Government | Regulation

It is the consumer who should determine the market – not the government

“We’re a government that is open to business but we are also open to new ideas, and we’re a government that’s ready to respond to new challenges and new opportunities as they emerge."

Speaking at the annual State of the State, the Premier discussed the state’s economic progress over the last year and how the economy and business environment was changing.

“It’s our view that it is the consumer who should determine the market – not the government,” he said.

“Millions of consumers worldwide are using innovative new IT platforms to obtain a very extensive, almost limitless number of services and goods in the sharing economy.

“Of course for some it is unwanted competition, it is a disruptive technology but for others it's greater choice and now we as a government has a choice to make.

“Do we get with the program or do we try and stop change? Do we try to interrupt progress and innovation, or do we welcome the opportunity to embrace it and seize it?

“We are embracing change, we are embracing competition, and we are embracing the opportunity to lead the nation.

“We won’t go down the path that other places have taken; to try and kill off the sharing economy by heavy regulation, through legal action, or in some cases trying to ban it - all with limited success.

“Human ingenuity will inevitably outsmart the regulators.

“People will ignore or work around the regulations because technology allows them to do that; they can connect directly with their customer, and circumvent the system.

“A government will, in all likelihood, often know nothing about most of these transactions. And even if the government does manage to prosecute some people, experience is showing that it won’t deter them, that it won’t stop suppliers and customers choosing to do business together.

“It certainly does not mean that we won’t ensure that there are adequate protections in place for consumers and the broader public good.

“But a model of minimal regulation is the course we will take."