Red tape used to gift-wrap 'present'

Gregory MP Vaughan Johnson.
Gregory MP Vaughan Johnson.

IN this busy pre-Christmas season as you tick off your Christmas shopping lists, spare a thought for the small businesses that make it all possible. The same small businesses that employ our children and keep our towns functioning.

Their 'gift' in the New Year will be 400 pages of more red tape from the Bligh Government.

This represents new and onerous workplace health and safety regulations.

The idea comes from the Federal Labor Government but the Queensland Government has been in a big hurry to sign up to it. Now 400,000 Queensland businesses will be forced to comply with a mish-mash of new laws from January 1, 2012.

That is 400 pages of new regulations, red tape and paperwork with absolutely no consultation. Few people have heard of it, even fewer understand it. The government has printed 1000 brochures to 'help' small business people. No one will have a clue.

The LNP has called on the minister responsible, Cameron Dick, to delay the introduction in order that business owners across the state can be properly consulted and educated. No one in small family businesses will know where to start. What existing Queensland regulations overlap? What ones have been replaced? What ones still stand?

Victoria and Western Australia have opted out of the January 1 start date, while other jurisdictions have an extra year to adapt. So why the hurry here?

Well, the Queensland Government stands to get an incentive payment from the Federal Government if it meets this deadline. And the real kicker is that these workplace health and safety laws may only be in place for less than a year because the draft codes of practice for the new national laws are still out for comment until at least July 2012.

If you are a small to medium business owner who suffers from a piece of pointless red-tape, I'd like to hear about it. You can contact my office on 4982 1822 or email gregory.emerald@

I'd like to wish all my constituents a very safe and happy Christmas and a blessed New Year.

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