Labor urged to continue reform
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MELBOURNE, Feb 3 AAP
February 03 2013, 5:41PM
The Business Council of Australia says the tapering mining boom meant the federal government had to continue making tough long term economic decisions despite setting an election date.
Council president Tony Shepherd says he hopes the setting of September 14 as an election date did not mean there would be no reform for the next seven-and-a-half months.
Multi-factor productivity should be the number one priority and the government's first task should be getting modern workplaces for the future, he said.
Workplaces had to be adapted, flexible and relevant to the digital age and Australia's engagement with Asia.
"Workplaces that are focused on improving the productivity of people but that doesn't mean less pay for more work, that just means smarter work, more flexibility, more attuned to the demands of the economy," he told ABC TV's Inside Business.
"You've got to look at the causes of the poor productivity performance of Australia and address them and those things are taxation, regulation, workplace reform, infrastructure and skills and they are the priorities.
"But everything the government does should be looked at through the prism of does this improve our productivity, particularly given the fact that a lot of our sectors are battling against a very high Australian dollar which I think we are going to have for some time."
Mr Shepherd said the enormous investment in resources had been masking low productivity and weakness in other sectors and as the boom tapers off, productivity had to improve or there would be real problems in resources, the rest of the economy and employment.