In light of the “self-indulgence” displayed by our political leaders this week, a prominent business figurehead has suggested that political instability is now the norm in Australia, and that the business community must take the lead in restoring confidence.
Despite Tuesday’s leadership spill retaining Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister, tensions have remained and it has been revealed that a second leadership vote will be held at midday tomorrow (Friday, 24 August). If that vote takes place, Mr Turnbull revealed he will not put his name forward.
The delay comes as the Solicitor-General determines whether challenger Peter Dutton is in fact eligible to remain in parliament because of a legal technicality.
Speaking just prior to the announcement, COSBOA chief executive Peter Strong hit out at politicians of all sides for acting in their own interests instead of the nation’s.
“It’s incredibly disappointing and wrong – this is self-indulgence, again,” he told My Business.
“We need a leader to emerge out of the pack, and I’m talking from all the parties.”
Mr Strong admitted that business confidence has taken a hit from the latest leadership drama in Canberra, but that it is, sadly, nothing new for Australia.
As such, he urged all business leaders not to give in to panic amidst the latest political drama and instead focus on the core fundamentals of our economy – which, unlike our parliament, remain strong.
“We’ve been through this before [in the last 10 years] – twice with Labor, now twice with the Libs – and in spite of that, and because of the strength of the business community, in my opinion, we continue to power ahead,” said Mr Strong.
“Australia’s economy is in a good condition, our wages are still some of the highest in the world, our conditions are fine, and we have good leaders in the community based in business.
“This sort of thing does hit confidence [and since] this is going to become the norm, then what we’ve got to do in the business community is show that leadership and be seen to show that leadership.
Mr Strong added: “We’ve got to confront businesses that are doing the wrong thing – there’s not many, but they give the rest of us a bad name and help again to detract from confidence. The banks and AMP and others are really good examples of that recalcitrant part of the business community not helping getting the facts out there: the fact being that most of us are good, upstanding members of the community and that we are good employers and good businesses.”
It comes after the ACCI on Tuesday decried the hit to business confidence arising from the leadership speculation.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.