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Wednesday, 26 March 2014
Page: 3258

Mrs GRIGGS (Solomon) (17:19): It is with great pleasure that I rise today to lend my support for the Omnibus Repeal Day (Autumn 2014) Bill 2014 and related bills. This is a significant step along the path of deregulation and another example of how the coalition are honouring the promises we made before the election. In opposition, we said that we would cut $1 billion in red and green tape from the statutes, and that is exactly what we are doing. This is the first of two repeal days we are going to have each year. Today, we are removing over 10,000 pieces and 50,000 pages of legislation, saving businesses, NGOs and other operations over $700 million in compliance costs. The previous Labor government introduced more than 21,000 additional regulations, which served only to stifle investment, dull job creation and anchor the Australian economy.

Too much regulation hurts productivity, deters investors, stifles innovation and most importantly costs jobs. The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry 2012 red tape survey identified that 44 per cent of businesses spend between one and five hours a week complying with government regulatory requirements; 72 per cent of businesses said that their time is spent on red tape and that increased in the last two years; and 54.3 per cent said that complying with government regulations has prevented them from making changes to grow or expand their businesses. The coalition believe that before regulation is passed we must ask what the purpose, cost and impact is on productivity. I will not answer those questions, instead I will leave it to those affected by regulation.

The National Farmers Federation recently threw its support behind the government's changes. Its general manager of policy, Tony Mahar, says:

Effective regulation is necessary. It safeguards businesses, the environment and our communities. Poorly designed regulation, however, can act like a tax on business, raising costs and stifling innovation. A particular focus on improving regulation surrounding transport of agricultural goods, on-farm labour and environmental assessments could realise significant benefits for farm businesses and should be prioritised by policy makers.

To assist in achieving deregulation, senior public servants will have their remuneration directly linked to their performance in reducing red and green tape.

The Northern Territory, like the rest of Australia, will benefit from today's repeal of legislation. For example, aged-care building certification at a federal level will be removed. Currently, aged-care residences in the Northern Territory must comply with both the territory and the federal building requirements. This is a wasteful duplication of regulation, given that the Northern Territory has such a high building standard because of its occasionally unruly weather. This measure alone will result in an estimated $3.42 million in compliance savings. The coalition will also focus on streamlining errors and costly processes such as removing the requirement for universities submitting capital asset management surveys requiring information on size, use, management and maintenance of assets and spaces. I know the Charles Darwin University, from my electorate, will be really happy about this.

Equipment hire firms and their customers will also benefit. The wacker packers, which are used for compacting soil and can propel themselves at the speed of five kilometres an hour, will no longer be considered a motor vehicle needing registration under the Personal Property Securities Act. And neither will cement mixers. The common sense continues. As some of my colleagues have already stated, after this legislation is repealed around 30,000 retailers nationally will no longer have to photocopy ID for prepaid mobile phone customers, who will not need to prove their identity twice at point of activation.

I wholly support this bill and congratulate many of my coalition members, whose hard work played an important role in delivering on this very important election promise. Those on the other side could just listen and learn. Get on board and stop being so negative. I heard someone make the comment that these things do not impact business. Everything that we do in this place affects business. We on this side know that because many of us are from a private sector background. The burden of red tape and regulation has an impact on business. That is why I am proud to be supporting these measures here today.