The need to build the services sector, cut red tape and ease the long-term skills shortage are common themes among the submissions by business groups to the 2020 Summit in Canberra this weekend.
They will also be among the messages delivered by summit attendee and Tasmanian entrepreneur Tony Park.
Park, the owner of transportable home business Park Homes and a director of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, is intent on ensuring that the importance of the small business and services sectors to Australia’s future is recognised at the summit.
“There is a big focus on agriculture and mining in this country, but we shouldn’t assume they will continue to succeed in the long term. We need to look at other options to create wealth and I think the services sector is the one we need to concentrate our efforts on,” Park says.
Creating opportunities for people to start small services businesses in regional and rural areas would be a good initial step in making that happen, Park says.
“I’ll be telling the summit there needs to be a paradigm shift to support service business in rural or regional places. As well as access to broadband, I think we could create centres to provide access to things like IT services so a person could operate a business from Bourke just as easily as if they had an office in Sydney,” Park says.
While Park will be able to deliver his views directly to summit participants this weekend, many other business and professional groups have delivered their visions for Australia’s future in submissions. Here is a selection of the ideas put forward:
Australian Industry Group: Set a productivity growth goal for 2020 of 2.60% – up from current estimates of 1.67% – to be achieved through increased labour force participation and devoting more resources into training.
Family Business Australia: Help family businesses succeed by educating owners on how to pass on the business to the next generation, backed by capital gains tax exemptions for intergenerational business sales.
Australian Information Industry Association: Actively promote the s457 temporary migration scheme overseas to make up for the skills shortfall plaguing the industry and give students incentives to study ICT.
National Institute of Accountants: Review and update the fringe benefits tax system, and continue reforms to simplify the PAYG tax system including the use of pre-filling online tax returns.
Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry: Make Australia one of the leading services economies in the world by measures including increased training and skills support for business owners in the sector.