Government committed to ending regulation overlaps: Tanner

By: Jason Whittaker


The Rudd Government is committed to ending regulatory overlaps constraining the trucking industry, according to Minister for Finance and Deregulation

The Rudd Government is committed to ending regulatory overlaps constraining the trucking industry, according to Minister for Finance and Deregulation Lindsay Tanner.

During a speech at this year’s Australian Trucking Convention, Tanner told attendees the Government’s deregulation agenda was on track to deliver key reforms, such as harmonising industrial relations laws.

He says the Business Regulation and Competition Working Group which is part of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) shows the Government is serious about working with the states to boost productivity by streamlining regulations.

He says the working group’s meeting will deliver in "areas as diverse as rail safety, electronic conveyancing, margin lending and wine labelling".

"Top of this list of regulatory reforms is finally achieving national harmonised occupational health and safety laws. I know this is a key concern to the trucking industry," Tanner says.

But in saying that, he noted the Government will be challenged to ensure its reforms do not leave the industry worse off.

"I am acutely aware that regulatory reform is littered with good intentions and deregulatory initiatives which have not ultimately delivered for business," Tanner says.

To highlight the regulatory inconsistencies the industry faces, Tanner pointed to an instance where an operator took over two years to move a custom-designed trailer with an "unusually shaped" load from Victoria to Queensland because of "stupid regulation".

According to Tanner, the trailer met Australian Design Rules as well as performance based standards but ran into trouble when the operator had to deal with Victorian and Queensland bureaucracies.

"The company still had to obtain over eight separate approvals from state-based transport departments, road authorities and local councils to travel the route. This process took over two years to complete," he says.

"I know a lot of frustration from business people comes from the stupid regulation they encounter just trying to do their jobs and run their businesses.

"This regulation seems stupid because it is not fit-for-purpose. It may be ineffective, overly burdensome, outdated or duplicate other regulation."

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