He told the Australian Financial Review Business Summit today that taxation reform presented an opportunity for Australia to address its global competitiveness and attract new investment.
“Australia has a higher company tax rate than the OECD average of 25% – having a higher rate disadvantages Australian businesses making it harder to compete globally – and making it harder for us to employ, train and promote Australian talent,” he said.
“Reform is never easy, but it has never been more necessary than now. The responsibility to lead reform belongs to all of us.”
Industrial relations reform was also mentioned by Mackenzie, with calls to simplify workplace agreements.
Mackenzie highlighted the rapid changes in the global economy and said it required the government and business community to plan, invest and act to create a more resilient nation.
He highlighted that Australia and BHP itself had been ill-prepared for the mining boom and the emergence of China as a superpower.
“This growth took Australia by surprise. The events leading up to this change happened at a scale and a pace we simply didn’t see coming,” he said.
“This has taught us all a critical lesson. There are no certainties in the 21st century and the state of the global economy reflects this.”
Mackenzie noted that commodities would always be crucial to Australia, but the future was not certain.
“Australian businesses, including BHP Billiton, are not just competing against each other for investment or market share, they are competing on a global stage,” he said.
“There is no alternative but to be globally competitive.”