OECD Reviews of Regulatory Reform: Australia 2010

Towards a Seamless National Economy

image of OECD Reviews of Regulatory Reform: Australia 2010

This review of regulatory reform in Australia comes at the right time to capture the attention of the OECD community. Australia has successfully weathered the worst effects of the current economic crisis. The resilience of the Australian economy, in the face of the deepest and most widespread recession in over fifty years in OECD countries, can in part be attributed to Australia’s current and past regulatory reforms. 

Australia has built strong governance foundations for the development of good regulatory management and competition policies, which are likely to be conducive to economic growth. It aims to reinvigorate a wide agenda of national reforms and to embed past reform achievements in new working arrangements between the Commonwealth and the States. This reform agenda is likely to yield substantial economic benefits for years to come, but demands joint participation and commitment from both the Commonwealth and all States. Maintaining the momentum for reform is a critical challenge, which requires a strategic vision as well as strenuous efforts to promote change and to establish a culture of continuous regulatory improvement.

Australia is one of many OECD countries to request a broad review by the OECD of its regulatory practices and reforms. This review presents a general picture , set within a macroeconomic context, of regulatory achievements and challenges, including regulatory quality at the Commonwealth level as well as across levels of government, competition policy and market openness. It also provides a special focus on Commonwealth-state relationships.



Market Openness

This chapter is a summary of the background report Enhancing Market Openness through Regulatory Reform in Australia. It assesses the extent to which the Australian regulatory system promotes market openness, global competition and economic integration, thereby avoiding trade disputes and improving trust and mutual confidence across borders. The chapter includes an assessment of mechanisms to ensure regulatory transparency and the involvement of the trade community; to avoid discrimination and unintended trade restrictive effects of regulation; and to encourage the use of internationally harmonized measures and the recognition of equivalence of foreign regulatory measures. Australia’s approach to regulatory policy and reform reflects recognition of the importance of maintaining and strengthening the openness of its markets to international competition. The regulatory framework consistently promotes a market-openness-friendly regulatory environment, even if there may be room for further improvement of implementation.


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