Objective 2.1

Continuing to advance a single domestic market for services

Action 2.1A

In progress

The Government will reduce red tape, making it easier for business to invest, create jobs and assist COVID-19 economic recovery through the Deregulation Taskforce.

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Government response
Related Action/s

Progress to date

The Deregulation Taskforce has focused on making it easier for sole-traders and micro-businesses to employ their first person, getting major projects up and running sooner and reducing the regulatory burden for food manufacturers with an initial focus on exporting.

The Deregulation Taskforce is continuing its work to reduce red tape, make it easier for business to invest and create jobs, and assist COVID-19 economy recovery. Its current priority areas are:

  • Streamlining regulation for the excise (and excise-equivalent customs duty) regime, to support new investment in our fuel security and world-leading beverage manufacturing sector;

  • Targeting unnecessarily overlapping or duplicative cross-jurisdictional regulatory burdens, working with businesses, Commonwealth agencies and the states and territories to identify and prioritise reform;

  • Modernising business communications to reduce costs incurred by businesses when legislation is not technology neutral, and to better reflect the way Australians want to engage and communicate; and

  • Improving occupational mobility to make it easier for people in licensed occupations to move where their skills are needed and enable businesses and consumers to access skilled workers more quickly.

This will also improve consistency in national business requirements.

The Taskforce will look to further opportunities to address issues raised in this Action Plan.

The Digital Business Plan announced during the 2020-21 Federal Budget, is helping businesses to use digital technologies to grow and create jobs as part of the economic recovery. The Digital Business Plan invested in digital infrastructure and skills, removed out-dated regulatory barriers, boosted small business capability, and simplified doing business with Government. Significant activity is underway to progress the Digital Business Plan across Government, with major milestones including:

  • Launch of the first round of the Australian 5G innovation initiative in February 2021 to fund small to large businesses to test and develop 5G uses, applications, services and products. This technology will drive productivity across key industry sectors like agriculture, mining, retail, health, construction and manufacturing.
  • Amendments to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 in December 2020 to promote the ongoing rollout of the Consumer Data Right.
  • Launch of the Regtech Commercialisation Initiative under the Business Research and Innovation Initiative to improve regulatory compliance, reduce regulatory administration, and directly support innovative firms.

In addition, the Digital Economy Strategy includes measures to implement smart, modern settings to drive digitalisation, including:

  • investing $15.3 million to accelerate e-Invoicing adoption across the economy
  • investing $111.3 million to accelerate the rollout of the Consumer Data Right
  • introducing a digital games offset ($18.2 million)
  • committing to deliver an Australian Data Strategy that will set out how the Government will enhance effective , safe and secure data use from 2021 to 2025
  • funding $16.5 million to enhance management of Government data assets to deliver a Digital Atlas.

In the 2020-21 Budget, the Government announced a number of regulatory reforms to ensure essential safeguards are maintained, while making it easier to do business, including:

  • investing $328.4 million to bust congestion in the regulation of farm exports, making it easier for farmers to get their goods to market and helping rural Australia recover from drought and COVID-19;
  • establishing the Excellence in Professional Regulation pilot program to build regulator capability across the Australian Government, with an initial focus on agricultural export regulators;
  • investing almost $800 million to enable businesses to take advantage of digital technologies to grow their business and create jobs; and
  • investing $28.6 million to support initiatives to modernise Australia’s trade system and streamline border services.

National Cabinet is prioritising deregulation, and has tasked the Council on Federal Financial Relations with progressing targeted Australian Government, State and Territory regulatory reform through a coordinated deregulation agenda.

In February 2022, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Institute of Public Administration Australia held the 2022 Regulatory Reform Conference. The conference outlined government and industry views on the need to reduce red tape and what regulatory reform means for business.

As part of the conference a Masterclass on Regulatory reform for Australian goods and services trade was held featuring David Hazlehurst, Deputy Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Christie Sawczuk, Deputy Head, Simplified Trade System Implementation Taskforce, Stuart Fuller, Global Head of Legal Services for KPMG and Chairman, Asia Society Australia, and moderated by Sam Reinhardt, Head of Office, Productivity Commission. This Masterclass highlighted the Services Exports Action Plan as a key government and industry partnership working to improve the competitiveness of Australian services exporters.