Leading executives fleeing Western Australia due to strict border rules and restrictions

In response to the delay in reopening the Western Australia (WA) border, some key executives of Australia’s largest companies are fleeing to the east.

Rob Scott, CEO of A $ 60 billion retail group Wesfarmers, said it was “virtually impossible” to run a conglomerate that owns national retail brands Officeworks, Bunnings and Kmart. You will be leaving the office for a “long term”. , And Target-From Perth.

Western Australian Prime Minister Mark McGowan has announced that the reopening of the state border scheduled for February 5 will be postponed due to the outbreak of COVID-19 Omicron strains in eastern Australia, after which key executives have also moved east. increase. situation.

“Uncertainty about when borders will reopen and lack of flexibility for business-critical travel means that it is virtually impossible to run a domestic business from Perth,” said Scott. I mentioned in. Australian Financial Review..

“It’s no longer just an inconvenience, it’s a serious challenge,” he added.

Epoch Times Photo
Premier of Western Australia Mark McGowan will speak when announced on December 13, 2021 in Perth, Australia. (AAPImage / Richard Wainwright)

“We have benefited from attracting great talent to WA in the past. The family has moved to live here, which has become increasingly difficult and now almost impossible. I Is worried that this feeling may be prolonged. “

Meanwhile, Wesfarmers will be headquartered in Perth.

Richard Goider, chairman of oil giant Woodside Petroleum, Qantas, the state-owned airline, and the Australian Football League (AFL) Commission are also heading east.

“It was too difficult to work here with Qantas and AFL, based on border rules, their way of doing things, and recent changes,” he said. 6PR radio January 31st.

He also said that it is infeasible for the very popular AFL team in the West to continue its activities under strict 14-day quarantine requirements.

“I don’t think there is a big desire for non-WA players to quarantine,” he said.

“It costs a lot to do AFL to do some of the things we had to do in the last few years,” he added. “It’s an important issue for both the West Coast (of the AFL team) and Fremantle because it requires home games and spectators, but it’s also a big issue for the AFL.”

Western Australia’s Prime Minister McGowan’s decision to keep the border closed, popular with the general public and some mining companies, has frustrated business groups.

The Australian industry group, the peak industry group, has accused the WA government of not being involved in the business before shelving plans to reopen it.

Innes Willox, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Industrial Group, said: Said..

“This decision was made without meaningful consultation with the industry, and most of the state economy has already suffered from staff shortages, substantial labor migration, serious supply chain stress, and significant reputational decline. Little did they understand the tension of being given. As a place to do business that WA is already suffering from. “

The Western Australian Chamber of Commerce said that nearly one-third of the companies surveyed admit to being “negatively” affected by ongoing border restrictions.

Of the 372 respondents to the survey, 82% said they would have difficulty accessing workers, 82% said they would face wage pressure, 72% expected supply chain disruption, and 71% put into production. I expected the cost to rise.

Daniel Y. Ten