National accounts a call to action

We must focus on investment and getting the private sector economy growing to give Australians the opportunities they want for themselves and their families, Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said today.

“The fundamentals of the economy are strong, but our future depends on building a nation that is more resilient, more competitive and more productive. We can’t control the global economy but we can prepare ourselves for unexpected shocks by doubling down to boost investment and productivity.

“Productivity growth remains weak and business investment as a share of GDP is still in the doldrums. Political leaders must now double down to deliver reforms that deliver strong and sustained economic growth through a vibrant private sector economy.

“The government is right to start by prioritising the reduction of excessive red tape and unnecessary regulation that is holding back employers from investing, expanding and creating new jobs.

“We support the government’s initial steps to improve Australia’s competitiveness. It is important any practical measures to drive faster economic growth do not face unnecessary obstacles.

“Lifting productivity also means we will need an education system that leaves Australian students at the top of the pack and a skills system that lets them retrain and reskill over their working lives.

“And it means we must get the enterprise bargaining system back on track because it sees workers paid more and lifts productivity. That should start with the senate taking action to banish bullying and thuggery from the workplace relations system.

“We can protect the government’s hard-fought budget surplus and act to give Australians an economy that creates new jobs, pays higher wages and boosts standards of living.

“Employers are ready to work with all political leaders on common-sense measures that will deliver the higher investment, skilled workforce and international trading opportunities Australians expect.

“All Australians deserve an economy that gives them a chance to get ahead. Only booming business investment and a thriving private economy will provide the higher wages, new jobs and new opportunities Australians want.”