Ten red rape initiatives for the next Australian government (Research Report)

This report was originally published with Mikayla Novak for the Institute of Public Affairs (Download the PDF).


The Australian economy is shackled by red tape. Poorly designed and low quality red tape stifles growth, suppresses entrepreneurship and hinders our international competitiveness. Cutting red tape at all levels of government is now our only solution. However, both sides of federal politics are yet to make a clear comprehensive commitment to cut red tape.

In this short paper we propose ten red tape initiatives for the next Australian government. Committing to and implementing these initiatives represent the core of an economic agenda. Recent Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) research estimated that red tape costs Australia $176 billion every year in foregone economic output.

Understanding that the only way to unleash this prosperity is by cutting red tape, the IPA urges the next Australian government to:

  1. Dedicate one full week of parliamentary sitting days to repealing red tape.
  2. Benchmark red tape reduction on the number of ‘regulatory obligations’ rather than arbitrary cost measures.
  3. Commit to a ‘1-in-5-out’ regulatory obligations requirement.
  4. Estimate of the costs of public administration of red tape and the costs imposed on governments themselves.
  5. Develop a more open regulatory costing process.
  6. Commit to a Productivity Commission independent assessment into red tape progress across all Australian jurisdictions.
  7. Introduce red tape ‘open days’ to facilitate engagement between business and government.
  8. Utilise COAG to seek mutual recognition of requirements between jurisdictions.
  9. Commit to implementing the remaining recommendations of the Belcher review relating to whole-of government red tape.
  10. Assign a clearly responsible and accountable Ministerial position for overseeing the above red tape reduction initiatives, with the potential for performance-based remuneration.

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