Prime Minister Tony Abbott has declared he will light the nation’s “biggest bonfire of regulations” on Wednesday as he aims to take $1 billion of red tape off business this year.
But Labor and the Greens fear that some of the changes will adversely impact on families, business and the environment.
Mr Abbott will tell parliament on Wednesday the government intends getting rid of 10,000 redundant acts of parliament and regulations, putting it about three-quarters of the way to meeting the $1 billion target.
“This is essential if we are to get our competitiveness and our productivity up,” he told parliament on Tuesday.
“It will be the biggest bonfire of regulations in our history.”
The government to date claims to have found $350 million in savings, taking away the administration of the carbon and mining taxes and easing checks on financial advisers.
It will also save business and charities $48 million a year by getting Centrelink to administer parental leave payments.
Savings are expected to come from companies operating across state borders being able to join the federal workers’ compensation scheme.
A simplified government tendering process and electronic payment system is expected to save $38 million.
Also listed for the axe are re-approval and re-registration processes for agricultural and veterinary chemicals.
Bills will be introduced to parliament on Wednesday with the expectation of passing the lower house the following week.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says changes to accountability in the financial planning system could leave the industry open to another crisis, just when the future of financial advice had been bedded down.
“We’ve seen the Assistant Treasurer Arthur Sinodinos engage in the wholesale dismantling of oversight which protects our consumers,” he said.
Another of the changes under fire is a “one-stop shop” for environmental approvals of major projects, which Mr Abbott says will save $120 million a year.
Former independent MP Tony Windsor, who on Tuesday launched an Australia Institute report critical of the coal seam gas industry, said there was strong public support for federal oversight of CSG development.
But a trigger for federal environment checks on CSG, relating to water quality, was now under threat.
Greens leader Christine Milne said it was “farcical” to repeal so many regulations in one day and the party would scrutinise every change especially in regard to the environment and women in the workplace.
The government earlier this week announced every policy proposal or submission to cabinet would need to have a regulatory impact statement attached to it, outlining its cost impact on business and whether better ways can be found to achieve the same aim.