FEDERAL Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce said the Coalition Government is committed to fostering a more innovative and creative Australian economy.
He said this meant ensuring that start-ups and early stage businesses can access the funding they need to help them develop their ideas and grow.
“Crowdfunding is an emerging way for early stage businesses to raise funds and access a wider range of investors, and for investors to share in the risks and successes of these businesses,” Mr Joyce said.
He said the Financial System Inquiry recognised this in its recommendation that the Government graduate fundraising regulation to facilitate crowdfunding for equity and debt.
“Implementing the crowd-sourced equity funding framework is a key priority for the Government’s innovation agenda.
“The Government has conducted extensive consultations on options for a crowd-sourced equity funding framework, including the release of a discussion paper and via industry roundtables, and we outlined our proposed framework in a recent consultation paper.
“We will remove the obstacles to early stage businesses using equity crowdfunding while maintaining an appropriate level of investor protection.
“The Government has received valuable feedback during our consultations and is now developing legislation to implement changes. We will consult on this draft legislation before the end of 2015.
“We also recognise that early stage businesses need flexibility in how they structure their financing and that other types of securities, beyond simple equity instruments, can be valuable funding sources.
“That is why we will consult on crowd-sourced debt funding in parallel with the draft crowd-sourced equity funding legislation.”
Mr Joyce said the draft legislation and consultation paper on crowd-sourced debt funding will be available on the Treasury website.
The full Government response to the Financial System Inquiry is available at treasury.gov.au/fsi