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Deregulation to drive Australia towards Asian Century success

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PW 219/12 28 October 2012


Australia will continue to reduce red tape and improve regulatory frameworks in order to boost Australia’s competitiveness and increase business productivity in the Asian century.

The Australia in the Asian Century White Paper released today sets out a clear roadmap for Australian governments, business, unions and the community, to ensure Australia is best positioned to take advantage of the opportunities of the Asian century.

“We recognise that Australia’s economic growth in the Asian century will be increasingly tied to the growth of our region. That’s why it’s important to find ways of ensuring all Australians will be able to benefit from and participate in Australia’s growing prosperity and engagement in the Asian region,” Minister for Finance and Deregulation, Senator Penny Wong, said.

“For Australian businesses to be competitive, we need efficient, well designed regulation that allows them to be flexible and innovative.

“Our aim is, that by 2025, Australia will be in the world’s top five when it comes to ease of doing business.’’

The Gillard Government will enter into a National Productivity Compact with the states and territories, focused on regulatory and competition reform.

This will build on the Business Advisory Forum held in April this year where business groups met directly with the Prime Minister and First Ministers.

Following the Business Advisory Forum, COAG agreed to an ambitious new regulatory and competition reform agenda, with six priority areas for major reform to lower costs for business, including rationalising carbon reduction and energy

efficiency schemes and addressing duplication of environmental assessment and approval processes.

Significant progress has been made on these reforms, with advice to be considered by COAG in December 2012.

The Gillard Government is working with the States and Territories to pursue concrete initiatives to lift regulatory performance across all areas of regulatory practice.

“Australia is already acknowledged as a world leader when it comes to regulatory arrangements, but there is always more to do,” Minister Wong said.

“We want to ensure that Australia is as competitive as it can be as we enter the Asian century.”

The National Productivity Compact is expected to be agreed at the next meeting of the Business Advisory Forum, and will affirm a shared understanding between Australian Governments and the business community of the imperative to improve Australia’s national productivity and business competitiveness.

Media contact: Evelyn Ek 0412 887 853