Fair Trading Reforms To Cut Red Tape For Small Business

Fair Trading Minister Matthew Mason-Cox today introduced legislation to cut red tape and make it easier for licensed tradespersons to do business across State borders.

The Mutual Recognition (Automatic Licensed Occupations Recognition) Bill 2014 will enable certain licensed occupations such as electricians to carry out their trade in NSW on the basis of the licence they hold in their home State.

Under the proposals, specified licences issued in another State or Territory will be deemed the same as an equivalent local licence which is issued in NSW, provided that the holder of the recognised licence has their principal place of residence in that other jurisdiction.

Mr Mason-Cox said the Bill proposes a low cost model for labour mobility which will make it easier to do business in NSW and drive economic growth in regional border communities.

“Business drives the economy and by removing unnecessary business regulation and costs we can boost our economy, drive down costs for consumers, support job creation and lift productivity,” Mr Mason-Cox said.

“Automatic Mutual Recognition supports our tradespeople and small businesses living in border communities. It places consumer protection and business needs at the forefront, ensuring that only appropriately qualified people perform work while removing the need to hold two licences to do the same work”.

The Bill, introduced today, also includes a number of Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) recommendations to reduce red tape for tradespeople and the business community.

“The Liberal-Nationals Government is fast-tracking key IPART recommendations to deliver reforms for small business and meet our target for reducing red tape by 20 per cent by June 2015,” Mr Mason-Cox said.

IPART’s Draft Report: Reforming licensing in NSW recommends reforms including the abolition of licences for travel agents and air-conditioning and refrigeration work. The report also recommends the removal of continuing professional development requirements for home building licence and certificate holders.

“The Travel Agents Repeal Bill passed through NSW Parliament earlier this month and will provide significant savings to industry participants as e-commerce has transformed travel purchases rendering industry regulation redundant”, Mr Mason-Cox said.

“The removal of duplicative licensing requirements for refrigeration and air-conditioning work in NSW in favour of the Commonwealth licence is expected to generate a net benefit of $16.5 million for industry and save NSW tradespeople up to $860 on licence fees”.

Another key red tape saving for business being proposed includes removal of mandatory continuing professional development requirements for home building licence and certificate holders.

“According to IPART’s review, savings of about $8 million can be achieved through the removal of continuing professional development requirements for home building licence and certificate holders, saving every builder between $100 and $500 annually.

“The reforms will benefit small business and the wider community by eliminating unnecessary regulatory burdens”, Mr Mason-Cox said.

The red tape reduction savings resulting from increased labour mobility and key IPART recommendations will come into effect in NSW by the end of 2014 following today’s introduction of legislation to implement these reforms.

The IPART report was released on May 22 and is available at IPART’s website www.ipart.nsw.gov.au