New research shows that rising red tape costs and regulatory governance problems pose a threat to the competitiveness of Australian business, according to free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs.

It has been ten years since the Howard Government’s landmark 2006 Taskforce on Reducing Regulatory Burdens on Business Inquiry. In the years since Governments have claimed to have reduced the regulatory burden on Australians by cutting red tape.

New IPA research shows that despite this effort, on a number of international measures Australia’s red tape performance has slipped since the Howard Government’s report.

“It is clear that red tape reduction initiatives over the past decade have not consistently improved international investor sentiment.  Australia’s regulatory burden continues to make it an unattractive place to do business.,” says Institute of Public Affairs Senior Fellow, Dr Mikayla Novak.

“The latest World Economic Reform competitiveness reports ranks us a lowly 80 out of 140 countries on its regulatory burden measure,” said Dr Novak.

“The latest OECD information  also shows that Australia imposes too many regulatory barriers to entrepreneurship, and excessively restricts foreign investment.”

Recent IPA research revealed that red tape costs the Australian economy $176 billion each year in foregone economic output.

“Federal, state and local governments have fundamentally failed on the need to cut red tape and make regulation better.

“Governments need to redouble their efforts in order to make Australia a more attractive place to grow and create jobs,” said Dr Novak.

Copies of the IPA report, International Comparisons of Australia’s Regulatory Environment, are available here.