“We’ve reached a point where a second-best option that was agreed on a bipartisan basis, that would carry forward the next five or 10 years, would still be better than no policy certainty at all.”
While taxation reform remains a significant short-term issue for directors, it dropped on a relative level as concern for government action on climate change rose by 12 percentage points in the past six months.
Directors’ immediate priority remains energy policy, with 50 per cent nominating it as the most important area for government action.
Renewable energy was considered the top area of importance for infrastructure investment by 51 per cent of directors, ahead of regional infrastructure, water supply, roads and telco networks such as the NBN.
Mr Amour said there was “widespread” concern across the community about climate and energy policy affecting investment and affordability.
Climate change was identified as the third biggest economic challenge facing Australian business, following global economic uncertainty and China’s outlook.
“It’s not just business,” Mr Amour said. “It’s non-profits, it’s small business – everyone is calling for certainty around climate change police and energy policy.
“The length of time that’s passed without certainty for energy policy has clearly made it a top of mind issue for our community.”
The report also showed directors were the least confident about the outlook for business they have been since the first half of 2015.
The number of directors who predict the Australian economy to be weak over the next year has nearly doubled over the past six months, with 50 per cent having a low assessment of the health of the domestic economy.
Natassia is a journalist for The Sydney Morning Herald.