Media Releases

Government committed to implementing the Investment Manager Regime

18 December 2014

The Government is committed to implementing a practical Investment Manager Regime with the release of updated exposure draft legislation in early 2015. Earlier this year, we consulted with stakeholders on exposure draft legislation to implement the final tranche of the Investment Manager Regime. The purpose of Element 3 of the Investment Manager Regime is to […]

Fairfax Media wrong again on corporate tax

17 December 2014

Fairfax Media this morning ran a story on tax by Heath Aston. The story is wrong. The Government has not let corporate tax avoiders off the hook. The specific measure to abolish the 25-90 deduction in the story relates to changes Labor proposed to the tax act in 2013, but did not bother to legislate […]

Making over-the-counter derivatives markets safer

12 December 2014

The Government is implementing a range of reforms to make over‑the‑counter derivatives markets safer and ensure that regulatory reforms do not impose an unnecessary compliance burden on industry. These reforms include: Requiring central clearing of over‑the‑counter interest rate derivatives denominated in Australian dollars and four other global currencies; Providing relief from the trade reporting requirements […]

Appointments to the Board of Taxation

12 December 2014

The Government is pleased to announce four new appointments to the Board of Taxation. Mr Michael Andrew has been appointed as Chair with Mrs Peggy Lau Flux, Mr Mark Pizzacalla and Mr Craig Yaxley appointed as members of the Board. The Board of Taxation consists of up to 10 members and is a non-statutory advisory […]

Supporting crowd-sourced equity funding

8 December 2014

The Government is committed to creating the right conditions to drive economic growth, support innovation and create jobs by improving Australia’s competitiveness. The recently released Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda called for consultation on a potential regulatory framework for crowd-sourced equity funding.  Crowd-sourced equity funding is an innovative type of online fundraising that allows a […]

Australian Government Actuary’s report on insurance affordability in North Queensland

5 December 2014

The Government is today releasing a report by the Australian Government Actuary into home and contents insurance pricing in North Queensland. This report examines the causes of home and contents insurance premium increases in North Queensland. The report found that North Queensland premium rates increased by about 80 per cent from 2005-06 to 2012-13. In […]

Tax offset to boost search for new mineral deposits

4 December 2014

The Government is acting to boost exploration for new mineral deposits, bringing legislation into Parliament today that delivers on our election commitment to support junior mineral explorers with new exploration. The Exploration Development Incentive is aimed at fostering the discovery of new resource deposits and will encourage investment in eligible junior exploration companies conducting greenfields […]

Government on track to deliver financial adviser register

1 December 2014

Contrary to inaccurate assertions in the Fairfax press this morning, the Government remains fully committed and on track to deliver on its enhanced, industry-wide public register of financial advisers by March 2015. The register of financial advisers will enable investors, employers and ASIC to verify the credentials of financial advisers and be confident that they […]

Agreement reached to re-instate broadly supported elements of FOFA reforms

26 November 2014

The Government has agreed with the Opposition that a revised regulation to progress the broadly supported elements of the disallowed Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) Regulations be re-made by the Government before the end of this year. The Government has given notice of a motion in the Senate to give effect to this by seeking […]

Senate vote on FOFA

19 November 2014

The Senate's vote to disallow the Government's improvements to our financial advice laws, after supporting them twice over the past four months, is bad news for consumers and for small business financial advisers. Sadly, good public policy reform which the Government took to the last election has now been caught up in internal minor party […]

Australia signs new social security agreement with India

18 November 2014

The Australian Government today signed a new social security agreement with the Indian Government which will make retirement easier for residents of both countries and help improve their retirement incomes. “The Agreement will give former Australian residents now living in India the ability to claim the Australian Age Pension without having to return to Australia,” […]

More than 2.7 million tax returns lodged via myGov

18 November 2014

More than 2.7 million Australians have used myGov to lodge their tax returns this year. This was the first year people used their myGov account to lodge their income tax returns via e-tax or the new myTax service. myTax was developed for taxpayers with straightforward tax affairs. Over one million Australians used this new service. myGov […]

Inspector-General releases two follow up reviews into the Australian Taxation Office

14 November 2014

The Inspector-General of Taxation today releases two reports: Follow Up Review into Delayed or Changed Australian Taxation Office Views on Significant Issues (‘U-turns’ review); and Follow Up Review into the Australian Taxation Office’s Implementation of Agreed Recommendations in Five Reports Released Between August 2009 and November 2010. The Follow Up Review into Delayed or Changed […]

Reforms to align, simplify and strengthen insolvency rules

7 November 2014

The Government is today releasing draft legislation to implement the first phase of reforms to strengthen and streamline Australia's personal bankruptcy and corporate insolvency regimes. These reforms are designed to empower creditors to better protect their own interests by enhancing communication and transparency between insolvency practitioners and creditors.

Treasury increasing productivity by reducing regulation

29 October 2014

The Government has delivered on its election promise to cut $1 billion in red and green tape each year with its second Repeal Day. The Treasury portfolio is delivering a range of initiatives that reduce compliance burdens for individuals and businesses.   The Treasury Legislation Amendment (Repeal Day) Bill 2014 and the Corporations Legislation Amendment […]

New tax treaty with Switzerland enters into force

24 October 2014

Australia’s new tax treaty with Switzerland entered into force on 14 October 2014. The treaty, which was signed on 30 July 2013, replaces the existing Australia-Switzerland tax treaty which was signed in 1980.   The new treaty will encourage further cross-border investment flows and enhance the strong economic relationship between Australia and Switzerland.  Importantly, the new […]

An enhanced public register of financial advisers

24 October 2014

The Government is delivering on our commitment to establish an enhanced, industry-wide public register of financial advisers. This register of financial advisers will enable investors, employers and ASIC to verify the credentials of financial advisers and be confident that they are appropriately qualified and experienced. Improving transparency will help drive improvements in consumer confidence in […]

Government response to Senate Inquiry into the Performance of ASIC

24 October 2014

The Government has carefully considered all of the 61 recommendations made by the Senate Economics Committee inquiry into the performance of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and today releases its response to those recommendations. A large number of the recommendations were directly addressed to ASIC, which is an independent statutory authority. ASIC has responded […]

Initiatives to help address insurance affordability for North Queensland

23 October 2014

The Government is delivering on its commitment to assist consumers and increase competition in the North Queensland insurance market. Following a considered discussion paper process, the Government will put in place a range of initiatives to tackle the high cost of insurance in North Queensland, while also minimising the regulatory burden. We will establish a […]

Electricity prices fall by 5.1 per cent after scrapping the carbon tax

22 October 2014

The latest Consumer Price Index shows that all Australians are now benefiting from a 5.1 per cent reduction in electricity prices following the scrapping of the carbon tax. This is single largest quarterly fall in electricity prices since ABS electronic records began in September 1980. In July, the Government followed through with its commitment to scrap […]

Increasing competition in the credit card industry

12 October 2014

The Government is taking action to increase competition in the credit card industry by expanding the number of companies that can issue cards or process card transactions for retailers.  Currently, only registered banks or specialist credit card institutions can issue credit cards or accept credit card transactions on behalf of retailers. The Government’s changes will […]

Senate again supports financial advice law improvements

1 October 2014

The Senate's vote – again – in support of the Government's improvements to our financial advice laws is good news for consumers and for small business financial advisers. The Senate tonight voted for the second time in three months in favour of more affordable, high quality financial advice by removing unnecessary and costly red tape, […]

Appointment of Chair of the Australian Accounting Standards Board

24 September 2014

The Government is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms Kris Peach as the full‑time Chair of the Australian Accounting Standards Board from 3 November 2014 for a five year term. The Australian Accounting Standards Board is the Commonwealth statutory body responsible for setting accounting standards for companies, not-for-profit entities and the public sector. The […]

Labor contradicting themselves on economic forecasting

11 September 2014

Labor’s Shadow Treasurer will contradict himself if during his address to the National Press Club he calls on the Parliamentary Budget Office to prepare all economic forecasts. Just over a year ago, the then Treasurer wholeheartedly backed the Treasury to deliver professional, well researched projections, declaring: "Of course, I would prefer and the Treasury would prefer and […]

Failed mining tax finally gone

2 September 2014

The Government has delivered on our commitment at both the 2010 and 2013 elections to scrap the failed Minerals Resource Rent Tax (mining tax). Along with scrapping this failed tax we are abolishing or re-phasing all of the unfunded promises that Labor irresponsibly and recklessly attached to it. The tax package was so poorly designed, […]

New appointments to the Takeovers Panel

28 August 2014

The Government is pleased to announce the appointment of four new members to the Takeovers Panel.  The Takeovers Panel is a mechanism for peer review of takeovers activity and facilitates an efficient, expeditious and less formal process of regulating takeovers in Australia. Mr Lee Dewhirst, Mr Byron Koster, Mr Andrew Lumsden and Mr Robert McKenzie […]

More than one million people now realising the benefits of myGov for tax

8 August 2014

More than one million Australians are managing their tax through the convenience of myGov. myGov links people directly to a range of Government services using a single username and password, making it even easier for people to lodge their income tax returns online. In the past four weeks, more than one million people have already […]

Exploring more options for retirement income products

21 July 2014

The Government is today delivering on our election commitment to review regulatory barriers restricting the availability of retirement income stream products. Australians are looking for more options to better manage their retirement income and manage associated investment and inflation risks. We are also committed to providing self-funded retirees with confidence that their funds will not […]

Repeal of the Minerals Resource Rent Tax

18 July 2014

The Government committed to repeal the Minerals Resource Rent Tax (mining tax) and its associated spending measures in an entirely transparent manner at both the 2010 and 2013 Federal Elections. When announced by Labor, the mining tax was supposed to raise $12 billion over its first two years of operation, instead it has raised closer […]

Establishing an enhanced public register of financial advisers

17 July 2014

The Government is progressing our commitment to establish an enhanced public register of financial advisers. A dedicated industry working group will consult with all relevant stakeholders to develop the best way of setting up this public register of financial advisers. The industry working group will consider: The scope and content of the register (including a […]

Labor 2013-14 Budget Savings (Measures No. 1) Bill 2014

16 July 2014

Today the Abbott Government is introducing Labor 2013-14 Budget Savings (Measures No. 1) Bill 2014, to implement the savings that Labor announced and booked but never legislated. Labor announced, in their final Budget, that these personal income tax changes would be deferred as they were meant to compensate for an increase in the carbon price, […]

Senate support for financial advice law improvements

15 July 2014

The Senate's vote in support of the Government's improvements to our financial advice laws is good news for consumers and for small business financial advisers. The Senate tonight voted in favour of more affordable, high quality financial advice by removing unnecessary and costly red tape, while maintaining all the important consumer protections that matter for […]

Inspector-General of Taxation report into the Australian Taxation Office’s administration of penalties

8 July 2014

Today we release the Inspector-General of Taxation's Review into the Australian Taxation Offices administration of penalties. The review examines the effectiveness of the Australian Taxation Office's penalties regime to taxpayer compliance. The objective of the Australian Taxation Office's penalties regime is to foster voluntary compliance. The Inspector-General of Taxation found that this objective may be […]

Appointment of members to the Financial Reporting Council

8 July 2014

The Government is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Graeme Mitchell, Mr David Nicol and Mr Bill Edge to the Financial Reporting Council as part-time members. The Financial Reporting Council is an independent adviser to the Government on the financial reporting frameworks in Australia. The Council provides strategic advice on accounting and audit standard […]

Proposal to expand central clearing of over-the-counter derivatives

8 July 2014

The Government today releases proposals to centrally clear Australian Dollar-denominated interest rate derivatives. We are seeking stakeholder feedback on combining this proposal with an earlier proposal to introduce a central clearing mandate for interest rate derivatives denominated in four global currencies. The Government is committed to ensuring that our financial markets are regulated at an […]

Statement on Commonwealth Bank announcement

3 July 2014

We welcome the announcement of the Open Advice Review Program by CBA today. It is also appropriate, indeed it was necessary, that CBA CEO Ian Narev answered questions raised by the recent Senate Economics Committee inquiry in a comprehensive press conference. Beyond the policy issues and the issues for ASIC raised by that inquiry, the […]

Exploration Development Incentive boosts greenfield exploration

2 July 2014

Ten months ago we made a commitment to deliver a scheme that will boost exploration for new mineral deposits. Today we deliver on that commitment. The Government today launches the Exploration Development Incentive, which will support junior exploration companies to conduct ‘greenfields’ mineral exploration. Exploration for new mineral discoveries has reached a 10 year low. […]

More opportunities for farmers to prepare for lean years

1 July 2014

More Australian farmers will soon be able to use the Farm Management Deposits Scheme to prepare for the tough times following improvements made by the Government. Farm Management Deposits (FMDs) are an important financial and risk management tool for farmers. During times of hardship they can face several years of very little income, or in […]

Enhancing consumer credit protections

26 June 2014

The Government is improving consumer protections for Australians that borrow small amount loans, also known as 'payday' loans. Since 1 July 2013 there has been a cap on costs for small amount credit contracts, for loans less than $2,000 cash in hand to the consumer, with a maximum term of 12 months. Some credit providers […]

Cross appointments to the New Zealand and Australian Takeovers Panels

24 June 2014

We are pleased to announce the cross-appointments of Mr David Oliver Jones MNZM to the Australian Takeovers Panel and Mr Richard Hunt to the New Zealand Takeovers Panel.  Mr Jones is currently the Chair of the New Zealand Takeovers Panel and will now also be a member of the Australian Takeovers Panel. Mr Hunt will […]

The way forward on financial advice laws

20 June 2014

When the previous government announced the detail of its Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) law changes back in April 2011 the Coalition’s position was very clear. We expressed our concern that investors receiving financial advice would face more red tape, increased costs and reduced choice if those laws were passed in full. Our fundamental concern […]

Labor’s useless and unhelpful advice on tax

12 June 2014

The Government was left with a legacy from Labor of over 92 tax measures that had been announced but never legislated. This was symbolic of Labor’s ad-hoc and dysfunctional decision making. We have acted swiftly to clean up Labor’s mess to provide certainty and reduce red tape for investors, small business and corporate Australia. The […]

Australian Government Actuary’s Report on Strata Title Insurance Prices in North Queensland

6 June 2014

The Government is today releasing a report by the Australian Government Actuary into strata title insurance prices in North Queensland. The report found that strata title insurance premium rates in major cities including Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide are much lower than premium rates in North Queensland. According to the Australian Government Actuary, […]

Providing certainty for contractual loss absorption provisions in regulatory capital

2 June 2014

The Government is today releasing a discussion paper on the technical amendments required to enable the effective operation of prudential requirements on loss absorption provisions. These provisions ensure capital instruments are able to absorb losses in the unlikely event a financial institution enters into financial distress and reduce the need for taxpayer support. As part […]

Providing certainty on disclosure requirements for insurance policies

2 June 2014

The Government is today releasing draft notices that will provide greater certainty and consistency for consumers and insurers on disclosure requirements for insurance policies. These new notices will ensure that insurers provide consumers with a standard, consistent description of what they need to disclose before taking out insurance or when renewing their policies. The Regulations […]

Inspector-General of Taxation report into the Australian Taxation Office’s management of transfer pricing

2 June 2014

Today we release the Inspector-General of Taxation’s review into the Australian Taxation Office’s management of transfer pricing. The Inspector-General of Taxation initiated this review following concerns of unnecessary costs, protracted timeframes, a lack of communication, inadequate public advice and guidance and the perception of inadequate use of consultative forums in dealing with transfer pricing matters. […]

More flexibility for superannuation funds in receiving contributions

26 May 2014

The Government is today announcing increased flexibility for the superannuation industry as it continues to make the necessary changes to implement the SuperStream contributions data standards. Superannuation funds will have up to 1 July 2015 to meet the new standards. SuperStream introduces e-commerce to the back office functions of the superannuation industry, reducing transaction costs […]

Discussion paper on unclaimed moneys provision

26 May 2014

The Government is today releasing a discussion paper on ways we can improve the unclaimed moneys provisions. In October 2012, the previous government announced changes to unclaimed moneys provisions that reduced the period of inactivity required before bank accounts and unclaimed life insurance amounts are transferred to the Government from seven to three years. These […]

More progress in restoring integrity in the tax system

13 May 2014

The Abbott Government is committed to restoring integrity in the tax system. We are progressing the backlog of taxation and superannuation measures that were announced by former governments but not yet legislated. Following additional consultation with stakeholders and the Australian Taxation Office, we have determined that it is not possible to implement a number of […]

Superannuation excess contributions tax

13 May 2014

The Abbott Government today has made the taxation of excess superannuation contributions fairer. Currently, superannuation contributions that exceed the non‑concessional contributions cap are taxed punitively at the top marginal tax rate. Given non-concessional superannuation contributions come from income that had already previously been taxed, this can take the overall tax rate up to a staggering […]

The 2014-15 Budget

13 May 2014

This Budget is part of the Abbott Government's Economic Action Strategy that will build a strong, prosperous economy and a safe, secure Australia. It is a Budget that calls on every Australian to make a contribution now to build the workforce, economy and opportunities we need for the future. It creates a path back to […]

Addressing the high cost of insurance in North Queensland

9 May 2014

The Government is today releasing a discussion paper outlining policy options to assist consumers and increase competition in the North Queensland insurance market. Over the past few years many insurance policyholders have faced significantly increased premiums for home, home contents and strata property insurance. This problem is particularly acute in North Queensland where, in some […]

Australian Taxation Office joins myGov

6 May 2014

The Government announces today that the Australian Taxation Office’s online services are now accessible through myGov. myGov provides Australians with a quick and easy way to access online government services using a single log on. The Australian Taxation Office’s online services will now be faster, simpler and more accessible than ever before. Australians can now […]

Providing greater stability and transparency in the superannuation system

5 May 2014

The Government has decided to defer the start date for the choice product dashboard and the introduction of a portfolio holdings disclosure regime to 1 July 2015. The choice product dashboard is intended to enable greater comparability of superannuation products, while the introduction of a portfolio holdings disclosure regime will require reporting of specific superannuation […]

New appointments to the Takeovers Panel

16 April 2014

The Government is pleased to announce the appointment of five new members of the Takeovers Panel and the appointment of five existing Panel members as new Alternative Presidents. The Takeovers Panel is a mechanism for peer review of takeovers activity and facilitates an efficient, expeditious and less formal process of regulating takeovers in Australia. Ms […]

Asia Region Funds Passport to drive financial services export growth

16 April 2014

The Coalition Government is throwing its full weight behind the implementation of an Asia Region Funds Passport that will help drive growth in funds management and other financial services exports by facilitating greater access to key markets across the Asia Pacific. The Asia Region Funds Passport was a recommendation of the 2009 Johnson report, Australia […]

Consultation open on amendments to the Corporations Law

10 April 2014

A draft Bill containing proposed improvements to the corporations law is now available for public comment.  The proposed changes will remove unnecessary regulation, clarify existing regulatory obligations and enhance the efficient operation of certain Government bodies. The key measures include: the removal of the obligation on directors to call a general meeting at the request […]

Appointment of members to the Financial Reporting Council

9 April 2014

The Government is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms Jan Harris and the reappointment of Mr Kevin Lewis to the Financial Reporting Council as part-time members. The Financial Reporting Council is an independent adviser to the Government on the financial reporting frameworks in Australia. The Council provides strategic advice on accounting and audit standard […]

Working to remove barriers to help small businesses grow

28 March 2014

The Government has asked the Board of Taxation to conduct a review to identify features in the tax system that are hindering or preventing small businesses from reaching their commercial goals. We recognise the need to unshackle the small business sector and make life simpler for small business especially when it comes to their interaction […]

Confirming our committment to FOFA reforms

24 March 2014

The Government remains committed to implementing the improvements to Future of Financial Advice laws that we took to the last election as soon as possible. These election commitments are reflected in the legislation currently before the House of Representatives, which will continue through the normal parliamentary process. Now that the legislation has been referred to […]