PM finds support in western Sydney

Labor may be struggling in the polls in western Sydney but it still has some supporters, like small business operator Marie Lai of Toongabbie.

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Ms Lai, a Labor member who runs a clothing alteration business called Marie’s KK Clothing, welcomed Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s announcement on Friday he will cut red tape for small businesses.

She said GST paperwork was killing her.

“I have to do it every night. Running a small business, you are busy during the day time. You haven’t got an accountant,” she said.

Then there’s Mustapha and Ghada Khoder, proprietors of the Abu Hussein Mixed Business in South Granville, a stopover on the campaign trail.

“Most of us are Labor supporters,” said Mrs Khoder who came from Lebanon three decades ago.

“Everyone is so excited. We have never met him before.”

Not so happy was Toongabbie accountant Gerard Quinn, who found the PM taking a morning coffee break in The Blend Cafe in Toongabbie.

“What they should do is cut the Labor government and cut Rudd,” he said.

One of those in the firing line is Labor MP for the electorate of Greenway Michelle Rowland, who holds her seat with a margin of less than one per cent.

She said polls weren’t that important at this stage of the campaign and her priority was to get out and talk to as many people as possible.

“I have been doing that for three years. This is pretty much a normal day for me,” she said.

“People are very interested to know about policy. They are very much in the space where they are about to make a choice. There are a lot of undecided people still.”

NSW Business Chamber CEO Stephen Cartwright welcomed moves to reduce the GST reporting burden on small businesses.

“Being the unpaid tax collector for governments constitutes a large portion of the regulatory burden for small businesses, and reducing this burden can only be a positive outcome,” he said.

Mr Cartwright called on the coalition and other parties to endorse the policy announcement.

“Red tape generated by all levels of government costs the NSW business community approximately $4.8 billion each year,” he said.

“Any steps that we can take to reduce this burden is good news for the economy and excellent news for jobs.”

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