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Illawarra businesses buried under mountain of red tape

Release Date: 24/04/2014
Federal, state and local regulations cost NSW businesses a massive $8.4 billion in compliance every year, according to the latest NSW Business Chamber Red Tape Survey.
“Over 50% of businesses feel they are overregulated. This is a major issue for business and an unnecessary hurdle to employing more staff,” said Debra Murphy, CEO of the Illawarra Business Chamber.
The most time consuming and costly compliance tasks identified are understanding and implementing rules, keeping records and filing in forms. The most complex regulators identified are Local Council, and those that regulate planning and employment.
“The Federal Government’s commitment to red tape repeal days and a $1 billion yearly target of cutting red tape are positive steps but the devil is in the detail, and it all depends on the actual regulations that are eliminated.
“Given businesses are reporting high levels of red tape at each of the three levels of government, we need a concerted effort at local, state and federal levels to reduce the collective red tape burden.
“Red tape is essentially an artificial barrier we choose to put on our enterprises. For every dollar that is wasted on filling out forms and keeping the government in the loop on what’s happening in every workplace, is money taken away from growing a business and paying salaries,” concluded Ms Murphy.

Highlights of the Red Tape Survey

• Red tape costs NSW businesses more than $8.4 billion and 220 million hours;
• Red tape costs rise depending on size of business:
    - non-employing business $3,000;
    - business employing 1 – 4 people $9,000;
    - business with less than 20 staff $18,000
    - business with up to 200 staff $61,000
    - business with over 200 staff $386,0000
•  51% of businesses believe they are overregulated and the overall impact of regulation is negative;
•  Most common concern is that rules are overly complex and poorly explained;
•  The most costly tasks are understanding and implementing the rules, keeping records, and filling in forms;
•  The most complex areas are WHS, employment law and planning;
•  The most complex regulators are planning, employment and local government.

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