Thank you for your engagement with the proposed automatic mutual recognition (AMR) of occupational registrations. Please find our May 2021 update on the project below.
National legislation has passed the Senate
As per a previous update, the details of the national legislative framework were settled with the benefit of public consultation and the Australian Government introduced the Mutual Recognition Amendment Bill 2021 to parliament in March 2021. The bill passed the Senate on 12 May with a number of technical amendments and will return to the House of Representatives to enable commencement from 1 July 2021, subject to further supporting legislation by the States and Territories.
The Treasurer, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, and the Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Hon Ben Morton MP, issued a media release on 13 May 2021 concerning the progress of the legislation: media release.
- Further information on the bill can be found here, including the minister’s speech and explanatory memoranda which outline how AMR builds upon the existing mutual recognition arrangements, and the safeguards built into the proposed scheme.
- Your feedback enabled the bill to be improved with respect to regulator oversight (related to information sharing requirements and disciplinary provisions), expansion of exemption criteria, and simplification of temporary exemption provisions to provide greater certainty for workers and businesses during the transition period. Your feedback will continue to inform on-the-ground implementation of the new scheme, including by sectoral regulators.
2021-22 Budget: Supporting implementation of AMR for licensed workers
The Australian Government is providing $11 million over three years, as part of the 2021-22 Deregulation Budget Package, to support the widespread implementation of AMR of occupational registrations. AMR will enable licensed workers to operate across jurisdictions, without having to apply, pay for and wait for a further licence to perform the same activities. This will make it easier and faster for skilled workers to take up jobs across borders, including to assist with natural disaster recovery. The funding commitment will assist states and territories to implement AMR, helping to realise the benefits of this reform.
- $2.3 million will be provided for national initiatives, in collaboration with states and territories, to inform consumers, licensees and businesses about the changes in the mutual recognition arrangements, their benefits and also consumer and other safeguards built into this scheme. This will include information products tailored to different industries and licensed occupations.
- $7.5 million will be provided over three years under the Business Research and Innovation Initiative (BRII) to pilot new digital information exchange solutions, in partnership with states and territories. This will assist regulators to provide up to date information to workers, businesses and consumers about how the scheme operates and to quickly share information with regulators in other jurisdictions, including when they take disciplinary action against licensed workers.
Under BRII, Australian start-ups and small and medium businesses will be able to submit proposals for ideas that will support the implementation and adoption of AMR, in partnership with key government departments and regulatory agencies. Successful applicants will receive grants of up to $100,000 to develop their ideas and test feasibility over three months. The most successful of these ideas may be eligible for a grant of up to $1 million to develop a prototype or proof of concept. Innovative Australian businesses will be encouraged to apply when the process is formally underway later in the year. To find out more information about BRII, visit www.business.gov.au/BRII.
Co-Chair of the Commonwealth-State AMR Steering Group
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
p. (02) 6271 5111