Inquiry to focus on global competition for local business
Monday, 30 October 2017
The impacts on local Australian businesses from global internet-based competition will be the focus of a new inquiry by the Industry, Innovation, Science and Resources Committee.
Member for Groom, Dr John McVeigh, is a member of this committee and said the timing of the inquiry is very important with the continued speculation that global mega-store Amazon would soon be launching in Australia.
“The Committee will examine how Australian businesses, particularly in the retail and small business sectors, have responded to growing competition from global online companies and what effect this change has already had and will continue to have,” Dr McVeigh said.
“Online sales currently make up a small proportion of Australia’s total retail spending, but that is expected to grow rapidly and it is vital that Parliament understands the effects it will have on local Australian businesses,” he said.
“The inquiry will also examine the effects of global internet-based competition on the broader Australian economy. Approximately 10% of Australians are employed in the retail industry and around 40% of Australia’s private-sector employment is in small businesses.
“Toowoomba is a large service delivery centre and any change in how those sectors operate will have a significant impact on the local economy.
“We have to remember that an increasingly global economy is a two-way street. There are incredible opportunities, but at the same time local businesses will need to remain competitive in the digital market-place.”
Dr McVeigh said the Committee is calling for submissions by 1 December, 2017 and will schedule public hearings to further examine issues in detail.
The Committee will consider the following:
- How has/will the existing retail industry cope with changes to the sector’s landscape brought about by the existence of global online retail business?
- What are the consequences for small businesses in terms of new competition and access to digital platforms?
- How are small businesses responding to digital change and what is their uptake of new digital business services?
- What impacts do the above have on employment, including employment levels and conditions?
- What roles can the Commonwealth Government and Parliament play in fostering innovation for Australian businesses to respond to these challenges?