Coles chief Ian McLeod has criticised the red tape he says is strangling business and has called on the Productivity Commission to launch an inquiry into the "burden of regulation".
Speaking at a business lunch on Friday, Mr McLeod said the commission should survey the challenges that faced private businesses and provide solutions.
The commission tended to have "very sensible judgments" on analysis, Mr McLeod said.
"Whether those recommendations get taken up is a matter for government, but I think their analysis in this area would definitely be a benefit," he said. "Every businessman I talk to, regardless of what industry they are in, tends to talk about the level of and burden of regulation that they have to encounter or endure."
Mr McLeod said a new Coles supermarket recently opened in Brighton took four years to get through planning and local council regulations.
"And Victoria is one of the better states," he said.
He said that for every one piece of regulation removed from the list of red tape that confronted business, more than 200 new rules, licences or regulations were created.