Yet another study has shown that red tape is a key challenge facing Australian businesses. The University of Melbourne’s Study of Australian Leadership report, released in May 2016, has cited senior business figures naming excessive regulation as a key issue; stating that it inhibits the ability of business to adapt to changing economic conditions, and damages international competitiveness by driving up costs.
For example, one figure told the study:
“The most critical challenge we will face in the next five years are probably navigating government policy changes and regulatory changes.”
Others quoted in the report said that:
“The biggest hurdle that the business faces is the amount of time spent fulfilling statutory obligations versus business operations”
“… my job’s basically gone from running a business to being a pseudo solicitor. I spend most of my time reading about changes to our regulations than I do running the business.”
“Government regulations, state and local government – too much regulation and it is confusing…. [It] also makes one nervous going ahead as we don’t know how the regulations will be changed or interpreted.”
Industry specific regulation was identified as a major source of regulatory complication; with liquor licensing laws in the Accommodation and Food Services industry named as an example.
The report also listed Australia as ranking 17th on the Global Innovation Index, although Australia also ranked a disappointing 72nd on the Innovation Efficiency Ratio.
 http://sal.workplaceleadership.com.au/sites/default/files/inline-files/SAL-Report.pdf p. 49
 http://sal.workplaceleadership.com.au/sites/default/files/inline-files/SAL-Report.pdf p. 74
By Michael Husek