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Shepherd to rake over his national audit

AAP logoAAP 17/12/2016 Colin Brinsden, AAP Economics Correspondent

The fanfare over the former Abbott government's national commission of audit back in 2014 was quickly overshadowed by its response in the ill-fated 2014/15 budget.

However, businessman Tony Shepherd who led the audit has decided it's time to review the report's findings and draw people's attention to the challenges Australia faces.

"Things have changed but the problem hasn't gone away," Mr Shepherd told Sky News on Sunday.

The independent review by Menzies Research Centre, where Mr Shepherd is a director, intends to release a national challenges statement in February, an options paper in May or June and finalise its recommendations by August or September.

Mr Shepherd, who will chair the review, said he wants to bring the report up to date, taking into account the change in the terms of trade and the fact economic growth has slowed a lot, while looking at the reforms that have been taken.

"Expenditure reform is absolutely vital ... I'm not sure those reforms have gone far enough," he said.

Tax reform will also come under scrutiny.

He is not convinced the Australian community understands the size of the problem the natiion is facing, saying it will only get worse.

He believes the problem with the original audit was the short amount of time between it being published and the budget's response.

"They were conflated, but there also wasn't enough time to bring the public with us," he said.

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