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New policies a welcome sign

15 March, 2017

WA’s peak business advocacy group has welcomed the new Mark McGowan Government’s policies around defence and infrastructure as having the potential to boost economic growth.

CCI’s National Policy Advisor Joe Doleschal-Ridnell says the McGowan government’s plan to appoint a defence attaché and to take a consolidated Government approach to defence advocacy could boost WA’s defence industry.

“A highly respected, influential, and knowledgeable attaché will raise the political profile of WA’s world class defence industry as we seek to maximise opportunities for local businesses across all naval and land programs,” he says.

On energy, Doleschal-Ridnell says a key objective for the new energy minister will be the need to ensure WA has access to reliable, secure, and affordable energy in the years to come.

“The new government will need to address electricity market reforms including transitioning to a constrained network access model to reduce costs and improve the ability for renewable projects to connect to the grid; tariff reform to reflect the true price of electricity and the introduction of competition into the market through facility bidding and full retail contestability,” he says.

“CCI supports a considered introduction of renewable energy into the grid – particularly equipped with a storage solution – but does not support State based targets to facilitate this outcome.”

CCI’s Chief Economist Rick Newnham says the State Government’s plan for an independent infrastructure body is important for business to better plan for job creation and investment.

He says it is also important for the State Government to spend cautiously and reconsider selling assets to reduce debt.

“The incoming Government will need to focus on reducing Government spending to get the budget back to surplus, as they have outlined in their pre-election costings,” he says.

“The business community urges the new Government to consider asset sales in order to reduce the state’s growing debt which is forecast to reach $41 billion by 2020.”

Newnham welcomed McGowan’s commitment to no new taxes, fees or charges on business, which is essential for job creation.

“As we know more than four out of five jobs in WA are in the private sector so the Premier should be applauded for making this commitment to jobs,” he says.

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