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Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Businesses welcome red tape reform

Seymour and district businesses have welcomed the State Government's announcement to slash red tape in the construction, hospitality and farming industries, but say more could be done.

JENNA BISHOP January 16, 2014 4:09am

The region’s construction and hospitality industries will find themselves facing slightly less paperwork after the State Government passed reforms to cut red tape for businesses.

Thirty-six reforms have been passed in an effort to reduce red tape across the building and construction, hospitality, farming and fishing and motor vehicle sales industries.

Seymour businesses said while the cuts were a good beginning, there was plenty more that could be done to simplify processes, increase productivity and help save money for regional businesses.

Northwood Builders Barry Cole said the reforms would make the construction process easier to a certain extent.

‘‘Now you won’t have to get as many permits,’’ he said.

He said the reform to wall setbacks allowing a building to be 200mm from a wall instead of 150mm would abolish the need to obtain special permission to build spouting and facias, which often exceeded 150mm.

However, Mr Cole said he was disappointed there were no cuts to red tape concerning obtaining building permits.

Mr Cole said obtaining building permits could take anywhere from two weeks to two months, depending on whether they were sent through independently or through a council.

He said he had been waiting more than three-and-a-half months for a building permit to construct a carport in Tallarook.

‘‘If we got rid of those, it would be easier, cheaper and better for the client,’’ he said.

Seymour Business and Tourism board member and owner of Trawool’s The Shed and Cottages Bruce Thomas said the reforms were long overdue, but there was more that could be done.

Mr Thomas said the reform removing the requirement for venues to apply for approval to hold underage, alcohol-free events would allow more flexibility for businesses and allow more underage events to be held.

‘‘This is a good move, if you are in hospitality it can be very onerous obtaining permits, especially when commercially there is not a lot of money involved. This will allow businesses to easily run underage programs,’’ he said.

Deputy Premier Peter Ryan said the reforms would benefit many business sectors and would help boost productivity and reduce costs for Victorian businesses.

The reforms will contribute to the Government’s 25 per cent red tape reduction target and were accepted following an extensive consultation period with Red Tape Commissioner John Lloyd.

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