“The GDP figures are an end-of-year wakeup call for Parliament about what lies ahead for the Australian community if they fail to face up to Australia’s very real and growing economic challenges,” Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said.
“Parliament must support the government in taking urgent action to drive new investment and create better jobs with higher wages. This includes embracing more flexible workplaces, lowering business taxes, getting the budget under control, bringing energy costs down and fixing the planning system to spur investment through major projects.
“At an absolute minimum, the Senate must pass the government’s company tax plan in full. This will send a strong signal to investors that Parliament is serious about Australia’s international competitiveness.
“The United States is proposing to cut its company tax rate to 15 per cent. We cannot expect that investors will continue choosing Australia when our company tax rate is twice as high.
“Economic growth underpins everyone’s living standards and the government’s ability to fund essential services, investments and a strong social safety net. We can no longer afford to be complacent about this.
“Falling business investment was the biggest detractor from growth over the year, underscoring the compelling need for reforms to make Australia more competitive. Business investment is falling at rates not seen since the 1990s recession.
“The government has a sensible plan to grow the economy and Parliament needs to support it.”