John Howard, former prime minister, October 2005:

“[WorkChoices will] bring forth the next wave of productivity improvement which will benefit all Australians.”

Michael Chaney, former president of the Business Council of Australia, April 2007:

“I think there’s a lack of appreciation of the terrific improvement in productivity that occurred when the system was deregulated and similarly, of the damage that would be done if you turn it back.”

Heather Ridout, ex-CEO of Australian Industry Super  September 2011:

“We have an act [Fair Work Act] that’s actually, according to our members, impeding productivity and certainly not contributing to an improvement in it.”

Don Argus, former chair of BHP, September 2o11:

“Despite the objects of the [Fair Work] act stipulating that bargaining should deliver increases in productivity, my research suggests that unions are resisting management attempts to achieve efficiency-related tradeoffs or productivity improvements.”

From the Productivity Commission’s Shifting the Dial: 5 Year Productivity Review, August 2017: