Deregulation of Planning Approvals, Taxi Industry Promising Signal from WA Government
John Day has flagged that the state government will seek to implement reforms to remove some of the burden faced by landowners on building approval, and will also centralise the approval process. Whilst the latter could hurt the ability of suburbs to develop a unique culture, one needs only to look to their areas most recent developments to witness the dangers of leaving property development to the whims and fancies of officials elected at ill attended and largely ignored local government elections.
Dean Nalder has also flagged the likelihood of deregulating the taxi industry. This move to remove the onerous obligations and costs on taxi drivers may come just in time to allow lower costs to help taxi drivers to save their market as we approach the introduction of the hugely successful Uber app.
Cutting what is widely recognised as overly onerous red tape in these two sectors is extremely promising news. The policy shift towards deregulation of the building industry shows that the state government is beginning to recognise that property rights are more important than occupying the work hours of planners. For taxi drivers, it allows an industry retarded by government interference to compete in the face of increasing competition.
It is also promising that the treasurer Mike Nahan is not blind to the fact that some people will lose from the deregulation, and will respect that the government can’t move the goal posts without helping the players readjust, signalling the need to consider effected parties. It is important the government does not irresponsibly damage the interests of those who have entered the industry under the assumption of continued regulation. In the same way a person could expect compensation from a compulsory acquisition of land, the government should account for failed regulations.
This is exciting news for all Western Australians, not just those who frequent taxi seats or plan on erecting buildings. WA has long been challenged by burdensome regulations in practically all aspects of life. Whether it is liquor licensing or planning, the requirements related to seeking approvals from government can stifle any desire to engage in the kinds of entrepreneurial ventures that can help turn Perth into a thriving metropolis.
It also shows a desire to respect the primacy of the market. The taxi industry will be far more competitive and cheaper for consumers if the industry is freed from the shackles of government interference. Sandgropers more than any other Australians have experienced the frustration of an over bearing government. Hopefully these announcements show a reversal of that trend.