With the 2016 federal election (finally) just around the corner, all Australian businesses, and especially small businesses, are looking for economic certainty and stability in our federal government so that the growth we have all experienced over the last 12 months can continue into the new financial year and, hopefully, for the next three years. It is important for our clients, their projects and the economy that we maintain the status quo in Canberra and also install an Upper house that works with the elected government in the best interests of all Australians. Small business growth is essential for our economy and increasing small business employment is the policy objective for all of the major (and minor) political parties, but this will only be possible, irrespective of the election outcome, with good government, stability and certainty for the business community. Reducing the company tax rate for businesses with an income of under $10Million is a good start. It is more important, however, to create the income first by providing incentives and planning controls for the property development industry that promote investment and consumer confidence. It is interesting that our firm has not experienced the general slowing of decision making amongst our clients normally experienced during the lead up to an election. The belief is that this only occurs when there is a need or expectation for change and we are not feeling that mood swing this time.

An unexpected, but late, factor in this election is the uncertain impact that Britain’s exit from the European Union will have on Australian business over the period that it will take Britain to invoke Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon and extricate itself from the EU. At a minimum it will take two years and no-one has obviously given any real thought to the impact that this exit will have on any of us. The younger demographic in Britain is particularly unhappy with the result. The biggest issue is how trade will be handled between the EU and the rest of the world during this time. It is hard to see, once we recover from the initial shock of this decision, how this referendum result could affect our clients or their Australian projects particularly while interest rates stay so (unnaturally) low. This is a time when “think global and act local” is relevant to more than just the environmental cause and we should look at what we can do as an industry to maintain our growth and confidence and not worry so much about things over which we have little control in a country far, far away.

By Len Powe – Director POWE Architects
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Any views or opinions presented in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of POWE Architects