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01/10/2018 | Public Access

Submission to the Treasury | Reforms to combat illegal phoenix activity – Draft Legislation | September 27, 2018

The Australian Chamber generally supports the Government considering targeted, balanced and workable ways in which to reduce the incidence and incentives of directors and businesses to engage in fraudulent phoenix activities. It is important to note however, that measures should not inhibit responsible risk taking, innovation, entrepreneurship. Care needs to be taken to ensure our laws do not have the effect of discouraging business rescue.

17/09/2018 | Public Access

Submission to the Treasury | Designing a modern Australian Business Number system | September 5, 2018

The Australian Chamber is concerned that the ABN registry will be used as a tool to encourage compliance with tax obligations, particularly if poor tax compliance is used as a reason to cancel an ABN. The ABN system is a registry first and foremost, used as an identifier of businesses. There are other substantial enforcement provisions that can be used to ensure businesses comply with their statutory obligations. The government’s commitment to the Modernising Business Registers (MBR) Program provides an opportunity for significant changes to be made to the ABN system, which will strengthen its data integrity. The MBR program...

04/09/2018 | Public Access

Submission to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection | Response to: Visa Simplification – Transforming Australia’s Visa System | September 2017

The Australian Chamber supports the reduction of red tape and the streamlining of services. However, this cannot come at the cost of reducing the integrity of the system or its ability to meet the needs of business and the broader community. The Australian Chamber acknowledges that the current visa system is complex and at times difficult to navigate and does agree that simplification of this system should be possible.

04/09/2018 | Public Access

Submission to the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science | Women in STEM Strategy | July 2018

Attracting women to STEM study and work and retaining them in related careers is a challenge for many disciplines and occupations. Barriers are multi-faceted and range across a number of areas and therefore solutions need to be diverse as well. Over the years, a number of Departments have sought to address this issue and have launched initiatives. Going forward, there needs to be a coherent whole of Government approach to address the range of issues in STEM education generally, and specifically for encouraging and retaining women in STEM.

04/09/2018 | Public Access

Submission to the Productivity Commission | Inquiry into the Economic Regulation of Airports | 3 September 2018

Airports are gateways into a new country or a new city and thus shape the first impression of the destination, especially for an international traveller. Airports are enablers of international tourism facilitating passenger movement at record rates. International visitation to Australia is projected to grow by 64% in 2026-27 compared to 6.9% in 2017-181. Likewise, domestic tourism is growing at an unprecedented rate. Domestic travel is projected to grow by 24% (overnight visitors) and 29% (day visitors) over the period 2017-18 to 2026-272. Airports, airline capacity and service delivery (the customer facing aspects) thus need to keep up to cater...

21/08/2018 | Public Access

Submission to the Treasury | Modernising Business Registers | 17 August 2018

The announcement of funding, in the 2018-19 Budget, to develop a business case to modernise the Government’s business registers was welcome and long overdue. There are many interactions that business has with Government. Duplication is a significant issue for business in many of these interactions, which unnecessarily adds to administrative costs. The consolidation of business registers will simplify business’ interactions with Government and reduce duplication. It will ensure that businesses need only ‘tell government once’.

13/08/2018 | Public Access

JSCFADT Inquiry into access to free trade agreements by small and medium sized enterprises | 1 June 2018

We welcome the opportunity to make a submission to the Inquiry into access to free trade agreements by small and medium sized enterprises  The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry is a champion of free trade and investment and recognises the importance of getting more Australian businesses internationally engaged. We support the Government’s efforts to assist the development of Australian international trade through securing improvements through the multiple form of unilateral reform, multilateral agreements, regional and bilateral trade and investment treaties. 

02/08/2018 | Public Access

Submission | Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet | August 2, 2018

The Australian Chamber has been supportive of the Australian Government’s expansion of its open-data policy. Australian businesses are increasingly data-driven in their decision making and benefit from access to more complete datasets. However, there is more that can be done. Other governments, such as the United Kingdom and Canada, are ahead of the Australian Government in terms of open data. As such, the Australian Chamber welcomes initiatives that streamline the way public data is shared and released.

28/07/2018 | Public Access

Submission to the Treasury | Research & Development Tax Incentive Amendments | 26 July 2018

The R&D tax concession was first introduced in 1985 with the aim of encouraging Australian industry to undertake R&D activities. Since then the R&D tax provisions have undergone a number of significant changes. The constantly changing R&D landscape creates additional administrative and compliance costs for Australian businesses. Consistency in R&D tax policy settings provides investment certainty to businesses. In particular, the Australian Chamber called for greater provision for R&D to lift investment and innovation in our Pre-budget submission for 2018-19.  We are concerned that the targeting of R&D tax incentives in the Budget 2018-19 may dis-incentivise legitimate R&D activity. It...

17/07/2018 | Public Access

Submission to the Energy Security Board | 13 July 2018

Response to the Energy Security Board’s Draft Detailed Design of the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) We applaud the government’s and ESB’s efforts to date to resolve uncertainty over long-term energy and climate policy, and encourage federal, state and territory governments to work together constructively and with a sense of urgency to that end. The Australian Chamber’s members support the NEG as a long-term, bipartisan, nationally agreed policy solution to help guide investment in the electricity generation sector. However, our members have also stated that this policy must help to deliver lower costs for consumers. The Australian Chamber remains concerned that the draft...

04/07/2018 | Public Access

Submission to the Department of Education and Training | The Australian Apprenticeship Support Network | July 2018

Apprenticeships have a long and significant history in Australia as an effective model for work based learning. Apprenticeships are a cornerstone of industry led skills development. The work integrated learning model, combining theoretical, mostly off-the-job learning with on-the-job practical validation of those skills in a real work environment, is widely accepted as a successful and highly valued skills development pathway for individuals and employers. VET pathways, particularly apprenticeships and traineeships, have job-outcome results at around 80-90% at the end of training, compared to around 68% for those graduating from an undergraduate degree.

25/06/2018 | Public Access

Submission | Training Product Reform and Unduly Short Courses | March 2018

Submission to the Department of Education and Training - Response to discussion papers on Training Product Reform and Unduly Short Courses: Training products and competency-based training are cornerstones of the Vocational Education and Training (VET) system. Industry places a high value on the focus on skills outcomes, as defined by industry specialists, as opposed to training inputs. Radical change is not required in relation to training products but further refinement particularly of the development of the products will significantly improve efficiency and responsiveness. Employers continue to see the strength of VET as the delivery of relevant technical skills suitable for...

25/06/2018 | Public Access

Submission | Mid-year Review of Occupations Lists | June 2018

Submission to the Department of Jobs and Small Business on the mid-year traffic light bulletin – review of occupations lists: The Australian Chamber submission is a complement to the extensive consultations with the Department of Jobs and Small Business and the Department of Home Affairs. The employer-sponsored component of the migration programme is heavily regulated and very expensive for businesses to access. This regulation, along with important compliance monitoring and enforcement, is sufficient to limit overuse of the programme in all but an isolated few occupations and sponsors. Limiting the number of skilled occupations with access to the employer-sponsored component is...

13/06/2018 | Public Access

Submission | Introducing an Economy-Wide Cash Payment Limit | 12 June 2018

The Australian Chamber is cognisant of the motives to ban large cash transactions. However, we would suggest that it is the wrong policy focus. Rather than restricting cash use, the Australian Chamber notes that black market activity is best reduced by lowering the tax and regulatory burden, and removing the barriers to business and economic activity more generally. That is, black market activity is best reduced by tackling the causes of that activity.

06/06/2018 | Public Access

2018 Review of the model WHS laws: Australian Chamber Submission & Top 10 Recommendations

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Australian Chamber) welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the 2018 Review of the model Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws. This review is an opportunity to examine the operation and content of the model WHS laws to ensure they are operating as intended in those jurisdictions who have implemented them. The Australian Chamber continues to support the process of harmonisation. Harmonisation was and is widely welcomed. Industry commends the ongoing efforts to eliminate inconsistencies and duplication in WHS legislation across States and Territories but acknowledges more work is still needed. We maintain that the model WHS Act,...

06/06/2018 | Public Access

Enabling Safe and Healthy Workplaces for Small Business report

In 2015 the Australian Chamber commissioned SEAANZ to investigate how Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws and regulations impact the workplace within SMEs and what frameworks and innovative methods might enhance management of WHS within them. Our aim was to identify gaps that need to be addressed if current workplace regulations are to respond to contemporary issues facing SMEs. Key themes are the nature of the regulatory framework in work health and safety and the challenge for modern SMEs, innovation, drivers and barriers, regulation versus implementation issues and future research focus areas. The regulatory environment in Australia is complex and not scaled to the realities...

05/06/2018 | Public Access

Submission | Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee | 4 June 2018

Inquiry into the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP-11) The Australian Chamber welcomes and supports the government’s efforts to secure the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP11). It is a regional agreement with consistent rules and approaches that apply to a number (but not all) of our major trading partners. This consistency adds value to Australian business. This revised agreement offers significantly improved preferential market access for Australia into Japan and reduced barriers to entry into Canada and Mexico over current arrangements. It also provides benefits to Australian consumers (including businesses) through domestic tariff reductions, relaxation of investment scrutiny and will highlight Australia as...

01/06/2018 | Public Access

Submission to the Treasury | Increasing the integrity of the Commonwealth procurement process | 31 May 2018

The Australian Chamber commends the government’s objective to take the lead in best practice for procurement of goods and services. It is important that businesses have confidence in the integrity of the regulatory systems that support commercial transactions, particularly when taxpayers’ money is used to fund these commercial transactions. However, caution is needed when determining the definition of a ‘satisfactory tax record’. For example, the Australian Chamber is particularly concerned, and cautions against, a taxpayer’s contested debt with the ATO being reflected negatively in their Statement of Tax Record. Government procurement contracts should not be used as a means to...

25/05/2018 | Public Access

Submission | Inquiry into impediments to business investment | May 25, 2018

Australian Chamber members have consistently expressed concern that policy makers often do not implement policies that are in the long-term interests of our country. This heavily weighs on confidence, and therefore investment. Economic studies consistently show policy uncertainty negatively impacts business investment. If businesses are unsure what the future policy landscape looks like, their return projections will be uncertain too. This, in turn, will lower the investment a business makes. This is why policy leadership is so important in encouraging businesses to invest.

25/05/2018 | Public Access

Submission | Regional inequality in Australia | May 25, 2018

Regional Australia cannot be thought of as one homogenous area. Nor can regional Australia necessarily be thought of, or referred to, as a remote area. Characterising or stereotyping areas as such leads to incorrect analysis and poor policy outcomes.   For instance many regional towns and cities are in very close proximity to the major state capital cities. The causes of regional inequality are complex and the Australian Chamber does not profess to capture them all in this submission. We would note however that inequality of opportunity in towns and cities outside of the major state capitals is likely a significant...

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