Media Release Policy UPDATE

The Executive Director of the Australian Retailers’ Association, Russell Zimmerman, said today the re-election of the Morrison government was “a win for retailers” that was warmly welcomed by the retail sector.

Commenting on the election – in which ongoing counting appears to have re-elected the Coalition with an outright majority – Mr Zimmerman said the outcome would provide certainty for retail businesses, whilst offering opportunities for the sector to engage and address issues of concern with government.

“On behalf of Australia’s $320bn retail sector, we’d like to offer our warmest congratulations to the Prime Minister and his team on their victory in a hard-fought contest at Saturday’s federal election,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the government on a raft of issues affecting our members,” he added.

Mr Zimmerman singled out Labor’s promise to legislate to reverse penalty rate reductions in retail, hospitality and pharmacy, and emphasised the ARA would continue to resist any move to implement such a policy.

“The independent umpire – the Fair Work Commission, set up by Labor – makes evidence-based determinations regarding issues such as penalty rates, and its independence must be respected,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“We hope the election result puts an end to attempts to interfere politically with bodies such as the FWC.”

Mr Zimmerman said that with retail growth in 2017-18 being the lowest on record, it was crucial the retail sector and government were in lockstep on issues that affected the trading environment in which retailers operate.

“Governments don’t determine trade or turnover, but what they administer dictates the conditions with which our retail member businesses must work to be profitable, to make a living, and create jobs,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“The Morrison government has signalled a commonsense approach to workplace relations, business energy costs, lower taxes, cutting red tape, and taking a rational view on climate change, and we welcome its re-election to office,” Mr Zimmerman concluded.

20 May 2019

ENDS…to interview Mr Zimmerman or for more details: Zoe Thompson (m) 0439 612 556 (e) media@retail.org.au.

About the Australian Retailers Association: Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is Australia’s largest retail association, representing the country’s $320 billion-dollar sector, which employs more than 1.3 million people. As Australia’s leading retail peak industry body, the ARA is a strong pro-active advocate for Australian retail and works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,800 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.

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