The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has congratulated the new members of the Federal Government Ministry and welcomed the strong representation of women – the largest number to ever serve in an Australian Cabinet, including the first Indigenous woman to hold a federal ministry.
With the economic team of Treasurer Dr Jim Chalmers and Finance Minister Katy Gallagher already sworn in, the ARA acknowledges the appointments of Brendan O’Connor as Minister for Skills and Training and Tony Burke as Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, who will have key roles navigating the country through a labour and skills crisis.
CEO Paul Zahra congratulated the Ministers on their appointments and said the ARA looks forward to working with the new Government in addressing the nation’s challenges.
“With sustainability and climate action a critical focus for the retail industry, the ARA looks forward to advancing collaboration with Chris Bowen and Tanya Plibersek who take over as the respective Ministers for Climate Change and the Environment,” Mr Zahra said.
“As data and technology continues to evolve, we need to ensure small businesses have the skills and knowledge they need to thrive into the future and look forward to working in these areas with the new Industry and Science Minister Ed Husic. And with small businesses representing 95% of our membership, we look forward to working with the new Minister for Small Business, Julie Collins.
“Diversity, equality and inclusion is an important focus for retail and the ARA also acknowledges the appointment of Linda Burney as Minister for Indigenous Australians, and the Government’s commitment to fully implement the Uluru Statement from the Heart. We also acknowledge the important role that Katy Gallagher will play in the next Parliament as Minster for Women – a critical area for Australian retail.
“The Government faces a difficult task ahead, with labour and skills shortages, rising inflation and supply chain issues continuing to impact businesses, however the ARA stands ready to work with the new Ministry on addressing these challenges together
“Our advocacy will focus on the five strategic priorities we outlined at the beginning of the campaign. These focus areas are aimed at accelerating the retail recovery, removing barriers for business growth and ensuring business is more sustainable as we transition to the low-carbon, circular economy of the future.
“The new Ministry is diverse and includes a record number of women, which sends a strong message around gender equality – an issue also on the retail agenda.
“We congratulate the new members of the Ministry and wish them will for delivering effective government.”