Championing Regulatory Reform

The State Government’s Red Tape Commissioner, Dr Matthew Buttlin, met with a select group of Bendigo business leaders today to hear local operators’ priorities for red tape reduction.

O’Farrell Robertson McMahon Lawyers and Be.Bendigo yesterday hosted the State Governments Red Tape Commissioner, Dr Matthew Buttlin, in a timely forum for some select Bendigo businesses.

OFRM Partner and Deputy Chair of Be.Bendigo, Marika McMahon welcomed the opportunity to host Dr Buttlin and commended the Commissioner on his willingness to engage with industry.

The Commissioner has assisted Be.Bendigo members with excessive regulatory requirements over the last two years, with two successful outcomes.


Discussions at this most recent meeting covered issues related to land development, mining, streamlining government procurement processes and conveyance constraints. Dr Buttlin will take Be.Bendigo members’ formal requests for assistance to address a current issue or hasten a process back to the Department of Treasury and Finance.

“Our members regularly tell us they are hamstrung by red tape that can often put an immediate holt to business. This most often means consuming time and resources of business owners who would prefer to focus on growth, productivity and innovation,” said Be.Bendigo Chief Executive Officer, Leah Sertori.

“More alarming is that systemic red tape problems can lead to lost business, greater investment and employment opportunities in Bendigo.”

The Red Tape Commissioner reports directly to the State Treasurer and as such his visits provide a valuable opportunity for Be.Bendigo members to resolve pressing issues.

Red tape reform is a priority for Be.Bendigo. Out-dated, overly prescriptive government regulations add to business costs and stifle growth. It is more important than ever in the current tough economic environment that local businesses are freed-up to focus on expanding their operations.

With the City of Greater Bendigo Council working toward strategies that address the growing population – working with pillar organisations to establish an understanding of what we might expect Bendigo will need in 2020, and with significant development work and opportunities for the Bendigo economy to grow, Dr Buttlin said it was important to address the city’s red tape issues.

“There’s a real opportunity to improve Bendigo’s future by looking at what the right regulatory arrangements are,” he said. “There’s a mix of opportunity that may be being held back and, on the other hand, there are things that, on the face of it, seem unnecessarily difficult.”

“A challenge, however, is that the process of removing red tape can itself be mired in red tape”, a point not lost on Dr Buttlin.

“When you improve red tape, sometimes the means of doing this takes some time. When you have to amend a regulation or change a law, which means going through government departments or parliament. There are significant delays in that process.”