Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday night announced that sweeping deregulation measures will be included in his government’s forthcoming federal budget, in an effort to relieve businesses of a “depressing level of regulation”.
“You can have all the lofty communiques about regulatory reform you like, but ultimately, it means working through the detail with those who have to live with this depressing level of regulation that prevents you from employing more Australians,” Mr Morrison said.
“Obstacles that need to be stripped away in order for you to grow your business.”
The measures will enable some 900 companies to spend less time on greenhouse gas and energy reporting compliance with its introduction of new regulatory technology to streamline the process and bulk data uploading.
“As part of reducing the regulatory burden for business interactions with government, we’re streamlining reporting under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme,” Mr Morrison said.
“This will dramatically reduce time spent preparing reports in some cases by around 70 per cent, benefiting more than 900 companies reporting on 7,500 facilities every single year.”
Mr Morrison also said that the government will help businesses use regulatory technology — or “regtech” — to comply with modern awards in an effort to help them cut costs and improve compliance.
Meanwhile, businesses across the banking, credit, superannuation and insurance sectors will benefit from “technology neutrality”, a service that will streamline their communications with regulators.
“Regulated entities across banking, insurance, superannuation and capital markets will benefit through increased flexibility for regulators to obtain information without prescribing the method of communication,” he said.
The Prime Minister said that his government’s budget measures will also streamline digital services in the health sector.
“This will reduce the regulatory burden on around 400 companies that currently lodge 2,000 applications annually in the pharmaceutical, medical technology services and medical software industries,” he said.
Other elements of the sweeping deregulatory measures include improving electronic monitoring services to the benefit of around 610 fishing businesses, along with the implementation of automatic mutual recognition, a regime that will enable around 124,000 Australians to have their occupational licences recognised federally.
Mr Morrison later turned attention to his government’s federal budget — to be delivered on 11 May — which he signalled would further focus on job growth to spur economic recovery.
“The budget next month will lay out the next phase of Australia’s economic recovery plan, to grow our economy so we can deliver the jobs and guarantee the essential services that Australians rely on, and continue to keep Australians safe,” the Prime Minister said.
“From the depths of pandemic despair a year ago, here we are, fighting our way back. Fighting our way back.”
John Buckley is a journalist at Accountants Daily.
Before joining the team in 2021, John worked at The Sydney Morning Herald. His reporting has featured in a range of outlets including The Washington Post, The Age, and The Saturday Paper.