Interest groups happy to give advice on bearings
Business groups have welcomed the Coalition's election victory, saying prime minister-elect Tony Abbott has won a "clear mandate for reform" that he must be allowed to fulfil.
But the Business Council of Australia has fired a warning shot at the new-look Senate, saying that senators have a responsibility to act in the long-term national interest, which is code for saying the Coalition must not face much resistance there.
"It's time to stop the politicking. We now have a majority government in place for three years," BCA president Tony Shepherd warned.
"Business is looking for urgent action to unwind policies that have hurt our competitiveness, and to begin the long process of structural reform and planning that will position our economy ... for the future."
Near the top of the reform wish list is the BCA's economic "action plan", which was released in July and which lays out a possible blueprint for "comprehensive policy reform".
The plan calls for budget discipline, a reduced corporate tax rate, and a rethink of regulation.
Rio Tinto managing director David Peever, who is chairman of the BCA's policy committee, on Sunday said the plan would provide a "sensible starting point".
"We need leadership focused on the long-term national interest, supported by strong governance and institutions and proper decision-making processes," Mr Peever said.
The Australian Institute of Company Directors reiterated its call for the new government to hold a "regulation summit" in its first 100 days of office.
"The new government should move decisively in its first term to reduce unnecessary regulation and red tape, which is strangling business and stifling investment and job creation," institute chief executive John Colvin said.
Business groups across the political spectrum, from the union-linked Industry Super Network to the Australian Bankers' Association, congratulated the new government on its win, and took the opportunity to reiterate their pre-election policy platforms.
But they also said what they would like to see the Abbott government working on immediately.
Financial Services Council chief executive John Brogden said he would like to see a comprehensive review of the country's financial system, which is something Joe Hockey as opposition treasurer had been keen to pursue.
Mr Brogden also said he would support the review being chaired by former Commonwealth Bank chief executive David Murray.
Mr Murray last month said he would consider chairing a review of the financial system if he were asked.
"We think that superannuation will play a very important role in that," Mr Brogden said. "There was also talk of a tax review ... we've always been strong advocates of abolishing the remaining unproductive state taxes."
Council of Small Business of Australia chief executive Peter Strong said the Coalition had a mandate to do what it said it would do for small business.
He also said he rang the Coalition's small-business spokesman, Bruce Billson, on Sunday morning to congratulate him on the win.
"We want them to move pretty quickly on competition policy and contract [reform] to really send a message to small-business people to say we're thinking of you," Mr Strong said.
"I'm pretty sure there'll be a boost to confidence and certainty in the small-business sector now, but we don't want them to be disappointed in six months' time."
Industry Super Network CEO David Whiteley said the superannuation industry hoped for a period of relative stability after years of inquiries and major changes, including the Future of Financial Advice legislation and MySuper reforms.
"There's been a lot of change over the last few years and I think they need the change to bed them down," Mr Whitely said.
"We also hope a new government will offer the opportunity for bipartisanship on super ... and if there are to be regulatory or tax changes, they follow a considered process with consultation with the industry and community at large."
The Insurance Council of Australia said the new government ought to place a "greater emphasis on disaster management and mitigation".
It also said it would welcome tax reforms that reduced state and territory government reliance on stamp duties on insurance products.
"The insurance industry is encouraged by the Coalition's belief that excessive regulation stymies innovation, investment and more employment," said ICA chief executive Rob Whelan.