My blog is often aimed at a voter perspective, but today, I am penning an open letter to to my local member Bruce Young, LNP member for Keppel and indirectly to all LNP members of the Queensland Parliament, who represent the fine people of this state. I will email my member with the link to this post. Please feel free to link this post to your local LNP member. I would be very interested in their responses as well. I also welcome responses or comments from everyone else. I have written this as an open letter, as I believe there are many people who would also be interested in the issues I have raised and the responses.
Dear Mr. Young,
Firstly, welcome to my Blog. Today in the Sunshine Coast Daily, I read with interest an article about small business owners who have spoken out about the devastating interruptions to their business. This is because their boilermaker and truck-driver were in the same pub the day the Yandina 5 were arrested and has also been arrested for his alleged association with a ‘bikie gang’.
Employers condemn law as VLAD arrests hit vital workers (15 Feb 2014)
This has added to the first article that raised my concern about the impact on small business:
There have been so many instances where people have been arrested under these laws; and jailed in solitary confinement, for simply having a beer or catching up with friends or preparing to open a new business for a friend. This is due to ‘alleged association’ They are then put into solitary confinement – an abhorrent punishment, which should be reserved for our most hardened and vicious criminals. I am raising my concerns for small business, as these articles clearly show the impact on business and small business, as well as other news articles that have highlighted the impact on small business tattooists at present, or the impact on outback pubs.
The classic LNP response is “These laws are never designed to go after innocent Queenslanders,” (but this stance is simply not true) Or the generating of fear amongst citizen’s stance “Should somebody with bikie links be in your home, fixing your safety switch?” (Acting Attorney-General David Crisafulli).
The issue with business and small business is these arrests are not in line with the “personal responsibilities” tag that the LNP place on the people directly impacted by these laws. Any small business, now has the constant worry over their head of what costs they may soon occur, just in case their worker may have joined a motorcycle club, now or in the past.
Therefore, for small businesses, like the Sunshine Coast Business who have lost a hardworking, dedicated Boilermaker and Truckdriver to these laws, the costs and time for small business are quite concerning.
The Abbott and Newman Governments are always pushing an agenda about costs for business and particularly small business. They always harp on about red tape, green tape etc., and ‘freeing business’ but never offer any practical solutions. Just about what they can do in the future and stuff about pamphlets and real solutions. So far their only ‘solutions’ on the table are marketing strategies to set an agenda for the people on QLD to focus on ‘criminal bikies’ to deter the people of QLD away from the cuts and hardship the Newman Government has caused. The Federal marketing strategy is about blaming the unions for everything from bad perms to their own decisions to not support industry. I am writing to bring to your attention that these laws now add cost and pressures to small business.
To replace a boilermaker with a MR/HR/MC licence in town, in small business, would not be an easy task. Many people with these types of skills and trades are being taken up by the mines, due to the high wages offered. This would be the same for electricians or other trades.
The replacement costs with a labour hire, or direct recruitment and selection is one immediate area of cost. The delay in finding the appropriate candidate is another cost. Medical checks for some industries are another cost. Induction is yet another cost. Training is also another cost.
Considering the existing worker would have built a rapport with the company’s clients and works in line with the company’s culture; a bad hire to replace a worker, could result in a bad reputation and loss of clients. This would add a lot of pressure to a small business. In regional or rural QLD with some jobs, they may need to source a worker from interstate. That would mean more additional costs and pressure to businesses.
Or you have the scenario where your die hard LNP voting followers boycott businesses that hire ‘alleged bikie criminals” as your Government is stigmatising innocent hardworking people.
“I know one company who has just lost a lot of business from me now I have read this” (Quote from commenter ‘FactualWriter in Birtinya SCD 14/02/2014)
Many small businesses simply do not have the cash flow to un-necessarily backfill employees due to a VLAD laws that find people guilty before proven innocent. In the case of the Sunshine Coast Business, this business is paying the arrested person’s wages, so his family can still pay the mortgage and other bills. I hope the people of that community rally and support this businesses. They do not need to do this. They are simply good people and good employers who value their staff.
Through this open letter, I ask you Bruce Young (and other LNP MPs if they so desire) to please respond in the section below what strategies the LNP has for small businesses suffering hardship due to these laws? Could you please answer:
- Is there is funding available for business and small business to cover the costs incurred to find a suitable replacement worker, if they lose a worker, due to VLAD laws?
- Is any funding or financial support for the spouses, children and families impacted due to loss of income through these laws, and support for counselling services, due to the emotional toll it is having on families? This is a different scenario to their husband or wife losing their job. They cannot source more employment if they are in solitary confinement due to VLAD laws.
I thank you in advance for your response.
* Almost on year later and I have never received a response from Bruce Young, LNP member for Keppel