As the Albanese government edges closer to a majority government, it’s worth reflecting on what the election result means for Australian retailers and for our country.
As an advocacy body, the ARA will always work with the government of the day to drive better outcomes for Australian retail. Our immediate priority remains to help deliver a sustained, long-term recovery for our sector.
While our recovery is set against the backdrop of low unemployment, high inflation and increasing interest rates, I am encouraged by comments made by the incoming Prime Minister and Treasurer about their desire to be a pro-business party.
I have met the new Treasurer Jim Chalmers a number of times recently and note his intent to work collaboratively with retail. This good will creates a solid foundation for a constructive collaboration to help address the key challenges for our sector in the years ahead: upskilling the retail workforce, building supply chain resilience and helping small business make a full and sustained recovery.
I think what does change as a result of this election is the pace of change we can now expect in terms of taking climate action and addressing inequalities in our community. Our plans and discussions with ARA members in both areas are well advanced, leaving us well placed to respond and lead this change.
The other thing that struck me was the strong commitment to fully implementing the Uluru Statement of the Heart, which would enshrine in the constitution a First Nations voice to parliament. For many in our community, this commitment is long overdue and provides a north-star for some challenging conversations in the years ahead.
In the short-term, this commitment reflects the theme of this year’s National Reconciliation Week, starting Friday, which is to Be Brave. Make Change. For our part, the ARA is being brave and making change through our Reconciliation Action Plan, which we will release in the coming weeks.
As always, our membership team is here to help and can be contacted via email or on 1300 368 041.