01/02/2022 - 12:14 pm

Ai Group welcomes Federal interest in Australian industry

Innes Willox, chief executive of the national employer association, Ai Group, said today (1 Feb), “Both the Prime Minister in today’s National Press Club address and the Leader of the Opposition’s speech last week, showed renewed interest in the development of Australian industry in the lead-up to the federal election,”

“These are welcome indications that the two major parties could be recognising the need for substantial changes in policy direction aimed at boosting international competitiveness and productivity growth as a means of reviving real incomes growth in Australia.

“Measures flagged in the speeches to boost manufacturing investment, to invest to ensure Australia becomes a leading digital economy, to invigorate the commercialisation of research and to build more collaborative links between Australia’s research and business sectors, are important elements in this much-needed agenda.

“Other policy areas that should be picked up over the course of the election campaign to make further inroads into Australia’s lagging productivity and real incomes growth include the commitment to reform our skills and education system to lift work force skills; investing in developing business capabilities such as digitisation and trade – particularly for small and medium-sized businesses; reviving business investment; boosting innovation; refreshing enterprise bargaining; ensuring our workplace relations arrangements can accommodate the changing needs of the workforce and employers; improving the efficiency of regulation; and beginning the substantial task of upgrading our taxation and intergovernmental financial arrangements.

“Ai Group will be releasing further details of our election priorities over coming weeks.

“Changes in all these areas are required to underwrite sustainable improvements in Australian living standards while ensuring we have the means to address the ongoing challenges presented by geopolitical, environmental and demographic pressures.

“The preoccupations of dealing with Covid-19 have taken the focus off these areas over the past two years.  Although the Covid-19 challenges are far from over, as part of the shift to living with the virus, we need to start now on improving the fundamentals of our future economic and social development,” Willox said.

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