Efficient Regulation Report 2023

Measuring the red tape burden on Queensland businesses  

Businesses told us reducing red tape and regulatory burden is the leading business challenge they want government to prioritise. Business Chamber Queensland’s 2023 Efficient Regulation Report shows both the costs and time required to meet regulatory burden have increased since 2021. 


Our legacy  

Business Chamber Queensland has been dedicated to addressing this significant issue for more than a decade, and in working with all levels of government to not only highlight the impact inefficient regulation has on business but to also identify opportunities for reform. 

Since 2009, we have been conducting a Red Tape Survey every two years to understand the impact of inefficient regulation and requirements on Queensland businesses and to track changes to the burden of regulatory compliance. 


Key findings of 2023  

  • 82% of businesses indicated costs associated with red tape increased since 2021. 
  • 80% of businesses indicated the time associated with meeting regulatory compliance has increased since 2021. 
  • 80% reported moderate to major negative impacts from regulatory compliance requirements.  
  • 70% indicated inefficient regulatory requirements had prevented their business growth. 
  • One in three employ staff especially to manage regulatory compliance.  


What is red tape or regulatory burden?  

Normal regulatory burden refers to the necessary and reasonable requirements that businesses and individuals face but red tape refers to any excessive and unnecessary bureaucratic procedures and regulations that can make it difficult for businesses to navigate and comply. 


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Business Story

Toowoomba manufacturing business owner Michael Briggs said he spent $300,000 on red tape in the past three years, meeting state and federal certification requirements. 


The family business, which Michael’s father, Gary, started in 1985, converts four wheel vehicles to six wheels, allowing for extra pay load and towing capacity for commercial and private customers. 

Six Wheeler Conversions has customers Australia-wide which means Michael needs a new certification approval for every vehicle model – with new models released every year. 


He said new vehicle conversions required federal certification while modifications on pre-registered vehicles required state certification; dependent on where the customer was located nationally, converting 50-70 vehicles per year. 

Michael said a new federal application system was implemented for second stage vehicle manufacturing approvals three years ago, quadrupling the approval process, typically taking more than five months per vehicle model.  


“It has cost me about $300,000 over the past three years in consultancy costs, plus the missed opportunity cost considering how long the application process takes,” Mr Briggs said.  


“I have spent more on certification in the past three years then I did in the past 10  years. We’re talking a minimum of 60 days but more often than not it can take 20 weeks or more.”Michael said the existing certification process “wasn’t great, but worked. It would have been better if they had consulted, stuck with the old system then went through a trial to test and make sure it was fit-for-purpose,” he said. 

Past Report

The 2021 Business Chamber Queensland Red Tape Survey confirms the burden of red tape intensified and continues to adversely impact the performance of Queensland businesses.

Red tape is easily one of the most significant issues for Queensland businesses. Regulatory adherence and the processes for compliance – the paperwork, forms, applications, procedures, checks and double checks, signs, reports, audits, permits and licences – those businesses must complete on a daily basis can be complex, repetitive and time consuming. Inefficient regulation and the processes continue to be major constraint on business growth, productivity and investment and is reducing Queensland’s competitiveness at a time when our economy is combating challenges associated with a COVID-19 economic recovery.

Snapshot of 2021 key findings

  • 30% employ staff to manage their regulatory compliance
  • 12-18% indicate government consultation is good or very good
  • 88% Micro and small business said red tape has a major impact on them, up from 72% in 2017
  • 77% Reported red tape has impacted on business growth, up from 48% in 2017. Indicating red tape is worsening

Download the report for more information.

Acknowledgement of Country

Business Chamber Queensland respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners and custodians of the lands from across Queensland and the Torres Strait. We acknowledge the Jagera and Turrbal people as the Traditional Custodians of Meanjin (Brisbane), the lands where our office is located and the place we meet, work and learn. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.