Asia St: Australia’s New Ministers Signal Areas for Companies to Watch

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Australia’s New Ministers Signal Areas for Companies to Watch

May 31, 2022

(Photo Credit: @AlboMP).

The BGA Australia Team led by Managing Director Fergus Hanson, wrote an update to clients on Australia’s new Labor government’s Ministry.

Context

  • Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced his new Labor government’s Ministry which was sworn in on June 1. The interim ministers sworn in on May 23 will largely retain their portfolios while the newly announced ministers will handle issues affecting business including cybersecurity, defense and competition.
  • The new ministers will be challenged to implement Labor’s election pledges in social services and climate change while keeping the budget under control and addressing cost-of-living concerns. Labor faces additional pressure from new opposition leader Peter Dutton. Parliament will convene on July 26. 

Significance

  • Andrew Leigh, an economist will become assistant minister for competition. Leigh aims to encourage greater foreign investment and wants Australia to follow regulatory trends in the United States and Europe. As part of its 2020-25 Digital Platforms Services Inquiry, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is consulting on regulatory options to address competition and consumer concerns identified to date
  • Chris Bowen has received Climate Change and Energy, and Madeline King will serve in Resources. During the election campaign, Labor committed to stronger action on climate change and renewable energy but also expressed support for the coal and gas sectors. Labor performed particularly strongly in King’s state of Western Australia.

Implications

  • Companies can expect the new Ministry to encourage greater foreign investment and opportunities in for both renewable energy and the oil and gas sectors.
  • Economic issues, including industrial relations, tax and wages reforms are a concern for the opposition leader who suggests business leaders are focusing too much on social policies.

BGA will continue to keep you updated on developments in Australia as they occur. If you have any comments or questions, please contact BGA Australia Managing Director Fergus Hanson at fhanson@bowergroupasia.com