Margaret Quirk

Margaret Quirk

Minister for Corrective Services; Small Business

    Homework too hard for local government

    26/07/2007 3:49 PM

    Home-based businesses, the fastest growing business sector in Australia, were being needlessly impeded by local government by-laws and regulations, according to Small Business Minister, Margaret Quirk.

    “Home-based companies are a serious business in WA, however its capacity to grow and prosper is severely limited by arbitrary rules, inconsistencies and anomalies between local government authorities,” Ms Quirk said.

    The issue will be discussed at the Small Business Ministerial Council in Perth tomorrow.

    The Minister said a consistent approach across local councils would be beneficial to a sector that accounted for 71 per cent of WA small business.

    “I had one case recently where a woman wanted to set up a home-based business to make biscuits, but couldn’t because she lived in the only council district that didn’t allow any form of food business to be run from home - the only council out of 143 in WA,” she said.

    “We need to work to overcome the restrictiveness of local government authorities, and in some cases, arcane policies where a quick ‘no’ is given as the answer rather than thinking ‘how can we help?

    “Local governments should develop an individual assessment approach based on the merits of the idea, rather than a blanket policy.”

    Minister's office - 9213 7000