Things fall apart

This year has started in a most dramatic way. Politically speaking, upheaval would be an understatement

The adage in January (at least until Australia Day) is that it’s a decision-free zone. This year, however, a first-term Government had been thrown out in Queensland, a leadership spill was in the offing and the Federal Government was hitting the reset switch on its policy agenda—just a few decisions that will affect the future of our industry.

The State Government in Queensland—from the restaurant and catering industry perspective—had done a good job. The four pillars agenda, including tourism, had seen some positive reforms, particularly in the area of liquor licensing. It’s unclear if the new Government will reverse any of these changes.

The Federal Government has faced numerous challenges getting its change agenda through. I believe the agenda is small-business friendly and I’m sure if privy to the details, business voters would support it.

One part of the program that’s worth highlighting is the competitiveness agenda. This forms the basis for the overarching policy agenda for the Government. For the first time, priorities for industry investment were explicit in the policy statement and tourism and hospitality were included. Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Robb, had been advancing this message from day one and continues to do so.

John Hart
CEO, Restaurant & Catering

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