Happy Repeal Day! Yay!

Dear Citizen,

May I be the first to say, Happy Repeal Day!

One day, you will tell your grandkids, with pride, where you were on this historic occasion.

It’s not just about red tape: there’s green, pink, yellow, sticky, and – the hardest to peel off – pinko tape, as well.

Contained in this brown paper booklet (which cost a pittance to produce) are seven regulatory impact questions.


(If your wife has trouble understanding complex concepts, there’s a pretty picture of a pair of scissors on the front, which she’ll recognise from all those years cutting out dress patterns for the girls.)

Here’s a short summary:

Pink Tape: This refers to the onerous gender reporting requirements for companies with more than 100 employees. Do you have any idea how long it takes the poor HR girl to count the number of women employees, managers and directors, and compare it with the number of men? (Let alone dealing with those whingers wanting flexible work arrangements for hobbies such as caring for small children or nursing elderly parents.)

In any case, robust reporting is no longer necessary. As our feminist Prime Minister said in his IWD speech, Australian women have “cracked just about every glass ceiling there is”. The 17.5 per cent gender pay gap is obviously a statistical error. (We’ve cut 100 jobs at the Australian Bureau of Statistics to remind workers of the need for accuracy.) In any case, women of calibre always rise to the top; they’ll be well compensated by our generous Paid Parental Leave scheme.

Green Tape: Famed environmentalist, and former head of Consolidated Minerals, Michael Kiernan, first used this term to describe the “endangered night parrots” slowing iron ore development. According to an independent report from the Mineral Councils of Australia, the average Australian coal projectis delayed by 1.3 years compared with those in competitor countries. Imagine all the paper we could save, if the hardworking men of mining didn’t have to fill out pointless forms?

As we know, our Prime Minister has always regarded himself as a “conservationist”. So, he’s given control of environmental approvals to the states. Greater efficiencies are already being seen, with NSW Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner signing a memorandum of understanding with Santos to speed up its Pilliga project, two days after the company was fined for contaminating a nearby aquifer with uranium. Now that’s progress.


Sticky Tape: If you listened to esteemed former Treasurer, and father of the Baby Bonus, Peter Costello, you’d have “one for Mum, one for Dad, and one for your country”. These children need care – preferably by their mother, in the home. However, as a 21st century government, we understand that some housewives want to work, instead of doing the ironing.

Under the National Childcare Law, which has 345 pages of regulations and 1,149 pages of guidelines, every childcare worker must have an official qualification. This is entirely unnecessary. All children need is a loving mother to feed, clothe and care for them. Early childhood educatoin edacation education is best left until primary school. (Bev, please fix this up before it’s sent out. That’s a dear…)

Red Tape: Did you know that, in Australia, it takes more than 50 months to get a medical device approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration? It’s longer for medicines. What a waste of time. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration has a superior system, where the wonder drug, Vioxx, was approved in next to no time. The process is further streamlined by using the same agency that approves the drug, to monitor its ongoing safety.

White Tape: Since July last year, financial advisors have been hamstrung (perhaps prosciutto-strung is preferable, Bev?) by the former government’s Future of Financial Advice reforms. These require advisors to put the interests of their clients first. Have you ever heard of anything so preposterous? The directors of Storm Financial – many of whom went to very good schools – acted honourably on behalf of their clients, until circumstances outside their control caused the company to collapse. “Sh*t happens,” as the Prime Minister once said. We will amend FoFA to save the industry $2.4bn over the next 15 years. Sure, the original legislation would have brought benefits to consumers in the order of $6.8bn. But, hey, what’s a couple of billion between friends? Soon, you’ll be able to cut the white tape wrapped around your cash, to give to investors who are not acting in their own interests. Promise.

Pinko Tape: University lecturers, scientists, administrators, and other assorted Commos commentators have been lobbyingboringrequesting a reduction in the amount of compliance, estimated to cost $3m/yr for each institution. So, we will axe the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency but – rest assured – the overall “funding envelope” will remain the same (as it did with schools).

In conclusion, much can be achieved by cutting tape – and not just for the kids’ school projects, Mrs. Citizen!

Trust in your government.

Yours sincerely,

Mr. F. Ibber.
Australian Government, Canberra.