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Question: Adelaide City Council Rates

20 March 2024

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS (14:33): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before addressing a question without notice to the minister representing the Minister for Small and Family Business on the topic of differential rates and the impact on businesses.

Leave granted.

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS: Last week, the Adelaide City Council revealed that it is considering a 7.4 per cent rate rise and increases in fees to cover high costs for services and asset renewal. This morning, Channel 9 reported that rate hikes will hurt small businesses, which may need to pass those increases on to customers, with a coffee shop owner concerned about the effect it will have on the cost of doing business in the city.

According to The Advertiser on 16 March, Adelaide has already seen 12 small businesses closing their doors in the city this year alone. Meanwhile, big businesses posting major profits are able to absorb rate increases more easily than small local businesses that have a lower turnover. My questions to the minister, therefore, are:

1. What support is the government providing to small businesses in the CBD to stop them from closing their doors?

2. Would the government consider giving the City of Adelaide the ability to charge differential rates to businesses based on profit margins so that small businesses are insulated from rate rises?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (14:34): I thank the honourable member for his questions. I will pass them on to the minister in another place and bring back a reply.