Last updated: 7 September 2020 at 9.00am
22 engagements – 600 participants
In June 2020, more than 600 people representing business, industry, not-for-profit organisations, unions, the public sector, local government and community were part of 22 engagement sessions hosted by the Premier and Ministers.
Participants provided their input and perspectives on the draft impact statement released by the State Government on 9 June 2020. There was consensus that the draft statement provided a good summary of the known impacts and could be strengthened in some areas. This feedback has been incorporated into the WA Impact Statement.
The wealth of ideas is summarised across six key themes.
There is a need to build confidence across the community – confidence in our ability to strengthen the economy; confidence in attracting investment; confidence that the community can get out and about safely; and confidence in being able to live safely in a COVID community.
Western Australia needs to balance its continued focus on exports and trading partners with working towards economic diversification and leveraging local markets.
The State’s future workforce needs to be safeguarded with targeted support for young people, women, Aboriginal people and people with disability. Skills and training are essential to support the workforce of the future.
Current skills and labour shortages need to be addressed, and there needs to be innovation through moving to local content and supporting people seeking to transition to new roles and industries.
Mental health and work/life flexibility also needs to be at the forefront of employers’ minds so productivity is boosted to support Western Australia’s recovery.
Recovery should focus on promoting community wellbeing and resilience. This includes supporting those who need it and addressing mental health and alcohol and other drug issues.
Increasing community cohesion needs to be a key focus and there are opportunities to do this through volunteerism, culture and the arts, and sport and recreation.
The pandemic highlighted business and community reliance on digital resources and infrastructure. Enhanced productivity can result from going digital. There is a need to expand digital infrastructure, particularly to bridge the digital divide that has an impact on many of the State’s most vulnerable people.
Western Australia needs to continue the partnership approach that was evident in response to the pandemic such as people continuing to deliver vital operations that support Western Australia’s economy and to provide essential services to those in need. Red tape reduction and procurement reforms need to be expanded, and collaboration continued across governments, business, industry, unions and the community.
Regional Western Australia has been particularly impacted by the pandemic and there are calls for a dedicated focus to support these communities and businesses. There are opportunities to boost regional investment through infrastructure, tourism, jobs and skills, and address the digital divide.
The report includes all those who participated in the engagement opportunities. The State Government thanks everyone for their contribution to recovery planning.