It will soon be easier for tradies, teachers, farmers, and other licensed occupations such as property agents to do business amid COVID-19 restrictions.
A new agreement, announced on Aug. 17, between the federal, state, and territory treasurers will see occupational licenses automatically recognised across jurisdictions from January 2021.
The uniform scheme aims to make it simpler and less costly for businesses, professionals, and workers to move or operate around Australia thereby creating jobs, increasing output, competition and innovation, and resulting in lower prices for consumers and businesses.
“It is vital to ensuring Australians, including displaced workers, can take up new job opportunities wherever they arise as the economy recovers and restrictions on movement are eased from COVID-19,” the federal treasurer’s media release asserted.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has written to the premiers of New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, and Queensland regarding free movement for border communities.
The prime minister wants to enable movement of the “essential economic workforce,” including agricultural workers.
There is also a heavy focus on issues the borders are posing for access to medical treatments.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said he and his NSW counterpart Gladys Berejiklian were very close to striking a deal on farmers in border towns.
“The new framework will cut red tape, drive job creation and allow workers to move more freely around the country to where the work is,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said.
“This will especially assist our tradies to apply their craft around the country without having to get individual licences in each state or territory if they are working across borders.”
The scheme should be up and running on January 1, 2021 subject to the passage of legislation in each state and territory.
The Business Council of Australia welcomed the treasurer’s announcements with chief executive Jennifer Westacott explaining it was a practical reform.
“This is a great step towards eliminating the barriers and bottlenecks holding back Australian workers, consumers and businesses at a time we need to pull out all stops to drive new, job-creating investment,” Westacott said in a media release on Aug. 17.
Westacott also noted that it was important that the government remove outdated and inefficient red tape that hinders the economy’s ability to generate “the millions of jobs we will need to recover from the pandemic.”
“As we emerge from the pandemic every decision we make should be viewed through the lens of job creation, and that should include considering whether suspended regulations need to be reinstated,” said Westacott.
The scheme should be operating on Jan. 1 subject to the passage of legislation in each state and territory.