Saturday, 20 December 2014 Sydney

Invest In Australia News::

  • 20 Million Trees Programme continues to grow

    In a major step forward for the 20 Million Trees Programme, the Australian Government today released a Request for Tender, seeking one or more service providers to undertake large-scale revegetation projects across Australia.

    The Australian Government's 20 Million Trees Programme is a key election commitment, providing $50 million over four years to deliver tree planting projects across the country.

    The programme will re-establish green corridors and urban forests across Australia, increasing and improving habitat for our threatened species and creating green spaces to improve the liveability of our cities and towns.

  • $4.5 million for greening our cities and communities - media release 17 December 2014

    More than one million trees are expected to be planted as part of the first small grants round of the Australian Government's 20 Million Trees Programme.

    The 20 Million Trees Programme is a key election commitment, providing $50 million over four years to contribute to re-establishing native vegetation, providing habitat to support our threatened plants and animals, and creating greener spaces to improve the liveability of our cities and towns.

    Grants totalling $4.5 million have been approved for 57 projects in urban and regional areas around Australia. This funding is going to Landcare and community groups, individuals and organisations to enable them to plant native trees, shrubs and other vegetation in their local communities.

  • Telstra pays $102,000 penalty following ACCC infringement notice for iPhone 6 advertisement

    Telstra Corporation Limited (Telstra) has paid a penalty of $102,000 following the issue of an infringement notice by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in relation to a recent iPhone 6 advertisement.

    Telstra’s A3 advertisement appeared in The Age newspaper on 27 September 2014 and featured a large photo of the Apple iPhone 6. The advertisement for Telstra’s iPhone 6 and phone plan bundle prominently displayed the plan cost of $70 per month when, in fact, consumers were also required to pay an additional $11 per month for the iPhone 6. The advertisement only disclosed the additional payment of $11 and the total monthly cost of $81 in fine print.

  • 14-331MR ASIC Accepts enforceable undertaking from Victorian financial adviser

    ASIC has accepted an enforceable undertaking (EU) from former Professional Investment Services Pty Ltd (PIS) representative, Seamus O’Brien, after he failed to meet his obligations as a financial adviser.

    Mr O’Brien traded as Cambridge Financial Planning in South Yarra, Victoria.

    The EU follows an ASIC review of the advice provided by Mr O’Brien.

    ASIC was concerned that Mr O’Brien, failed to:

  • 2014: Building the infrastructure Australia needs

    The Australian Government has embarked on the biggest infrastructure works program in the nation's history—geared to driving economic growth, achieving greater efficiency and competitiveness and spurring a revival across metropolitan and regional Australia.

    Our record $50 billion infrastructure investment has seen work start on 22 major new projects this year and another 47 next year (see spreadsheet attached), most of which either languished under Labor or simply were not on their radar.

    The Australian Government has re-introduced the traditional 80:20 funding split for new road and rail projects on the national network outside of metropolitan areas. Under Labor these networks would have been abandoned.

  • Robb announces review appointee

    Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb has announced the appointment of Michael Lee to review the Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) scheme.

    Mr Robb said Mr Lee – the former CEO of Zip Industries – is well qualified to undertake the mandatory review of the EMDG scheme, which was established to help businesses tap into potential export markets, through the promotion of their products and services overseas.

    “Mr Lee is a highly experienced business executive whose solid track record demonstrates a deep understanding of the challenges Australia’s international businesses face,” Mr Robb said.

  • Additional Shipbuilding Expertise to be Inserted into the Air Warfare Destroyer Program

    The Government has taken the next major step to put the $8.5 billion Air Warfare Destroyer program back on track to deliver critical capability for the Royal Australian Navy.

    Following a competitive procurement process, BAE Systems, Navantia SA and Raytheon Australia will take on increased roles in the Air Warfare Destroyer program for an interim period. Their increased involvement will drive immediate improvements in shipbuilding performance.

    The Government is committed to putting this important Defence project back on track and stop the growing cost and schedule overruns we inherited from our predecessors by implementing the Reform Strategy recommended by Professor Donald Winter's Independent Review of the Air Warfare Destroyer program.

  • $1 billion injection to boost Australia's regions

    More than 400 proposals from across Australia have been lodged for projects under the first round of the Australian Government's new $1 billion National Stronger Regions Fund.

    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss welcomed 405 proposals from not-for-profit entities and local governments.

    “The Australian Government is pleased to have created this landmark programme which has attracted proposals from all the states and territories across the country,” Mr Truss said.

    “The level of interest demonstrates that local communities and councils value and understand the importance of building stronger regions and their importance to our future economic prosperity.

  • Ministerial Statement: The Australian Government's Response to the Aviation Safety Regulation Review Report

    Madam Speaker, in November last year the Government established an independent review of Australia's aviation safety regulatory system to ensure that it is well positioned to meet Australia's future aviation demands.

    The review was conducted by an independent panel headed by Mr David Forsyth AM, a respected figure in Australian aviation through his previous senior managerial roles in Qantas and as Chair of Airservices Australia.

    Mr Forsyth was joined on the panel by two eminent overseas aviation safety experts—Mr Don Spruston from Canada and Mr Roger Whitefield from the United Kingdom.

    On 3 June 2014, I tabled the panel's Aviation Safety Regulation Review Report in Parliament.

  • Small businesses share in $159,000 in grants

    The City of Melbourne is providing more than $159,000 to share between six Melbourne businesses as part of the August round of the 2014 small business and social enterprise grants program.

    Councillor Kevin Louey, Chair of Council’s Economic Development portfolio, said the funding would support six small businesses working across hospitality, technology, pet-care, design, and music production.

    “Three grants will support the establishment of new and creative small businesses in the city, and three will support the expansion of existing businesses to introduce new services or products,” Cr Louey said.

    “The projected outcomes from the funding include $2.7 million in gross turnover, $540,000 in equity investment, and 30 new jobs.”

  • New $40 Million Medicine Distribution Centre Opens in Melbourne

    A new $40 million medicine distribution centre in Melbourne will ensure Victorians continue to have reliable and affordable access to important medications.

    Health Minister Peter Dutton said the Symbion Distribution Centre, officially opened today, would service more than 750 pharmacies and 160 hospitals throughout Victoria every day.

    “One of the cornerstones of our health system is that all Australians can have quick access to affordable treatments that can improve our health,” Mr Dutton said.

    “The new state-of-the-art distribution centre will help maintain this standard, supplying medications listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme within 24 hours.

  • $644 million hits the ground for local councils

    Council coffers across Australia are currently receiving the latest instalment of the Australian Government's Roads to Recovery and Financial Assistance Grants funding.

    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the 183 local government authorities that have so far submitted their returns for Roads to Recovery have now received their initial $69 million of funding.

    “In September I wrote to each local government authority to advise of their allocation for the 2014–15 to 2018–19 period, which included a doubled allocation for the 2015–16 financial year,” Mr Truss said.

    “It means councils can now get on with their chosen projects to build and upgrade their local road and street networks.

  • $2 million pledge for threatened species projects

    The Australian Government is committing an extra $2 million to boost the recovery of threatened species in its national park estate.

    Speaking at the World Parks Congress in Sydney, Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt and Threatened Species Commissioner Gregory Andrews said the funding meant 10 innovative projects targeting key species, habitat and threats across the Parks Australia network now had the go-ahead.

    "Our international visitors here will tell you that when they think of Australia, they think of our amazing animals, plants and parks. But, as locals, we can sometimes take the sights and sounds of the bush and its wildlife for granted," Mr Hunt said.

  • Tweed Heads on the road to recovery

    Construction on Kennedy Drive has begun, following the Australian Government's injection of $3.3 million for vital upgrades between Gray Street and the Pacific Motorway.

    Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss joined Tweed Shire Mayor Gary Bagnall on site today to inspect the progress of works.

    “Coalition candidate Matthew Fraser made the promise to upgrade Kennedy Drive and the government is honouring that promise—even though we did not win the electorate of Richmond,” Mr Truss said.

    “The work to be done here will ease congestion for the 19,000 vehicles that use the road each day.

  • Transcript of Interview: The Alan Jones Breakfast Show, 2GB

    Alan Jones: This is a very important infrastructure package for Western Sydney which is long overdue. There is allegedly a $3.6 billion Western Sydney infrastructure plan. And I quote the words of Jamie Briggs, ‘that will unlock the region's economic capacity by boosting productivity, slashing travel times, and creating thousands of local jobs.’ Now the first four projects are a $1.1 million upgrade to intersections on The Northern Road and Erskine Park Road—those of you who are out there in this traffic mess will know what that means. $5.8 million in intersection upgrades for the Cumberland Highway. $5.7 million upgrade of Wetherill Street. And a $17.5 million to Eagle Vale Drive. Jamie Briggs, the Assistant Minister has rung through.

  • Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation and The East Asia Summit

    This Sunday I will travel to Beijing to attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders’ meeting.

    APEC has promoted regional economic integration and fostered free trade and investment since its inception in Canberra 25 years ago.

    APEC brings together leaders from 21 economies that account for more than half of global GDP; are home to more than 2.7 billion people and represent more than two-thirds of Australia’s trade in goods and services.

    The theme for this year’s APEC meeting is Shaping the Future through Asia-Pacific Partnership.

    Leaders will discuss ways to further liberalise trade and better integrate our economies for the benefit of all nations.

  • $1.4 million funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award

    Minister for Education, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP and Minister for Health and Minister for Sport, the Hon Peter Dutton MP today announced $1.4 million in Australian Government funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in Australia.

    The announcement coincides with His Royal Highness Prince Edward's visit to Australia. Prince Edward is in the country to commemorate more than 50 years of the Duke of Edinburgh Award in Australia.

    “The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a well-established and celebrated way to recognise our young people’s achievements,” Mr Pyne said.

    “It is valued by educational institutions and employers and equips young people with practical and social skills to help them succeed in their chosen career path,” he said.

  • Media Release: Man caught conducting DIY Ice importation with approximate street value of $43 million

    This is a joint media release with Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.

    A 55-year-old Chinese national will appear in the Sydney Central Local Court today (6 November 2014) charged with importing crystal methamphetamine, also known as Ice, concealed in flat-pack cabinet materials.

    Late last month, Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) officers at the Sydney Container Examination Facility selected a consignment labelled as 'flat pack cabinets' for closer examination after an x-ray of the consignment revealed anomalies.

  • $2 million to strengthen compliance powers of Indigenous rangers

    The Australian Government is investing $2 million over two years to establish a Specialised Indigenous Ranger Programme to strengthen the compliance and enforcement powers of Indigenous rangers in Far North Queensland and the Torres Strait.

    Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, and Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, said the new programme would create new employment and training opportunities for Indigenous rangers through the Reef Trust.

    The programme will create five new Indigenous compliance officer positions, up to three Indigenous permitting officer positions and provide compliance training for up to 20 Indigenous rangers as part of the Government’s $5 million Dugong and Turtle Protection Plan.

  • Red tape reduction delivers $83.5 million saving for industry

    Australian industry will benefit from annual savings of $83.5 million through lower compliance costs with the repeal of unnecessary and counterproductive legislation and regulation.

    Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane said the Australian Government was following through on its commitment to ease the red tape burden with this week’s 2014 Spring Repeal Day. Within the Industry portfolio, there have been 50 Acts either amended or repealed to minimise the costs to business from unnecessary or redundant legislation.

  • "Medibank Private Broker Firm Offer exceeds expectations $12 billion in bids received – $1.5 billion allocated"

    The Medibank Private Share Offer has reached another milestone with the successful completion of the Broker Firm Offer, which saw the submission of $11.987 billion in binding bids by brokers for allocations of Medibank Private shares.

    The Government is pleased to announce that eligible Australian and New Zealand brokers who bid for a firm allocation of shares on behalf of their retail clients have been allocated $1.5 billion of Medibank Private shares.

    Consistent with the advice in the Medibank Private Share Offer prospectus, the shares allocated to the Broker Firm Offer may be subject to a further clawback of up to 20 per cent, following completion of the Institutional Offer.

  • Government cuts more than $2.1 billion of red tape

    The Abbott Coalition Government is cutting red tape to make life easier, help small business, strengthen our economy and create jobs.

    For the first time in history, the Abbott Government is dedicating two days of Parliament each year to removing red tape. During the Spring Red Tape Repeal Day on 29 October, nearly 1,000 pieces of legislation and regulation totalling over 7,200 pages will be removed.

    We have listened to the concerns in our community about the burden of red tape in Australia. Whether it is small business owners, local community groups or hard working individuals, the message is the same – please make things simpler.

  • $72.3 Million in Savings Achieved Through Repeal Day Initiatives

    The Government has delivered on its election promise to cut $1 billion in red and green tape each year with its second Repeal Day.

    Finance alone has contributed $72.3 million in savings through red tape reduction.

    Since 1 July 2014, Finance has introduced:

  • $24.7 million to transform NAPLAN to online testing

    The Australian Government has today announced $24.7 million to construct the national platform for online NAPLAN testing across Australian schools that will be available in 2016.

    The Minister for Education, Christopher Pyne said this new funding demonstrates the Australian Government is seriously committed to helping the states and territories move NAPLAN online and delivering the benefits it will bring to students, teachers and parents.

    Online NAPLAN testing will transform national testing from a written format to a tailored online one with questions that vary in difficulty depending on the ability of the student.