This plan proposes 93 actions over 10 years to help ensure Australia has a stronger economic future.
This action plan is for Australia’s future.
It addresses the question of whether the future can be prosperous for all Australians and whether things will live up to our expectations.
Australia’s future can be prosperous but this will depend on maintaining strong economic growth and an environment that supports businesses to do well. The actions, decisions and choices we make now will either support or inhibit Australia’s prospects.
Australia has experienced a very successful growth period and we continue to have many intrinsic strengths, but we are a small economy in a fiercely competitive global environment. We do many things well and lead the world in areas like mining, agriculture and various services industries. However, with a small local market we lack the scale and expertise needed to exploit opportunities in many sectors of our economy, particularly manufacturing.
On a frank assessment, it’s clear we’ve taken our eye off the ball when it comes to Australia’s economic challenges and complacency has crept in. The benefits of a terms-of-trade boom have masked emerging cracks.
» We’ve been fiscally strong in the past (this strength got us through the global financial crisis), but in recent years the government has failed to execute a responsible fiscal strategy. As a consequence, our fiscal position is not as robust as it should be given the economic growth we’ve continued to record over the past four years.
» We haven’t invested enough in infrastructure and the community and business are suffering the consequences. Infrastructure shortcomings are diminishing our quality of life, reducing our competitiveness and eroding community support for growth.
» Our system of workplace relations is much less flexible than it needs to be and more heavily regulated than it was in the past. It does not support high-performing, modern workplaces and is reducing our capacity to adapt to competitive pressures and a changing global economy.
» Regulatory overreach has occurred at all levels of government. Politicians – often at the community’s behest – are intent on introducing new laws and regulations as the immediate solution to every problem. For example, overlap between the Commonwealth and the states is slowing development approvals and holding up investment in important major projects.
» We are not making the most of our comparative advantage in energy – either its delivery domestically or in terms of export opportunities.
» Our federation is not operating properly, with the Commonwealth and the states in constant conflict on many important policies and a lack of national cohesion. » Our education and training system is not producing the skills we need to service a changing economy.