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Business Council eager for scrapping of carbo -

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TONY EASTLEY: After more than three years of uncertainty and sour relations with successive Labor governments, big business is counting on Tony Abbott to deliver on his main policy promises.

And the big one, according to the Business Council of Australia, is a mandate to immediately dump the carbon tax.

But the BCA is already worried that the abolition of the tax could be held up in the Senate.

The president of the Business Council, Tony Shepherd, is speaking here with our business editor Peter Ryan.

TONY SHEPHERD: I think that's a major issue. They have made it very clear from the very beginning that they would scrap the carbon tax and the mining tax. They have a decisive mandate by a majority of Australians, and a very clear majority. I think it would be very difficult for a senator to vote against the will on such important issues of the will of the majority of Australians.

So I would call for the senators, the existing senators and the new ones, to be very careful how they cast their vote on those two issues given that this has clearly been Coalition policy for a long time and has been supported by a majority of Australians.

PETER RYAN: Given that issue of the make-up of the Senate, are you concerned that again that there might be horse-trading that would really put the axing of the tax at stake?

TONY SHEPHERD: Well look, I'd hope not. I think the time for horse-trading and politicking is over. We've suffered three years of uncertainty with minority government. It hasn't worked. It has not been successful, no matter what anybody says. And therefore I'd say to the senators again, you know, please take account of what the majority of Australians want.

PETER RYAN: Another big item is workplace relations, and Mr Abbott says he'll ask the Productivity Commission to look at elements of the Fair Work Act. Will business be lobbying to make life harder for unions under a conservative government?

TONY SHEPHERD: Look, it's very easy to get dragged into this sort of union bashing thing and I'm sort of an old fashioned accord type person. But there is no doubt that the Fair Work Act is an act from the seventies and we need an act for a modern, efficient and productive workplace.

Things have changed dramatically over the last 30 or 40 years in terms of our workplaces in Australia, and we actually do need a modern and productive workplace relations system.

And that doesn't mean you know less pay for more work or any of that sort of stuff. We're not into jingoism. So I don't see this as either pro- or anti-unions. It's just a reflection of the reality that we now confront.

PETER RYAN: But certainly no return to something like WorkChoices?

TONY SHEPHERD: No. Definitely not.

PETER RYAN: Just back on the issue of mandates. Tony Abbott's proposal for paid parental leave hasn't been universally accepted. Certainly not by business, given that it involves a lifting in the company tax rate by top companies. But do you accept, regardless, that Mr Abbott has a mandate to push that through?

TONY SHEPHERD: Absolutely. We can't have it both ways, Peter. So we just have to cop that. The only thing I would say there is that there are some issues in its detailed implementation and we would seek to discuss that with the new government. Particularly in regard to those companies who already have such schemes in place.

And sometimes even in some cases as part of EBAs. So we just want to make sure that there's no double counting or no issues there, and I'm sure that those details can be resolved.

PETER RYAN: But you'll cop it?

TONY SHEPHERD: Yes, we'll just cop it. Yep. Okay, you can't have it both ways, Peter.

TONY EASTLEY: The president of the Business Council, Tony Shepherd, speaking with our business editor Peter Ryan.