Levelling up the economy
CCIWA

ABN: 96 929 977 985 ACN: 099 891 611 
Copyright © 2020 Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia

Our four-part webinar series shines a spotlight on the energy, resources, property and transport sectors. 

We are drawing on industry experts to share their insights on the important issues facing the WA economy, and invite WA businesses to join the conversation.

ABN: 96 929 977 985 ARBN: 099 891 611 

Copyright © 2020 Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia

Resources
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Energy
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Property
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Transport
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Economic Snapshot: WA Resources Sector
Skilled labour and skills shortages
Impact of COVID-19 on WA's Resources sector
Supplies from other states
Skills shortages
Export and import
Customer levels

Around one in ten (44%) had trouble getting supplies from other States or overseas.

38% of resources businesses did not experience a reduction in customer levels. This is double the proportion of businesses across all industries (19%).

Three out of ten (27%) looked to diversify into new export and import markets.

31% braced for skills shortages to emerge, almost double the proportion of businesses outside resources (18%).

Tackling the big policy issues to help the WA economy level up

Rising energy prices were identified as a barrier to growth by half of the WA businesses we surveyed prior to COVID. 

More than half of businesses surveyed in our Business Impact Survey agreed that introducing competition in the market for supplying electricity to businesses would help their business to grow post COVID-19. 

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The property sector is in the spotlight for the third edition our Levelling Up The Economy webinar series.

Beyond reducing approvals red tape and reforming taxes, what are the policy issues that will help the WA property sector to level up?

We're bringing together industry experts to discuss the policy issues facing the WA transport sector. With Infrastructure WA developing the 20-year State Infrastructure Strategy, now is the time to talk about the key transport issues facing the State.

Efforts to secure your supply chain and digitally transform your business now can also help build its resilience into the future.

Before the pandemic

This snapshot provides unique insight into how the resources sector has fared through the COVID-19 crisis as well as the key barriers facing the sector before the pandemic.

CCIWA Business Impact Survey results

Availability of skilled labour
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Resources: fueling our future

Over the past 30 years, sustained strength in the iron ore and LNG industries has propelled WA’s economic fortunes and provided material support to public sector finances. Continued buoyancy in the resources sector has helped keep the State afloat through COVID-19. 

But how can we use this strength for growth?

Barriers to growth and opportunities for reform

Levelling Up The Economy: Energy Sector

Webinar - August 26, 2020

Levelling Up The Economy: Property Sector

Webinar - September 2, 2020

Levelling Up The Economy: Transport Sector

Webinar - September 9, 2020

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Event sponsor

Barriers and Opportunities for growth
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Data source: CCIWA Business Impact Survey 2020

Expectations of skilled labour
Resources: COVID and beyond

Bankwest's Director of Corporate Banking Kelly Lagoudis gives her insight into how the mining services companies have fared through COVID-19, examining the impact of: 

  • intra and interstate travel restrictions;
  • a lack of certainty about the future; and 
  • the cost of local-sourcing. 

Lagoudis also examines the biggest diversification opportunities in WA's regions.

WA's battery opportunity

Future Battery Industry CRC CEO Stedman Ellis breaks down the best points of entry for WA in the battery industry value chain. He highlights:

  • the conditions that would allow WA to unlock more value from its lithium;
  • the potential opportunities in the wake of the global supply chain disruptions; and
  • how Australia compares to competitors entering the market.

Ellis talks about how we translate the learnings from a successful resource industry across other industries.

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Data source: CCIWA Member Survey: November - January 2020

Economic Snapshot
Energy: green gains

More than one out of two businesses surveyed in our Business Impacts Survey agreed that introducing competition in the market for supplying electricity to businesses would help their business to grow post-COVID-19.

Economic Snapshot: WA Energy Sector

Rising energy prices were identified as a barrier to growth by 
half of the WA businesses we surveyed prior to COVID

Economic Snapshot

Rising energy prices were identified as a barrier to growth by half of the WA businesses we surveyed prior to COVID-19.

But how do we drive down prices in the energy sector and reduce regulatory barriers to new technologies such as hydrogen?

Before the pandemic

WA businesses were grappling with high costs ...

CCIWA Business Impact Survey results

... with the vast majority supporting enhanced retail contestability.

Energy suppliers reported significant concern about the future energy supply mix and outlook for consumption.

At the same time, almost three out of four believed a lack of a cohesive national energy and emissions framework was holding back their business from growing.

Impact of COVID-19 on WA's Energy sector
Supplies from other states
Skills shortages
Export and import

Three out of four (81%) of Western Australians rated COVID-19 as having a negative impact on their confidence.

1.21% - the average proportion of electricity customers on hardship programs in June (compared to 1.16% before the pandemic).

There are currently 62,400 fewer Western Australians employed since the beginning of the pandemic - as at July 2020.

Households and businesses took a significant hit, and this affected some energy consumers' ability to cover their energy costs. Others adapted their behaviour to survive, which changed their consumption of energy.

Households

Businesses

Supplies from other states

81% experienced a reduction in customer levels.

One out of three (33%) looked to provide more services online, rather than in-store.

Skills shortages
Export and import

One out of four (26%) manufacturing businesses looked to make different products or deliver new services.

The Future - Renewable Hydrogen

As part of the WA Recovery Plan, the WA State Government has announced it will invest $22 million to drive the State’s renewable hydrogen industry and elevate Western Australia’s position in the renewable hydrogen value chain.

Key WA Government Initiatives

Renewable hydrogen drive

WA Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan discusses the steps WA is taking to accelerate the growth of its renewable hydrogen industry. 

She outlines: 

  • WA’s ability to supply renewable hydrogen to global trading partners;
  • Opportunities for the State to play a role in multiple areas of the hydrogen supply chain, including technology development; and 
  • What the industry players are doing to compete globally in the hydrogen space. 
Property: building for growth

The impact of the global pandemic on WA's property sector has been mixed. While residential and accommodation sectors have benefited from government stimulus, retail and commercial property have suffered.

Beyond reducing approvals red tape and reforming taxes, what are the policy issues that will help the WA property sector grow into the future?

Economic Snapshot: WA Property Sector
Economic Snapshot
Before the pandemic

Businesses in the transport sector identified high costs of doing business and lack of adequately skilled labour as key barriers to growth.

CCIWA Business Impact Survey results

Cutting red tape and supporting investment in new technologies would give transport businesses more confidence to invest and grow.

The impact of COVID-19 on mobility

Widespread industry shutdowns and restrictions on personal travel have led to a substantial decline in mobility. After freefalling in late March, mobility trends* in the Perth CBD have now almost returned to pre-pandemic levels. 

 
While positive, movements to transit stations have not recovered to the same extent as workplaces. This suggests Western Australians are using alternative modes of transport to get to work – such as driving or cycling.

In good news for WA’s retail sector, mobility to retail and recreation premises has surpassed pre-pandemic levels. This means more people are getting out of the house to go shopping, grab a drink or visit their local restaurant now than before COVID-19.

 Unsurprisingly, States and Territories that continue to impose higher levels of social distancing restrictions observe lower levels of movement.

Skills

Over the next twelve months, skills shortages are expected to remain a key issue for transport businesses. Demand for truck drivers is currently at an 8-year high.

Transport: carrying our state

WA’s transport sector contributes about $10.5 billion annually to the economy and supports 50,000 jobs. Freight and logistics are vitally important to a multitude of sectors in our State, but continued setbacks hamper its growth. 

What more can be done to ensure the development of this vital part of WA’s economy?

Bankwest’s Head of Property Finance Troy Leber gives an overview of the current issues facing WA’s property sector, explaining: 

  • the implications of COVID-19 on accommodation providers, residential and commercial property owners and occupants;
  • the shift to working from home and the impact on the Perth CBD now and into the future; and
  • changes to consumer spending as a result of the pandemic, as well as the behaviours of those seeking finance.

Property Council of Australia WA Executive Director Sandra Brewer speaks about the council’s policy agenda, outlining:

  • the significant contribution the WA property sector makes to the State's economy;
  • suggested policy and infrastructure drives to boost WA's growth; and
  • how migration and tax reform could play a key role in revitalising WA in the future.

Western Roads Federation Chief Executive Cam Dumesny outlines the importance of the freight and logistics sector to WA’s economy, highlighting:

  • the major challenges faced by the transport industry before, and during, the pandemic;
  • the role of technology in the industry, and innovative ways groups within the sector can develop; and
  • how infrastructure investment and policy initiatives can support the industry. 
Economic Snapshot: WA Transport Sector
Economic Snapshot
Before the pandemic

Businesses in the property sector identified weak consumer demand and government red tape as key barriers to growth.

CCIWA Business Impact Survey results

Increased certainty around long-term infrastructure projects and targeted reform of the state taxation system would give businesses more confidence to invest and grow.

Three out of five (61%) property businesses grappled with regulatory barriers from Local Governments, more than double the proportion of businesses in other sectors.

COVID-19 response - unprecedented support

Government stimulus and record low-interest rates have provided a boost to new residential construction.

First home buyers in Western Australia have access to more government assistance than in any other State.

The Outlook

Over the longer term, restrictions on cross-border mobility and subdued population growth will drag on new home construction and house prices.