The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is urging the new Coalition Government Ministry to make business and the economy a focus of the next three years, despite the removal of the small business portfolio from cabinet.
This follows the recent reshuffle of the Turnbull frontbench, which saw Greg Hunt named as Minister for industry, innovation and science.
Following the changes, the ARA said the re-elected Coalition Government cannot ignore the challenges at hand.
ARA executive director, Russell Zimmerman, said he is pleased to see consistency in treasury portfolios, with the retention of Scott Morrison as treasurer and Kelly O’Dwyer as minister for revenue and financial services.
However, he made note that the ARA is bitterly disappointed to see that the small business portfolio has been removed from cabinet.
“Given its important role within the economy, the omission of the small business portfolio from one of the largest cabinets in decades does not augur well,” he said.
“The exclusion of small business at a point when the economy needs business the most, is step backwards.
"We can only hope that [new small business minister] Michael McCormack is able to make the voice of small business heard.
"We also look forward to developing a close working relationship with [minister for education and training] Simon Birmingham and [assistant minister for vocational education and skills] Karen Andrews on the further improvement of education and skills in Australia."
According to Zimmerman, the retainment of Michaelia Cash as minister for employment is also important for the retail industry.
“From the ARA’s perspective, there needs to be a consensus on a productivity agenda that drives growth through real workplace flexibility changes, lowering of the tax base for business to individuals, and pushing state-based reform on business costs such as construction, planning, and tax bases,” he added.