BCA Welcomes Red Tape Reform Taskforce

The BCA welcomed today’s announcement of a special taskforce to reduce red tape saying it was a first step towards addressing Australia’s regulatory blow-out.

The BCA has consistently highlighted escalating red tape on business as a major brake on future growth and has called for a significant overhaul on the way regulation is made. In its Business Regulation Action Plan released in May, the BCA highlighted that regulation in Australia is growing at 10 per cent per annum – three times as fast as Australia’s rate of economic growth.

BCA Acting Chief Executive Mr Steven Münchenberg said the formation of a high-level taskforce to examine and report on ways to reduce existing legislation and regulation on business and the community by January was both recognition of the problem and a constructive step towards addressing it.

Mr Münchenberg said it was encouraging that the government was now translating its willingness to address this issue into action.

“The taskforce is certainly a step towards stemming the tide of regulation that is threatening to swamp Australia,” Mr Münchenberg said.

“We also need to consider cutting off bad regulation at the source”, he said.

“This will necessitate fixing the systems that currently create regulation; making sure that all new regulation fully takes account of costs to business, avoids overlap and duplication with existing red tape and is subject to regular review.”

The BCA calls on state and territory governments to follow the Commonwealth’s lead and commence similar reviews of their own regulatory processes.

The BCA Business Regulation Action Plan found that regulation is growing at a remarkable rate:

 In 2003, the Commonwealth and state parliaments added 33,000 pages of new law to the statute and rule books.

  • More pages of legislation have passed the Commonwealth Parliament in the 14 years since 1990 than were passed by Parliament in the preceding 90 years (in just 9 years, the current federal government has passed more pages of legislation than were passed between Federation and 1985).
  • In the four years from 2000 to 2003, the Commonwealth Parliament passed on average 350 pages of new primary legislation each sitting week or nearly 100 pages each sitting day.