Despite the ascendance of free markets, capitalism and so-called ‘free trade’, economic libertarians are still not short of ammo when it comes to the role of government in economic affairs.
In the early 1900s, for example, over two years, it took just 358 pages of legislation to federate the country. Today, however, Canberra generates around 6,500 pages a year. In Victoria, Stonnington Council requires a 25-page long form to hold a street party. There are 24,000 different types of licenses administered by our three levels of government. And in Queensland, at a time when the State Labor Government claims to be for ‘open for business’, the Adani Carmichael coal mine project has spent seven years in the approvals process, fighting more than 10 legal challenges and sitting patiently with a 22,000-page environmental impact statement.
Aside from the lousy ‘soft power’ message this last example sends to our Asian neighbours, it’s … Read the rest