Executive Director’s note, July 2016

Russell Zimmeman_HiRes_2016-02 Election outcome challenges can’t lose sight of the economy

The ARA congratulates the Coalition Government on it’s re-election this, week, but the challenges for this new Government cannot be ignored.

The message around the importance of the economy to drive the public desire for sustainable services has been lost, and it is important for the retail industry, in this case,  peak retail industry organisation, ARA, to drive this agenda.

“The economy, stupid” was James Carville’s famous phrase as he managed the Clinton Presidential run through a time of uncertainty.

Our politicians and the political agenda are what we make them, who we elect and the policies they advocate for is up to us. The last time there was a substantive policy agenda in Australia to support business in this country was during the nineties. This agenda was not implemented in one go, but instead, managed through in pieces to support growth, bringing along with it the public, and large and small business stakeholders.

With the uncertainty surrounding the Senate and a wafer thin seat margin in the House of Representatives, the new Ministry has to listen to, be supported by, and work with business to deliver the reforms we need. This goes for the Shadow Ministry and Senate too.

The ARA believes that in the coming months, and possibly years, there needs to be a consensus on a productivity agenda that drives growth through real workplace flexibility changes, lowering of the tax base for business to individuals, and pushing State-based reform on business costs such as construction, planning, and tax bases.

The ARA will also hold the the Government accountable to ensure the reduction of the Low Value Import Threshold as legislated in 2015 from $1000 to $0 on July 1, 2017.

As business people we all want strong services to be delivered by Government. To deliver strong services we need a strong economy, and to have a strong economy we need to live within our means to allow business to have the room to expand.

The business community is ready to play its part in contributing to the development of sound policies. We cannot afford more years of economic policy paralysis.

We look to our Government and our Parliament showing leadership to make it easier, not harder, for business to get on with the job.


Russell Zimmerman
Executive Director
Australian Retailers Association



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