Government signals “red-tape cutting shake up”, ECEC in line for changes

Government signals “red-tape cutting shake up”, ECEC in line for changes

by Freya Lucas

October 02, 2020

A new body in the Prime Minister’s department will be charged with “shaking up” the “red-tape” culture of industries and sectors, including early childhood education and care (ECEC), which are perceived by some to be burdened with “high levels of regulation” meaning they are less responsive to business needs, which could in turn make it harder for the Australian economy to recover from the COVID-19 recession.

 

Reporting for the Australian Financial Review (AFR) John Kehoe said the push for deregulation is part of a new package to be announced later today, seeking to cut red tape, simplify paperwork for childcare providers, amongst a raft of other changes for the pharmaceutical and agricultural sectors, and businesses both small and large. 

 

The changes, Mr Kehoe said, are as a result of the pivot made by Government to accommodate the needs of businesses during COVID-19, allowing for changes to policy and practice which would normally take many years to push through. Consequently, he said, the Government is focussing on ensuring existing regulations are “fit for purpose” and not overly restrictive.

 

Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Ben Morton, will address Parliament later today, announcing the establishment of a new regulator performance role inside the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, which will “urge bureaucrats to hop on the “deregulation bus” Mr Kehoe reported. 

 

Mr Morton’s speech will outline the “lessons learned” approach from COVID-19, during which regulators were able to be “pragmatic in delivering solutions, while retaining important safeguards.”

 

It is hoped that the Deregulation Task Force will put regulators on notice about the need to increase accountability, promote best practice, build professionalism of regulators and drive cultural change.

 

Ultimate outcomes of the taskforce will be to remove regulation, streamline regulatory processes across jurisdictions, cut red tape duplication and harmonise rules, Mr Kehoe shared

 

Changes to ECEC provider approval signalled

 

From July 2023, Mr Kehoe wrote, new ECEC service applicants will only have to lodge one application that is separately assessed against the requirements of the federal government and state regulatory authority approvals, saving the sector an estimated $62 million a year.

 

The Sector will provide updates as they come to hand following Mr Morton’s speech. 

 

To access the original coverage of this story, as produced by John Kehoe for the AFR, please see here

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