The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA (CCI) today welcomes the State Government’s establishment of Streamline WA to work with industry to identify regulatory hotspots for review and improve how regulation is created.

Small business owners struggle with red tape created by government every day which takes them away from growing their business and creating jobs.

Cutting red tape is essential to WA business running as fast as it can. A one-stop-shop can be a friend for small business owners within Government, helping them to navigate and eliminate unnecessary red tape so they can stay focussed on creating jobs for West Australians.

Regulation is only warranted where it addresses a market failure and the benefits of regulation exceed the costs. Regulated parties are best placed to identify issues with the operation of regulation as they experience the issues at the coalface, which is why it’s so important for the Government to listen to business when it comes to red tape issues.

This means creating an attractive business environment with less red tape and making it as easy as possible for the community and business to access and engage with government.

Most areas of regulation were implemented with the intent of achieving a public interest, such as safe food and a safe workplace, which business supports. It is when regulation becomes an unnecessary and excessive burden by either the regulation itself or the way it is administered by public agencies, which does not achieve a public interest, that it must be reviewed as a priority.

The Government’s shift from burden reduction to asset management, as recommended by the Service Priority Review, backs CCI’s principle that ‘prevention is better than a cure’. Consultation with industry and thorough cost-benefit analyses will go a long way towards preventing poorly thought through regulation from being introduced in the first place.

CCI has previously called for the Government to transfer responsibility for all regulatory reform and gatekeeping matters in WA to a single, adequately resourced, independent body, such as a Red Tape Commissioner.

Depending on the final structure and remit of Streamline WA, the appointment of a WA Red Tape Commissioner, as created in Victoria, could also create a more established feedback loop from businesses, not-for-profits and the community on opportunities to cut red tape and improve regulation on an ongoing basis.

CCI looks forward to continuing to work with the Government to make it easier for businesses to invest and succeed in WA.