PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 41531

Remarks, Business Council of Australia Showcase

Photo of Turnbull, Malcolm

Turnbull, Malcolm

Period of Service: 15/09/2015 to 24/08/2018

More information about Turnbull, Malcolm on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 28/03/2018

Release Type: Transcript

Transcript ID: 41531

Location: Parliament House, Canberra

PRIME MINISTER:

Well, thank you for Naomi and Ali for sharing your stories and Brenda, one of the stories we were talking about earlier was how you provided cooking advice to some your customers.

How has that changed over the 50 years?

PANELLIST, BRENDA PALMER:

Not much really.

PRIME MINISTER:

No? They’re not seeking different advice on different recipes?

BRENDA PALMER:

No, but they do read labels more carefully these days. I mean, I can remember when jam only came in tins. We didn’t have jars.

[Laughter]

And the bread was wrapped in waxed paper, not plastic. Which wouldn’t be a bad idea if we went back to the waxed paper, I think.

PRIME MINISTER:

Well there you go, there’s some very good advice for Coles from one of its longest standing or possibly the longest standing…

BRENDA PALMER:

The oldest checkout chick in Australia.

[Laughter]

[Applause]

PRIME MINISTER:

And adopting new technology at a rate that would make the CSRIO proud, there you go.

[Laughter]

Now ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for celebrating the work of Australian workers.

The reality is this, as you’ve said: nearly nine out of ten Australian workers work for business. Businesses large and very, very small.

Their jobs, their opportunities, their horizons, depend upon those businesses being successful and being driven and managed and led by people who are enterprising, who are courageous, who are prepared to invest and have a go.

Whether that is having a go by investing in the business, by investing dollars in the business or by investing time in the business, by investing above all in people.

The best assets of every business in Australia, even the biggest resource companies with huge plants and equipment, their best assets are their people. Every business leader I’ve known in my many years of business – I’m not as old as you Brenda but I’m a bit closer to you than these are guys on the stage…

BRENDA PALMER:

It is very troubling to [inaudible].

[Laughter]

PRIME MINISTER:

Indeed and with timeless charm, always enduring and always appealing and passionate and telling a great story about commitment.

Now the reality is this: as you know, we are seeking the support of the Senate to the next part of our company tax plan. We’ve already succeeded in reducing company tax for businesses up to, from July 1 this year, up to $50 million a year turnover.

Now that’s not a huge business, $50 million a year turnover. But those businesses with up to $50 million a year turnover that have the benefit of tax reductions, they employ over half of the Australian workforce, more than half of the private sector workforce. That is one of the reasons why we are seeing this record growth in jobs.

Grant talked about it earlier, but it is worth remembering and celebrating, that in the last 12 months there were 420,700 jobs created in Australia, which is a record, a record.

We have had 17 months of continuous jobs growth, which is another record.

The third record is we have the highest female participation rate in our history and we’re starting to see more part time jobs switching to full time jobs.

We saw that in the last jobs figures of course, there were 47,000 part time jobs reduction, 64,000 full time jobs increase.
I saw that when I visited Bisalloy, just down near Wollongong in Unanderra, a fantastic medium-sized Australian specialty steelmaker that makes some of the best ballistic steel in the world. That’s exactly what they are doing there; growing their workforce, investing in their workforce.

You know the manager said when we talked about what the tax cuts would mean for him?

He said, “We will invest more, we will employ more and there will be more money in our workers’ pockets because they all enjoy production bonuses and profit sharing”.

So that’s the reality; that is what we know is the consequence of reducing company tax.

That’s why people are doing it right around the world; the benefits flow through to workers.

It means more investment, higher productivity, higher wages and more jobs.

That is the commitment. It has been ever thus.

It’s not a bipartisan point of view at the moment, I regret to say. The Labor Party is dead against it, as you know, they want to increase taxes on businesses.

But it wasn’t always the case.

You only have to go back to 2011 – that’s what Wayne Swan said when he was Treasurer.

That’s what Bill Shorten said when he was in government.

That’s what Paul Keating said and did when he reduced company taxes and that it was government after government around the world is doing. Governments perhaps as different as Emmanuel Macron’s France, Donald Trump in America, Theresa May in the United Kingdom. You can go right around the world, people recognise it’s fairly straight forward, if you want to have growth in employment, if you want to have higher wages, more jobs, better jobs, investing in the technology that delivers productivity that Brenda’s been talking about, you need to have businesses that have got the ability to make that investment.

Now we have got to the point in the Senate where we started off the week with 33 votes supporting the second stage of the company tax cuts, which would roll it out to all of the corporate sector. By this point, we have 37,  which is still two short of what we need, but we are not giving up. Mathias Cormann has announced in the Senate that we won’t be bringing the Enterprise Tax Legislation to a vote in the Senate this week but we are not giving up. We’re determined to get this passed and we will be continuing the work with the cross bench to secure it.

I want to encourage you to keep talking to the crossbench, and indeed – I mean we are the party of aspiration on our side so I’d encourage you to talk to the Opposition and the Greens but it would be a bit of a slog for you – but you know, you’re not afraid of a challenge.

But the reality is this: we have to be competitive. We cannot seriously contemplate a situation where Australia’s corporate tax rate becomes the highest in the OECD. It’s about the equal highest in the OECD now.

We are the best country in the world, with immense opportunities. But we are a relatively small, open market economy. Capital, businesses have many places to invest and we need to have a competitive tax rate.

It’s that fundamental.

So what we are fighting for here is not bigger dividends for companies or bigger pay cheques for executives. What we’re fighting for here is the viability and the competitiveness of Australian businesses.

What we are fighting for is ensuring our businesses, our entrepreneurs, the people with start-ups and family businesses that employ most of Australians – more Australians than the biggest companies do – but also the big companies that are represented here tonight, we are fighting to ensure that you have every incentive to invest and grow.

To invest in your business.

To invest in your workforce.

To ensure that you will have more jobs and better jobs in the years ahead.

It’s vitally important that we do this for our children and grandchildren, that we keep Australia competitive.

I want to thank you for your commitment, for your energy, for your courage, for your enterprise.

I can assure you that my government will continue fighting to give you the tools you need, the legislation you need to justify stronger and stronger investment, more jobs, better jobs, better paid jobs.

We cannot hold back Australian business to see jobs to go overseas, to see investment go overseas. We want that investment, those jobs in Australia. That’s why we are determined to deliver a competitive company tax system here.

Thank you all very much for being here tonight.

Thank you Jennifer and Grant, thank you Virginia and above all thank you Ali, Naomi and Brenda.

[ENDS]

Transcript 41531