Australia’s food and grocery body welcomes Government’s deregulation moves

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 24th March 2014
Australia’s food and grocery body welcomes Government’s deregulation moves

The Australian food and grocery sector is supportive of the Australian Government’s actions to reduce the regulatory burden on business, according to industry body the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC).

On 18 March 2014, the Government tabled legislation called the Omnibus Repeal Day (Autumn 2014) Bill into Federal Parliament.

The Government says this will be the first of ongoing regular repeals of onerous laws that impose an unnecessary burden on business.

“The food and grocery sector, Australia’s largest manufacturing sector, is very supportive of the Government’s efforts to roll back costly unnecessary red tape,” Mr Gary Dawson, CEO of AFGC said. “We welcome the emphasis on bringing back an evidence-based approach to regulations that reflect regulatory best practice,” he said.

Mr Dawson said that the regulatory reform will “boost the competitiveness of Australian businesses including the $111 billion food and grocery manufacturing sector.”

“If we are serious about growth, we need to be serious about regulatory reform as excessive red tape has been a major barrier to business growth, investment and employment,” Mr Dawson said.

The AFGC said that a report it released in 2013, the Reforming Regulation of the Australian Food and Grocery Sector, which was commissioned from Deloitte Access Economics, concluded that the current regulation of food and grocery fell “well short of best practice” and may be “one of the poorest examples of industry regulation in Australia”.

“There is real urgency in driving regulation reform for the food and grocery manufacturing sector while maintaining Australia’s strong public health and safety standards,” Mr Dawson said.

“The litany of regulatory failures makes astounding reading where companies are being hamstrung by duplication, inefficiency, heavy handed, overly cautious and redundant regulation, which is effectively dragging down innovation, productivity and driving jobs and manufacturing offshore,” Mr Dawson said.

The AFGC said the Deloitte report quantified the economic benefit of removing $100 million of regulatory costs to be around $250 million in addition GDP and more than 200 additional jobs for the food and grocery sector.

“The Government’s approach reflects its efforts to setting effective policies that will enable industry to take advantage of the massive growth potential for the future provided we can boost competitiveness and productivity, and open up market access in the growing economies of Asia,” Mr Dawson said.