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WA business confidence plummets: report

The Western Australia Chamber of Commerce and Industry says businesses confidence has plummeted since the end of March in it’s June quarter business confidence survey.

WA Business confidenceThe WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry Commonwealth Bank business expectations survey for the June Quarter found that less than half of WA firms surveyed expect the economy to improve over the next year, a significant fall from the 62 percent who expected the economy to improve when the survey was last conducted in March.

Contributing to the slump in Western Australian business confidence are a combination of labour shortages, successive interest rate increases and fear over the Resource Super Profits Tax.

The WA CCI Resource Conference this week revealed that if the RSPT is introduced in its current form, the WA economy will be up to $60 billion smaller over the next decade than it otherwise would be. This is equivalent to the mining, construction and utilities sectors shutting down for a year.

The report also finds that there will be up to 100,000 fewer jobs, which equates to around nine percent of the total workforce.

WA CCI chief economist John Nicolaou said immigration reform was necessary to help the industry find the workers it needs without increasing labour costs. The WA CCI has pleaded with Prime Minister Julia Gillard to allow employers to be bring in the workers they need from overseas to build the projects that will create new jobs for Australians. 30 percent of respondents found labour in Western Australia to be “scarce”, with just 2 percent of the belief that labour was “abundant” in the state.