“Despite doing the heavy lifting on behalf of the nation, West Australian farmers are now the most heavily regulated in Australia, and, although now delayed, the new Aboriginal cultural heritage laws will only make a bad situation worse,” said Daniel Wild, Deputy Executive Director of the Institute of Public Affairs.
Today, the Institute of Public Affairs has released new research on the extent of regulation in the Western Australian agricultural sector, which found:
- The Western Australian agricultural sector is the most heavily regulated in the nation, across the most critical industries of Grain and Crop Growing, Oilseed Growing, and Livestock.
- Western Australian farmers face regulatory obligations imposed by up to 33 separate federal or state government agencies or departments, up to 19 of which are federal, and 14 of which are state.
- Western Australian farmers face far higher levels of regulation compared with their main competitor state NSW, and the nation-wide average.
- WA grain and crop growers face 16 per cent more regulation that NSW growers, and 12 per cent more than the national average.
- WA oilseed growers face 17 per cent more regulation that NSW growers, and 13 per cent more than the national average.
- WA livestock producers face 24 per cent more regulation that NSW growers, and 15 per cent more than the national average.
The research was based on an analysis of the Australian Business Licence and Information System, an online government tool which informs businesses of the regulatory categories they are required to comply with in order to operate.
“Every day Western Australian pastoralists and graziers work hard to keep the nation fed and to export commodities that generates our nation’s wealth, yet city-based bureaucrats continue to impose unfair, costly, and complex regulation on this critical sector,” said Mr Wild.
The amount of red tape facing West Australian farmers was set to dramatically increase from 1 July 2023 with the implementation of the misguided Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2021. Fortunately, local famers can breathe a temporary sigh of relief with its announced delay.
“The announcement from the Western Australian Government that it will push back the implementation of sections of its new Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act is an admission of the substantial impact it will have on local communities,” Mr Wild said.
“It gives almost unfettered power to bureaucrats, the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Council, and the State Government to meddle in the work of farmers who we rely on to keep us fed and clothed.”
“Our political leaders all too readily forget that policies set in the high-rise buildings of Perth and Canberra have real-world consequences for the communities like those in regional Western Australia.”