“Australian agriculture is worth over $50 billion each year to this country, but it is shackled by unnecessary and burdensome red tape,” said IPA research fellow Darcy Allen.

These comments come after the release today of the Productivity Commission Draft Report into the Regulation of Agriculture.

“Around two thirds of agricultural production is exported each year. That means our domestic producers are highly sensitive to the costs of government red tape,” said Mr Allen.

“To maintain international competitiveness, and the future growth of agriculture, we must cut red tape and enable our producers to compete,” said Mr Allen.

“It is fantastic to see the Productivity Commission acknowledging red tape that the IPA has identified,” said Mr Allen.

“Governments should relax native vegetation legislation, encourage access and adoption of new productivity-enhancing technologies, streamline complex transport licenses, and open up Australia to foreign investment,” said Mr Allen.

“Governments must understand that farmers are the best custodians of their own land,” said Mr Allen.

The Institute of Public Affairs welcomes and encourages the following recommendations:

● Development of market-based approaches to native vegetation legislation (Draft Recommendation 3.2), understanding that similar environmental outcomes could be achieved with less red tape.
● Review duplicative and complex cross-jurisdictional transport legislation (Draft Recommendation 8.4, 8.5).
● Increasing the threshold of the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) to $252 million (Draft Recommendation 12.1).

The Institute of Public Affairs recently estimated the cost of red tape to the Australian economy at $176 billion in foregone economic output each year.

Recent Institute of Public Affairs research found 497 Commonwealth bodies involved in policy design and enforcement.