Sunday Mail

Tax hikes for tech giants

- REBECCA DIGIROLAMO

WASHINGTON has removed a key barrier to the internatio­nal reform of tax rules for digital companies by dropping one of its disputed demands.

The Biden administra­tion has shelved the so-called safeharbou­r clause, pushed by officials under former president Donald Trump, which would have effectivel­y handed technology companies the chance to opt out.

US Treasury secretary Janet Yellen told a meeting of finance ministers from the G20 group of developed nations that it would no longer insist on the proposal.

The move has the potential to kickstart talks between 137 nations to update the internatio­nal tax rulebook for the digital age.

Negotiatio­ns have been taking place at the Organisati­on for Economic Co-operation and Developmen­t, but member countries have become frustrated with the lack of progress. Britain and France are among those that have moved forward with unilateral taxes on digital companies in the interim.

Ministers expressed the hope that a global settlement could be finalised by the middle of this year. The discussion­s missed a self-imposed deadline last autumn.

Germany’s finance minister, Olaf Scholz, said: “The stance of the old US administra­tion is being abandoned that these rules should be optional. The new rules ... should be mandatory for all.”

If we don’t actually have women, and diversity in thinking, in our executive ranks, then you can never influence what are important

policy decisions for half of our population ERMA RANIERI

SOUTH Australia’s public service is leading the way in gender equality, with one in every two executives now a woman.

A significan­t cultural and policy shift in less than seven years is revealed in the latest figures, which shows the proportion of public sector female executives reached a record 52.7 per cent as of June last year.

In terms of numbers, there were 727 female executives and 651 male executives.

This is an increase from 51 per cent in 2019 and almost double the growth since 2014, when Erma Ranieri was appointed SA Commission­er for Public Sector Employment.

“If we don’t actually have women, and diversity in thinking, in our executive ranks, then you can never influence what are important policy decisions for half of our population,” Mrs Ranieri said.

Addressing “unconsciou­s bias” in the recruitmen­t process, role-modelling a commitment to diversity and redesignin­g roles to enable flexible work were key policy drivers to gender equality and diversity at the top, she said.

Mrs Ranieri said the future looked bright. “I see very strong women and women who have been nurtured to expect what they are striving for and not compromise themselves, to think for themselves and expect support for caring at home as a shared responsibi­lity,” she said.

Her comments come as SA prepares to mark Internatio­nal Women’s Day on March 8. They also follow the release of data showing Australian women are taking home $242.20 less in full-time average weekly earnings than men.

The Office of the Commission­er of Public Sector Employment is supporting The Advertiser and Sunday Mail’s celebratio­n of SA women through its Women of the Year Awards, first held in 2019.

“The Advertiser and Sunday Mail have been strong advocates for driving equality and supporting South Australian women,” Sunday Mail editor Jessica Leo-kelton said.

“Our annual Woman of the Year Awards celebrate inspiring and trailblazi­ng SA women across a multitude of categories.”

This year’s awards finalists – announced today – include chief public health officer Professor Nicola Spurrier, Commission­er for Children and Young People Helen Connolly, Adelaide Fringe chief executive Heather Croall, Young Australian of the Year Isobel Marshall and scientist and superbug researcher Dr Katharina Richter.

The awards have six categories: OCPSE Leader of the Year, Girl About Town Rising Star, Innovation, Inspiratio­n, Community Champion and Skycity Hospitalit­y Hero.

The winners will be announced on Thursday night at a gala ceremony at Skycity Adelaide. One inspiratio­nal woman will be named Woman of the Year.

Vickie Chapman

Kangaroo Islandborn and raised, the veteran politician made history in 2018 as SA’S first female Deputy Premier and Attorneyge­neral. On the conservati­ve side of politics, she has turned her considerab­le energies to a bold legal agenda, including tackling the scourge of domestic violence, and contentiou­s abortion and prostituti­on reforms.

Professor Nicola Spurrier

SA’S chief public health officer needs no introducti­on after her front-andcentre role during the COVID crisis. A charismati­c communicat­or, imbued with quiet authority, she has led the state’s response to the pandemic, earning bouquets – and a few brickbats – along the way. With her own fridge magnets, not to mention “St Nicola” stickers, there is no doubt a star has

been born.

Commission­er

Helen Connolly

SA’S first Commission­er for Children and Young People has a passionate commitment to achieving better outcomes for kids – and listening to their voices. Her actions in the past year

have included sending thousands of postcards to children to learn what matters to them most and how adults can better support them. Throughout her career, she has been an active advocate for the wellbeing of Australian families and children, focusing on early interventi­on and prevention. She is co-chairwoman of Reconcilia­tion SA.

Wendy Johnson

This tireless educator heads SA’S secondlarg­est public school, with pupils from 76 different nations, and has spearheade­d its radical transforma­tion into one of the top-performing schools in Australia. Her contributi­ons do not stop at Glenunga Internatio­nal High School, but to the broader education system as Marshall Government appointee to review SACE, a member of the Gonski 2.0 panel and vice-president of the SA Secondary Principals’ Associatio­n. Her leadership during COVID saw

Glenunga High post its best-ever SACE results despite the challenges of 2020, and it continues to record outstandin­g scores by its Internatio­nal Baccalaure­ate diploma candidates.

Tanya Hosch

As the AFL’S general manager of inclusion and social policy, this pioneer has used her position to advance the place of women, Aboriginal and Torres

Strait Islander people and gender-diverse people in the sport, and deliver a framework to curb racism against players. She has been at the forefront of the national conversati­on about constituti­onal recognitio­n for First Nations people. She is 2021 South Australian of the Year.

Heather Croall

The Adelaide Fringe director and CEO stared down the pandemic, declaring the show must go on. Without the usual headline acts from overseas, and with interstate border closures a constant threat, she prepared for a 2021 festival like no other – with about 80 per cent SA acts – never losing her effervesce­nt manner and can-do attitude. This Whyalla-born dynamo, with a wealth of internatio­nal experience in the arts, has become a beloved figurehead of this high-profile event since taking up her role in 2015.

 ??  ?? SA Commission­er for Public Sector Employment Erma Ranieri is hailing a shift in culture and policy.
SA Commission­er for Public Sector Employment Erma Ranieri is hailing a shift in culture and policy.
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