Following a speech to the Business Council of Australia (BCA), NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian was lauded for pushing the role of business in creating a strong, stable economy and jobs growth that benefit the population as a whole.
“Gladys Berejiklian has demonstrated a masterful understanding of what it takes to create a better society – strong business investment creating more jobs and better jobs,” BCA chief executive Jennifer Westacott said.
“[She] understands well that government alone cannot provide meaningful employment for everyone, and that a strong and diverse business sector is the lifeblood of our society as well as our economy.
“The Premier rightly emphasises that collaboration with business, rather than conflict, is the only way to lastingly build a more prosperous and better society for all citizens.”
Ms Berejiklian told BCA delegates that governments and the business community have long been adversaries, but petitioned for the two to collaborate much more closely in the future to drive economic growth in a rapidly changing technological environment.
“We should of course call each other out when it is justified, but for governments to use business as a scapegoat because they are in a political pickle, or they haven’t managed to find innovative solutions to budget challenges, is inexcusable,” she said.
“We observe that governments under pressure look for someone to blame – and business is an all too easy target for punitive taxes or regulation.”
Among the solutions Ms Berejiklian advocated for are a more stable policy framework, lower and less complicated business taxation, and better collaboration between state and federal governments to avoid duplication of services, taxes and regulations.
The empowering speech comes just weeks after plans for a new SME-focused political party has been announced to contest the next NSW state election, due in early 2019.