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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 (Attorney-General) (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.


In reply to the Hon. R.A. SIMMS (20 March 2024).

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Attorney-General): The Minister for Small and Family Business has advised:

The South Australian government, through the Office for Small and Family Business (OSFB) offers a range of programs to support small businesses in the Adelaide CBD, and throughout the state. A budget of $14.25 million from 2023-24 to 2026-27 has been allocated to support the delivery of South Australia's Small Business Strategy 2023-2030 (the strategy) and its 20 key initiatives.

Initiatives include a four-year, $4 million Women in Business Program to support women business owners to build and grow their businesses in the early stages of the journey or those wanting to accelerate an established business. The Small Business Fundamentals Program delivers business fundamentals and capability-building services such as mentoring, coaching, strategic planning, legal and financial management and digital literacy. This program is increasing the skills, capability and capacity of small businesses and their workforces. Small businesses are also supported through dedicated small business support officers, who can provide in-person and online support to small businesses located within the Adelaide CBD and in regional and metropolitan areas.

Further information is available at

In relation to question 2, no such request has been received from the City of Adelaide and no such change is being considered.