Statement from Jennifer Westacott on the Commission of Audit

The formal establishment today of the Commission of Audit provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fortify Australia’s budget foundations and set in train a much-needed reform agenda to keep our economy strong.

It’s a chance to reset Australia’s budget priorities, remove inefficiency and duplication with the states, improve the performance of public services and begin setting aside funds to withstand economic volatility around the world and unfolding pressures at home, including our ageing population.

There’s no magic pudding for delivering these things. It comes from doing the hard work of examining where taxpayers’ dollars are going currently, where efficiencies can be achieved and where we can remove duplication between levels of government.

The Australian community expects government to deliver value for money and to ensure that we are living within our means as a country. We expect them to keep our economy resilient against global volatility, and to plan and provision for the future.

These are the perspectives people in business bring to their roles every day, and the appointment of Tony Shepherd to head up the Commission of Audit will ensure they are brought to bear on this important national endeavour. 

With a wealth of experience in the private and public sectors, and in organisational transformation, Tony is exceptionally well placed to oversee the task with distinction. Tony will be supported by an outstanding group of commissioners with vast cross-portfolio experience and credibility.

We commend the government for making this a genuinely independent process through these appointments. With BCA Chief Economist Peter Crone working alongside the commissioners as executive officer, the approach will be systematic and highly professional.

The last five years have proven that piecemeal savings and ad hoc revenue grabs are no way to shore up the fiscal position and ensure we can afford the services Australians will need over the long term. The community should welcome this review as an act of responsible government and we call on the Opposition to give it bipartisan support.

For further information contact:
Scott Thompson, Director, Media and Public Affairs
Business Council of Australia
Telephone (03) 8664 2664 | Mobile 0403 241 128