CCIWA has welcomed the State Government’s decision to issue the Economic Regulation Authority with terms of reference for an inquiry into reform of business licencing in WA.

Last week Treasurer Ben Wyatt announced the terms of reference, saying he would identify priority areas of reform for business licences in WA and develop a framework to help assess whether existing licence conditions were appropriate.

The ERA has until February 22, 2019, to complete the inquiry, including consultation.

CCI Chief Economist Rick Newnham says CCI has long called for WA businesses regulatory burden to be reduced.

“WA needs to be the place where businesses 'want' to be located – so this means creating an attractive business environment with less red tape,” he says.

“CCI’s view is that regulation is only warranted where it addresses a market failure and the benefits of regulation exceed the costs.

“If we want to create jobs and have higher wages in WA, we have to be a globally competitive environment to invest. This means less regulation.

“As the WA economy transitions towards a service-driven economy, a modern framework for licensing will help boost productivity and increase consumer choice.

“The digital age will bring rapid change to the WA economy which means a modern, adaptable framework for licensing will be required to provide agile regulatory change.” 

CCI has previously called for the Government to transfer responsibility for all regulatory reform and gatekeeping matters in WA to a single, adequately resourced, independent body.

“The ERA is well placed to act in this capacity with a single Minister made responsible and accountable for red tape reduction,” Newnham says.

“It is also imperative that the Government starts to implement the principle that ‘prevention is better than a cure’ – consultation with industry and thorough cost-benefit analyses will go a long way towards preventing bad regulation from being introduced in the first place.

“CCI has been encouraged by efforts by both the Commonwealth and WA State Governments to reduce the regulatory burden faced by business. This is vital to improving the vibrancy and liveability of our cities and towns.

“CCI strongly backs the State Government implementing this review and looks forward to working with the ERA during the consultation period.”

►As WA’s peak business advocate, CCI works to elevate the concerns of WA industry to key nationwide decision-makers. Find out more about our advocacy efforts here.