Red tape takes Australia out of the race

Unpredictable and unnecessarily complex government regulatory and decision-making processes, along with problems with planning design, scheduling and procurement, and then workplace relations, underlie Australia's deteriorating competitiveness, the Business Council said.

Unpredictable and unnecessarily complex government regulatory and decision-making processes, along with problems with planning design, scheduling and procurement, and then workplace relations, underlie Australia's deteriorating competitiveness, the Business Council said.

For example, the cost of building one kilometre of a major toll road or freeway had risen 143 per cent between 2006 and 2012, a BCA member said. The actual cost per kilometre had risen from $4.6 million to $11.1 million , and required 36 months to complete (from 27 months) and 86 staff (57).

Overall, Australian roads cost about 12 per cent more to deliver per square metre than in Britain, and are built to a lower standard.

Labour productivity on resource projects in Australia is up to 35 per cent less than the US Gulf Coast, which has a deep pool of labour feeding its projects, the study found. Coal and iron ore projects are up to 38 per cent higher, with export gas projects up to 50 per cent more expensive.

Property development was similar; a building built to the same specifications cost 25 per cent more in Sydney than if built in London or Houston.

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