Australia Cuts $1 Billion Worth of Red Tape by Getting Rid of 10,000 Redundant Laws

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By Vittorio Hernandez | March 19, 2014 9:36 AM EST

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott will announced on Wednesday that the federal government would remove $1-billion worth of red tape in 2014 by changing 10,000 redundant laws.

On Tuesday, he told Parliament, quoted by Yahoo News, "This is essential if we are to get our competitiveness and our productivity up ... It will be the biggest bonfire of regulations in our history."

Since the Abbott administration came to power, it claims to have found $350 million potential savings by removing the administration cost of the carbon and mining taxes - which were the election promises of Mr Abbott when he was still Opposition leader - and easing checks on financial advisers.

The government would also place the administration of the parental leave payments to Centrelink, which would save business and charities $48 million annually, while using a simplified government tendering process and electronic payment system could save government another $38 million.

It also plans to open a one-stop shop for environmental approval of major projects that could save also $120 million a year.

The Coalition will introduce legislation on Wednesday, expecting the lower house would approve it next week. However, the Labor and Green parties warn that the planned amendments to the law could have a negative impact on Australian families, business and the environment.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten pointed out that changes to accountability in financial planning system could expose industry to another crisis, while Greens leader Christine Milne called the planned repeal of so many laws in just one day as farcical. She vowed the Greens would examine closely planned amendments, particularly those related to the environment and women in workplace.

The likely scrapping of mandatory reporting of gender composition for businesses with more than 100 workers is being anticipated and opposed by feminists.

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