BCA Supports Coalition Approach to Improving Australia’s Regulatory Environment

“The Coalition’s announcement today of its policy to boost productivity and reduce regulation is an unambiguously positive development for lowering the high cost of doing business in Australia,” Business Council of Australia Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott said.

“The Business Council has for many years highlighted how poor and unnecessary regulation imposes a dead weight on business activity and investment and undermines the capacity of business to stay competitive and hire more people,” Ms Westacott said.

“The Coalition’s proposed approach to regulation illustrates a strong understanding of the importance of good regulation to Australia’s productivity performance and includes a number of pragmatic and sensible proposals to reduce business costs,” she said.

“In particular, it is very encouraging that the Coalition has understood and recognised the need for a systematic, whole of government approach to reducing the regulatory burden. It has also recognised the importance of reducing regulatory uncertainty for business confidence.

“The Coalition’s proposal to establish a one-stop shop for environmental approvals is particularly welcome and is something that the BCA has been calling for to reduce the heavy costs of major project approvals while maintaining environmental protection.

“The Coalition’s commitment to dedicated parliamentary sitting days for the repeal of poor and unnecessary regulation as well as a broader regulation repeal agenda dealing with the worst regulation will be welcome news to businesses dealing with growing red tape costs every day.

“Regulation plays an important role in our society but it needs to be well targeted and proportional to the problems it is intended to address, and it needs to support economic growth.

“Too many regulatory interventions have been introduced without appropriate impact assessments or adequate cost-benefit analyses and as a result there have often been unintended consequences.

“Many of the measures announced by the Coalition in its policy will go some way to addressing these concerns, especially the commitment to strengthen the Regulation Impact Statements process.

“While the government has made similar commitments, the adherence to good regulation making, processes have been lacking in many cases.

“The BCA has also called for improved accountability for the performance of regulators. Regulators who administer regulation have to have the right incentives to balance risks with the costs imposed, and should also have the flexibility to discharge their responsibilities in the most cost effective way.

“The Coalition’s policy contains some sensible measures in this area, including the adoption of a risk-based approach to enforcement by Commonwealth regulators which represents a clear step in the right direction. The replacement of mandatory regulation reporting with independent and random audits also makes good sense within a risk-based approach to regulation.

“The entire community benefits from good regulation that supports the effectiveness of markets needed to underpin economic growth. Good regulation gets the balance right between regulation and the informal device of reputation.

“The Coalition’s red tape policy provides a good foundation for a coherent approach to regulation that strikes the right balance between protecting the community and supporting growth and investment,” Ms Westacott said.

For further information contact:
Scott Thompson, Director, Media and Public Affairs
Business Council of Australia
Telephone (03) 8664 2664 | Mobile 0403 241 128