COAG Delivers Platform for Future Growth

The Council of Australian Governments meeting today has achieved a series of important breakthroughs for reform that should provide the platform for ongoing prosperity, the Business Council of Australia said today.

BCA Chief Executive, Katie Lahey, said while reform commitments in some areas were not as specific or extensive as the Council would have liked, the overall outcomes from today’s COAG meeting represented a major step forward in revitalising national reform.

Given that a year ago a broad-based national reform agenda was not even being discussed by COAG, our federal, state and territory leaders should be congratulated for putting their differences aside and committing to much-needed reforms, including tackling red tape, infrastructure and skills.

“As the past 20 years have demonstrated, continuing strong growth can only be achieved through the ongoing renewal of the economy at a national level.

“Today’s COAG meeting provides an important starting point for governments to work together to revitalise the national reform agenda and implement reforms in vital areas such as education, skills and regulation that support long-term growth.

As the BCA and others have argued, a reform agenda that addresses current and future barriers to growth, focuses on lifting productivity and participation and maintains Australia’s competitive advantages is vital to locking in current prosperity.

Many of these issues can only be effectively addressed through national agreements on reform by federal, state and territory governments.

In particular, the BCA welcomes the following outcomes from today’s COAG meeting:

  • The commitment by all governments to address Australia’s growing red tape burden through systemic reforms that fix the processes of regulation-making that have led to excessive regulatory overlap and costs to business.
  • The commitment to improve education and training outcomes across the board.
  • The revitalising of National Competition Policy to create specific timetables for action that implement national reform agreements, in particular, a renewed commitment to transport reform.