Australia-New Zealand leadership critical to lock in recovery

Business Council of Australia

Chronic labour shortages, a volatile Indo-Pacific region and the major global economic shifts ahead will be top of the agenda for leaders meeting at today’s Australian-New Zealand leadership forum.

“As the agenda setting nations in the region, there has never been a more important time for New Zealand and Australia to work together, Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said.

“As the world changes around us, we’ll need to cooperate closer than ever before to restructure our industries and put them at the cutting edge of new ways to create jobs, boost wages and secure the future.

“We are both grappling with major challenges, including a critical shortage of workers and supply chain blockages that are pushing up prices and kneecapping productivity.

“In Australia, workforce shortages mean one in five trucks is sitting idle and more than half a million jobs are unfilled.

“Meeting this urgent challenge will mean working together towards better mutual recognition of skills and greater labour mobility across the whole region.

“We’ll need to skill up workers on both sides of the Tasman and work in tandem to attract the most talented and in demand workers.

“Both nations will also need close collaboration and cooperation to diversify and decarbonise our industries, including helping to build the regional clean energy supply chains needed.

“And, on national security both New Zealand and Australia should continue to work closely together to secure our long-term shared interests with a strong focus on our neighbours in the pacific.”

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