19 Apr 2021

NAB Chair on Australia’s biggest risk  

NAB Chair Philip Chronican has urged leaders in business and government to avoid complacency and embark on meaningful reform as Australia recovers from COVID-19.

Speaking at a Governance Institute event in Sydney on Monday 19 April, Mr Chronican challenged the notion that just because Australia was doing better than other advanced economies during the pandemic that it was doing objectively well.

“The biggest risk to Australia today is complacency; that our success in managing COVID-19 blinds us to future risk and opportunity,” Mr Chronican told the assembled group of senior business leaders, non-executive directors and media.

The NAB Chair said the recession provided a moment in time for important change. He outlined three key steps that business and government of all levels should take: encouraging business investment and growth; improving living standards; and actively supporting Australia’s place in Asia.

When it came to encouraging business growth, Mr Chronican called for government to slash red tape. “Australia needs a more efficient and competitive tax and regulatory system,” Mr Chronican said.

“Small business – the backbone of our economy – is spending too much time navigating multiple levels of government, holding back productivity and growth,” he said.

He added that business also had a role to play in business investment and growth “and there are many who are, by boosting capital deployment and increasing their own internal productivity.”

A PDF of the full speech is below.

Above: NAB Chairman Philip Chronican

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