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Keynote Speech of the Annual Conference 2014

The Hon Tony Smith MP’s call to reverse the detrimental Tax Legislation of 2009 was an encouraging start to the year. In his keynote speech  at the Annual EOANZ Conference in May, his support and belief in the contribution of ESS to the national economy was welcomed by attendees at the national conference in May.  “I am a fully paid up supporter of employee share ownership – but what we need to do is grow the membership base – and we have started to do so with these outstanding new fans in the parliament. And I know as we all keep working together in the coming months, there will be more and more who join our cause.”

"Australia is now in a transition period, economically and socially. The need to encourage innovation, reinvigorate industry and drive productivity is paramount. Research worldwide provides evidence that employee ownership and employee share schemes contribute to productivity, employment and growth. The advocacy work of EOANZ, in particular our presentation to the Federal Government Treasury Committee in March, calling for widespread reform of employee share schemes has seen our case represented at the highest levels of government.  There are now positive indications across the political spectrum that reform is imminent and that “start-up” reform should only be the beginning."

Tony Smith MP, Chair of the Federal Government Economics & Finance Committee and Federal MP for Casey.

EOANZ Annual Conference and Awards Wrap-Up

The annual Employee Ownership Conference and Awards Night took place 22 May, with delegates attending from around the country.

The conference focussed on hearing from companies about their challenges and commitment to employee ownership.  There was also time to hear about the regulatory and taxation challenges affecting the take-up of employee share schemes. Delegates heard from Tony Smith MP on establishing a permanent expert advisory and facilitation panel comprising of the private sector. 

BHP and CSL talked about the impacts that their plans have had on helping employee save over long periods of time and accumulate savings for key life events, retirement and to help pay for large discretionary spending items like education of a child.  These companies also talked about some of the challenges they are facing post the 2009 changes being implemented.

acQuire Technologies gave a very inspiring story about how they had transformed their business through employee ownership and we heard first hand from Tadhg McCarthy about his perspective of this as an employee and owner in the his business.

Telstra and BlueScope Steel also talked about some of the important changes that are needed in this area to really increase participation, engagement and performance.

Key public servants and regulators were present and it was encouraging to hear their desire to drive greater participation.  ATO Senior Technical Adviser, Rick Patton discussed the ATO draft ruling about employee share trusts and confirmed that Division 83A plans would be excluded from the final ruling, which was very encouraging to hear.  The full program can be seen online at our conference site.

2014 Awards

Our awards, presented by Tony Smith, saw the recognition of companies at the forefront of employee ownership in Australia. The winners for each category are as follows:

  • Best International Plan – Brambles Limited
  • Best New Employee Share Plan – Dick Smith Holdings Limited
  • Best Performance in Fostering Long Term Share Ownership  (More than 1,000 employees) – Computershare Limited
  • Best Performance in Fostering Long Term Share Ownership (Less than 1,000 employees) – acQuire Technologies
  • Best SME/Succession Plan – acQuire Technologies
  • Most Effective and Innovative Communications Program – Telstra

View the judging summary on our website.
acQuire Technologies media release, Employee-owned acQuire Recognised With Two Prestigious EOA Awards, 28 May