By Allan Milostic
BLINK and it’s November already.
The summer heat has hit, Airlie Beach Music Festival is just around the corner, and Xmas parties are being arranged as we speak.
Time flies. A crazy reflection on how busy we all are.
It’s been a huge week for businesses in the Whitsundays, last week, with the Federal Budget being handed down and the Whitsunday Tourism Awards returning, after a three-year absence.
This year, the Tourism Awards incorporated the Chamber sponsored Business Awards.
Our congratulations to the winners in every category – it has been a hard job to just survive these last few years.
To overcome all obstacles and excel in the process is a testament to the effort, resilience and quality of the business owners in the region.
Notable winners in the People’s Choice Tourism Experience category were Ocean Rafting, whilst Big4 Adventure Caravan Park took out the People’s Choice Accommodation.
Congratulations to Crystal Lacey on her Young Achiever’s Award and special note to Michael and Elizabeth Hackett, recognised for the efforts with the Bob Porter Award for outstanding contribution.
In the business categories, it was fantastic to see a mix of established and new businesses.
The awards were based on a nomination process and the winner of the Businesses of the Year award was the hard-working team at Magnums!
Congratulations to the winners of the Outstanding Business awards: Shift for Service Businesses, Whitsunday Creative for Retail, Fish D’Vine for Hospitality Venue, and Airlie Beach Tourism for Booking Agents.
There’s not much room to comment on the budget but it was certainly a Federal Budget focussed on delivering on its election promises, tempered with warnings about ‘awful’ times ahead – factoring in massive increases in cost of living, especially electricity prices.
There is cost of living relief factored into childcare, cheaper medicines, more affordable housing, however, inflation will outpace wages growth for now.
To try and contain inflation, the Government has pumped very little back into the economy.
On the business front, key takeaways include more TAFE and university places for in-demand occupations, investment in skilled migration, digital traineeship programs, mental health support for small business, increased NBN connectivity and an extension of the ‘instant asset write off’ to June 30, 2023.