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Monday, 10 February 2020
Page: 595


Senator HUME (VictoriaAssistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology) (20:47): I would firstly like to thank those senators who have contributed to this debate. The government remains committed to establishing Australia as a leading global financial technology centre, a fintech hub. This bill builds on our work to ensure that we have policy settings in place to foster innovation.

Schedule 1 to the bill amends the Corporations Act 2001 to lay the foundation for the government's enhanced regulatory sandbox by extending the regulation-making powers in the Corporations Act. This will support fintech businesses to test their products and services without a licence from ASIC under certain conditions. We believe this measure will reduce the initial burden faced by firms as they look to innovate in providing specified financial services while also retaining important measures to minimise the risk for consumers.

The bill incorporates the government's response to the Senate Economic Legislation Committee's report on the 2018 version of the bill, including providing that an independent review of the sandbox be undertaken 12 months after its commencement.

Schedule 2 of the bill makes a number of very minor technical amendments to the early stage venture capital limited partnership and tax incentives for early-stage investor regimes to clarify the income tax law, to provide certainty to investors and to ensure that these provisions operate in accordance with their original policy intent.

The measures contained in this bill demonstrate the government's continuing commitment to promote a culture of entrepreneurship and risk-taking in Australia and will help ensure that innovative Australian businesses have access to the capital and expertise they need to grow and succeed. I commend this bill to the Senate.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.