Election Policies Should Respect Australians’ Appetite for Reform

With the 2010 federal election called for 21 August, the Business Council of Australia has challenged the major political parties to deliver policies targeting both economic success and community prosperity.

BCA President Graham Bradley said Australians were ready for political leaders to communicate honestly and respectfully about what is needed to achieve both economic growth and stronger communities, and for policies that address the two objectives simultaneously.

“Throughout this election campaign, we expect to see policy debate that respects the capacity of Australians to understand important issues, and to back what’s required for us to build on our extraordinary advantages and sustain a prosperous future for all,” he said.

Mr Bradley said the BCA will assess the policies of major political parties against a set of policy benchmarks for the 2010 federal election it released last month.

He said the benchmarks map a reform agenda that goes beyond economic progress to recognise and promote all the interrelated drivers of community wellbeing.

The agenda calls for policy that: reinforces what Australia has done well; addresses some serious limitations; and ensures all Australians are both part of, and enjoy, our nation’s prosperity.

“The right policy settings now will enable Australia to achieve not only strong economic growth but also our social and environmental aspirations,” said Mr Bradley.

“The BCA believes the Australian people will embrace much-needed policy reform in important areas including health, infrastructure, emissions reduction, education and taxation. As long as they are honestly informed and genuinely consulted, Australians are ready and eager for policy that targets long-term national interest, rather than perceived short-term self-interest.

“Australians know that ignoring realities in reform won’t make them go away,” said Mr Bradley. “The 2010 federal election will be remembered either as a time our nation took confident steps towards preparing for our future, or a time when our leaders put it all in the too-hard basket,” he said.

The BCA’s policy benchmarks for the 2010 election can be read or downloaded here.