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The Tax Forum was held on Tuesday 4 October and Wednesday 5 October 2011 in the Great Hall of Parliament House in Canberra. It brought together around 180 representatives of the community, business, unions and government, as well as academics and other tax experts, to discuss priorities and directions for further tax reform.

The forum continued the conversation the Government started with the release of the Australia's Future Tax System Review (tax review) in 2010. It focused on a broad sweep of topics covered in the tax review, and included six sessions: personal tax, transfer payments, business tax, state taxes, environmental and social taxes, and tax system governance.

The input from participants and discussions at the Tax Forum helped to identify further reforms to make the most of the opportunities and challenges ahead for Australia, such as the shift in global economic weight from West to East, the ageing of the population and the transition to a clean-energy future.

The Tax Forum featured two facilitators – Paul Clitheroe and Michael Pascoe and was run as a facilitated discussion, rather than a series of set piece speeches.

Session topics

Day 1 - Tuesday 4 October 2011

  • Introductory session – remarks by the Hon Julia Gillard MP
    and the Hon Wayne Swan MP
  • Business tax
  • Remarks by Robert Oakeshott MP
  • State taxes
  • Environmental and social taxes

Day 2 - Wednesday 5 October 2011

  • Remarks by Dr Ken Henry AC
  • Transfer payments
  • Personal tax
  • Remarks by the Hon Bill Shorten MP
  • Tax system governance
  • Closing session – remarks by the Hon Wayne Swan MP

Facilitators

Paul Clitheroe AM

Paul is a leading media commentator on financial issues and is renowned for his ability to explain complex money issues in plain English. He is the author of several financial books including the best-selling Making Money.

Paul hosted Channel Nine's Money from 1993 – 2001 and in 2009 presented Second Chance as well as Money for Jam. Paul is Chairman of Money Magazine, Chairman of the youth anti-drink driving body (RADD) is a Council Member of Philanthropy Australia and Chairman of the Australian String Quartet.

In February 2004, Paul was appointed Chairman of the Australian Government Financial Literacy Board.

In 2008, Paul was invited by the Federal Government to the 2020 Summit as a member of the Future of the Australian Economy Committee.

Paul was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Queens Birthday Honours for service to the financial sector through the promotion of financial literacy, and to the community.

Michael Pascoe

Michael Pascoe is one of Australia's most experienced finance and economics commentators with 38 years in newspaper, broadcast and on-line journalism covering the full gamut of economic, business and finance issues.

Michael is seen on Channel Seven's Sunrise and news programs, is Contributing Editor for the Sydney Morning Herald and Age BusinessDay.com.au sites, is a weekly finance columnist for Yahoo7 and a busy conference speaker and facilitator.

Michael was born and educated in Queensland, starting his career with The Courier-Mail before working in Hong Kong for three years on the South China Morning Post. He joined the Australian Financial Review in Sydney upon returning to Australia and then pioneered specialist finance journalism in commercial broadcasting — first with the Macquarie Radio network, then with Channel Nine, Sky News and Channel Seven.