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Regulation of Agriculture

Public inquiry

The Australian Government asked the Productivity Commission to undertake a 9-month public inquiry into the regulatory burden on farm businesses.

  • Issues paper 22 Dec 2015
  • Draft report 21 July 2016
  • Inquiry report 15 Nov 2016

The issues paper covered a range of issues on which the Commission sought information and feedback, and was intended to assist you in preparing a submission.

Initial submissions were due by 12 February 2016.

Read the issues paper

The draft report was released on 21 July 2016.

Submissions were due by 18 August 2016.

Read the draft report

This inquiry is completed. The inquiry report was handed to the Australian Government on 15 November 2016.

The release of the final report by the Government is the final step in the process.

Under the Productivity Commission Act 1998, the Government is required to table the report in each House of the Parliament within 25 sitting days of receipt.

The inquiry focused on regulations that have a material impact on the competitiveness and productivity of Australian agriculture, with the aim of:

  • defining priority areas for removing or reducing unnecessary regulatory burdens on farm businesses, where doing so would raise the productivity of farm businesses and wider economy
  • identifying unnecessary restrictions on competition.

While the industry focus will be on agriculture, regulation imposed elsewhere in the supply chain - such as to meet the requirements of foreign markets - will also be considered if it leads to a burden on farm businesses which is significant and unnecessary.

The Commission was to have particular regard to:

  • where there is greatest scope to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens and pursue regulatory objectives in more efficient (least cost) ways
  • whether the current level at which matters are regulated (national, State and local) is appropriate and if there is scope for better coordination across governments to reduce unnecessary overlap
  • whether Australia's farm export competitiveness can be improved by minimising duplication between domestic regulation and importing country requirements
  • relevant regulatory approaches adopted in other countries.

The Government requested that the inquiry not examine regulatory issues affecting marine fisheries and aquaculture because they will be investigated as part of a separate Productivity Commission inquiry.