Kevin Rudd’s National Press Club Address: The Australian Economy In Transition

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd addressed the National Press Club in Canberra today.

Rudd’s speech centred on depicting the Australian economy as strong and its difficulties as small by comparison with the rest of the world.

He reiterated his previous statements that the China boom is over and emphasised the economy’s transition to a new investment phase. He argued that ongoing productivity improvement is vital and attacked the negativity of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.

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  • Listen to Rudd take questions (33m)

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Official transcript of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s Address to the National Press Club.

The Australian Economy in Transition: Building a new National Competitiveness Agenda

I am, without apology, an optimist about our nation’s future.

Our national strengths are formidable.

Our weaknesses, compared with the rest of the world, are few. [Read more…]


Anthony Albanese: Driving Productivity Through Infrastructure

The Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese, has outlined the federal government’s approach to infrastructure and productivity in an address to The Sydney Institute.

Albanese

  • Listen to Albanese’s speech (27m)

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  • Listen to the Question & Answer session (35m)

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Transcript of Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese’s speech to The Sydney Institute.

Infrastructure: Driving Productivity

INTRODUCTION

“Productivity isn’t everything, but in the long run it is almost everything.”

So said Paul Krugman in his “The Age of Diminished Expectations”.

It’s no secret that Australia’s overall productivity rate has fallen over the past decade.

There are some who argue that the solution lies totally in industrial relations.

This is ideologically driven.

The fact is that Australia’s labour productivity is in the top dozen of international performers.

As the Australian National University’s Dean Parham pointed out recently, in recent years labour productivity has increased by 3.3 per cent per year.

Whilst this has occurred, capital productivity has actually declined by 4.3 per cent.

So the truth is that addressing productivity requires more than the simplistic slogans of those who would seek to return to WorkChoices under another name. [Read more…]


Rudd Calls For An “Education Revolution”

Education policy is also about nation building, according to the Leader of the Opposition, Kevin Rudd.

Speaking in Melbourne, Rudd announced Labor’s directions in education by arguing that “education is the pathway to prosperity”. Rudd said: “OECD research shows that if the average education level of the working-age population was increased by one year, the growth rate of the economy would be up to 1 per cent higher. Another recent study found that countries able to achieve literacy scores 1 per cent higher than the international average will increase their living standards by a factor of 1.5 per cent of GDP per capita. So whether it is through focusing on literacy levels, or increasing the average number of years spent in education, the evidence invariably shows that more educated economies are wealthier economies.”

Rudd and the Shadow Minister for Education and Training, Stephen Smith, released a 30-page document titled “The Australian Economy Needs An Education Revolution”.

This is the transcript of Kevin Rudd’s Address to the Melbourne Education Research Institute at the University of Melbourne.

Labor is a party of reform. Labor is a party of economic reform. Labor is a party of social reform. Labor is also a party that has reformed Australia’s view of our place in the international order. [Read more…]


Latham: Positive Approach Failed Labor In 2004 Election

In his first major speech since the October 9 election, the Leader of the Opposition, Mark Latham, has claimed that the ALP’s positive approach to the election campaign contributed to its defeat.

Addressing the ALP State Conference in Tasmania, Latham said: “The sheer weight of this campaign broke through in the last week and sent us backwards. I believe with the benefit of hindsight … that my greatest misjudgement was in believing that the positive party would win the election.” [Read more…]