Pollies must stop playing the David v Goliath game
29 June 2017
This opinion article by Jennifer Westacott was published in The Australian on 29 June 2017.
Statement On The Australian Building And Construction Commission
30 November 2016
The passage of the ABCC legislation shows that the parliament can work together to improve Australia’s competitiveness, a critical factor in driving our ongoing prosperity and creating meaningful jobs in a volatile world
Calling on Senators to Restore the ABCC
21 November 2016
The Business Council has campaigned strongly for the Parliament to support the legislation to restore the Australian Building and Construction Commission.
Statement On The Closure of Hazelwood Power Station
3 November 2016
Our thoughts are with the employees of Hazelwood power station. Its closure is reflective of Australia's inevitable transition to a lower-emission electricity system.
Students Should Not Be Caught Out By New VET Loan Scheme
26 October 2016
Small changes should be made to the replacement of the VET FEE-HELP (VFH) program to minimise the impact on students and the VET market
Business leaders need to step up to improve mental health
24 October 2016
Business leaders must take their employees’ mental health as seriously as they take their physical workplace safety, more than 60 senior executives were told today at the Business Council’s Mentally Healthy Workplaces Discussion.
Why Our Children Need a Strong ABCC
20 October 2016
Restoring the ABCC is vital to creating a healthier culture in the building and construction industry and ending unlawful and inappropriate behaviour.
ABCC essential to combatting unlawful union behaviour on construction sites
19 October 2016
Unlawful behaviour by unions on Australia’s building and construction sites may reach crisis point unless Parliament acts now to restore the ABCC
No Reason Left for Parliament to Delay Restoring the ABCC
18 October 2016
No Reason Left for Parliament to Delay Restoring the ABCC
Strong Biz or Ed and Health. Reality is We Need Both
30 June 2016
Having to decide between strong business, or education and health, is a phony choice this election.
Make Business Strong and We Are All Winners
30 June 2016
Business groups representing more than 360,000 businesses employing more than 6.2 million people explain why, in a global environment, a more competitive company tax rate is vital for a strong Australia.
When The Dust Settles Corrupt Construction Culture Needs A Major Repair
22 June 2016
The election winner must not forget the issue that triggered the double-dissolution - restoration of the ABCC.
University of Newcastle Graduation Address
8 April 2016
Jennifer Westacott addresses the graduates of the University of Newcastle.
Culture is Critical in Our Workplaces
2 April 2016
Reinstating the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) is the best option we have to drive the fundamental and systemic cultural reform of Australia’s vital building and construction industry.
BCA Statement on ABCC and Registered Organisations Bills
21 March 2016
The Prime Minister’s announcement today that the parliament will be recalled on 18 April for three weeks provides plenty of time for the Senate to complete its deliberations and pass these bills without further delay.
We Need to Get the NDIS Right from the Outset
7 March 2016
We must get the NDIS right from the outset to avoid a harsh impact on the most vulnerable people in the community.
Reinstating the ABCC the Easiest Decision the Senate Can Make
27 February 2016
Reinstating the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) should be the easiest decision the Australian Senate can make, and an opportunity to show leadership at a time when its capacity to represent the interests of voters is under question.
BCA Calls for the Reinstatement of the ABCC
1 February 2016
The BCA urges all parties to work with the government to restore the ABCC so that the type of conduct uncovered by the Royal Commission cannot continue to occur.
Statement on Productivity Commission Workplace Relations Final Report
21 December 2015
The Productivity Commission’s final workplace relations report has fallen short of addressing what is required in a modern economy.
AFR Workforce and Productivity Summit Speech by Catherine Livingstone
8 December 2015
BCA President Catherine Livingstone talks about how businesses can foster innovation and entrepreneurial thinking.
The Changing Nature of Work
4 December 2015
The nature of our work and workplaces is changing rapidly.
Right Approach and Facts Needed for Workplace Relations Reform
26 October 2015
Our fundamental point is we have to be willing to put the facts on the table and ask honestly if the current regime is fit for a modern, 24-7 economy.
A Workplace System for a Modern Economy: Article by Jennifer Westacott
24 October 2015
We need to design a workplace relations system fit for a modern economy.
First Steps to Make the Fair Work Act Future-Oriented
14 October 2015
Our workplace relations system is essential to Australia’s competitiveness and productivity.
Workplace Relations Reform: Article by Jennifer Westacott
26 September 2015
We must acknowledge and respond to the changes and disruption which are transforming Australia's economy.
Opening Remarks to Productivity Commission Hearing on Workplace Relations
11 September 2015
Australia needs a workplace relations system that encourages, rather than stifles, innovation and productivity.
Job Creation in the Age of Disruption: Article by Jennifer Westacott
14 August 2015
No matter which side of the debate we’re on, if we are looking to go back and settle old scores or use old mindsets in this discussion, we will fail.
Workplace Relations Reform: Article by Jennifer Westacott
14 August 2015
As our economy undergoes enormous transformation we must prepare ourselves for the jobs of the future in a way that will offer people rewarding work.
Creating Jobs in the Age of Disruption: Speech by Jennifer Westacott
13 August 2015
Let's approach the workplace relations debate with aspiration and imagination.
Statement on the Productivity Commission’s Workplace Relations Review
4 August 2015
The Productivity Commission has recommended sensible and practical changes to improve the workplace relations system.
Digital Disruption: Article by Catherine Livingstone
30 April 2015
Given the disruption of a hyper-connected world, many of our policy settings are simply not fit for purpose.
Workplace Relations: Third Article in The Australian
21 March 2015
Rather than more tinkering what is required is a new framework that gets the balance right.
A Workplace Framework for the Future
20 March 2015
The task of the Productivity Commission is to correct the problems of today, but more importantly be forward-looking to meet the needs of the future.
Workplace Relations: Second Article in The Australian
28 February 2015
The national discussion about workplaces must be about creating a culture of collaboration and innovation.
Statement on the Final Report of the McClure Welfare Review
25 February 2015
This report is a thoughtful and well-considered piece of policy work which deserves an equally thoughtful and coherent response from policy makers.
Workplace Relations: First Article in The Australian
14 February 2015
Our workplace relations system can be improved to better support job creation, productivity and competitiveness in the 21st century.
Comment on Workplace Relations Framework Inquiry
22 January 2015
We must rethink how we work to stay competitive in a global economy,including whether our workplace relations system is helping or holding us back.
Statement on PC Review of the Workplace Relations Framework
19 December 2014
This review can help develop the culture of collaboration that will facilitate more innovation in Australian workplaces.
Fair Work Amendment Bill Deserves Senate’s Support
4 September 2014
The passage of the Fair Work Amendment Bill 2014 will enable businesses to respond quickly to global competition, and maintain and create jobs.
More Work Needed on Draft Employment Services Model
28 July 2014
Draft model makes some improvements, but more engagement with industry is needed to find the right balance in connecting jobseekers with job opportunities.
Business and Community Wellbeing: AFR Article by Jennifer Westacott
12 May 2014
The role of business in generating community wellbeing goes beyond its corporate social responsibility activities.
Statement on Royal Commission Terms of Reference
14 March 2014
The terms of reference provide for an opportunity to ensure that alleged union corruption and misconduct can be fully investigated, wherever it arises.
Statement on the Fair Work Amendment Bill 2014
27 February 2014
The Bill is an important step in reforming workplace laws, but more changes are needed to ensure a system that works for all workplaces and all workers.
Statement on Announcement of Royal Commission
10 February 2014
BCA CEO Jennifer Westacott responds to the federal government’s announcement of a Royal Commission into union governance and corruption.
Statement on Allegations of Construction Union Criminality
29 January 2014
The allegations underscore the need for the parliament to pass the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Bill 2013 without delay.
MPs Windsor and Oakeshott Put Jobs and the Economy First
4 June 2013
Independent MPs Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor should be commended for deciding not to support regressive amendments to the Fair Work Act.
Government Has No Mandate to Reintroduce Arbitration
30 May 2013
There are reports in the media that arbitration may be reintroduced just three months after it was excluded from Fair Work Act Amendment Bill 2013 in March.
Statement on Reasonable, Practical Coalition Changes to Workplace Laws
9 May 2013
The changes proposed will make it easier for businesses to employ people and stay competitive, and help make the economy stronger.
Coalition Paid Parental Leave Scheme Funding
23 April 2013
Suggestions that the Coalition may renege on its promise to offset its proposed 1.5 per cent levy on larger businesses defies economic sense, BCA CEO says.
Action Plan for Enduring Prosperity: First Column in The Australian
20 April 2013
First in a series of columns by Jennifer Westacott in The Australian discussing the Business Council of Australia’s Action Plan for Enduring Prosperity.
Fair Work Act Amendments Should Go Back to Drawing Board
21 March 2013
The Fair Work Act amendments will put further stress on businesses struggling to adjust to competitiveness pressures, and should be sent back to the drawing board.
IR Changes Damaging to Jobs and the National Interest
19 March 2013
In a letter to parliamentarians, ACCI, AiG, AMMA and the BCA call on the government to reconsider its second-tranche amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009.
Locking in Penalty Rates Does Nothing to Create Jobs
14 March 2013
The federal government’s proposed ‘hard wiring’ of penalty rates in industrial relations laws will undermine the ability of all businesses to create jobs.
Back to the Future with Government IR Changes
8 March 2013
Reported Fair Work Act amendments to restore compulsory arbitration risk building unproductive barriers between employers and employees.
Coalition Plans for an Investigation into the Fair Work Act
1 March 2013
Comments by Business Council of Australia President Tony Shepherd on Coalition plans for a Productivity Commission investigation of the Fair Work Act.
Joint Statement on ACOSS, ACTU and BCA Cooperation
4 December 2012
ACOSS, the ACTU and the BCA have released a joint statement outlining how they will cooperate to tackle entrenched disadvantage through collaborative action.
Fair Work Act Review Must Be Used as Opportunity to Shore up Australia’s Competitiveness
2 August 2012
The review panel has failed to come to terms with the fundamental challenge of supporting Australia’s competitiveness in a vastly changed economic landscape.
IR Isn’t Working So Let’s All Fix It
20 July 2012
Business wants to work with government to raise wages by boosting productivity.
Productivity Lift Overdue
28 June 2012
Australia is a high-cost place in which to invest and do business.
People Hungry for a New Vision
05 April 2012
Edited extract of a speech by BCA President Tony Shepherd to the Australia–Israel Chamber of Commerce, published in The Australian newspaper.
Fair Work System Must Help Australia Compete and Prosper
17 February 2012
The Fair Work Act is not supporting Australian businesses to stay competitive in a particularly challenging economic environment.
Tough Decisions Pay off in the Long Term
15 February 2012
We are all players on the same team when it comes to keeping our economy strong, so we can all share the wealth that is generated.
Job Flexibility Tops the List for Staff and Bosses
11 February 2012
Far from being a source of insecurity, our changing labour market has provided the foundation for the nation’s wealth to be shared more broadly.
Construction Industry Needs a Strong Cop on the Block
20 January 2012
The primary value of a regulator like the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner is to make sure industrial practices are lawful and appropriate.
Tough Talk Needed to Plan Equal Future for All
31 December 2011
Creating true wealth is a shared responsibility that has a shared benefit.
Review of the Fair Work Act
20 December 2011
The review is a welcome opportunity to get workplace relations right in Australia.
Statement on the Decision by Heather Ridout to Move on from the Australian Industry Group
6 December 2011
Heather Ridout has made an outstanding contribution to debates about the policies that are required to lift productivity and maintain business competitiveness.
Opportunity Is Measure of True Wealth: Edited extract of Jennifer Westacott’s Brotherhood of St Laurence’s Sambell Oration
24 November 2011
Unless our industries and businesses are prosperous, thriving and competitive, we cannot create national wealth and we certainly cannot use or share something we do not have.
Sharing Prosperity: Brotherhood of St Laurence Sambell Oration by BCA CEO Jennifer Westacott
23 November 2011
Business and the community sector need to work together to ensure that a wealthy country like Australia doesn’t leave people behind.
Four Ways in Which the Fair Work Act Is Reducing Productivity
7 November 2011
The Fair Work Act is turning out to be another example of poorly thought-through regulation whose costs and risk outweigh the benefits.
Statement by Business Council of Australia Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott on the Qantas Industrial Issues
31 October 2011
It is vital for our national economy and the long-term future of Australian jobs that our major industries have the flexibility to remain competitive in an increasingly tough global economy.
Speech by BCA CEO Jennifer Westacott to the City of Melbourne Women in Business Luncheon
28 October 2011
Reflections on three of the women who have made the most impact on Jennifer Westacott’s life.
Essential Skills in Short Supply
6 May 2011
With the right leadership and workforce and population policies we can become a stronger, better society.
Productivity Is Key to Everything
14 January 2011
There is a good deal of common ground in what Australians are looking for from political and business leaders.
Open letter to the New South Wales Government on the National Agreement to Harmonise OHS Laws
19 October 2010
Business calls for the New South Wales Government to honour the national agreement reached to harmonise occupational health and safety laws.
OHS Retreat Squanders Progress, Resources and Goodwill
14 October 2010
Important steps towards strengthening the Australian economy could be jeopardised if the New South Wales Premier winds back the clock in the establishment of a harmonised national system for occupational health and safety.
Parliament Must Focus on Reform Where There Is Broad Agreement
16 September 2010
Edited extract of a speech by Business Council of Australia President Graham Bradley to the National Press Club in Canberra.
Government Response Pays Sound Attention to Executive Remuneration Recommendations
16 April 2010
It is a reasonably balanced approach to what has been a sensitive issue for the community.
Open Letter to the Leader of the Opposition regarding the Coalition’s Parental Leave Proposal
10 March 2010
The proposed scheme places a new tax burden on business at a time when governments around the world are lowering company tax to encourage economic growth.
Embedding Workplace Collaboration: Good Faith Bargaining
28 January 2010
A call for clarity on good faith bargaining requirements.
Achieving Workplace Collaboration Is a Job Not Yet Done
9 August 2009
Australia risks slower economic growth without a greater focus on preventing disputes in the new industrial relations system.
Productivity the New Focus
31 March 2009
Behavioural changes are crucial to new workplace laws, writes Greig Gailey in The Age.
2009 Victorian Bushfire Appeal
9 February 2009
The BCA encourages business and individuals to donate to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal.
Speech by BCA President Greig Gailey to the Australian Workers Union National Conference
3 February 2009
What policies are needed to support economic revival and resilience in the face of the global economic slowdown?
BCA Supports Productivity Commission Parental Leave Proposal
29 September 2008
The BCA welcomes the Productivity Commission’s draft report recommending 18 weeks of paid parental leave.
Make Sure We Don’t Waste Our Wealth
26 October 2007
In the midst of so much prosperity, it is easy to overlook the many Australians who continue to confront a vastly different reality, Michael Chaney argues.
These Are Good Times, But Not for All
25 October 2007
Economic reform must continue so all can join in Australia’s prosperity, writes Michael Chaney in The Age.
Need to Rethink Employment Policy
22 October 2007
Australia needs all hands on deck to tackle lower growth prospects, op-ed argues.
New Thinking Needed to Find Jobs for Those Who Want Them
22 October 2007
New policy thinking and concerted action are needed if Australia is to reduce the unacceptable number of individuals who are jobless or on the margins of the workforce at a time of record employment.
ALP Policy an Important First Step but Much More Needed
28 August 2007
The BCA acknowledges changes to the ALP’s workplace relations policy are an important first step in recognising the needs of a flexible workplace relations system for a modern economy.
Business Coalition for Workplace Reform News Releases
14 August 2007
View news releases relating to the Business Coalition for Workplace Reform campaign here.
Injection of Facts into the IR Debate
9 August 2007
By debunking union myths about workplace reform, business groups are fighting a threat to the economy, argues Michael Chaney.
Business Coalition for Workplace Reform
8 August 2007
An alliance of 19 business groups has launched a campaign to highlight the benefits of workplace reform and the economic costs of turning the clock back.
BCA Considers Good Workplace Relations Policy Push
20 June 2007
Policies needed to sustain Australia’s current prosperity, and in particular the benefits of maintaining a flexible workplace relations system, will be the focus of any potential advertising program by the BCA.
Now Is the Time to Invite Those Facing Employment Barriers in from the Cold
23 June 2007
The BCA today announced it would lead a major new initiative on workforce participation with the aim of increasing participation including among Australians who are marginalised.
ALP Workplace Policy to Turn Back the Clock on Prosperity
29 April 2007
Further details of the ALP’s workplace relations platform released at the weekend confirmed business fears that Labor’s policy amounted to a significant reversal of workplace flexibility that would threaten the nation’s economic prosperity.
The Only Way Forward Is to Keep Moving Forward
30 March 2007
Australia cannot afford to go backwards on workplace reform, op-ed argues.
Unions Want to Turn Back the Clock
26 March 2007
Labour market reforms underpin our prosperity, op-ed explains.
Australia’s Golden Opportunity
15 March 2007
We can do more to depart from previous economic cycles and lift our living standards further, op-ed argues.
CSR Belongs at the Very Core of Business
6 February 2007
We can’t sustain a first-rate economy with a second-rate community, writes Katie Lahey in The Age.
The Reform Journey Has Only Just Begun
17 November 2006
Letter to the AFR regarding Workplace Relations Reform
17 November 2006
For the past two years, the Business Council of Australia has advocated the importance of reform in four key areas of the economy to sustain current levels of economic growth into the long term. Workplace relations is one of the four areas.
Letter to The Age regarding Workplace Relations Reform
17 November 2006
The unions’ campaign against WorkChoices is based on the misleading premise that the legislation is revolutionary in its effect.
Prosperous Australians Reach for the Stars
26 October 2006
There is an emerging shift in the community – a shift that brings the potential to lift the nation to a new trajectory of economic growth and community achievement – providing it's recognised and nurtured.
Folly to Shackle Growth
19 October 2006
A call by the ACTU last week for a raft of workplace regulations and conditions to be mandated highlights what has become a fundamental debate about the future direction of Australia's economy.
BCA Backs Report on Workers with Caring Responsibilities
18 October 2006
The BCA strongly endorses a report of the Taskforce on Carers Costs (TOCC) that calls on the federal government to help workers with caring responsibilities remain in the workforce.
Labor Shows Its Lack of Credibility
14 June 2006
Responsibility Now on Business to Make Industrial Relations Changes Work: BCA President
7 December 2005
New workplace relations reforms passed last week placed a significant responsibility on business to use the changes in ways that strengthen the economy and in turn, benefit the broader community.
Keep the Pressure on, Prosperity Is up for Grabs
1 December 2005
The lack of clear and robust lines of accountability and transparency across federal–state jurisdictions is inhibiting lasting reform.
BCA Congratulates Winners of the ACCI/BCA National Work & Family Awards 2005
25 November 2005
The Business Council of Australia congratulated the winners of the 2005 ACCI/BCA National Work & Family Awards, announced by the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Kevin Andrews in Sydney last night.
Business Council Endorses Workplace Changes
9 October 2005
The Business Council of Australia has welcomed planned changes to the workplace relations system detailed today by the federal government.
Business Council Endorses Workplace Changes
26 May 2005
Major workplace relations reforms unveiled by the federal government today were endorsed by the Business Council of Australia which said they would help to underpin renewed productivity growth and prosperity.
Reform Still a Work in Progress
24 May 2005
Standing Still Not an Option
1 April 2005
Business Outlines Workplace Reform Plan to Lock in Prosperity
15 February 2005
Australia’s peak business group today released an action plan for reform of workplace relations to underpin economic growth, employment opportunities and rising prosperity.
Booz Allen Hamilton/BCA Study Shows Decline in Australian CEO Turnover
23 November 2004
Although the rate of CEO turnover in Australia declined in the past year, local CEOs are more likely to leave their jobs because of poor performance than their global counterparts.
ALP IR Policy Confirms Business Concern
6 August 2004
The release today of the ALP’s workplace relations policy document confirms business concerns about Labor’s plans to recentralise Australia’s workplace relations framework.
Business Releases Review of ALP Workplace Relations Policies
2 July 2004
The Business Council of Australia today released a report on the potential outcomes and impacts on Australia’s economy of the ALP’s workplace relations platform.
Australia’s Population Future: Sustaining Population Growth and Supporting Participation
20 April 2004
Address by Business Council of Australia Chief Executive Katie Lahey to the Australian Population Institute.
Business Response to Australia’s Ageing Workforce
27 February 2004
From education to work to retirement, the options are not as simple any more, writes Katie Lahey in The Sydney Morning Herald.
Business Leaders Support Working Families
2 October 2003
A Business Council of Australia survey has revealed that Australia’s largest companies are leading the way in adopting strategies aimed at supporting working parents.
Chairmen Concerned Over Voting Plan for Executive Pay
30 September 2003
The Business Council of Australia’s Chairmen’s Panel said today it had serious concerns with a proposal for a non-binding vote by shareholders on remuneration of senior company managers.
CEO Turnover Points to a Short-Term Australia
18 September 2003
The BCA, in conjunction with leading management consultancy firm Booz Allen Hamilton, have released a study showing the Chief Executives of Australia’s largest companies spent only half the time in the position compared to Chief Executives globally.
The Business Case for Work/Life Strategies
6 August 2003
Speech by Katie Lahey, Chief Executive, Business Council of Australia at the Work Life Association Conference, Melbourne.
Unprecedented Industry and Community Coalition Issues Statement on Preventing and Reducing Unemployment
6 December 2000
An unprecedented new Industry-Community Coalition of major business, labour movement, education and community welfare organisations is taking to government proposals for a comprehensive national strategy to tackle long-term unemployment.
BCA Forum pushes for National Unitary Industrial Relations System
17 November 2000
The continued failure to implement a unitary national industrial relations system would leave Australia languishing in a globalised community, the President of the Business Council of Australia, Mr Campbell Anderson, said today.
The BCA’s Real Agenda: A Vigorous Economy with Jobs and Opportunity for All
10 October 2000
The Business Council of Australia has hit back at ACTU criticism of its recent report, Managerial Leadership in the Workplace.
The Myth of the Short, Sharp Shock
7 September 2000
Policy induced recessions in 1983 and 1991 were responsible for up to 80 per cent of today’s 200,000 long-term unemployed, according to a paper released today.
BCA to Press Ahead on Unitary National Workplace Relations System
7 September 2000
The Business Council of Australia is to host a public forum in November on the issues involved in establishing a genuine, unitary national workplace relations system.
BCA Welcomes McClure Report
17 August 2000
The Business Council of Australia today welcomed the release of the McClure Report on welfare reform.
Statement by Australia’s Private Sector on Industrial Relations
6 August 2000
Statement by Australia’s Private Sector on industrial relations.
Secondary Boycotts Issue of Primary Importance: BCA
5 July 2000
The Business Council of Australia has re-emphasised the fundamental importance of existing legislative restraints on secondary boycott industrial action.
BCA Backs IR Reforms
4 June 2000
The Business Council of Australia today called on the federal Opposition to “think again” before discarding individual workplace agreements in favour of common law agreements.
Business Council Launches New Directions Discussion Paper on Long-Term Unemployment
13 April 2000
David Buckingham, Executive Director of the Business Council of Australia, today launched the third discussion paper from the BCA New Directions Taskforce, Pathways to Work: Tackling Long-Term Unemployment.
Business Council Statement on Australian Priority Investment Approach to Welfare
20 September 2016
The Business Council welcomes the Turnbull Government’s Australian Priority Investment Approach, noting that the best way to achieve social progress for all Australians is through economic opportunity.