The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA (CCI) today congratulates the Hon. Liza Harvey MLA for being elected Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Western Australian Liberal Party.

CCI also congratulates the Hon. Bill Marmion MLA for being elected Deputy Leader of the WA Liberal Party.

Ms Harvey has a strong record of representing WA in the Parliament, including as Deputy Premier and Minister for Police, Road Safety, Training and Workforce Development in the Barnett Government as well as Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for Transport, Planning and Lands in the current Parliament.

Ms Harvey has demonstrated that she understands the importance of WA businesses to the economy and to the livelihoods of West Australians. CCI looks forward to continuing to work closely with her to ensure WA businesses have the right tax settings, workplace relations framework and skills to invest and create jobs.

CCI has consistently made the case that to create jobs in WA, business investment must be supported by governments at every level, and today’s latest unemployment figures are a stark reminder of that.

WA’s unemployment rate remains the second highest in the country at 6.2 per cent in trend terms and a full per cent higher than the national rate of 5.1 per cent. Youth unemployment is the highest in the country at 14.1 per cent.

Businesses are doing it tough in WA, particularly small and medium-sized businesses. With four out of five WA jobs created by business, there is no mistaking how critical their success is to the State’s economic recovery and turning WA’s high unemployment rate around.

We urge Ms Harvey to set a strong policy agenda for the Liberal Party, including budget repair and re-affirming its commitment to reducing WA’s tax on jobs. Establishing Infrastructure WA, progressing with the sale of the TAB and ensuring WA’s industrial relations laws are genuinely fair for both business and employees is critical.

CCI thanks the Hon. Mike Nahan MLA for his leadership over the past two years. Dr Nahan has demonstrated his willingness to engage with the WA business community throughout his leadership and we look forward to continuing to work with him in his capacity as the Member for Riverton.