Australia’s 2021-22 Federal Budget features a number of initiatives that may be of interest to prospective global investors.
Attracting global businesses and talent to Australia forms a part of the Budget, with a $550 million package to remove red tape and change tax rules to encourage the use of employee share schemes, which are critical for start-ups to attract and retain talented staff.
The Australian Tax Office will also provide a "concierge" service to fast-track tax advice to foreign investors, while individual tax residency rules will be simplified.
The Budget also features the $1.2 billion Digital Economy Strategy which targets investment in emerging technologies, builds digital skills, encourages business investment and enhances Government service delivery.
The Strategy includes a Digital Games Tax Offset of 30 per cent to support Australia taking a greater share of the $250 billion global game development market, and changes to the way Australian businesses can claim depreciation of intangible assets like intellectual property and in-house software.
It also commits $124.1 million in initiatives to build Australia’s capability in Artificial Intelligence, including the establishment of a National Artificial Intelligence Centre led by Victorian-based CSIRO Data 61, which will be supported by a network of AI and Digital Capability Centres to drive adoption of AI across the economy.
The Commonwealth Government’s Digital Workforce package will also see 20,000 individuals upskill and reskill in digital key fields.
A total of $15.2 billion has also been allocated to new infrastructure projects around Australia, building on the Commonwealth Government’s $110 billion 10-year infrastructure pipeline.
Victoria’s Melbourne Intermodal Terminal has secured a $2 billion investment under the package, this will support both the Victorian and national freight networks, creating up to 1,350 jobs during peak construction and a further 550 jobs during peak operation.
The Budget also provides a financial incentive for universities to invest in research PhD students and develop closer links with industry, by offering an additional $30,000 per research PhD graduate who undertakes a three-month industry internship.
This measure will drive industry-based learning, build stronger employment pathways for PhD students, and create stronger links between universities and industry.
For more information about these and other initiatives in the 2021-22 Federal Budget, visit www.budget.gov.au
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