Productivity growth crucial for Australia's economic prosperity, says business
- Date:14 Jun 2012
- Type:Media Release
Business sent a clear message to the Australian Government at yesterday’s economic forum that productivity growth is crucial for Australia’s long-term economic prosperity.
“The Prime Minister agreed that Australian governments must take a long term view to increase productivity and improve international competitiveness,” said John Colvin, Chief Executive and Managing Director, Australian Institute of Company Directors.
“Of course, an important component of this is how Australia will prepare the economy for the ‘Asian Century’. There is only a short time frame for Australia to ensure it is positioned to take advantage of Asia's growth and we are pleased that the Prime Minister has stated that she will make this a priority by issuing a landmark report on Australia in the Asian Century,” Colvin said.
The Australian Institute of Company Directors agrees with comments by Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stevens regarding the importance of taking immediate action to increase productivity growth even if many of the measures are politically difficult to implement.
“The overwhelming feedback from business groups at the forum is that pace of change and reform has stalled in the past six to seven years. While our economy is performing strongly at present, this is not about where we have been but about where we are going. It is time that governments got on with the job of implementing productivity reforms, particularly those already identified by the Productivity Commission and COAG, to safeguard the future,” said Mr Colvin.
A key component of this reform must be reducing the regulatory burden on business by cutting red tape more generally.
“The Australian Government has today released its annual report Streamlined, Effective, Productive: an Annual Update on the Australian Government Deregulation Agenda and it is a positive sign that this report has identified 17 reforms that have already been implemented,” said Mr Colvin.
“We agree with Minister Wong that ‘unnecessary, duplicative regulation is a hindrance and a frustration for Australian business’ but we are concerned that reforms of corporate regulation and especially laws concerning director liability have not been adequately addressed. This is a significant issue for the business community, for the economy and, ultimately, for Australian society as a whole.”
“In addition to the Corporations Act and other Commonwealth statutes, there are now more than 700 State or Territory statutes that hold directors liable for breaches of the corporation, in many cases even when they have no personal involvement in those breaches,” said Mr Colvin.
“The time, resources and money being taken up with dealing with the risk of personal liability for directors is getting in the way of boards doing their real job: making good business decisions which lead to more investment and jobs for Australians.”
“This is putting Australia at a great cost disadvantage internationally and must be a priority of the regulatory reform agenda,” said Mr Colvin.
Michelle Wood, Media and Government Relations Advisor, 0466 655 115
Steve Burrell, General Manager, Communications, 0407 708 485
Download the above media release, 'Productivity growth crucial for Australia’s economic prosperity, says business' (PDF 53KB)