Federal election: what do business groups want?

Lobbying by business groups will intensify as the 24 November 2007 election date nears. What are they asking for?


Council of Small Business Organisations

Chief executive Tony Steven wants the unfair dismissal exemption and AWAs retained and more protection from small business in the Trade Practices Act.

“If the Coalition is re-elected COSBOA will be looking for more far-reaching amendments to protect competition and deliver a fair go to small businesses.

If Labor is elected, Steven would like to see the fair dismissal code of conduct more far-reaching “…to ensure employment confidence was retained and unemployment is kept at the current low levels”.


Business Council of Australia

Yesterday president of the council Michael Chaney urged both parties to focus on long term reform of federal-state relations, infrastructure, business taxation and regulation and education.

He warned against election pork-barelling that could risk our economic prosperity. “Australia is at a crossroads – we can take the steps to lift our standard of living into the top five in the OECD by 2012 or we can squander the opportunity and risk slipping back down the ladder compared with our global competitors.”


Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Chief executive Peter Hendy has ranked the business groups’ six top priorities:

  1. Strategies to deal with skills and labour shortages.
  2. Sound economic management and further taxation reform.
  3. Policies to deal with climate change.
  4. Support for further trade liberalisation initiatives.
  5. Resisting the rollback of workplace relations reform.
  6. Fixing federalism.


Australian Industry Group

Chief executive Heather Ridout wants policy that will build foundations for a stronger and more dynamic economy, fortified against vulnerabilities and broaden horizons. Her top priorities:

  1. Liberating Australia’s talents. Improving opportunities for individuals and increasing the skilled workforce.
  2. More jobs; better jobs. Maintaining a flexible, fair, high-growth, low-unemployment approach to workplace relations.
  3. Making the federation work better. Through a systematic and principled realignment of intergovernmental responsibilities.
  4. Governments reforming together. Strengthening the foundations of the national reform agenda to ensure better results.
  5. Constructing capacity. Better planning and coordination of infrastructure and improvements to regulatory arrangements to ensure adequate investment in our transport, energy, water and telecommunications needs.
  6. Climate change. Building a response to climate change that is environmentally effective and responsible, able to be integrated with emerging global actions, that facilitates adaptation and that keeps adverse impacts on our competitiveness and regulatory burdens to a minimum.
  7. Incentives to work, save and invest. Ai Group proposes a five-year, five-point plan for tax reform to underpin workforce growth, improved investment and saving.
  8. New-wave industry policy for global success. Industry policy with a new and constructive orientation on encouraging innovation and building capabilities


Master Builders Australia

It wants $1.7 trillion invested in economic and social infrastructure over the next decade. Its five priorities are:

  1. Sound economic management.
  2. A flexible and modern industrial relations policy.
  3. An adequate and skilled labour force.
  4. Increased investment in nation building infrastructure.
  5. Importantly, a whole-of-government approach to improving housing affordability.


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