BCA President Greig Gailey has challenged the Australia 2020 Summit to be the catalyst for articulating a new bold, collective vision for the nation.
Launching the BCA’s submission to the summit, titled Anticipating Success, Mr Gailey said from a policy perspective Australia was at a crossroads.
“This year can either be the high point of prosperity or the baseline for even greater success,” he said.
“We need a new collective vision for the kind of Australia we want in 2020. The vision must be underpinned by a comprehensive reform strategy implemented over several years, not incremental, reactive change.
“Australia’s guiding principle should be to become the best place in the world in which to live, learn, work and do business.”
The BCA submission includes an aspirational scenario for Australia in 2020, and details the steps required to make it a reality.
It calls on the federal government to commit to four key goals:
- A growth rate of between three to four per cent annually.
- Policies that are environmentally and socially sustainable.
- Minimising barriers to trade and global engagement.
- Refocusing the role of government to contributing to sustainable growth.
“The federal government should be congratulated for bringing together 1000 leading Australians to discuss the challenges we face, and possible solutions,” Mr Gailey said.
“With a new government committed to a reinvigorated national reform agenda, the Australia 2020 Summit is a great opportunity to formulate a renewed sense of purpose for the future,” he said.
“As Australia approaches the second decade of the 21st century, the one thing we have some certainty about is that we will face considerable and continuing change in the years ahead.
“We have faced similarly acute changes in the past, such as rising inflation and unemployment and declining competitiveness against the rest of the world in the 1970s and 1980s.
“But we took some very hard decisions to meet those challenges, such as floating our currency, reducing tariff walls and reforming our workplaces, and these decisions paid off with our current run of 16 years of unbroken economic growth.
“We are again at a crossroads, where hard decisions are again presenting at a time when there is increasing uncertainty about global and domestic economic conditions.
“We can let these challenges accumulate and slip back against the rest of the world, or we can meet them head on with a concerted and multi-year reform strategy, driven by a bold new vision for the nation that will put us on track for an even more prosperous future.
“Our submission outlines some of the key challenges we see ahead and identifies the steps and decisions required to attain our potential within 12 years.
“2020 is just over a decade away – we can make it a happy anniversary for the articulation of Australia’s 21st-century reform vision, or a commemoration of what might have been,” he said.