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Farmers first to benefit from 'red tape' review.

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DAFF07/022PM - 28 February 2007

Farmers first to benefit from ‘red tape’ review

Australian farmers will be the first to benefit from a series of new Productivity Commission reviews aimed at cutting the burden of red tape on business.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Peter McGauran, welcomed the announcement that Australia’s primary industries sector would be the focus of the first Productivity Commission review of the regulatory burden placed on business.

“Farmers have enough added pressure with the current drought. The last thing they need is to be stuck in their office at night doing unnecessary paperwork when they could be spending time with their family,” Mr McGauran said.

“Farm organisations suggest that the average business spends around 400 hours a year complying with federal, state and local government regulations.

“The time and effort spent doing so is a major cost to farmers across all agricultural sectors. Compliance issues are also a significant cost borne by our food, fisheries and forestry industries.

“The Commission will identify unnecessary regulations that stifle productivity and reduce profitability in rural industries across the country.”

The Productivity Commission will:

• identify specific areas of government regulation that are unnecessarily burdensome, complex or redundant, or duplicate regulations in other jurisdictions

• develop a short list of priority areas with options to alleviate regulatory burden, and • identify reforms to improve regulatory consistency across jurisdictions.

The Commission will present its report to the Government by the end of October 2007.

Further media inquiries:

Minister McGauran's office: Ben Houston 02 6277 7520