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Growth is key to our revival

29 December 2023

Growth. It's a concept we need to get familiar with again. It will dominate discussion over the next few years, and so it should.


Every business looks for growth. That will continue, particularly as we shake off the past few years.

And the State needs to set the conditions to facilitate growth as it's the only opportunity to release the debt burden in this state.

And then with the predictions that Melbourne will overtake Sydney as Australia’s biggest city within a decade, we will see growth in population.

This will have immediate impacts on housing, infrastructure, roads, schools, health facilities and energy utilisation which are already under pressure. This of course will place further strain on our already stretched financial position.

We must meet the challenges with a growth mindset, a plan for prosperity, and also a commitment to better manage costs. The name of the game is fiscal responsibility.

Economic prosperity drives the well-being of all Victorians. At the Victorian Chamber, we believe our financial recovery is not just about commerce, it’s also about confidence.

Partnership between the public and private sectors needs to be the focus. The private sector – made up of small, medium, family and large businesses – is motivated to grow the economy. Businesses know a thriving economy will get Victoria back on track. The Victorian Chamber strongly advocates for increased collaboration between government and business to achieve maximum productivity. And in turn, livability here in Victoria.

To combat Victoria’s escalating debt, we need to encourage more businesses here by creating an economic environment so they can grow, not slow.

To encourage growth and investment, we need to stop continually drawing on business to pay off the net debt in the form of taxes and levies. The weight of the States debt cannot be simply transferred to business.

With growth the aim, it’s important we take the best of Victoria to the world. Facilitating export opportunities for Victorian businesses is a must. Leveraging our relationships with Victoria’s international offices and Commissioners will achieve this. By backing business domestically, we are then in a better position to push it to international markets. “Made in Victoria” should be a rubber stamp to success. In turn, we should encourage more international businesses to establish operations in Victoria, and take advantage of our local industry, universities and TAFE’s which are the envy of most other jurisdictions. 

 Growth in Victoria is our best bet of achieving a prosperous society. It should be our collective mantra in 2024.

This opinion editorial originally appeared in the Herald Sun on Friday 29 December 2023.


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