29  March, 2022

Federal Budget 2022-23: Australian Investment Council welcomes initiatives to build digital capability and knowledge economy


SYDNEY: The Australian Investment Council welcomes tonight’s federal budget measures aimed at expanding the digital capability of businesses and building a stronger innovation economy.

“The extension of the patent box regime to support AgTech and CleanTech and the extension of the previously announced regime for Biotech companies is a natural fit with industries where Australia has a competitive advantage in the global economy,” said Australian Investment Council’s Chief Executive, Yasser El-Ansary.

“This is consistent the Council’s views that a the regime proposed in last year’s budget was too narrow.”

Comments attributable to Yasser El-Ansary about specific measures contained in tonight’s Federal Budget are included below.

Foreign Investment

“The Australian Investment Council has long advocated that the foreign investment review framework should focus on the key issues of concern to government. Tonight’s announcement is a positive step which should ensure that FIRB resources are appropriately directed and do not create a pinch-point that prevents the efficient deployment of capital into the economy.

“As an open economy dependent on attracting foreign capital, it is vitally important that the process remains efficient and does not create unintended consequences for passive investors into the Australian economy.

“The Council welcomes the introduction of measures which do not require certain investors to notify the government before making an investment.

Employee Share Schemes

“The Australian Investment Council has long advocated for employee share schemes which are competitive with other jurisdictions.

“While the changes announced to the employee share scheme regulatory framework are a positive step at a time when there are critical skills shortages in the innovation sector and when Australia is competing for global talent, we await the details to ensure it meets the needs of early-stage businesses who rely on share schemes to attract the best and brightest talent.

“The Council has been constructively engaged over many months with Treasury on the need for a more competitive employee share scheme regime and we would hope the valuable feedback that we have provided will make it through to any legislation introduced as part of the Budget sittings given the government intends for the measures to commence on 1 July 2022.

“Employee share schemes are widely recognised as one mechanism to attract and align the interests of skilled employees to high growth innovative businesses who often have limited financial and cash resources, but need access to highly skilled labour to help realise a vision and to become large global businesses over the long-run.”

REDSPICE (Resilience, Effects, Defence, Space, Intelligence, Cyber and Enablers) package

“Cyber-attacks are becoming more prevalent across all spheres of government, business and society as internet-capability beyond computers and mobile phones into other cyber-physical or ‘smart’ systems is extending the threat of remote exploitation to a host of new technologies which underpin the everyday lives of Australians such as transport control systems, power grids and industrial plants.

“The commitment to invest $9.9 billion over 10 years in doubling the Australian Signal Directorate’s capacity will provide much needed additional access to training and skills, as well as adjacent cybersecurity industries and which should support greater investment into research and the development of innovative solutions in Australia.”

University Research Commercialisation

“Strengthening collaboration between private sector firms and universities is vitally important to ensure that Australia can continue to build its innovative capacity to drive the next wave of economic growth for the long-term. There is a significant economic payoff for the nation which comes from nurturing fast-growth businesses built on relevant and industry focussed university research, will create new industries and new high-value jobs.

“Over the past decade, venture capital has been at the forefront of driving innovation through investment into businesses supported by new technologies in areas such as fintech, cyber security, food technologies and health and medical services. This is reflected in recent research by the Australian Investment Council which shows jobs in information technology or that are technology driven, account for a large proportion of job vacancies in venture capital-backed companies. Encouraging industry PhDs and Fellowships, as well as investment in the Research Translation Start Program are in spirit of collaboration which the private capital industry has long been supporting.

Cost of living

“We welcome the Government’s recognition that cost of living pressures are affecting many Australians. The private capital industry is very conscious of its ESG obligations and the broader economic imperative in ensuring that no Australians are left behind as the economy emerges from COVID19. We therefore welcome the $250 one-off payment to Australian who receive pensions and disability support payment. We also welcome the additional $420 offset for low and middle income tax households.

“The Council welcomes the relief of the pressure on businesses and households from increasing fuel prices through the temporary halving in the fuel excise for six months. Australia’s post COVID-19 economic recovery should not be flamed-out as a result of any global pressures on fuel and the government’s action is consistent with what Australia’s competitors are doing at this crucial and important time.


To arrange an interview with Yasser El-Ansary, please contact:

Robyn Tolhurst
Public Affairs Manager
E: [email protected] | M: +61 436 388 919

About the Australian Investment Council:

The Australian Investment Council is the voice of private capital in Australia. Private capital investment has played a central role in the growth and expansion of thousands of businesses, which when combined represents a multi-billion dollar contribution to the Australian economy. Our members are the standard-bearers of professional investment and include: private equity, venture capital and private credit funds, alongside institutional investors such as superannuation and sovereign wealth funds, as well as leading financial, legal and operational advisers.

The Australian Investment Council requests its name always appear in full and not abbreviated or as an acronym.