There’s been an enthusiastic welcome to the start of the election campaign from business leaders after months of political uncertainty.
In fact the Australian Financial Review reports this morning that a group of people celebrating the birthday of QBE chairman Belinda Hutchinson in Sydney yesterday broke into applause when they were told by one of the guests – opposition communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull – that Kevin Rudd had named September 7 as polling day.
The Fin quotes Graham Bradley, chairman of Energy Australia, as saying consumer confidence had been “adversely affected by the political uncertainty of minority government and a hung parliament”. He said business hoped “we’ll get a decisive outcome from this election and it will give people confidence that we have decisive leadership in the country.”
Over at The Australian, former David Jones chief executive and now Premier Retail boss says the speculation about the election date had “caused people to retreat into their shells” and that the uncertainty had been a “disaster” for the economy.
There’s also relief from the resources sector, which has had to adjust to shifting taxation proposals under the Labor government. Atlas Iron MD Ken Brinsden said that in the current environment, with falling commodity prices and levels of investment, “it’s all about squeezing the lemon” by managing costs and ensuring best prices for product, and “to do all that you need a backdrop of certainty”.
“That is what the industry will be asking of them — not to lurch from pillar to post — and if you want to sit down and discuss issues we are happy to do it, but at least give us the opportunity,” Brinsden said.
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