Australian businesses should challenge practices – PM

In a business world of rapid change, Australian businesses need to re-examine their existing practices and adjust them to face volatility and uncertainty

Australian businesses need to challenge their existing practices and treat volatility as their friend, the Prime Minister has urged.

The business world is experiencing unprecedented and rapid change, and senior executives should encourage those who work for them to challenge for change, Malcolm Turnbull believes.

‘The old phrases “not invented here” or “always done it that way” are disastrous,’ Turnbull told the annual Business Council of Australia dinner in Sydney on Thursday.

‘In a disruptive age of rapid change, deference, if overdone, can be death from a corporate point of view.’

He added that Australian businesses should treat volatility as a friend, not as a foe.

The government is taking that same approach to tax reform. ‘We have a lot of taxes, particularly at the state level, that are very old and apply, were imposed or were created, in a very different world,’ Mr Turnbull said.

‘In practical terms in 2015 we have to be prepared to re-examine all of these measures and ask whether they’re contributing to our prosperity or whether they are, in one form or another, holding us back.’

Turnbull also addressed the challenges Australian businesses and citizens faced in understanding the constitutional divide between federal, state and local government responsibilities. He acknowledged the ambiguous differences were of ‘absolutely no interest’ to most.

‘We should, in terms of our interface, be able to make it much more seamless,’ he said, and added that the federal government will make platforms, including MyGov, available free to state and local governments to simplify systems.