Morrison Looks To Deregulation & Fast-Tracked Projects For Economic Recovery

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said that deregulation, in combination with large scale infrastructure investments will lead Australia’s post-covid economic recovery. 

Morrison has called on all sectors within the economy to collaborate on projects, and wind back restrictive and time-consuming regulations to curb unemployment and fast-track a number of projects. 

In the month of April, Australia posted job losses equal to 30 months of job growth, signalling the need for further intervention if the country is to record positive GDP figures in the coming years. 

“That is why we have a plan to lift that growth,” Morrison said, “not just for the next few months, not for now, but the next five years. We need to lift our economic growth rate by more than one percentage point above trend, to beat the expected pre-covid GDP position by 2025.” 

The PM also warned that Australians shouldn’t spend too much, stating that “there will always be a case made for spending more and spending for longer and there are plenty of people who are happy to make that case… but it is not a wise nor responsible course,” he added. 

Morrison has said previously that his “joint assessment teams” are working to accelerate projects in the pipeline that are worth more than $72 billion, which would support 66,000 direct and indirect jobs. 

“Our number one priority is getting people back into jobs, and they need to be real, productive jobs,” he said. “Jobs that produce goods and services that people want.” 

Morrison is expected to unveil the full-raft of projects at the CEDA’s State of the Nation conference in Canberra today, pushing his government’s JobMaker package, as well as spruiking the coalition’s $180 billion committed to infrastructure over the next 10 years. 

“I’ve asked them all to lift their ambition further, and work with us through the national cabinet to make regulation a focus of Australia’s economic recovery,” Morrison said in relation to state governments around Australia. 

“All levels of government, business and the community must rethink how these systems can better contribute to our recovery from the pandemic,” he’s expected to tell the CEDA state of the union address, “we need to bring the same common sense and co-operation we showed fighting COVID-19 to unlocking infrastructure investment in the recovery.” 

We’ll be sure to report on the conference right here on the Best Practice news page, but it’s expected that investments into major projects, as well as winding back regulations will be atop the list.

The government’s JobMaker plan will take advice from five working groups that include government, unions and business groups to scrutinise current industrial relations policies, and look to reform them in-line with a post-covid economic recovery. 

According to News.com.au, “they will review awards, enterprise bargaining agreements, casual work, union and employer misconduct and greenfields- agreements that set flat wages and conditions throughout the lifetime of a construction project. 

Currently, the government has a number of what it calls “shovel ready” projects that are set to receive $1.5 billion in public funds, largely infrastructure projects that can kick-start economic recovery and curb unemployment. 

Included in this list of ‘shovel-ready’ projects is an inland rail line linking Melbourne to Brisbane, the Marinus undersea electricity link between Victoria and Tasmania, an extension to the Olympic Dam in South Australia, emergency water projects in NSW, as well as rail and iron ore infrastructure projects in Western Australia. 

Alan Tudge, the Minister for Cities and Urban Infrastructure has signalled his support of fast-tracking projects, and said that making the planning and assessment processes parallel, rather than sequential will be a game-changer. 

Tudge confirmed that the states were “100 percent on board, wanting to get these projects done fast. So many of those larger scale projects can take three to four years before they actually get going,” he said, “we want to reduce that time frame in half,” Tudge added. 

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