Meeting of the Council of Australian Governments: Response by Greig Gailey

Australia’s political leaders have today taken major steps to progress important national reforms that will bring Australia into the 21st century, BCA President Greig Gailey said.

“The Council of Australian Governments has met its commitments to move forward with reforms that should ultimately deliver a seamless economy for business regulation by 2010, as called for by the BCA,” Mr Gailey said.

 “We applaud the progress that has been made, particularly by the Business Regulation and Competition Working Group. This provides a clear precedent for what can be achieved in other areas. 

“Today we have seen significant movement towards harmonising key areas of business regulation, including occupational health and safety, payroll tax, trades licensing and product safety laws.

“Harmonisation of business regulation will significantly reduce unnecessary costs and burdens for businesses operating across states.

“It is particularly pleasing as the focus on Australia’s response to climate change intensifies that our governments have also formalised an agreement to establish a Murray–Darling Basin Authority to help solve water shortages.

“The agreement appears to further develop the national water market, offering the prospect of making irrigation practices more sustainable and securing water supplies for end-users and the environment.

“This third meeting of COAG since the election of the Rudd Government has delivered on the expectations of business.

“Business has confidence that COAG is delivering on its promise and has gone a long way to achieving the Australia 2020 Summit vision for Australia to be the best place in the world in which to live and do business.

“The BCA will continue to monitor COAG progress to ensure that today’s cooperative approach to national reform is sustained,” he said.