North Lakes Chamber of Commerce offers advocacy, support and networking to grow businesses in our community

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    • Long Awaited KPMG Report into Queensland Public Service a Let Down

      Friday 20 July | By: Default Admin

      The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) has welcomed the release of the KPMG report into effectiveness of the state’s public service hiring spree.

      The report titled ‘Enhancing Performance Management and Service Delivery’ has been released some 12 months after CCIQ and media organisations requested it be made public.

      CCIQ General Manager of Advocacy, Kate Whittle said the report highlights the obvious need to have metrics based reporting around the performance of government agencies but does little to explain the large recruitment drive from within the public service itself.

      “The findings and recommendations around performance management while laudable, will be dismissed by many in the business community who live and breathe best practice daily,” Ms Whittle said.

      “Disappointingly there is little detail within the report that addresses the addition of over 20,000 jobs public sector jobs since the 2015 election, and the overall consequences of a ballooning public service on Queensland’s debt position.

      The KPMG report compared the performance of New Zealand’s public sector with Queensland government agencies observing outcomes based performance but in terms of money spent the comparison is more stark.

      Queensland’s public service wage bill for 223,000 employees of A$27.3 billion for a workforce of 220,000 compares poorly next to New Zealand whose total public-sector expenditure is $NZD 22.6 billion for a total of 350,000 government employees (national and local).

      Since their re-election, the Palaszczuk government has introduced a raft of new taxes and imposts that have undermined business confidence whilst the ranks of the public service has grown at an unsustainable rate.

      “It is an affront to the business sector that has had to dramatically slash its cost base, contend with rampant electricity prices and rising rents whilst the state continues to swell in size.

      Given the cost pressures facing both governments and business, CCIQ recommends a more prudent approach to the state’s finances:

      (i)           Immediately arrest the growth of public sector jobs
      (ii)          Address the significant gap in the growth between public and private sector wages by imposing a moratorium on Queensland public sector wage increases until the gap is at a more appropriate level.
      (iii)         Establish an independent Budget Oversight Unit to make recommendations on government savings decisions, track progress towards achieving AAA credit rating, and cut red tape.

      The latest quarter public services figures noted a decline in front line staff, while corporate employment increased. This reads as less jobs for nurses and teachers, and more jobs for corporate types, which contradicts the government’s line on this issue.

      CCIQ reminds the government that corporate employment within public service must be assessed through the prism of budget responsibility.

      The KPMG report also made the following key observations of note:

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    • Why are Queenslanders economically dissatisfied despite 26 years of Australian economic growth?

      Friday 20 July | By: Default Admin

      The Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) released a report today, which found that Queenslanders largely believed they did not gain from 26 years of uninterrupted growth in Australia.

      This was felt more acutely in the regions, with the CEDA report showing the number one priority for Queenslanders is regional development.

      This is supported by CCIQ’s June quarterly Pulse survey soon to be released, which showed that levels of confidence in Regional Queensland dropped in the last quarter as businesses in South East Queensland fared better than their regional counterparts.

      But let’s address the elephant in the room in this report: job satisfaction – or the lack thereof in Queensland’s case.

      Both the CEDA report and Pulse survey reflect the same sentiment which shows that this dissatisfaction lies with both employee and employer.

      The reality is that job satisfaction is not only affected by an employer-employee relationship but also by other factors that go to the heart of Queensland’s economy.

      The truth is that the dramatic rise in household debt and the cost of living often puts pressure on workers emotionally and financially.

      This has the potential for the employees to think that their wages aren’t adequate enough to support themselves or their desired lifestyle, and the employer seemingly becomes at fault.

      Worrying about the next pay check or how to secure a financially stable future can lead to a constant anxiety around job security.  

      The fear of redundancy is a reality in an economy that has stalled. Workers certainly feel the effects of the highly competitive market for talent, and this is no doubt the case with Queensland’s stubbornly high regional unemployment rate.

      This is to not discount that wages in the private sector have stagnated, and part-time roles are on the rise. The point is, that it is unrealistic for wages to rise as quickly as housing costs, insurance costs and electricity costs in this country.

      But it’s not just employees struggling in this current environment. Employers are victim to the same concerns with businesses reporting declining profitability due to high operating costs, and a lack of economic and political stability.

      Ultimately, employers and employees are in the same boat in their economic sentiment and unless the Palaszczuck Government does more, particularly for our regions, the boat will continue to sail towards disparity. 

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    • Currency Risk Management

      Friday 20 July | By: Default Admin

      Currency risk management can mean the difference between survival and sudden death in foreign exchange trading. You can have the best trading system and still, fail without effective risk management in place. Exchange rate volatility is difficult to predict due to the myriad of variables influencing exchange rate fluctuation (e.g. economic fundamental, monetary policy, fiscal policy, global economy, speculation, domestic and foreign political issues, market psychology, rumours, and technical factors).

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    • What is a currency strategy and why is it important to deal with?

      Friday 20 July | By: Default Admin

      In the first of a three-part series with CCIQ Partner, OFX, we will explore what is a currency strategy, and the various forms of currency strategies your organisation can employ to make the most of your money. 

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    • Boom Employment Headlines Mask Queensland’s Anemic Job Growth

      Thursday 19 July | By: Default Admin

      Queensland’s unemployment rate remained at 6.1% (on a trend basis) in June, lagging the national benchmark at 5.4% as the state continues to employ more people in part-time roles than full-time positions.

      CCIQ again points out that the private sector is the key to unlocking opportunities in the area of full-time job creation following four straight months of declines in people working more than 36 hours per week.

      The headline employment change of 50,900 jobs created nationally during the month of June observes the more volatile seasonally adjusted data which when assessed on a trend basis shows that only 26,900 roles were created.

      Head of Media and Industry, Dan Petrie said that the job creation challenge has to be addressed as a matter of urgency as the State continues to underperform the national unemployment benchmark of 5.4%.

      “The last six months has seen the state fall away with employers not feeling confident enough to hire new people and it is a trend that simply has to change before people take their skills and knowledge elsewhere.

      “Growing and supporting the private sector is the key to reversing this trend. Governments at all levels need to get serious about engaging with industry with targeted policy initiatives,” Mr Petrie said.

      CCIQ remains concerned that underemployment continues to rise in Queensland.

      Monthly hours worked remain subdued and more worryingly the underutilisation rate is at the highest level in 15 years:

      Underutilisation (15.3%) = unemployment (6.1%) + underemployment (9.2%)

      Increasing rates in underutilisation have been driven by part-time work and underemployment.

      “Almost 30% of the State’s part-time workforce want to work more hours but are unable to do so,” Mr Petrie said.

      In the first six months of 2018, part-time jobs have increased by 20,800 jobs while full-time positions have declined by 8,400 jobs

      CCIQ notes that while the fall in full-times roles slowed in June more needs to be done to reverse this trend. 

      Read more
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