Excessive red tape and unnecessary regulation costs us all

Excessive red tape and unnecessary regulation is costing all Australians, undermining the creation of more jobs, the delivery of products and services at cheaper prices, and the ability of existing businesses to grow and new businesses to open their doors.

“We are fully behind the Morrison government’s efforts to reduce the barriers and bottlenecks holding back Australian workers, consumers and businesses,’’ Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said today.

“Business wants action on red tape because business represents all Australians. Eleven million of the 13 million Australians who work are employed in a business, big or small.

“Big or small, red tape hurts us all.

“We also represent our customers, mum and dad shareholders, small and family business suppliers, and all the diverse communities we operate in.

“Business doesn’t operate in a vacuum; we are part of the community and we have a stake in ensuring Australia is successful. Business supports the measures that will make it easier for hard-working and aspirational Australians to go about their daily lives and get ahead.

“The Business Council is currently in the process of identifying the red tape and regulatory roadblocks that impose the largest costs on key sectors of the economy and serve as a hurdle to business investment.

“Business investment, which as a share of Gross Domestic Product is currently the lowest it has been for 25 years, is a critical ingredient to improving our national productivity performance.

“If we are to drive higher living standards for all Australians and increase wages growth, we need business and government to come together in an all-out assault on lifting productivity.

“This means taking action on several fronts including attacking the excessive red tape and unnecessary regulation which is acting against our national interest and preventing us from doing things better and working smarter.

“No one wants to remove the sensible rules and regulations in place to protect Australians but not all regulation is well designed. The government's deregulation process is important for fixing outdated or unnecessary regulations that don’t achieve any real benefits.

“At the moment, excessive red tape is restricting our ability to compete with our international rivals, and preventing new jobs from being created, products being delivered at cheaper prices, and making it harder for big and small businesses to thrive.

“We support the government’s decision to identify the first three priorities areas for its Deregulation Taskforce: reducing the regulatory burden for food manufacturers, making it easier for smaller businesses to employ their first person, and major infrastructure project approvals.

“The government has zeroed in on the right sectors and areas to start the process.

“The government should also use digital technology and single touch portals to reduce the cost of regulatory compliance and we encourage jurisdictions to adopt best practice and learn from each other.

“We are working with the government on taking practical steps to make it easier for businesses to invest, create jobs, grow the economy and improve the lives of all Australians.

“The pro-investment principles underpinning this excellent deregulation initiative also need to apply to any new regulation being considered during this term of parliament.

“We also encourage the states and territories to fully engage with this process.’’