DECENTRALISATION Taskforce chairman Richard Torbay said issues that will help reduce red tape are likely to influence recommendations the taskforce will put to the state government in its draft report, due for completion in late March.
Mr Torbay said the taskforce had undertaken its second range of consultations in Sydney on Monday with representatives from the state government’s innovation and industries departments, NSW Trade and Investment, the Department of Finance, NSW Infrastructure and Regional Development representatives.
“Those meetings were held because the taskforce wanted to know what the government agencies that have the responsibility for rolling out a lot of programs thought,” he said.
“We wanted to question why schemes like the Relocation Grant Scheme had failed to have good take- up rates.”
Mr Torbay said the taskforce was also interested in hearing where the funding for such programs was going and how it could be better used.
“A lot of the things we are hearing from industry groups suggest that red tape is causing a lot of problems,” he said.
Another few rounds of consultations will also be held.
On Monday the Taskforce will meet with the Local Government and Shires Association, NSW Farmer’s, Rotary and the Country Women’s Association; and on Wednesday the NSW Minerals Council, Business Chamber, Tourism and Industry and the Foundation for Regional Development.
Mr Torbay said among the suggestions the taskforce had already received was that of a more genuine approach to relocating partial government agencies.
“We are hearing that there has already been success in doing that,” he said.
“We are also hearing that programs that were in place through what was previously state and regional development, don’t exist and some of the programs brought in to replace them don’t meet current needs of councils looking to expand employment and deliver more jobs.”
Mr Torbay said he was thankful so many people who had taken the opportunity to discuss their concerns with the taskforce had been so frank.
“That will help us to look at the opportunities where we can develop recommendations that can help to improve the resources that are available,” he said.