Coalition unveils new policy that will cut $1 billion a year in red tape


Australia’s opposition leader Tony Abbott has announced a new plan from the Coalition Government that will reduce the regulatory burdens placed upon Australian businesses.

Image credit: Coalition Plan PDF file
Image credit: Coalition Plan PDF file

The Coalition’s plan to slash $1 billion a year in red tape will result in more efficient government and more productive businesses, according to the joint media release issued by the leaders of the party.

At the same time the Coalition outlined certain measures that will lessen the regulations relating to environment concerns or “green tape”, reaffirming its commitment to repeal the Carbon Tax, as well as the Mineral Resource Rent Tax.

The policy also vows to simplify environmental approvals by establishing one-stop-shops and undertake audit of environmental legislation and regulation at state and federal levels.

“We recognise that all modern economies need regulation, but excessive regulation results in more costs than benefits and discourages innovation, investment and job creation,” says the Coalition.

“Not only does excessive regulation add unnecessary costs to business, it also adds additional costs to governments which are required to enforce regulation.”

The Party criticised the Rudd-Gillard leadership which, according to them, has given “too little regard” for the systemic costs and the impact of regulation on the economy and on national prosperity.

21,000 additional regulations have been added by the Labor Government despite its promise to cap the increase in regulation with a “one in, one out” policy, according to the Coalition. Small businesses, in particular, have been carrying the burden of these increased demands.

In its policy the Coalition says they have received unanimous feedback based on 18 months of consulting with various businesses and industry representatives.

“The feedback provided to the Coalition has been clear and consistent: Australia is struggling under a heavy burden of regulation and the fear of more to come.”

This feedback has prompted them to establish a plan that will reduce the burden.

Aside from the repealing of the carbon price and mining tax which are central to the policy, other measures that the Coalition plans to undertake include the relocation of the responsibility for deregulation from the Department of Finance to a unit within the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, and the requirement for all members of the Cabinet to submit Regulator Impact Statements.

“Our commitments are in keeping with the pledge made during the 2013 Budget Reply: to deliver careful, collegial, consultative, straightforward government that says what it means and does what it says,” says the Coalition.

“Australians understand that it is better to have a government that has clear processes and is measured in what it is trying to achieve, than to have a government that continually adds to regulation and who make it up as they go along.”

The Australian Industry Group has welcomed the policy from the federal Coalition saying it has the potential to free businesses and allow for greater focus to be given on lifting performance and competitiveness.

“The commitment to give a greater focus within COAG on reducing regulatory obligations is a major step forward,” says AI Group Chief Executive Innes Willox.

“A very large proportion of regulatory burdens are imposed by state, territory and local governments. The extent of duplication between the various jurisdictions under current arrangements is a major source of frustration particularly in the area of environmental regulation.”

“Ai Group looks forward to working with the Coalition as it further fleshes out these proposals.”

Click here to read the full policy document.