‘Pro-business’ Anthony Albanese asks for industry to keep working constructively on areas of conflict

Headshot of Katina Curtis
Katina Curtis
The Nightly
3 Min Read
Anthony Albanese’s speech comes a day after Peter Dutton told the same forum that business leaders must stop being “silent and supine” while grumbling about policy behind closed doors. 
Anthony Albanese’s speech comes a day after Peter Dutton told the same forum that business leaders must stop being “silent and supine” while grumbling about policy behind closed doors.  Credit: Getty;AAP

Anthony Albanese insists his Government is “pro-business and pro-worker” as he hits out at Opposition Leader Peter Dutton for demanding business leaders stop being “supine”.

The Prime Minister will tell a small business forum on Thursday he wants to follow their example and be courageous and flexible when seeking to compete in a global race for jobs and future prosperity.

His speech comes a day after Mr Dutton told the same forum business leaders must stop being “silent and supine” while grumbling about policy behind closed doors.

Sign up to The Nightly's newsletters.

Get the first look at the digital newspaper, curated daily stories and breaking headlines delivered to your inbox.

Email Us
By continuing you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.

Mr Albanese tackles this directly with an appeal to keep working together constructively on areas of difference such as industrial relations and energy.

Mr Dutton was “demanding that you criticise the Government more loudly and more often” and “trying to drag you into his politics of negativity and conflict”, he says, according to a draft version of his speech.

“I think more of you than that and our Government has more respect for small business than that.

“Because, unlike our opponents, we don’t think cooperation is a sign of weakness and we’re not interested in talking you down or talking the economy down.”

Mr Dutton also said the Government’s plans to boost domestic manufacturing were only a dream without secure energy supplies.

He doubled down on this after his speech.

“Any promise that the Prime Minister makes to you about manufacturing and advanced manufacturing and growing jobs here, it’s all a lie because you can’t deliver on it with an energy system that’s not fit for the 21st century,” he told reporters.

“Businesses are already talking with their feet, they’re moving, and they’re going offshore.”

However, Mr Albanese says small businesses are already embracing the energy transition, with one in three installing rooftop solar to cut their power bills.

New data from the Clean Energy Regulator shows a record 331,000 solar systems were installed on homes and businesses in 2023, with a total capacity of 3.1GW.

“Every advanced economy in the world is competing for a new generation of jobs, investment, prosperity and productivity. And every advanced economy is grappling with the challenges of global inflation, the long tail of the pandemic, the uncertainty of conflict and the transformative impact of new technologies,” Mr Albanese says.

Australian Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese speaks to the media during the opening of Woolworths’ new distribution centre in Heathwood, Brisbane, Monday, April 4, 2022. (AAP Image/Jason O'Brien) NO ARCHIVING
However, Mr Albanese says small businesses are already embracing the energy transition, with one in three installing rooftop solar to cut their power bills. Credit: JASON O'BRIEN/AAPIMAGE

“For Australia to compete and succeed in this environment, we need to show the dynamism and drive of small business

“The courage to invest in new ideas and new industries, the ambition for our people and our products to win in the world. This what I mean when I talk about a future made in Australia.”

Treasurer Jim Chalmers accused Mr Dutton of feigning care for small business after voting against energy price relief and promoting a nuclear power policy.

“This is just another Dutton rant long on nasty negativity and short of credibility or alternatives or ideas, apart from the economic insanity of his uncosted nuclear fantasy,” he said.

Comments

Latest Edition

The front page of The Nightly for 19-04-2024

Latest Edition

Edition Edition 19 April 202419 April 2024

World on edge as Israel hits Iran in missile strike.