The Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) believes that urgent action is needed on national reforms to drive long-term growth and prosperity for all Australians.

To support this, the AICD has today launched an updated national reform agenda in the 2017 edition of Governance of the Nation: A Blueprint for Growth.

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The Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) believes that urgent action is needed on national reforms to drive long-term growth and prosperity for all Australians.

To support this, the AICD has today launched an updated national reform agenda in the 2017 edition of Governance of the Nation: A Blueprint for Growth.

The Blueprint for Growth recommends national policy reforms that would deliver real benefits and a longer-term focus for national policy making. Its recommendations are informed by member insights through our regular Director Sentiment Index, consultation with the AICD’s Divisional Council and Policy Committees, and the insights of the AICD’s Chief Economist Stephen Walters.

Importantly, this is not a job for government alone. The Blueprint explicitly recognises the vital role that the private sector – and directors and boards in particular – must play to drive reform and boost productivity.

Launching the Blueprint, the AICD’s Chief Economist Stephen Walters MAICD said Australia’s financial position was unsustainable and bold policy action was needed.

“Our deficit is $36 billion and Commonwealth spending is currently set to remain at above 25% of GDP over the next four years,” said Mr Walters.

“It is clear we have a spending and a revenue problem. It’s time to tackle both, with targeted spending restraint on one hand, and comprehensive tax reform on the other.”

AICD Chairman Elizabeth Proust AO FAICD said the AICD had a diverse membership of 40,000 people, who were collectively responsible for millions of jobs and billions of dollars in investment across the economy.

“It’s time to stop tinkering around the edges and deliver a real plan for our future,” Ms Proust said.

The AICD’s Blueprint sets out a plan for long-term growth with recommendations in six areas:

  1. Reforming national governance – calling for fixed, four-year terms for the federal government, reforms to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) process and leadership from Australian directors in governance standards and practice.

  2. Fiscal sustainability – calling for spending reforms to return government expenditure as a percentage of GDP to pre-GFC levels, and tax reform to promote economic growth, improve fairness and increase competitiveness. A change in the tax mix from inefficient direct taxes is recommended, supported by a lift in the GST rate (with compensation).

  3. Innovation and entrepreneurialism – calling for a pushback against protectionism in all its forms, review of regulatory settings that encourage risk aversion and increased engagement between business, government and academia.

  4. Partnership with not-for-profits – calling for five-year funding cycles for the NFP sector and national harmonisation in NFP regulations, such as fundraising.

  5. Human capital – calling for an increase in female participation, industrial relations reform, and a national focus on skills training and education.

  6. National infrastructure – calling for a 15-year infrastructure plan with project reporting, benchmarking and governance, increased use of ‘good’ debt to fund productive infrastructure, and greater use of private sector funding models.

As the voice of excellence in governance, the AICD brings a unique perspective – informed by the insights of our diverse membership – to the challenges facing our nation. If adopted, these reforms will ensure Australia is more prosperous, successful and innovative than it is today.

The policy prescriptions in the Blueprint will not represent the views of all members, and our list of issues is not exhaustive. Please share your feedback via our LinkedIn Member Group or directly by emailing us at nationalreform@aicd.com.au.

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