CCIWA has welcomed the release of the Productivity Commission’s review of Australia’s productivity to improve our nation’s liveability, market economy and future of work.

The Commission’s review calls for boosting Australia’s innovation, restructuring Australia’s health and education systems and improving planning in Australian cities.

CCI Chief Economist Rick Newnham said the review was a roadmap for change that must be agreed to by all levels of government to ensure innovation and market growth were at the forefront of long-term strategic planning in health care, education and transformation of cities.

“CCI has long called for reform of WA’s health budget, which accounts for more than half of all government spending increases in the past three years,” he said.

“In CCI’s pre-budget submission, we highlighted the significant role technology has to play in repairing the health budget – particularly through Telehealth services, which can provide opportunities for lower-cost delivery of regional health services.

“Technology can bridge the gap between service provider and patient at the fraction of the cost of onsite delivery.”

CCI is also in lockstep with the Productivity Commission’s recommendation to improve governance arrangements for public infrastructure by ensuring that proposed projects are subject to cost-benefit analysis, and to implement a ‘user-pays’ system for road use.

“As electric vehicles become more popular in Western Australia, we need to modernise the way government funds road infrastructure,” Newnham said.

“Instead of taxing petrol, which not all motorists use anymore, we could use technology to charge road users for the exact amount relevant to their use.

“Outside the State Government’s well-flagged Metronet, infrastructure spending is lacking in WA over the forward estimates.

“Investment in WA infrastructure needs to be progressed on priority projects that will create the greatest economic benefit to the state as a whole. Projects should be based on a robust cost-benefit analysis to maximise value for money for the state.”

CCI’s pre-budget submission recommended that the State Government facilitate establishment of Infrastructure WA to ensure infrastructure planning transcended short-term politics.

CCI also encouraged the State Government to take particular note that the Commission had estimated $200 million would be injected into the WA economy if restrictions on retail trading hours were removed.

“The Productivity Commission recommended the removal of WA’s restrictive retail trading hours in 2011,” Newnham says. 

"But instead of the Government continuing to liberalise retail trading hours, they have taken a significant backwards step, knocking back CCI’s application for extended trading on last month’s Queens Birthday public holiday.

“Allowing shops to open extra hours is about providing local businesses with the ability to compete at their very best, and to decide when they want to open their doors.”

View the Commission’s review here.

As WA’s peak business advocate, CCI works to elevate the concerns of WA industry to key nationwide decision-makers. Find out more about our advocacy efforts here.