16/07/2009 - 00:00

Razor gang ready to take on red tape

16/07/2009 - 00:00


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THE state government is moving ahead with plans to tackle red tape in the hope of saving business as much as $1.7 billion dollars during the next decade.

THE state government is moving ahead with plans to tackle red tape in the hope of saving business as much as $1.7 billion dollars during the next decade.

WA Business News has been told the state's 'red tape reduction group' will meet with the Department of Treasury next Thursday to finalise costing estimates for the proposed initiatives, after identifying hundreds of burdensome rules and regulations.

The red tape group, led by Mining and Pastoral Region MLC Ken Baston and Scarborough MLA Liza Harvey, has analysed 720 bureaucratic issues raised by business during the public consultation process.

Ms Harvey told WA Business News a short-list of measures will be presented to Treasury next week to calculate the cost of implementing the proposed reforms, with the group set to deliver its recommendations to Treasurer Troy Buswell in October.

She said while some measures, such as abolishing the Hairdressers Registration Board of WA, had already been implemented, others could take some time carry out.

In his inaugural speech to parliament last month, Agricultural Region MLC Jim Chown said it was anticipated that once the red tape group's recommendations had been adopted, commercial enterprise would save about $1.7 billion over a 10-year period in regulatory requirements, based on the Victorian model.

This week, Mr Buswell said the extensive regional consultation carried out by the red tape group had unearthed some issues specific to particular regions, however the majority of issues raised affected businesses or industry sectors across the state.

"The consultation process was designed to reach a wide cross-section of the Western Australian community," he said.

"It is likely that the group's recommendations will contain both targeted and wider systemic reforms to reduce the regulatory burden."

HIA Western Australia lodged a submission to the red tape group with a view to reducing the complexity and divergence of planning approvals, removing the duplication and hindrances in building approval controls, and eliminating inconsistencies in fee structures across local government agencies.

HIA executive director John Dastlik said HIA was keen to remove the burden of red tape in the state's housing sector, which has had a severe impact on housing affordability in recent years.

In its submission, the Boating Industry of WA has called for: a central or online facility to register boats and trailers; that the government provide sufficient funding to upgrade its computer system to allow for the electronic generation of boating statistics; and that the Swan River Trust approvals process for the installation of boat lifts be no longer than a fortnight.

The Aquaculture Council of WA, whose membership represents more than 80 per cent of the current and future gross value of production of the state's aquaculture, has made 14 recommendations to the government.

The ACWA has called for wholesale reform of the government's funding model, for Environmental Protection Agency approvals times to be no longer than 30 days, that categories or classes of aquaculture licences be introduced, and that the government provides online application systems.

Tourism Council of WA chief executive Graham Moss said with up to $2 billion in tourism developments currently on hold or deferred because of red tape, government decision-making processes needed to be streamlined to encourage tourism developers back into the market.


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