If the numbers tell us anything today, it’s that we have to throw everything we can at driving activity by bringing the health crisis under control so we can stay the course on opening the economy to get business and people back to work, Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said.
“Growth is the key to our future success because it is growth that generates jobs, growth that generates revenue for government and growth that pays down debt and gets the budget back in order.
“It’s incumbent on all government, business and community leaders to give Australians hope that we can come back from this health and economic crisis.
“This means we need to get the health challenge under control, so we can build confidence and stay the course on opening the economy.
“People are worried about the future so every dollar of taxpayers’ money needs to be spent on saving a job or creating a new one.
“Jobs are the key to the recovery.
“Doing business in Australia must be as easy as possible because only successful, growing businesses can invest, expand and create the 1.2 million jobs we need.
“Today’s economic statement is concerning but it shouldn’t paralyse us. Our economy has outperformed others and we can build on that platform to drive our recovery.
“We need to get the economy growing so we can pay down debt and that will mean removing handbrakes.
“We need to grow our way out of this, not tax our way out.
“Business investment is in free-fall, you have to reverse that if you want to create jobs.
“This means we need to give businesses the incentives to invest in new equipment, facilities and staff.
“We’ll also need to give Australians the right skills to find a job or adapt to a new one.
“We’ll need a workplace relations system to support our recovery and be flexible enough to keep and create jobs.
“We’ll need all governments to unleash their balance sheets and invest in shovel-ready projects that create jobs and give us the infrastructure the economy will need.
“And we’ll need to harness the spirit of cooperation we’ve developed in the National Cabinet to finally deal with some of our most difficult reform challenges – tax and regulation.
“Business as usual won’t cut it. The best way to shore up the budget is to shore up the economy.”