“A third of operators ought not to be there” & expect Gov action “quite fast”– Ian Yates

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At the LEADERS SUMMIT last Thursday, COTA Australia CEO, Ian Yates, who has a very close ear to Government, said consolidation needs to happen fast.

“Government notes the variability of performance financially and quality-wise of the sector. I have regularly said Government needs to accept the need for mounting a structural adjustment program in this sector… I’ve used a figure of a third of operators ought not be there.”

His justification is based on that reference to poor financial and quality standards.

And on the matter of if and when the Government may act on the recommendations, Yates disagreed with other commentators talking of three to five years, and even ten years.

He said: “I actually think it’s got to be quite fast. I think Government has to make decisions quite fast about a lot of it,” adding: “What really frightens them is they spend a whole lot of money and then in five years’ time we’ve got the same set of complaints. That really scares them.”

He also argued that the Government has indicated it is unlikely to have much patience for hold-ups.

“Richard Colbeck came into this role from a professional background of being a builder. I talked to him very early on in his Ministry that he had been visited by providers saying ‘this timetable needs to be moved, we’re not ready’. He said ‘when we introduced quality control systems and… etc. into the building industry, half of the building industry embraced it and half of them went off to Government and said ‘we can’t do it by that time table you’ve got to put it off’’.

He said ‘I was in the side that embraced it, I’m not listening to any of that stuff’.

You can read the full discussion from the LEADERS SUMMIT on SATURDAY, which is being delivered into your inbox this Saturday at 6am.

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