Regulatory Reform Agenda to focus on productivity and States

Type: Media release

Date: Thursday 12 November 2015

Author(s): The Hon Dr Peter Hendy MP, Assistant Minister for Productivity

The Government will strengthen its regulation reform agenda so that it focusses on changes that increase innovation and productivity, the Assistant Minister for Productivity the Hon Dr Peter Hendy MP said today.

Speaking on the Coalition Government's fourth Red Tape Repeal Day, Assistant Minster Hendy said the Government's agenda to cut red tape and reduce regulatory costs has been an overwhelming success.

"The Coalition made a commitment to reduce red tape by $1billion annually.

"I'm pleased to announce today that we have achieved double that target with almost $4.5 billion in red tape savings in our first two years.

A significant measure will make it easier for terminally ill people to get access to superannuation money.

We have improved our systems for regulatory decision-making and begun to change the culture of decision-makers and regulators to one that recognises the burden that is imposed both by the regulations and by the way it is administered.

We have introduced legislation that will repeal 3,600 spent and redundant Acts and over 10,000 legislative instruments from the Commonwealth books.

It is not 'mission accomplished' but we have certainly achieved a great deal in two years.

Now is the time to strengthen that agenda.  Now is the time to focus on productivity like a laser. 

"We need to have regulation reform policy working in lock-step and supporting the Government's other economic and social policies," Dr Hendy said.

Cutting red tape has been a major part of the Government's overall strategy to build a stronger, more productive and diverse economy.

Now is the ideal time to build on this policy, Dr Hendy said.

From 1 July 2016, the Government will broaden its focus to regulation reforms that directly enhance innovation, competitiveness and productivity. Over the coming months we will consult stakeholders on the priorities, the tools to assess and prioritise change and the schedule of reform.

An important area to look at will include working bilaterally with a state or territory or with all states and territories together to remove duplication and regulation that hamper innovation and productivity.

The Government has already reformed a lot of regulation. That's less time required by individuals and businesses to fill out forms, ensure they comply with regulation, seek external advice and invest in systems and equipment.

We have established a Regulator Performance Framework that provides a common set of performance measures to assess and audit the performance of individual Commonwealth regulators.

All major regulatory decisions are informed by a Regulation Impact Statement that lays out the costs and benefits of regulating or not regulating.

"While our focus on removing red tape will continue, we will be applying ourselves to other significant areas of reform that will assist in growing productivity," Assistant Minster Hendy said.