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Taskforce on reducing the regulatory burden on business: Joint press release.



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JOINT PRESS RELEASE

THE HON. JOHN HOWARD MP, PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA THE HON. PETER COSTELLO MP, TREASURER

TASKFORCE ON REDUCING THE REGULATORY BURDEN ON BUSINESS

We are pleased to announce today the appointment of a Taskforce to identify practical options for alleviating the compliance burden on business from Commonwealth Government regulation.

The Taskforce will examine and report on areas where regulatory reform can provide significant immediate gains to business.

It will be chaired by Mr Gary Banks, Chairman of the Productivity Commission, and will also include Mr Dick Humphry, the former Managing Director of the Australian Stock Exchange, Mr Rod Halstead, a corporate law expert with Clayton Utz, and Mrs Angela MacRae, a consultant to small business and Chairman of the Independent Contractors Association of Australia.

The Taskforce will:

• identify specific areas of Commonwealth Government regulation which are unnecessarily burdensome, complex, redundant or duplicate regulations in other jurisdictions;

• indicate those areas in which regulation should be removed or significantly reduced as a matter of priority;

• examine non-regulatory options (including business self-regulation) for achieving desired outcomes and how best to reduce duplication and increase harmonisation within existing regulatory frameworks; and

• provide practical options for alleviating the Commonwealth’s ‘red tape’ burden on business, including family-run and other small businesses.

The Taskforce will report by 31 January 2006.

While the Taskforce will focus on areas that are predominantly the responsibility of the Commonwealth Government, it is to identify key areas in which the regulatory burden arises from overlaps with State and Territory legislation. The Taskforce will consult closely with business groups and other stakeholders.

www.pm.gov.au

www.pm.gov.au

It will be supported by a small whole-of-government secretariat and consult closely with the Secretaries of the Departments of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Treasury and Industry, Tourism and Resources. The Taskforce’s website address is

www.regulationtaskforce.gov.au

The Australian Government is determined to reduce the burden of regulatory activity. It has already decided to put in place arrangements that will involve a more rigorous use of cost-benefit analysis within government before new regulations are introduced.

The Government also intends to introduce a new annual review process to examine the cumulative stock of Australian Government regulation and identify an annual red tape reduction agenda.

Reviews will be undertaken by the Productivity Commission. The Commission will call for public submissions on areas of red tape concern, based on a direction from the Treasurer and will propose an agenda to the Australian Government.

Regulation can help support business activities. It sets standards for corporate governance, helps ensure our safety and security, guards our freedom and choices and protects our environment.

However, over-regulation or inappropriate regulation acts to impede economic growth. It limits the scope for innovation, undermines entrepreneurial drive and reduces productivity and competition.

12 October 2005