Welcome to the June issue of xpress.
While the Federal Budget was fiscally responsible and provided some relief for small business, there were some issues for the business community.
Most concerning is the potential of the resources super profits tax to adversely impact on the mining and related industries in South Australia.
There has already been suggestion that the immediate future of key mining projects including the expansion of BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam mine are now in doubt.
We’ve heard about the huge economic impact and boost in jobs growth from these projects and it would be disastrous for the State if the Olympic Dam expansion did not go ahead.
Economic and employment growth would be reduced and much of the development in the northern part of South Australia would also grind to a halt.
The impact of projects being put on hold will have a flow on effect throughout various other sectors and the far reaching effect of the resources tax is not yet understood.
The State Government is all too aware of the importance of mining to the future of our State and it must now communicate its concerns loud and clear to the Federal Government.
Recent business indicator figures confirm that the local economy remains under pressure and it was certainly welcome news that the Reserve Bank left interest rates on hold earlier this month.
There have been six interest rate rises since October and this has had a major impact on the local business community’s ability to emerge from the downturn.
Any recovery in confidence is under the risk of being reversed if the Reserve Bank applies further rate rises.
Speaking of confidence, the Commonwealth Bank Business SA Survey of Business Expectations for the June quarter was launched this week and I encourage all businesses to voice their opinion on how the local economy is performing. This is available at the Business SA website.
Business SA expressed concern with the recent decision by Fair Work Australia to significantly increase the minimum wage.
South Australia is a small business State and this ruling will make it increasingly difficult for employers by increasing the cost of doing business for those that can least afford it.
This increase will coincide with increases in labour costs arising from transitional provisions to Modern Awards.
Businesses acknowledge the need to pay fair wages, however the local business community will struggle with this increase and be forced to reduce labour costs.
The recent Employers Mutual Changes and Challenges Conference was a great success and in this issue we provide a full round-up of the State’s premier workplace safety, environment and injury management conference.
The 2010 Business SA Export Awards were launched earlier this month and I encourage all local exporters to take advantage of the opportunity to increase their company’s profile and showcase their organisation’s exporting success.
It’s another busy issue of xpress as we also have a look at the assistance being offered from Business SA and we catch up with a couple of Business SA members.
Until next month