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The Simplified Trade System (STS) Industry Advisory Council (IAC) met at Parliament House in Canberra on 28 November 2023.

The meeting was attended by the Federal Minister for Trade and Tourism, Senator the Hon Don Farrell, who expressed strong support for the STS reforms. He also shared his ambition for the STS to play a central role in creating Australia’s future cross-border trade environment, delivering incremental, practical outcomes.

The IAC Chair, Mr Paul Little AO, opened the meeting and thanked members for their ongoing support, acknowledging that while positive progress has been made, there are many strategic and complex challenges facing Australian trade.

Mr Randall Brugeaud, Head of the STS Taskforce, together with partner agency representatives, provided an update on the progress of the STS reforms. They underscored the importance of providing integrated advice to Government and more effectively coordinating positive engagement with industry across a range of forums to progress cross-border trade reforms.

Members reaffirmed their collective view that an incremental approach is required to deliver a modern regulatory and technology environment. Key focus areas for the Taskforce and partner agencies were also discussed.

Minister Farrell reiterated the importance of cross-border trade reforms, before leading a question-and-answer session with members. The Minister emphasised his intention to deliver practical outcomes for trading businesses and our economy. Minister Farrell responded to questions on the Government’s direction and sought advice from IAC members on how to engage with business most effectively on the trade modernisation agenda.

IAC members shared their enthusiasm for the STS reforms and pledged their ongoing support. Members also reflected on the importance of investing in digitalisation and capacity building, supported by a clear and transparent roadmap.

Mr Little reflected on a very positive meeting, which included a particularly powerful set of messages from the Minister. He thanked members for their contributions and closed the meeting.

Download: Simplified Trade System Industry Advisory Council Communique [pdf]

Contact: Business.Engagement@simplifiedtrade.gov.au