News 15 January 2021

Executive Update 15 January

The Victorian Chamber is looking forward to working with our members in 2021 as we continue our recovery from COVID-19. This week Melbourne Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Scott Veenker delivers an update on our advocacy, the return to office workers in the CBD, and what training and events members can look forward to early this year.

Welcome to 2021!

I hope you managed to enjoy a well-deserved rest over the holiday break and feel ready to get stuck into what will be another important year for Victorian business.

While many of us are happy to see the back of 2020, the work continues on our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021. The Victorian Chamber is continuing to advocate strongly on behalf of our members as we inch closer to the availability of a vaccine and take steps forward in our rebuild.

We welcome the State Government’s decision to allow up to 50 per cent of private sector workers to return to the office from Monday, with 25 per cent of the public sector also allowed to return. We expect to see the number of office workers reach that level after Australia Day long weekend when most of the workforce returns from holidays and students head back to school.

We advocated strongly for this progression and for the mask rules to be eased in the workplace to make conditions more comfortable and appealing for employees, especially during our hot summer. We are pleased the Government has taken that on board and will implement the change from Monday. We spoke to the media yesterday to express the view of business. You can read some of the coverage in today’s newspapers if you missed us on the television news or the radio yesterday and this morning.

When we get back to the office, let’s all make a special effort to support the many shops, restaurants, cafes and bars that have been doing it tough for so long. Our support will keep businesses running and keep people in jobs. We are all in this together in our fightback from the pandemic.

Right from the start of 2021 we want the year to focus on how Victoria can be a global leader in several sectors. We know our working lives will be different, our economy will be different, and it is our mission to make Victoria the best place in Australia to operate a business. The Victoria Summit 2021 will be an opportunity for us all to be deliberate in our recovery and we will have some exciting news on its progress to share with you very soon.

We sought our members’ valuable feedback more than ever before in 2020 and your input will continue to be crucial as we navigate our new normal. The VCCI is seeking your assistance by participating in the Payroll Tax on Australian Business Survey in conjunction with ACCI and its state chambers. The short, five-minute survey that you can access here will help better inform the public debate over the need for payroll tax reform in Australia.

With the start of a new year, and businesses preparing to welcome back more staff, now is a great time to invest in mental health in the workplace. The Victorian Chamber’s workplace Mental Health Essentials program offers free mental health training and consulting to small and medium sized businesses who employ young workers and want to create mentally healthy workplaces. You’ll receive tailored advice, actions plans, training and resources as part of the program. For more information head to our website.

At the Chamber, we are also looking forward to the return of our training and events this year. As announced late last year, we’re very excited that our in-person training courses and workshops will be returning to our Victorian Chamber offices located at 150 Collins St this month. Check out our website to see what’s available.

Plus, don’t forget our premiere networking event series, Business After Dark, is just around the corner in early February at Marvel Stadium. Be sure to book your place now as tickets sell out fast, and invite your friends and colleagues along! We hope to see you there.

Finally, I’d like to take the opportunity to thank you for being a part of Victoria’s leading business community. On behalf of the entire Victorian Chamber team, we look forward to working together with you in 2021 to build a better Victoria for all.


Chief Executive
Melbourne Chamber of Commerce

Media Contact

All media enquiries may be directed to the Media and Communications Manager

03 8662 5310

0423 883 945

For all other enquiries please contact the Victorian Chamber on 03 8662 5333

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