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Regulation of Agriculture

Public inquiry

The Australian Government has 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 covers a range of issues on which the Commission seeks information and feedback, and is 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

The inquiry report is expected to be handed to the Australian Government by 15 November 2016 (revised).

Due to the election held on 2 July 2016 and the associated caretaker period which led to the delay of the release of the draft report, the Treasurer has approved an extension of the reporting date for the final report.

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 will focus 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 is 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.

More detailed information can be found in the terms of reference.


Yvette Goss (Administrative matters)
Ph: 03 9653 2253

Rosalie McLachlan (Other matters)
Ph: 02 6240 3327


Free call: 1800 020 083

Register your interest

Be kept informed about the progress of this work.

Register online

Make a submission

The Commission invites interested people and organisations to make a submission.

Make a submission


Paul Lindwall
Presiding Commissioner
Ken Baxter