As the growing list of infrastructure needs shows, we need to find more creative ways to overcome the barriers to investment in infrastructure by the private sector without mandating investment quotas. The Coalition’s election policy of issuing-long term infrastructure bonds is the sort of thinking we need. Bonds have the potential to increase investment in infrastructure and need serious consideration. The new government also needs to ensure that Australians will have adequate retirement incomes without putting undue burden on the taxpayers of the future. Australia has a retirement savings gap of $695 billion. The government must provide a superannuation savings framework that closes this gap and provides the retirement lifestyles Australians expect and deserve.
The increase in the SG from 9 per cent to 12 per cent already announced by the previous government must be legislated as a priority. Achieving adequate retirement incomes also means providing the right incentives for people to engage with their superannuation so that they make choices that will increase their savings rather than reduce them. And while much reform must focus on the economy, we must give governments adequate time to implement their agendas. It’s time Australia moved to a flexible, four-year Parliamentary term. The lesson of the slowmotion train wreck in NSW is that fixed terms don’t work, but threeyear terms give governments little time to implement detailed reforms. The reform agenda Australia needs requires hard decisions, not glib sound-bites. Right now business has two choices – to damn the hung Parliament and pre-judge it as unable to pursue a reform agenda. Or, as we advocate, engage and drive the reform agenda and judge it on its performance.