Planning: Bulky Goods Outlets

Written on the 8 February 2012

The challenges of the coming year will be significant to many Victorian businesses. The retail sector is one area that has had to compete in an ever-challenging global economy and deal with the realities of online trading, a high Australian dollar and a customer that is becoming increasingly cautious due to both national and international pressures.


One of the most important areas of retail business is in bulky goods. Over 20 per cent of Australian retail sales are of bulky goods. Bulky goods is second to the leader in the retail economy, that being the food sector. The bulky goods sector both directly and indirectly employs around 96 000 people in Victoria.


So it was with great pleasure that I was in attendance with the Minister for Planning, Matthew Guy, and the member for Bentleigh in the other place, Elizabeth Miller, at a major announcement made by the minister at the Baby Bunting store in Bentleigh just a few weeks ago.


That announcement was widely applauded by a number of large bulky goods organisations that employ thousands of Victorians. The announcement has given the industry confidence. It will allow for jobs growth and give flexibility to Victoria's retail industry. As the minister said at the time, 'These sensible changes to the planning scheme will allow expansion of new and existing retail businesses in Victoria'. These are changes which the industry had for years urged the previous government to consider.


In 2007 the former government reviewed retail policy but reached no resolution. That indecision gave uncertainty to business and put hundreds of jobs at risk.


In contrast, this government is getting on with making decisions for Victorians. It is no wonder that in December's Sensis Business Index Victoria led the nation in business confidence.

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