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Regulatory reform

The Australian Government's regulatory reform agenda is aimed at reducing excessive, unnecessary and overly complex regulation in order to lift productivity and boost growth.

The agenda has a number of components:

  • The government has set a $1 billion annual red tape reduction target.
  • The government has established new consultation mechanisms for advice on regulatory reform.
  • The government is improving the performance of regulators. A new Regulator Performance Framework applied from 1 July 2015.

Implementation of the agenda is being coordinated by the Regulatory Reform Division and Office of Best Practice Regulation in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, assisted by regulatory reform units in each portfolio.

Annual deregulation reports 2014

In conjunction with Autumn Repeal Day on 18 March 2015, the Australian Government and the Attorney-General’s Department published their 2014 annual deregulation reports:

The reports detail government achievements and portfolio contributions to cutting red tape and lifting productivity and growth across our economy.

Regulator Performance Framework

From 1 July 2015, certain regulators within the Attorney-General’s portfolio have been subject to the Australian Government’s new Regulator Performance Framework:

The Regulator Performance Framework sets out six outcomes-based key performance indicators that cover reducing regulatory burden, communications, risk-based and proportionate approaches, efficient and coordinated monitoring, transparency, and continuous improvement. Specific performance metrics for the framework that apply to each regulator have been developed in consultation with stakeholders.

The first annual reporting period for the framework concludes 30 June 2016, after which assessments of regulator performance against the framework will be published.

International standards and risk assessments

As part of its Industry Innovation and Competitiveness agenda and the broader deregulation agenda, the Australian Government has adopted the principle that if a system, service or product has been approved under a trusted international standard or risk assessment, Commonwealth regulators should not impose any additional requirements for approval in Australia unless it can be demonstrated that there is a good reason to do so. The objective of this principle is to reduce regulatory burden and remove barriers to trade.

To implement this principle, the department has developed the following criteria for assessing the appropriateness of adopting a particular international standard or risk assessment:

  • the existence of an international or foreign standard or risk assessment relating to a system, service or product that controls entry to or participation in a market
  • any Australia-specific conditions or circumstances that warrant distinct standards
  • the ability of Australia to influence development of the standard
  • the credibility and transparency of the international or foreign regulatory decisions
  • any regulatory impact that would result if the standard were adopted
  • stakeholder views on whether adoption of the standard would be appropriate
  • any other costs and benefits of adoption of the standard.