Australia’s private investment community will urge the new Labor government to introduce the limited collective investment vehicles that have stalled in Canberra for five years. Skilled migration and rolling out Labor’s $1 billion technology fund are also priorities for investors.
The Australian Investment Council (AIC) told InnovationAus.com it looked forward to working with the Albanese government on several of its election commitments.
But it is the long-standing issues of limited partnership collective investment and skills that needed to be prioritised, according to the group representing Australian private equity, venture capital, private credit funds and institutional investors.
Chief among the priorities is the introduction of flow-through Limited Partnership Collective Investment Vehicle (LP CIV). Collective vehicles are a way of collecting one or more sub funds into a collective umbrella vehicle as company limited by shares.
Overseas, they are a popular alternative to managed investment schemes, and their introduction in Australia has wide support.
So far, only one type – the Corporate Collective Investment Vehicle (CCIV) – has been legislated, with a regime set to begin from July.
A limited partnership vehicle, which limits partners liability to their contribution and was promised by the Coalition alongside CCIVs in 2016, has not yet been confirmed.
The AIC has warned the absence of LPCIVs is acting as a handbrake on foreign investment and risks Australia being put in the too hard basket by foreign investors controlling billions in capital.
AIC interim chief executive Jonathan Kelly this week said investors have been waiting patiently for the reforms, which would be consistent with major international markets and help attract foreign capital.
“This measure will remove a barrier to investment in Australian companies and jobs, which is critical at a time of intensifying global competition for capital and talent,” Mr Kelly said.
“An LP CIV regime would be governed by existing state-based legislation that has been in place for nearly 20 years, with only minor changes to the Corporations Act 2002.”
Mr Kelly said access to skills was the other major concern for AIC members.
“Our members cite unfilled jobs and skills shortages as one of the biggest issues facing Australian businesses. In particular, businesses in the innovation economy are facing challenges with attracting talent for roles in cloud computing, software engineering and product management as well as in more traditional professions of accounting, legal and risk management.
Mr Kelly said Australia needs policies that focus on job and skills gaps to help the pandemic recovery. The government needs to start by prioritising skilled migration and visas for foreign students who graduate from Australian universities in disciplines where there are skills shortages, he added.
The AIC chief said the group is onboard with Labor’s plan to fund critical technologies with $1 billion, a policy aimed at generating even more from private investors.
“Technology is an important part of Australia’s future, to deliver high-value economic output, new job opportunities and productivity gains across our economy,” Mr Kelly said.
“The Council looks forward to contributing to this dialogue on behalf of our members in the venture capital, private equity and private credit segments.”