Major construction projects and business regulations will be key components of Australia’s recovery from the coronavirus economic storm.
The federal government will also pursue changes to industrial relations and has warned its proposed “ensuring integrity” laws for unions and officials will form a central part of its agenda.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison raised the importance of road and rail projects alongside deregulation at a meeting of federal and state leaders on Friday.
“That’s going to become more and more part of the national cabinet’s agenda going forward as we move to getting things back to a COVID-safe economy and a COVID-safe community,” Mr Morrison told reporters.
He also warned against a stop-start approach to easing economic and social restrictions.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann has ruled out any tax increases in response to the coronavirus-induced economic tsunami.
The government is considering wide-ranging reform in the October federal budget, which shapes as a crucial juncture in the national recovery.
“Tax increases are off the table because you don’t want to make it harder for business to be successful,” Senator Cormann told Sky News.
The finance minister said the federal government wanted to work with states to pursue aggressive deregulation in areas like business approvals.
He said the economic agenda would be guided by pro-growth, pro-business measures.
“We want to make it easier to do business, to reduce the cost of doing business,” Senator Cormann said.
Company tax cuts are on the agenda with big business pushing the coalition to revive plans to slash the rate from 30 to 25 per cent.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese isn’t rushing to support the proposal.
“I think it’s rather strange at a time when you have a substantial increase in Australia’s debt,” he told ABC News Breakfast.
“We will look at it in the balance of you need revenue but you also need to make investments in education, for example, in skilling up our Australian workforce for those jobs of the future.”
Mr Albanese said the private sector needed to be boosted, but the vital role of government shouldn’t be ignored.
He said any changes to workplace laws should benefit working people and the economy rather than transferring wages to profits.