Health and the Economy - The Hon Gladys Berejiklian MP, Premier of NSW

NSW is leading the way out of the Covid-induced recession with its ‘gold standard’ health response, facilitating an economy that added some 36,000 jobs in October and a State unemployment rate the lowest in the country at 6.5 per cent.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and her team have worked hard to carefully and consistently strike a balance between protecting public health and ensuring the economy can keep running and employment is sustained.

The Premier remains committed to the private sector leading economic recovery and growth, encouraging businesses to set up and headquarter in NSW through payroll tax incentives and focusing on revitalising Sydney’s CBD as it starts to regain foot traffic. The government has bolstered Sydney’s recovery through several initiatives including the ‘Summer Summit’, ‘Festival of Place’, and the ‘Dine and Discover’ voucher system.

Along with these targeted initiatives, on a bigger and broader scale, DPIE has been rapidly reforming the cumbersome planning process, with several long-overdue planning reforms (many of which we advocated for in our report – Great Cities don’t Happen by Chance). This included the Planning System Acceleration Program that involves fast-tracking assessments of State Significant Developments as well as supporting local councils to fast-track locally significant DA’s to build community infrastructure. This was given added impetus with the introduction of the e-planning system that is reducing time and cutting red tape at a local government level.

While this suite of programs and reforms has assisted the development and construction industries to continue during Covid, the arts and entertainment sector has been hit hard. The Premier made it clear that this sector has her backing as an important driver of employment, tourism and better mental health right across our great city. There has also been a series of funding programs for suburban and CBD activation for live performance and other cultural endeavours, backing the recovery of this sector of the economy that is vital for a global city.

With universities also significantly impacted by Covid due to the loss of international students. the Premier continues to be at the economic recovery forefront by encouraging the Federal Government to grant special exemptions and other means in order to bring these students back to Sydney campuses.

As we welcome the summer and put a close to 2020, sporadic Covid 19 outbreaks continue to remind us of the presence of this highly contagious disease and that we must remain vigilant as individuals and businesses to keep our health and the health of the economy strong.

Sydney Business Chamber held an online forum with NSW Premier, The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP, on Thursday 3 December 2020.

Media contact: David Peters 0413 872 491

Sydney Business Chamber had been the leading voice for business in Sydney for 200 years. We advocate, influence, and deliver policies and outcomes to drive economic growth and create opportunities to invest, work, live and visit our city.

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David Peters

Public Affairs Manager, Sydney Business Chamber