The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has congratulated SouthAustralian Premier-elect Peter Malinauskas on his victory at the stateelection.

The ARA looks forward to working with the Australian Labor Party (ALP) onissues affecting retailers in the state, and also thanks Steven Marshall onhis leadership during the pandemic and having the ear of Australia’s retailcommunity during a difficult time for the state’s economy.

Paul Zahra, CEO of the ARA, said whilst the worst of Covid is behind us,businesses disruption will be the new normal for some time in South Australiaas retailers combat the global economic uncertainty, skills shortages, andrising supply chain costs.

“The acute labour shortages that impacted retailers earlier in the year haveeased, however the sector is still affected by a shortage of front-lineworkers that pre-dated the pandemic and continues to be impacted by skillsshortages that have been exacerbated by border closures. Retailers will beseeking support from the new government to help increase the pool ofcandidates.

“The challenges impacting the retail supply chain are well documented and arepredicted to prevail for another year or more. We welcome collaborationbetween government and industry in addressing some of these challenges,” saidZahra.

Zahra believes that climate change will be the greatest disruptor the stateand business sector has ever seen.

“We recognise the positive role that both sides of politics have played inprotecting the environment in South Australia however, we believe there ismore to be done in stepping up our efforts to establish a more sustainable,inclusive sector which is critically important to business and consumers.

“The ARA has launched its Net-zero Roadmap for the Australian retail sectorand a Position Statement for Gender Equality. In-line with the United NationsSustainable Development Goals, we see several opportunities to reduceinequalities and accelerate our transition to the low-carbon, circular economyof the future and we warmly welcome the opportunity to engage in dialogue onthese issues.”

Zahra also said that shop trading hours in South Australia is an area indesperate need of reform, that currently the outdated restrictions are notreflective of modern-day consumer behaviour.

“Shops need flexibility to open when customers want to shop – in the morningat weekends, in the evening during the week and on public holidays. Weappreciate the ALP has a different view on this issue, however we arecommitted to good faith discussions on how we can provide increased tradinghour flexibility and turbo charge South Australia’s economy.”

Image: Facebook/PMalinauskasMP

Tagged: ALP, ARA, Peter Malinauskas, South Australia

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