The first national study into the impacts of local government regulation on business by the Productivity Commission has been given the green-light, a move backed by the Federal Government.
The benchmarking study will examine the costs of business of regulation within and between local government jurisdictions.
According to Minister for Small Business and Minister Assisting on Deregulation, Senator Nick Sherry, Local Government has a direct bearing on the productivity outcomes of the nation and the study “will be valuable in identifying the impact of its regulatory activities on business.”
“Virtually all businesses deal with local government regarding their regulatory obligations in areas as diverse as food safety to development assessment. Businesses have told me they would like to see a formal examination of their relationships with local governments and this study provides a good opportunity for all parties,” he added.
As part of the study, the Productivity Commission will:
- Identify the nature and extent of local government’s regulatory responsibilities (including the extent to which local governments implement and enforce national and state/territory policies), where these responsibilities are likely to impose material costs on business, and significant variations in the distribution of these responsibilities between jurisdictions;
- Develop indicators and use them to assess whether different regulatory responsibilities, and the way these responsibilities are exercised, have a material effect on the costs of local government regulation on business; and
- Identify best practice local government regulatory approaches that have the capacity to reduce unnecessary costs incurred by business, while sustaining good regulatory outcomes.
With 560 local governments around Australia, Sherry predicts there will be a number of different regulatory approaches between them.
“By identifying best practice regulation, this study will help spread effective and innovative regulatory practices among local government and shape future reform initiatives in this area,” he added