Qld industry calls for action to cut business red tape

Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland calls for action to reduce amount of government red tape strangling businesses

By Jayne Munday | September 14, 2009

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) has today called for action to reduce the amount of government red tape strangling businesses.

CCIQ has challenged the Bligh Government to move beyond its previous attempts at regulatory reform, by launching a ‘Blueprint for Fighting Queensland’s Over-Regulation’ report, which shows excessive regulation is impeding the State’s economy, and stifling businesses capacity to employ.

According to the Chamber, the Queensland economy is losing up to $17.9 billion as businesses struggle to comply with 70,000 pages of State legislation.

CCIQ President Beatrice Booth says inappropriate and inefficient regulation is a major constraint on business growth, productivity and investment.

"The difficulty with red tape is that while each individual regulation can normally be justified by Government as being in the public interest, when we sum all these individual regulations together it creates a staggering regime that essentially blunts business from growth and employing," she says.

While the Government has previously instigated a campaign to reduce red tape, Booth says now is the time to step-up the action.

"We [CCIQ] understand the wheels are already in motion, but we consider in this economic climate it is more important than ever to take action," she says.

"The Government has to work more closely with business … so stock gaps can be identified and worked on."

Key recommendations listed in CCIQ’s seven-point action plan maintain that the Government must:

  1. Establish high-level political leadership and commitment to a State regulatory reform agenda
  2. Measure the regulatory burden and establish a baseline of existing ‘regulatory requirements’
  3. Impose constraints on regulators through binding targets to reduce the overall stock; and restrict the future growth of regulation by implementing a ‘one in, one out’ approach
  4. Publicly report regulatory reform measures and progress against the target on a regular and ongoing basis
  5. Drive cultural change in the use of regulations and the way they are made
  6. Ensure adequate communication and consultation with the business community
  7. Improve Government customer service by setting "business relevant" targets for outcomes and service quality.

Today’s report also reveals Queensland has 10 percent more pages of regulation and statutory rules than the next highest State in Australia (Western Australia – 63,567 pages).

As a result, 25 percent of Queensland businesses are spending more than 20 hours per week on compliance, the CCIQ claims.

"We want the Government to appoint a minister to cut red tape," Booth explains.

"They need to set targets and timeframes, and report on a consistent basis to show business it’s happening and working."

What do you think? How much are you spending each week on complying with Queensland Government red tape? Email your views to jmunday@acpmagazines.com.au.

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