THE WA ELECTION: With the election run and won convincingly by Labor, for small business it brings disappointment for some and rejoicing for others. From CoSBA’s perspective, we congratulate Labor and the new Premier on being elected to Government, and being non-partisan, we view it with a positive and optimistic out-look, it will no doubt be the dawning of a new era.

SmartCompany, March 13 2017 reported: “WA Premier-elect Mark McGowan promises to go back to his small business roots with SME growth package. After a convincing win in Saturday’s state election, Western Australian premier-elect Mark McGowan says he will hit the ground running to improve the state, including by rolling out a comprehensive package for small businesses and startups in the region.”

That is excellent news for small business, particularly in the region, but the new Premier has a millstone around his neck he will need to deal with. The Australian, 13.3.17, reported: “Former trade union officials and MPs with close ties to powerful unions – will be a force in the new West Australian cabinet.” The unions, the pseudo “owners” of the new Government, are already flexing their muscles and are attempting to exert their influence over it.

And, The West Australian, 13 March 2017 reported:  “The head of one of WA’s most militant unions says Labor leader Mark McGowan owes trade unions for his victory on Saturday. “I reckon the campaign was won largely by the union movement,” he said. “He really owes the unions re privatisations, re putting Australian jobs first, re not selling the port.” “At least a dozen members of Mr McGowan’s new government are linked to dominant left-wing union United Voice.”

Conversely, we are somewhat encouraged by a report in the 14.3.17 edition of The Australian newspaper under the heading ‘WA election: we’re open to business, says Mark McGowan’ that concludes: “The premier-elect said he was in charge of his government and would not be beholden to anyone, including unions, for his win.”

We have written to the new Premier with congratulations for his party being elected to Government and himself as Premier, we also said: “We have just experienced eight years of Government that has been of and for the “big end of town” and we trust that we can look to your Government being one also of and for small business, and if that is intended to be so we look forward establishing a relationship with your Government that we experienced with the former Gallop/Carpenter Labor Governments.”