Queensland government commits to faster payment terms for small business
The Queensland government has committed to faster payment terms and measures to support smaller businesses gain better access to government procurement.
As of 1 July 2020, the Queensland government will reduce invoice payment times from 30 days to 20 days for small businesses and has pledged to work on measuring its engagement so it can set a target for government procurement to support smaller businesses.
"Queensland is home to more than 438,000 small businesses and we want to help them to grow and succeed," Minister for Employment and Small Business Shannon Fentiman said.
The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell, has welcomed the government's commitment and urged other states and territories to follow suit.
"A reduction in invoice payment times from 30 days to 20 days is to be commended, although it is disappointing it couldn’t be achieved before 1 July next year," Ms Carnell said.
Last year, the NSW government fast-tracked its payment policy to 20 days and committed to five days by the end of 2019.
"If they can do this for the small business sector, other states and territories should do the same," said Ms Carnell.
"Queensland has made a step in the right direction and together with a commitment to help small businesses gain better access to government procurement, the engine room of their economy will prosper and grow."
The first phase of the ASBFEO's Access to Justice Inquiry last year found payment times and terms were the biggest cause of disputes.
"Cash flow is king, and a shortfall in cash flow is the leading cause of business insolvency, which underscores the importance of timely payments. Big business should also step up to the plate with faster payment times, instead of the 90 or 120 days we see from some big companies at the moment. That is abuse of market power," Ms Carnell concluded.