Business Council of Australia Renews Calls for Economic Reform

3 October 2005

The Business Council of Australia has renewed its calls for further economic reform to promote ongoing growth and prosperity in Australia.

A BCA pamphlet Locking in Prosperity: An Action Plan summarising the need for reform in four key areas –  taxation, regulation, infrastructure and workplace relations – has been sent to every federal and state politician.

Business Council President Mr Hugh Morgan says as Australians and their elected leaders contemplate the future, they need to focus on the reality that deliberate efforts must be made to stay ahead of our competitors.

“We cannot leave our future prosperity to chance,” Mr Morgan said. “If we do fall behind the consequences are fewer jobs, reduced living standards and poorer services.

“As the BCA has argued for the past 12 months, Australia has a choice – we can face the competition posed by other nations by putting up the shutters, closing our eyes and pretending the rest of the world does not exist.

“Alternatively, we can continue to do what Australians have always done: face our competition with confidence, adapt, innovate and work smarter than the others, and by doing so stay ahead.”

Mr Morgan says extensive economic research had been done by the Business Council over the past year to identify taxation, regulation, infrastructure and workplace relations as the four key areas of the economy in need of reform.

“Our Member companies employ nearly 1 million Australians and account for 20 per cent of Australia’s economic activity. We believe that by embracing reform Australia can stay ahead.

“We believe we must now find new ways to keep tax low on those willing to work hard and contribute to prosperity.

“We believe we must reduce red tape. Less red tape on businesses means they can continue to prosper and employ and train.

“We believe we must renew our infrastructure. We must also continue to find new ways of working together as employees and employers.”

The Business Council intends to increase its contribution to the reform debate by a public communications program later this year aimed at highlighting to Australians the need for reform and the benefits it would bring.

The program will be timed to coincide with the public debate on workplace relations reforms.

“The public focus is on reform and Australia’s future, and the BCA will seek to make a positive contribution to that debate through its public communications program through all sections of the media.”

Locking in Prosperity: An Action Plan