17 March 2023

Productivity Commission 5-year inquiry

Today the Productivity Commission’s 5-Year Productivity Inquiry is released, as a contribution to the national debate about lifting Australia’s productivity performance.

Making our economy more productive is all about lifting incomes and living standards and creating more opportunities for more people in more parts of our country.

This report shows that productivity flatlined under our predecessors during the wasted decade and Australians are paying a price for that.

The report is almost a thousand pages long across nine volumes. It makes 71 recommendations across 29 reform directions, grouped into five themes - building an adaptable workforce, harnessing digital tech and diffusing innovation, creating a more dynamic economy, lifting productivity in the non-market sector and securing net-zero at least cost.

While we won’t be taking up every idea, or progressing those suggestions which conflict with our values and priorities, our work is aligned with the five themes and we are progressing, in some form, more than two-thirds of the 29 reform directives outlined in the report, and methodically working through the specific recommendations.

At least 36 of these 71 recommendations involve state and territory governments in part or in full – and I’ll be discussing these with my counterparts at our next meeting in June.

The former Coalition government did not fully implement any of the recommendations of the last five-yearly review.

The Albanese Government takes the productivity challenge seriously which is why we've committed to a range of productivity-enhancing investments and reforms.

We will deliver productivity gains by investing in our people and their abilities, from fixing our energy markets, and from making it easier to adapt and adopt technology, so it works for us and not against us.

We are focused on creating the stability and certainty necessary for capital to flow towards areas where we have advantages and opportunities to underpin a more modern industrial base.

The Government is also building new partnerships for productivity by grasping the industrial opportunities of net zero, through a focus on advanced manufacturing and by broadening and deepening our economic base through investments like AUKUS.

All of this shows that across each of the five themes identified by the PC, we are already acting in responsible, methodical and meaningful ways to turn our productivity performance around.

The full report is available on the Productivity Commission website.