During 2016, CCI will continue to work with the State and Federal Governments to ensure the interests of the business community are top of the agenda. As governments seek consultation from industry throughout the year, we will monitor issues of importance to the WA business community and respond accordingly.
CCI's State of the Future: A Vision for WA initiative will remain a priority for this year. This initiative identifies the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for WA and the reforms that are needed to ensure we can achieve our vision for Western Australia to be a world leading place to live and do business.
There are also a number of important inquiries, reviews and issues where CCI will play an active role in representing the interests of the business community this year.
Electricity Market Review
In 2014, the State Government commenced a process to review the structures of the electricity generation, wholesale and retail sectors within the South West Interconnected System in Western Australia and the incentives for industry participants to make efficient investments and minimise costs.
CCI has actively participated in the process to date and throughout 2016 will continue to advocate for reforms that will increase competition in the electricity market.
State and Federal Budgets
Managing public sector finances is critical to the long term wellbeing of our state and nation, as it promotes strong economic growth, and in turn better standards of living. A sound fiscal position also guards against international shocks and creates an environment that encourages investment and allows for a lower and more stable tax burden over time.
The State and Federal Budget positions are clearly under pressure, from high rates of spending and more volatile sources of revenue, while debt levels continue to mount. In the lead up to the May Budgets, CCI will play an active role in commenting on State and Federal Government finances and work with Governments at both levels to deliver the reforms needed to budget back under control.
Federalism and Tax White Papers
Prior to the 2013 Federal Election, the Liberal Party committed to the development of white papers on a range of important policy areas, including the federation and tax.
CCI has undertaken considerable work on both of these issues in recent years given their importance to WA business and will be providing comprehensive submissions to both the Federalism and Tax White Papers in coming months.
Industrial Relations Reform
Industrial relations will continue to be a significant focus in 2016 with the Productivity Commission review of the Fair Work Act providing an opportunity to advocate for a modern industrial relations system that promotes direct engagement between employer and employees, increases flexibility and productivity, and removes barriers to employment.
The Modern Award Review will also be a significant focus. Whilst providing some limited opportunity to promote positive changes to modern awards, the focus will be on defending against union claims to impose additional obligations and restrictions.
Reform to the State IR system will also be a focus area, to modernise the current laws and ensure that unincorporated businesses are not at a competitive disadvantage compared to businesses in the Federal system.