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New government taskforce eyes red tape cuts

Jotham Lian
Jotham Lian
13 September 2019 1 minute readShare

A government taskforce aimed at reducing red tape and addressing unnecessary regulatory barriers has now announced its initial areas of focus, as calls for the government to focus on small businesses continue to be heard.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has announced the first three priority areas for its deregulation taskforce, including making it easier for sole traders and micro businesses to become first-time employers, reducing regulatory burden for food manufacturers with an initial focus on exporting, and getting beneficial major infrastructure projects up and running sooner.

According to Mr Frydenberg, the deregulation taskforce’s primary focus is to “work from the perspective of business and will co-design solutions with business and agencies across jurisdictions to identify and remove unnecessary barriers to investment”.

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“The taskforce will pay particular attention to the degree of regulatory complexity, the length of time for approvals and duplication across levels of government,” Mr Frydenberg said.

“It will also investigate opportunities to adopt technological or ‘regtech’ solutions which make it easier for business to cost-effectively navigate and comply with regulatory requirements.

 

“A better regulatory environment will help businesses lower their costs, save time and improve their competitiveness, while major infrastructure projects will help get us home sooner and safer.”

Speaking to My Business sister publication Accountants Daily, Institute of Public Accountants executive general manager Vicki Stylianou said that the industry has long been advocating for a more streamlined approach to doing business.

“The taskforce needs to consider aspects like workplace health and safety and the unfair dismissal code. Regulation needs to start with small businesses and be scalable upwards because scaling down is not usually practical or even possible,” she said.

Calls for the government to better support small businesses have been a repeated theme, with an MYOB report earlier this year showing that just 31 per cent of small businesses were satisfied with the level of support they were receiving.

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Think tank the Institute of Public Affairs has also publicly called for a reduction in red tape to boost small business growth.

“Red tape and a rigid industrial relations system are the key reasons why new business investment in Australia is just 11.5 per cent, which is lower than it was during the economically hostile Whitlam years,” said Daniel Wild, director of research at the Institute of Public Affairs, back in April.

“The best way to boost small business growth is to cut red tape and reduce government interference.”

New government taskforce eyes red tape cuts
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Jotham Lian
Jotham Lian

Jotham Lian is the news editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals. With a focus on breaking news and exclusive analysis, Jotham keeps Accountants Daily readers up to date with company moves, tax updates and essential business and client strategy. 

Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including The Sydney Morning Herald and Channel NewsAsia.

You can email Jotham at: [email protected] 

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