From the Western Australian President

Peter Hobbs, WA President of Western Australia

Yesterday marked a positive turning point, with the first real relaxation of the social isolation that we have all been living under.  Who would have thought that we Aussies would have been so compliant and cooperative – aren’t we supposed to be the larrikins with anti-authoritarian tendencies?  As a community, we can only imagine how terrifying it must be in other parts of the world – places we all love to travel to – and what a reminder of what a fantastic place we live in, of how lucky we are.  On the face of it, we have dodged the worst for the time being – but where this thing ends up no one really knows.




That said, the financial hardship that has been caused has only just begun and could last for a considerable amount of time. Our economy is utterly changed in so many ways.  We have proven that offices can shrink, and I’m not sure the retail sector will go back to the way it was – online shopping is now even more entrenched – but is this good – is this the end of the Main street, or will it evolve into something new?

A common comment I’ve heard though, is that people have learnt something about themselves and how we live as community. I’ve heard many say that while they want this Covid thing to end, they don’t want to go back to how things were before.

One thing is for sure, the digital revolution that has been threatening to provide us with flexibility for so long has been forced upon us and is now an entrenched work practice. Digital meeting force us to focus and are easily moderated. For most part, they have been extremely efficient.  Time spent not travelling has given us all at least an hour back in our days. We have proven this can work.

I am hoping that the economic crisis will finally force us to reform, especially ludicrous taxes (like payroll tax and stamp duty). While I doubt this is the end of globablism, one hopes this gives rise to local and regional manufacturing.

From an advocacy position, the Institute has continued to lobby government with regards to strategic stimulus packages. We have been part of a chorus of voices requesting a delay in the introduction of NCC19, and for extensions to DA’s- and in this we have been successful.

Our State Manager, Beata, has released details of our Awards program this year – we’ve gone digital – judging is almost complete and our virtual night of nights is June 25th. I am optimistic this will extend our reach.

Finally, I’m not sure about you, but I’ve never heard the birds be louder, seen more people walking in the street exercising, or eaten more home-made bread!