ON behalf of our members across Australia’s national resource industry, AMMA has submitted its recommendations to the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into ‘Increasing Australia’s Future Prosperity’.

Chief concerns include the need for urgent workplace relations reform to address Australia’s inefficient bargaining system.

See below AMMA’s list of recommendations.

BARGAINING IS NOT DRIVING PRODUCTIVITY

Recommendation 1: The PC recommend to government that this review be undertaken more regularly, and that five years not be allowed to lapse between such major reviews that go to the heart of our living standards and what Australia can achieve as a nation. A 24 or 30 month cycle would be more appropriate, timely and useful, and would allow the PC to focus on specific dimensions of productivity and particular options for reform, perhaps on a cyclical basis. This review is of such importance that consideration should be given to varying the Productivity Commission Act 1988 to make it a specific and regular output of the agency, which is required under statute and that does not rely on future individual ministerial requests to continue to be undertaken.

WORKPLACE RELATIONS REFORM

Recommendation 2: The PC should reiterate and re-commend to government those recommendations from its final report on Australia’s Workplace Relations Framework considered most likely to contribute to future productivity improvements.

Recommendation 3: The system ‘repair’ the PC identifies in its 2015 report should be implemented as a critical measure for Australia’s future productivity performance. The PC should use the opportunity of this review to specifically and expressly reiterate the importance of:

  • Workplace relations regulation to Australia’s productivity performance.
  • Implementing the vast majority of the PC’s 69 recommendations to government contained in its November 2015 Inquiry Report on Australia’s Workplace Relations Framework.

ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE

Recommendation 4: Company and individual taxation arrangements must be globally competitive, and support the resource industry in attracting foreign investment, trade and world leading talent. Australia’s company tax rate should be reduced over the next decade to a maximum of 25% for all companies, regardless of size.

Red tape, regulatory hurdles and approval processes

Recommendation 5: Remove government imposed duplicative, inefficient and ineffective regulation and red tape – including streamlining compliance measures, to make it easier to do business.

Recommendation 6: Streamlined approval processes: State and national approval processes (including environmental processes) should be streamlined into a national “one-stop-shop” for resource project approvals. It is imperative that resource project proponents be able to complete approval processes on a sensible and internationally competitive timetable.

Recommendation 7: Supportive trade policies: Australia’s trade policies should encourage and support resource and allied industry growth and investment; whether through global or regional trade frameworks, free trade agreements, partnerships, trade in service agreements, bilateral investment treaties etc. Trade agreements should be prioritised with emerging countries that are likely to become key/significant trading partners (importers) of Australian commodities, including energy exports.

Recommendation 8: Level playing field: Australia’s trade policies should allow Australian resource companies to compete on a level playing field with other established trade exposed, resource-reliant countries, and with newer and emerging resource exporting economies.

A major, more regular national data series on productivity:

Recommendation 9: ABS / PC publish a single consolidated set of national productivity statistics on at least a six-monthly basis. If this requires additional funding, it should be allocated.

Click here for AMMA’s submission to the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into Increasing Australia’s Future Prosperity.

Click here for AMMA’s press release on the submission.