Why does regulation matter?

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Regulation is needed to protect the legitimate interests of businesses and the community. Strong, responsive regulatory systems help keep the Australian economy as efficient and flexible as possible, and they also help our industries compete in the global economy.

Australia is well-recognised internationally for the strength of its regulatory and governance arrangements. Our regulations provide essential safeguards for the Australian community, ensuring the safety, social, environmental and competition outcomes that underpin our way of life. Strong regulations also provide the confidence, both here and overseas, that Australian products and services are safe, consistent and reliable.

However, there is a trade-off. If the regulatory system unnecessarily impedes business innovation, they may not adopt new technologies to grow and create jobs.

In a rapidly moving digital economy, getting the balance right is harder than ever. Technology is developing much faster than new regulations can be written. Business models can change rapidly. Regulations can quickly become redundant and the impacts of new technologies and business models can be particularly difficult to forecast.

Technological innovation and disruptive business models are displacing established firms, products and alliances. They have the potential to change the nature of work, and also to provide more consumer choice, improved products and services, and productivity benefits.