Mr Reed also made it clear that the BCA will advocate its cause publicly well beyond the lobbies of Parliament House.
“The prime minister has been very clear that business needs to prosecute the case for business, and I couldn’t agree with him more,” he said.
Mr King’s tenure as BCA president has been marked by a deteriorating relationship with government over the failure to deliver tax cuts to big corporates, government threats to force energy companies to divest businesses and accusations of bank of profiteering.
But Mr Reed also acknowledged that the government had a mandate for some of those positions after winning the May election.
“We don’t think the legislation will bring down energy prices, and we think that it does create sovereign risk,” he said of the forced divestment legislation.
“That said, we also acknowledge that the government took that policy to the electorate they were returned to government and therefore they intend to prosecute that.”
Believing that we are going to continue to have decades of economic growth while our company tax rate sits in the top quartile is naive
He said the BCA’s intent was to try to “ensure that legislation is framed in a way that it does the least harm that it possibly can”.
He also said the council would continue to advocate for corporate tax cuts and it would be naive to think that Australia’s 28 years of economic growth would continue with Australia’s tax rate creeping up into the top quartile of the OECD average.
“I think believing that we are going to continue to have decades of economic growth while our company tax rate sits in the top quartile is naive,” he said.
“That said, again, we respect the government’s perspective that they took a view to the electorate.”
Mr King offered praise for Mr Reed who will work alongside BCA chief executive Jennifer Westacott.
“I know that Tim will do an absolutely outstanding job in whatever his term turns out to be as president of the business council,” he said.
Colin Kruger is a business reporter. He joined the Sydney Morning Herald in 1999 as its technology editor. Other roles have included the Herald’s deputy business editor and online business editor.
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