Grant King, President, Business Council of Australia

“Priorities for prosperity” and Q1 2017 Innovation Index Results Revealed

31 March 2017

“Prosperity means meaningful jobs, growing incomes, and meaningful opportunities for our children”, said new Business Council of Australia head, Grant King. His speech went on to advise on the importance of creating long-term gains; and how corporate tax cuts would make Australia a more competitive global economy.

King warned of the importance of heeding to caution in prosperous times: “If our parliaments follow the populist path and put the short-term wants of the few ahead of the long term needs of the many, then the crisis will eventually come,” said Mr King.

He also repeated the calls for an overhaul of the tax system by cutting the corporate tax rate to maintain international competitiveness. “To suggest that a reduction in the corporate tax rate to maintain a competitive investment environment should be rejected because an independent commission has determined to reduce penalty rates, is the basest of political arguments and should be called out as such. Both of those things have the same objective, and that is to get more people to work.”

Grant King also highlighted the need for innovation: “the path to prosperity is not easy and relies on multiple factors – tax is a key element, but so is innovation and workplace flexibility. Business is required constantly to innovate to survive and to change,” he said. “Business leaders should live in the future. If we are laggards and not leaders, our businesses will wither and die and so will our country.”

His comments tie in to our Q1 Innovation Index release, in collaboration with Sky News Business, where we found that there has been a marked decline in the proportion of Australian executives who believe that their workplace environment allows innovation to flourish, and also that Australian executives are looking for more transparent structures in the workplace to support innovation. Our study also reveals that executives are placing increasing importance on customer engagement as a driver of future business growth. Michelle Blum, our CEO suggested that looking to Israel’s ecosystem could accelerate Australia’s learning: “Australia can take advantage of the progress and experiences in Israel, where embracing uncertainty, collaboration, and exploring new and dynamic ways of working, have led it to consistently being recognised as a role model for innovation.” See her full interview with Sky News Business here.