Australia’s prime minister announces tax breaks for startups


Emphasizing his government’s approach to helping Australia’s tech industry, Australia’s prime minister promised new tax breaks for anyone investing in startups up to $200,000 per year. The new legislation will be introduced in parliament Wednesday.

“We have been from an economy that was fired up by the mining construction boom . . . but inevitably it was going to tail off so what comes next? What comes next is innovation,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters at a press conference in Canberra on Tuesday.

Saying the country needed to diversify its economy once and for all, facilitating startup investment would pick up some economic slack for Australia. The mining industry down under is going through a boom expected to slow down soon. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) consistently ranks the country at the bottom of its member states for business collaboration and R&D, according to Reuters.

For anyone not bored by the details, that means a 20% rebate on all investments and additional 10% rebates on investments for growth. Individuals can collect up to $200,000 in rebates under the plan. But that wasn’t the only news of the day.

Google Australia boss leaves for other pastures

Maile Carnegie, Google Australia's outgoing head, will join the country's national board for Innovation and Science (screen capture via YouTube, ANZ Group)
Maile Carnegie, Google Australia’s outgoing head, will join the country’s national board for Innovation and Science (screen capture via YouTube, ANZ Group)

The tax plan is part of a larger AU $1.1 billion tech master plan announced in December to promote the country’s “innovation,” though some find his plan to be insufficient. Turnbull also listed members of the new Innovation and Science Australia board to advocate for technology companies and industry interests.

The biggest name on the list might be outgoing Google Australia boss Maile Carnegie, who is leaving Google to take a spot at Aussie-Kiwi bank ANZ to run the company’s digital banking. Her appointment here indicates she is intent on maintaining her influence across Australia’s technology industry.

Other prominent names will include its board chair, CHAMP Private Equity Group founder Bill Ferris, Australia’s Chief Scientist Alan Finkel, Atlassian Co-Founder and CEO Scott Farquhar, SEEK Co-Founder and Square Peg Capital Partner Paul Bassat, and AirTree Ventures Co-Founder Daniel Petre.

“The National Innovation and Science Australia board is critical to providing us with advice,” Turnbull said at the press conference. “There are a number of leading businessmen and women on it, and it is vital that we work closely with industry, academia, business and VC to ensure we get the right inspiration and stimulation for investment.

Featured image credit: DoD photo by U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Clydell Kinchen / Wikimedia Commons


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