Speaking on ABC Radio National, the Treasurer said he is interested in trying to find a way to maintain a focus on productivity at the Productivity Commission as the key driver of growth in our economy, but also look for ways to broaden and deepen its focus on prosperity and progress more broadly.
“There is a real appetite in the government to renew and revitalise our economic institutions and processes in ways that strengthen our economy and strengthen our democracy,” Mr Chalmers said.
“I do think we should be working out ways to renew and revitalise the Productivity Commission as a powerful and prominent source of independent advice to government. And I have been having conversations with various experts over the course of the last couple of months about how we go about that, I think it’s an important thing for us to consider this year.”
The Productivity Commission is the Australian government’s independent research and advisory body on a range of economic, social and environmental issues affecting the welfare of Australians.
It was created as an independent authority by an Act of Parliament in 1998, to replace the Industry Commission, Bureau of Industry Economics and the Economic Planning Advisory Commission. However, its roots go deeper, to the establishment of the Industries Assistance Commission in 1974 (which itself replaced the Australian Tariff Board) and, later, the Industry Commission in 1989.
The Productivity Commission will release the final report of its five-year Productivity Inquiry next month.