Let’s Make Australia Great: BCA

Statement released by the President of the Business Council of Australia, Dr John Schubert, at the completion of the BCA 2001 Strategy Forum

“Business leaders strongly expressed the view that they would work to see Australia punch above its weight and make it a great place to live, work and do business.

“The Forum considered the question: ‘What does Australia need to do to ensure the country remains relevant and vital with an economy capable of growing and delivering work and better living standards into the future?

“It identified the following issues as fundamental to achieving that aim: e-transformation, education and training, a regulatory system which is consistent with international trends, the removal of the taxation disincentive to Australian headquartered firms to grow overseas, and greenhouse.

“The challenge in e-transformation is to ensure Australia capitalises quickly on e-business opportunities and ensures the benefits are shared widely throughout the community.

“In education and training, the forum expressed a strong view that the ingenuity and know how of Australia’s people were central to its social and economic progress, and that the education and training systems had a crucial and growing role to play in developing skills.

“The forum recognised that the existing Trade Practices Act, which was enacted in the early 1970s in very different circumstances, had failed to take account of international trends and needed to be modernised to ensure Australian companies are able to compete

“Changes to Australia’s tax arrangements were also considered key to assisting Australian companies grow internationally while retaining a vital presence domestically.

“Finally, the council noted that greenhouse will present a particular challenge in balancing the cost to society with the need for effective national action.”