A Message from the Chairman

August 2022

The Hon. Jeff Kennett AC

Set your sights on being here in 2024

As the new Federal Government is settling into its responsibilities, it is clear the Prime Minister Albanese is focusing on matters international and community, while his Treasurer Jim Chalmers on matters economic.

We will not know until the October budget is handed down what the Government might do to address the raft of issues facing them and we Australians.

The Reserve Bank has continued to raise interest rates which will continue to feed into the community through businesses, families and of course municipalities to varying degrees. Suffice to say there will be extra pressures faced by many.

My own personal response to the RBA’s interest movements and whatever the October budget may deliver, is to steel ourselves and our organisations to try and get through the next sixteen months.

I hope inflation will have stabilised by then, if not back within the RBA’s remit of 2-3%. If so, interest rates may also have stabilised, and may have actually reduced slightly from where they will end up at the end of the year. But they will never again return to the historically low levels we have enjoyed for the last few years, so we will have to manage higher and more normal interest rates from 2024 and beyond.

Secondly, I am encouraged by the number of overseas students applying for Visas to re-enter the country for education. Of course, their presence is also felt in the demand for accommodation, food, and of course part time employment.

So, if the Federal government can streamline our immigration processes, hopefully we will see many of these international students back in Australia for the start of 2023.

So hopefully there are some green shoots starting to appear, but we will have to endure a challenging sixteen months.

It is why I say to families and businesses, we have got to cut our cloth to suit the circumstances. Ask what we have to do now to get to the other side from 2024.

Sadly, what I have noticed, particularly in Victoria is that the impost of Land Tax now being levied by the Victorian Government on previous higher land values, but now in decline, when community activity is also heavily reduced, is beyond the capacity of many small business, which is leading to closures. The same applies to the price of energy particularly gas when used in the manufacturing sector.

So, we have some very real challenges. We will know more in October. But knowing what we are facing and what we are likely to face through this and next year, prepare now.

Set your sights on being here in 2024. Stay well and healthy.

The Hon Jeff Kennett AC
CT Management Group

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