April 2021 Update from the President

Business confidence and activity continues to build as our economy rebounds under the tremendous stimulus measures and increasing demand for products and services across the majority of our business sectors.  Despite the temporary lockdowns, restricted trade conditions and challenges imposed on us in a volatile COVID dominated world, we continue to see business, resource markets and economic growth with the unprecedented demand and inflationary factors now exceeding our ability to supply and meet these needs.

Living and working in regional WA, and especially so in the South West, has many positive advantages which we are having to share with many of our metro-centric neighbours who have now discovered our secrets!   We are also facing increased demand pressure and cost increases for our housing and accommodation needs and resources, also driven by our trades and skills shortages across multiple sectors, now in even higher demand. The banking sector are predicting national price of new builds to increase by 21% for 2021. REIWA has stated that it is disappointed that fixing the State’s housing issues is not a bigger priority and that there is a need to secure long-term policy initiatives to address the barriers to entering the housing markets.

The South West regional snapshot on recruitment trends and employer’s needs show job advertisement increases of 32% over the past month and a staggering 175% increase over the last year.  Bringing all available and able people into employment and/or training is and will remain our highest priority over the years ahead as we see the forecast for major capital works and expansion continue to grow.

We look forward to the Federal budget announcements this month with increased spending on major infrastructure and targeted support for our most vulnerable and at-risk sectors. There continues to be a fine line to balance and trade-off between rapid economic stimulus and the inflationary impact and the ever-increasing debt to maintain it.

The impact of external markets and the volatility of the changing political landscape of our major trading partners will continue to be both a driver and risk for our regional economies.

However, we remain positive and thankful for the lifestyle and business opportunities that exist in our amazing State and especially so for our Regional communities.

Take care, be safe and please remember to use the WA Safe registration process wherever you are. It is for your protection and safety, as well as ours.

Kind regards,

Rob Skipsey

Gold Partners