The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) has found that around a quarter of federal agriculture regulations could be improved to reduce the burden for farmers.

ABARES looked at 32 areas of regulation and found 12 could be reformed.

Broadly those are in the areas of environmental and workplace health and safety regulation, where there is often duplication or inconsistent rules between the state and federal levels of government.

ABARES's Peter Gooday says agriculture is one of the most highly regulated sectors in the country.

"It's at the intersection of a range of worker, health and safety, food regulation, environmental regulation. It's one of the more heavily regulation sectors we have," he said.

"For many of the areas we investigated, things seemed to be in reasonably good shape, but for around a quarter of them, it looked like there could be some improvements."

The National Farmers' Federation welcomed the report, saying it backs up research done by the national farm lobby that unnecessary regulation of the farm sector is reducing its productivity and profitability.

The Federal Government was elected promising to cut red and green tape by $1 billion across the economy, and the NFF wants agriculture regulation to form part of those cuts.

The Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce welcomed the report.

"I will be asking my department to consider the findings of this report as part of the current regulation reviews," he said.

"I encourage my federal, state and territory colleagues to do the same with their departments, as some of the findings will require cross-government collaboration."

 

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