The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has identified around $300 million worth potential savings for business and the community by reducing red tape.
IPART Chairman Dr Peter Boxall said the potential savings have been identified in the draft reports on IPART’s reviews of Reforming Licensing in NSW and Local Government Compliance and Enforcement. Consultation on both reports will begin immediately with submissions due by 4 July 2014.
Dr Boxall explains that inefficiencies, inconsistencies and duplication in both the design and administration of licences required by the State Government and local government compliance and enforcement activities are costing NSW residents and businesses hundreds of millions of dollars each year.
IPART is recommending major changes to some of the 776 different types of NSW Government licences and broad changes to reduce regulatory and enforcement costs across the 121 regulatory functions and 309 separate regulatory roles created under the 67 State Acts that councils enforce across NSW.
Dr Boxall said the NSW Government has already adopted IPART’s recommendations to introduce 10-year drivers’ licences and increase validity of a light vehicle safety inspection report from 6 weeks to 6 months, so motorists can have the inspection done when their vehicles are serviced.
According to Dr Boxall, if all of the recommendations contained in the draft reports are adopted, they would deliver 40% of the NSW Government’s target to reduce red tape costs by $750 million by June 2015, with the benefits shared by business, the community and government.
The net combined benefits of these draft proposals would be between $329 million and $350 million to NSW each year, with red tape savings to business and the community of between $295 million and $308 million, local council savings of more than $42 million and savings to the NSW Government of about $1 million per year.
IPART’s Draft Report on Reforming Licensing in NSW recommends reforms of priority licences among the 269 licence types identified as significant.
IPART has developed a ‘Top 32’ licence reform priority list that includes other transport related licences, occupational licences, retail electricity and gas supplier licences and environment protection licences.
IPART has also developed a licensing framework and guide to assist regulators in ensuring existing or new licensing schemes are justified and well designed.
The Draft Report on Local Government Compliance and Enforcement identifies ways to cut existing red tape by $178 million per year and prevent the imposition of $48 million in new red tape costs per year in NSW. Key red tape savings that could be achieved include: $59 million per year by improving access to local roads for heavy vehicles; $36 million per year by limiting building and construction conditions to what is required under the Building Code of Australia; and $19 million per year through a new partnership between the Department of Planning and Environment and local government to reduce planning costs.
The draft recommendations are intended to complement the work of the NSW Planning System Review, the Independent Local Government Review Panel and the Local Government Acts Taskforce review, and IPART is recommending that local government be consulted when new regulations are being developed.
IPART is seeking stakeholder feedback on the recommendations in the Draft Report on Reforming Licensing in NSW and any other licences, which have potential for reform.
Feedback is also being sought on the draft recommendations for the Local Government Compliance and Enforcement Review, before the final recommendations are presented to the NSW Government for consideration in September 2014.