5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

Farm land with plastic soil cover in Hanyuan county, Sichuan province, China. (Jie Zhao/Corbis via Getty Images)

Here’s what you need to know.

1. An Australian startup sees a massive opportunity to clean up China’s plastic pollution problem. OneCrop has successfully trialled degradable sheets that can replace the non-degrading – and potentially harmful – polypropylene material currently used to cover 20 million hectares of farmland in China. Read more on how the company wants to raise up to $20 million to scale up.

2. Vodafone has launched Australia’s first internet of things data network. The low-power narrowband network can provide internet connectivity to devices able to run for 10 years or more on one charge – ideally to reduce maintenance for connected machines outdoors or deep within factories. Read more on the rollout.

3. A Canberra business has filed a complaint with the ACT Human Rights Commission against two prominent fintech startups. Afterpay and ZipPay, both buy-now-pay-later services, are accused of declining to service online sex toy retailer The Pleasure Box because it is in the adult industry. Read how the companies have explained their decisions.

4. Robodebt will live on. The past year has seen numerous complaints of Centrelink customers being sent letters inaccurately accusing them of owing money. iTnews reports the federal government has now rejected a community affairs committee report, saying there was “no evidence to support the recommendation to put on hold the online system”.

5. Adobe’s Australia boss has resigned. CRN reports Adobe Australia & New Zealand managing director Chris Skelton has quit the company after more than three years in the position. No explanation has been given for the departure, while Experian executive Suzanne Steele takes over the role.

BONUS ITEM: Westpac has invested $26.5 million for a majority stake in a fintech startup for home loans

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