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'Ideas boom' to phase out mining

December 7, 2015

The government in Australia has unveiled a package in support of innovation across the country. The move came as political leaders sought to map out a pathway beyond the nation's fading resources boom.

Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/D. Moir

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Monday launched a package to boost innovation, with measures ranging from a reduction in capital gains tax for startups and generous income tax rebates for retail investors to changes in bankruptcy laws to encourage more risk taking among entrepreneurs.

Talking to reporters in Sydney, Turnbull also mentioned changes in the immigration law to lure top talent. A new entrepreneur visa is designed to do just that.

Himself a millionaire and former tech businessman, the prime minister spoke of a package in support of an "ideas boom."

Different focus

Australia has been winding down investment in the mining sector that has sustained its economy for more than a decade. While coal and iron are still the country's biggest exports, the nation has been falling behind other economies that are more aggressively promoting high-tech exports.

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"Unlike a mining boom, [the ideas boom] can continue forever; it's limited only by our imagination," Turnbull said.

He added that companies that embraced innovation were more competitive and more likely to create jobs.

Turnbull's approach contrasts with that of his predecessor, Tony Abbott, who was a big supporter of the mining industry.

hg/nz (Reuters, AFP)