Queensland Economic Advocacy Solutions

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QEAS Business Update - Federal Election Result

The following provides a 'one stop shop' on everything you need to know on the recent federal election result and how it might impact you as a business.  
The Morrison Ministry and policies announced for business can be found in a special QEAS update here
Prime Minister Morrison and the Coalition achieved what virtually all sensible commentators saw as impossible, winning government with a working majority.  The best one-liner that summarises the narrative for the business community is Morrison went to the people of Australia saying, “I can be trusted to manage the economy.  The other guy can’t.”  The business community has certainly responded well to the election result, the ASX 200 is up and anecdotally businesses are silently relieved by the result, particularly the voiding of the ALP’s workplace relations agenda (see link for Coalition policies.
Key points that I highlight about the result are:
  • Scott Morrison is deserving of leadership stability and policy cohesion within the Coalition.  The disgraceful last term of office must not be repeated, with focus instead aimed at policy implementation rather than the politicians themselves.
  • To that end, a key measure of success will be the extent to which the Government is able to assert national leadership to promote investment, job creation and broader community prosperity.
  • One of the greatest challenges for the Coalition will be to respond to a slowing economy with the constraint of getting the budget back into the black for 2019-20 without further stalling economic activity.
  • Misses in the policy context for the Coalition were a commitment and action plan to lift national productivity and the development of credible, durable and well-integrated climate and energy policies. Businesses going forward will want sensible solutions to increase wages, drive down energy prices and deal with climate change.
  • The result for Coalition is a very good one in the House of Representatives (78 of 150 seats) but remains problematic in the Senate. It is important that the parliament works constructively with the Government to deliver a stronger budget and economy.  However this is looking unlikely as the Coalition will not have control of the Senate (only a likely 34 of 76 seats) and will have to work with a smaller and more empowered number of cross benchers.
  • Much of the campaign was placing workers against employers and now is the time to end the anti-business rhetoric. What benefits business unmistakably benefits their employees. The election result gives certainty to the business community and I would anticipate business confidence will lift and in turn investment decisions to flow and hopefully employment as well.
  • The LNP won 23 of the 30 seats in Queensland with a swing of 0.8 per cent, picking up both Herbert and Longman. This should be interpreted as Queenslanders will not be told by southerners what our economic direction should be (more on Queensland in the conclusion).
Obviously Adani by default looks to be one of the biggest winners from the federal election result. The implications for the Queensland Government are considerable that I will cover more fully as we approach the State Budget on the 11th June 2019.  In short, the election result also provides another headache for the Queensland Government through Brisbane’s cross river rail being unfunded.  One of the most significant and sobering outcomes will be the realisation by the Queensland Government that to some extent its fortunes are now intertwined with a Morrison Government that has just been given approval by the people of Australia to govern for us all, albeit with a slim margin. These two tiers of government, who have unquestionably not worked well together in the past three years, will now need to.  The federal election result focuses attention on the performance of the Palaszczuk Government who will need to pivot from a minimalist small-target approach to achieving significant economic outcomes prior to the 31 October 2020 state election. 
Queensland businesses can now get on with it, knowing that the anti-business and anti-mining agenda is a 'bust' and that there are a number of very good policies that will materially benefit them as listed in the above link.

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