The draft report of the Productivity Commission into performance benchmarking of local government’s regulatory activities has highlighted opportunities for improvement by both councils and state governments.
The draft report which was the focus of a roundtable on Tuesday 24 April, was commissioned by the Federal Government as part of a focus by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) on identifying unnecessary compliance costs, reducing duplication and enhancing consistency across jurisdictions.
The draft report noted in particular that a significant proportion of local government’s regulatory responsibilities relates to implementing and enforcing state laws rather than local laws. The Commission concluded that more needs to be done by state governments to support councils and ensure they have the necessary resources and capacities to carry out these regulatory functions. The Commission also identified some leading practices where particular councils or jurisdictions were undertaking regulation more effectively.
The roundtable, attended by ALGA, state local government associations and business representatives also focused on the issues facing small businesses when dealing with council regulation. The Productivity Commission is seeking comments on the draft report by 25 May 2012 and will present its final report to Government by the end of July 2012. The draft report can be found here.