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Lighting Council Australia appears before the Senate Economics Legislation Committee

06 Jul 2020

On Monday 29 June 2020 Lighting Council Australia, together with a number of leading members, appeared before the Senate Economics Legislation Committee to continue a 6-month lobbying effort, urging the Senate to reject the proposed Research and Development Tax Incentive Bill.

Lighting Council, joined by eight other prominent industry associations representing a range of sectors, appeared before the committee on Monday, all of which expressed their concerns of the Bill.

LCA Chief Executive Officer, Richard Mulcahy was supported at the appearance by several LCA members including, Legrand Australia, Signify, Schneider-Electric and Haneco Lighting. Grant Thornton Partner and tax specialist, Sandra Boswell has been pivotal in Lighting Council's efforts thus far and also joined the hearing.

Lighting Council warned the committee of companies being forced to move R & D offshore because of the changes, jobs being lost and local manufacturing being particularly negatively impacted.

The main concerns centred on the impact of the proposed new intensity measure, especially on local manufacturing, the prospect of Australian companies moving overseas to more tax-friendly jurisdictions, the retrospective nature of the reforms and a lack of consultation from the government.

Lighting Council, Senators and other industry groups were taken off-guard when the proposed hearing had been unknowingly brought forward following a delay in reporting dates due to COVID-19. Despite the short turnaround, LCA's concerns were well received by the committee and were further echoed by other industry groups.

It is not yet certain what will be the outcome of Monday's hearing, however, if the Government hopes to support Australia's economic recovery from COVID-19, and restore business confidence, the Bill must be rejected.                                  

Lighting Council's submission to the Economics Committee can be viewed here.

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