Another election is over in the Hunter region and although no seats have changed, some ground has clearly shifted.

Federal Labor suffered swings against it in several of its traditional heartland seats – notably in the seat of Hunter, where more than 20% of the primary vote went to One Nation – with mixed messaging on mining and climate change widely thought to be responsible.

Both major parties will have to carefully manage these issues going forward as business and communities need to feel reassured that relevant policies, including environmental and energy, are underpinned by sound economic and employment outcomes.

On a positive note, the election result promises to bring stability to government and ease the business uncertainty created by back-to-back state and federal elections in NSW. Additionally, internal party reforms on both sides of politics will hopefully see an end to the ‘revolving door’ of leadership.

With the Morrison Government reinstated, the Chamber looks forward to seeing the implementation of business-friendly policies announced in the April budget, including tax breaks, expansion of the instant asset write-off program, extra funding to help businesses break into export markets and increased incentives for employers taking on apprentices.

The apprenticeship package is particularly important in this region, where skills shortages are constantly reported by local business as a constraint to growth.

Looking to the future

The Chamber is pleased to present the University of Newcastle’s new Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alex Zelinsky AO, as guest speaker for our next Infrastructure Series lunch, at Merewether Surfhouse on Friday 7 June.

The university has been a key player in the revitalisation of the Newcastle CBD and, through education and research, continues to play an integral role in shaping our region’s future workforce and economic profile. 

Professor Zelinsky assumes the Vice-Chancellorship of the University of Newcastle at an important and transformational time in the Hunter, as we seek to harness the region’s assets, become smarter and more innovative, and enhance our national and global impact.

If you would like to join us to hear Professor Zelinsky’s insights, you can book online through the Chamber website. 

Making your customers work for you

It’s a hard truth, but consumers don't respond to marketing the way they used to. Today, people trust recommendations from their friends, family and your existing customers more than they trust your sales and marketing.

The good news is, there are ways to harness those ‘word of mouth’ endorsements and make them work for your business – and there are opportunities for huge growth for businesses that successfully do so.

At our next Business Development Forum, we’ll hear from Kat Warboys, Head of Marketing at Hubspot, about how you can turn your customers into your best marketing channel.

This business breakfast event is on at Marina Views, in Wickham, on Wednesday 5 June. Book online to secure your seat.

Kind regards,

Bob Hawes – Chief Executive Officer, Hunter Business Chamber