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Independent News For The Australian Public Service
Edition Number 396. Updated Tuesday, 11 February 2014

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Reforms 'will save billions'

Cost savings to Australian businesses worth billions of dollars a year will result from the completion of most of COAG’s productivity-enhancing regulatory reforms, Chair of COAG’s Reform Council, John Brumby says.
 Mr Brumby said the Council’s final report to COAG on the National Partnership Agreement to Deliver a Seamless National Economy found that Governments had implemented the majority of the reforms under the flagship agreement.
 “Of the 45 reforms we have reported on over the life of this agreement, Governments have completed, or largely completed, 31 reforms, with a further eight partially complete,” Mr Brumby said.
 He said the Productivity Commission estimated that completion of just 17 of these reforms could deliver up to $6 billion in productivity improvements to GDP and up to $4 billion cost savings for business each year.

COAG council chair's prediction
  “Perhaps not surprisingly, Governments made better progress implementing the reforms that attracted reward payments from the Commonwealth Government, than those without reward payments,” Mr Brumby said.
 “After five years, Governments have completed 21 of 26 reward reforms, and 10 of 19 non-reward reforms.”
 He said this echoed the experience from COAG’s earlier National Competition Policy framework, which found that financial incentives for Governments were effective in accelerating the reform process.
 Mr Brumby said he had advised COAG that the Council would need to monitor the remaining reforms to make sure the benefits of the agreement were realised.
 The Council has highlighted energy, transport and infrastructure reforms as areas that would need continued monitoring.
 Mr Brumby said there was a need for a further round of competition and regulatory reforms to maintain the reform momentum.

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