Reform needed to deliver on productivity

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA has set out a broad agenda to boost the nation’s productivity through economic reform.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA has set out a broad agenda to boost the nation’s productivity through economic reform.

John Nicolaou, chief economist of the CCI said a strong productivity reform agenda was needed to ensure Australia’s economy remained competitive.

“With the recent deterioration in the nation’s budget position, productivity reform is the battle ground in which governments should be looking to make sustainable gains to maintain ongoing economic success,” he said.

In its new paper “Boosting Australia’s Productivity” the CCI is calling on both Commonwealth and State governments to:

• Reduce the regulatory burden on businesses
• Create a flexible and modern industrial relations system
• Address labour shortages
• Reform the tax system
• Improve education
• Invest in capacity-building infrastructure

Nicolaou said that recent slowdowns in the global economy show ‘that we cannot rely on international conditions to maintain the nation’s prosperity over the long term.’

“Improved productivity will be essential to our future economy performance,” he said.

“Reversing the economy decline is also critical to ensure the nation can navigate through the range of economic challenges on the horizon.”

Minerals Council of Australia chief, Mitchell Hooke also recently called for policy changes to ensure Australia remains competitive in what he called the ‘global village.’

Hooke said that restrictions needed to be taken off the economy in order for sustained growth and that policy changes which "recharges the batteries of economic reform,” and a sustainable fiscal policy would help to restore and maintain economic growth.

The CCI recommendations come after the Association of Mining and Exploration companies released a set of efficiency-boosting suggestions to the Western Australian government.

AMEC says its policy platform, handed over to WA mines minister Norman Moore, will streamline regulation and cut costs for projects.

To access CCI’s discussion paper, click here.

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