With a mandate to bust red tape and make NSW the easiest place to do business, Peter Achterstraat AM has been appointed as the State’s inaugural Productivity Commissioner.

Mr Achterstraat, who has had a distinguished public service career at both the federal and state levels, will be responsible for driving microeconomic reform and targeting regulatory roadblocks. “This appointment is fantastic news for NSW and will help drive our agenda of making it quicker and easier for citizens to deal with government,” NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said.

“I am very glad Peter is taking on this role and he will bring enormous experience and energy to the Commission.” “NSW is already powering the national economy but ongoing productivity reforms are absolutely critical to securing the State’s long-term economic success.”

Mr Achterstraat and the Commission will initially focus on four core themes:
· Making it easier to do business
· Lowering the cost of living
· Making housing more affordable
· Making NSW the easiest state to move to

Mr Achterstraat will be responsible for helping to shape the NSW Government’s productivity agenda and overseeing its regulatory framework. This will include implementation of the Government’s response to the review of regulation undertaken by former NSW Premier Nick Greiner. “The Treasurer has set down a challenging agenda for the Commission to tackle and I look forward to getting started,” Mr Achterstraat said

“I especially want to hear from the community and business on what barriers and problems they want fixed.” Mr Achterstraat was the NSW Auditor-General from 2006 to 2013 and served in other roles including as the Chief Commissioner of State Revenue and Deputy Commissioner of Taxation at the Australian Tax Office.

He is the president of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (NSW Division) and the Chair of the Sydney Financial Forum. He has also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Sydney’s Graduate School of Government and held the positions of infrastructure adviser for Advisian and the Administrator of the National Health Funding Pool.

“Mr Achterstraat is a great addition to Treasury. His intellect and drive will be pivotal in our search for fresh ways of boosting productivity across NSW,” said Treasury Secretary Michael Pratt AM.

“We look forward to working to ensure NSW remains the number one performing State in Australia.” The NSW Business Chamber has estimated businesses spend more than $10 billion a year complying with regulations across Government. An online portal has been set up for citizens and businesses to identify regulatory problem areas and provide fresh ideas to ease the burden.