Business Council of Australia President Graham Bradley says Australia should get on with the job of economic reform by refocusing on goals where there is already broad agreement, rather than dwelling on the challenges of a minority government.
In a speech today to the National Press Club in Canberra, Mr Bradley outlined a suite of priorities the BCA has put to the federal government to tackle in its first 100 days in office.
“By committing to these actions, the government would send a strong signal to the community, including business, that it will do what’s necessary to be good managers,” said Mr Bradley.
“They address issues on which there is considerable common ground, if not on actual policy detail, then certainly on the need for action.”
Mr Bradley said complacency was the most significant risk associated with Australia’s current economic strength.
“With strong terms of trade, falling unemployment and rising workforce participation, it’s tempting for governments to ride on the short term rather than doing the hard work of explaining what reforms we need for the longer term.
“Neither the good fortune of our geography nor our natural resources would have delivered our current prosperity if Australians hadn’t found the common ground that emboldened successive governments over 25 years to put the right policies in place.
“We made our luck – and we need to keep doing so.”
The BCA’s priority actions for the government for its first 100 days include:
1. Releasing a program for developing a national infrastructure plan.
2. Providing details of how it will progress taxation reform in this term.
3. Announcing a commitment to develop a national energy security policy.
4. Convening a meeting of COAG to reset its agenda with a sharper focus on a smaller number of reform areas.
5. Establishing a permanent, independent Commission of Budget Integrity.
Mr Bradley said the lesson from the recent election was that national leaders need to pursue what’s important to our nation’s prosperity and to take citizens with them on that journey.
Download the speech via the link below. Read an edited extract here.