Not since 1996 has the Commonwealth government passed fewer pages of legislation. IPA research shows that in 2017, the parliament passed 3,707 pages of legislation, a sharp decline since 2012 the number topped 8,000 pages passed:
Likewise, the average number of pages per piece of legislation passed was 27.9, the lowest it has been since 1994:
This significant slowdown in regulatory growth ruling the lives of Australians is a cause for celebration. However, while the growth is slower, this research indicates red tape is still growing.
The fact remains that the government still introduced 3,707 new pages of legislation in 2017. Most pieces of legislation impose regulatory burdens on businesses and expand the role of the state in the daily lives of Australians.
Slowing legislative growth is positive but should go further if we are to cut down on the estimated $176 billion of red tape strangling the Australian economy. For instance, the government should follow the deregulatory success of the Trump administration in the United States and adopt a one-in-two-out rule for new regulations.
As long as thousands of pages of laws are added to the mountain of regulation each year, Australian living standards and productivity will continue to struggle.