25/08/2008 - 06:30

CCIWA sets out policy priorities

25/08/2008 - 06:30

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With the state set to go to the polls on September 6, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA has issued an election policy blueprint it wants the elected government to take on board "to secure WA's long-term prosperity".

CCIWA sets out policy priorities

With the state set to go to the polls on September 6, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA has issued an election policy blueprint it wants the elected government to take on board "to secure WA's long-term prosperity".

The peak business lobby group has called on the next state government to change immigration programs to enable greater mobility of workers between states in a bid to address the continued skilled labour shortage, an issue CCIWA deems as the most important challenge facing WA business.

CCIWA chief executive James Pearson today released a report that sets out 10 key policy priorities for the incoming government to ensure sustainable growth and a strong WA economy.

Mr Pearson has highlighted as major election issues, the state's ongoing labour shortage, its energy strategy, infrastructure development, tax competitiveness, retail trading hours, public sector reform, education and training, regulatory reform, health, and climate change.

"The next state government must put in place a human capital strategy that addresses current and predicted labour shortages," Mr Pearson said.

CCIWA also called for a reassessment of the state government's energy strategy in the wake of the Varanus Island gas incident which had business grappling with energy shortfalls after a rupture and fire on June 3 cut domestic gas supplies by one-third.

Mr Pearson said more tax relief should be provided to business and broader reforms introduced to remove WA's "unwelcome ranking as the highest taxing state in Australia".

He called for an upgrade for basic infrastructure such as roads around Perth Airport and a commitment by the incoming government to proceed with the Northbridge Link project.

"WA's economic expansion has strained the state's infrastructure," Mr Pearson said.

"The next state government should deliver the stalled State Infrastructure Strategy, which will provide a framework from which projects are assessed, and provide greater certainty as to the future development of essential infrastructure projects."

Also on CCIWA's agenda is education and training, public sector reform, and regulatory reform that will see excessive regulation and red tape abolished.

CCIWA has also pushed for a shift in focus in health and community services and has asked for more assistance for companies affected by a national emissions trading scheme.

"The next state government must work with the federal government to protect the international competiveness of Western Australia's industries, and ensure the interests of the state's small and medium enterprises are addressed in a national emissions trading scheme," Mr Pearson said.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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