Australian farmers suffering through the crippling drought will be able to access greater government assistance sooner as part of a $320 million comprehensive drought support package.
The Government will bring forward more generous income support arrangements for farmers and their families; extend concessional loans to eligible drought affected farm businesses; provide funds for water infrastructure and pest eradication; as well as funds for counselling support services for farmers.
Farming is a very significant part of our economy and will play a critical role in our economic future. This is a government determined to stand by the people of Australia in good times and bad.
As part of the package:
A project investigating a green energy alternative for Port Augusta and Leigh Creek has been awarded more than $130,000 in the final grant under the State Government's Enterprise Zone Fund - Upper Spencer Gulf and Outback.
The $2.3 million project will be undertaken by natural gas and electricity supplier Alinta Energy, and involves a feasibility study and technological analysis on the viability of solar thermal generation at the Northern Power Stations 1 and 2, and Playford B Power Station at Port Augusta Power.
The South Australian Government has partnered with the Australian Government, which is contributing $1 million towards the project from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency's (ARENA) Emerging Renewables Program.
The Australian Government will establish a payment scheme for supported employees with intellectual disability in Australian Disability Enterprises who previously had their wages assessed under the Business Service Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT).
The scheme will deliver certainty for these employees, their families and carers, as well as their employers, while the implications of the BSWAT court decisions are worked through.
The establishment of the scheme follows the outcome of the recent Federal Court case brought by Mr Nojin and Mr Prior.
Longer term, the Australian Government will develop a new wage assessment process.
The Coalition Government has decided to maintain duties on imported Greek currants for a further five years.
Bob Baldwin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry, said this measure would contribute to a level playing field for Australian industry.
“This decision assists local manufacturers to be able to competitively source currants from Australian growers, and allows Australian growers to stay in the game,” Mr Baldwin said.
“Sunbeam Foods will be able to compete on a more level playing field when sourcing their products from local supply chains.”
A new Productivity Commission Staff Working Paper provides an up to date guide to valuing environmental outcomes. The paper concludes that non-market assessments can, if handled effectively, make a valuable contribution to policy and project assessment, including for major projects.
The media and entertainment industry is starting 2014 with a high level of confidence in the global economy, according to the 9th Capital Confidence Barometer – Media & Entertainment industry results released by EY.
Sixty-eight percent of media and entertainment executives believe the global economy is improving, which is a significant increase from the survey a year ago that showed only 26% believed the economy was on an upswing. Twenty-three percent believe the economy is stable, 4% feel it is modestly declining and 5% that it is strongly declining.
14 January 2014: Despite tough economic conditions, revenues for the world’s 250 largest retailers reached US$4.3 trillion* in the last fiscal year (June 2012 through June 2013). The average size of the top 250 retailers exceeded US$17 billion according to the 2014 Global Powers of Retailing report from Deloitte, in conjunction with STORES Media. For the first time ever, the report also includes a list of the world’s top 50 e-retailers** and found that more than three-quarters of them (39 companies) are part of the top 250 retailers globally.
Defence is currently undertaking a significant Information and Communications Technology (ICT) transformation program.
As the projects currently underway require a focused and sustained effort, Defence has decided not to proceed with the planned market testing of the Distributed Computing Bundle.
Defence has exercised a contract extension under the existing Unisys Regional ICT Services Agreement for on-site support services until October 2016.
A decision on the longer-term delivery of ICT services through a Distributed Computing Bundle will be made over the next 24 months.
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999
11 January 2014
Encouraging investment and tourism will be the focus of a visit to the West Coast of the United States by Trade and Investment Minister, Andrew Robb.
"The United States is our key economic partner country with two-way investment exceeding $1 trillion in 2012 while California alone is the world's eighth largest economy and I look forward to meeting with capital markets' representatives and companies seeking to expand into Australia to achieve further Foreign Direct Investment in Australia," Mr Robb said.
Mr Robb will also make keynote addresses to G'Day USA events including:
• A Tourism Australia summit in Los Angeles
• The US-Australian Dialogue on Water in Los Angeles
Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop has welcomed Australia’s top ranking in a global review of nuclear security.
For the second year running, Australia has been ranked first in the Nuclear Threat Initiative’s assessment of nuclear security in countries with significant holdings of nuclear material.
The Nuclear Threat Initiative is a non-government organisation that works to reduce global threats from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.
Australia has maintained its top ranking following reductions in its quantities of highly enriched uranium and ratification of the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.
Anyone looking for their big break in advertising, film, music, performance and other creative industries can get expert advice on starting and growing their business at no cost sessions hosted by the City of Sydney.
Advice specifically tailored for individual creative businesses will be available at a series of one-hour meetings in one of the City’s creative hubs in Darlinghurst throughout January and February.
Industry insight will be provided by Monica Davidson, as part of the NSW Government’s Small Biz Connect program. Monica has her own production company and has been running workshops for creative businesses for 15 years.
As part of a wide ranging interview on the year ahead the Chairman of the ACCC, Mr Rod Sims, welcomed the coming Root and Branch competition review. He said the review will be extremely important in terms of addressing impediments to competition which will benefit the economy generally.
He also said that the competition review was likely to address the role of government in markets, and then went on to say that, generally, the private sector will run commercial enterprises more efficiently than government.
There was no reference made to privatise any specific Commonwealth owned entity.
07 January 2014
Take advantage of the world class facilities at Titans HQ this February.
The NRL iSelect Gold Coast Titans will be in New Zealand for the Auckland Nines from 7-17 February 2014.
This has provided the unique opportunity for athletes external to the Titans, to utilise training facilities at Titans HQ during this period.
Contact Luke O'Dwyer at the Titans in relation to facilities on 0405 147 534 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Download the Titans invitation flyer, gym flyer and booking form.
If you are from outside the City and are looking to undertake a high performance training camp on the Gold Coast, contact the dedciated sports attraction officer on:
Phone: (07) 5581 7458
A narrow back lane in Darlinghurst will become a destination in its own right after the City of Sydney approved its refurbishment as part of a plan to revitalise business around Oxford Street.
Foley Street will become a more inviting spot for cafes, restaurants and shops with wider footpaths and a pedestrian-only zone stretching from Crown to Langley streets to accommodate outdoor seating and dining.
Power lines will also be moved underground to boost the visual appeal of the street and a new pedestrian and cycling link will run from Taylor Square to nearby Crown Street to make the area more accessible to foot and bike traffic.
Australians have celebrated the New Year and the Royal Australian Mint has revealed the full design on its stunning new 2014 $1 Sydney New Year's Eve Silver Proof coin. Featuring the 'all-seeing eye' which was created by celebrated Australian artist Reg Mombassa and was central to the midnight fireworks display on Sydney Harbour.
The 2014 $1 Sydney New Year's Eve holographic silver proof coin is available from the Mint’s eShop https://eshop.ramint.gov.au, Contact Centre on 1300 652 020 or in store at Deakin.
02 January 2014
As the New Year approaches, NSW is on track to see significant new investment and exports over the next three years, according to the latest NSW Trade and Investment Report released today.
The NSW Government is making considerable efforts to boost the State’s exports and investment by maintaining and expanding international Trade & Investment offices, with two now opened in China, and one in India, the United Arab Emirates and the United States of America, as well as successful trade missions led by the Premier, Deputy Premier and senior Ministers.
Federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane has called for submissions to the reviews that will guide Australia’s transition to a new era of manufacturing and competitiveness, in preparation for the 2016 and 2017 departure of Ford and Holden.
“These reviews signal the setting of a new direction in Australia’s manufacturing and industry policy. Traditional manufacturing is undergoing a global change which we must view as an opportunity to re-define the way Australia contributes to global supply chains.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection today granted an additional significant investor visa, just in time for Christmas.
The recipient, Santa Claus, has committed to investing in local toy manufacturers as an alternative to his elves in the North Pole, ensuring all children in Australia receive their toys on time and helping to bolster the industry.
A departmental spokesman said that in previous years, Santa entered Australia on business short stay visas, but this year his desire to make a significant investment in toy manufacturing in the country led him to subclass 188 significant investor visa.
The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has today released an information paper on its framework for dealing with domestic systemically important banks (D-SIBs) in Australia.
The Hon Christopher Pyne MP
Minister for Education
Leader of the House
Australia’s universities recorded a financially sound 2012, according to the latest aggregated report on their financial health released today.
Minister for Education, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, today released the Finance 2012: Financial Reports of Higher Education Providers.
The report shows revenue for the sector including vocational education and training operations of dual sector providers increased from $23.7 billion in 2011 to $25.2 billion in 2012 — an increase of 6.6 per cent.
Australian Government funding, including loans to students, increased 10.2 per cent to $14.6 billion in 2012.
The final reports of the Productivity Commission (the Commission) inquiry into the impacts of the importation of both processed fruit and processed tomato products have today been publicly released.
The Commission found in its reports, Safeguards Inquiry into the Import of Processed Fruit Products and Safeguards Inquiry into the Import of Processed Tomato Product, that safeguard measures on these imports are not warranted.
Australia has a strong manufacturing history and will have a strong manufacturing future.
Today, the Government is announcing a wide-ranging industry initiative comprising targeted support for regions impacted by the wind-down of Holden’s manufacturing operations by 2017; reviews of the South Australian and Victorian economies; and development of a National Industry Investment and Competitiveness Agenda which will focus on our strengths, create jobs and exploit our competitive advantages.
Transitioning from heavy industrial manufacturing to higher value added production calls for a national, strategic response rather than a piecemeal one based on hand-outs and subsidies.
Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane said Australia has the opportunity to seize new markets, captialise on its inventive nature, and create new jobs as the country moves to join a new global era of industry growth and build a sophisticated manufacturing base.
“Australia has a strong manufacturing pedigree that will stand us in good stead as we move towards production in new sectors and new industries,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“While the decision by GM Holden to end car manufacturing from 2017 will create a difficult transition period for affected workers and communities, there is the window of opportunity to use the skills in this industry to build a manufacturing future in new, innovative and exportable processes and products.
Joint press release
Senator The Hon George Brandis QC
Attorney-General and Minister for the Arts
The Hon Ian Walker MP
Minister for Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts (Queensland)
18 December 2013
Australia continues to be a premier destination for international screen production with Hollywood blockbuster, San Andreas, presented by New Line Cinema in association with Village Roadshow Pictures, to start filming in Queensland early next year.
Federal Minister for the Arts, Senator the Hon George Brandis QC said securing such a large budget production for Australia is a major coup that will bring substantial and ongoing economic benefits to Australia.