The Business Council of Australia (BCA) wants more overseas investment here and a wider use of foreign workers.
It is calling for a big sell-off of government assets with the proceeds spent on necessary public works, as directed by the strengthened powers of the government-appointed Infrastructure Australia.
BCA president Tony Shepherd today outlined a program for economic upgrade with a warning that the big political parties were not making the choices for future prosperity.
It was a "serious time" in which "we really need to focus on making Australia ready for the future", Mr Shepherd told the National Press Club in Canberra.
"In many countries creating jobs, raising living standards and securing long-term prosperity is an uphill challenge. In Australia it's a choice," he said.
"A choice that no-one seems intent on making at the moment."
The BCA will soon release a report on detailed changes it considers necessary, and Mr Shepherd outlined some of them in his lunchtime address, including a change to how GST revenue is allocated to the states.
At present it is distributed according to the needs of the states in critical performance areas. The BCA wants funds also used as a reward for state efficiency improvements.
Mr Shepherd said: "Let's find a way of moving to an equal per capita distribution of the GST so that the Federation is better geared to manage a modern economy where you need a fairer basis for sharing national revenue.
"Let's introduce a new system of productivity payments along the lines of the old competition payments, to give us a means of driving key national reforms."
Mr Shepherd wants a fresh round of privatisation of infrastructure assets which governments "don't need to own" and the money used to build necessary projects in partnership with business.
The Business Council is calling for a deeper overseas engagement which would "open doors to new markets, new ideas, and stronger cultural and security ties".
"We should have a more internationally open labour market, maintain migration at current levels and maintain the flexibility of the 457 visa arrangements," said Mr Shepherd.
"We must always remember that migration and diversity have been a great nation builder for Australia, and we should never turn our backs on it."
He said: "We should become a world leader in attracting foreign investment and lift the general foreign investment screening threshold to $1.1 billion for all countries.
"We need a more nuanced approach to investment from state-owned enterprises and sovereign wealth funds, recognising they will be a big source of investment.
"The Asia-Pacific region, and China in particular, will be central to our prosperity and we should not underestimate how big that is.
"(Chinese) President Xi Jinping told the Boao Forum last week that in the next five years China plans to import US$10 trillion worth of goods, invest US$500 billion overseas, and send 400 million tourists abroad.
"The steps we took last week in building the strategic alliance and on the convertibility of currency (with China) were significant, and I commend the government for that. But we must be ready for this opportunity."
news.com.au 17 Apr 2013
The whole purpose of the new 'globalisation' policy of the new order of the world is to bring in cheap labour under the 'refugee' banner.
Governments and businesses are in favour of immigration as this is the ticket to 'easy street' in terms of profits.
Currently fraud and 'money for mates' deals within government and it's supported businesses are rife.
The suggestion to incorporate government deals exclusively with businesses, only opens up door for more financial abuse, naturally at the tax payers expense.
The government in line with new world order policies sold off its (people owned) utilities, consequently allowing the businesses to rip off the consumer with no penalties whatsoever, only support from the governing bodies.