10 November 2023

Refocusing and renewing the Productivity Commission

The Albanese Government today releases the first Statement of Expectations for the Productivity Commission (PC) in its 25‑year history.

The Statement will help renew, refocus and renovate this core institution that is vital to the future of Australians and their economy.

It outlines reform directions to modernise the PC and help it deliver on its mission of raising Australia’s productivity performance and prosperity in a rapidly evolving economic environment.

We want the independent PC to be as strong and effective as possible so that it can provide more influential, constructive and timely advice.

The Statement makes clear the Government’s expectation that the PC will sharpen its focus on the major forces impacting Australia; diversify its skills base, data capability and analytical frameworks; and improve its communication, external engagement, culture and governance arrangements.

As part of its analysis and advice, the Government expects the PC to have a greater focus on the major forces, trends and transitions that will impact the Australian economy over the coming decades, including:

  • technological and digital transformation
  • climate change and the net zero transformation
  • population ageing
  • rising demand for care and support services
  • global shifts such as geopolitical risk and fragmentation

Recognising that responsibility for productivity is not confined to the Commonwealth, the Government expects the PC to enhance its engagement with state and territory governments, industry and the broader community.

The PC is also expected to focus on improving its influence and role in informing public policy discussions, including through the production of more concise and timely reports with practical recommendations.

The Statement, which has been agreed with incoming Chair Danielle Wood, has been informed by a nine-month process that involved consultation with stakeholders, economists and other experts.

Australia’s longstanding productivity challenge will take time to turn around.

We want a refocused and renewed PC to be a key source of world-class, practical advice when it comes to productivity and prosperity and progress more broadly.

This will help inform the Albanese Government’s broad and ambitious productivity agenda that is focused on promoting economic dynamism, resilience and competition, building a skilled and adaptable workforce, harnessing data and digital technologies, delivering quality care more efficiently, and realising the opportunities of the net zero transformation.

Changes at the PC are part of our broader efforts to reform, renew and refocus our key economic institutions to ensure they have the right leadership, structure and focus to meet current and future challenges.