Page 613 - Week 02 - Thursday, 14 February 2013

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Business—red tape reduction

MR GENTLEMAN: My question is to the Treasurer. Can the Treasurer outline to the Assembly the government’s red tape reduction agenda?

MR BARR: I thank Mr Gentleman for the question and for his interest in this area of work. The government has, through its business development strategy, committed to a significant program of red tape reduction.

MADAM SPEAKER: Before you go further, the question was about your red tape reduction agenda. Are these issues that you have already announced?

MR BARR: Yes. We released the business development policy in April last year.

MADAM SPEAKER: Thank you; I am just checking.

MR BARR: Thank you, Madam Speaker. It is part of the business development strategy that was released in April 2012. I convened a red tape reduction panel to identify regulations that impose unnecessary burdens, costs or disadvantages on business activity within the territory. The main task of the panel is to recommend ways to remove and improve outdated, unworkable and illogical regulation. This red tape reduction panel has representatives from the Canberra business community and also the key public service heads who have responsibility for regulatory services and for a number of other areas of regulation within the government.

I am pleased to advise the Assembly that the first tranche of reforms recommended by the red tape reduction panel have already begun to be implemented. This includes the abolition of motor vehicle registration stickers and the provision of e-lodgement for rental bonds. Work on delivering these reforms in 2013 is continuing.

There are also several reviews being undertaken across government to alleviate the compliance burden on territory business. This particularly includes a focus on reviewing licence terms with a view to moving away from annual renewals of licences wherever possible. We are also reviewing police check requirements with a view to minimising the need for multiple police checks at the same point in time.

A particular issue for the hospitality industry has been the need to review signage requirements with a particular focus on streamlining administrative requirements, such as the requirement to currently display a multiple number of licences and certificates. It is desired to have one sign, if you like, that rules them all so that businesses are then able to display all their licensing and occupancy loading requirements et cetera all in one sign rather than the multiple signs that you see displayed in particular venues around the city.

I have also agreed to sponsor a regular omnibus bill through this place, aimed at addressing regulatory reform identified through the work of the red tape reduction panel.

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