Remarks at Shepherd Oration
Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to also acknowledge Gadigal country tonight in Sydney’s central business district, which is finally coming back to life. Thank you to my Wiradjuri friend Josh Riley.
Thank you, Phil Chronican and the National Australia Bank for hosting us. Allow me to welcome Tony Shepherd, his wife Maryanne, Alison Watkins and my state president Philip Ruddock.
This is the second Shepherd Oration which we established in 2019 to encourage business leaders to engage in policy formulation.
Tony Shepherd AO has been the exemplar over a long and distinguished career.
He has stepped into the arena. On many occasions he has owned the arena. Shep is a great patriot.
There are too few business leaders prepared to take the hits to advance an agenda. But without your input, the policy formulation is left to the public service and active groups like the trade unions and think tanks.
With 8 out of 10 jobs in the private economy, Australian public policy needs input from business. We need your ideas, we need your experience, we need your time. And take a few hits in the arena. This doesn’t mean we must always agree or adopt your solutions.
We also need you to be prepared to tell the truth even when it is uncomfortable. As the first person elected to Federal Parliament who worked for the Business Council of Australia, I am aware of the private views of business leaders on the big policy levers.
For a country like Australia, it will always be tax, labour laws, energy and policy dynamism which loom large.
In recent years we have not made as much progress as we should on taxation and labour laws. We need you to keep speaking up. We need you to keep entering the arena.
Tonight, Alan Joyce AC becomes the first Shepherd lecturer.
Alan has been in the arena. He’s been there on labour laws and he’s been there on same sex marriage.
He has made his mark as a business leader engaging in public policy.
Alan, thank you for honouring Tony.
Tonight, I will ask Tony Shepherd to introduce Alan.
Alison Watkins will deliver the vote of thanks, and then I invite you to stay and enjoy the hospitality.
Please welcome Tony Shepherd AO.
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