First published 13th December 2013 Sydney Morning herald
A country-wide licensing authority for a range of occupations including lawyers and real estate agents has been scrapped.
The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has agreed to scrap the National Occupation Licensing Authority which was set up by the former Labor federal government after a 2008 COAG meeting.
Most states decided at a meeting in Canberra on Friday not to proceed with the national scheme, citing the cost and other problems.
“Let’s try to bring about the same outcome in a less cumbersome, less time-consuming and ultimately more productive way, and I think that’s what we are going to do now,” Prime Minister Tony Abbott said.
Mr Abbott said there should be a seamless national economy so people such as lawyers and plumbers could trade in every jurisdiction and not just where they were licensed.
He said mutual recognition could bring that about without the extraordinarily difficult and endless processes national schemes seemed to involve.
States were generally opposed to the scheme because it would mean they would miss out on licence fee revenue.
The authority will cease operations in early 2014.