Groups find consensus refreshing at Reform Summit

The common ground found amongst usually disparate groups in Wednesday’s National Reform Summit was refreshing, says Australia’s over-50s lobby.

The Summit - which was driven by eight core business, union and community interest groups, including National Seniors, and brought together around 80 representatives from pre-eminent think tanks - reached consensus on the urgency of reform.

National Seniors chief executive Michael O’Neill, who sat on the Retirement Incomes panel, said the event’s significance lay in the way it managed to funnel very different interests working towards a common goal.

“Yes, we had our differences but there was an overwhelming consensus on the need for reform”.

“It’s all interrelated - getting the economy right, ensuring jobs and fixing the safety net feed into ensuring good retirement incomes”.

“The challenge going forward will be to maintain the momentum,” O’Neill said.

An agreed cross-sector statement focusing on Productivity Growth and Workforce Participation; Fiscal Policy; Tax Reform; and Sustainable Retirement Incomes highlighting reform challenges and action items was released on the day.

The core eight included National Seniors, the Business Council, Australian Council of Trade Unions, Australian Industry Group, Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Australian Council of Social Services, COTA and Youth Action.

The event was also addressed by Treasurer Joe Hockey, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Reservie Bank Governor Glenn Stevens. 

The National Reform Summit was supported by The Australian, The Financial Review and KPMG.

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