A thriving and competitive manufacturing sector is best supported by appropriate and cost-effective regulation.
Manufacturing Australia (MA) supports government regulations where they ensure safety or set minimum industry standards, encourage continuous improvement or help stimulate demand.
Principles for Regulatory Reform
Manufacturing Australia (MA):
- Supports COAG Principles of Best Practice Regulation
- Supports open markets
- Supports regulation to ensure product safety
- Supports regulation to ensure goods meet minimum standards and are fit for intended purpose
- Supports regulation on common product assessment and test standards
- Believes that regulations should apply to importers and domestic manufacturers equally
- Supports well resourced, effective, enforcement.
MA is opposed to regulations that are applied inefficiently or inconsistently, which change frequently without appropriate consultation with industry, which contradict other regulations, or which burden businesses with “red tape” and “green tape” without returning clear benefits. These regulations disadvantage manufacturers that should be focused on seizing commercial opportunities, not on regulatory compliance.
Reducing Regulatory Burden - MA’s Recommendations
1. Improve manufacturing consultation when introducing new regulations
- Early consultation - Local manufacturers should be consulted prior to the announcement of new policy positions, or agreement to a programme by an intergovernmental committee.
- Meaningful consultation - Bureaucratic suspicion of industry’s motives is considerable. While MA acknowledges that manufacturing is driven by the need to grow profitability, it is also in our interests to have a workable and functioning market. When industry recommendations are overruled or ignored, then the onus should be on regulatory authorities to provide evidence to explain or justify the decision.
- Improved Cost Benefit Analyses (CBA) and Regulatory Impact Statements (RIS) – The manufacturing process adds value to many other industries such as supply chain partners, trades and service industries. CBAs and RISs should be broadened to consider the impact on such downstream industries.
- Introduce an “Australian Manufacturing Test”– The Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR) is currently charged with overseeing the RIS and CBA process. MA believes that a further test should to be added to the OBPR’s oversight of regulatory proposals to assess whether proposed regulation would give a competitive advantage to importers.
2. Remove or refine existing regulations
- Remove regulations that encourage or support anti-competitive behaviour
- Remove regulations that unnecessarily add to the cost of business through duplication, poor application or unintended consequences
- Improve regulations that restrict the flexibility or speed of business operations through slow approval processes, under-resourced enforcement or poor application
- Remove federal regulations that are in conflict with or add to the burden of state regulation.