Tradies set to save under proposed government cross-border licence scheme

Tradies and small businesses will save hundreds of dollars a year under a proposed NSW Government scheme allowing licence holders to work across state borders.

Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said the Automatic Mutual Recognition (AMR) program would apply to architects, plumbers, drainers and gasfitters.

“The AMR program would enable those operators to work in any state or territory across the country, and give consumers more choice,” Mr Kean said.

“This is a common-sense idea that delivers on the NSW Government’s commitment to cut red tape for small businesses, while creating the best outcomes for consumers.

“It will allow these tradies and professionals to get on with their jobs without the burden of needing a separate licence for each jurisdiction.

“I recently wrote to my interstate Ministerial counterparts seeking support for the program.”

Mr Kean said the current application fee for a trade or specialist contractor in NSW was $312 for a one-year licence.

“Businesses could save thousands of dollars and hours of onerous paperwork each year, thanks to the AMR program,” Mr Kean said.

“Those working close to state borders will benefit in particular, where current licence requirements can limit opportunities for both small businesses and consumers.”

Mr Kean said the occupations included in the proposed scheme are already regulated in each state, with unlicensed work also an offence in each jurisdiction. 

“If the AMR proposal was accepted, an inter-governmental working group would be created to help get the program up and running as soon as possible,” Mr Kean said.

“Licence holders will still have to meet strict regulatory conditions to ensure consumers remain protected from any potentially shoddy operators in the marketplace.”

Automatic mutual recognition schemes are already in place for electricians in the eastern states, and for veterinarians in all states except Western Australia.

“I look forward to working further with my interstate colleagues on this program,” Mr Kean said.