24 July 2013

Labor delivers real reforms to cut red tape


Joint media release with
Senator the Hon Penny Wong
Minister for Finance and Deregulation
Leader of the Government in the Senate, and
the Hon Mark Dreyfus QC MP

The Government has removed another 3000 regulations as part of its ongoing agenda to cut red tape.

"By removing unnecessary regulations, we are reducing the burden on business and helping to lift business efficiency and productivity," Minister for Finance and Deregulation, Senator Wong, said.

This move follows the passage of Government legislation earlier this year - the Legislative Instruments Amendment (Sunsetting Measures) Act - to enable the removal of around 12,000 redundant legislative instruments.

"Reducing red tape and removing redundant laws, particularly in the customs portfolio, improves the efficiency of businesses engaged in importing and exporting and makes things simpler for all Australians," Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus QC said.

The 3000 legislative instruments repealed include 2161 by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, 949 by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, 53 by the Department of Human Services, and 37 by the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism.

"Labor is committed to supporting business," Senator Wong said.

"That is why Labor has taken further steps to improve the government's approach to implementing regulation."

Under new reforms introduced by this Government, a two-stage assessment of the impacts of proposed government regulations on business, the not-for-profit sector and the broader community is now required.

"This change allows business and key stakeholders to actively engage in the development of regulation, and will improve productivity by ensuring it is well-targeted, effective and improves productivity rather than creating unnecessary barriers for business," Senator Wong said.

The Office of Best Practice Regulation has prepared a handbook on the revised Australian Government regulatory impact analysis requirements, which can be accessed on the Office of Best Practice Regulation website.

Since coming to Government, Labor has implemented major regulatory reforms aimed at improving productivity and driving competitiveness, including under the National Partnership Agreement to Deliver a Seamless National Economy.

"We've delivered Australia's first national consumer law and product safety framework, overcoming years of inconsistent and uncoordinated regulation," Assistant Treasurer, David Bradbury MP, said.

"And, under our standard business reporting reform, businesses can now meet many of their reporting requirements through one portal, meaning they can focus more of their time on business and less on paperwork."

Other reforms include a national business names registration system, consumer credit reforms and a national personal property securities register.

The Productivity Commission estimated that full implementation of 17 of the Seamless National Economy reforms would lower business costs by $4 billion each year, and improvements to productivity could increase GDP by about 0.4 per cent or $6 billion.

"Labor is making a real difference when it comes to cutting red tape. Meanwhile, the Opposition have resorted to repeating simplistic slogans and re-hashing old announcements over and over again," Mr Bradbury said.