Red Tape Policy Comparison
Growing Queensland’s economy means growing Queensland’s small businesses. Unfortunately, many businesses cannot capitalise on the vast opportunities afforded in the new global economy, or worse yet fail, due to the amount and complexity of red tape that they must frequently tackle.
All three tiers of government know that reducing red tape is essential to the growth of businesses, no matter what size. Red tape imposes costs, requiring businesses to spend vital funds on external expertise and tying up valuable time on compliance activities. It also diverts capital away from entrepreneurial efforts to grow their businesses. Yet despite the efforts over the years, regulation remains one of the largest drains on the entrepreneurial energy that is required to boost the small business economy.
This election, what have the respective parties told us they will address red tape in Queensland?
The Labor Party has not released any specific policies during the election period to address red tape in Queensland.
On the first day of the election, the Liberal National Party announced its ‘Getting Queensland Back in Business’ Plan. CCIQ welcomed commitments to cutting taxes and charges for business and the suite of small business-friendly policies contained in the plan, which included a progressive lifting of the payroll tax threshold over ten years.
Also contained in this package was a series of small business measures which largely reflect the criteria the Chamber set for the parties at the election to effectively reduce the burden of red tape. The LNP have committed to reducing red tape by 20% over 6 years by measuring the regulatory burden and establishing a baseline to map progress against each target, appoint an industry representative to drive regulatory reform, set red tape reduction performance targets for Ministers and department heads, and have an annual Red Tape Repeal Day set aside every year in Parliament for slashing bureaucracy. CCIQ commends the LNP for adopting former and current iterations of CCIQ policy regarding red tape.
One Nation: Ideas present, details lacking
In their policy handbook online, PHON states in the Red Tape section that they are keen to a) encourage new industries to set up in Queensland through reducing red and green tape and b) provide guidance to fast-track establishment of business and direct access to government agencies to assist. As we have seen with PHON throughout the election, there are some policies that contain pro-business sentiment, however, the Party lacks the policy detail to deliver any substantial reform, and coupled with protectionist and populist attitudes, won’t bring the best outcome for business in Queensland overall.
The Greens: Silent
The Greens have not released any specific policies during the election period to address red tape in Queensland.
KAP: Lacks whole of government approach
Katter’s Australian Party has committed to a new discount licensing framework for pubs in remote areas who will only have to pay 10% of the current licence fee. This is a good idea and is welcomed by the Chamber, however in terms of the whole of government approaches to red tape, KAP has not delivered on red tape policies for Queensland businesses.
In sum, it is good to see a major party and some minor parties addressing the serious issue of red tape on small business. What was surprising was that no parties have made a commitment to access the $300 million of Federal funding to reduce Red Tape. We would urge whoever forms the next Queensland government to work closely with industry to develop a proposal and secure federal funding to reduce red tape on small business.
What CCIQ asked for from the candidates: