30 November 2017

Fresh framework helping industry and business

AN updated framework to help businesses and policy makers decide when industry codes may be used to address problematic behaviours was released today by the Minister for Small Business, Michael McCormack.

Mr McCormack said the Framework provides Industry with a range of options before introducing a code, which supports the Government’s red tape reduction agenda.

“Industry codes play an important role in supporting industry and businesses but it is important to consider other options before implementing what could be an unnecessary regulatory burden,” Mr McCormack said.

“This updated Framework will help industries to assess whether the sector meets the high thresholds required before proposing an industry code, particularly in light of additional regulatory burdens which codes may impose on business.

“Industry codes support greater transparency and certainty in commercial arrangements which ultimately gives small businesses confidence to invest, create jobs and grow for the future.”

Prescribed industry codes are a special feature of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 and can be used to guard against unfair and opportunistic conduct which can distort markets and stifle business growth. 

“Codes form three main categories including self-regulation, voluntary prescribed codes of conduct and mandatory prescribed codes of conduct and give Industry a unique mechanism to address specific problems but if over used can come at a cost to business,” Mr McCormack said.

“We are committed to cutting red tape and have slashed the burden by $5.8 billion since coming to Government; this is why we will only prescribe a code if there is a compelling case to do. 

“This Framework supports both industry and businesses of all sizes to formulate the best solution for problematic behaviours making it easier to do business and get on with the job.

“I look forward to working closely with industry to ensure we continue to maintain and deliver the right policy settings to give business the confidence they deserve, so businesses of all sizes can continue to grow and create local jobs.”

For a copy of the Industry Codes Policy Framework, please visit the Treasury website.