The 'forever war' on red tape and the struggle to improve regulation

Arie Freiberg, Monica Pfeffer, Jeroen van der Heijden

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Since the 1970s, Australian governments have sought to reduce regulatory burdens, particularly on business, subject regulation to rigorous cost–benefit analysis and constrain both the stock and flow of new regulation. Yet, however, measured, regulation continues to grow, frequently in response to community demand. In this article, we interrogate both the more extreme claims of the anti-regulation advocates and the alleged successes of anti-red tape initiatives, identifying a critical clash of values over the role of the state and the appropriate relationship between government, business and the community. We conclude by arguing that to deliver desirable societal, economic and democratic outcomes, we need to acknowledge regulation as an asset, professionalise its workforce and more actively assert its public value.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalAustralian Journal of Public Administration
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


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