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ACCI chief executive Peter Anderson is urging the major political parties to outline their policies, plans and visions for a stronger economy well ahead of September’s federal election.
ACCI chief executive Peter Anderson is urging the major political parties to outline their policies, plans and visions for a stronger economy well ahead of September’s federal election.
 










Industry puts parties on notice ahead of election

With the election now set for September 14 this year, will the major parties take advantage of the time allowed to unveil and debate policies or squander it?
Business groups have welcomed Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s announcement last week that the federal election will be held on Saturday, 14 September – but they want the major parties’ policies sorted and discussed well in advance.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) and Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) want issues including infrastructure, productivity improvements and tax reform addressed.

Also on the policy wish list are ways to reduce red tape, the high Australian dollar, energy costs and what to do once the resources boom ends.

"On the back of the early disclosure of the election date, there should be an early disclosure of policies, plans and visions for a stronger economy and a bidding war about who can do better on that score," ACCI chief executive Peter Anderson said.

"Business will now be looking to both parties to provide the community with a clear vision of their policies well ahead of the election.”

“On behalf of our members and the broader business community, Ai Group will work to ensure that the policies of all parties acknowledge the need to lift productivity, our competitiveness and to build a resilient and diversified economy,” said Ai Group chief executive Innes Willox.

According to Ai Group, a “growth hole” is looming for the Australian economy. The mining investment pipeline is expected to ease earlier and from a lower peak than previously expected while the fiscal policies of the federal and state governments are detracting from growth, rather than contributing to it.

These sources are yet to be replaced by a meaningful pick-up in activity or earnings from other key sectors such as commercial and residential construction, manufacturing, or education exports.

Business Council of Australia president Tony Shepherd also argued that the Prime Minister’s early election announcement should not reduce the importance of the government staying focused on delivering policies for long-term growth and jobs.

“It’s formal now that 2013 has become the year of the long campaign. But that doesn’t give the government licence to take its eyes off the ball in managing an economy undergoing major transition,” Shepherd said.

“We cannot afford to put off the action that is needed now on a medium-term fiscal strategy. The longer we put off the tough conversations on tax reform, workplace relations, Commonwealth–State relations and regulation, the harder the reform task will be.”

City Index chief market analyst Peter Esho said the decision to go to the polls in September could indicate the Gillard Government was not too concerned about its budget situation.

He said there had been no policy announcements accompanying the announcement of the election date, which may indicate the government had some surprises up its sleeve when Treasurer Wayne Swan announces the federal budget on 14 May.

IQA President Wayne Scott said that from an education standpoint, the major parties' positions were similar. "The Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition have clearly stated their commitment to education generally," he said. "The IQA sees continuation of the National Workforce Development Fund, commitment to the National Resources Workforce Strategy and further support for vocational education and training as key priorities for all political parties."

Quarry also sought comment from the CCAA about its respective policy advice to the political parties ahead of the election. However, the CCAA has reserved its position until closer to the official election campaign, which does not commence until 12 August.

Sources: IQA, Australian Industry Group, Australian Chamber of Commerce & IndustryBusiness Council of Australia, AAP









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Monday, 26 August, 2019 1:37pm
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