Innovations for a Secure Future: Transforming Military Strategies, Munich, February 2024


ABIE Tax Residency Submission, September 2023

On 21 September 2023 a submission was made by the Australian Business In Europe network (ABIE) network on behalf of the German Australian Business Council regarding the Treasury in relation to the Modernising Individual Tax Residency – Consultation Paper July 2023. The submission was sent to the following:
• Prime Minister and Opposition Leader of Australia
• Treasurer and Shadow Treasurer
• Ministers and Shadow Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Trade and Tourism, Finance
• Premiers of States and Chief Ministers of Territories
• Agent-Generals
• Austrade CEO and GM – Europe

Thank you to Jennifer Tucker and Nicola Palmer, ABIE Netherlands for authoring the submission. Special thanks to all Business Council members and friends that responded to the survey, your input was greatly appreciated.

The submission can be found here: ABIE Tax Residency Submission, September 2023


GABC Aviation event with Dr Ian Douglas, October 2019, Frankfurt

GABC members and friends from the aviation industry gathered in October for an event titled “A land far away: How mega-hubs impact the way we fly to Australia?”. The keynote speaker was Dr Ian Douglas , Chair of the Australian International Air Services Commission. Dr Ian Douglas, who recently retired from the School of Aviation at UNSW Sydney where he was a Senior Lecturer in aviation management,  shared his broad experience in air transportation economics and airline strategic thinking. The audience engaged in the discussion on the rise of the mega-hub airports in the Middle East and Asia and how this has changed travel patterns and the way in which Europe and Australia are connected. Additionally, GABC was honoured that the event was attended by Mrs Anna Fedeles, the new Australian Consul-General in Frankfurt. Ms Fedeles was happy to introduce the event topic in light of her own experiences, having recently served in the Middle East prior to her posting in Frankfurt.



Networking BBQ- Berlin, June 2019

On 5 June GABC Berlin hosted an after-work networking BBQ at the former Australian Embassy to the German Democratic Republic in Berlin Pankow which is now the base for a local artist collective ( The small informal event was attended by a dozen members and friends who enjoyed the vast garden, cool drinks and communal cooking experience alongside interesting conversations with other guests and the resident artists. The evening’s highlight was the guided tour of the historic landmark building and some of the exhibitions on display by the artists. We look forward to hosting further relaxed after-work events for the Berlin community in the near future. The next Berlin event will be the annual Sommerfest der Wirtschaftsverbände at Chalet Suisse on the 30th of August, 2019.

Photo: Maurizio Camagna


GABC represented on Deutsche Welle’s Business Programs

The German Australian Business Council was represented on Deutsche Welle’s Business and Business Asia Programs on the 17th of May 2019 by Board Chair, Sabine Pittrof. A variety of topics such as renewable energy, the Australian election and the upcoming Australian-EU Free Trade agreement were discussed.



A link to the full interviews can be found below:


Art Exhibition and Concert, 12th April, 2019

The German Ambassador to Australia and Patron and President of Art Circle Residence, H. E. Dr Anna Prinz, is pleased to invite German Australian Business Council Members and Friends to an exhibition and concert at Hofgut Battenberg (Pfalz) on the 12th of April, 2019 from  5pm.

More information can be found on the website 

All enquires should be directed to the organisers using the email:


AHK and BMWi Event: Business Opportunities in Australia for German Companies- Bad Homburg

The German Chamber in Sydney (AHK) in partnership with the Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft and Energie will be holding an event on the topic of ‘Business Opportunities in Australia for German Companies’. This event particularly focuses on the Beauty and Household Products sector. It will take place on the 17th of September, 2018 from 11am-4.30pm at the Steigenberger Hotel, Bad Homburg.

As this is not a Business Council event, please direct all further enquiries directly to the organiser,  Miriam Achenbach (


Visa Programme for Skilled Workers

Summary prepared by Jarmila Zaricka (Board Member, German Australian Business Council):

In April 2017, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the abolition of the temporary foreign skilled worker scheme (referred to as ‘457’) that was introduced in 1996.

The ‘457’ visa programme allowed skilled foreigners to work in Australia for up to four years.

Under this programme, 96,000 foreigners of the country’s 12 million labour force work in Australia.

The majority of the workers are from India, Great Britain and China – in the IT, scientific and hospitality sectors.

The motivation for abolishing the ‘457’ visa programme has been expressed as the aim to give priority to Australian workers for Australian jobs.

Australia’s unemployment rate sits today at 5.9%. The OECD average represents 6.2%.

The ‘457’ visa programme is foreseen to be replaced with new visas specifically targeting skills shortages outside the main cities. In addition, under the planned new scheme, English language requirements for migrants would be boosted. Requirements for previous work experience would also be introduced. Details are yet to be revealed.

Current holders of ‘457’ visas would be unaffected by the changes and could continue to work in Australia under the conditions of that visa.



Siemens High Voltage Factory Tour in Berlin on 13th of October 2016

“Same, same but not the same”

While last year a group of members and friends of the German Australian Business Council joined a tour through the Siemens Medium Voltage factory, this year was all about High Voltage.
The tour took part on the 13th of October 2016 in the “Siemens Schaltwerk Berlin”, which is located in the Berlin district of Siemensstadt, were Siemens was once founded. This location is the biggest Siemens production location in Germany. After successful registration at the front entrance everyone was warmly welcomed in the information centre by the German Australian Business Council board members Simone Wienhausen and Sabine Pittrof.
After a short small talk the tour guide invited everyone into a separate room, where he gave a presentation about the history of Siemens and its importance for the whole Siemens group. He focused on the most important inventions and the different fields in which Siemens is currently operating. He proceeded to explain the need for different levels of current as well as the products produced in Berlin and their use within Medium and High voltage.
The tour started with an introduction to the Siemens products in the show room, where our tour guide already had to answer a lot questions regarding the products shown such as Vacuum interrupters, surge arresters and switching devices starting from vacuum circuit breaker to the high voltage gas insulated switching device.
On the way to the High Voltage Factory a highly appreciated shortcut was taken through the Medium Voltage Factory where some of the products were explained. The tour was continued through the High Voltage Training Centre for GIS (Gas Insulated Switchgear) where we had the chance to get close to one of the very big devices. After visiting the part of the factory where the housing of the High Voltage products are produced our guide took the group to the assembly lines, where the large switchgear is put together and tested. For most, one the highlights was one part of the High Voltage test lab ( called “Parabelhalle”) with its massive test equipment which are up to 20 meters high.
We wish to gratefully acknowledge that the tour was made possible by Siemens Schaltwerk and are looking forward to the next tour.












Australian Budget

This week was budget week in Australia. The annual speech in Canberra’s Parliament by the treasurer is part of the Australian political scene and the lead up to the big day is everywhere. Newspapers and TV discuss extensively the options open to the Treasurer and attempt to double guess the outcome. Afterwards all the newspapers devote column inches and TV hours to discuss the effects on ordinary Australians. There’s really nothing like it in the German political system.

So what happened this year? The general consensus is that the budget was „boring“. An election might be called soon (Australia does not have a fixed parliamentary term and so an election can be called at the whim of the governing party) and it is clear that the ruling Liberal Party did not want to be too controversial – unlike in 2014. Australia is facing two major challenges – as the Financial Times noted – the fall in commodity prices and lacklustre growth. Mr. Hockey, the Treasurer, introduced a budget in which taxes are not raised (and indeed should fall for small businesses) and any new expenditure will be met by redirecting existing funds. The Australian Stock Market reacted positively.

The government is currently forecasting four more years of deficits. Currently it is forecast to be AUD 41.1 Bn to AUD 35.1 Bn in the fiscal year 2015-16 and then fall to AUD 25.8 Bn in the following year (about 1.3% of GDP – lower than the EU’s Maastricht Criterium).

For foreign companies, the impact of the budget is likely to be minimal. Australian will start levying GST (equivalent to VAT/USt) on digital services products, such as videos or e-books, coming into the country. This has been termed the „Netflix“ tax, but will also affect German and European companies, as well as US ones. There is also a commitment to stop companies shifting profits out of Australia to avoid payment of local taxes. This commitment is shared also by the German government.

The Australian Taxation Office will also take over review of foreign investment of real estate in the country. The Treasurer emphasised that Australia was looking for foreign investment of the right sort. In the past few weeks, the newspapers have carried stories about purchase of real estate by non-residents, and the measures are intended to strengthen the goverment’s hand.

On the other hand, European backpackers will lose their tax-free entitlement and will have to pay tax on all of their earnings whilst working and travelling around the country. There is some controversy as to the level of additional revenue that this will bring the government, but it has already lead to some controversy, as reported on the BBC and the ABC.

Full details of the budget can be found at the government’s website here.