As always, I hope our Members are keeping well and your business fortunes are tracking to or above plan. The last month has witnessed a number of important announcements at a National, State and local level.
The COVID-19 headlines from a National perspective appear to see an easing of restrictions across both NSW and Victoria in line with the reduced risk and the higher vaccinations numbers. This is important for many of our Members who conduct business in these jurisdictions and the ability to trade their products and service to an open and vibrant market. Closer to home the skills shortages in business is a hot topic amongst many of our Members. The high levels of attrition and then the struggle to attract new staff is causing a significant productivity restriction. We therefore again welcome the announcement from the State government to further mandate the vaccine roll out to many industries and service providers. This will present a number of implementation challenges to our Members and we encourage you to contact the Chamber if you require any support on how to interpret or implement these latest policy announcements. We also feel that the move across NSW and Victoria to remove hotel quarantine for vaccinated and tested international travellers is common safe sense especially coupled with high levels of vaccinations. This will allow us to send a very clear message to the world that Australia is open for new jobs and investment. On an ethical angle this will help get Australian’s home to loved ones and then over time allow us to address the skills bottlenecks that makes it hard to get new projects started and businesses to operate at full potential.
It is interesting to read in the media the chatter relating to the dark clouds of Inflation gathering on the back of global price spikes across the board from energy, metals, lumber, food and used cars. Many of our Members are having to deal with these supply chain issues, price rises and are constantly having to apply agile techniques to work around these issues. Most people are hoping these price rises are transitory and once economies open up more things will find a less volatile rhythm. However, the Australian five-year break-even rate has climbed for the first time to above 2.2% and as always this will pressure some areas of the market and benefit others. We will all be keeping a close eye on how these important metrics play out in the medium term.
The State Government recently announced it’s Electoral Equality Bill 2021. They shared that the report’s primary recommendation and the key provision in the Bill is to abolish the three metropolitan and three non-metropolitan regions in favour of a single electorate comprising the entire State, as exists in the New South Wales and South Australian Legislative Councils. It also mirrors the Senate, where WA is one electorate which elects ‘Senators for Western Australia’, not for a particular district or region. Several of our Members have sought to understand what this means for our region and importantly our regions voice. These are fair questions and to address this we will be surveying our Members to better understand their concerns and writing to our local politicians to hear their views. As always and unashamedly we will always put our region first in everything we do and certainly desire that this legislation in no way diminishes this noble position.
Happy Safe Trading,
Danny Griffin – President