RBA Governor Glenn Stevens
RBA Governor Glenn Stevens

'Productivity the key to survive'

RESERVE Bank Governor Glenn Stevens has a simple solution for increasing Australia's productivity.

Get the list of things to do complied by the Productivity Commission and do them.

Speaking at the Prime Minister's economic forum in Brisbane this morning, Mr Stevens outlined the biggest challenge for Australia.

Mr Stevens said for some reason there had been a decrease in productivity growth over the past few years.

"If you are struggling with a high exchange rate, productivity is the (key) to survive," he said.

Productivity came from businesses and their management and governments making sure there were no impediments to growth, Mr Stevens said.

Asked for precise steps on how Australia could foster greater productivity growth, Mr Stevens put it down in layman's terms.

"The Productivity Commission has a long list of things to do," he said.

"Go get the list and do them. They are not popular and they are politically hard."

There also needed to be a focus on flexibility in the relationship between state and federal governments, Mr Stevens said.

"They are the challenges before us to make progress on those things," he said.

"Each one is grinding work and it is very hard to achieve (these) things.

"The collection of them, if they can be done, would make a big difference."

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman snubbed today's forum, labelling it more staged and "choreographed than Dancing With the Stars".

This is despite him pushing for a better working relationship with the Federal Government in relation to streamlining the approvals process for major developments.

The economic forum has attracted the heavyweights of Australia's industries and will conclude this afternoon.

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