Wednesday, 17 September 2014 Sydney
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Invest In Australia News::

  • $1.9m boost for South Australian community revegetation program in the Lower Lakes

    A $1.9m grant will provide continued support to the Goolwa to Wellington Local Action Planning (GWLAP) group's Community Revegetation Program for the Lower Lakes region in 2014-15.

    The revegetation program is part of the Coorong Murray Mouth and Lower Lakes (CMMLL) Recovery Project, part of the South Australian Government's Murray Futures program which is funded by the Australian Government.

    "The grant will enable the GWLAP to carry out a range of activities including propagation, planting, community engagement, site maintenance, training and monitoring," said Senator Simon Birmingham, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment.

  • Chemical weapons used in Syria

    The latest report by the Fact-Finding Mission of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) confirms that a toxic chemical was used as a weapon, systemically and repeatedly, in Syria.

    Investigating the attacks that occurred in Northern Syria as late as 28 August, the report finds with a high degree of confidence that chlorine was used against innocent civilians.

    Evidence shows that helicopters used by the Syrian regime were seen releasing the chemical weapons.

    The Australian Government is deeply disturbed by these findings. I have no doubt that the Syrian regime was responsible for these attacks.

  • Geotechnical drilling underway for western section of East West Link

    The Australian and Victorian Governments today announced the start of geotechnical drilling works for the western section of the East West Link, which will inform construction of the $8–10 billion connection from CityLink to the Western Ring Road.

    Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Jamie Briggs, Victorian Premier Dr Denis Napthine and Victorian Minister for Roads Terry Mulder were on site to inspect the works at the Western Ring Road in Sunshine.

    Mr Briggs said the East West Link project will transform Victoria's transport network and drive economic growth throughout Melbourne.

  • 14-229MR BBY Limited pays $90,000 infringement notice penalty

    BBY Limited (BBY) has paid a penalty of $90,000 to comply with an infringement notice given to it by the Markets Disciplinary Panel (MDP). The penalty was for failing to ensure that its Automated Order Processing (AOP) system had in place organisational and technical resources, including having appropriate automated filters for 30 client accounts and processes to record any changes to the automated filters, without interfering with the efficiency and integrity of the ASX market or the proper functioning of its trading platform. 

    Background and circumstances


    The MDP was satisfied that:

  • Major art projects to commemorate Anzac Centenary

    Today we are announcing funding for eight arts and cultural projects as part of the commemorations for the Anzac Centenary.

    More than $700,000 will be provided to support these projects through the first round of the Australian Government's $2 million Anzac Centenary Arts and Culture Production and Commissioning Fund.

    Funding will support the development and touring of new productions, from theatre and opera to the digital arts, as well as the commissioning of artworks that will bring Australians of all ages together to commemorate this important Centenary.

  • Major art projects to commemorate Anzac Centenary

    Today we are announcing funding for eight arts and cultural projects as part of the commemorations for the Anzac Centenary.

    More than $700,000 will be provided to support these projects through the first round of the Australian Government's $2 million Anzac Centenary Arts and Culture Production and Commissioning Fund.

    Funding will support the development and touring of new productions, from theatre and opera to the digital arts, as well as the commissioning of artworks that will bring Australians of all ages together to commemorate this important Centenary.

  • $16.5 million to help 5000 Australians study overseas

    More than 5000 Australian tertiary students will share in $16.5 million in Australian Government grants to study overseas and prepare for life and work in a global environment.

    Under the Government’s global student mobility programmes, students will receive up to $5000 to allow them to undertake part of their Australian course of study overseas.

    Minister for Education, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP said international education placements will give Australian students an edge in their future careers and increase collaboration between Australian and overseas institutions.

    “The Government is focused on ensuring Australia is an outward-looking nation, fully engaged internationally and our students have the best opportunities available to them,” Mr Pyne said.

  • 15 Month Imprisonment for Kalgoorlie Welfare Fraud

    A Kalgoorlie woman has been sentenced to up to 15 months jail for defrauding the Federal Government of over $32,000 in welfare payments.

    The court heard Donna Smith, 33, fraudulently claimed Family Tax Benefit for a fictitious child from 2000 to 2008 after providing false documents to the Department of Human Services.

    In handing down the sentence yesterday, Magistrate Andrew Maughan said the offending was planned and protracted.

    “The fraud was sustained over time, involved a large amount of money and the attempt to conceal it with false documents showed limited remorse,” Magistrate Maughan said.

  • New research vessel latest example of targeted investments in science

    Australia’s newest scientific asset, the purpose-built CSIRO marine research vessel theRV Investigator has arrived at its home port of Hobart and will soon be on the water for cutting edge scientific research.

    Minister for Industry Ian Macfarlane said the RV Investigator would allow Australian researchers to get into the field and conduct research in a range of marine environments.

    “The RV Investigator is a significant new asset for Australia’s research community,” Mr Macfarlane said.

  • Jobs and new careers for young Australians to grow businesses

    The Australian Government is investing in two new innovative training programmes to enable young job seekers in regional communities to successfully get a job and provide employers the skilled employees they need to grow their business.

    The Government will invest $38 million to deliver the Training for Employment Scholarship programme to assist employers in regional areas where youth unemployment is high to provide job specific training for new employees.

    For the first time, small businesses will be able to access wholly funded government training that is tailored the training needs of their business.

    Small to medium businesses who hire an unemployed person aged 18-24 will be eligible to receive funding to pay for up to 26 weeks of training.

  • Payment Increase for more than 3.7 Million Pensioners

    More than 3.7 million pensioners will receive an increase to their payments from 20 September, the second rise this year.

    Mr Andrews said single age pensioners will receive an increase of up to $11.50 a fortnight, while age pensioner couples will receive up to $17.40 extra a fortnight.

    “This means total pension payments for people on the maximum rate will be $854.30 a fortnight for singles, and $1,288.00 a fortnight for couples,” Mr Andrews said.

    “In addition, around one million allowance recipients will also benefit from increases to income support payments such as Newstart and Parenting Payment on 20 September.”

    Parenting Payment Single recipients will receive an extra $7.20 a fortnight to $732.30.

  • COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA CONTRIBUTES $2 MILLION TO THE ANZAC CENTENARY PUBLIC FUND

    I extend my gratitude to the Commonwealth Bank of Australia for their very generous $2 million contribution to the Anzac Centenary Public Fund. 

    The Centenary of Anzac will mark a century of service and sacrifice, encompassing all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations in which Australians have been involved.  It will be the most significant period of commemoration in our nation’s history and the Government is committed to providing opportunities for all Australians to participate.

    Money raised through the fund will provide essential support for the Anzac Centenary programme and commemorations. It is particularly pleasing to see large corporations like the Commonwealth Bank making significant contributions to the fund.

  • Australia Post reports FY14 Financial Results

    • Group profit of $116.2 million after tax, down 34.5 per cent on last year.
    • Mail business operating EBIT losses increase to $328.4 million due to falling letter volumes and high fixed costs.
    • $78.8 million dividend declared to Federal Government, down 59.1 per cent on last year due to lower profit result.
    • Continued growth delivers a record profit of $337.5 million operating EBIT in Parcel Services, up 20.8 per cent on last year.
    • All customer and community service indicators exceeded.

    Australia Post today announced a full-year profit after tax of $116.2 million, down 34.5 per cent on last year, as the continued decline in mail volumes pushed the enterprise into an overall second-half loss.

  • 14-223MR Mark McIvor fined and convicted for failing to assist liquidator

    The founder and former director of Equititrust Limited, Mr Mark McIvor, has been convicted and fined $10,000 after failing to assist the liquidator appointed to his three companies.

    Mr McIvor, of the Gold Coast, was found guilty in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on 22 August 2014, following six charges laid by ASIC for failing to provide a Report as to Affairs (RATA) and deliver books and records to the liquidators of Chevron Capital Pty Ltd, MHSM Holdings Pty Ltd and SM Capital Pty Ltd within 14 days of the winding up order for each company.

  • FRV opens Royalla Solar Farm, the largest operating solar PV plant in Australia

    FRV, a global solar development company with a 3 gigawatt (GW) development portfolio in emerging solar markets, begins operation of its first large scale solar project in Australia today.
     
    Located south of Canberra, the Royalla Solar Farm has an installed capacity of 24 megawatts (MWdc) and will generate enough energy to power nearly 4,500 Canberra homes while abating nearly 2.1 million pounds of carbon pollution each year. FRV won the Power Purchase Agreement for the project in a competitive tender process.
     

  • $24 million to establish the Australian Crime Commission's Foreign Fighters Taskforce

    As part of the recently announced $630 million in enhanced counter terrorism measures, the Government has provided $24.4 million to the Australian Crime Commission (ACC), the nation's criminal intelligence agency.

    This new investment will support the national effort against terrorism by providing the ACC with 22 investigators and analysts to establish a Foreign Fighters Task Force. It will also be used to upgrade the ACC's IT system.

    The ACC has always worked with national security agencies on the links between terrorism and organised crime, but this funding will allow them to dedicate personnel and resources specifically to the foreign fighter threat.

  • Three-fold fine increase to act as deterrent to shonky food importers

    The successful appeal against a $7000 fine handed down by a Queensland magistrate in March this year should act as a punishment to a food importer and a deterrent to the importer and others, presiding District Court Judge Martin SC ruled.

    The Department of Agriculture’s First Assistant Secretary for Compliance, Raelene Vivian, said the revised fine of $20,000, handed down in the Southport District Court, sent a clear message about the seriousness of the offence.

    “In March 2014 B&E Packaging pleaded guilty to a breach of the Imported Food Control Act 1992 when the company sold 1500kg of cooked prawns imported to Australia from Vietnam without undertaking mandatory food safety tests,” Ms Vivian said.

  • LOCAL CENTENARY GRANTS COMMEMORATE ANZAC CENTENARY

    Today, during Question Time, I announced a further 119 grants worth $975,000 have been approved under the Anzac Centenary Local Grants Programme, bringing to more than $3.34 million in funding for local commemorative projects has been approved to date under the programme.

    The Centenary of Anzac will mark a century of service and sacrifice, encompassing all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations in which Australians have been involved.  It will be the most significant period of commemoration in our nation’s history and the Government is committed to providing opportunities for all Australians to participate.

  • Media Release: Woman to face court for failing to declare excess currency

    This is a joint media release between the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.

    A 76-year-old Egyptian national is scheduled to appear before Sydney Central Local Court today for failing to declare both Australian and international currency to the value of approximately AUD $138,000.

    The woman, who attempted to depart Sydney International Airport on Thursday, 7 August 2014, was referred to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) following a security screening.

    During the examination, ACBPS officers seized AUD$45,500, USD $85,900 and EGP $865, sewn in to the lining of the woman’s shorts.

    The matter was referred to the AFP and the woman was arrested and charged with:

  • Minister for Defence – Major improvements announced to soldier survivability equipment

    More than 20,000 Australian Defence Force personnel are set to be issued with new and improved personal protective equipment, with the announcement today of a $170 million upgrade to the soldier’s kit.

    Announcing the roll-out at the Australian Defence Force Academy, Defence Minister David Johnston said the multi-million dollar roll-out would significantly enhance the capability of ADF personnel deployed on military operations.

    “Known as Land 125 Phase 3B, the Defence project to improve a soldier’s individual load carriage equipment, draws on the direct experience and feedback derived from 15 years of ADF combat operations,” Senator Johnston said.

  • $2.1 billion for local roads: signed, sealed, delivered

    Today the Australian Government delivered yet another important tranche of its infrastructure and regional development agenda with the passage of the $2.1 billion Roads to Recovery programme through the Senate.

    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the successful passage of the Land Transport Infrastructure Amendment Bill 2014 means the $2.1 billion the Government allocated to councils for local road and street works under the Federal Budget is now signed, sealed and will be delivered next month.

    “Despite months of road blocks by Labor and the Greens, the Australia Government has reached agreement with Senate crossbenchers to guarantee this vital funding for local communities across Australia,” Mr Truss said.

  • Minister for Defence – Major improvements announced to soldier survivability equipment

    More than 20,000 Australian Defence Force personnel are set to be issued with new and improved personal protective equipment, with the announcement today of a $170 million upgrade to the soldier’s kit.

    Announcing the roll-out at the Australian Defence Force Academy, Defence Minister David Johnston said the multi-million dollar roll-out would significantly enhance the capability of ADF personnel deployed on military operations.

    “Known as Land 125 Phase 3B, the Defence project to improve a soldier’s individual load carriage equipment, draws on the direct experience and feedback derived from 15 years of ADF combat operations,” Senator Johnston said.

  • A strong, sustainable health system benefits rural and regional Australians

    The Australian Government is determined to improve access to health services for people living in rural and remote areas, and we understand the challenges they face.

    Unlike Labor, the Coalition Government is taking the steps necessary to make Australia’s health system effective and sustainable.

    The best way to undermine Australia’s health system and to hurt rural and regional Australia is to continue to do nothing, which is precisely what Bill Shorten, Stephen Jones and Labor propose.

    Their plan is to wait until the health budget blows out to a point where Medicare is at risk of collapsing under its own weight. That is not how this Government works or thinks.