With the Federal Election 2022 game declared ‘on’ by the incumbent Morrison Government today, the pitch for business and economic growth in the Hunter region has never been clearer nor simpler, says the region’s leading voice for business policy and advocacy, Business Hunter.
Business Hunter CEO, Bob Hawes today welcomed the election line being drawn for May 21 and has used the announcement to hand the next Cabinet of the Australian Government a strong regional manifest of priorities designed to power business beyond the next term of government and to articulate the Hunter’s inarguable potential as one of the nation’s economic strongholds.
“2022 to 2050 is really the Hunter's era," Mr Hawes said.
“Our election white paper, designed as a brief to the next federal Cabinet however it is made up, has been formed after consultation with our members, our board and sitting members of parliament and candidates across the Hunter,” Mr Hawes said.
"The process of consultation has been enlightening in that there is a tremendous sense that the region is on the verge of great things if we get this right and the alignment in thinking is a real positive.
“Business Hunter is asking this election campaign, and the next government, to focus on the clear and simple truth. The next government must demonstrate its understanding and commit to doing what is necessary for the Hunter to achieve business and economic growth. Our white paper makes this extremely simple.
"We know this region is a political battleground for the election, but we want to focus the next government on the simple business growth objectives any government can achieve by understanding our electorates and committing to our needs," Mr Hawes said.
The Powering Business in the Hunter white paper focuses on four comprehensive policy-led objectives for regional diversification and business growth, stating simply that the challenges of government to deliver on economic restoration must look beyond a current term of government.
“These days, government policy struggles to look beyond an electoral cycle,” Mr Hawes said.
“But in our current climate of uncertainty and sagging confidence in business and consumer investment, and speculation about which jobs are going to be where in five, ten and twenty years, we must implore our incoming government to commit to policy decisions that prepare the Hunter region for the growth that is on the horizon - beyond immediate electoral gratification.
“Whether that’s Business Hunter's immediate priorities of housing supply to support social and affordable supply as well as business growth needs, or connective transport infrastructure, or easing the manner of doing intraregional business, or supporting energy supply, acquisition, storage, plus enabling new primed industries; the message is the same – business and investment confidence can only be restored across all markets through long-term confidence shown by government.
“The 2022 Federal Election will be one of Australia’s most important in history and presents enormous opportunities for the Hunter in our role as one of the nation’s leading regional economies.
“We have global market attraction for business to thrive in education, defence, cyber, space, energy, medical and advanced manufacturing, and infrastructure growth. As Australia moves to reattract skilled migrants to contribute to the gaping skills holes that are being reported across the region, Business Hunter has a responsibility to call on the next government for targeted, growth-based attraction in skills markets that will meet our regional needs.”
“Our engagement with current and potential future members of parliament for this region has been extremely positive, and all we hope is that the campaign period focuses all candidates on needs-based economic growth for the Hunter – those needs have been communicated clearly through our white paper,” Mr Hawes said.
"Our region and the broader economy need to convert plans to action and leadership from government will entice the type of private sector response we need to achieve the ambition for business in the Hunter."