COSBOA, BCA congratulate, Albanese, ALP

| May 24, 2022

The Council of Small Business Australia (COSBOA) and the Business Council of Australia have congratulated Anthony Albanese and the Australian Labor Party on their election victory.

 “We are heartened by Albanese’s promise of a collaborative approach that would give everyone a seat at the table and look forward to working with the new government to implement the best possible policy settings for the betterment of small business owners and those who work for them,” COSBOA CEO Alexi Boyd said. 

“It is our understanding that small business owners can look forward to lower merchant fees, greater preparedness for natural disasters, greater regulation around late payments, and the continuation of the regulatory reforms introduced in the Coalition’s budget.”

Ms Boyd said small business owners will be watching the minimum wage decision with interest.

“We urge the new government to address industrial relations reform, the rising cost of doing business, and the most urgent issue – that of worker shortages – as soon as possible.”

“We also look forward to working with the Albanese government on reducing the burden of compliance and levelling the playing field between big and small businesses. There’s lots of work do to in structural reform to give small business owners back the time that COVID stole from them.”

COSBOA also notes the strong performance of independent candidates and minor parties.

“COSBOA has long warned that small business owners have been feeling fatigued. That sense of fatigue probably extends to the political status quo. After the experience of bushfires, COVID lockdowns, and floods, small business owners – like many Australians – were looking for politicians who promised a better future.

Ms Boyd added “COSBOA thanks the Coalition for its strong support of small business during its nine years in government. We got some fantastic initiatives and reforms such as mental health support for small business owners, the instant asset write-off, the initial protections against unfair contract terms, single touch payroll, e-Invoicing, support for digitisation, and of course the unprecedented pandemic support programs like JobKeeper and the Cashflow Boost.”

Ms Boyd concluded “Small businesses don’t just make substantial contributions to our economy – they’re also at the heart of our local communities. Politicians who recognise both of those facts will have the respect of small business people.”

Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said she looked forward to continuing to work together with the ALP to meet the big challenges ahead.

“We welcome the Prime Minister’s commitment throughout the campaign to working alongside businesses to deliver a private sector led recovery that creates new jobs, better opportunities and higher wages.

“Our economy is poised for a world leading recovery, so the new government is rightly ambitious for Australians and their potential.

“Achieving this will require cooperation between business, government and workers, and it must start by managing the crippling labour shortages and investment drought that risk holding us back.

Ms Westacott said businesses are ready to work with government to ensure Australians have access to the skills they need to get secure work and access to jobs in new and emerging higher paying industries.

“This is also a chance to seize the opportunity and end the deadlock on workplace relations, restore the Hawke-Keating enterprise bargaining system to lift productivity and let Australians earn more.

“This election also makes clear that Australians know that decarbonising the economy is at the heart of a stronger future, so we must embrace and develop cleaner energy sources to produce the new, clean products the world demands.

In looking to the future, Ms Westacott also thanked outgoing Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his team for their service to Australia through shat she described as one of the most difficult periods in our modern history.

“In particular we pay tribute to outgoing Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, whose consultative and steadfast leadership throughout the pandemic helped saved hundreds of thousands of jobs and set Australia up for a stronger future.

“Australians have now made their decision, it is up to business, unions, political leaders and the community to work together to secure Australia’s economic future.”