Business Council of Australia Response to the 2013 Federal Election
“Australians have given the Coalition Government a clear mandate to support growth and jobs and provide for our future,” Business Council of Australia President Tony Shepherd said.
“The result demonstrates overwhelming support for policies to lift productivity and competitiveness, recognising the essential role of all business in the economy,” Mr Shepherd said.
“Australians are smart and recognise the need for strong, stable leadership and a policy direction that will grow our economy in the face of vastly increased global competition, our declining competitiveness, and a volatile global economic and political outlook.
“The incoming government must take decisive action to repair the budget, make our economy more flexible, reduce the cost of doing business, continue to invest in skills and capabilities for a modern workforce and address our infrastructure backlog.
“The Coalition has rightly acknowledged business is at the heart of continuing to grow the economy and jobs. Its commitment to return to proper process in government will go a long way to restoring predictability and confidence, which in turn will foster a growing economy.
“The Coalition’s planned Commission of Audit provides the best chance to get the budget back into a sustainable surplus over the next five years while providing for an ageing population, rising health costs, education and the infrastructure,” he said.
Mr Shepherd said parliament must respect the clear mandate for reform given to the Abbott Government by the Australian people. The Senate has a responsibility to act in the long-term national interest.
“It’s time to stop the politicking. We now have a majority government in place for three years. It has a tough task that we all know in our heart of hearts has to be undertaken if we are to turn around a weakening fiscal position and lift productivity and competitiveness.
“Australians have spoken in favour of an agenda that includes:
- a comprehensive audit of government spending
- credibly returning the budget to surplus over time
- making our tax system more competitive
- getting rid of the carbon and mining taxes
- quickly reducing the red tape burden on business
- addressing some of the flaws in the Fair Work Act
- investing more in infrastructure and skills.
“The community, including business, is looking for a more inclusive, more positive approach where different sectors work together to achieve our shared aspirations for Australia.
“Business is looking for urgent action to unwind policies that have hurt our competitiveness, and to begin the long process of structural reform and planning that will position our economy and living standards for the future.
“The Business Council of Australia is looking forward to working with the government to deliver the meaningful change that’s long overdue. Restoring good policy process as it embarks on these important reforms will be vital to lift business and consumer confidence.
“We are ready to be a constructive and patient partner willing to do the necessary leg work, as we have done already in the preparation of our Economic Action Plan for Enduring Prosperity,” Mr Shepherd said.
Scott Thompson, Director, Media and Public Affairs
Business Council of Australia
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