Make the preparation of Regulation Impact Statements a statutory requirement for all new regulations with significant impact, with exemptions strictly limited to issues of national security and emergency.
All regulatory impact statements should be required to achieve a ‘best practice’ assessment. This will require policymakers to fully consider the problem to be solved; justify why regulation is needed; engage in genuine consultation and examine the net benefits of alternative options before making a decision.
Government should endorse self-regulation where it can be effective in achieving outcomes but without the associated costs of legislation.
Government should utilise sunset clauses and carry out post-implementation reviews to determine the impact of new regulatory initiatives.
Commission the Productivity Commission to undertake an annual sector-by-sector review of the cumulative impact of regulation and identify potential reforms.
Government should engage in genuine consultation with industry and ensure legislation and guidance materials are drafted to provide clarity to business.
Reinvigorate the federal and state deregulation agenda through the Council of Australian Governments, and continue work to harmonise and reduce the regulatory burden:
Increase inter-jurisdictional consistency of heavy vehicle specifications, curfews, load limitations and travel time restrictions.
Minimise impediments to labour mobility by reforming occupational licensing and allow for mutual recognition of professional qualifications between Australian jurisdictions.
Harmonise payroll tax and occupational health and safety compliance processes to make it easier for businesses operating in multiple jurisdictions.
Introduce National Productivity Payments to incentivise states to reduce regulation.
Simplify zoning restrictions to ensure housing supply keeps pace with demand and prevent regulation contributing to high house prices, especially within our major capital cities. Reforms should include:
allowing greater density in key residential and transport corridors.
implementing faster land release for new housing.
increasing the use of complying developments to speed up approvals.
Remove regulatory restrictions preventing businesses from quickly accessing highly skilled migrants where there is a genuine need to fill skill shortages. More occupations should qualify for a four-year temporary skill shortage visa. Costly labour market testing requirements should be removed.
Clearly define conduct that is prohibited under section 46 of the Competition and Consumer Act (‘misuse of market power’) and provide a defence for legitimate business conduct.
Remove retail trading hour restrictions which are harmful to consumers and inconsistent with a modern, digital economy.
Increase flexibility for aircraft movements and slot cap arrangements at Sydney Airport but retain the curfew and noise sharing arrangements.
Progress unfinished competition reforms outlined in the Competition Policy Review (2015) to achieve significant productivity gains in industries such as pharmaceutical and legal services.
Recommit to water reform as a priority area for competition policy.
Pass the Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Amendment Bill 2017 to improve the competitiveness of shipping and the Australian businesses that use coastal shipping in their supply chains.
To ensure Australia better balances the goals of environmental protection with the needs of economic development, the Business Council supports the following reforms to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act:
Require the Commonwealth to transfer its approval and assessment powers under the Act to the states.
Extend the scope of bilateral agreements for large coal mining and coal seam gas developments to include water-related components captured by the 'water trigger'.
Restrict rights of appeal under section 487 of the Act to project proponents and parties directly impacted by a decision.