Monday, 18 June 2007
Statements by Members
I rise to comment upon a media release that has been put out today by the ACCI. It talks about economic management being the most important issue for small and medium sized businesses across Australia, which I do not refute for one moment, but it is interesting to compare some of the figures. In 2004 the business communities that were surveyed suggested that it was the most important issue for 26 per cent of those that responded, compared to 27 per cent now, which is a negligible increase in the concern that is shared amongst the business community—but I think it is still important to note, and the ACCI have noted it. What is interesting, however, is what they failed to note with respect to the survey. In fact, the lack of skills development in the country has almost tripled in the concerns shared amongst businesses from 5.9 per cent to 15.3 per cent, and infrastructure needs have doubled from 6.6 per cent to almost 13 per cent. Clearly, the businesses of Australia are saying that, notwithstanding whatever concerns they have with respect to economic management, they are very concerned about the failure of the government to confront the challenges of infrastructure.