• Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC)
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From the Red Tape Commissioner

29 /02/ 2016 Comments are Closed

It was great to attend the VTIC Visitor Economy Forum on 5 February at the invitation of Erin Joyce, your acting Chief Executive. As Erin said on the day, the Red Tape Commissioner is back. I’m keen to hear about business red tape issues, and I am working with a number of VTIC members to cut red tape and improve regulation.

Businesses and the economy cannot operate without a robust and effective body of regulations that efficiently protect the public interest. Most regulation has this intention, however regulations accumulate over time.  Sometimes the costs to businesses of various regulations were not properly considered in the first place; sometimes regulation was not the best way to protect the public interest.  And, as times and technology change, the need for some regulation also changes, leaving obsolete red tape.

So it is very important to watch for and fix regulatory issues and cut red tape.  Unnecessary regulation, wasteful processes and excessive reporting waste time, energy and resources that could be better spent on delighting visitors, starting and growing businesses and creating jobs.  These restrictions and requirements include:

  • outdated prohibitions on the activities of businesses
  • prohibitions rather than conditional permissions
  • excessive and duplicated reporting requirements
  • approval processes that are complex and excessively long, and often end up in VCAT.

As many VTIC members know, such red tape costs are much bigger – relatively speaking – for small businesses than for large ones.

Tourism relies on thousands of (mostly small) businesses that as a whole cover a wide range of industries and sectors – from hospitality to services to attractions and much more.   Because of this scope, the regulation applying to tourism are many and varied.  I saw this firsthand a few years ago as a Commissioner in the VCEC inquiry into Victoria’s tourism industry.

The high priority the Victorian Government has given to developing the Visitor Economy for growth and jobs is an opportunity to boost cutting red tape.

My job is to liaise with businesses and business organisations on red tape issues, to raise those matters with government agencies and regulators, and to be a catalyst for faster action to fix the problems.  My focus is on: opportunities to make cuts in red tape that will contribute to the Government’s red tape reduction target; opportunities to improve regulators’ dealing with business including compliance and enforcement; opportunities to reduce regulatory overlap and duplicated reporting requirements; and opportunities to improve how regulators administer the regulations for which they are responsible.

I am already working with a number of members of VTIC in cutting red tape relating to caravan parks, buses and liquor licensing.  I would like to hear from you about your red tape issues.  You can contact me through my website (google Red Tape Commissioner) where you can provide some details of your issues through the Red Tape Rubbish Bin.  Or you can contact me directly on 03 9651 2737.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Matthew Butlin


About the Author


The voice of the Victorian tourism industry, representing key industry associations, operators and government agencies.



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