Claudia Baxter

Industrial relations red tape will start to hit confidence

ALTHOUGH the State Government is talking up confidence as consumer spending is on the increase, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland says it won't be for long after new industrial relations legislation came into effect this month.

The Newman government is using figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics to show how its economic policy is delivering growth for Queensland.

Acting Treasurer and Trade Minister John McVeigh said an increase of 4.9% in trend dwelling approvals and a rise of 0.5% in retail turnover during November were proof the government's initiatives were having an impact.

He said Queensland's housing finance commitments rose 2.7% in November, almost two and a half times the national increase of 1.1%.

"We've made the process of buying and selling homes easier by reinstating the principal place of residence transfer duty concession the previous Labor government scrapped, wiping up to $7000 off the cost of buying the family home," he said.

"The $15,000 Great Start Grant introduced as part of the 2012-2013 Budget has already seen more than 4100 grants given to Queenslanders."

But CCIQ general manager advocacy Nick Behrens said new federal legislation, introduced in the dying days of the former Gillard government, had added to the compliance and cost burden in relation to workplace bullying, apprenticeships and superannuation.

"We would like to see the government use the first parliamentary sittings of the year to act on this legislation and offer a much-needed reprieve to the business community, which is already battling increased energy costs," he said.

"Just when businesses feel they are turning the corner and things are picking up, they are hit with more costs and compliance obligations."

He said the changes affected every business across the state in some way and they couldn't afford to keep incurring additional business costs and being tied down with red tape.

"We are seeing some positive signs in the economy and business confidence has been on the up in Queensland, but changes like these dampen that confidence quickly," he said.