Vic government begins regulatory reform roundtables

By Shannon Jenkins

Wednesday April 14, 2021

The swastika ban is the first law of its kind to be proposed in an Australian state or territory. (Stephane Debove/Adobe)

The Victorian government has begun meeting with industry leaders as part of the state’s regulatory reform agenda, announced in the budget last year.

This week regulatory reform minister Danny Pearson met with the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Australian Industry Group, Victoria Tourism Industry Council and Australian Hotels Association, in the first of a series of roundtable meetings.

The government is discussing regulatory reform with industry to support businesses and create jobs, according to Pearson.

“We want to hear from industry players about what they need to thrive, and today’s roundtable is yet another step forward in making it easier for businesses to interact with government,” he said on Tuesday.

The regulatory reform agenda aims to support the state’s economic recovery from COVID-19.

The state government is investing $74.8 million over the next four years to improve Victoria’s regulatory system, including through the establishment of a Fast Track Review Unit. The unit will review regulatory issues impacting businesses to help regulators and local councils streamline and improve their processes, the government said.

READ MORE: Regulatory stewards: PM&C wants to reform regulator culture

The investment also includes a $40 million Regulation Reform Initiative Fund. Pearson told budget estimates last year that the fund would support government departments and local governments to implement priority reform initiatives.

The first round of projects from the fund includes the reviewing and simplifying of Victoria’s Food Safety Program, which the state government said could save food businesses more than $10 million in administration costs.

Other projects include changes to heavy vehicle permits, the construction of windfarms, and improved freight movement, the government said.

Meanwhile, online registration systems are being created for driving instructors, taxi and rideshare companies, and wildlife licences, to replace current paper-based systems.

Pearson said the reform initiatives would support the state’s economic recovery by reducing the costs and barriers of doing business.

“Regulatory reform has a significant role to play as we work to rebuild businesses that have been hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic,” he said.

READ MORE: Productivity Commission explains how government can utilise regtech


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