Gympie’s packing boxes are the lifeblood of the economy.
And yet they’ve been underfunded for decades.
In 2014, the Federal Government announced it was cutting its operating budget for packing boxes by more than $10 million over five years.
The loss of this funding has forced businesses to take on new responsibilities, such as packing boxes for elderly and disabled people.
“They’re incredibly important to the economy,” said Chris O’Leary, the manager of the National Packaging Services Association, which represents companies like Derry International.
“They make it very, very easy for our customers to be able to take advantage of their time, to be ready for whatever they need to do.”‘
We’re not there yet’ The National Packager’s Association estimates more than 50 per cent of the country’s businesses are still operating without any of their essential business equipment, such an electric fan or washing machine.
But there’s still work to be done, said Scott Smith, president of the Australian Packaging Industry Association.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do in terms of the equipment and the facilities that are required to keep the industry going,” he said.
“We need to see the economy grow. “
We need to continue to be successful.” “
We need to see the economy grow.
We need to continue to be successful.”
The government’s proposed changes will cost businesses $1.1 billion over the next three years, with more than 40 per cent going to the business equipment and support groups.
The changes also include new requirements on how business equipment is handled and how it can be shared.
Under the proposed changes, businesses will be required to report how many business units are in operation in a given area, and what their equipment is used for.
Businesses that don’t report will face a $50,000 penalty and a $5,000 fine.
Businesses will also have to provide detailed records of the items that they use and the costs incurred for them.
And the government will require businesses to share their business equipment with other businesses to protect it from theft.
“The idea of these requirements is to encourage business owners to work with each other and to share equipment and services,” Smith said.
It’s also important for businesses to be flexible in their use of their equipment.
“It’s important for us to be prepared for the possibility of a future change in technology or some sort of disaster or some other emergency,” Smith added.
However, the changes aren’t without their critics.
Labor is calling the changes a “massive giveaway to the big box retailers”.
“This is a massive giveaway to big box and it will have the potential to drive businesses out of business,” Opposition Leader Luke Foley said.
The changes have already been criticised by the industry.
A statement from the National Business Council said it was “concerned about the proposed restrictions and the implications of such a significant funding cut.”
“It is clear that these proposals are not the right solution for Australian businesses,” the statement said.