Malcolm Turnbull and Coalition eventually over the election line
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) congratulates the Coalition on the opportunity given to it by Australian voters to govern for a second term.
CCIQ Director of Advocacy Nick Behrens said the delayed result of the July 3 election determined the new Federal Government and the course of our economy and business conditions for the next three years.
“With a decision finally made about which party will govern Australia we hope a clear outcome in the Senate will be forthcoming quickly so we know whether the Coalition will have capacity to actually implement its economic, fiscal and legislative agenda,” he said.
Positive business policies from Coalition
Mr Behrens said the immediate impact of the re-election of the Coalition – albeit it by the narrowest of margins after a protracted count of pre-poll and postal votes – will be a lift in business confidence.
“Not on the basis of their political persuasion but on the basis that the government puts its hands up for the business vote with positive policies,” he said.
• A reduction in the company tax rate to 27.5 per cent for businesses with an annual aggregated turnover of less than $10 million and a glide path to 25 per cent over the next 10 years for all businesses.
• Infrastructure projects for Queensland, including:
- $150 million toward the Townsville Eastern Access Rail Corridor;
- $200 million for the Ipswich Motorway, specifically the Rocklea to Darra upgrade;
- $215 million for M1 traffic upgrade - Gateway Motorway merge, widening the M1 to five lanes southbound from Eight Mile Plains to Springwood;
- $100m Townsville Sports Stadium;
- $95m Gold Coast light rail stage 2; and
- $150 million on Queensland dams.
• Australian Building and Construction Commission to be re-established.
A reform agenda needed for the next three years
Mr Behrens said the challenge before the Malcolm Turnbull-led Government is to deliver the results that match the mandate handed to it after the poll.
“CCIQ has been tireless in promoting its ‘"Infrastructure and Ideas Election 2016" theme, but notes significant work needs to be done by the incoming government to achieve vitally needed outcomes, including:
• A competitive national tax system;
• Reduction in the overall red tape burden on business;
• Implementation of a fairer workplace relations framework; and
• Increased investment in infrastructure that meets future economic requirements.
“Policy on these issues, in our view, was sadly lacking from both sides during the lengthy eight-week campaign,” he said.
“An upside to the election result is that continuity of governance can hopefully mean it gets on with the work of delivering the above outcomes as soon as possible.
“There is absolutely no time for complacency as Queensland businesses are experiencing real financial hardship and are battling at present to protect their employees’ jobs and families.
“Queensland’s economy is currently facing an extraordinary time of transition and the outcome from this election is critical to living up to our potential as a nation.”
Senate cooperation critical
Mr Behrens said the one area of concern was the prospect of many independents in the Senate –seeking to directly influence policy execution by the Federal Government.
“The composition of the Senate remains unclear today, but what is certain is that the next Senate needs to avoid holding the Government to ransom with a populist negative campaign,” he said.
“In order for industry and commerce to flourish, businesses need certainty and we hope the final result will provide the Federal Government with the capacity to actually govern.
“It will be the cooperation between all stakeholders, the Government, the ALP Opposition, the Senate and the business community that determines how successfully Australia sails its way through challenging economic times.
“The Federal Government will be judged on what it does, not its political colour or the way in which it was formed. Either it will be a government of action and business-friendly policies or one with an agenda under the influence of Independent Senators that will be of detriment to the economy.”
Four-years terms … business loss of confidence in the electoral process
Mr Behrens said it was perhaps timely for the nation to consider fixed four-year terms for the House of Representatives.
“The unmistakable conclusion from this election was a lack of engagement from the business community with the seemingly endless campaign,” he said.
“CCIQ is fearful that businesses have become numb to the rhetoric of politicians.
“After almost two months of exhaustive electioneering, soundbites and spin, and the delayed result, we are well aware that our members are quite simply over it. After all they’ve got a business to run.”