The construction industry will benefit from the federal government's proposals to reduce red tape, easing the restrictions hindering tradies from doing interstate businesses.
Under the reforms, occupational licenses for carpenters, joiners, bricklayers, builders, electricians, plumbers, and property agents, will be recognised across jurisdictions. The Council on Federal Financial Relations, in cooperation with state and territory treasurers, will be developing a framework for the reforms, with the aim to implement the new policies by next year.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the current mutual recognition regime for licensed occupations across Australia is complex, costly, and imposes an excessive regulatory burden on businesses that operate across jurisdictions.
"A uniform scheme will make it easier and less expensive for businesses, professionals and workers to move or operate within jurisdictions and across Australia, thereby creating jobs, increasing output, competition and innovation, and resulting in lower prices for consumers and businesses," he said in a statement.
Frydenberg said the move is a crucial step in Australia's efforts to rebuild the economy from the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Kristin Brookfield, chief executive for industry policy at the Housing Industry Association, said increased trade mobility and the reduction of economic barriers to interstate trade are "admirable and desirable" goals not just for the construction industry but for the wider economy.
"By agreeing to look at changing the requirements for mutual recognition, the treasurers have made an important decision to cut red tape that can help the flow of workers now while COVID-19 is changing work opportunities and into the future as the economy begins to rebuild," she said.
Under the current policies, tradespeople in any given state are required to apply for a license to work in another state or seek recognition under existing mutual recognition arrangements.
"An automatic mutual recognition licence scheme would obviate the need for more than one licence to be held, thereby saving a licence holder associated licence costs and duplication of paperwork, Brookfield said.