"Unleashing the power of dynamic, innovative, and open markets must be central to the recovery, with the private sector leading job creation, not government."
— Treasurer Josh Frydenberg
Australia has been labelled the Lucky Country and indeed it is so. Australians are rightfully proud of the economic success which underpins our fantastic high quality of life.
However, it would be foolish to take our prosperity for granted. In recent years our economy has been likened to a twin engine aircraft, with one engine the property boom and the other engine the mining boom. Those two engines cannot sustain our quality of life indefinitely and, in fact, cracks have already begun to appear.
On measures of economic complexity, a key indicator for the development of new industries, Australia holds the same rating as Angola. Australia ranks 22nd on Cornell’s Global Innovation Index, 16th in competitiveness by the World Economic Forum, and fares outside the top 20 nations on multiple indicators of industry and business collaboration. A complex regulatory environment spanning three levels of government increases barriers to entry for startups, adds to running costs for small businesses and deters foreign investment.
Now is the time to look to the future. The tragedy of COVID-19 has created a once-in-a-generation opportunity to adjust the nuts and bolts of Australia’s economy, so that it can continue to run strong for decades to come.
This area of research will explore possibilities for structural reforms to ensure long-term prosperity for all Australians. Long term economic prosperity is essential to maintain our enviable standard of living, but improvements in productivity are required in order for Australia to thrive. Economic policy must be responsive, capitalise on Australia’s competitive advantages to strengthen existing industries, train workers to increase productivity, and develop new opportunities that will be resilient in the 21st century. We can do more to incentivise industry and create the market conditions to aid an increasingly complex, diverse and interconnected economy. An emphasis on technology, competitiveness and collaboration are key.