Towards better regulation

  • Date:24 Jul 2013
  • Type:Policy Paper

The Australian Institute of Company Directors has released a White Paper - Towards better regulation, which examines the regulatory burden on Australian business.

Consultation with business found that:

  • Australian businesses are struggling to compete with their international peers as the current regulatory environment acts to handicap growth and innovation.
  • Red tape and overregulation encourage boards to focus on conformance over performance.
  • Regulation and red tape are hindering wealth generation as they discourage businesses from taking measured risks.
  • Too often, new regulation is being developed as a knee-jerk reaction to a one-off event, rather than being developed through proper regulatory process involving a risk-based assessment and consultation.
  • There has been a failure by a succession of governments at federal and state levels to adequately address this issue. Based on our analysis of the current regulatory environment in Australia, it is clear that Australia already has the appropriate regulatory processes in place – they are just not being used.
  • Regulatory reform will not succeed if government continues to support these processes ‘in principle’ but habitually avoids them in practice.
  • There is currently an excessive number of regulating bodies in Australia and regulators tend to adopt an unduly risk-averse approach to the administration of regulation and are often overly bureaucratic in their interactions with business.

To tackle this complex and pervasive problem, in this paper the Australian Institute of Company Directors propose three pillars of regulatory reform – all of which must underpin efforts to tackle this growth in regulation:

Pillar 1: Clean up existing regulation.

Pillar 2: Get new regulation right.

Pillar 3: Regulator reform.

We are calling on the Federal Government to show leadership in implementing a reform agenda that will have long-term benefits for Australian businesses, Australian jobs and the economy as a whole. While the reforms should be initiated and supported by the Commonwealth Government, there needs to be a consistent national response to the reforms. A starting point for implementing these recommendations could be a Deregulation Summit within the first 100 days of the next term of government, bringing together business, senior ministers, key advisors and regulators to develop an action agenda for reforming the
process of regulation creation and ‘destocking’ the existing accumulation of red tape.

Download the paper, Towards better regulation (PDF 912 KB).