Benefits for Local Business

As a small business, to be able to afford to pay someone a wage that is above the industry award, and then rent houses for our staff… how many places in the country do you need to provide housing for people? It makes it really difficult to do business.

Dan Scott - North West Brewing Co.


The Current Problem Facing Local Businesses Within Mining Communities

The tale of the $7 coffee. At the height of a boom, a local entrepreneur sets up shop with a vision to bring a cosmopolitan café culture to the city centre of a mining town. His fit out alone costs more than double what it would cost in a metropolitan area, as materials are expensive, and labour is hard to come by. Locals love the vibe, they love the coffee, but the prices are hard to swallow for many. But how else can our café owner afford the overheads in this town? The constant cycling through staff who are forced to move on due to unsustainable living costs, the high wages necessary to compete for labour with resource sector giants, the mark ups on goods, inflated insurance costs, fluctuating rental prices. Without passing these costs onto customers, our café owner cannot run a profitable business in the region. But high costs hurt business and result in many local operators closing doors prematurely in response to boom vs. bust realities.

And it’s the same across industries – childcare, construction, beauty, retail, hospitality, and the list goes on. Those unable to access employer-provided salary packaging benefits are discriminated against as they must work harder and pay more out of pocket to live within these communities – despite being valuable contributors to the social, cultural, and economic fabric of the cities and towns.

The Benefits of 'More Than Mining' Proposal for Local Businesses

The More than Mining proposed changes to Fringe Benefits Tax Policy would mean that local businesses’ employees could purchase or rent a house with pre-tax income, lowering their tax, and providing them with more available funds to cover living costs. This means businesses can better attract and retain skilled, residential workforces and that there is less need for the business to cover housing because there is more incentive for employees source their own housing.

In turn, this will result in:

  • Stable, mobile, replenishing labour pools enabling sustainability of small businesses
  • Injection of more disposable income into regional economies
  • Equitable home ownership opportunities for non-mining sector employees
  • Greater industry diversification and innovation
  • Increased investment from private sector into housing, land, and economic development

Normalising housing costs takes pressure off local businesses to have to compete with the resource sector for labour and takes onus off small businesses to have to provide housing to employees.

More Than Mining promises greater security, prosperity, and longevity to local businesses, achieving stability in regional populations to support local economies and enhance vibrancy of these communities.


Want to get involved? Sign our petition or contact your local MP.