Presidents Comments May 2015

With the Federal Budget about to be handed down, close on the heels of the Reserve Bank lowering interest rates, business, investors, families and individuals, will be waiting in anticipation of what the economic picture is going to look like, said Mr Ron Hay, President of the Whyalla Chamber.

The news of the interest rate cut will be received (as expected) in a positive light by many sectors of our community, as it creates a situation whereby loan repayments can potentially be reduced and for those investing, an incentive to borrow.

Mr Hay said, it is interesting that we observe on our visual media, the Federal Treasurer, promoting the benefits of lower interest rates and commenting that it is a very good time to purchase real estate and for business to invest by way of a loan from a financial institution.

The way I see the current situation is that there is a great push to reduce interest rates and force the Australian Dollar down even further, which as they say, will assist our exports greatly. A very good point and a financial benefit for those that are exporting a product or commodity said Mr Hay, but of no benefit for those importing products into the country, as the lower dollar forces prices up. In addition, we must take into account that Australia’s manufacturing ability has been greatly reduced; many everyday items that households are reliant on are no longer produced in Australia, therefore our cost of living is increasing, due to the impact of this as well.

However, when you take into account all sectors of business, investors, families and individuals as well as what is taking place with employment levels, I personally struggle with where our economy is heading and the outcomes that may take place.

When business confidence is sliding and you have a situation where financially, everyone  is playing “ catch up”, with ‘spare’ money that might become available said Mr Hay, do our governments of the day have a clear picture of what takes place in the ‘real world’?

I am continually frustrated when I hear of another financial package that will be made available to train displaced workers for other jobs.  These announcements, in my view are on one hand a necessary support mechanism for those who require this, but is it just ‘flag flying’, as we have many organizations reducing their workforce and closing down, so what are we retraining people for?

In our recent discussions with State Government representatives, said Mr Hay, the Chamber has requested that regional areas and in particular, Whyalla, need to see not only a level of financial support for displaced people to participate in meaningful retraining activities, but we also want to see, viable and sustainable projects brought to this community, so that we can increase employment opportunities, maintaining our skill base and population levels within the community.

The reason for this is very simple. Making this happen creates sustainability and longevity of our businesses, community, lifestyle and economic growth.

Mr Hay said, it is of the utmost importance that to start this process off, we focus on our own community and economy, in a couple of ways. Firstly, our business community to continue to focus on providing good service and products and secondly, consumers to support local business and not support someone else’s economy, through internet shopping. So the slogan is…

“Shop locally – Support our economy – Whyalla wins”



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