openPR Logo
Press release

Australia – An Innovative Agenda?

06-09-2016 10:56 AM CET | Politics, Law & Society

Press release from: ECOVIS AG Steuerberatungsgesellschaft

Australia’s government tightens foreign investment laws for housing and land and introduces a National Innovation and Science Agenda to encourage innovation in business and schools.

The second half of 2015 saw significant changes to Australia’s foreign investment framework come into effect, along with the government making an innovation statement which committed $1 billion over the next four years to foster and develop new ideas and new businesses in Australia. To near universal approbation, the new prime minister’s Innovation Agenda has been embraced by all sides of the political spectrum which hopes to attract ideas, entrepreneurs and ultimately create more jobs.

Changes in foreign investment rules

In late November the government successfully negotiated passage through the senate for the legislation amending the foreign investment rules. These changes, which were passed with the help of the Australian Greens, are in part a response to significant community concern about elements of foreign investment and, specifically, foreign investment into residential housing and agricultural land. The proposed changes include:

• The transfer of all administration of foreign investment rules as they relate to residential real estate from the Foreign Investment Review Board (“FIRB”) to the Australian Taxation Office (“ATO”). This is in response to community, and government, concern that the FIRB is not adequately resourced and/or unable to enforce the current laws governing investment into residential property.
• Stricter penalties will be imposed, with criminal penalties increased and third parties who knowingly assist a foreign investor to breach rules now also being subject to penalties.
• Application fees will now be imposed on all foreign investment applications which start from $5,000 for a residential property valued at $1 million or less, with higher fees imposed for business, agriculture and commercial real estate applications.
• A comprehensive, public land register will be established along with lowering the screening threshold for investments in agribusiness to $55 million and lowering the screening threshold for agricultural land to $15 million or where an investor’s overall portfolio of land is worth $15 million or more. Again, this is in response to community concern over the lack of transparency of land ownership, although it is important to note that clauses of Australia’s free trade agreements with New Zealand, Chile, Singapore, Thailand and the United States provide for higher thresholds than this.
• The government will establish a public register of foreign owned land and of foreign owned water entitlements.

Prior to this legislation passing, the ATO has already taken over the FIRB responsibility for residential housing and, indeed, the Government has publicly said that over 195 homes are currently under investigation and over 60 investigators have been assigned to enhance the ATO’s capabilities to prosecute those who are not complying with the rules.

The Innovation Agenda

In early December the new Malcolm Turnbull lead Government unveiled a significant package of measures designed to encourage entrepreneurship and the establishment of new and innovative businesses.
The package is wide ranging with incentives being put in place in a significant number of areas and some key laws being amended to promote risk taking. Some of the key elements are:

• the establishment of a $200 million innovation fund to co-invest in businesses that develop technology from the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) and Australian universities
• the establishment of a $250 million Biomedical Translation Fund to co-invest with the private sector to commercialise medical research
• guaranteed funding of at least $150 million per year to the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Scheme (“NCRIS”) which supports 1,700 scientists
• changes to university funding criteria to encourage greater collaboration with business to develop ideas along with an additional $127 million in research grants over the next four years
• the introduction of a new 20% income tax rebate for retail investors in start-ups, limited to $200,000 per investor per year
• amendments to insolvency and bankruptcy laws which will be relaxed for start-up enterprises and the default bankruptcy period being reduced from 3 years to 1 along with the banning of “ipso facto” contractual clauses which allow an agreement to be terminated solely due to insolvency
• the introduction of a new visa category to entice entrepreneurs and tech-skilled workers to Australia, and offers of permanent residency for high-quality foreign students who graduate in information technology and science, technology, engineering or maths

The Government is hoping these measures generate an ideas boom which will re-position the Australian economy and jump start growth now that the mining boom has come to an end. Given the background of Malcolm Turnbull it is clear to see this is an area he is passionate about and, with the Government recently also changing the rules around crowd funding platforms and other more innovative funding sources, we can expect more announcements from a more nimble and dynamic Government determined to modernise Australia.

Ecovis is a leading global consulting firm with its origins in Continental Europe. It has over 4,500 people operating in over 60 countries. Its consulting focus and core competencies lie in the areas of tax consultation, accounting, auditing and legal advice. The particular strength of Ecovis is the combination of personal advice at a local level with the general expertise of an international and interdisciplinary network of professionals. Every Ecovis office can rely on qualified specialists in the back offices as well as on the specific industrial or national know-how of all the Ecovis experts worldwide. This diversified expertise provides clients with effective support, especially in the fields of international transactions and investments – from preparation in the client‘s home country to support in the target country. In its consulting work Ecovis concentrates mainly on mid-sized firms.
Both nationally and internationally, its one-stop-shop concept ensures all-round support in legal, fiscal, managerial and administrative issues.
The name Ecovis, a combination of the terms economy and vision, expresses both its international character and its focus on the future and growth.

Julia Hanke
Agnes-Bernauer-Str.90
80687 München
Tel.: +49 89 5898 266
Fax: +49 89 5898 280
E-Mail: julia.hanke@ecovis.com

This release was published on openPR.

Permanent link to this press release:

Copy
Please set a link in the press area of your homepage to this press release on openPR. openPR disclaims liability for any content contained in this release.

You can edit or delete your press release Australia – An Innovative Agenda? here

News-ID: 343981 • Views: 1693

More Releases from ECOVIS AG Steuerberatungsgesellschaft

SOUTH AFRICA: Why BBBEE is important for business
The legislation Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) has an impact on business. It is intended to be temporary in scope. The objective of BBBEE is to correct inequalities that were placed on the population in the past through apartheid. ue to the lack of opportunities in terms of the education and skills development given to the previously disadvantaged groups the poverty gap has grown significantly and it is difficult
INDIA: Big March for SME
In keeping with recent and ongoing changes in the business landscape, business is focusing on mobility rather than stability, and the service business has evolved accordingly. Globalization is the buzzword as geographic boundaries cease to exist. Business is competing for opportunities in an international arena. Because the world is connected in a single unit, any crisis in one part of the world has repercussions in other parts, too. Small and medium-sized

More Releases for Australia

Australia – A Dataforce insight
Australia, the land of the Ute (Pickup), Cyber Cars (Dealer volume demos), Novated leasing and annual registrations of around 1.1 million new cars has now become one of the latest markets to enter our portfolio. We are putting together a series of articles to hopefully give some fresh Dataforce insights into the Australian market place, with a firm eye on the True Fleet channel. With a constantly expanding population and
StoreWALL Launches into Australia
Expand and organise your space with wall-mounted storage solutions from StoreWALL. StoreWALL is a premium wall-mounted storage system for home and business. The range covers wall panels, hooks, baskets, bins, brackets and shelves. Everything you need to efficiently organise and store items in the home or commercial space. With superior materials and construction, our products are built to last. Plus, you won’t find a system that’s easier to install. StoreWALL systems
Baby Food in Australia
Latest Report on Baby Food in Australia The impact of milk formula shortages continued to be keenly felt in Australia in 2016. The press consistently covered the complaints of parents nationwide, with many facing empty shelves and buying restrictions in chemists and supermarkets. Australia’s two leading supermarkets, Coles and Woolworths, maintained limits on purchases of milk formula, capping purchases at two and four units per customer respectively. International demand for local
Coffee in Australia
ReportsWeb.com has announced the addition of the “Coffee in Australia” The report focuses on global major leading industry players with information such as company profiles, product picture and specification. Influenced by the strong café culture in Australia, consumers are increasingly interested in the origins and tastes of their coffee products. Consumers ask more questions about where their coffee is from and this is reflected in the strategic plans of large companies.
Agrochemicals Market in Australia
ReportsWorldwide has announced the addition of a new report title Australia: Agrochemicals: Market Intelligence (2016-2021) to its growing collection of premium market research reports. The report “Australia: Agrochemicals: Market Intelligence (2016-2021)” provides market intelligence on the different market segments, based on type, active ingredient, formulation, crop, and pest. Market size and forecast (2016-2021) has been provided in terms of both, value (000 USD) and volume (000 KG) in the report. A
Cheese in Australia
Australian consumption of cheese remains buoyant with increasing demand for better quality cheese and a move away from processed cheese. In particular, cheese retail value grew 2% in current terms in 2016, up from 1% in 2015. Positive research, in recent years, on the benefits of dairy fats also contributed to increasing demand for full fat cheese. Demand for cheese was also partly fuelled by Australian consumers enjoying cheese, especially