In his recent speech to the Armidale Business Chamber, Reserve Bank of Australia Governor, Philip Lowe, said that “we will all be better off if business have the confidence to expand, invest, innovate and hire people”.
Few would disagree with that statement. The problem facing the Governor though – and policy makers more generally – is that business confidence isn’t just reliant on lower rates. A number of factors are important - like international headwinds and geopolitics, weak household disposable incomes and of course the drought. All of these weigh on confidence and create uncertainty about the future.
That’s why it would be naïve to assume that further interest rate cuts will restore business confidence, boost economic growth or lift employment. Recent interest rate reductions certainly don’t appear to have had an impact on income levels, investment or confidence.
What we need more than just interest rate reductions, is structural reform. Structural reform, such as lower taxes, water security, equitable water policies, greater short-term infrastructure projects and affordable, reliable energy are far more important.
It is these kind of reforms that the NSW Business Chamber believes will support the economy during, not only these turbulent times, but also longer term by increasing the capacity of the economy, creating more jobs and delivering stronger regional communities.
There is no doubt improvements to transport, energy and communication networks are critical enablers of economic activity. Governor Lowe identified the delivery of new infrastructure in our cities and regions as one of the timeliest and effective measures to sustain economic activity, and promote business confidence.
So the pressure is on the State Government to deliver infrastructure that will improve transport, provide reliable energy. They must also fulfil their election promise to spend snowy hydro and leasing asset proceeds in regional communities.
Their Federal counterparts need to step up and undertake a thorough review of how we manage water in this country before our currently framed water plans irreparably damage our regional communities.
The real risk is that without reform, businesses will continue to delay making significant investments. At the end of the day, this is not a great thing for job creation anywhere in NSW.
Regional Manager, Mid North Coast, NSW Business Chamber
If you own or operate a business in the Port Macquarie-Hastings region then Port Macquarie Hastings Council would like to hear from you.
Business confidence drives business growth and investment, supports employment opportunities and attracts people to our region. Help Council plan for a vibrant economy by letting us know what’s important to you and your business, and how confident you are feeling about the future.
This quick, 5-minute survey provides businesses with an opportunity to connect with Council, to have a say and to be part of the collective local business voice.
The survey is open until 31 August and outcomes will be shared in October 2019. If you haven’t already completed the survey, online or by telephone, please follow the link below and make your opinion count!
The survey is anonymous, does not ask for specific financial information and is conducted for research purposes only in compliance with the Privacy Act 1988.
GO TO SURVEY
The State’s peak business organisation, the NSW Business Chamber, said a new employer hotline established by the NSW Statutory Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) will provide important support for businesses across NSW in resolving workers compensation enquiries.
“The Chamber provided 18 recommendations to the NSW Government to improve the operation of workers compensation. The establishment of a ‘business hotline’ was one of these recommendations,” said Kellon Beard, Regional Manager Mid North Coast NSW Business Chamber.
Employers can now phone 13 10 50 and receive assistance to help them resolve issues and queries. The Chamber has tested the ‘business hot line’ and was put instantly in contact with a representative of SIRA who was available to resolve queries.
“In December of 2018 the Chamber called on the NSW Government to commission a review of the NSW Workers Compensation system to address serious concerns raised by businesses across NSW.
“The Government announced a review would be undertaken on 16 May 2019 and independent reviewer Ms Janet Dore has been meeting with businesses and business groups across NSW to hear their experiences and to get their views,” said Mr Beard.
“The establishment of a business hotline by SIRA is an important step to help improve the operation of workers compensation in NSW. We look forward to reviewing Ms Dore’s recommendations and to providing additional support to ensure improvements in the operation and sustainability of workers compensation in NSW,” said Mr Beard.
The state’s peak business organisation, the NSW Business Chamber, is highlighting the importance of the tourism industry to regional economies following the release of results of the National Visitor Survey today.
“This is a fantastic result, and it confirms that tourism is a key industry for current and future jobs growth for this region and NSW,” said NSW Business Chamber Regional Manager, Kellon Beard.
“In terms of visitor numbers, the North Coast is breaking records - and the fact that the North Coast was the 3rd most popular tourist destination in the country, is something we can be proud of.
“Nearly 6 million overnight visitors came to the North Coast over the year to March 2019, up more than 8% from the previous year.
“That’s extraordinary growth and a contribution of about $3½ billion to our region. That’s a lot of jobs and a lot of business for our restaurants, cafes, hotels and tourism operators.
“As for day trippers, we saw about 7 million of those over the last year, which again, confirms the attractiveness of the North Coast as a premier tourist destination.
“Today’s numbers are a timely reminder as to why it is so important for the government to reboot Restart and ensure regional NSW gets the funds it was promised for infrastructure investment. This investment is critical to supporting regional economies and the continued growth of the tourism industry in this region.
“The visitor economy is thriving, but it’s a competitive space. Without continued investment, it won’t be possible to maintain the attractiveness of our region for tourists. NSW is an attractive destination for visitors, and today’s figures show that North Coast is an attractive place. Let’s keep it that way,” Mr Beard said.
To coincide with World Youth Skills Day, the state’s peak business organisation, the NSW Business Chamber has released its comprehensive 2019 Workforce Skills Survey which will collect information on the skills needs of NSW businesses.
“Globally, the United Nations estimates the youth unemployment rate is almost three times higher than the rest of the population,” said NSW Business Chamber Regional Manager, Kellon Beard said.
“World Youth Skills Day is an opportunity for businesses to raise awareness about the importance of youth skills development and to implement measures aimed at tackling youth unemployment,” Mr Beard said.
“It’s an auspicious day to release the NSW Business Chamber’s 2019 Workforce Skills Survey.
“The Chamber is committed to ensuring our next generation of workers develops the skills they need to meet the needs of employers or to become employers themselves. It is vital for the future of our economy that young people connect with work, and businesses are able to source skills locally.
“Quite clearly, if education and training isn’t equipping young people for the workplace, then it is failing in one of its primary objectives.
“Ensuring the workforce of the future has skills that will be in demand in years to come is a win for young people, the economy, our communities and business.
“Our survey provides an opportunity for businesses to tell us about their skill challenges, their experiences engaging with the training system and importantly the challenges and benefits of developing young people in the workplace.
“Results from this survey will help us develop recommendations for the future delivery of training in NSW and how to improve the provision of information to students, parents and employers on the pathways to a rewarding career,”
“We encourage all businesses to complete the 2019 Workforce Skills Survey to help us continue to work with governments in addressing the workforce issues experienced by business,” Mr Beard said.
The survey can be found at www.surveymonkey.com/r/2019workforce and all businesses are encouraged to submit their feedback.
The survey will run until 29 July.
The latest Business Conditions Survey conducted by the state’s peak business organisation, the NSW Business Chamber, supports the need for additional stimulus to bolster economic activity, particularly in drought affected areas of NSW.
The survey highlights that many businesses across the state have been doing it tough, however there are preliminary signs that businesses think tax cuts and interest rate reductions will provide a welcome boost.
The survey was conducted following the recent State and Federal Elections.
“The impact of the drought cannot be overstated and is continuing to hurt businesses right across the state,” said NSW Business Chamber Regional Manager, Kellon Beard.
“In the Mid-North Coast and Coffs-Grafton area, business conditions remain weak, but fortunately, they’re not as bad as the previous quarter.” Mr Beard said.
“In fact our survey also shows businesses are hopeful conditions might improve in the next quarter - driven by an expected lift in revenue following on from what was a terrible March quarter.
“In part that could have something to do with the tax cuts the government said it would provide and perhaps also because of a drop off in anti-business rhetoric following the election outcome.
“The downside is that business don’t expect that lift in revenue to boost profit growth – mainly because operating costs are expected to surge again.
“While there are tentative signs business confidence could improve over the next quarter, the reality for government is that these expectations are fragile.
“So the NSW Government really needs to get on with the delivery of infrastructure, particularly infrastructure promised to regional NSW.” Mr Beard said.
What a fabulous evening we had at the Wauchope Chamber of Commerce and Industry June catch up at Wauchope Physiotherapy and Sports Rehab Centre! Lots of new faces, loads of interesting facts and fun, learning about "getback", the new system on offer (only at Wauchope Physiotherapy and Sports Rehab Centre) to reduce chronic back pain. Thanks the Kerry for volunteering to demonstrate one of the machines. Thank you to Nathan Lynch for having us!
The state’s peak business organisation, the NSW Business Chamber, says the Budget brought down by Treasurer Dominic Perrottet delivers on commitments taken to the electorate earlier this year, despite weaker than expected stamp duty and GST receipts.
An operating surplus of $802 million is projected for the current financial year, down significantly from earlier expectations, with surpluses expected to average $1.7 billion out to 2023.
“This is, yet again, a solid financial blueprint from the Berejiklian Government,” said NSW Business Chamber Chief Executive Stephen Cartwright.
“For the fourth year in a row net debt is in negative territory despite record infrastructure spending,” Mr Cartwright said.
“It’s important to note how far we have come in building such a solid position, and despite some economic headwinds, NSW continues to enjoy the strongest performing labour market in the nation, and by some margin.
“Importantly, this Budget turns election commitments made in March into reality – repaying the faith that the electorate put in the Premier and her team when they went to the polls.
“While the Budget forecasts slower growth over the next year, $93 billion in infrastructure spending will help to take up some of the slack in parts of the economy that are facing headwinds.
“Changing fiscal conditions present a timely opportunity to examine the sustainability of state finances.
“More than any other state, NSW relies on revenue from harmful taxes such as stamp duty, which comes with $800,000 in economic costs for every million dollars of revenue collected.
“It is good to see the Treasurer has taken the lead by launching a review of Federal financial relations from a NSW viewpoint – something that has long been called for by the NSW Business Chamber.
“The drought is a clear focus in this Budget and, as the NSW Business Chamber’s Drought Survey revealed, the impacts of this natural disaster are being felt in all communities as supply chain payments and discretionary spending have been dramatically reduced.
“As well as tangible drought assistance, regional NSW will receive more than $1 billion to fix roads and bridges - important infrastructure commitments that benefit the community and can help to save lives.
“The Government continues to build on its commitment to education and training, with a record $21 billion for NSW schools, early education, TAFE and vocational education and training.
“This includes a commitment to provide 100,000 fee-free VET courses, funding to expand the highly successful Productivity Bootcamp youth training model to two new locations, and a much needed new TAFE campus in Western Sydney focussing on construction skills.
“All of these initiatives are in line with its commitment of creating 250,000 new jobs over the next four years.
“Despite no major announcements beyond the Government’s stated election commitments, investment in public transport and road projects remains at unprecedented levels. It is now important that the Government ensure the effective and efficient delivery of this infrastructure across the entire state.
“With $6.4 billion committed to accelerate the delivery of Sydney Metro West it is clear the Federal Government needs to come to the party to accelerate this game changing project for Sydney”
“In the lead up to the March election, the NSW Business Chamber prosecuted the case for the next Government in NSW to Keep NSW Number 1. This Budget does just that,” Mr Cartwright said.
Thank you to the Stone Family and Billabong Zoo staff for hosting our first catch up of 2019 for Wauchope Chamber Members and guests!
Thank you to Billabong's Chef Kathy who put on a scrumptious spread for us all. Networking and nibbles were followed by an update of Chamber happenings and local issues.
Mark Stone then shared an update on the amazing things happening at the Zoo! While we can now see the transformation inside the entry hall and cafe, Mark shared that he can't wait to get stuck into the external improvements they have planned.
Billabong Zoo enjoys a strong reputation on the tourism scene. Mark highlighted the team would love to see more locals come and visit the animals or just enjoy a meal at the cafe. So if you haven't been in to say hello for a while, now is the time to get to it!
Thanks again to Mark, Kathy, Brooke, Lionel,and Kathy (chef) for making it all happen for us to come visit~!
The state’s peak business organisation, the NSW Business Chamber, fears that the move by Labor to restore ‘double dipping’ for casuals could be a sign of things to come if a Shorten Government is elected in May.
This follows a motion put by Labor’s Doug Cameron in the Senate yesterday, which would restore the rights of casual workers to claim annual leave entitlements despite having already been paid a causal loading for the exact same reason.
Even more terrifying for Australia’s 2 million small and medium businesses is the risk that this Labor Party motion could open the door for back pay claims going back six years, potentially exposing small and family businesses to crippling claims.
“Mr. Shorten was a union leader once, and he would have cut his teeth in a system that was always designed to ensure fairness to all parties in our workplace relations system,” said Mid North Coast NSW Business Chamber Regional Manager, Kellon Beard.
“It is an Australian value that we hold dear, not to rip someone off, as we all saw in the recent Banking Royal Commission, and clearly using a loophole in the Fair Work legislation to allow a worker to get paid twice for the same entitlement is not what Australians stand for,” Mr. Beard said.
“If this becomes the law, it could send thousands of small business owners to the wall, and see their employees, both permanent and causal, out of work.
“Small business owners symbolise our proud history of ‘having a go’ and they try to do the right thing, but we can’t keep making it more difficult for them to create jobs for other Australians.
“This proposed change would have a very destructive effect on the Tourism and many other industries on the Mid North Coast.
“The Mid North Coast already has a higher unemployment rate than the state average with significant youth unemployment problem so the question is, how is this policy going to help? It isn’t is it, it’s obviously just going to make things worse
“Our local business community is already being crunched by high costs – electricity costs surge higher by the day, they’re being crunched by drought, we’ve got State Labor threatening to lift payroll taxes and now Federal Labor wanting to make it harder to employ people as well.
“We need to help business employ and help our young people get jobs – not sentence them to long-term unemployment and poverty
“The role of any Federal Government, regardless of the party in charge, should be to make it a better country for all of our citizens and not just about trying to appease the ACTU,” Mr. Beard said.
February 15, 2019
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