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Woolies, Wesfarmers CEOs Want Local Production, Skilled Migration

As Anthony Albanese is sworn in as Australia’s 31st Prime Minister, the CEOs of two of Australia’s biggest retail groups have called upon the new government to fix a number of issues in order to rebuild the economy.

Wesfarmers CEO Rob Scott said he would work in the new government on a range of these issues, saying they have a “mandate to address these challenges”.

“As a nation we’d benefit from increased workforce participation, further action on climate change, a resumption of immigration programs and tax reform across the federation,” Scott said.

“We’d also welcome measures which respond to current cost of living pressures as well as strategies which support long-term, sustainable gains in productivity, and with that, wages growth.”

“We need to build a consensus on the best way to sustainably grow real wages for the benefit of workers and the economy as a whole,” Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci said.

“The pandemic has sharpened our focus on the importance of our ports, rail and road networks, along with local manufacturing capability, to underpin food security and essential supply.

“The planned investment through the National Reconstruction Fund and commitment to critical road and rail infrastructure funding will help build much-needed resilience to withstand further shocks.”

Earlier this month the two CEOs backed the Australian Retailers Association’s call for the Fair Work Commission to lift the minimum wage.

“I should note that from a Wesfarmers point of view, I see real wage growth as a very good thing,” Scott told reporters.

“Real wage growth is a good thing for the economy, and if it’s good for the economy, it’s generally good for Wesfarmers.”


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