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SPF Scientific Panel and stakeholder forum meetings

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THE Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF) Scientific Panel will meet on 16-17 November 2017 in Melbourne.

Key items on the agenda are:

  • Jack Mackerel DEPM survey results
  • Annual assessment of SPF stocks to inform 2018-19 TAC setting process
  • Proposed new fishing methods in the SPF (jigging and line methods)
  • Research Priorities

The Scientific Panel’s draft advice will be presented to the next Small Pelagic Fishery Stakeholder Forum to be held on 6 December 2017 in Sydney. The Scientific Panel will finalise its advice, considering the comments provided at the Stakeholder Forum, at its subsequent meeting in January 2018.

Attendance at the Stakeholder Forum is by invitation only. To request an invitation, you must register your interest by emailing your name, email address, phone number and organisation or affiliation to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.by 22 November 2017. Please note that registration does not guarantee an invitation.

More information regarding the Stakeholder Forum will be available on AFMA’s website following the November SPF Scientific Panel meeting.

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Select Committee on Regional Development goes west

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GERALDTON will host the first of two public hearings next week, as the Select Committee on Regional Development and Decentralisation heads to Western Australia.

Kalgoorlie-Boulder will host the second public hearing.

The Chair of the Committee, John McVeigh MP said, “these public hearings will provide the Committee with a valuable opportunity to engage with regional Western Australia.”

“The West is of particular interest to the Committee.  Members are keen to learn more about what initiatives are being taken regionally, particularly now that the mining boom has plateaued.  How regions are adjusting to this change, and observing what initiatives are being taken to ensure that local towns and their surrounding regions remain prosperous and its people engaged will be of particular interest.” said Dr McVeigh.

The Committee will hear from a range of witnesses including community and business leaders, regional development specialists, the arts, and health care providers.

 

Public hearing details:

Geraldton 
9.00 am to 3.30 pm, Monday 30 October 2017
Ocean Centre Hotel, The Abrolhos Room, Cathedral Ave & Foreshore Drive, Geraldton, WA

Kalgoorlie
10.30 am to 4.30 pm, Tuesday 31 October 2017
Quest Yelverton Kalgoorlie, 210 Egan Street, Kalgoorlie, WA

The proceedings will be broadcast live at aph.gov.au/live.

For the full programs of these public hearings, see the Committee’s website.

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QRC chief applauds Australia Pacific LNG action

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THE Queensland Resources Council (QRC) has welcomed the action by Australia Pacific LNG to supply a further 41 petajoules (PJ) of natural gas to the Australian domestic market.

"Today’s announcement is yet another sign the Queensland gas industry is leading the nation with a proactive approach to easing the east coast gas squeeze," QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said.

"Queensland’s neighbours must take a leaf out of our book, instead of relying on our state to meet the gap caused by their failure to develop their own gas industries. Gas exploration has stalled in New South Wales, Victoria and the Northern Territory, despite the fact all jurisdictions have their own reserves in the ground.

"It’s also important that Queensland continues its exploration program to pinpoint new reserves and new opportunities for jobs and investment," he said.

"Therefore, it's critical that the Palaszczuk Government does not restrict exploration acreage and ban further gas exploration in the Cooper Basin, which has been one of the most productive gas development areas, by pushing through new Pristine Rivers regulations without consultation."

www.qrc.org.au

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Partners in design—tax compliance in a digital economy

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PARTNERS in the digital transformation of Australia’s taxation and payment systems will meet with the House Committee on Tax and Revenue tomorrow.

The hearing will be one of the last for the Committee’s inquiry into taxpayer engagement with Australia’s tax system.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has been a leading agent of change in the digital transformation of Australian government services. In partnership with banks, telecommunications providers and global accounting software firms, the ATO has been working to design and build compatible lodgement systems for small businesses, tax agents and all general taxpayers.

Chair of the Committee Kevin Hogan MP said that, as well as the ATO, MYOB Australia and Xero Australia, the Committee will also hear from the Digital Transformation Agency, overseer of the Government’s Digital by Default agenda, and the Reserve Bank of Australia to discuss the launch this year of Australia’s New Payment Platform. 

“The digital revolution is changing the way we communicate information, conduct business and provide government services. The challenge for the Australian Tax Office and its partners is to ensure that tax engagement is easier, faster and more secure, despite the new opportunities the digital economy also provides for tax avoidance,” Mr Hogan said.

Public hearing details: 

9.00 am to 1.15 pm, Friday 27 October 2017
Committee Room 1R4, Parliament House, Canberra

The proceedings will be broadcast live at aph.gov.au/live.

Interested members of the public may wish to track the committee via the website

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Draft legislation and regulations – enhanced FinTech regulatory sandbox

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THE Federal Government has today released exposure draft legislation and regulations to create an enhanced regulatory sandbox to support innovation in financial services.

This proposed legislative package will be a game changer for competition in the financial services sector and continues the Turnbull Government's strong support of Australian FinTech which has helped Australia become the second largest alternative finance market in the Asia-Pacific.

As announced in the 2017-18 Budget, the FinTech regulatory sandbox will allow a broad scope of activities to be tested without the need to meet all the existing licensing requirements of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. The enhanced regulatory sandbox will help firms overcome the initial regulatory burden and costs of licensing that may otherwise hinder innovative offerings.

This is an exciting opportunity that will further cement Australia's position as a leading FinTech hub in the Asia‑Pacific.

Under the Government's legislative framework, firms can test a wider range of new and innovative FinTech products and services, including:

  • providing holistic financial advice in relation to superannuation, life insurance and domestic and international securities;
  • issuing and facilitating consumer credit;
  • issuing non-cash payment products; and
  • providing a crowd-funding service.

The 24‑month testing timeframe will improve firms' ability to evaluate the commercial viability of new concepts, promoting greater competition and delivering more choice for Australian consumers.

Firms will need to adhere to robust consumer protections and disclosure requirements including responsible lending obligations, best interests duty, and the need for adequate compensation and dispute resolution arrangements.

The exposure drafts and explanatory material are available on the Treasury website.

Consultation on the draft legislation (and explanatory memorandum) is open until 3 November 2017, and on the draft regulations (and explanatory statement) until 1 December 2017.

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