Canberra’s business community has been left scratching its heads after the Chief Minister’s revelation yesterday that Singapore Airlines decision to end direct flights between Singapore and Canberra was Ã¢â‚¬Ëœnot surprising’ given only last month the ACT Government’s Jobs and Economic Recovery Plan included Ã¢â‚¬Ëœrecommence domestic and international flights’ as a key action to deliver 250,000 jobs for the ACT by 2025.
The credentials of the plan were also questioned last week when international rating agency Standard and Poor’s confirmed the MBA’s concern that approximately 20% of the promised infrastructure plan was unlikely to be delivered.
Master Builders ACT CEO Michael Hopkins said, “To date in the 2020 election campaign no major political party has put forward a credible economic recovery plan to create jobs and drive economic growth in the post-COVID recession.Ã¢â‚¬Â
“Promises to plant trees and trial food recycling schemes won’t create the thousands of jobs that will be needed to support Canberra businesses through the deepest recession many will experience in their lifetime,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
Mr Hopkins said, “According to the ABS’s latest employment figures for the ACT, a further 324 jobs in the local construction industry were lost in the fortnight to 22 August.Ã¢â‚¬Â
“That’s up to 324 local families that now have less money to spend in the region’s local shops, cafes and restaurants,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
Mr Hopkins said, “The MBA is calling on all candidates in the upcoming election to make job creation and economic growth the centrepiece of their 2020 election policies.Ã¢â‚¬Â
“The building and construction industry is one of the largest employers in the ACT, with more full time workers than nearly every other industry,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
Mr Hopkins said, “If candidates want to be able to afford the social and environmentally progressive policies that the ACT has become known for, then they need to figure out how these policies will be funded. Without the $1 billion in taxes from the ACT property and construction industry, these promises will remain unfulfilled.Ã¢â‚¬Â
“If candidates want to support the 5,500 local small businesses in the construction sector then priority should be given to supporting construction apprentices, backing local businesses when awarding government tenders, simplifying the planning system, delivering the ACT infrastructure plan, and implementing best practice building reforms,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
Mr Hopkins said, “How many more local jobs need to be lost before the 2020 election candidates understand than the most important issue for Canberra’s business community is electing a business friendly government?Ã¢â‚¬Â
View the Master Builders ACT 2020 ACT Election Priorities in further detail here.
Authorised by Michael Hopkins on behalf of Master Builders Association of the ACT.