While federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is boasting his budget remains on course for the first surplus in 12 years, business groups are demanding he takes action to lift economic growth.
In his mid-year budget review released on Monday, Mr Frydenberg forecast a pared-back surplus of $5 billion for 2019/20 but also downgraded his economic growth forecast to 2.25 per cent from 2.75 per cent.
Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott said more needs to be done to accelerate economic growth "so Australians can get ahead".
She is concerned that business investment growth has also been downgraded.
"Our challenge is fundamentally about driving new investment with the right tax incentives, regulations, infrastructure projects and skills to make Australia globally competitive," Ms Westacott said in a statement.
Master Builders Australia CEO Denita Wawn agreed the immediate priority must be for the government to redouble its commitment to economic growth.
"Our industry depends on growth to be the biggest provider of full time jobs in the economy," she said.
"The federal government has enough fiscal space to boost demand in the economy while still achieving a budgetary surplus."
Australian Investment Council chief executive Yasser El-Ansary said while the budget review is forecasting mining investment to grow for the first time in seven years, the nation must broaden its horizons.
"Australia can no longer afford to rest on its past successes and rely on the top five per cent of companies to provide innovation growth for our future," he said.
"We need to move quickly to transition and adapt our business models to the highly technological and globalised marketplace we are part of, in order to continue to grow our knowledge-based economy and create jobs for future generations."
Australian Associated Press