Business News Releases

VECCI’s response to the Fair Work Commission’s annual national minimum wage increase

CHIEF Executive Mark Stone says VECCI does not dispute that those on the minimum wage deserve a pay increase but the $18.70 per week increase is significantly in excess of VECCI’s recommendation of an $8.50 per week maximum. 

"Despite acknowledging the weak growth in hours worked, continuing high youth unemployment and a falling full-time employment to population ratio, the Fair Work Commission has again ordered a minimum wage increase in excess of the rate of inflation," Mr Stone said.

"At the end of the day, business foots the bill and this 3% increase must be paid in addition to the further 0.25% increase in the Superannuation Guarantee Levy from 1 July 2014, putting further pressure on those Victorian businesses already facing increased costs of doing business and challenging economic conditions.

"VECCI is disappointed that there was no deferral of the increase in whole or in part for some struggling sectors of the economy such as retail, tourism, restaurants and catering, hospitality and manufacturing.

"Setting the minimum wage is a balancing act but the result must not end up being a barrier for entry into the employment market that discourages employers from taking on people or places existing jobs at risk," he said.

"Higher rates of pay do no good if the jobs that pay them disappear and recruitment opportunities, particularly for young people, dry up."


The Victorian Employers' Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI) is the peak body for employers in Victoria, informing and servicing more than 15,000 members, customers and clients around the state.


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ARA welcomes new CEO of Service Skills Australia

PEAK retail industry body the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) congratulates Yasmin King on her new role as Chief Executive Officer of Service Skills Australia (SSA) and thanks predecessor Jeanette Allen for her 10 years of outstanding service to SSA and the retail industry.

ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said the ARA and ARA Retail Institute have always had a strong working relationship with Jeanette Allen during her time as CEO of SSA.

“On behalf of the ARA and the retail industry, I would like to wish Ms Allen all the best for her future endeavours.

“The ARA and Retail Institute have also maintained a strong working relationship with Yasmin King during her time as Small Business Commissioner for NSW.

“We congratulate Ms King on her new appointment and look forward to continuing a long and fruitful relationship once her new role officially commences on 17 June,” Mr Zimmerman said.

Since 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has been the peak industry body representing Australia’s $265 billion retail sector, which employs over 1.2 million people. The ARA ensures retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 5,000 independent and national retail members throughout Australia.

Visit or call 1300 368 041.


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VECCI launches Election Campaign with four priority areas


VICTORIA's most influential employer group today launched its election campaign warning the major parties that jobs, infrastructure, skills and international engagement will be vital issues in the November election.

The Victorian Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI) listed key priorities within these four areas that the major parties must address to win the support of Victorian business.

VECCI Chief Executive Mark Stone said Victoria has a solid economic base and industries such as health, finance, education and agribusiness have been identified as having growth potential.

“However Victoria’s potential will not be realised without policies that drive greater investment, confidence and business activity,” said Mr Stone.

“There must be incentives for employers to expand their business and employ more people.”

In launching VECCI’s Taking Care of Business campaign, Mr Stone highlighted some of VECCI’s priorities:


- Lift the threshold at which a business starts paying payroll tax to $850,000 - bringing payroll relief to 40,000 businesses and generating more jobs for Victoria. 


- Commence construction of East West Link Stages 1 and 2 and the Melbourne Rail Link. 

- Commit to the expansion of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre – which would increase business tourism income by $150 million a year. 


- Increase VET in schools funding to reduce youth unemployment and stimulate apprenticeships and traineeships. 

- Redirect Training Guarantee funding to support career paths in the services sectors including hospitality, tourism and retail. 

International Engagement

- Commit $75 million to Victoria’s international engagement strategy over the next four years. 

- Build on Victoria’s strong export base by partnering with business to capitalise on free trade agreements and grow export opportunities in Asia across a wide range of industries. 

Mr Stone said VECCI had launched its campaign almost six months before the election so the major parties have enough time to commit to its agenda for business.

“This is a crucial election for Victorian business,” said Mr Stone.

“A strong business sector means a financially healthier Victoria and VECCI has highlighted a number of recommendations vital to this. Many are longer term innovations that will require detailed discussion with both sides of politics.

“We are seeking a commitment to our agenda from the major political parties to ensure Victoria remains the best place in Australia to live, work and do business.”


The Victorian Employers' Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI) is the peak body for employers in Victoria, informing and servicing more than 15,000 members, customers and clients around the state.




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Melbourne’s State of Origin coup to bring significant benefit to Victorian tourism


THE Victoria Events Industry Council (VEIC) has praised the announcement that Melbourne will host a rugby league State of Origin match in 2015, for the significant benefit it will bring to Victoria’s tourism industry.

The match reportedly has the potential to bring $20 million to Melbourne and VEIC Chief Executive Dianne Smith says business across the industry will reap the rewards.

“It will be wonderful to have State of Origin at the MCG again for the first time since 1997,” says Ms Smith.

“There will be significant flow-on benefits throughout the economy to hotels, restaurants and visitor attractions from the Victorian and interstate visitors coming to enjoy the match and experience what our great state has to offer.

“This reinforces Melbourne’s credentials as a global leader for sporting events and complements a rich calendar of events across a range of sectors.

“In the past State of Origin has played host to sell-out crowds of up to 100,000 fans, so we look forward to people getting behind it once again.” 

Ms Smith says Melbourne will be showcased nationally as four million television viewers around Australia reportedly watched last week’s match.

Victorian rugby will also benefit, as the event will enhance the reputation of local team, Melbourne Storm, and grow the popularity of the game throughout the state.




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Government extends funding support for women in resources

THE Australian Government’s commitment to continue funding a successful online mentoring program for women working in mining, oil and gas, is today welcomed by national resource industry employer group, AMMA.

An AMMA initiative, the Australian Women in Resources Alliance (AWRA) e-Mentoring Program was launched in early 2013 with a mandate to provide valuable support to women forging a career in the mining, oil and gas sectors.

“More than 150 resource professionals are already benefiting from the AWRA e-Mentoring Program, which facilitates a nine-month online mentoring relationship tailored to the remote locations and non-traditional work schedules of many resource workers,” says Tara Diamond, AMMA executive director, industry services.

“The federal government’s decision to continue joint-funding the AWRA e-Mentoring Program for another two years mirrors the commitment of resource employers to build a pipeline of female talent.

“Women have a critical role to play in ensuring the industry has the skills and talent to build and operate major resource projects well into the future, however the workforce is not as diverse as it could be.

“Investment in initiatives like AWRA is vital if we are to see women’s participation in the sector increase from the current 15% to our goal of 25% by 2020.”

Ms Diamond says following its initial success, the e-Mentoring scope will now target demographics of women which are particularly underrepresented in the industry.

“AWRA will bring on board experienced male and female mentors to engage with Indigenous and recently trade qualified women in the resources and allied sectors, as well as graduates in non-traditional roles,” she says.

“The real value of the e-Mentoring program is that each mentee has access to the most appropriate mentor from a variety of levels in the resource, related construction and allied service sectors, anywhere in the country.

“For a woman working on a remote mine site or oil rig, a connection to an experienced professional working in a different state or on another project can make all the difference to their career development.”

The e-Mentoring program is part of a suite of AWRA initiatives designed to attract, retain and develop women in the resource industry. This includes the AWRA Recognised Program – the industry’s first assessment of a resource organisation’s gender diversity capability.





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