Red tape, training and local content top list of concerns for Forrestfield business, Chamber of Commerce told

Make it easier to do what you ask, councillors.
Make it easier to do what you ask, councillors.

RED tape, training and local content were top of the list of concerns keeping Forrestfield business owners awake at night.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA (CCI) met Forrestfield business owners at the Hale Road Tavern to hear what government rules or regulations are making it harder for their businesses to grow and create jobs.

Red tape was the major issue, with business owners calling out complicated local government regulations and the lack of interaction between state and federal government departments.

Training was also a concern, with one Forrestfield business owner stating they were frustrated that young employees were not work-ready and prepared for the responsibilities of full-time employment.

CCI chief executive Deidre Willmott said the responses echoed anxieties throughout the WA business community.

“It is of no surprise that business owners were unhappy with government red tape – regulatory burden holds businesses back from finding new ways to be profitable and create local jobs,” Ms Willmott said.

“Time taken to fill out unnecessary forms and navigate complicated bureaucracy is time and money taken away from running the business; this is particularly damaging for small business owners, who simply don’t have time or money to waste.

“Local content is also a strong concern throughout the business community; CCI firmly believes that WA business must be given full, fair and reasonable opportunity to tender for State and local government work and it should only be sent offshore as a last resort.

“As we head into the March 2017 election, CCI will continue to help local businesses work by highlighting key reforms that the future State Government should prioritise.”

Ms Willmott said small and medium-sized businesses across the State also highlighted payroll tax and infrastructure planning as areas of concern.

“Small and medium-sized businesses tell CCI that payroll tax must be reformed; payroll tax is a tax on jobs, and businesses across the State consistently tell CCI that the tax stops business growth and job creation,” Ms Willmott said.

“CCI has long called for the payroll tax threshold to be lifted from its current level at $850,000 to $1.5 million, to give more businesses the relief and resources they need to expand and boost local jobs.

“WA business has also consistently advocated for a long-term infrastructure plan for WA, to ensure business owners and the wider community have the roads and rail they need to export their products, commute to work and attract people to add to the local workforce; infrastructure planning must provide a long-term vision so that business owners can plan new investments with certainty.”