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Wednesday, 26 March 2014
Page: 3191


Mr HUTCHINSON (Lyons) (13:07): I rise to speak on the Omnibus Repeal Day (Autumn 2014) Bill 2014 and related bills. I will give full marks to the member for Parramatta. We have had our differences in the past, but the detail and the work that she has gone to is a great reflection on and an insight into what small business goes through every day of their lives. She has gone through that in so much detail to highlight exactly the whole point of repeal day today.

Ms Owens: Mr Deputy Speaker, I seek to intervene.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Will the member for Lyons accept?

Mr HUTCHINSON: No, we have got to get through a lot. If I could take you back to 2007, those opposite were going to be the one-in one-out administration. Twenty-one thousand new regulations later, that was a broken promise. It was not the most notable of the broken promises of the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd years, but it was nevertheless a broken promise. They adhere to a thinking that Ronald Reagan put best: 'If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidise it.' This approach was clearly rejected by the Australian people in September last year.

The first ever federal government repeal day will greatly benefit the smoother flow of business in my home state of Tasmania and my electorate of Lyons. Bad and redundant legislation will get government out of the lives of families and reduce the cost of living. What is it about those opposite? Both Labor and the Greens demand to have more and more control over people's lives. What sort of ideology rejects the notion of personal responsibility and seeks to stifle innovation and enterprise? The Australian Greens party, the member for Melbourne's party, was born in my home state. As I have said before, it was born of honourable and noble intent, but to listen to the member for Melbourne today advocating an ideology of control, of having a hand in every corner of people's lives, of controlling the conversation, in the belief that we know what is best for you and family—that government knows best—was truly something to behold.

The Liberal Party believes that government does not know best and that families and individuals make the best choices. We believe in personal responsibility. The more that government gets out of people's lives, the better. Regulations and boundaries are important, but not regulations that stifle entrepreneurship, that make Australia less competitive and are a burden on our nation and businesses and a cost to family budgets. This first repeal day is a worthwhile and overdue commitment to get rid of redundant and inefficient legislation. Ten thousand unnecessary and counterproductive pieces of legislation and 50,000 pages of unnecessary and costly legislation and regulations will go, removing a burden of compliance on business, community groups and households of $700 million this year, next year and every year.

Cliff Partridge runs aged-care facilities across my electorate of Lyons in Tasmania at Deloraine, at the May Shaw facility at Swansea on the east coast and South Eastern Community Care in Sorell. He will tell you how much easier life will become for his business with the government's streamlining of the pricing process for residential aged care. There has been a simplification of the proposed accommodation pricing process, and the government has increased the threshold for accommodation prices requiring approval to $550,000 from $455,000.

Mr Nikolic: That's real change.

Mr HUTCHINSON: This is real change. This will lead to annual savings of three-quarters of a million dollars in compliance costs for aged-care providers. Cliff says that the previous regulation on accommodation pricing created a huge workload for aged-care facilities. He said that it was more demanding than being in the hotel industry, where operators had to justify why they were charging every particular room rate. Building assessment procedures remain an ongoing issue of concern for aged-care operators. It is an overregulated system that demands reassessment of an entire facility every time a minor alteration is made to the premises.

Charities will benefit. Even today, Jan Davis, the CEO of the Tasmanian Farmers & Graziers Association, welcomed the repeal bill. She has highlighted the disproportionate burden of regulations that primary producers face every day. To give a practical example of how they will be better off, importers of agricultural chemicals—and last time I looked they are used by primary producers—and of veterinary medicines such as pet worm tablets, and of household weedkiller and agricultural fertilisers will no longer need to re-register established products that have not changed. This is a practical way of reducing costs to farmers and farm businesses.

Any rational and sensible person that has had anything to do with business or has been part of a family would agree that getting rid of unwanted and redundant legislation is a good deal. Repeal day is symbolic of the difference between ideologies. On one side are political parties who want to control us and tell us how to think and act and who want to regulate every nook and cranny of every family's life. The alternative is a party that offers a pathway to personal responsibility and is trying to move closer with this bill today.

We are doing what we said we would do. We are well on the way to reducing the red-tape burden on small business by $1 billion annually, as we committed to during the election. I commend the parliamentary secretary for his diligence and work in putting together this bill today. I commend this repeal bill to the House.