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Employer groups join forces and seek immediate government action

Release Date: 9/09/2015
The Illawarra Business Chamber (IBC) and Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) tabled a joint submission Illawarra Structural Adjustment, helping the Illawarra region to adjust to the BlueScope downsizing” to Ministers Macfarlane and Roberts at the round table forum on BlueScope on 7th September.
The leading employer associations have joined forces to push for the Government to take immediate action through a multi-faceted response to BlueScope’s current situation.
“We are seeking support for small business, the engine-room of the economy, through people on the ground to deliver a range Structural Adjustment programs.  Our program ideas go across the areas of innovation, business growth and diversification, unlocking employment land and building skills and capacity” said Debra Murphy IBC Chief Executive.
“The tone from Monday’s round table was very positive, bi-partisan and demonstrated a willingness for leaders to unite around the current situation.  Many of the stakeholders were saying the same things, which is great.  We are moving in the right direction, but actions speak louder than words” said Ms Murphy.
“We all need to put the way we did things in the past behind us and focus on doing what it takes to ensure the viability of the region's economy,” said Leanne Grogan, Regional Manager, Illawarra & South East, Ai Group.
“To do this, we need to put in place programs which will address the barriers to diversifying and growing our economy.  We have provided a snapshot of 12 programs which can make a real difference and include getting additional support from Entrepreneurs Advisers and Employment Co-ordinators through to building our regional infrastructure to make us more attractive to new businesses,” said Ms Grogan.
“While the push for mandating has generated a lot of community support, we believe that it will not be a ‘silver bullet’ – the demand is questionable and indeed, there are no silver bullets.  It is through a multi-faceted response, flexible interventions across the short, medium and long term, that we will make a difference,” said Ms Murphy.
“Our call for action is for leaders to unite, Governments to be bipartisan in response and to maintain a positive forward momentum with clear and decisive actions,” said Ms Murphy.
Media contacts: Julia Frith 0417 135 858 Leanne Grogan 0418 216 909

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