Reckless Senate Undermines Australia's Key Advantage

Today’s call from Employment Minister Eric Abetz for the Senate to consider the impact of blocking reforms to the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act has been supported by the Chief Executive of the Business Council of Australia, Jennifer Westacott.

Ms Westacott cited RBA data from 2013 estimating that the resource and resource-related economy in Australia accounted for more than a million jobs.

“In Queensland and Western Australia, we have almost $240 billion worth of potential projects in the investment pipeline,” Ms Westacott said.

“With the WA economy flat lining, this new wave of investment is fundamental for jobs, living standards and the affordability of government services. But the state will not realise the potential pipeline of projects if the policy environment is uncompetitive and unpredictable.”

Ms Westacott said that frustrating good faith attempts by the Commonwealth and state and territory governments to streamline the approvals process for major projects, while protecting environmental standards, compromised Australia’s attractiveness as an investment destination.

“We have a high cost economy compared to many of our competitor countries. Our strongest comparative advantage has been our stable, predictable political system.

“The reckless behaviour of members of the Senate in blocking this reform and launching an unprecedented inquiry into an Australian state is emblematic of a level of unpredictable and uncertain policy development, which is undermining a precious national advantage.”

For further information contact:
Matt Newton, Communications Adviser
Business Council of Australia
Telephone (03) 8664 2627 • Mobile 0409 550 578