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The future of business in Australia

A selection of interesting articles relating to the future of business in Australia

Australians often attribute Israel’s economic miracle to its compulsory military service, its large military R&D budget, the entrepreneurial nature of its people or the instability of its geopolitical circumstances. Those who point to these factors are quick to point out that Australia can’t reasonably hope to emulate any of them.

This is nothing more than intellectual laziness and entirely misses the point.

Read more on STARTUP SMART

By Andrew Robb
Special to the Mercury News
Australians are known as some of the most enthusiastic early adopters” of new gadgets, but we do not just apply the technology of others, important as this may be. We also develop our own.

Australian researchers and inventors have given the world everything from Wi-Fi, ultrasound and the bionic ear to the world’s first electric drill, patented in 1889.

Read more on MERCURY NEWS

The South Australian Royal Commission into the nuclear fuel cycle has conceded that nuclear power is not a viable alternative for Australia, but has urged authorities to consider it anyway – in what could have serious implications for the roll out of renewable energy across the country.

The commission delivered the results of its “tentative” findings on Monday, indicating that it supports the establishment of a nuclear waste facility in the state, the storing of spent nuclear fuel and the expansion of uranium mining.

Read more on RENEW ECONOMY

Those in the industry will happily acknowledge that manufacturing still employs close to a million Australians, contributes a significant (and undervalued, with deep connections to other sectors) amount to GDP, and is the leading private sector contributor to R&D spending. However, they would probably agree that Australia, on the whole, does a lousy job of celebrating our industry success stories.


The policy measures in the white paper are designed, in part, to develop the north into the country’s next trade and investment gateway, and particularly into the Indo-Pacific region (which stretches from South Asia to East Asia and the Pacific).

Agricultural products, tourism, energy and resources are all earmarked as key sectors that will underpin the economic development of the north. Demand from China, Indonesia and other emerging markets in the region will be critical to the growth of those sectors.

The north’s proximity to key markets like China and Indonesia makes it a natural choice as a trade ‘gateway’ and yet, while its significant potential has long been recognised, the vision of Northern Australia as an economic hub has never been fully realised.


Imagine a project that could help Indonesia achieve energy security, dramatically cut energy poverty for hundreds of millions, catalyse renewable energy production in Assocation of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, cut regional carbon pollution, and transition Australia’s energy exports from risky fuels to renewable energy.

Sounds far-fetched? In fact, such a proposal has already been published in the international peer-reviewed literature. It takes several existing technologies already in widespread deployment, and joins them together in a new configuration on an unprecedented scale, in a region with enormous natural competitive advantage — north-western Australia.
Here’s the plan.



…Australia stands as a beacon in a world of uncertainty, offering a stable and predictable investment environment twinned with access to the world’s fastest-growing region on our doorstep.

The 25 years of uninterrupted growth we have enjoyed in this country symbolises our resilience. This hasn’t happened simply by chance. We’ve made our own luck. It’s the fruits of a commitment by both sides of politics to ongoing economic reforms over the past three decades — whether it is the floating of the dollar, tariff reductions and the elimination of industry subsidies favouring one group over another, tax reform to reduce or eliminating economically damaging taxes in favour of less distorting forms such as the GST, pro-competitive reform of our financial, energy and utility sectors, productivity-enhancing privatisation of former public sector business entities, and, during this term of government, our aggressive pursuit of new trade and investment opportunities to open new markets for Australian exports and reduce prices for Australian consumers.


Australia is now set to have an unprecedented debate about industrial relations — a debate based on ‘industrial corruption’ rather than working conditions. For the first time in the nation’s history, the front line of the attack will be the chief executives and board members of some of Australia’s largest companies who, unless they change the way they do business, will face criminal prosecution.

There will be limited corporate fines, just long jail sentences for those directors or executives who continue with their current practice of paying bribes to unions.


Scientific Research

Scientific advances over the past 20 to 30 years have underpinned an estimated $330 billion of Australia’s economic growth, according to a new report by the Australian Academy of Science.

Key points:
• Findings demonstrate importance of science, outgoing chief scientist says
• Biological advances contributing $65 billion to economy annually
• Medical advances valued at more than $83 billion

The research, produced by the Centre for International Economies, found the areas of physical, mathematical and biological sciences contributed to 26 per cent of Australian economic activity.

Read more on ABC NEWS

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