“With the caretaker period having commenced ahead of the NSW Election, the Australian Industry Group has released a pre-election statement outlining the policy priorities for industry,” Ai Group NSW Head Mark Goodsell said today.
“Ai Group encourages all parties to include measures in their policy platforms to build on NSW’s major strengths as a diversified, globally engaged and innovation rich economy,” Mr Goodsell said. Election priorities for business include:
- Provide a more supporting industry development function including by facilitating and encouraging the building of business capabilities that make businesses more productive and resilient – championing key industry sectors, reinforcing their strengths, opportunities and challenges and setting out initiatives that the Government is taking or considering in contributing to their future development.
- Further advancing flexibility across regulatory measures to promote room for innovation and “breakthrough” improvements in industry performance while reducing costs and other burdens on industry. This includes consideration of earned autonomy in regulation for high compliance performers; negotiated rule making based on a process of consensus building (between industry and regulatory agencies) for draft regulations and; establishing government project teams which focus on identifying and reducing red tape in target sectors or industries.
- Ensure NSW taxes and charges are competitive with other states and territories to enable the State to grow and attract investment. This includes an on-going commitment to the progressive reform of state taxation arrangements preferably in concert with a nationally-led reconsideration of federal-state financial relations. Businesses would also benefit from the option of paying taxes, premiums and charges on an instalment basis where practicable.
- Facilitate and support efforts to encourage productivity improvements across the economy – by lifting capabilities, building networks, enhancing relationships between industry and research organisations, creating mature partnerships with the private sector, and by providing appropriate information and encouragement to businesses and other providers of goods and services.
- Continue to invest significantly in the State’s infrastructure to ensure NSW has adequate, appropriate infrastructure and services to accommodate with project delivery strongly focussed on local capacity, capability, skills and supply chains to ensure we maximise the benefits of these major projects for our local communities.
- Invest in education and skills development for the current and future workforce to enable all NSW businesses and workers to reach their full potential in the context of rapidly evolving technologies and the emergence of new work opportunities.
- Position NSW at the forefront of the digital economy by enabling NSW businesses and workplaces to utilise the full potential of digital technologies, including the next wave of industry 4.0. A key priority must be increased investment in the development of foundation digital and STEM skills for new and existing workers.
- Address issues concerning industrial waste by working with the manufacturing and construction industries, as well as the waste and recycling sectors, to identify cost-effective options to support and promote the circular economy. This should be augmented by encouraging the use of recycled materials in government procurement where appropriate and reduce regulatory and institutional barriers to such usage.
- Ensure that energy markets, regulation and infrastructure are focussed on the delivery of competitively-priced local electricity and gas to all businesses and households reliably, efficiently and sustainably. A timely decision must be made on the Narrabri coal seam gas project and, more generally, revamp gas field development approvals to create a more timely, science-based and predictable process while ensuring community concerns are addressed.
- Co-operate with neighbouring states to ensure cross border infrastructure such as TAFEs and health facilties can be shared to the benefit of local communities.