World Economy

Australia PM Facing Reform Challenges

Australia PM Facing Reform Challenges
Australia PM Facing Reform Challenges

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has finally claimed victory in retaining government a week after Australia went to the polls, but his challenges have just started.

He has to get a budget through a more fractured senate at a time when global rating agencies are watching its progress and threatening to cut the nation’s coveted triple-A rating if there is any delay in the timetable back to surplus, Bloomberg reported.

“It is vital that this parliament works,” Turnbull told reporters in Sydney shortly after opposition leader Bill Shorten conceded Labor had failed to gain enough seats to form government.

Shorten believes the coalition has the numbers to pursue its policies and pledged Labor would work with the coalition where there was common ground between the parties. But he said Labor would also stick to its core values.

“We also have a mandate to stand up for Medicare, to make sure schools are properly funded and to make sure we prioritize Australian jobs,” he told reporters in Melbourne.

Property Council of Australia boss Ken Morrison said the election result should not be seen as three-year leave pass from economic reform.

“We should not think that the 25 years of economic growth that Australia concluded was achieved by ignoring the economic fundamentals,” he said in a statement.

Housing Industry Association chief economist Harley Dale said Australia can help defend its triple-A rating by placing a focus on home building and creating a housing minister in a senior role.

“Rating agencies and organizations like the IMF are watching our economy closely, particularly housing, and are clearly looking for economic focus, leadership and policy reform,” Dale said in statement. Senior Liberal Arthur Sinodinos expects the government will put every element of May’s budget to parliament, saying the community has a role in getting the budget to surplus.

The budget includes the government’s 10-year plan to cut business taxes and change superannuation tax concession.

Senator Sinodinos downplayed suggestions the super changes turned some traditional Liberal voters away, insisting it was not a make-or-break issue.