Minister for Business must be more than name only says Business Chamber

Canberra Business Chamber has cautiously welcomed the ACT Labor Party’s announcement that it would create a Minister for Business and separate portfolio if re-elected.

The Chamber has been calling for a dedicated Minister for Business since late 2019, and it is one of the 20 policy recommendations within their “Recover, Reenergise, Reform” Election Manifesto launched earlier this month.

“There are over 30,000 businesses in the ACT, who provide about two thirds of the territory’s jobs,” said Chamber CEO Graham Catt. “It is very clear that the private sector will need to lead the growth of jobs and the ACT economy, and a business-friendly government is critical to ensuring that can happen.

“Currently, 8 Ministers oversee 36 different portfolios and by our reckoning there are at least 4 different portfolios and ministers that interact with business and have a major impact on their operations. Our members tell us that Canberra needs one minister with clear responsibility for business activities, the ability to engage across industry sectors and directorates and – perhaps most importantly – a mandate to advocate for business at the cabinet table.”

“We’re pleased that ACT Labor has responded to the call from business groups for a Minister for Business, and businesses will now be eagerly awaiting more information about how the how the new arrangements would work.”

“We need more than just a new title without the resources to make a difference” said Mr Catt. “One minister, leading a team of skilled government officials, with some reshaping of portfolios could make a huge difference. We look forward to hearing from all parties about their position on this important policy.”