John Howard: ‘don’t give up on reform, public will embrace national interest’

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Challenges of reform are not unique to the current federal government, the former prime minister says. Policy makers working to reform Australia’s tax system, industrial relations and deficiencies in the federation can bring the public along.

Former Prime Minister John Howard says economic reform appears to have stalled compared the past 30 years, but urged policy makers to continue the work. The comments were made in the 2015 Sir Roland Wilson Oration at the Australian National University last week.

He said while some big reforms could take many years to be implemented, the Australian public would still accept change and had the capacity to support reforms that were both fair and in the public interest.

“I still believe the Australian public will accept the desirability of economic reform if two conditions are satisfied.

“The first condition is that the public must be persuaded that it is in the national interest.

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