ASIC next in line to be climate cop

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 24-Dec-19

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission will begin to legally enforce a requirement that listed companies must inform their shareholders and customers of any material risks from climate change. ASIC has not yet used this enforcement power under the Corporations Act 2001, but it intends to do so in 2020. Woolworths and Treasury Wine Estates are among the companies that have warned of the potential impact of climate change in their financial reports.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW, TREASURY WINE ESTATES LIMITED – ASX TWE, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, CITIGROUP PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA

PM to take a sword to red tape, boost jobs

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 21-Nov-19

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has outlined a range of initiatives aimed at boosting investment and jobs. He has used a Business Council of Australia speech to reveal plans for a one-stop online portal for companies to lodge applications for environmental approvals; he says it could slash the amount of time required to approve major mining and infrastructure projects by 6-18 months. Morrison also flagged an overhaul of the industry awards system, arguing that while the number of awards was reduced by Labor, many have become more complex.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Proposed tax reforms a betrayal of small business

Original article by Robert Gottliebsen
The Australian – Page: 25 : 28-Aug-19

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has stressed the need for incentives for businesses to invest by reducing taxes and red tape. However, the federal government’s actions are in fact contrary to its stated intentions. Amongst other things, the Coalition proposes to make directors personally liable for their company’s GST payments and empower the Australian Taxation Office to freeze GST refunds. Likewise, the government wants to introduce criminal penalties for making cash payments of $10,000 or more to any company that has an Australian Business Number. While these measures have the worthy aim of cracking down on phoenix companies and the cash economy, the government’s approach to their implementation has been a complete disaster and could ensure its loss at the next election.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

Adani-style red tape tops Canberra’s hit-list

Original article by Andrew Tillett
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 5-Aug-19

The federal government will announce on 5 August that the Productivity Commission will be asked to examine the approvals process for resource projects. This coincides with the announcement by Ben Morton, the Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister, of his intention to adopt a sector-by-sector approach to abolishing unnecessary regulation. Morton says he expects businesses to pass on any benefits that result from this review to the broader economy.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, ADANI MINING PTY LTD

Calls to further limit cash payments

Original article by Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 31-Jul-19

Business owners who accept large cash payments would face a fine of $25,000 and jail terms of up to two years as part of the federal government’s crackdown on the cash economy. Cash payments will be restricted to $10,000 under the reforms announced in the 2018 Budget. However, KPMG tax partner Grant Wardell-Johnson says the government should consider lowering the threshold over time, suggesting that a limit of $5,000 or even just $2,000 may be appropriate. Tony Greco of the Institute of Public Accountants agrees that reducing the threshold may be justified.

CORPORATES
KPMG AUDIT PLC, INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT. AUSTRALIAN TRANSACTION REPORTS AND ANALYSIS CENTRE, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA

Green tape priority for red tape review

Original article by Andrew Tillett, Matthew Cranston
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 25-Jun-19

EnergyAustralia chairman Graham Bradley has welcomed the federal government’s decision to undertake a review of red tape. However, he notes that the regulatory burden on businesses has increased over the last 15 years, despite efforts to address the problem. Bradley has identified the duplication of approval processes between state and federal governments as one of the key contributors to project cost blowouts. Minerals Council of Australia CEO Tania Constable agrees that duplication is a problem, and she stresses the need for better regulation rather than simply more regulation.

CORPORATES
ENERGYAUSTRALIA PTY LTD, MINERALS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, COUNCIL OF SMALL BUSINESS ORGANISATIONS OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY

PM targets red tape, IR reform

Original article by Andrew Tillett
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 24-Jun-19

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will use a speech on 24 June to signal that the federal government may be open to industrial relations reform. He will stress that any such reforms must be evidence-based and protect the rights and entitlements of workers, and he will urge the business sector to build a case for workplace reforms. Morrison will also commit to a review of regulatory and bureaucratic processes that deter companies from investing in their business, while he will identify changes to the vocational training sector as a priority for the Council of Australian Governments.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENTS, CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA (INCORPORATED)

Workplace hitch to PM growth pitch

Original article by Andrew Tillett, Matthew Cranston, John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 24-Apr-19

Council of Small Business Organisations CEO Peter Strong says industrial relations reform will be essential if the federal government is to achieve its goal of creating 250,000 new small businesses over the next five years. Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry CEO James Pearson says that in addition to workplace reforms, the government must invest in training and take action to reduce power prices. The Institute of Public Affairs adds that action to reduce the red tape burden is also necessary.

CORPORATES
COUNCIL OF SMALL BUSINESS ORGANISATIONS OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS LIMITED, QUANTUM BUSINESS FINANCE PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Doubts over crackdown on black economy

Original article by Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 12 : 16-Aug-18

Keith Swan of KPMG has questioned whether a Federal Government initiative will be effective in combatting the black economy. From mid-2019, companies that tender for federal contracts worth more than $4m will have to provide a statement of tax record from the Australian Taxation Office. Swan says that amongst other things, this requirement could potentially bar companies from tendering if they have had tax disputes with the ATO in the past. He adds that newly-formed companies with no tax history may have a competitive advantage over established rivals.

CORPORATES
KPMG AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, THOMSON REUTERS PLC

Call to cut red tape in bid to hasten projects

Original article by Joe Kelly
The Australian – Page: 2 : 8-Jun-18

A new report from the Institute of Public Affairs advocates a range of measures aimed at reducing the compliance burden for the business sector. The report’s co-author, Daniel Wild, says the annual cost of red tape is $A176bn and a major overhaul of the regulatory regime is necessary. Amongst other things, the IPA report calls for sweeping changes to the approvals process for major projects and people who want to start their own business.

CORPORATES
INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS LIMITED