National Regulatory Reform Survey with the Queensland Office for Regulatory Efficiency: Extended Background

| April 7, 2011
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Open Forum is currently hosting a SURVEY on behalf of the Queensland Office for Regulatory Efficiency, Queensland Government.  This article provides an extended background.

HURRY – SURVEY deadline has been extended till 9am Monday 18 April 2011

In February 2010, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found that Australia’s mature regulatory settings and a strong fiscal position helped Australia to weather the Global Financial Crisis.

The OECD also concluded that, “Australia is one of the front-running countries in the OECD in terms of its regulatory reform practices” and the approach to regulatory reform makes Australia a role-model for OECD countries.

While the OECD praised Australia’s regulatory reform efforts to date, it also cautioned that successful reform requires maintaining reform impetus. It stressed that Australia’s slowing productivity growth in the past decade makes the successful implementation of a regulatory reform agenda crucial.

Effective regulatory frameworks can help to enable structural adjustment and the transformation to more productive and profitable activities to underpin future economic growth by ensuring Australia’s resources – labour, capital, natural resources and know-how – are allocated to their most productive use.

Regulatory reform can help to boost productivity by:

  • Reducing compliance and administration costs, freeing up businesses’ scarce capital and labour resources for more productive uses.
  • Reducing barriers to workforce participation and overall labour mobility, making it easier for business to source the skills it needs and for workers to respond to employment opportunities.
  • Removing, improving or streamlining poorly designed, unnecessary or inconsistent regulation, creating better frameworks within which business and consumers can operate.
  • Facilitating international trade and investment.

Many of the regulations that businesses deal with on a daily basis cut across all levels of government – from Commonwealth taxation, superannuation and industrial relations regulation to state-based occupational health and safety and environmental regulation to local government’s regulation of planning and developments.

Australia’s federal approach is one of its greatest strengths, enabling regulatory solutions to match community needs and preferences and encourage best practice. However, in a small economy distant from major markets, Australia’s multiple regulatory regimes can sometimes impede competitiveness through barriers or disincentives to business expansion and workforce mobility, create overlapping and confusing requirements and add compliance costs for business.

In the existing regulatory reform agenda, over 36 business regulation and competition reform areas are being targeted to improve the efficiency and inter-jurisdictional harmonisation of the regulatory environment. These include areas such as Occupational Health and Safety and Standard Business Reporting.

For more information on the current reform agenda please CLICK HERE to visit the relevant page of the COAG website.

The Queensland Office for Regulatory Efficiency, Queensland Government need your views on what areas of regulation should be targeted by COAG for reform.
HURRY – SURVEY deadline has been extended till 9am Monday 18 April 2011