South Australian Micro Finance Fund

The Hon. A.L. McLACHLAN ( 15:06 :29 ): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation a question regarding the South Australian Micro Finance Fund.

Leave granted.

The Hon. A.L. McLACHLAN: The guidelines for the South Australian Micro Finance Fund state that the Department of State Development reserves the right not to fund an application to the full amount requested, regardless of whether an applicant fulfils the eligibility criteria and addresses all assessment criteria. The guidelines also state that the department reserves the right not to award any grants and that the decisions made by the department are final.

Can the minister advise the chamber that when refusing to grant an application, either in whole or in part, whether the department provides written reasons for its decision and outlines the basis for any such refusal to unsuccessful applicants?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Employment, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation, Minister for Automotive Transformation, Minister for Science and Information Economy) ( 15:07 :26 ): I thank the honourable and very, very good member, the Hon. Andrew McLachlan, for his question. I am sure he is not just merely making grief but is genuinely interested in the Micro Finance Fund, and I appreciate that he is showing me the love again and asking me questions once more.

The Hon. D.W. Ridgway interjecting:

The Hon. K.J. MAHER: We continue to get interjections from the putative Liberal candidate for Waite. My advice for when the Leader of the Opposition is the candidate for Waite is: don’t go out in your first week and talk about shopping in the poor end of town. That would be a very bad start to your candidacy.

In relation to the South Australian Micro Finance Fund, as the honourable member knows because he has asked many questions about it, it’s a competitive, merit-based program aimed at helping businesses translate good ideas and their business models into new, high-value businesses. There has been $1.7 million allocated over three years to the South Australian Micro Finance Fund, and it’s a matching grant application: for every dollar the applicant raises, he or she can receive up to $2 from the Micro Finance Fund up to a maximum of $50,000.

The aim is to help those businesses who wish to take a new idea through to production and sales, with the aim of adding value to their business and generating growth and possible export revenue. It is targeted at businesses with an annual turnover of $500,000 or less. The Micro Finance Fund was launched in March 2015, and so far there have been 46 applications with funding awarded to 10 recipients. I have informed the house previously of some of the recipients who have received funding

However, last week, I visited one of the recent recipients of funding, ODD Games out at Hendon, who are a world leader in monster truck racing applications. They have an app, Monster Truck Destruction, which I believe was No. 1 in its genre of racing applications for quite some time. They are developing the next generations and various platforms for console boxes and PCs for this game.It is a real success story in South Australia. It has gone from three people working at the back of their house to now having offices and employing other designers and graphic artists.

In relation to the question, ‘Are formal reasons given?’ I will double-check, but I am pretty certain that there is not a list of formal reasons given as to why someone is not successful. However, I am sure that the department does in this grant scheme, as they do in others, provide some feedback if requested. I will double-check on that and bring back an answer for the honourable member.

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