A new book by RMIT scholars Dr Darcy Allen and Dr Christopher Berg, ‘Australia’s Red Tape Crisis’ brings together contributions from economists, philosophers, politicians and legal experts to explore the economics, politics and culture of over-regulation, and defines a path for overcoming Australia’s red tape crisis.

The book is being launched by the Institute of Public Affairs in Canberra today and is published by Connor Court Publishing.

“Over-regulation is one of the most pervasive challenges facing the Australian economy,” said Dr Darcy Allen, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at RMIT University and an Adjunct Fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs.

“Unnecessary regulation prevents our economy from evolving and entrepreneurs from creating new valuable businesses.

“Every elected Australian government over the past two decades has declared they would cut back on unnecessary regulation and red tape.

“This book is the first academic analysis of why Australian red tape continues to grow, the impact this has on our society and economy, and outlines a path to solve the problem,” said Dr Allen.

IPA research has found that red tape costs the Australian economy $176 billion a year in lost economic output.

Senior Research Fellow at RMIT University, Dr Chris Berg said, “Governments should desperately be seeking new ways to cut red tape without simply relying on political will.”

“The government should take a stocktake of existing ‘restrictiveness clauses’ across all legislation and regulation—words such as ‘cannot’, ‘must’ and ‘shall’. This new measure was successfully applied in British Columbia and enables a more nuanced approach than page counts or dollar estimates.”

“After taking a new baseline of red tape, governments should create new policies such as one-in-two-out restrictiveness clauses. This will help to not only cut back existing regulation, but also prevent red tape from accumulating.”

“We might also find hope for red tape reduction through new technologies. The application of new technologies, such as blockchain, to overcome the costs of compliance, known as RegTech, may help to decrease the red tape burden,” said Dr Berg.

The Book ‘Australia’s Red Tape Crisis’ can be purchased here

For media and comment: Chris Berg 0402 257 681

For media coordination: Evan Mulholland, Media and Communications Manager, on 0405 140 780, or at [email protected]