Treasurer’s response to Taskforce on Reducing Regulatory Burden

The Treasurer has announced the Australian Government’s final response (pdf) to the Banks Taskforce report
Rethinking Regulation: Report of the Taskforce on Reducing Regulatory
Burdens on Business
, addressing all 178 recommendations of its recommendations. The Government has agreed in full or in part to 158 of the recommendations.

In its final response, the Government commits to address the
regulatory burden across a wide range of sectors and business
activities including:

  • Health and Health-related Regulation
  • General medical practice
  • Private health insurance (PHI)
  • Pharmacy
  • Therapeutic products and medical devices
  • Aged care
  • Labour Market Regulation
  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Skills mobility and Licensing
  • Business Migration
  • Education
  • Childcare
  • Employment Reporting
  • Consumer-related Regulation
  • Consumer Protection
  • Privacy and Surveillance
  • Food Regulation
  • Chemicals and plastics
  • Legal administration
  • Environmental and building regulations
  • Cooperation and coordination between financial service regulators
  • Tax Regulation
  • Fringe benefits tax
  • Goods and services tax
  • Income tax
  • Harmonising tax definitions
  • Superannuation Regulation
  • Trade-related regulation

Action in specific areas includes: 

  • tougher rules for making new regulation, including cost benefit analysis;
  • screening of all regulation at least every five years;
  • work to harmonise State and Territory conveyancing laws;
  • work towards a single regulator for mine safety;
  • an FBT reporting exclusion for pooled motor vehicles;
  • improved education and advice for occupational health and safety;
  • a review of the thresholds for the definition of a large proprietary company;
  • a simplified accounting method to be developed for small restaurants, cafes and caterers;
  • commencement of work on the national streamlining of business names through the ABN/ABR system;
  • alignment between definitions of small business, employer and associate; and
  • aligning training and licensing and mutual recognition of occupational licensing.

response to the report’s recommendations includes measures already announced in the Government’s interim response to the report in April 2006, including:

  • an increase in the minor fringe benefits exemption threshold from $100 to $300, effective from 1 April 2007;
  • an increase in the fringe benefits reporting exclusion threshold from $1000 to $2000, effective from 1 April 2007;
  • a halving of the incorporation fee from $800 to $400, at an estimated
    cost of $216.4 million over the budget forward estimates period with
    effect from 1 July 2006; and
  • allowing companies to make annual reports available on the Internet and to send hard copies on request.
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