Queensland Minister for Digital Technology Mick de Brenni has warned Federal Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation Michael Keenan against using the Australian Digital Council (ADC) to water down regulations that keep Australians safe.
Speaking ahead of the ADC meeting to be held in Adelaide today (Friday), Mr de Brenni said he was concerned proposed business simplification projects could act as a ‘Trojan Horse’ to wind back important regulation.
“I have written to Minister Keenan to outline my concerns ahead of today’s meeting,” Mr de Brenni said.
“What we don’t want to see from the federal government are Trojan Horse tactics that drag down regulations under the guise of business simplification.
“Queensland sets very high standards when it comes to regulation, and any alignment between states and the federal government should meet these standards, not fall below them.
“That’s why l will be seeking assurances at the meeting that there will be no winding back of the important elements of our regulatory environment – particularly in relation to environmental and safety standards.
“A strong national economy is not built by removing important public safety and environmental protections.
“Owners of high-rise buildings have already seen costs run into the billions of dollars through the removal of important protections in the construction industry, all in the name of reducing red tape.
“The best way for governments to help businesses thrive is to make it easier for them to comply with regulation.
“I will work with my colleagues at today’s Australian Digital Council meeting to identify platforms to enable that objective.”
Mr de Brenni said he would also be reminding Mr Keenan of the ADC’s role as the key jurisdictional collaborative mechanism in relation to the development of strategies.
“The decision by the federal government not to consult with the ADC membership prior to the release of the federal government’s Digital Transformation Strategy last month is of particular concern, especially given items due to be discussed and considered by the ADC in Adelaide today were outlined as key priorities in the strategy,” Mr de Brenni said.
“While the strategy’s vision, priorities and actions are consistent with Queensland Government priorities, our shared objectives cannot be achieved without collaboration between federal and state governments.
“It’s critical that all levels of government work together and collaborate with business, and I’ll be seeking a greater level of cooperation with our activities in the future.
“It is only through this approach that the full social and economic benefits for citizens of this transformational work can be realised, which will in turn further strengthen public trust.”