​‘Not every problem can be regulated’: Billson

by 10 Jan 2014
The small business minister has promised a fresh look at a regulatory environment he says is “gumming up” the economy.

Bruce Billson spoke of an excess of regulatory layers and a government that has “overreached” in many areas of small business regulation in an interview earlier this week.

“We’ve got more than 130 national regulators. When you look at State and Territory level there is another 350 regulators at that level and then when you talk about local government there is another regulatory layer there,” he said.

“21,000 new and amended regulations were introduced by the previous Labor government over their six years, a global economic competitiveness assessment that has seen us fall great distances. We are 21 now, were 12 six years ago and going down that ladder making it harder to do business and create opportunity in our country.”

Billson promised the government would take  a “fresh look” at the current situation for small business owners.

“That doesn’t mean we get rid of all regulation, it’s about making sure it’s justified, its right sized, it’s relevant to the issues trying to be addressed,” he said.

“Units have been set up within government to work through this myriad of compliance and red tape obligations to see what's necessary, what’s overreaching, what’s excessive, what might make sense to a big business that might have 20 people in the compliance department but represents an absolute nightmare for the Mum and Dad business where the proprietors also have to be marketing director, the sales people, the pay clerk, the ones complying with all the safety regulations – this is why there is a need for a change in culture and a real fresh look at the cost and impact and missed opportunity that excessive regulation create.”