DEMANDING CHANGE: Keppel MP Brittany Lauga would like to see more done to look after regional business who are not getting their bills paid in a timely fashion.
DEMANDING CHANGE: Keppel MP Brittany Lauga would like to see more done to look after regional business who are not getting their bills paid in a timely fashion. Leighton Smith

Lauga appeals to LNP to intervene and help CQ businesses

AFTER a recent Barnaby Joyce lead inquiry revealed mining company's tardiness with paying their bills to CQ businesses, the call for change is growing louder.

Leading the call for action was Keppel MP Brittany Lauga who condemned the LNP and Capricornia's MP Michelle Landry for failing local small businesses by refusing to crack down on large mining businesses which were stretching invoice payment terms to 90 days and often expanding it out to 120 days.

"Today's news reports about our small businesses having to downsize because of the time taken for large, multinational companies to pay for contracts is not new and it continues to be disgraceful," Mrs Lauga said.

"Barnaby Joyce was in town talking about this only a couple of weeks ago but the federal government has the power, they have that big stick that they can use in order to legislate and make mandatory payment terms for business to business transactions

"The office for Australian Small businesses and Australian Enterprise made a recommendation for maximum time frames incorporated into legislation so that business to business time frames are regulated so that a maximum of 90 days can be legislated and enshrined in law.

She said it was a big deal when our small businesses couldn't pay their accounts and their businesses and families subsequently pay the real price, limiting the capacity of businesses to expand and employ new staff.

"In 2017 a report by the Office of the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) found almost half of all small businesses reported that more than 40 per cent of their invoices were paid late," Mrs Lauga said.

"The ASBFEO recommend in 2017 that the Australian Government introduce legislation for larger businesses to publicly disclose all of their payment times and practices and performance against those terms and introduce legislation which sets a maximum payment time for business to business transactions."

Mrs Lauga said the former Turnbull Government made note of the recommendation but, no action has been taken.

Capricornia MP Michelle Landry while payment terms for sub-contractors was a serious issue, the Federal Government was doing something about it through parliamentary enquiry process into the issue, which she was heavily involved in before her ministerial promotion.

"I encourage any business owner with issues of this type to make a submission to the inquiry, which can be done on a totally anonymous basis," Ms Landry said.

"It is vital we get to the bottom of the issue on a National scale before we adjust federal settings, though if Mrs Lauga wishes to join me in addressing this issue, she should insist her state colleagues change the grounds on which the mining companies actually operate."

Ms Landry said it was the State Government that grants the right to mine our resources and could "fix this issue overnight with the stroke of the pen but they refuse to do anything".

"Why is it the Member for Keppel and her colleagues are willing to use their parliamentary majority to change rules for farmers overnight but not help subbies who just want to be paid in a reasonable time frame?" she asked.