Nightmares over red tape
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.cairnschamber.com.au