The Business Council of Australia welcomes the commitment of the new federal government to make economic prosperity for all Australians its primary goal for the coming term.
BCA President Mr Greig Gailey congratulated Mr Rudd on his win and urged the government to now move to put the many initiatives announced during the election campaign into a detailed action plan that will deliver long-term economic growth and increased social prosperity.
Mr Gailey urged the government to focus on a systematic reform program that will ensure Australia’s ability to grow by remaining competitive in an increasingly global world economy.
“While economic growth remains strong the focus of reform should be on enhancing Australia’s economic capacity and lifting its resilience to weather any future challenges. The current resources boom offers a unique opportunity to lay down a solid foundation which will enable us to realise the BCA’s aspiration to make Australia the best country in the world in which to live, work and do business. Our goal should be to lift Australia’s living standards into the top five in the OECD by 2012. ” Mr Gailey said.
To achieve this the BCA believes it is essential that the government’s vision is translated into a clear action plan that brings a revitalised approach to delivering long-term reform outcomes,” he said.
For business the key reform priorities remain:
- Tackling our dysfunctional system of federal–state relations head on.
- Putting forward a comprehensive plan to lift workforce participation.
- Unshackling business investment and activity through comprehensive business tax reform and reduction in red tape.
- A nationally coordinated plan for infrastructure renewal.
- Improving outcomes in education and health to better meet future needs.
“The greatest priority and challenge is to tackle head-on Australia’s current dysfunctional system of federal–state relations and we are delighted that the government has also identified this need and given it a high priority. Progress on this front will take time, but failure to address federal–state problems will undermine our ability to achieve all other reforms,” Mr Gailey said.
“We look forward to working with the new government in the development of a renewed reform architecture that brings together their policy commitments in a way that lifts Australia’s capacity and ability to weather future challenges and delivers long term prosperity,” he said.
“Australia has already lifted its standard of living from 17th in the OECD in 1990 to 7th, but we must not allow ourselves to again slip backwards, rather must aspire to move further ahead. Moving into the top five is achievable, but not without a comprehensive reform agenda and vision for the next decade.
“Past governments have taken tough reform decisions that have delivered lasting outcomes that have benefited many Australians through jobs, wealth creation, and access to better goods and services.
“We need a clear vision, a comprehensive action plan and a clear commitment to delivery if we are to continue our economic journey towards even greater economic and social prosperity for all Australians.”