Josh Frydenberg urges states to embrace productivity reforms


With pressures from international events and the drought hitting the budget, now is the time to press on with structural changes to the economy, he will say.

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“The global economic headwinds are real and the devastating drought at home is impacting on the budget and weighing negatively on business and consumer confidence,” he will say.

“While we conceived our economic plan laid out in this year’s budget cognisant of these threats, we must continue to look for every opportunity to take the country forward.

“Making the federation work better is essential to this task.

“Despite 28 years of consecutive economic growth, a AAA credit rating, and a federal budget back in balance for the first time in 11 years, there is no room for complacency.”

The Productivity Commission produced a report in August 2017 for then-treasurer Scott Morrison which outlined a string of proposals it argued could boost overall economic activity by $80 billion a year.

The reforms it advocated stretched from automated medicine dispensing to some versions of congestion charging to cover the cost of road maintenance.

Mr Frydenberg will argue the commission’s report was a “blueprint” for major micro-economic reforms which should be embraced by the states.

He will signal the federal government wants to ensure all levels of government are held to account for those services of which they have responsibility.

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“As our federation evolves and we work together across all levels of government to meet the challenges such as an ageing and growing population we must make sure the lines of accountability between levels of government are not blurred,” he will say.

“We may often have joint responsibility for funding, but not always joint responsibility for delivery. The best case in point is in relations to our schools and our hospitals.

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