The Federal Government will a total of $6.5 million in grants to assist SMEs in developing new regtech solutions to share and improve access to occupational licence data, enabling licenced workers to more seamlessly ply their trades across Australia’s states and territories.
Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor invited “digital disruptors” to devise regtech solutions to improve information sharing for state-issued occupational registrations and licences.
Delivered as part of the Business Research and Innovation Initiative (BRII), this latest of the BRII initiatives will offer eligible small and medium businesses grants of up to $675,000 to develop a prototype or proof of concept of a regtech (regulatory technology) solution that can improve information sharing for occupational licences. The granting of professional or trade licences is typically overseen and issued by state and territory authorities, making acceptance across jurisdictions a challenge.
Taylor said the new regtech solution would align with the Federal Government’s reforms to occupational licences for cross-border work, namely the Automatic Mutual Recognition of Occupational Registrations scheme, and “streamline how states and territories share information on licence registrations and conditions.”
The introduction of the AMR in July this year has enabled existing occupational licensees to work across Australian states and territories without the need to register for new licences.
The AMR is currently active within New South Wales, Victoria, the ACT and the Northern Territory for a limited number of occupations. The Government said the scheme would be progressively rolled out across other states and include more occupations, with remaining states (SA, Queensland, Tasmania, and WA) required to implement AMR in 2022.
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Ben Morton, noted the significant hurdles that government regulators face in the sharing and management of licence data. He said the private sector was “well placed to provide solutions”.
Morton added that the Government’s reforms to mutual recognition of occupational licences will add $2.4 billion to the economy over 10 years.
“Timely and accurate access to information is a critical part of this reform,” he said.
The BRII, unveiled last year by the Government, looks to address five separate real-world policy and service delivery challenges, among which include solutions for remote and automated monitoring of the health and welfare of export livestock and technologies as well as a platform, designed for financial regulator ASIC, to identify and assess poor market disclosure by listed companies.
To date, the BRII program has provided 83 grants, totalling more than $30 million in funding.
BRII grant applicants can access more information at www.business.gov.au/BRII