Australians have been warned that their nation will only become fairer through strong economic growth, as they weigh up who to vote for in the upcoming federal election.
The Business Council of Australia has expressed the sentiment while laying out a plan it says will help whichever side of politics wins the May poll to address community concerns about where the country is heading.
"A low growth environment is demonstrably unfair because it's about winners and losers," chief executive Jennifer Westacott has told AAP.
"A high growth environment is the only path towards fairness, because it creates a 'more for all' platform."
After touring regional hubs in the past 12 months, Ms Westacott says people are crying out for a cohesive plan for the nation's future and understand that businesses will be key to making Australia stronger.
People want their wages to go up, power bills to go down and a sense of certainty that there will be jobs for them in the future because they have the right skills and the right opportunities available to them, she says.
City-based residents are concerned about congestion while others in the regions are keen for more people, business investment and activity.
At the heart of the BCA's plan for dealing with such challenges is ramping up economic growth, which Ms Westacott says is the lens through which every policy should be examined.
Encouraging investment and innovation to boost productivity is also central.
"The things that really drive this economy hard are these very big projects," Ms Westacott said.
Ensuring the workforce has the skills to deal with the changes technology brings, such as increasing automation, is also key.
There is not one single activity will achieve progress in any of these areas, Ms Westacott stressed.
But she said Australians should be given credit for their ability to understand the complex picture.
For instance, wages growth relies on a strong economy, low unemployment, business investment and improving productivity.
"That is just the harsh reality of the world we live in," she said.
Among items on the BCA's "to do list" for the federal government is auditing the strength of regional areas, and prioritising infrastructure spending depending on which have the greatest potential to grow.
The council has also recommended reforming the education and skills system beyond high school and giving every Australian a "lifelong skills account" - funded by both government and student loans - to ensure people are receiving training and education throughout their lives.
Increasing the single rate of Newstart for jobseekers who have been receiving welfare for a long period is also important, the BCA says.
Politicians must also come to terms with the need to cut the company tax rate to 25 per cent for all businesses, in order to remain competitive.
As a temporary measure, it could introduce a broad-based investment allowance for all assets that are depreciable under tax laws.
Australian Associated Press