homewares Australia chief executive Alby Taylor said he agreed with the sentiments of the survey, saying more could be done to help small businesses in Australia.

“Small business is the backbone of Australia and accounts for the majority of employers in this country.”

GHA represents a significant percentage of small businesses throughout the country, with almost half the organisation’s membership identifying themselves as small business owners.

Taylor said it was important for the voice of small business in Australia to have a legitimate say in discussions and be in a position where they could effect change and growth within the industry.

“I want to see small business being taken more seriously in Parliament. We need a minister who will effectively represent and champion the cause of small businesses, providing them with a strong voice in all discussions.”

Among the issues requiring further representation were the recent changes to the Fair Work Act and the increasing legislative and administrative hurdles required by local and state Government.

Taylor said further changes to the new Fair Work Act would be welcomed by many throughout the industry.

“I don’t believe the provisions of WorkChoices were unfair or harsh,” he said.

“As an association of business owners the ability to fairly hire and fire employees without being hamstrung is seen as an advantage and may even encourage further employment if there is no fear of harsh penalties.”

GHA has made steps to reduce the feeling of uncertainty around the Fair Work Act guidelines by introducing its specialised HR/IR helpline, designed to provide GHA members with an increased knowledge and awareness of legislation changes and requirements.
The implementation of the helpline was timed to take into account the transition to modern awards that occurred at the start of the new financial year on 1 July 2010.
The helpline also aims to lessen the administrative burden placed on business owners – another area where Taylor believes the Government can do more to help.

Taylor said GHA isn’t a “just for the sake of it” organisation.

“We lobby on an issues-basis, and respond to real needs and issues faced by our members.

“We have a track record of success in this area and it is because of we find solutions to real problems for real people.”

Taylor said the organisation was committed to assisting its members however possible.

“We provide opportunities for small businesses to grow their companies through our annual gift fairs and new online portal Supplier Haven, and offer a variety of cost-effective services and benefits through our Member Services program.”

Taylor said one such example was GHA’s new status as an authorised Telstra dealer, which allowed the association to pass significant savings on to members through tailored mobile phone and mobile broadband plans.

Contact Profile

Gift and Homewares Australia

Gift & Homewares Australia (GHA) is the leading industry body representing the gift and homewares industry in Australia with origins dating back to 1977. Based in Homebush, Sydney, the ‘not-for-profit’ organisation is dedicated to serving its membership base through the provision of discounted industry services, commercial and political lobbying and three annual ‘Home & Giving’ exhibitions held in Sydney and Melbourne. Further information:
Emma Hartley
P: 02 9360 6166
M: 0450 533 431


Gift and Homewares Australia, GHA, Small Business Seat, Cabinet, Small Business



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