Saturday, 02 August 2014 Sydney

Invest In Australia News::

  • Boost for community fire defences

    Bushfire defences will be beefed up to protect homes and livelihoods across several council areas through the Abbott and Newman Governments’ Natural Disaster Resilience Program to protect Queensland communities.

    The Cloncurry, Mount Isa, Scenic Rim, and Southern Downs Councils will share in more than $192,000 to build new fire breaks, clear fire trails and improve their management of fire hazards.

    The Commonwealth and Queensland Governments together contributed $120,000 towards the projects, with the remaining funding contributed by the councils.

    Commonwealth Minister for Justice Michael Keenan said preparation for the upcoming fire season was essential to reduce the environmental, economic and social costs of bushfires.

  • ​$3.7 million to help build a disaster resilient Australia

    Minister for Justice Michael Keenan today announced $3.7 million in grants to assist Australian communities better prepare, respond to and recover from natural disasters and emergencies.

    In 2014-15 the Federal Government will fund 19 nationally-significant projects under the National Emergency Management Projects (NEMP) Program, reinforcing its commitment to building a disaster resilient Australia.

    “The partnership approach between all levels of government, non-government agencies and the community is vital in building a culture of shared responsibility, a key tenet of the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience,” Mr Keenan said.

    In 2014–15, successful projects include:

  • Helping communities withstand natural disasters

    Federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan joined the Western Australian Emergency Services Minister Joe Francis today to announce that over $2 million in Commonwealth funding is being made available to improve community preparedness for natural disasters.

    This is part of more than $6 million the Commonwealth is providing to Western Australia through the current National Partnership Agreement on Natural Disaster Resilience.

    Mr Keenan said the funding partnership between the Commonwealth and Western Australian governments would strengthen disaster resilience across Western Australia through state-wide and community level projects.

  • $11m fund opens for more investment in Tasmania

    The Australian Government is putting in place another key programme in the comprehensive strategy to create new opportunities for investment and jobs growth in Tasmania.

    Minister for Industry Ian Macfarlane said an $11 million Innovation and Investment Fund for Tasmania was now open for applications from local businesses with projects to diversify the economy.

    “This fund is an important part of a regional economic diversification package for Tasmania and will support local businesses to deliver long-term sustainable industry opportunities, help diversify Tasmania’s economy and create new jobs,” Mr Macfarlane said.

  • Rescue Capabilities Boosted for Broome

    Delivering on its election commitments to the people of Broome, the Australian Government is investing $3.2 million in new sea and air rescue facilities for the region through the Community Development Grants Programme.

    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss and Federal Member for Durack Melissa Price today announced funding for a new Royal Flying Doctor Service Base, Volunteer Sea Rescue Headquarters and rescue vessel, all to be located in Broome.

    “The Australian Government is helping create better social and economic infrastructure for regional communities across Australia,” Mr Truss said.

  • South Australia's entrepreneurial stars shine at awards night

    Four outstanding South Australian entrepreneurs took out top honours at last night’s 2014 EY Entrepreneur Of The YearTM Central Region awards ceremony in Adelaide.


    The winners, by category, were:

    • Emerging – Jenny Paradiso, Suntrix
    • Industry –  Paul Crawford, Commercial Motor Vehicles Pty Ltd (CMV Group)
    • Services – Mark Dayman, Fyfe
    • Technology –  Shane Kelly, Kelly Engineering


    Also recognised in the non-competitive regional award categories were:

    • Listed award – Jeff Ellison, SeaLink Travel Group Limited
    • Social entrepreneur – Madge McGuire, Catherine House Inc.
    • Champion of Entrepreneurship – Bob Beaumont, Beaumont Tiles


  • New accounting standard on bad debts completes response to GFC

    Australian banks and insurers have avoided the worst effects of an eagerly-awaited international accounting standard on provisioning for bad debts says KPMG.


  • Inbound visitors, business travellers push Sydney & Melbourne hotel occupancies to breaking point

    The continued growth of low-cost Asian airline capacity and the economic recovery underway in the United Kingdom and the United States has contributed to visitor arrivals surging 8.2% over the year to May, the fastest rate of growth in nearly a decade.  


    This has led to an upward revision of Deloitte Access Economics’ international visitor forecasts. The latest Tourism and Hotel Market Outlook projects arrivals to grow by 5.1% and international visitor nights to increase by 5.2% over the next three years.


  • Highway Upgrade Sees Freight Capacity Soar

    Road Trains and commuters are experiencing faster and safer trips on the Great Northern Highway at Port Hedland, with works on a $260 million upgrade now complete and open to traffic.

    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss joined Federal Member for Durack Melissa Price and Western Australian Member for the Pilbara Brendon Grylls today to officially open the eight kilometre realignment.

    Mr Truss said the Australian Government's investment in this section was one of many productivity-boosting projects funded by the Government on Australia's longest highway.

  • 14-173MR ASIC bans Melbourne mortgage broker for submitting false documents

    ASIC has banned Ms Shilpa Karandikar, a Melbourne-based mortgage broker, from engaging in credit activities for four years after an ASIC investigation found she submitted false documents to secure a home loan worth $243,000 

    ASIC’s investigation found that Ms Karandikar submitted a $243,000 home loan application on behalf of a client in July 2012 that contained false payslips, false employment documents and a false bank statement. The home loan application also contained false information to make the financial position of her client look more favourable than it actually was. 

    ASIC found that Ms Karandikar knew, or was reckless as to whether, the documents and information contained in the loan application were false or misleading. 

  • 14-175MR ASIC obtains court orders against former WA financial adviser

    Following an ASIC application, the Federal Court in Perth has made interim asset preservation orders by consent against former Western Australia-based financial adviser Marion Joan Pearson and Colisa Pty Ltd (Colisa).

    The court also made interim consent orders restraining Ms Pearson and Colisa from providing financial services advice or dealing in financial products, and from dealing with any client accounts without prior express written authority from the client.


    Australian Research Council (ARC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Professor Aidan Byrne, has today opened a new Dairy Innovation Hub at the University of Melbourne dedicated to developing new technical solutions to overcome challenges facing the dairy industry.

    The ARC Diary Innovation Hub will focus on the technical challenges that currently constrain the growth of Australia's dairy industry, including: better ways to clean milk and cheese processing equipment; improving the spreadability and taste of butter and long-life milks; and faster maturation of cheese.

  • Full Speed Ahead on Vantassel to Cluden Upgrade

    Good speed is being made on the Bruce Highway upgrade south of Townsville, with vehicles travelling on the new northbound Stuart Creek bridge for the first time today.

    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the bridge opening today was an important milestone for the $137.5 million project.

    “Traffic is for the first time today driving northbound on 1.8 kilometres of the highway,” Mr Truss said.

    “By next year the whole project will be complete and motorists will see yet another example of how the Australian Government is getting on with fixing the Bruce Highway.”

  • 14-169MR ASIC accepts enforceable undertaking from The Royal Bank of Scotland

    ASIC today accepted an enforceable undertaking (EU) from The Royal Bank of Scotland plc and The Royal Bank of Scotland N.V. (RBS) in relation to potential misconduct involving the Australian Bank Bill Swap Rate (BBSW).

    RBS will also make a voluntary contribution of $1.6 million to fund independent financial literacy projects in Australia.

  • Exploring More Options for Retirement Income Products

    The Government is today delivering on our election commitment to review regulatory barriers restricting the availability of retirement income stream products.

    Australians are looking for more options to better manage their retirement income and manage associated investment and inflation risks.

    We are also committed to providing self-funded retirees with confidence that their funds will not run out because of inappropriate forced withdrawals by reviewing the minimum payment levels for account-based pensions.

    The Government wants to encourage greater product innovation in retirement income products that better cater for the evolving and differing retirement preferences.

    Today we issue a discussion paper which considers key areas such as:

  • Major economic stimulus for River Murray communities

    Grants totalling more than $100 million will flow to almost 100 South Australian River Murray irrigation and industry projects.

    This includes projects such as $12.7 million to replant an existing production area with new crops and a new irrigation system, $5.2 million for a new onion and potato farm to supply a national supermarket chain, and a $2.2 million project to convert a disused almond orchard into an irrigated lucerne hay business.

    The grants are being made through the Australian Government-funded $240 million South Australian River Murray Sustainability Irrigation Industry Improvement Program (3IP), and the projects will return about half the water required under the programs 40-gigalitre target for water recovery.

  • Global Value Chains key to driving growth

    Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Robb today launched the OECD-WTO-World Bank Global Value Chains Report.

    The report is the product of a collective request by G20 leaders seeking a better understanding of the rapid expansion and positive impact of participation in global value chains to support economic growth and job creation.

    "The report makes a number of recommendations that I will strongly encourage my counterparts to take forward at the Trade Ministers Meeting on Saturday.  Central among these is implementation of the Agreement on Trade Facilitation”, Mr Robb said.

  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence – Multi-million dollar communications upgrade a step closer

    The Parliamentary Standing Committee of Public Works has tabled the $131.1 million facilities upgrade of the Defence Terrestrial Communications Network, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence Darren Chester announced today.

    “Modernising the facilities is an integral part of Defence’s Terrestrial Communications Network transformation. This is a key strategic reform initiative that will deliver robust and secure communications technology, create greater efficiencies and lower costs,” Mr Chester said.

    The works will go ahead at 282 Defence sites, supporting around 100,000 users in Australia and overseas. IT facilities and communications infrastructure will be upgraded under the project.

  • Labor 2013-14 Budget Savings (Measures No. 1) Bill 2014

    Today the Abbott Government is introducing Labor 2013-14 Budget Savings (Measures No. 1) Bill 2014, to implement the savings that Labor announced and booked but never legislated.

    Labor announced, in their final Budget, that these personal income tax changes would be deferred as they were meant to compensate for an increase in the carbon price, which was not expected to occur until 2018-19 due to a revision to their carbon price forecast.

    At the time, Labor booked $1.5 billion in savings over the then forward estimates period to the Budget bottom line, but did not seek to introduce legislation to reverse the personal income tax changes which they had legislated.

  • 14-165MR Healthzone directors charged with $1 million fraud

    Two directors of Healthzone Limited (in liquidation) have been charged with conspiring to defraud the company of $1 million, following an ASIC investigation.

    ASIC alleges the conspiracy took place between 18 March 2011 and 17 November 2011 and involved Peter David Roach, 53, and Ge Wu, 35.

    Mr Roach, of Burradoo, New South Wales, appeared before Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court on 15 July 2014 charged with one count of conspiring to defraud. He has also been charged with two counts of making false statements to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

    Mr Roach did not enter any pleas.

  • Riverfront Transformation Begins

    Transformation of Mildura's riverfront is on its way, with works starting on the $18.3 million development of the Mildura Ornamental Lake Precinct today.

    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the Australian Government had committed $4.8 million to the community-focused project.

    “Mildura's Ornamental Lake Precinct is already one of the region's most loved spaces and this development will create a world class riverfront destination for Mildura, making it a focus for cultural, tourism, recreation and sporting activities,” Mr Truss said.

    “It will also strengthen the local economy by creating more than 20 jobs during construction and the potential for ongoing positions in the foreseeable future.”

  • Location Locked in for New Shoalhaven Crossing at Nowra

    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss and Minister for Roads and Freight Duncan Gay have announced the preferred location for a new bridge crossing of Shoalhaven River. The new bridge will be built upstream from the existing crossing.

    Minister Gay was joined by Federal Member for Gilmore Ann Sudmalis, Member for the South coast Shelley Hancock and Member for Kiama Gareth Ward to make the announcement today.

    “The Australia Government has committed $10 million over the next three years and the NSW Government has committed $2 million to carry out investigations and planning for the Nowra Bridge project in the 2014–15 budget,” Mr Truss said.

  • Laidley's Multipurpose Sports and Recreation Centre

    Construction on Laidley's long awaited $2.6 million Multipurpose Sports and Recreation Centre is now underway.

    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss committed $500,000 towards this important community project on behalf of the Australian Government.

    “We are committed to building viable and sustainable regional communities through projects like the Laidley Multipurpose Sports and Recreation Centre,” Mr Truss said.

    “The previous Labor government left many worthy projects in limbo in the lead up to the last federal election—unfunded and uncontracted.

  • Robb to lead G20 investment forum

    Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb will promote the Australian government’s strong pro-investment agenda to some of the world’s leading CEOs later this week in Sydney.

    Mr Robb will chair the Australian Investment Forum, to be held on Saturday 19 July, following the B20 Summit of business leaders on 16-18 July and prior to the G20 meeting of Trade Ministers.

    Leading executives from the US, UK, Japan, China, Singapore, India, Europe and the Middle East will attend the Forum, organised by Austrade to bring together companies with significant existing or potential investments in Australia.