Talk is cheap

Despite being shut out of Canberra’s talkfests, your industry is getting on with growing business

This month has been the month for policy talkfests. The Tax Forum and the Job Forum both occupied the attention of the media and government in the early weeks this October. The hospitality sector was a spectacular omission from both of the Canberra-based soirees.

In the same period we saw ABS figures showing the restaurants, cafes and caterers were one of the only sectors of the economy that is still growing. Accommodation and Foodservices (the government classification of our industry) has the highest proportion of employment of youth (at 45 per cent), has a predominance of female employment, and has 40 per cent of jobs located in the regions. Yet the Jobs Forum had no pubs, no clubs and no restaurants to provide input into the government’s think tank on jobs. There are also very deep skills shortages in many parts of the industry. A report by the Commonwealth Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, published in October shows that we are 6 per cent underemployed. This proves the untapped potential of the hospitality industry. We will keep knocking on the government’s door. At some stage they may make the connection that the very industry they patronize every day will play a role in the nation’s future.

Brien Trippas

President, Restaurant & Catering


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