The end of 2010 is a good time to reflect on the year we have had. And what a year it has been!
This year has seen a Federal Election (called in a great hurry after a PM was deposed), a State Election in Victoria and an inert political environment in other States in which a delicate political balance exists. From an Association perspective, this means we face an extremely risk-averse environment where many of our strongly held desires can not be progressed. We don’t give up; but, we need to be realistic as to what can be achieved in the short-term. At the same time we need to build the rhetoric for longer-term change. Elsewhere around the globe, tourism and hospitality is being lauded as the great hope to bring countries out of the GFC. To help facilitate this, governments are supporting the industry with immigration, flexible working conditions and favourable investment arrangements. In Australia, hospitality in particular was the engine behind our GFC recovery, yet the governments provided no support. In fact they reduced skilled immigration, shut down training places, made awards less flexible and increased regulation.
Why? Because they don’t appreciate our economic and social impact! This is the situation we need to turn around. Future economic stability is as much about shoring up our growth as it is about so-called high-value (high-tech) industries.
President, Restaurant & Catering