Prime Minister Tony Abbott has lit his first “bonfire” of outdated laws and regulations, saying their repeal will save Australians more than $700 million a year.
The government is introducing a slew of deregulation bills into parliament on Wednesday and wants them passed as part of a “repeal day” next week.
Mr Abbott said more than 9500 unnecessary or counterproductive regulations and 1000 redundant acts of parliament would be scrapped under the changes.
“More than 50,000 pages will disappear from the statute books,” he told the lower house.
“Removing just these will save individuals and organisations more than $700 million a year, every year.”
The first repeal day will abolish the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission and the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor, and Mr Abbott says it will be the first of many.
“Under this government, there will be at least two a year – because we will make people’s lives easier, not harder,” he said.
Rattling off a list of changes, Mr Abbott said films would only need to be classified once.
“Not again and again when they are reissued in DVD, Blu-Ray and 3D,” he said.
National businesses would also be able to operate under the federal Comcare workers compensation scheme, rather than having to operate in up to eight state systems.
Redundant acts such as the 1970s conversion from imperial to metric, and those governing state naval divisions, would also be abolished.
The repeal would also help small businesses “virtually suffocating in red tape”.
“Like a fence at the top of a cliff, sometimes regulation is necessary but there’s a limit to what government should do to protect us from ourselves,” Mr Abbott said.
“More regulation is not the solution to every corporate, community or personal failing.”
In total, the government wants to cut red tape costs by $1 billion this year and this first round will put the government about three quarters of the way to its target.
“We’re working for you today by creating the biggest bonfire of regulations in our country’s history,” Mr Abbott said.
The first of the deregulation bills, the Omnibus Repeal Day (Autumn 2014) Bill 2014, was introduced to parliament by parliamentary secretary to the prime minister Josh Frydenberg.
He Frydenberg said the bill’s introduction marked a historic moment for parliament, ahead of next Wednesday’s repeal day.
He said the government’s regulation agenda was urgent.
“If Australia does not act now to tackle this avalanche of red and green tape, we will be unnecessarily raising the risk on Australia’s $400 billion-plus investment pipeline and endangering tens of thousands of potentially new jobs.”