Government rules and processes

We want to hear about Government rules and processes that are outdated and unnecessary that impact on your business and prevent you from employing people and growing. 

Tell us what they are and why you don’t think they are needed.

Comments closed

Mohamed Farid

13 Aug 2016

I have arrived with my family in Jan 2015 as a permenant residents - Skilled immigrants. That is the top of the line and state sponsored by SA government. It was clear from the beginning before even applying for the Visa that the SA is not going to provide jobs for us and we were fine with that. I have more than 8 years experience in IT Service Delivery and Digital Producer. Since I landed I can't find a job. I was able to secure 3 interviews, all rejected me. They simply say no local experience or you are over qualified. My issue is why the SA government does not create workshops for employers and obviously tell them we are accepting those type of proffesions and we are expecting a percentage of highly skilled immigrants. Please stop using this sentence "no local experience" it doesn't make any sense coming from a background working for internet giants like Apple,Yahoo and Orange and I cannot find a job here in Australia. It is frustrating plus the burden of insecurity is crushing our future. Again please communicate with employers the importance of such huge gap.

Thanks,
Mohamed

Government Agency

Simpler Regulation Unit > Mohamed Farid

24 Aug 2016

Thanks for your contribution Mohammed. Your suggestions will be considered in developing our Simplify Day initiatives.

Julie Fiedler

13 Aug 2016

Remove ‘hand feeding’ from the definition of horse keeping in the Development Regulations (2008): Definitions. Schedule 1

Current Text:
horse keeping means the keeping or husbandry of horses where more than 1 horse is kept per 3 hectares of land used for such purposes or where hand feeding of a horse is involved;

Proposed Text:
horse keeping means the keeping or husbandry of horses where more than 1 horse is kept per 3 hectares of land used for such purposes.

Rationale:
Grazing status varies considerably in South Australia, from high rainfall Adelaide Hills Council to regional and Outback areas i.e. land capability varies a lot in SA.
Most horses will require hand feeding at some point throughout the year in SA.
Importantly, Local Government Planners are not trained in animal nutrition and should not be tasked with a regulatory role that triggers a planning rule, when there are direct animal welfare consequences.
There are now adequate regulations to trigger planning regulations related to improved planning or reform actions on properties that keep horses through other Acts and Regulations related to environment protection. This would not have been the case when the regulation was initially brought in.

Julie Fiedler
Executive Officer
Horse SA
www.horsesa.asn.au

Government Agency

Simpler Regulation Unit > Julie Fiedler

24 Aug 2016

Thanks for your contribution Julie. Your suggestion has been raised with the Department of Planning Transport and Infrastructure for consideration in developing our Simplify Day initiatives.

Ben Birbeck

12 Aug 2016

Why do shopping centres in the greater Adelaide area have to have reduced hours on a Sunday and close at 7pm during the week? If they could stay open til 9pm everyday how many more people, particularly young, would be able to get employment. This would support the many in the community who no longer work the 9-5 Monday to Friday to be able to spend their money in their local community instead of driving across town to find somewhere to do the shopping. This is very possible as it happens in regional towns now. Why is Adelaide so backwards...

Government Agency

Simpler Regulation Unit > Ben Birbeck

24 Aug 2016

Thanks for your contribution Ben. Your suggestions will be considered in developing our Simplify Day initiatives.

Government Agency

Simpler Regulation Unit

11 Aug 2016

Thanks for your considered contributions regarding notifications, delegations and protections regarding public disclosure Lyn. We’ll consider your suggestions in developing our Simplify Day initiatives.

Lyn Townsend

11 Aug 2016

The Government is currently in the process of withdrawing the Whistleblowers Protection Act and replacing it with a Public Interest Disclosure Act. Given that there are already systems in place to enable informants to make a confidential disclosure about an agency or public officer to the Office for Public Integrity, is there really a need to create a new Act, or should the Whistleblowers Protection Act be withdrawn and passing of the new Act disbanded?

Lyn Townsend

11 Aug 2016

Section 115 of the Environmental Protection Act should be amended enabling local Council Chief Executive Officers to delegate powers under the EPA to authorised officers, similar to all other State based legislation. The existing system is difficult to administer for the Department and Councils and does not provide efficient or consistent process in respect to delegated authority for relevant agencies and Councils.

Lyn Townsend

11 Aug 2016

Local Government Act public notice requirements in a state-based or local newspaper - earlier this year, the State Government amended the Local Government Act legislation in respect to public notice requirements. However whilst the notice requirements were amended reducing a need to publish notices in a state-based paper, the legislation still requires compulsory notification in local based newspapers resulting in expense for local Councils and their ratepayers. Given the addition for public notices to be placed on Council websites and the significant reduction in readership of state and local newspapers, it is recommended that the legislation be further amended removing any state or local newspaper requirements from public notice requirements and requiring Councils to consider the most appropriate method of public notification for their communities instead. This would provide a significant saving for all local Councils and their ratepayers as a result.

Lyn Townsend

11 Aug 2016

By-law processes - the current system costs more for local Councils to meet public notification requirements (ie advertising in local Messenger newspapers and the Gazette) than it does to engage a consultant to facilitate the project. The Gazettal and advertising requirements should be looked at with a review to considering reducing the requirements, thereby saving money for Councils and their ratepayers.

Brendan Carter

11 Aug 2016

Currently small to medium sized wineries and breweries all have WET or excise rebates to allow them to be more competitive and innovate - although our distilleries are completely missed out. We've now fostered dozens of burgeoning local distilleries that still haven't been able to access a rebate afforded to - every-other-alcohol-producer, except themselves. We'd love to see some support to the current proposed legislation (albeit Federal) expedited. Dozens of start-up distilleries, the agricultural landscape they support - and particularly local employees - will immensely benefit from this.

Government Agency

Simpler Regulation Unit > Brendan Carter

11 Aug 2016

Thanks for your comment Brendan.
In the recent Federal budget, the Government announced that it was extending the Brewery Refund Scheme to domestic spirit producers as well as non-traditional cider makers from 1 July 2017.This scheme aims to provide some level of support to local distilleries to grow their businesses.

http://budget.gov.au/2016-17/content/glossies/tax_super/downloads/FS-Tax/11-TFS-Spirits.pdf

Noel Wauchope

07 Aug 2016

Can't help wondering to what extent this "Simplify Day" has a connection with the Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition). Act 2000 South Australia. Nice little backdoor way of softening up the public for repealing this one?

Government Agency

Simpler Regulation Unit > Noel Wauchope

24 Aug 2016

Thanks for your feedback and the time taken to provide your views. Your comments have been forwarded to the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission Consultation and Response Agency. As you are aware there is an extensive consultation process underway, with a second Citizens’ Jury meeting in October and November. The Government will consider the Royal Commission’s recommendations and the community’s views in deciding the next steps.

Government Agency

Simpler Regulation Unit

05 Aug 2016

Thank you for your detailed response in relation to our Simplify Day initiative Dr Jacobs, we appreciate your perspective on the issues you have raised. It is important for us to hear first-hand how regulation and economic policy impact on the business community and the economy. Your comments have been provided to the Department of Primary Industries and Regions SA for consideration. Thank you for your substantive contribution.

Morris Jacobs

03 Aug 2016

I think that the Government is making a huge mistake by not fully understanding the implications of the proposed wine WET Tax reform.
I suspect that it is being implemented with good intentions - but without fully realizing what havoc these changed will wreck in rural Australia - especially regarding employment opportunities small family owned wine businesses.

I think that it is imperative to re-examine the entire WET Tax rebate issue – not only because there is so much at stake, but also because there is considerable misinformation and misunderstanding amongst the public, politicians and even within the wine industry itself. As with Brexit and 'Bregret', once the final decisions have been made, it will be very difficult to reverse events that could prove to have a catastrophic impact upon small wine producers.

In order to clarify matters, I’ve put together some numbers which have been extrapolated from original data issued by The Australian and New Zealand Wine Industry Directory, 2016.

Summary:
The WET Tax rebate was originally designed to encourage and support small wine producers who would otherwise not be able to withstand the additional tax of 29% (in addition to the 10% GST) that wine producers must pay on the sale of their products.

These small wine producers are invariably family-owned businesses who have invested their lives and who work the skin off their knuckles to make a living and to pay the wages.

Small producers account for approximately 1,800 of a total of 2468 Australian wine producers, each processing less than 150 tonnes of grapes a year (about 10,000 cases of wine a year). This relates to less than 6% of all wine produced in Australia. It is therefore a significantly large group of producers, who own an unquestionably small segment of the wine industry, which is at the core of the Wet Tax debate.

The medium-sized wine producers, which are approximately 466 in number, each process between 150 – 9,000 tonnes of grapes per year and thereby make approximately 14% of all Australian wine.

Conversely, the top largest 21 wine producers in Australia process between 9,800 – 284,636 tonnes of grapes a year and make nearly 80% of all Australian wine.

Despite the small size of their businesses, these 1,800 small wine producers create significant rural employment in Australia by virtue of the nature of grape growing, winemaking and wine selling processes, and because of their significant numbers that are scattered across rural Australia.
Counter to popular misconception, the WET Tax rebate does not throw thousands of taxpayers’ dollars in the direction of these small producers. In fact, we are all proudly hardworking and self-sufficient and do not depend on financial handouts. All the Wet Tax rebate does is shelter us from paying this 29% addition tax burden on our produce. Technically what happens when we fill in our tax form, is that we ‘add in’ the 29% WET Tax calculated on the sale of our produce, but then further down the tax form, this exact same amount is then ‘deducted’ as the so-called ‘Rebate.’ This process reverses and nullifies the 29% WET Tax. It is therefore clearly not hard-earned ‘taxpayer’s money’ that is being redirected to small wine producers.
In addition, this Wet Tax rebate is capped so that if the wine producer is selling above a certain value of wine, then all wine sold above this cap is not protected from the 29% WET Tax via this rebate.

This current WET Tax rebate cap allows the majority of 1,800 small wine producers to be protected from this 29% tax since virtually all of them have incomes below the so-called cap. This is, in fact, good and proper because it levels the playing field when comparing small family-owned wine businesses to any other small family business in Australia - whether they be a butcher, a baker or a hairdresser – none of whom would be able to survive the impost of an addition 29% tax. It is therefore strange that some people believe that small family-owner wine producers would somehow magically be able to survive a 29% tax impost. Please believe that small wine producers are no different to any other small Australian family-run business, except that they produce wine.

Small wine producers invariably do not have the negotiating leverage that the larger wine producers have. These larger producers, who together produce 94% of Australian wine production, have significant muscle, leverage and economy of scale that allows them to push down grape-grower prices, negotiate better deals and reduce wage costs, dry goods and botting costs. The Wet Tax rebate is of little consequence to the scale of their production, and by virtue of their economic muscle they are able to thrive in current conditions, whilst paying the Wet tax on their considerable productions.

It is good and proper that the 1,800 small wine producers are protected from the impossible burden of this 29% tax because, despite the fact that they are largely Mom and Pop operations, they generate significant rural employment and much needed diversity in the wine industry. Their varied and often quirky offerings that embellish the tourism landscape, in turn support a whole range of regional tourism initiatives. These consist of extended hospitality and tourism operations and local produce-makers who also contribute to valuable rural jobs – jobs that are perhaps more ‘precious’ than urban jobs, only because rural employment is not regularly created in any large numbers when compared to urban opportunities.

It is also appropriate that small wine producers are supported by the WET Tax rebate system even when compared to small producers of other alcohol products such as small brewers or artisan distillers, who are indeed all taxed in one form or other. This is because unlike the artisan brewers and distillers, small wine producers are a significant part of the rural landscape and thereby make a significant impact upon regional communities. In addition, small wine producers have invested far more into local communities than these alternative producers. These infrastructure investments, farmland investments and viticultural involvements, plus investment in the infrastructure and systems required to market the wine produced, all add up to major rural involvement and commitment.

Our extended family of small wine producers currently makes a substantial contribution to supporting rural family life and communities right across Australia – but that is now all at risk because of the proposed WET Tax reform. There are also strong concerns that the proposed reduction in the WET Tax rebate could, in all likelihood, lead to the complete removal of the WET Tax rebate in the near future.
It is clear that without the WET Tax rebate, many of these small wine producers will not survive and their demise will be associated with a parallel loss of thousands of jobs plus a domino effect that will adversely impact regional tourism-related opportunities as offered by local B&B’s, tour guide operators and even local produce manufacturers, all of whom are supported by the regional wine tourism experience. In addition, rural horticultural property values will be destroyed and rural creativity, optimism and enterprise will be severely affected.
Perhaps it is interesting to note that much of the support for the proposed WET Tax reform come from the ranks of the large wine producers and their organizational mouth-pieces. This is because they are fully aware that they will be able to seamlessly slip into the vacuum created by the demise of the small wine producers and thereby profit from the so-called boutique wine market.

Unfortunately the Federal Government seems to have been unduly influenced by these large industry powerbrokers and wittingly or unwittingly they have agreed to proceed with the proposed WET Tax reform.

It will be a significant tragedy, and it does not make sense, if hundreds of small family owned business are wiped out in rural areas of Australia, particularly in the light of current political investment and initiatives that are precisely aimed towards the creation of more small businesses in Australia.

As a small wine producer, it is my job and responsibility to try and correct any misrepresentation and to try and re-open this debate to ensure a secure and safe outcome for this segment of the wine industry.

DR Larry Jacobs
Hahndorf Hill Winery
Adelaide Hills SA

Government Agency

Simpler Regulation Unit

20 Jul 2016

This appears to be a complex issue and you have put forward a number of interesting points that warrant further investigation. Thanks for contributing to the discussion.

v ze

16 Jul 2016

I think it was my new phone... can't see what I'm writing until after it posts

v ze

16 Jul 2016

Why has half of my comment been erased?

v ze

16 Jul 2016

The company is an established company with a good name generally, the woman who first set it up helped me out at a time when I couldn't find work anywhere and had two little kids to support. In 2011 they closed down mysteriously for a while and then I discovered they were back in a new location and new ideals. It seems what they broke several 'rules'. As a former teacher I understand the process is to make people aware of the rules first so that they don't have to break them to find out what they are. The main problem they had was that they made a company whose sole purpose was to supply them with workers who were then told they were individual 'contractors'. They did this before and presumably were told it was wrong then. It was in breach of regulations mainly because although termed 'contractors' the workers had to comply with company policy regarding rosters and timing to a great extent. They were working on putting all emplyees on the regular employee pay roll and when I say 'employee' I mean that under government rules 'contractors' are not technically employees. The company has been working on the problem and trying to make all its employees permanent employees since 2014. I myself was given the choice when I rejoined to be a 'contractor' with a slightly greater hourly rate or to be 'permanent part time'. I didn't fully understand the implications at that stage but I could see that it was better to be on the regular pay roll with all the benefits such as insurance, personal leave, paid annual leave, sick pay etc. I have always thought the two tier employee system was odd but I hadn't realised my employers were in breach of regulations until recently. Yesterday I finally managed to figure out how to load the full length of the Fair Work Australia website report on my phone (this new phone I'm writing on right now I bought for work). You can read it in full if you scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Fair work will take my company to court and if found guilty they have to pay the employees involved a few thousand in missed wages. Not bad, that is fair and they can afford that. The part that I don't like is that they get fined $51,000 for every breach of the rules...which could add up to quite a lot. What upsets me is that although my employers tried to get everyone on the permanent payroll and they must have been trying for about two years, I estimate, they had very few takers. Why? If I was out school teaching and I said to a group of students 'Make 2 lines, everybody in the first line gets a colourful ice cream with sparkly dots and everybody in the second line gets a plain ice cream but with extra wrapping paper that you can't see.' Its not easy to get people to understand and see the benefits of paid annual leave etc. The only way my employer could have done it would have been to equalise the pay scales and to do that they would have had to bring the lower rate (the permanent employee rate up, to meet the pay rate of the contractors) because you can't offer people less. Like those kids in the line, they won't budge. Fair Work Australia have offered to supply training and support to the employers but I say that sounds like too little too late. Why wasn't this done 2 years ago? I don't pretend to understand half of hovernment regulations and why they are there. All I know is that my employers have run a respected and widely known company that local communities have come to trust. I would not have signed up with them as a permanent employee if I didn't believe in what they are doing. It seems to me that recent cuts to aged care funding have got something to do with this too. Perhaps they had a government grant to help them transition and it has been withdrawn suddenly leaving them high and dry. They didn't make the approved list of agencies on the My Aged Care website so their customer list will dwindle I expect. Why don't these government laws help small businesses? What it means for me personally is that, assuming the worst happens and they have to go to liquidation. I was employed as an old person who had been unemployed 12 months, under a government scheme called 'Restart' or something like that. It means the business gets a grant for a while. It was 5 years but the government altered it so it has probably expired. So assuming the worst and liquidation or voluntary administration happens, all the employees lose their jobs. People in my position would have to wait 12 months to get re employed under a scheme or have another employer think they are worth employing. I am sixty three and physically have half the strenght and stamina of a thirty year old so I don't expect to get another job. This job was supposed to take me out to retirement. Not only that but the government has cancelled 'Mobility Allowance' for elderlies who don't manage to find another position within a few weeks. Mobility allowance is still to be paid to the severely disabled but has been cancelled for people whose disability is only slight. Just have to stop using my car then, oh...and the new phone. I will be going back to having to live on $586 a fortnight. Younger people will be slight worse off but they'll get re-employed faster. The worst may not happen and hasn't happened yet but my question is this...If the government can step in and help after the company has gone wrong, why not before?