News Pulse for November 28, 2016

A daily download of SME, startup, fintech and tax news from around Australia.

Aldi still undecided on tax transparency code

German discount supermarket Aldi is still making up its mind on whether to join a tax transparency code which has led to more big businesses, particularly multinationals, releasing information about the tax they pay.

Woolworths recently agreed to sign up to the Voluntary Tax Transparency Code, which targets businesses with turnover of more than $100 million and follows public anger over multinationals engaging in aggressive tax avoidance.

ASIC backs more data sharing in banking

Corporate cop Greg Medcraft says the government’s banking inquiry is right to focus on ways to make banks share more data on their customers, a move that would boost competition in the concentrated sector.

The chairman of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission welcomed the call last week by the inquiry for a boost in competition through digital technology, and by removing “barriers” to starting a new bank.

Start-ups ready to roll as Canberra coffers open up for tech innovation

Australian start-ups and government technology experts are formulating plans to cash in, after the government pledged to make major changes to tech procurement strategy and throw open Canberra’s doors to the multitude of emerging industry players.

Start-up industry players have hailed the plans, announced last week by Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation Angus Taylor , to look to start-ups and other commercial tech players to improve government service delivery, as a “giant leap forward”, for both their own companies and the ability of the government to enact innovative changes.

Federal government pushes ahead with legislation for startups and SMEs to access capital through crowdfunding

The federal government has introduced legislation that will enable startups and small businesses to gain access to capital through crowdfunding, almost 12 months after the original equity crowdfunding legislation was unveiled.

Under the Corporations Amendment (Crowd-sourced Funding) Bill 2016 , unlisted public companies with under $25 million in assets and annual turnover will be able to raise as much as $5 million a year on crowdfunding platforms.

OECD finalises new multilateral convention on tax avoidance | The Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP

The Organisation for Economic Co -Operation and Development (OECDOrganisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) has released the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (the Convention).

This represents another significant step in the global fight against multinational tax avoidance and the completion of the final action of the OECDOrganisation for Economic Co-operation and Development/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project.

The objective of the Convention is to enable countries, like Australia, to swiftly modify their bilateral tax treaties to implement the OECDOrganisation for Economic Co-operation and Development/G20 BEPS recommendations.

Government seeking to remove barriers to start-ups wanting to pitch for ICT contracts

The Federal Government’s commitment to open up ICT contracts to ‘smaller players’ has received support from within the start-up community.

Yesterday, Assistant Minister for Digital Transformation Angus Taylor called on the tech sector to submit feedback to the Commonwealth’s ICT Procurement Taskforce on how to make government contracts more accessible to start-ups and SMEs. The taskforce is expected to report back to Government in early 2017.

Start-up heavyweights back YourGrocer as it prepares to do battle with Amazon

Start-up heavyweights including Envato Australian Taxation Office co-founder Cyan Ta’eed and DealsDirect co-founder Mike Rosenbaum have backed online grocery delivery start-up YourGrocer in its latest $1.3 million raise.

The raise comes as the business, which was founded by Morgan Ranieri and Francisco Trindade in 2013, is preparing to go to battle with Amazon next year, when the global tech giant brings its grocery delivery arm to Australia.

Australia is discriminating against investors and we’re the poorer for it

Many Australians dream of starting their own businesses. But they face restrictions on where they can access startup capital. In Australia you must be certified as a “sophisticated investor” to invest in risky, early stage ventures that cannot yet comply with costly disclosure requirements.

Botched Census shakes public’s faith in digital government, says Turnbull’s ICT supremo

The botched 2016 Census has eroded public trust in the government’s digital agenda, claims a review by the Prime Minister’s Cyber Security Advisor Alastair MacGibbon.

In his review of the Census, Mr MacGibbon said the Census meltdown, which trended globally as #CensusFail, had dealt “a serious blow to public confidence” in the government’s ability to deliver digital services.

Opening keynote address at the UNSW 2016 Innovation Summit

It’s my great pleasure to deliver the opening keynote address at this year’s UNSW Innovation Summit and I thank you for the opportunity.

Can I say how pleased I always am to be back here—a place that had a powerful formative influence on my worldview and intellectual development.

Tips, comments or suggestions? Let me know in the comments, send me an email or tweet me @simeonduncan.

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