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Wednesday, 26 March 2014
Page: 3266

Mr WILLIAMS (Hindmarsh) (17:55): We all know that deregulation and red tape are issues that we need to do something more about. We know in this bill that there are significant provisions that cover things like removing the superseded standard form agreement provisions that are outlined in the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code, which requires carriers to maintain duplicate summaries for each product and service.

I could go on. When I have been out talking to businesses—and the members opposite would be talking to businesses too if they were engaging with their communities—and whether it is Business SA, or the resources sector; whether it is the Royal Automobile Association, the South Australian Freight Council Incorporated, the Manuale Engineering or the Master Builders Association—the list goes on—they all say the same thing. They are all over the red tape and the compliance, and want greater it deregulation and the removal of these barriers that restrict their opportunity to do business.

We know that the Business Council of Australia has reported that an environmental approval process for one of its members cost the company more than $20 million, required more than 4,000 meetings and led to a 12,000-page report. These are the types of examples that we get when we are out there talking to businesses—small businesses. We are all about making it easier for businesses in the community. It is better for them to get on with doing what they do best, and that is their core business. It is not filling out forms. It is not filling out regulatory burden. That is why we are looking at removing these types restrictions on their businesses.

I will give you another one: the removal of Telstra's standard marketing plan and policy statement requirements—

Ms Rowland: That's because contestability failed under you!

The SPEAKER: The member is not in her seat and may not interject.

Mr WILLIAMS: It was these types of burdens that led the Business Council of Australia chief executive, Jennifer Westacott, to say recently:

The release today of the federal government’s repeal day legislation marks a turning point in dealing with the high costs and inefficiencies faced by businesses and consumers in our economy.

Businesses know that we need to do some indifferent and they are welcoming the changes that we are making. It could be the Personal Property Security Act 2009 and the regulatory burden that falls upon that industry in terms of the length of time that goods need to be leased to be automatically subject to the PPSA. I worked for a law firm before and I know that changes like this were causing major problems for companies that were releasing goods and equipment. They were getting burdened by this extra demand.

We heard the parliamentary secretary mention before the workers compensation scheme, and the opposition has asked about the benefit for that. We will just remind them of the benefit. For the PPSA it was $11.2 million and for the workers compensation scheme it was $32.8 million. The list goes on—over $700 million of benefits have been calculated.

I want to congratulate the work of the parliamentary secretary, Josh Frydenberg , and the Prime Minister, and also of Greg Hunt on the one-stop shop—he did a great job in making that a one-stop approval process. When I was talking to SACOME about the resources industry, that is the one thing that they mentioned. They did not want the duplication between the state and federal bodies, they wanted the one-stop shop to improve the approval process for the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Once this one-stop shop is implemented, businesses will have a much speedier and cost-effective environmental assessment process in place although it will still maintain high environmental standards. This is what it is all about: maintaining what we need and also giving businesses the best opportunity to progress and to do things in an expeditious manner.

In closing, I want to reiterate the great work done by Josh Frydenberg and our side. Finally we are doing something that is recognised by businesses, and recognised by small business in particular, giving the businesses a better opportunity to do what they do best and get out and run their businesses.