From the CEO’s Desk

Thu 04 Apr 2019

RCCIWA Stakeholder Engagement March
As well as meeting with various stakeholders, we have also been approached by various Government departments, both State and Federal regarding reviews they may be conducting or seeking regional input on initiatives or projects they are considering. These are some of the items we share with you each week via this newsletter or if more suitable, we contact our members directly for input or connection. We are also contacting a variety of stakeholders and organisations, encouraging them to send us their latest updates and information so we can share it with you. Below is a brief overview of some of the stakeholder engagement for March
· Met with the CEO of the Canberra CCI, Michel Schafer to discuss national issues of common interest that affect all businesses. Michael was previously a Deputy Commissioner with the ACCC and is a great support of RCCIWA.
· Attended my first Economic Regulatory Authority Consumer Consultative Committee (ERACCC) meeting representing the views of regional business communities. The ERACCC was established to:

  1. Provide comment to the Authority on issues affecting consumers that fall within the scope of the Authority’s administration of the Economic Regulation Act 2003 (the Act);
  2. Provide tangible outcomes for consumers through work that members undertake in partnership with other members and the Authority.

· As a member of CCIWA’s General Council, attended a business dinner hosted by CCIWA with The Premier, the Hon Mark McGowan MLC as the keynote speaker and members of the Australian CCI board were in attendance. This event was a great opportunity to network and engage with key business stakeholders - thank you to CCIWA for this very well organised and valuable event.
· Attended the NAB’s International Women’s Day event in Perth, which had an impressive line up of speakers and was another excellent networking opportunity. It was great to see quite a few regional women in the room as well.
· Spent two days in Broome with our terrific member – the Broome CCI – thank you to Elaine and the team for inviting me up. Attended the launch of the Broome CCI’s new business and community directory and spent very valuable time with their CEO Elaine Joliffe and their very dynamic board. You can check out their new directory #lovebroome here
· Met with the WA Small Business Commissioner, Mr Davis Eaton as a regular stakeholder meeting, discussing key activities for the SBDC currently and sharing regional small business views and feedback with the SBDC.
· Turned fifty.
· Attended my first Telstra Regional Advisory Council meeting armed with some really great feedback from our members – thank you so much for that. The purpose of the Telstra RAC is to:

  1. Help ensure Telstra meets the needs of rural and regional stakeholders and customers
  2. Provide input into the activities and plans of Telstra where they involve regional and rural communities
  3. Bring to Telstra’s attention important issues facing rural and regional people and communities
  4. Deepen understanding of the opportunities, risks and implications of new communications technologies
  5. Identify and support relevant network co-investment opportunities

RCCIWA President Ron Mosby meets with Business SA
RCCIWA has a very engaged and active Executive Committee who often take the time to meet with people and organisations representing RCCIWA when they are travelling for business or even for holidays. Whilst in SA on business last week, our President Ron Mosby took the opportunity to meet with the CCIWA equivalent in SA aptly named ‘Business SA’. They covered a few topics including:
· GST carve-up – Business SA thought it was unfair WA was getting more money .
· Labour and skills demand with the new defence force submarine contracts for SA – regional labour shortage in WA.
· Regional support for chambers of commerce - we are the only state with RCCI - discussed The Regional Voice document that Business SA put together with sponsorship to cover economic activity. This could have some significant merit in WA and RCCIWA will be following this up as a potential project.
· Any matters we could collaborate with in regards to Federal Election – Regional policy, productivity commission review of Zone rebates and FBT.
· They also discussed the SA change to Payroll tax that is advertised broadly in SA as the Govt supporting small business .

Federal Election – What are the issues that matter to your business community?
We are currently working on collective issues to raise with candidates for the upcoming Federal Election. Whilst the date has not yet been announced, we anticipate it will be in mid-May and want to ensure that the voice of all regional business communities are heard. We have been working on some collective issues that affect all of our members and are very keen to hear your feedback on these, and also on any other issues you would like us to work on. More information will be sent to all of our members is the next couple of weeks, but for now please email me any feedback you have.
Collective Issues such as:
· Fringe Benefits Tax – regional exemptions
· Escalating Freight costs – looking at fuel excises, maintenance, the network infrastructure etc
· Supporting the Agriculture Industry - live sheep trade, dairy industry etc
· IR/ER – awards, minimum wage, impact of changes on all businesses etc
· Visa classification and categories