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Wednesday, 26 March 2014
Page: 3158


WYATT ROY (Longman) (10:47): The suite of deregulation legislation for debate before the House is the largest single reduction of federal law in the nation's history. Today, red tape repeal day, is a specific sitting of parliament designed to facilitate the ditching of 10,000 pieces and 50,000 pages of legislation and regulation, saving more than $700 million in compliance costs—10,000 bizarre, redundant and often punitive laws, regulations and guidelines. It is little wonder the Prime Minister has referred to such a mass extinction as a red-tape bonfire. But just as important is what will rise from the ashes—that is, certainty and clearer air for business.

As a result of this landmark day, government will be that much further from sight and will be that much less a practitioner of meddlesome oversight so that our lives are less cluttered, so that businesses, especially, can free their arms and breathe and grow again. That means a stronger economy. It means more jobs for Australians.

The list of redundant and archaic standards headed for the scrap heap is truly astonishing. For example, job service providers will no longer be forced to keep paper records of applications, a requirement that demands thousands of filing cabinets just to hold them. Universities will be spared from submitting reports on the use of lecture theatres, seminar and tutorial rooms, laboratories, academic offices and computerised student workspaces. The saving for each tertiary institution will be about $87,000 a year.

Dr Leigh: Mr Deputy Speaker, I wonder if the member Longman will yield to a question under standing order 66A.

WYATT ROY: I am happy to take a question.

Dr Leigh: I thank the member for Longman. Could the member for Longman explain how his constituents will benefit from the removal of the hyphen in the word 'e-mail'?

WYATT ROY: I do thank the member for the question. Taking a lecture from the Labor Party, who introduced over 21,000 new regulations, is insane. Seeing that the member for Isaacs is sitting at the table, I will take this opportunity to talk about things that have a real impact. He called this legislation change 'imaginary' and 'a smokescreen'. I know that Canberra is a bit of a bubble, but I would suggest to Labor members opposite and their advisers, who I am sure are watching on TV, that it is a good thing to get out of this place and go and talk to local businesses around this country about how removing red tape and regulation makes a big difference in their lives. It is one thing to talk about it, but we should walk that walk. I think that the Labor Party's record is very bad: 10 new or increased taxes and over 20,000 regulations.

Let me go through the detail of what this red tape repeal day actually means. As I said, there will be $87,000 of savings for universities—that is a benefit to my electorate. Childcare centres will be relieved of 1,280 pages of law, 345 pages of regulation and 1,149 pages of guidelines—constraints that inevitably have meant fewer services and higher fees for parents.

The coalition promised a deregulation agenda that would slash $1 billion in red and green tape every year. We are delivering, with hundreds of millions of dollars in compliance costs to be removed today—the first of many dedicated repeal days that this government will bring to this place.

I would like to touch on one more case in point—and the members for Fraser and Isaacs, who are sitting at the table, might want to listen—where I took up the cause, and which I will expand upon during a future and related legislative debate. Under the former Rudd government's Personal Property Securities Act 2009, PPSA, hire firms lending goods for 90 days or more must pay fees to register a security interest in the property, such as construction machinery, with the federal government. That spells red tape, but what is worse is that the bizarre configuring of the law means if they do not register, they risk losing the equipment if the business to which they are hiring the goods becomes insolvent. A liquidator may actually be able to take back a title and sell the property to help pay back creditors.

I took up this case with the member for Kooyong at a local forum. We have managed, as part of this red tape repeal day, to bring legislation to this place that will make this significantly easier for local businesses. It will save those businesses thousands of dollars a year and help them grow and expand. I note that the Labor member from Canberra at the table said to me, 'How does red tape repeal day help local businesses?' This relates to thousands of dollars of savings directly for local businesses. It means they can go out there and they can employ more people.

I know that Labor members, particularly those based in Canberra, think that this place is the wealth of all knowledge for our nation, and that there is not a single problem that can be fixed until a bureaucrat or a politician in Canberra has had a look at it. But what this red tape repeal day means is that we will get Canberra further away from our lives—we will get government out of our lives and we will allow the private sector and businesses in my electorate to do what they do best, which is to go out there, to thrive, to prosper and to employ more people. So, by having less government and less of Canberra in our lives, we can have more jobs and a stronger economy. I commend these bills to the House.