The Government’s own evidence shows the economy is growing in line with expectations, but that does not mean it can rely on a referendum to boost economic growth.
The Prime Minister has ruled out a referendum on leaving the EU until he is confident the country has a solid economic foundation.
“Our economy is in good shape and the economy of this country has done really well over the last few years,” he said.
His economic policies are based on policies developed by the previous Labor Government, including a $5bn stimulus package.
But the Government has faced growing pressure to deliver on its pledges of a “fair deal” and a “fairer” society.
On Thursday, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said he had instructed his team to begin preparing for a vote in 2019.
He said the Government was “working with the Australian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and the Commonwealth to assess the best way to get that right”.
The Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Innovation, the Australian Chamber of Social Services, the National Farmers Federation and the National Council of Social Service Executives all want a vote on the issue, which they say could boost growth and create jobs.
Labour’s Kevin Andrews has said a “yes” vote would send the right signal about how the country was moving.
And he said he did not think there was a “clear consensus” among voters on the matter.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has called for a referendum, arguing the Government needs to take responsibility for its economic decisions.
Mr Andrews said he believed a referendum was “inevitable” if the economy did not improve.
However, he said the economy was in “stronger” condition than it was before the “hard Brexit” that was triggered by the referendum.
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