The Business Council is today releasing Seize the moment, an election statement based on consultations with Australia’s largest employers and with Australians from Darwin to Launceston and from Perth to Geelong.
“Australians told us they want more. They know we could be doing even better, Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said.
“Our economy is poised for a world leading recovery, at this election Australia can and should be ambitious for its people and their potential.
“Business has the strong balance sheets and capacity to do this, but it does not have all the right policy tools.
“This is Australia’s moment. The country is in a prime position, located on the doorstep of the world’s largest growing market with the Asian middle class expected to expand to 3.5 billion people by the end of the decade.
“To secure the future, Australia must reimagine its economy by building on its existing strengths while also pursuing new opportunities in growing and emerging industries.
“Communities and businesses know their regions are home to untapped opportunities.
“They worry their wings are clipped by red tape and a lack of enabling infrastructure and coordination around future industries.
“They know that decarbonising the economy is at the heart of a stronger future, embracing and developing cleaner energy sources and producing the new, clean products the world demands.
“And, Australians must have access to the skills they need to have secure work and access to jobs in new and growing higher paying industries.
“We need a pathway to sustained wages growth fuelled by productivity. Wage inflation is not the same as long term wages growth.
“Whichever party forms government, there are five priority areas that must be tackled in order to give business the levers to lead the recovery:
- Australia needs to remain an open, trading nation.
- It needs to reshape its economy around clean energy, future industries and the digital economy.
- To do this, the country must create the right environment by driving investment and making it easier to do business. This includes cutting red tape, reducing unnecessary regulation and putting the infrastructure in place that smooths the journey for people and freight around the country and into export markets.
- Importantly, the potential of people needs to be unleashed by giving Australians the skills they need to access new opportunities, increasing women’s workforce participation rates, and fixing the workplace relations system.
- And finally, the test for any society is to ensure that all its citizens – no matter where they live or who they are – can share in the nation’s success.
“We believe the community is up for reform. They know it will require short-term trade-offs but that it remains the only way to improve their long-term prospects.”
Read the Business Council’s full election statement Seizing the moment: securing Australia’s economic future here.