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Monday, May 27, 2024
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Connecting Community: Youth Crime

With Cardzilla co-owner Steve Bates

Some of you may have seen my business partner, Andrew Nakovics, and myself in the local news. They say any advertising is good advertising but that is not why we choose to voice our issues. 

When did it become accepted that a retail business should lock its doors and ask customers to knock to enter to protect its staff from children?

If you choose not to say anything and essentially accept the situation, then it’s highly unlikely to get any better.

Our situation at Cardzilla has improved – it is not back to ‘normal’ but it is better and that’s largely thanks to the local police.

Many people and businesses have been affected by crime of late, especially it seems, juvenile crime. Recently a protest walk to Parliament House in Brisbane by those affected demonstrated this. 

Operating a business, especially one with employees, in Australia is already expensive.

Compliance:

  • Most businesses are regulated in some way even if just by the ATO (a government body)
  • All employment is regulated (by a government body)
  • Workplaces are regulated (WHS, varying names in each state but generally a government body)
  • The cost of freight is relatively high – you can get something from the other side of the world often as fast and usually as cheaply as you can from the other side of the country (and in many cases the state!)
  • Wages are relatively high, especially when compared to offshore manufacturing
  • Materials are generally expensive due to suppliers’ costs (see above)
  • Insurance is expensive

Now the impact of crime is adding to the cost of doing business and will do for a long time. 

In the short term, businesses are now having to ensure the safety of their staff and assets (property, vehicles, stock, etc). Every tax-paying citizen and property owner is having to fund the government (taxes) and the local authorities (rates) trying to manage the massive escalation in crime that is happening.

In the long term, the solution to the problem (whatever is decided as that solution) will likely be an extensive and expensive undertaking certain to be funded by those paying tax and rates (whatever government/council is in power).

Many businesses are or will be forced to reconsider how they operate.

Whether they can afford to operate in much the same way will be determined by how much the market will pay for the product or service they offer. Can they cover the operating costs and still make enough profit to make owning a business worthwhile?

We ask you to stop and think for a second when you are deciding to buy a product or service; Are you helping your local community? Is the business/seller locally owned and employing locals, is it local but just sourcing the product from elsewhere and reselling it (a broker), is it a national company or is it even based or producing in Australia?

In thinking about this you can easily work out if you are helping. This simple decision alone may help the bigger picture by keeping money circulating in the local economy, providing opportunities and supporting your neighbours and the younger people by maintaining their employment and providing employment opportunities.

We spoke up to ensure the issue was highlighted, to help those businesses around us who may not have been able to be outspoken but who would have continued to suffer AND because we potentially can’t afford the expense of protecting our business from anarchic children. 

Go local – grow local. Be part of the solution.

Do you have a topic you want to discuss? Get in touch with the team: editor@connectfnq.com.au

The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Connect FNQ.

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