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Wednesday, 19 November 1986
Page: 2450


Senator CHANEY (Leader of the Opposition) —I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall move:

That the Senate-

(a) notes with alarm the findings of the Australian Chamber of Commerce-National Bank of Australia Survey of Business Conditions that:

(i) business investment plans are at their most pessimistic level since late 1982,

(ii) only 23 per cent of companies surveyed expect to increase capital expenditure over the next 12 months,

(iii) 41 per cent of companies surveyed expect to decrease investment over the next 12 months, and

(iv) corporate profitability declined significantly in the September 1986 quarter as higher overall costs squeezed profit margins;

(b) records the Opposition's concern that these pessimistic business investment indicators contrast sharply with Government assertions that its economic policies are creating the positive business investment environment necessary for Australia's unemployment and balance of payment problems to be overcome;

(c) condemns the Government's failure to face facts on the poor business investment outlook and its implications for the J-curve based economic development which it promotes as the eventual outcome of Government economic policies; and

(d) calls on the Government to review and revise its economic policies immediately so that renewed growth in business investment can occur on the basis of genuine optimism about Australia's domestic and international growth prospects.