Prime Minister Tony Abbott comes good on red tape cuts

The Coalition government has announced plans to repeal over 10,000 pieces of legislation and regulations  in a bid to cut over $700 million worth of red tape from across the economy.

Dubbed “Red Tape Day”, today marks the day the Abbott government took the first steps to repeal 10,000 ''redundant'' regulations and laws.

The first repeal day will be in the House of Representatives on Wednesday 26 March.

Introducing the plan in parliament this morning, Abbott said his government's mission was "not bigger government; it's bigger citizens with more opportunities".

“More than 50,000 pages will disappear from the statute books. Removing just these will save individuals and organisations more than $700 million a year, every year,’’ he told Parliament.

He said next Wednesday’s repeal day would be the first of many, with two scheduled each year designed to save $1 billion in red tape annually.

For mining companies this will mean no more carbon tax and no more mining tax – bug bears of the industry since their introduction in 2011.

The government has already announced one-stop shops for environmental approvals to avoid overlap between state and federal regimes which is set to save mining companies time and money.

Now one-stop shops will be extended to offshore petroleum activities in commonwealth waters, with the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Auth­ority being empowered to make determinations required under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act without the need to get approval from a second, separate commonwealth regulator.

David Byers, chief executive of the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, says this move is essential should Australia be able to “win extra market share” beyond the $200bn already invested in local projects.

Apart from this, the other red tape cuts have been kept under wraps and will be announced as they are introduced to parliament.

But with over regulation, rising costs and what many call an out dated IR system still thorns in the industry’s side, there are expected to be many more sweeteners in store for the mining sector.

It seems after many years of bearing a lion’s share of the burden of over regulation, the sector will now receive the much needed confidence boost it has been waiting for.

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