Making the right moves

I HAVE to give credit where credit is due.

This week’s WA Business News focus is on our State’s competitiveness, how we stack up against the rest of the country when it comes to the critical issues of why a business would locate here.

And the credit bit? Well this idea actually came from an expatriate reader residing in London who emailed us with this very suggestion.

Maybe he was thinking of coming back to Australia and wanted to know if he was making the right choice.

Like Adam Gilchrist and his decision to move to WA after a couple of seasons on the bench interstate, not everyone is moved by the same things.

For Gilchrist, WA was attractive because Tim Zoehrer was the longest serving wicket-keeper in any State team.

I think we could all say his move was a good one.

But few of us have such particular needs.

For some, economic growth is the key. They want to start a business or be in sales and need an engine to drive their prospects.

Others simply want a wonderful lifestyle and political stability.

They will take a pay cut to raise their family in peace.

A few will accept high risk for high monetary reward.

In our survey, we tried to find leading indicators that business people and mobile employees would consider when deciding WA was a good location to do business.

And the scorecard.

You’ve heard me say this before, but our strong economic growth protects us from the taxes and charges we have placed on us.

Unfortunately, as long as we have the buffer of commodities, we will never have to compete desperately for business. Or is that just the perception?

Sports mad or a passing fad

THE sporting world has taken my fancy this week.

Well, the bit about money and sport. Or, more accurately, the lack of money for sport.

I am prompted by a couple of sports-related incidents that came to my attention this week.

The first was Four Corners exposé of soccer on Monday night and the second was a call from a leading Perth businessman keen to highlight John Eales’ appearance in a fortnight as a guest speaker ahead of a major rugby match in Perth.

The ABC current affairs show examined the intrigue behind the soccer and its major financial problems – it was very much a story of a sport that was close to ruin through mismanagement of its fiscal affairs.

The John Eales story was the opposite.

Here’s a guy who has stepped off his chosen field of endeavour to pursue a corporate career closely aligned to the success of his sport – and few could argue that rugby is doing well on the financial front at the moment.

They are both very different stories, yet they highlight in different ways the close bonds between perceived success as a sport and the corporate world.

Few in the sporting world, in either administration or on the track, are not in the hunt for dollars these days.

Money is the key. With money you attract the best sporting talent and with talent you can build the best stadiums to attract big crowds.

Big crowds attracts TV coverage, which brings more TV rights and sponsorship dollars.

And so the cycle continues, with the corporate dollar attracted to success.

But there is a trap in all this.

AFL is going through its next stage of growing pains. As it attempts to fund its expansion into rugby heartlands, it risks losing diehard fans in its home, where other sports old and new are keen to win people over.

And all this relies on the fickle public.

Where the punters go, the corporates follow.

There is not a bottomless pit of businessmen shelling out to keep sports stars and administrators in the style to which they are accustomed.

Many of those in the leading sports clubs are paid better than the people who decide to sponsor them.

Under those circumstances, generosity is a business decision – and sports needs to remember that if they lift the expectations of those providing the money, they had best deliver.

Figures fudged

IT seems it’s time to play hard ball with the GST.

As expected, now the dreaded tax has become accepted by the populace and the Libs have won another election, a crackdown is in order.

In the first sweep will be those who can’t keep their heads above water.

With the economy doing relatively well and the next poll years away, the Federal Government can afford to see the ATO put a few small operators out of business.

The black economy is also on the agenda and no doubt battle plans exist after two years of intelligence gathering.

The big question, though, is how much money they are raising with this GST.

Experts reckon this sweep will raise 10 per cent above the current GST collections, which themselves are above the Government’s own estimates two years ago.

Shouldn’t that mean bigger tax cuts for the rest of us?

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