Barilaro advocates for small businesses

Member for Monaro John Barilaro said his experience as a small business owner will be an advantage in his new role of parliamentary secretary for small business and regional development. Photo: Kim Pham.

Member for Monaro John Barilaro said his experience as a small business owner will be an advantage in his new role of parliamentary secretary for small business and regional development. Photo: Kim Pham.

MEMBER for Monaro John Barilaro believes he will be able to balance his new role as parliamentary secretary for small business and regional development with his electorate commitments.

Mr Barilaro will certainly be busy juggling his responsibilities as well as campaigning ahead of the 2015 State Elections. However, it's a challenge he is ready to take on.

"As everything I've done in life, as a business owner, as a councillor, as someone who works in the community, you've got to find a balance," he said.

"My job first and foremost is being the member for Monaro and I absolutely make that clear ... I will continue to be accessible, I will travel around the electorate, as I've always done in three years.

"My job is to get out to as many people as possible and be their voice in government. You can only do that by meeting people face to face. I think the impact [of my new role] will be quite small compared to the advantage of having this opportunity."

Mr Barilaro was recently promoted to the gig after a cabinet reshuffle following the resignation of former police minister, Mike Gallacher.

He said he was "humbled and honoured" to be given this new role.

"It gives me an opportunity to now to be part of the executive government and maybe influence government policy," he said.

And with more than two decades of experience as a small business owner, Mr Barilaro said it has put him in good steed to understand the issues within that industry.

Prior to becoming a politician, Mr Barilaro helped run the local family business, Ryleho Home Solutions - a manufacturer in timber products.

The business is still going strong with Mr Barilaro's wife, Deanna taking over the reins once he entered politics.

"I bring a very hands-on, practical approach to business and I also see that government at times isn't actually the answer, sometimes we're part of the problem," he said.

"Small businesses want the government out of their hair, out of their pocket. They want government to cut red tape as much as they can.

"They want a fair environment and a fair playing field and I think that's important. If we get that right, businesses will thrive."

Mr Barilaro said he hoped to introduce changes to address cross-border issues plaguing small businesses, by having more uniform rules and regulations across the two states.

"We need to make sure the government policy both local, state and federal doesn't give a disadvantage to those on this side of the border," he said.

"Some of the rules around planning, licensing and business registrations are very different depending on which side of the border you're on…we've got to work through those."

In terms of regional development, Mr Barilaro said his priority for Queanbeyan was to highlight the need for the Queanbeyan bypass ring road and further investment in roads like the Kings Highway and Monaro Highway.

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