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Failure to govern undermines investment

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Media Release

Ian McLachlan

Shadow Minister for Industry and Commerce


The Government must act immediately to improve the investment climate and make Australia an attractive investment proposition, Shadow Minister for Industry and Commerce, Ian McLachlan, said today.

"It must start governing in the interests of all Australians instead of pursuing its own self-serving objectives.

"Indeed there can be no doubt that Labor's internal wrangling and policy indecision itself is further undermining investor confidence."

Mr McLachlan said that the September quarter MTIA industry survey released today confirmed these fears.

"According to the survey manufacturing industry investment will remain flat for at least another 12 months.

"This is at a time Australia should be increasing investment in line with its trading competitors as Senator John Button indicated yesterday."

Mr McLachlan said that despite Senator Button's belated public concerns, the reality was that both the Minister and his Government had done little in more than eight years to make the economic climate internationally competitive.

"International data shows Australia slipping to 16th place out of 23 countries ranked according to their international competitiveness and attractiveness to investors.

"This is the legacy of years of chronic inflation and high interest rates under Labor caused by a complete failure to address fundamental structural problems.

"Even now those Ministers who are speaking out are confining their criticism to the less ideologically provocative areas such as taxation.

"Whilst taxation is extremely important, not one is suggesting fundamental reform of the industrial relations system which could yield at least $20 billion in income gains, or accelerated reform of the waterfront and transport system which could deliver an additional $10 billion, minimum.

"The Government is racked with indecision and split by leadership struggles. It has abrogated its responsibility to govern. For the country's sake it should tackle the fundamental problem it knows must be tackled or give the job to a Coalition

Government which will," concluded Mr McLachlan.

Ian McLachlan Telephone: 06 277 2039

Further information:

14 October 1991