BUSINESS confidence across the Northern Rivers has soared since the election of the Coalition Government, a Griffith University/Northern Star survey published yesterday (4/02/2014) has found.
The quarterly poll conducted last month revealed 72% of respondents said the new Federal Government had given them more confidence about the future of their businesses, with many now planning to employ more people.
This compared with a pre-election survey that revealed a 20% fall in confidence between July and August last year.
“I campaigned heavily on removing red and green tape for businesses and creating an environment where they can plan to grow and create more jobs,” Mr Hogan said.
“This poll is a tick from the business community about the direction of the new government – from moving to scrap the job-destroying carbon tax to naming March 26 as our first national “repeal day” when we will get rid of thousands of pieces of regulations that are stifling the 10,000 small-to-medium-size businesses in Page.”
“We have also signed a Free Trade Agreement with Korea, which will slash tariffs on our exports, from 300% in some cases, to nothing. This was widely welcomed by our farmers with the chief executive of the Casino-based Northern Rivers Cooperative Meat Company, Simon Stahl, declaring it as “very advantageous’.”
Griffith University Pro Vice Chancellor (Business) Professor Michael Powell told The Northern Star the businesses polled said the overall outlook was positive.
“It is encouraging that a total of 58% of respondents hold positive or highly positive views about the year ahead, with only 14% remaining negative,” he said.
More than 40% of businesses reported the best Christmas/New Year period in recent years, Prof Powell said, predicting that the declining Australian dollar would lead to more inbound international tourism.
The lower Australian dollar will also assist local companies exporting their goods.
When asked about employment opportunities, 17% said they were planning to increase their staffing levels while 74% said they would maintain staff levels, an increase of 20%.
The jump in confidence follows the university’s pre-election survey that revealed a dramatic 20% fall in confidence between July and August last year.
Prof Powell said at the time this indicated an increasingly pessimistic outlook and a general decline in business confidence, adding that the general mood of gloom was caused by the Rudd carbon tax policy, with a substantial majority of businesses not expecting any benefit from it.