Retail group outlines agenda for first Retail Council meeting

The GST threshold and parcel processing flaws are among the issues the Australian Retailers Association will discuss at the first meeting of the Retail Council of Australia later this week.

 

The council, which will hold its first meeting this Wednesday, was set up by the Federal Government in response to the retail downturn.

 

Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury recently announced additional members of the council.

 

“The council will provide a valuable opportunity for the government to engage closely with the sector and discuss issues of importance to the future of retail in Australia,” Bradbury said.

 

According to Bradbury, the council was established in response to the issues raised by the Productivity Commission in its inquiry into the economic structure and performance of Australia’s retail industry.

 

“These and other issues will form the basis for the council’s discussions,” he said.

 

The additional members to the council include Deborah Sharkey from eBay, Joe de Bruyn from the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association, and Milton Cockburn from the Shopping Centre Council of Australia.

 

Other new members are Philippa Kelly from the Bulky Goods Retailers Association, and Shannon Walker from the Australian Sporting Goods Association.

 

They join Matt Levey from CHOICE, Margy Osmond from the Australian National Retailers Association, Peter Strong from the Council of Small Business of Australia, and Russell Zimmerman from the Australian Retailers Association.

 

Bradbury said the council members will together create a “diverse and dynamic” group, but will each bring their own knowledge, experience and expertise to the table.

 

Zimmerman, who welcomes the new members of the council, says he is looking forward to attending the first meeting on Wednesday.

 

“The ARA is looking forward to meeting with the Retail Council of Australia, which was formed to provide a direct link between industry and government to address issues confronting the retail sector both now and for its future success,” he says.

“The ARA will be working with the council on issues outlined by last year’s Productivity Commission report and acknowledged by government.”

 

“[These include] the need for a swift reduction of the Low Value Imports Threshold to ensure a level playing field for Australian retailers compared to their international counterparts.”

“As well as the need for review of the GST threshold and parcel processing inefficiencies, the ARA will also discuss productivity, tenancy and other issues significantly impacting the sector and need to be addressed in a 24/7, multichannel shopping economy.”

 

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