Business Backs Extended Parliamentary Terms

Four-year parliamentary terms would be good for government and business decision-making and should be supported, the BCA said today.

Extending federal terms from three to four years, as proposed, would provide greater certainty for Members of Parliament (MPs), business, policy makers and the community and would enable MPs to take a longer-term view in policy development and decision making.

BCA Chief Executive Ms Katie Lahey said current three-year terms added to an already strong tendency towards political and public-sector short-termism.

“The BCA has long been a supporter of four-year parliamentary terms.

“Addressing and solving major business issues, such as regulation, taxation and infrastructure, is extremely difficult – if not impossible – within short political timeframes.

Ms Lahey said that the time available to government to develop and implement policy was far too short compared to the long-term importance and impact of the work it carried out.

“Lengthening the electoral cycle will help the government to better take matters of significant, long-term community need into account.

Ms Lahey noted that state governments, as well as governments overseas have increasingly come to recognise the benefits of greater stability (and less short-termism) in the political cycle.

“Businesses must be accountable to their stakeholders across longer and longer timeframes. Helping governments to extend their decision-making horizons would be a positive move.”

The BCA urged the ALP and minor parties to recognise the benefits of the policy and to support its introduction.