The West

Business urges Barnett to reform public sector
Business urges Barnett to reform public sector

The Barnett Government is excelling in health, education and trying to find solutions to WA's shortage of skilled workers, the State's main business group says.

But it is failing in public sector reform and industrial relations and has slipped backwards in energy, approvals and climate change, the WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry says on its scorecard of the Government's performance.

The CCI's annual scorecard grades the Government in 11 key policy areas.

It has gone backwards in six of those areas - energy, tax competitiveness, public sector reform, approvals, climate change and industrial relations - since 2009.

Chamber chief James Pearson said despite improvement in some policy areas, time had run out for the Government to implement fully the reform agenda it promised at the last State election.

"The coming election should be seen as an opportunity to complete the reforms committed to by the Government, not an excuse to delay or abandon them," he said.

"Examples that would make a real improvement for businesses include the full implementation of the findings of the red tape reduction group and the economic audit committee's recommendations."

Mr Barnett acknowledged the Government could do more to reduce red tape but he believed it was a good government and governed for all West Australians, not just the business community.

"I think the report card reflects the opinion that the Government is doing a pretty good job in most areas," Mr Barnett said.

"But we govern for all parts of the community so, for example, the chamber advocating electricity price increases, I do not agree with that at all.

"Our interest is trying to lessen the cost of living burden on families and small businesses and many of the small businesses who are members of the Chamber of Commerce would not be calling for an electricity price increase."

Mr Pearson said the whole community would benefit from the reforms CCI proposed.

He encouraged both sides of politics to pursue policies that would reduce the cost of doing business.

The West Australian

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