The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has launched a wide-ranging review of local government compliance and enforcement practices, including their oversight of filming in public places, in an effort to reduce red tape.

It follows the NSW Government’s pledge to reduce regulatory costs for business and the community by 20 per cent – or the equivalent of an annual $750 million – by June, 2015.

The IPART review, outlined in a fact sheet and issues paper, will identify local government practices that are imposing unnecessary costs on councils, business and the community. Council enforcement and compliance powers cover areas such as parking, planning, health and safety, and activities in public areas, such as filming.

In previous years, some NSW councils developed a notorious reputation among filmmakers due to onerous and expensive public filming requirements. However, the NSW government introduced a new ‘Local Government Filming Protocol’ in 2009 which was designed to reduce red tape and encourage more filmmakers to shoot in the state.

A central component of the legislation included stopping local councils' practice of fee-gouging – fees charged to filmmakers were mandated to not exceed cost-recovery. The legislation also included a code of conduct for the screen industry.

More information about the IPART review can be found at Government News.

Contact this reporter at or on Twitter at @bcswift.

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