Free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs has welcomed the announcement that the Productivity Commission will lead a 12-month review to focus on streamlining regulation in the resources sector.
IPA research estimated that red tape costs the Australian economy $176 billion each year in lost economic output, which is approximately 10 per cent of GDP. This makes red tape Australia’s biggest industry.
“Credit to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Matt Canavan and Assistant Minister to the PM, Ben Morton, for taking active steps to solve Australia’s red tape crisis,” said Evan Mulholland, Director of Communications at the IPA.
“Red Tape drives up the cost of living for all Australians and damages our international competitiveness, reducing investment and undermining productivity and wage growth.
“Australia’s $176 billion red tape crisis represents all of the businesses never started, the jobs never created, and the dreams and aspirations which go unfulfilled due to bureaucratic interference.”
The IPA welcomes news that the Productivity Commission review will look to improve ‘the efficiency of environmental approvals that would reduce the regulatory burden on business’.
“It should urgently examine the peculiar provision of our federal environmental law. Section 487 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, allows green groups to challenge project approvals in court, even if they do not have a direct interest in those projects.
“IPA research has estimated that between 2000-2016 this has seen key mine, dam and railroad projects spend some 7,500 cumulative days, or 20 years, in court, at a cost of $1.2 billion in foregone profits and government revenue.
“Business investment in Australia is just 11.8 per cent of GDP, new private sector business investment is now lower as a percentage of GDP than it was during the Whitlam era.
“This exciting policy agenda of the Morrison government to cut red tape, along with reforming industrial relations and cutting income taxes, will help boost business investment, and allow the Australian middle-class to succeed and prosper,” said Mr Mulholland.