Business Council of Australia

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The Business Council of Australia (BCA) represents the chief executives of approximately 100 large Australian corporations. It was formed in 1983 by the merger of the Business Roundtable - a spin-off of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia - and the Australian Industry Development Association. The organisation is headquartered in Melbourne with offices in Sydney and Canberra.

Its stated reason for existence is to give the business community a greater voice in public policy debates about the direction of Australian society.

Structure

BCA members determine the work program and policy positions through their participation in policy committees, task forces and the BCA Board.

Board

The BCA Board oversees the work of the BCA Secretariat, committees and task forces, makes recommendations on issues concerning membership and committee and task force appointments, identifies and clarifies policy issues, and proposes the BCA policy agenda.

Current Business Council of Australia Board members are:

  • Catherine Livingstone AO, President
  • John W.H. Denton, Partner and Chief Executive Officer, Corrs Chambers Westgarth
  • Richard Goyder AO, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Wesfarmers Limited
  • Gail Kelly, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Westpac Group
  • Grant King, Managing Director, Origin Energy Limited
  • David Peever, Managing Director, Rio Tinto Australia
  • Steve Sargent, President and Chief Executive Officer, GE Australia and New Zealand
  • Jennifer Westacott, Chief Executive, Business Council of Australia

The secretariat includes policy directors, working together with the policy and research team, the communications team and the administrative support team. Key secretariat staff currently include:

  • Jennifer Westacott, Chief Executive
  • Maria Tarrant, Deputy Chief Executive
  • Peter Crone, Chief Economist and Director Policy
  • Claire Tedeschi, Executive Director Communications and Advocacy
  • Scott Thompson, Director, Media and Public Affairs
  • Matt Garbutt, Executive Adviser
  • Jarrod Ball, Director Policy
  • Lisa Gooding, Director Policy
  • Simon Pryor, Director Policy
  • Marion Terrill, Director Policy

Policy

The reform agenda of the BCA advocates the privatisation and commodification of water rights. While it backed the Labor Government's original emissions trading scheme proposed under Kevin Rudd's leadership and negotiated with the Coalition,1 it opposes the scheme agreed between Julia Gillard's Labor Government, Greens and Independents.2 The BCA has advocated higher pay for outstanding teachers.3

The BCA lobbies the Australian Government and the Council of Australian Governments to influence policy changes.

In June 2009, it called for taxes to be increased on consumer goods but halved for corporations. The council made the call in a submission, entitled Unrealised Gains, to the Henry Tax Review. It said the Goods and Services Tax should be increased from its current rate of 10 per cent; while corporate tax should be cut to 15 per cent, from its current rate of 30 per cent.4

Membership

As of 2012, membership of the BCA totals 121 companies [1], and includes Australia's mining giants, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, as well as the 4 major banks - National Australia Bank, Commonwealth Bank, ANZ and Westpac - and most of Australia's largest manufacturers and business services firms.

See also

References

  1. ^ Australia’s Emissions Trading Scheme: An Opportunity
  2. ^ BCA slams carbon tax and urges genuine reform, The Australian, 13 October 2011
  3. ^ Education Overhaul Will Open Door of Opportunity
  4. ^ Business Council pushes for GST increase , Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Retrieved 16 June 2009.

Geoff Allen, "Business Council of Australia;Its Origins and Early Years" in M Sheehan &P Sekeles, The Influence Seekers;Political Lobbying in Australia,Australian Scholarly Press,2012

External links