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Goals for Australia

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179/91 29 July 1991


I welcome today's statement by nine of Australia's leading businessmen who have expressed their deep concern about the direction in which Australia is heading under current policies and attitudes.

In broad terms, they have set out objectives for a more competitive Australia.

Their action program parallels the Coalition's own policy agenda which has been developed over the past few years.

I recently set out a 12-point policy grid in a speech to the Australian Society of Corporate Treasurers in South Australia, (14 June) which identified the key areas of essential reform.

The point needs to be made that stating what has to be done is relatively easy - there is a broad measure of agreement on Australia's economic priorities.

The hard point is the development of detailed policies for their application in government and the task of convincing Australians that changes must be made, even if those changes are going to be uncomfortable for a time.

Today's statement from business leaders makes a valuable contribution to the process of focussing the minds of Australians on the need for essential reforms and to emphasise the urgency with which they should be addressed.

Australians must seriously face the fact that we are not "the lucky country" and that we must change our policies and attitudes if we are to begin to earn our way in the world by performing more in line with our tremendous potential.

The Coalition is willing to work together with the chief executives who made today's statement and with other business leaders to achieve the goals on which we all agree.

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