Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Community and Government Working Together to Cut Red Tape

The first of eight special meetings with community organisations to identify opportunities to cut red tape was held in Melbourne today.

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, opened the discussions with representatives from a cross section of service providers.

“Cutting red tape is a Howard Government priority and through these meetings service providers on the ground can tell us how we can simplify and streamline our processes to make it easier for them to work with us,” Senator Patterson said.

“Service providers can be frustrated by requirements which sometimes divert resources away from the important task of delivering services to the community.

“We should aim to achieve a proper balance – enabling service providers to get on with their work in the community while providing us with the information we need to ensure that taxpayers’ funds are being used for their intended purpose.

“I was encouraged by the willingness of service providers to work with us on this. They consider this an important objective and I heard some very practical suggestions about where we can look at cutting red tape.

“In particular, service providers suggested a database be established to house details of community organisations funded by my department, thereby relieving them of the need to provide the same information more than once.

“I have asked my department to investigate and report to me how its new IT system can be used to relieve this burden on service providers,” Senator Patterson said.

Work will also begin shortly to respond to another suggestion that service providers be given greater clarity as to why the department asks for particular information.

Similar meetings will be convened around the country through to June 2006.

Other community organisations with ideas on where red tape could be cut can email Red Tape Reduction ( or visit the web site at