Night­mares over red tape

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

RED TAPE is the num­ber one rea­son re­gional busi­nesses are strug­gling to fight back as the global fi­nan­cial cri­sis con­tin­ues to bite.

The lat­est re­port card from the Cairns Busi­ness Lead­ers Al­liance (CBLA) shows all lev­els of govern­ment have failed dis­mally to cut through red tape.

The CBLA is an ac­tion-fo­cused part­ner­ship be­tween the Cairns Cham­ber of Com­merce and the lo­cal branches of the Ur­ban De­vel­op­ment In­sti­tute of Aus­tralia (UDIA) and the Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try QLD.

Al­liance mem­bers were re­cently asked for their views on three red tape top­ics, namely how gov­ern­ments at­tacked red tape “over­all’’, as well as the spe­cific hot-spot tar­gets of “leg­is­la­tion’’ and im­ped­i­ments fac­ing the “con­struc­tion and de­vel­op­ment” sec­tors.

“Rais­ing in­vest­ment cap­i­tal is ob­vi­ously a huge is­sue for busi­ness at the mo­ment,” UDIA branch pres­i­dent Ger­ard Ober­sky said.

“But there’s not much point snar­ing the fund­ing only to find the cost im­post of red tape whit­tles away the cash avail­able. Gov­ern­ments need to be a lot smarter about that.

“Gov­ern­ments tend to be their own worst en­e­mies when it comes to ra­tio­nal busi­ness stim­u­la­tion. They all say they want busi­ness to thrive and then put speed bumps in the way that stop that from hap­pen­ing.”

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port card, no level of Govern­ment or Op­po­si­tion can hold its head up high when it comes to red tape re­duc­tion.

The Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil re­ceived two “Cs” and a “D” for its red tape per­for­mance.

The State Govern­ment re­ceived a big fat “F” scor­ing across the board, for fail­ing to con­tain the over­whelm­ing load of 80,000 leg­isla­tive pages of red tape re­lat­ing to busi­ness com­pli­ance and con­duct in Queens­land - higher than any other State or Ter­ri­tory.

“There may be pock­ets of breath­ing space, but cer­tainly nowhere near enough to get the eco­nomic oxy­gen pump­ing in our re­gion,” Cairns Cham­ber pres­i­dent An­thony Mirot­sos said.

“There’s no doubt Queens­land re­mains the red tape state, and there’s noth­ing smart about that.”

The Fed­eral Govern­ment and the Op­po­si­tion also scored “Cs” and “Ds” for ac­knowl­edg­ing the need for red tape re­duc­tion but do­ing lit­tle to en­cour­age busi­ness growth.

The full busi­ness score card is on line at www.cairn­scham­

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