Abbott-led Coalition will back national laws

Federal Opposition supports national reforms to end cross-border inconsistencies, according to its Rebuilding Sustainable Prosperity blueprint

By Brad Gardner | May 20, 2010

The federal Coalition will support national regulatory reforms as part of efforts to improve business productivity.

In its Rebuilding Sustainable Prosperity blueprint released yesterday, the Coalition cites the abolishment of cross-border inconsistencies as a key plank of its agenda.

Work is currently under way through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) to establish national transport regulators in the road, rail and maritime sectors to supersede state-based laws.

"The Coalition fully supports the need to reduce the inefficiencies and drag on private enterprise and growth from differences in state and territory regulations," the blueprint says.

"Current differences in business regulation between states…impose a significant compliance burden and costs on businesses as well as significant losses in efficiency."

The report does not specifically mention the transport regulators, but says the Coalition’s objective will be the creation of a single harmonised national market.

The office of opposition spokesman on transport Warren Truss says the Coalition has always supported national transport regulators.

"We're supportive of what all levels of government are doing, provided there is an outcome that makes things easier," a spokesman for Truss says.

The blueprint also made reference to transport infrastructure, saying investment in roads, rail and ports must be efficient and cost effective.

"Government investment in infrastructure should be subject to publicly released cost-benefit analysis," the document reads.

Although the blueprint did not specify how, it says the Coalition will help regional businesses by improving the efficiency and lowering the cost of transport infrastructure.

It says the Coalition will create transport corridors aimed at stimulating growth over a broad area.

The Rebuilding Sustainable Prosperity document was released yesterday to set out the Coalition’s beliefs.

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