Alex Malley, CPA Australia chief executive, noted that Minister for Small Business Bruce Billson is showing his cabinet colleagues what can be accomplished with an understanding of key issues and a connection with stakeholders.
“The actions taken by Bruce Billson in the design and development of an ‘effects test’ for competition law is a template for good policy making that other ministers should study,” he said. Mr Malley also reiterated the importance of supporting the growth of Australian small business.
“As our country transitions to a knowledge-based economy, it’s clear that more innovative and competitive businesses, especially small businesses, are essential for jobs growth and a more prosperous economy," he said.
According to Mr Malley, complaints from big business about the proposed reforms are “entirely expected and can be discounted”.
Mr Malley is highly supportive of the relationship between government and stakeholders, along with the introduction of an independent panel to lead discussions regarding reform.
“Billson consulted widely when in opposition and he’s continued that critical stakeholder engagement in government," Mr Malley said. "When you are informed, know what you want to achieve and have the courage of your convictions, decisions to act on reform are easy.
“The approach of Billson and the independent panel led by Professor Ian Harper shows that difficult policy can be widely discussed, debated and designed where there are the right people with the right motivations involved,” he added.
Mr Malley concluded that “the contrast with the delayed and poorly communicated tax reform process, which is looking less and less likely to achieve any meaningful reform, is stark”.