Wednesday, 23 April 2014 Sydney

Invest In Australia News::

  • We’re on our way: creating one of the world’s great market precincts

    Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle today unveiled key concepts for the Queen Victoria Market (QVM) renewal and opened the second round of community consultation.

    “Last October I announced that the City of Melbourne would make the largest investment in its history: the renewal of QVM and the surrounding precinct. I would like to acknowledge the Victorian Government’s support for and contribution to this vision,” he said.

    “After listening to traders, customers, residents and visitors, we now have a range of proposals to give us a broad idea of what that renewal should do.

    “From today until 16 May 2014, people can have their say on the current proposals and what they would like to see in the final designs.”

  • Australia's export volumes on the rise in 2012-13

    Australia's total export volumes grew by 6.0 per cent in 2012-13 according to Composition of Trade, Australia 2012-13 and Trade in Primary and Manufactured Products 2012-13, two publications released today by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.


    Leading the growth in export volumes, minerals and fuels increased by 9.8 per cent in 2012-13, well above the average rate of 5.3 per cent for these exports over the past 10 years.


    Rural export volumes also grew strongly, up 8.7 per cent in 2012-13.


    Overall, export values fell 4.5 per cent to $301.5 billion in 2012-13, as the increase in export volumes was outweighed by the fall in export prices (down 9.9 per cent).


  • Australia provides $20 million for children affected by Syrian crisis

    Today I am announcing that Australia will provide $20 million for children in Lebanon and Jordan who have fled across borders as refugees due to the Syrian crisis.

    The funding will be provided to the United Nations’ ‘No Lost Generation’ initiative to help build better futures for these children by improving their education and addressing the violence and displacement they have faced.

    Around half of the 2.7 million Syrian refugees are children, and around 70 per cent of these children are not attending school.  Children are the most affected of the fighting - an entire generation is being shaped by fear and violence and, often, without an education.

  • Mental health support for drought-affected communities

    Drought-affected communities in Queensland and New South Wales will have increased access to free counselling under a $10.7 million Australian Government investment in targeted social and community support.


    The Minister for Social Services, Kevin Andrews, and the Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, today said the investment was a key element of the Government’s $320 million package of support for businesses, farm families and rural communities facing hardship brought on by drought.


    “The Australian Government understands that some farmers, farm families and rural communities are doing it tough because of the prolonged severe drought and this can affect their mental health and wellbeing,” Mr Andrews said.

  • New Expressway Benefits Hunter Region Motorists

    Improved travel times between Newcastle and the Upper Hunter are a hallmark of the recently opened Hunter Expressway.

    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said motorists had immediately embraced the Hunter Expressway, which opened on 22 March. 

    “Preliminary traffic data shows around 25,000 vehicles per day using the new road on weekdays and around 20,000 vehicles per day using the expressway on weekends,” Mr Truss said.

    “These figures are very encouraging and show motorists have opted for quicker and more convenient journeys.

  • Construction Starts on Gateway Motorway South

    Congestion on Brisbane's busy Gateway Motorway South will soon ease with construction starting on the widening of Mt Gravatt–Capalaba Road across the Gateway Motorway, including improvements to ramps for drivers entering and exiting the highway.


    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the project continues the Australian Government's commitment to removing congestion and improving efficiency on our roads.


    “The Gateway Motorway is a major arterial road for Brisbane and this stage of the $140 million project will help get traffic moving on what is often a badly congested road,” Mr Truss said.


  • Arrawarra Interchange Opening to Traffic

    The opening of the Arrawarra interchange to traffic this week is another big step forward in upgrading the Sapphire to Woolgoolga section of the Pacific Highway.


    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the Arrawarra interchange was an important feature of the $850 million section upgrade.


    “I am pleased to announce that earlier this week the northbound off ramp at the Arrawarra interchange was opened and all four lanes will be fully operational,” Mr Truss said.


    “The Australian Government is committed to getting on with Pacific Highway upgrades that will improve road safety and reduce travel times for motorists.”


  • Taskforce responsible for leading $2 billion drug intercept home from Middle East

    The 25-member Royal Australian Navy counter terrorism taskforce, Combined Taskforce 150 (CTF150), returned to Australia today after a successful five month Middle East deployment, which resulted in the interdiction of significant amounts of drugs headed to fund violent and extremist organisations.

    CTF150 is one of three task forces operated by the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), a multi-national naval partnership, which promotes security, stability and prosperity across 2.5 million square miles of international waters.

    Acting Commander Australian Fleet, Commodore Jonathan Mead, congratulated the team on their mission success.

  • Local Stakeholders Welcome $3.5 Billion Infrastructure Plan

    The Coalition Government is getting on with the job of delivering its $3.5 billion upgrade of local road infrastructure, hosting its first consultation with key stakeholders in Western Sydney today.


    Minister Briggs said the upgrade, which was discussed with stakeholders from the local government, business, tourism, education and health sectors at the Penrith Panthers complex, will relieve congestion on existing infrastructure and unlock the economic opportunities in the region by helping to create jobs.


    The briefing was attended by federal members Fiona Scott MP (Lindsay), Louise Markus MP (Macquarie) and Russell Matheson MP (Macarthur), along with State Member for Campbelltown, Brian Doyle MP.


  • Australia and the EU sign declaration to strengthen development cooperation

    Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop and the European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs have signed a declaration which will enhance and broaden our international development partnership.


    The declaration marks the commencement of delegated development programs in Fiji and in South Sudan where the European Union and Australia will administer aid on each other’s behalf.  These arrangements – the European Union’s first with a non-European donor – bring Australia and the EU closer on development matters and will ensure our aid programmes are delivered more efficiently and effectively.


  • Australia announces $3 million assistance package for Solomon Islands flooding

    Today I announce Australia will provide a total package of $3 million to assist Solomon Islanders affected by flooding.  This funding will continue to assist the Government of Solomon Islands, NGOs and the United Nations to respond to the immediate needs of people affected by the disaster, as well as supporting early recovery efforts.


    I have spoken to Prime Minister Lilo today to confirm Australia’s further offer of support, after my phone call to him last Friday when I conveyed the Australian Government’s condolences for the loss of life and devastation caused by this disaster.


  • Latest investment in Geelong to create 36 new jobs

    Joint media release with the Premier of Victoria, the Hon Dr Denis Napthine MP, the Victorian Minister for Manufacturing, the Hon David Hodgetts MP, and the Federal Member for Corangamite, Ms Sarah Henderson MP

    Thirty six new manufacturing jobs will be created in Geelong through the latest project to be funded by the Commonwealth and Victorian Government and Ford Australia’s Geelong Region Innovation and Investment Fund (GRIIF).


    Australian Minister for Industry Ian Macfarlane MP and Victorian Premier the Hon Dr Denis Napthine MP today announced the grant of $1,206,000 to Trade Mailing and Fulfilment Services.


  • EnergyAustralia ordered by consent to pay $1.2 million for unlawful sales tactics

    The Federal Court has ordered by consent that EnergyAustralia Pty Ltd (EnergyAustralia) pay a penalty of $1.2 million for unlawful door-to-door selling practices in proceedings brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.


    The Court declared that EnergyAustralia, through the conduct of certain sales representatives acting on its behalf, made false and misleading representations and engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct while calling on consumers at their homes to negotiate agreements for the supply of retail electricity by EnergyAustralia.


  • Latest investment in Melbourne's north to create 14 new manufacturing jobs

    Fourteen new manufacturing jobs will be created in Melbourne’s northern suburbs by 2016 through the latest project to be funded by the Commonwealth and Victorian Government and Ford Australia’s Melbourne’s North Innovation and Investment Fund (MNIIF).

    Australian Minister for Industry Ian Macfarlane MP and Victorian Minister for Manufacturing the Hon David Hodgett MP today announced the grant of $700,000 to Taylor Ferguson & Co Pty Ltd, trading as Alepat Taylor.

    Alepat Taylor is one of Melbourne’s leading wine and spirit suppliers and the grant will support a $2 million installation of a new bottling line to increase production capacity and accommodate a wider range of beverage bottles and closures.

  • Historic Free Trade Agreement concluded with Japan

    Australia has concluded negotiations on an historic Economic Partnership Agreement with Japan, our second biggest trading partner. This historic agreement is good for the Australian economy, good for jobs, good for farmers and good for consumers.

    The breakthrough follows the successful conclusion of a Free Trade Agreement with Korea, which will be formally signed tomorrow in Seoul. Australia has broken new ground as the first major agricultural exporting economy to conclude such a liberalising agreement with Japan.

    The Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) will deliver a significant boost to Australian farmers and other agricultural producers, resource exporters, service providers and consumers.

  • $500,000 funding for Indigenous cultural projects

    Minister for the Arts, Senator the Hon George Brandis QC has announced 14 Indigenous arts, culture and languages activities have received funding through the Australian Government's Indigenous culture, languages and visual arts programs.

    The Australian Government recognises that initiatives such as these are an investment in the rich cultural heritage of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples—preserving, revitalising and strengthening it for future generations.

    The 2013-14 strategic projects funding of more than $500,000 will be provided through the Indigenous Culture Support (ICS), Indigenous Languages Support (ILS) and Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Support (IVAIS) programs.


    8 April 2014

  • South Australian exports power to a record high

    South Australian exports have surged to total more than $12.1 billion in the 12 months to February, achieving its highest ever 12-month value.


    The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics trade figures show overseas goods exported from South Australia for the year to February 2014 grew by 14% year on year, outpacing the nation.


    The ABS figures show national exports grew 9.2% in the same 12-month period.


    Manufacturing, Innovation and Trade Minister Susan Close said exceeding the $12 billion mark is a tremendous result for South Australian exporters.


    Dr Close said the latest export data is the sixth consecutive 12-month figure to total $11 billion or more.


  • Australia's natural capital reaches $4,826 billion

    The total value of Australia's environmental assets or natural capital was $4,826 billion at 30 June 2013, almost double the value of $2,457 billion in 2004, according to a report released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

    Dr Michael Vardon, Director of the ABS Centre for Environment Statistics said "Australia has extremely valuable natural capital, made up of land, mineral, energy and timber resources. We are not able to value everything in the environment at this stage, but what we can value is still very large".

    "Land makes up 80 per cent of the value of Australia’s environmental assets and was valued at $3,873 billion at 30 June 2013.

  • Boost for IOT Budget bottom line

    For the first time residents on Christmas and Cocos Islands will have direct access to the full detail of federal funding for their community with the release of the Indian Ocean Territories (IOT) Budget.


    The IOT Budget Update, released today, details over $167 million of operational and capital expenditure for IOT in 2013–14, administered by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development.


    The IOT have received a boost of some $7.4 million to the 2013–14 Budget bottom line, following the mid-financial year review.


    The adjustments provide an additional $6.7 million in operational funds and another $700,000 for important capital works.

  • Funding approval of the Heywood Interconnector welcomed

    The State Government today welcomed the Australian Energy Regulator's funding approval for the South Australian component of works for the Heywood Interconnector Upgrade.


    Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said it was the final regulatory approval required for the project, which will upgrade the South Australia to Victoria transmission interconnector.


    "This project will boost the capacity of the interconnector from 460 megawatts (MW) to 650 MW, allowing increased energy flows to be transferred across the South Australian and Victorian borders," Mr Koutsantonis said.


    "This will mean when our renewable energy is at full output, we can export more power across the border to Victoria.


  • Better Access for Esperance Port

    Productivity at Esperance Port is set to increase with the $120 million port access upgrade officially opening today.


    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the upgrade had transformed the Esperance landscape.


    “The upgrade redefined access to the port by removing level crossings and building new access roads to safely separate heavy vehicles and rail freight,” Mr Truss said.


    “Esperance Port is now in a good position to be a competitive player in the import/export market, and will help Western Australia's economy continue to thrive.”


  • New manufacturing jobs and investment in Melbourne’s north

    110 new manufacturing jobs will be created in Melbourne’s northern suburbs through the latest project to be funded by the Commonwealth and Victorian Government’s and Ford Australia’s Melbourne’s North Innovation and Investment Fund (MNIIF).

    Federal Minister for Industry Ian Macfarlane, Victorian Premier Denis Napthine, Victorian Minister for Manufacturing David Hodgett and Ford Australia Director - Government Relations Ian Mearns, today announced the grant of $2.6 million to Moreland-based printing business PMI.

    The grant will enable PMI to undertake a $6.1 million project which will fund capital equipment to increase the company's share in the market for digital to-consumer products.

  • $200,000 boost delivered in Parkes Electorate through Community Development Grants Programme

    The Australian Government is delivering for the electorate of Parkes through the newly established Community Development Grants Programme.

  • Coalition Government to renew homelessness funding

    The Australian Government will provide $115 million to ensure critical homelessness services continue to support some of Australia’s most vulnerable people.


    Minister for Social Services Kevin Andrews today said the funding would reinstate the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness funding for another year, providing much needed certainty for homelessness services.


    "On any given night, more than 105,000 Australians are homeless, so it’s important for the Government to provide assurance to the services supporting these people," Mr Andrews said.


    "The National Agreement currently funds over 180 initiatives across Australia that helps those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.