The Business Council of Australia has identified the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting next month and the federal Budget in May as the litmus tests for reform action, saying Australia could not afford to pass up either opportunity to commit to a broad-based reform program.
Identifying 2006 as the year for reform action, the BCA’s Benchmarking Reform Action and Budget Submission 2006–07 released today said opportunities for federal and state governments to commit to major economic reform beyond these two forums were limited.
These are the two most important forums for reform in many years.
The last 12 months have seen a significant consensus emerge around the imperative for a new reform program for Australia. There have also been major reform initiatives, particularly in workplace relations, and these are welcome.
But much more needs to be done, particularly on red tape, tax and infrastructure renewal.