QUEENSLAND IS selling itself as a viable investment alternative to NSW and Victoria with the implementation of its Partnership and Other Acts Amendment Bill.
For law firms, this may lead to increased work as the amendments are designed to make investing in the State more attractive for foreign investors.
But in reality, firms in Queensland are not expecting an enormous influx of work as the State plays “catch up” with NSW and Victoria, said Gary Goldman, Minter Ellison Brisbane partner.
It does mean, however, that firms will be able to play on the “whole field” and that those seeking investment opportunities will not be limited to NSW and Victoria, which have already enacted similar legislation, he said.
Investors from private equity funds that want to take advantage of federal tax benefits will now be able to invest in incorporated limited partnerships and receive protection from liability similar to investors in a company.
Goldman saaid “frankly, there are not that many who have taken advantage of the tax changes so far”.
“This particular legislation will not make a huge difference but there are plenty of opportunities in Queensland,” he said.
Despite this, he acknowledged that any relaxation of the regulatory regime will mean those looking for investments will now be more likely to invest their funds in Queensland.
“If they wanted to use this structure they couldn’t have before and would have gone to either NSW or Victoria,” he said.
The Queensland Parliament has introduced the legislation in an effort to make the State more attractive for new international venture capital investment.
Fair Trading Minister Margaret Keech said the Bill would be a great incentive for further investment, particularly in the areas of biotechnology and information technology.
Keech told Parliament that “investors have been queuing waiting for this legislation.”
“We have industry and population growth and the promise of rich returns for investors, with second to none academic and research capabilities.”
Minter Ellison has seen “real growth” in recent years, according to Goldman.
“Most of this has been based in NSW and Victoria but it is also an important part of the Queensland practice. This legislation means there are fewer impediments,” he said.
“It is definitely a positive for [Minter Ellison], but the firm is not expecting a huge influx of work with the incoming legislation,” Goldman said.
“It means we are able to play on the whole field and not just be limited to part of it.”