Gunnedah and District Chamber of Commerce has welcomed a proposal to reduce the cost of license renewal under the NSW Government’s Better Business reforms.
The proposed reform would see renewal fees of up to $605 every three years reduced to a $51 processing fee for an update to be completed every five years.
The licenses that will impacted include decorating, painting, fencing, glazing, kitchen and bathroom benchtop installation, splashback installation, paving, shower screen installation, ducting/mechanical ventilation, shade sails and shade systems installation, dry plastering, wet plastering and minor maintenance/cleaning.
Gunnedah chamber president Stacey Cooke said the reforms were “a great initiative that will ultimately impact positively both the provider and consumer”.
“It is a positive step forward to see the government recognise the unnecessary administration and costly requirements put on tradies and small business owners,” she said.
“It is a common complaint that tiresome administration work impedes the ability to just get a job done.”
Vice-president Michael Broekman said the reforms could also help reduce the skills shortage, especially if the process of relicensing is simplified.
“If we have tradies wanting to get back into their industry, we need to be able to encourage that to fill the skills gap and by helping people that are good at their jobs but maybe not good at the pen to be able to achieve compliance with the minimum amount of fuss is worth just as much as monetary discounts,” he said.
“They don’t want to waste half a day trying to get re-licensed.”
Mr Broekman said too often tradies were confounded by the wording in legislation and he’d love to see a return to “plain English legislation”.
“The government has this absolute desire to make every single form and every single piece of their website so complicated that the average Joe Blow can’t understand it. It’s convoluted,” he said.
“They treat everyone at the highest level of academic capacity.
“They assess you in relation to legislation but they haven’t got a directive within their department to assist.”
Mr Broekman said if workplaces were to become “all-inclusive”, it was important to move away from “the direction of self assessment, self-determination and ‘all the best in trying to find the information on our website’.”
“Many inspectors… in the workplace are scared to give advice because they’re regulators and not consultants but if NSW want to be open for business and wants to keep leading the way as being the number one state, we need to become a more helpful bureaucracy to try and get through the legislation and get through the regulations,” he said.
“There should be areas people should be able to ask help and access help easily without concerns of being victimised.”
Legislation to introduce the Better Business Reforms will be before parliament later this month.