Local, Independant and Effective

How is Government tackling cross-border anamolies for business: Cathy McGowan

Posted March 18, 2016


CATHY McGOWAN (Indi) (14:21): My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, the people of Wodonga are very disappointed that you are not able to talk to them tomorrow. They have asked me to ask you on their behalf about what the government is going to do about reducing the impact of red tape, particularly as it impacts on crossborder businesses. Can you give a commitment to pay attention to making a Commonwealth action to reduce cross-border anomalies for the people and specifically the businesses of Wodonga?

Mr MORRISON (Cook—Treasurer) (14:21): I thank the member for the question. I was very much looking forward to being in Wodonga tomorrow but, as the member would know, members will need to be here in the parliament. If the offer is there, I would be happy to get to Wodonga and be able to join my good friend Sophie Mirabella, who is running again in the seat of Indi to provide an opportunity for those who are in Indi to see a good government member returned to the government ranks and to ensure that those voices are heard. I really want to commend former member for Indi Sophie Mirabella on the great work she is doing in her campaign— listening to the people out there in Indi. She has put together a very extensive range of events to go and listen
to those constituents.

But the issue that the member has raised relates to regulation reduction. I hope the member would acknowledge that one of the things that has happened on this side of the House over the last 2½ years has been the significant reduction in red-tape burden on business, particularly small business, in this country—to the tune of billions and billions and billions. But the thing is, what we know about red-tape reduction and reducing regulation is you know that every piece of regulation has to be fit for purpose and it has to do its job. That is why this government has had a completely open door for recommendations to come forward as to how that regulation burden can be reduced. 

Ms McGowan: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order of relevance. The question went to cross-border anomalies.

The SPEAKER: The Treasurer has the call. The Treasurer is—

Mr MORRISON: I was addressing the issue of regulation. Some $4.5 billion in compliance and other regulatory costs have been removed by this government. Some 10,000 pages of regulation have been cleared away to ensure that businesses across the country can get on with their jobs. Regarding an issue of cross-border regulation, and particularly where those issues might deal with state and territory jurisdictions, they are things that are properly addressed through the COAG process, which the Prime Minister has been a strong leader on in terms of getting those sorts of economic reform agendas on the COAG agenda. We are very open to the proposals when it comes to reducing regulation in this country. We have $4½ billion worth of regulatory savings that back our record up on that and more than 10,000 pages of regulations that have been removed to support that position.
I am sorry that, at this stage, I will not be able to be in Wodonga tomorrow. I would love to be there with Sophie Mirabella, who would make an outstanding return to the House as the member for Indi. 

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