NSW retailers use Job Summit to highlight business wish list

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 27th February 2009

Retailers in NSW are calling on the NSW Government to implement new measures to help reduce business costs and support jobs during the economic downturn.

At the Jobs Summit in Sydney yesterday retailers prepared a wish list, which included:
• Full deregulation of trading hours, similar to the ACT or the Tasmanian model;
• Creating a single ‘can do’ contact point in the Premier’s office to facilitate retail investment in NSW;
• Reducing red tape – drawing on the Victorian model where departments receive financial incentives to get rid of unnecessary or overly complicated regulations;
• NSW Government advocacy at the next COAG meeting on the negative impact of the recent retail award modernisation decision;
• Dedicating 15% of the recently announced 175,000 traineeship places for the retail sector; and
• Creating an external committee to tackle government taxes, including payroll tax.

“While we appreciate that government had made inroads in the planning, trading hours and business tax areas, there is more to be done to kick start a NSW recovery,” Convenor of the roundtable and CEO of the Australian National Retailers Association, Margy Osmond, said. “There are retail developments worth of over $100 million that are ‘shovel ready’ but are being held back by planning red tape and a lack of clarity on issues like public transport.”

“We are calling for a single point of contact in the Premier’s office to help fast track the planning and investment processes to get these projects off the ground,” Mrs Osmond explained. “Retailers also proposed real reform with the deregulation of trading hours by bringing NSW in line with more progressive states, including Tasmania and the ACT. The ACT, which has deregulated trading hours, is the most ideal arrangement. This constitutes a huge saving for government from an administrative point of view.”

Another key outcome of discussions was the need for the NSW Government to dedicate 15% of the newly announced traineeship places for the retail sector. “Retail represents 15% of the Australian workforce and has a unique capacity to help young people into work. This has particular importance for rural and regional communities,” Mrs Osmond said.