News releases highlight announcements of new reports, submissions and policy positions as well as reaction to developments in areas of policy focus related to the BCA agenda.
Visit the News Room archive for content published prior to 2012.
Business Council of Australia Response to the 2013–14 Federal Budget
14 May 2013 – This year’s budget makes plain how much effort and leadership will be needed in future to get fiscal policy in Australia back on a sustainable footing.
BCA Statement on Reasonable, Practical Coalition Changes to Workplace Laws
9 May 2013 – The changes proposed will make it easier for businesses to employ people and stay competitive, and help make the economy stronger.
Statement by BCA Chief Executive on the National Disability Insurance Scheme Levy
1 May 2013 – The scheme is an important reform, but announcing a levy to fund part of it before determining the details of how the scheme will work is putting the cart before the horse.
Coalition Paid Parental Leave Scheme Funding: Comments by BCA CEO Jennifer Westacott
23 April 2013 – Suggestions that the Coalition may renege on its promise to offset its proposed 1.5 per cent levy on larger businesses defies economic sense at a time when many businesses are struggling to stay competitive in a tough global economy.
Browse Decision a Stark Warning to Act on High Costs
12 April 2013 – The decision by Woodside Energy to shelve its proposed Browse LNG project near James Price Point in West Australia is a stark warning of the cost pressures in the Australian economy.
Australia–China CEO Roundtable Meeting
9 April 2013 – The third meeting of the Australia–China CEO Roundtable has been hailed as a success by its Chinese and Australian co-hosts.
Direct Trading of Australian and Chinese Currencies Welcome
8 April 2013 – The announcement that Australian and Chinese currencies will be directly traded on the Chinese mainland for the first time is welcome.
Fair Work Act Amendments Should Go Back to Drawing Board
21 March 2013 – the Fair Work Act amendments will put further stress on businesses struggling to adjust to competitiveness pressures, and should be sent back to the drawing board.
Indigenous Employment the Key, but Employer-Directed Training Critical
Jobs are only part of the solution to ending Indigenous disadvantage, BCA President says at GenerationOne event in Canberra.
IR Changes Damaging to Jobs and the National Interest
19 March 2013 – Four business groups call on the government to reconsider its recently announced second tranche of amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009.
Locking in Penalty Rates Does Nothing to Create Jobs
14 March 2013 – The federal government’s proposed hard wiring of penalty rates in industrial relations laws will undermine the ability of all businesses – large, medium and small – to create jobs.
All Pain for No Environmental Gain
12 March 2013 – Proposed amendments to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act represent another broken promise.
Back to the Future with Government IR Changes8 March 2013
Today’s media reports signal the government is more interested in meeting union demands than growing jobs and productivity, with industrial relations changes that hark back to the strike-ridden 1970s and 1980s. [more]
Time Running Out to Get the Budget Back on Track6 March 2013
The government’s execution of its fiscal strategy is not working and needs a major rethink and urgent action. [more]
James Strong4 March 2013
On behalf of the members of the Business Council of Australia, President Tony Shepherd has offered his condolences to the family of James Strong. [more]
Comments by BCA President Tony Shepherd on Coalition Plans for a Productivity Commission Investigation of the Fair Work Act1 March 2013
An independent investigation by a respected body such as the Productivity Commission is a transparent way to identify reforms that will support more productive workplaces.[more]
Red Tape Not the Answer on Skills23 February 2013
The changes to 457 visa arrangements announced by the federal government are a classic regulatory overreach that risks damaging the competitiveness and viability of important projects and businesses.
Building Code 2013 an Unwelcome Cost to the Economy14 February 2013
Business should be fully consulted before the Building Code 2013 is progressed any further. [more]
Statement of Support for Act of Recognition13 February 2013
Today’s Act of Recognition by the federal parliament as an important step towards a referendum to achieve meaningful constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. [more]
Good Governance Must Continue through Long Campaign30 January 2013
The Prime Minister’s announcement that she plans to go to the polls on 14 September doesn’t reduce the importance of the government staying focused on delivering policies for long-term growth and jobs, not just on winning an election later in the year. [more]
Roundtable Begins Search for Ways to Improve Job Opportunities for Disadvantaged Groups21 December 2012
A joint roundtable stemming from the collaboration between ACOSS, the BCA, and the ACTU found there are major barriers towards getting unemployed people into jobs.[more]
Budget Conditions Call for a Stronger Medium-Term Strategy20 December 2012
The announcement by the government that it will not achieve a budget surplus in 2012–13 is a realistic reading of the economic and fiscal situation. [more]
Statement from BCA President Tony Shepherd on the COAG Business Advisory Forum 6 December 2012
There has been failure to make meaningful progress on the critical reform of eliminating costly double handling of environmental assessments and approvals under the national Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. [more]
New Requirements for Regulation Must Be Followed5 December 2012
The final response to the independent review of the federal government’s Regulatory Impact Analysis process is another important step in getting the regulation-making process back on track. [more]
Joint Statement on ACOSS, ACTU and BCA Cooperation4 December 2012
ACOSS, the ACTU and the BCA have released a joint statement outlining how they will cooperate to tackle entrenched disadvantage through collaborative action. [more]
Strong Showing in 2012 BCA Indigenous Engagement Survey23 November 2012
Indigenous engagement is fast becoming an essential aspect of business practice among Australia’s large companies. [more]
Cost of Electricity Still Higher than Needed Following Review19 December 2012
The failure of the Climate Change Authority to recommend adjusting the RET scheme so it delivers on its intended contribution of 20 per cent of Australia’s energy by 2020 will impose additional, unnecessary costs on the economy. [more]
Draft Standards Can Be a Win for Environment and Economy2 November 2012
Draft environmental approval standards an important step in ensuring protection needed for Australia's unique environment and reduce the double handling in the current system. [more]
Competitiveness the Key to Australia’s Energy Future8 November 2012
Lifting competitiveness and efficiency to put downward pressure on the cost of energy supplied to export markets and domestic consumers will be critical to the quality of our lifestyles and economic growth. [more]
Asian Strategy a Sound Platform for Enduring Prosperity28 October 2012
The federal government’s Australia in the Asian Century White Paper highlights how the rise and growth of Asia presents immense opportunities to shape Australia’s destiny. [more]
Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook Reinforces Need for a Medium-Term Fiscal Strategy22 October 2012
Achieving a surplus is a worthy goal, but it must be a surplus that reflects a continuing strong focus on growth and competitiveness and be based on a credible, medium-term strategy. [more]
Response to the Draft Report of the Business Tax Working Group24 October 2012
What remains important is that the government commits to the goal of a 25 per cent company tax rate as part of a comprehensive, decade-long tax reform process and as fiscal circumstances permit. [more]
Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook Priority Must Be Growth, Not Surplus at Any Cost21 October 2012
The federal government should focus in its forthcoming Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook on growth and outlining a credible fiscal strategy rather than delivering a surplus at any cost. [more]
Key Reports Highlight the Infrastructure Privatisation Prize 18 October 2012
Two key reports to government today reinforce the need for ongoing energy market reform and set out a compelling case for selling publicly owned infrastructure assets to the private sector.[more]
BCA Chief Executive Appointed IPAA National Fellow9 October 2012
BCA Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott has been appointed a National Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia. [more]
Infrastructure NSW Presents a Plan Worth Paying For3 October 2012
The release of the Infrastructure New South Wales report paves the way for the state's economic infrastructure future. [more]
A Lower Business Tax Burden Still a Priority for Growth28 September 2012
Tax reform should be revisited for a more strategic approach to the role tax can play for a stronger economy. [more]
Constitutional Recognition a Goal Worth Getting Right20 September 2012
An ‘Act of Recognition’ would move our country toward a referendum for recognition of Indigenous Australians in our Constitution.
GST Distribution an Important Step in Tax Reform4 September 2012
Calls by state governments to distribute GST revenue according to population share is the best way to fix a system in desperate need of reform. [more]
Plan for NSW Transport Infrastructure on the Right Track
4 September 2012
Business and community confidence in the NSW economy should be boosted with the release of the Draft NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan. [more]
Australia’s High Fixed Carbon Price the Elephant in the Room28 August 2012
Linking our emissions trading system to the EU's does not address the fact that Australian businesses still face the world’s highest carbon price until 2015.[more]
Energy Policy Reforms Need to Have a Market Focus7 August 2012
BCA Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott welcomes calls by the PM for reforms in the energy market that will place energy policy at the centre of Australia’s economic performance. [more]
Fair Work Act Review Must Be Used as Opportunity to Shore up Australia’s Competitiveness 2 August 2012
The review panel has failed to come to terms with the fundamental challenge of supporting Australia’s competitiveness in a vastly changed economic landscape. [more]
Time is Right to Give the Social Safety Net a Health Check27 June 2012
The BCA welcomes the decision of the Senate to examine the adequacy of income support payments such as the Newstart allowance. [more]
Cross-sector Synergy on Infrastructure Reform13 June 2012
The Business Council of Australia responds to recommendations found in the Infrastructure Finance Reform Working Group’s report. [more]
Pipeline or Pipe Dream? New Research Uncovers What’s at Stake If We Don’t Get It Right on Major Projects7 June 2012
The story of our Australia’s massive investment pipeline is really about an economy-wide investment boom, not just a mining boom, but this investment is far from assured.
Investment in Asian Learning Will Strengthen Our Ability to Engage with Asia4 June 2012
Additional federal government funding to encourage Asian learning in schools deserves strong support from business. [more]
Open Letter to Members of the Australian Labor Party Caucus about the Enterprise Migration Agreement Program28 May 2012
Tying up the government's Enterprise Migration Agreement program in more red tape is potentially unmanageable and is no way to help Australian workers.[more]
Migration Agreement a Step in Keeping the Pipeline Flowing25 May 2012
The approval by the federal government of its first Enterprise Migration Agreement for the Roy Hill project in Western Australia's Pilbara region is a welcome step. [more]
New Economic Opportunities from Australia–Malaysia Agreement 22 May 2012
The signing of a free trade agreement between Australia and Malaysia would help strengthen economic relations between the two nations. [more]
Business Awaits COAG Backing for Major Projects Inquiry10 May 2012
BCA proposal for a Productivity Commission inquiry needs the backing of COAG. [more]
Budget a Start but a Comprehensive Strategy Must Follow8 May 2012
The Budget has taken some steps to strengthen Australia’s economy and fiscal foundations but has not fully grasped the opportunity to set a clear direction for the future that will build business and community confidence. [more]
More Work Needed to Ensure Quality Sustainable Aged Care20 April 2012
Further work and more substantial reforms will be needed if we are to place Australia in a better position to fund quality aged care for a growing number of older Australians. [more]
VET Plan Addresses Quality, Choice and Responsiveness19 March 2012
Plans to reform Australia’s vocational education and training system have the potential to improve its quality and responsiveness to student and industry needs.[more]
Statement from BCA President Tony Shepherd on the COAG Meeting on 13 April 201213 April 2012
The outcomes of the meeting should give people confidence that our governments can work together effectively to deliver important outcomes for productivity and competitiveness. [more]
Discussion Paper for the COAG Business Advisory Forum
10 April 2012
How can COAG more effectively deliver on its agenda and lift national competitiveness and productivity? [more]
Joint Support for Promoting and Improving US Access to Australian Temporary Skilled Work Visas2 April 2012
There is a real potential for skilled US workers to temporarily fill skills gaps in Australia to the benefit of the individuals concerned, our membership and our economies. [more]
COAG Reform Council Report into Cities Planning
2 April 2012 – The Business Council of Australia supports the key findings in the CRC’s report assessing the performance of our governments in cities planning.
VET Plan Addresses Quality, Choice and Responsiveness
19 March 2012 – Plans to reform Australia’s vocational education and training system have the potential to improve its quality and responsiveness to student and industry needs.
Business Tax Cut Debate Highlights the Pitfalls of Policy on the Run
14 March 2012 – What is needed is a debate about what is the right tax system to keep Australia competitive in a challenging global economy; provide sufficient revenue to pay for future needs such as rising social services costs, and support higher living standards for Australians into the future.
Statement by BCA President Tony Shepherd on the New South Wales School Governance Reforms
13 March 2012 – Teachers, principals and parents should get behind major school reforms announced over the weekend by New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell and Education Minister Adrian Piccoli.
Business Welcomes Coalition Audit Commitment
9 March 2012 – The announcement that an incoming Coalition government would establish a commission of audit to review the scope and size of government is an important and welcome initiative.
Opening Statement by BCA President Tony Shepherd at the Announcement of the New COAG Business Advisory Forum
6 March 2012 – The forum is a great opportunity to reset the agenda to get the federation working better.
Statement by President Tony Shepherd on the ALP Leadership Ballot Outcome
27 February 2012 – The ballot outcome must be a catalyst for more focused government and a renewed commitment to make Australia more competitive and productive.
New South Wales Audit Report Vital for Public Sector Reform
22 February 2012 – The New South Wales Commission of Audit’s interim report provides a timely reminder of the importance of regularly reviewing public sector performance.
Gonski Report an Important Step to a Better Education
20 February 2012 – The Gonski report recommendations represent an important step towards lifting the quality of Australia’s education outcomes.
Long-Term Discipline and a Focus on Growth Must Drive Budget
20 February 2012 – Proposes a set of new fiscal rules for the federal Budget.
Fair Work System Must Help Australia Compete and Prosper
17 February 2012 – The Fair Work Act is not supporting Australian businesses to stay competitive in a particularly challenging economic environment.
COAG Still Lagging on Important Productivity Reforms
3 February 2012 – All governments will need to substantially lift their game if COAG’s increasingly ambitious timetable is to be met.
Construction Industry Needs a Strong Cop on the Block
20 January 2012 – The primary value of a regulator like the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner is to make sure industrial practices are lawful and appropriate.
Cultural Recognition Promotes Economic Equality
19 January 2012 – Constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians could play an important role in closing economic opportunity gaps between Indigenous and other Australians.
BCA Media News and Alerts for Journalists
BCA President and Chief Executive Photos