Observers push for coordinated change

Observers push for coordinated change

Three business heavyweights have responded to the Federal Government's analysis on Internet trends by calling for greater awareness from all sectors towards e-commerce and a coordinated institutional approach to change.

The joint response from law firm Arnold, Bloch and Leibler, accounting firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and the National Australia Bank highlighted three key areas where change is needed. Business tax - especially capital gains tax (CGT), the need for a coordinated regulatory approach from all levels of government and the need for government to initiate assistance programs for IT&T businesses were all identified as areas in need of urgent attention.

CGT is a problem area, Arnold, Bloch and Leibler partner Michael Dodge said. At present the CGT does not encourage venture capital companies to invest in Australia, however the Ralph report may have addressed that area with recommendations for change, he said.

In the Federal Government reports - Creating a clearway on the new silk road - Internet business and policy trends in Internet commerce and, Driving forces on the New Silk Road - the use of electronic commerce by Australian businesses, it is claimed that IT&T companies create more jobs than the top 100 companies overall.

The reports also noted companies in this industry are growing at three times the rate of other sectors of the economy. A number of IT&T businesses are shifting some or all of their operations to the US and other countries seeking larger investment and customer markets, the reports warn.

Dodge thinks more must be done to encourage start-up IT&T businesses to stay in Australia. "It's not only the Government's responsibility to do that; a joint effort from all sectors is what's needed," he added.

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