"While Ai Group is a non-partisan organisation without affiliation to any political party, our members, who come from a broad cross-section of Australian industry, have clear interests in policies that will return the budget to a position of sustainability while underpinning business investment and growth and supporting the ability of businesses to compete and create jobs.
"Ai Group's members support the following policy initiatives advocated in the lead-up to the election on 2 July.
- Making Australia's company tax arrangements more competitive will have decisive benefits in the form of additional business investment, faster gains in productivity and employment growth.
- Improving the flexibility of Australia's industrial relations arrangements and putting in place effective measures to address lawlessness in the building and construction sector.
- Improving the skills of the current and future workforce with particular emphasis on repairing and re-modelling the apprenticeship system; overhauling VET FEE-HELP arrangements; and giving greater weight to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) skills across all levels of education.
- Lifting the pace of innovation by facilitating greater collaboration between researchers and businesses; deepening early-stage financing markets; and supporting the development of the business and workforce capabilities required to underwrite innovation.
- Reinforcing the rigorous and independent assessment of productivity-enhancing infrastructure, and facilitating the financing of favorably-assessed projects.
- Developing an integrated bipartisan climate and energy policy that is economically efficient and politically durable.
"These policies have the potential to have a marked positive impact on the direction of the Australian economy and its potential to underwrite future advances in domestic living standards.
"Our members are acutely mindful of the considerable challenges our country faces in a particularly uncertain global environment: our status as a high-cost country means we need to lift domestic productivity to compete internationally; our ageing population requires us to unearth new ways to do more with less; and our budgetary position calls for us to be smarter and more frugal in the ways we spend taxpayer funds and for us to grow the economy so it can generate the tax revenue needed to support the services we ask governments to provide.
"Businesses are equally aware of the very strong opportunities that, if grasped, will enable us to meet these challenges and underwrite strong improvements in Australia's living standards.
"Whoever forms the next Government should encourage businesses to strengthen the economy by innovating and lifting investment and the pace of job creation," Mr Willox said.
Ai Group's pre-election document linked here
Media Enquiries: Tony Melville 0419 190 347