The accountants are having their say to-day at the National Press Club in Canberra. CPA Australia president John Cahill and CEO Alex Malley are launching the book, Australia's Competitiveness: from Lucky Country to Competitive Country. It is currently being broadcast live on ABC 24 and ABC1 here in Oz.
It is an election year here in the Land of Oz and everyone is having their say on policy and programs. What else are elections for but for getting our attention - the 'our' includes us as well as the politicians.
The CPA is putting its view on how Australia should meet and greet The Asian Century.
Australia is at a tipping point, the CPA says.
"With the world rapidly changing around us, Australia simply can't afford to be complacent and rely on our 'lucky country' mentality to get us through." Whitlam's 'first to Beijing' credentials are held up as an example. Such foresight and action are needed in to-day's Asian Century.
One thing that comes through the CPAs delivery and so many public statements from people and organisations in this election year is the length of time the government is taking. Long reporting times on reports that are needed promptly so they can be digested and actioned; announcement of programs with long lead times, often decades. In short the length of time that government is taking to get sound programs and ambitions off the ground, could come too late and be too little and too underfunded.
In short, many policy suggestions are coming forward. Cahill warns though that business leaders have to speak not for their own entity but with the national scheme of things in view.
I look forward to hearing the political response to how the people in economic leadership in Australia are going to take on the Asian Century and be responsive to Asia and Australia's place in it.