“The Senate’s rejection of well-designed reforms to streamline coastal trading regulation is a major blow to lifting the competitiveness of Australia’s economy,” BCA Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott said.
“The Bill would have removed anti-competitive coastal trading restrictions and excessive red tape, which lock in poor productivity and high shipping costs.
“Investment and employment by Australian manufacturing businesses will continue to be impeded by high regulatory and shipping costs.
“The Productivity Commission and the Harper Competition Policy Review both supported the removal of trading restrictions to address the competitiveness problems in our coastal shipping sector.
“These reforms were the culmination of an extensive public consultation process. They were developed to deliver a substantial economic benefit, and an annual reduction in the regulatory burden for businesses.
“The Business Council welcomes the Deputy Prime Minister’s commitment to revisit the proposal and keep working to improve the competitiveness of our shipping industry. The single permit system and the removal of trading restrictions should continue to be at the core of any future reforms,” Ms Westacott said.
For further information contact:
Matt Newton, Communications Adviser
Business Council of Australia
Telephone (02) 8664 9207 • Mobile 0409 550 578