The ACT Liberal Democrats see that the government is doing far too little to help the business community. As the size of the Commonwealth public service in Canberra reduces over time, we believe that the ACT needs to diversify its economy. At the present time, the ACT has some of the highest indirect business taxes and the highest rate of business failure in Australia.

We believe that while Canberra is fortunate to be the home of the Commonwealth public sector and has the best and brightest people the nation has to offer, Canberran businesses are under significant pressure from increasingly unfair costs from a government that cannot manage its own budget.

The ACT Liberal Democrats propose a two-part approach. First, government needs to get its own finances under control by better managing its resources and not looking to the private sector for increased taxes. Second, government needs to adopt a more business-friendly approach. This would involve the creation of a one-stop shop for businesses in dealing with government rules and regulations. We also propose the creation of a Commissioner for the reduction of red tape—modelled on successful approaches in other states—that would work with industry to reduce the burden of dealing with government.

The ACT Liberal Democrats:

  1. Commit to reducing the high cost of doing business in Canberra.
  2. Will create one-stop shops for businesses in dealing with the regulatory demands of government.
  3. Would seek to appoint a Red Tape Reduction Commissioner based on the Victorian model to receive submissions from the non-government sector to direct a thorough review of processes and practices to reduce the administrative burden on businesses, and to reduce the cost of government.
  4. Would seek to reform the culture of the ACT Public Service by encouraging staff to go out and to start their own business or work in the private sector. This would be achieved by offering flexible leave without pay options for interested public servants.