Thursday, 20 June 2019 Sydney

Invest In Australia News::

  • Australia ranked one of the world’s top innovators

    A new global ranking from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) has identified Australia as one of the top innovators in the 2018 Consumer Technology Association (CTA) International Innovation Scorecard.

    The largest American technical trade association has recognised 13 countries as leading nations with factors conducive to innovation from a field of 38.

    It ranked Australia third behind Finland and the United Kingdom, followed by Sweden, United States, Singapore, Netherlands, Canada, Portugal, Czech Republic, Austria, Denmark and New Zealand as the 2018 Innovation Champions.

  • Controlled Clean Up Begins After Thomas Foods Abattoir Fire

    A controlled clean-up will begin today at the Thomas Foods International, Murray Bridge abattoir, after a fire caused significant damage to the plant last week.

    The State Government, through the EPA, is working with Thomas Foods International and its contractors to support the appropriate removal and transport of processed carcasses in chiller rooms destroyed or spoiled by the fire.

    The material will be transported to a local licensed landfill for disposal in a properly lined and prepared cell.

  • Dwelling approvals rise 0.9 per cent in November

    The number of dwellings approved rose 0.9 per cent in November 2017, in trend terms, and has risen for 10 months, according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

    "Dwelling approvals have continued to rise in recent months, which has been driven by renewed strength in approvals for apartments," said Justin Lokhorst, Director of Construction Statistics at the ABS. "Approvals for private sector houses have remained stable, with just under 10,000 houses approved in November 2017."

  • What's next - Labor to put a tax on sugar

    Tasmanians are sick and tired of the Labor Party telling them how to live their lives.

    Just like Labor’s plan to ban pokies, Tasmanian Labor leader Rebecca White also wants to put a new tax on sugary drinks.

    Labor doesn’t believe in personal choice, instead Ms White thinks she knows best.

    Labor’s stated position is to adopt the approach of the “Rethink Sugary Drinks” campaign, a key part of which is a recommendation to increase taxes on sugar-sweetened drinks. #

  • 39 Per Cent Increase In Consumer Guarantee Reports In 2017

    More than 29,000 people reported consumer guarantee issues to the ACCC in 2017, with half noting problems getting remedies for faulty automotive, whitegoods or electronics products.

    The ACCC is concerned by this growing trend, which shows a 39 per cent increase in reports about consumer guarantee issues when compared to the 21,000 received in 2016.

    “It’s disappointing to see that more and more people are having issues enforcing their consumer guarantee rights,” ACCC Acting Chair Dr Michael Schaper said.

  • Payment performance improves but more needs to be done

    The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman says state governments and multinational companies need to improve their payment times to small business suppliers in 2018.

    Ombudsman Kate Carnell said the Federal Government and some big businesses had made significant commitments and lifted their performance in 2017.

    The Ombudsman’s office held an inquiry into payment times and practices last year. It found many small businesses were being crippled by slow payments and the national economy was suffering as a result.

  • Labor priorities wrong on Health – must prioritise public patients

    Improving the health system for public patients is our top priority – however it’s clearly not the case for Labor.

    Rebecca White claims there is a health crisis yet Labor have no plans to open even a single extra public hospital bed to ease bed block. In fact Labor’s health policies appear at odds with everything they claim to stand for.

    Instead of supporting the public health system, Labor’s focus in Launceston is on giving away public land at the LGH to a private company, for a private hospital which would likely take a decade to even happen.

  • Nt Epa Recommends Approval With Stringent Oversight Of Nolans Rare Earth Mine

    The Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority (NT EPA) has completed a rigorous environmental impact assessment of Arafura Resources Ltd’s Nolans Project, and concluded that it could be managed to avoid unacceptable environmental impacts and risks.

    The proposal is to mine rare earth elements, key components in many green and sustainable products, such as wind turbines for the clean energy industry and hybrid vehicles. The proposal includes open cut mining and processing over a 55 year mine life.

  • Small business cyber security guide released

    Cyber Security Best Practice Guide has been developed to help busy small business operators understand the risks and how to prevent cyber attacks.

    The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman published the guide after research showed that 60 per cent of small firms that experienced a cyber breach went out of business within the following six months.

    Ombudsman Kate Carnell said many small businesses lacked time and resources but couldn’t afford to be complacent about cyber security.

  • Energy bonus cheques

    I welcome Westpac’s apology regarding the special energy bonus.

    I am extremely disappointed that despite repeated assurances, not all cheques were despatched by Westpac’s mail distribution provider in the timeframe we were advised they had been.

    I was first made aware of a potential issue at Westpac's end on Tuesday afternoon, and we have spent the past 24 hours talking to Westpac and getting to the bottom of the problem.

    I share the frustration of many Tasmanians who have not yet received their cheques, and have expressed these frustrations directly to senior Westpac management.

  • Further upgrade to South Coast Track

    The South Coast Track is one of Tasmania’s great bushwalks, and the completion of recent upgrades has significantly improved the user experience along the track before the start of the peak walking season.

    The upgrades have resulted in a new track alignment that includes a footbridge to replace an 800 metre section of the track, resulting in a better experience for walkers and better protecting the dunes from Milford Creek to the Prion Bay exit on Wierah Hill.

    We have a goal for tourists to stay longer and spend more in our regional areas, and upgrades like this will ensure a high-class visitor experience in our stunning natural areas.

  • Banks should not make moral judgements on businesses

    The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman says banks are discriminating against the legitimate adult industry by withdrawing or failing to provide financial services.

    Ombudsman Kate Carnell has written to the Australian Bankers Association, expressing her concern.

    “It’s a bit rich for the banks to decide which industries are moral and which aren’t,” Ms Carnell said.

  • Small business export potential rises

    Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell, predicts 2018 will be a year of strong growth for small business exporters.

    Ms Carnell said Australia’s International Business Survey 2017 showed there’s greater confidence among businesses that are already exporting.

    In agriculture and wholesaling, two thirds of businesses believe the outlook is better than the previous two years.

  • Notable achievements in 2017 for small businesses

    The small business sector enjoyed some notable achievements in 2017 but challenges loom on several policy fronts, according to Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell.

    Ms Carnell said her inquiries this year into small business loans and payment times had yielded significant benefits for small businesses.

    “A highlight was the Federal Government announcing it will introduce 15-business-day payment terms for small business suppliers,” she said.

    “There has also been improved payment performance from many big businesses following my inquiry and the adoption of a voluntary code.

  • Multi-Million Dollar Reform Package To Secure Sustainable Fishing Future

    Thursday 28 December 2017

    In the biggest fisheries shake-up in decades, the State Government will spend $20 million to buy back up to a third of South Australia's Marine Scalefish fishing licenses.

    This will help to ensure snapper, whiting and garfish stocks are available for future generations of South Australians to catch and enjoy.

    The multi-million structural reform package will provide better access for recreational fishers, economic viability for commercial fishers and greater sustainability for the fishery overall.

  • New banking code – the umpire’s decision isn’t final

    The revised Banking Code of Practice has some positive initiatives for small business but there are unresolved issues with power imbalance and dispute resolution.

    That’s the view of Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell, who was consulted on a draft version of the code which was provided to ASIC this week for approval.

    Ms Carnell said she was concerned the code could not be enforced by a proposed Banking Code Compliance Committee.

  • Census shares insights into Australia’s ageing population

    Australians are living longer, but also working later into their lives according to the latest data from the 2016 Census of Population and Housing.

    The proportion of older people in Australia’s labour force has increased over the past 10 years, with the 2016 Census revealing about 14 per cent of people aged 65 years and over were part of our labour force in 2016, up from 9.4 per cent in 2006. In 2016, around one in every five people aged 65 to 74 years (21 per cent) was in the labour force.

    The Census has also revealed that the number of older people is increasing. 

  • Fewer people participating in work-related training

    Participation in work-related training has decreased from 27 per cent in 2013 to 22 per cent in 2016-17 for working age Australians, according to survey data released today from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Approximately 3.8 million people across the country participated in work-related training in the 12 months prior to the survey.

    ABS expert Stephen Collett said: “The survey results show a decrease in work-related training over about three years. Men’s participation dropped from 27 per cent to 22 per cent, while women’s participation dropped from 27 per cent to 21 per cent.”

  • Two new exciting proposals to boost tourism

    The Hodgman Liberal Government is continuing to unlock new opportunities for sensitive and appropriate tourism developments in our stunning natural areas.

    I am pleased to announce two new projects from award-winning local tourism operator Ian Johnstone have progressed to lease and licence negotiations under our Tourism Opportunities in National Parks, Reserves and Crown Land process.

    A new iconic walking experience in the Southwest National Park has been proposed that will see small groups of visitors fly to Melaleuca and walk the South Coast Track over seven days.

  • Belkin undertakes to honour lifetime warranties

    The ACCC has accepted a court-enforceable undertaking from consumer electronics manufacturer Belkin to honour claims under its lifetime warranty policies for the lifetime of the original purchaser.

    During 2016 and 2017, Belkin supplied certain products with a “lifetime warranty” or “limited lifetime warranty”. However, Belkin applied a policy of only repairing or replacing products under these warranties within the five years from the date of purchase. A disclaimer was not printed on product packaging but was referred to on Belkin’s website.

    Products affected by these “lifetime warranty” claims included wireless routers, switches and cables.

  • Qantas to fly Melbourne to San Francisco

    Qantas will begin four direct flights a week between Melbourne and San Francisco from late next year.

    The new services will add close to 50,000 seats each way every year.

    The announcement means Victoria will soon have two direct services to California, with no other airline currently operating this route. There is currently a direct service between Los Angeles and Melbourne.

    America is Victoria’s fourth largest international visitor market with 223,000 visitors spending A$337 million in the year to September 2017.

  • ACCC seeking feedback on NBN wholesale service standards

    The ACCC has today released a discussion paper for its inquiry into NBN wholesale service standards. These standards are a key part of the commercial arrangements between NBN Co and internet service providers (ISPs) that affect NBN customer experiences.

    The discussion paper seeks views on the service levels that NBN Co commits to in its wholesale contracts around connections, fixing faults and appointments. It also explores issues relating to service providers’ access to rebates or compensation when NBN Co fails to meet its wholesale service commitments.

    The ACCC inquiry will consider whether regulation is necessary to improve customer experiences.

  • BHP and Esso to separately market Gippsland Basin gas

    BHP Billiton Petroleum (Bass Strait) Pty Ltd (BHP) and Esso Australia Resources Pty Ltd (Esso) have provided court enforceable undertakings to separately market their share of gas produced under the Gippsland Basin Joint Venture (GBJV) from 1 January 2019. 

    The ACCC investigated the effect of joint marketing arrangements between BHP and Esso during the period from late 2013 to 2015, after concerns arose about those arrangements during the ACCC’s 2015 East Coast Gas Inquiry.

  • Barossa Valley Cheese Company Expands With Regional Development Fund Grant

    Three years ago, people were lining up outside Victoria McClurg’s cheese-tasting venue at Angaston because they couldn’t fit into the premises.

    Others looked at the crowd at the Barossa Valley Cheese Company and returned later. Ms McClurg doesn't know how many drove away in frustration and perhaps never came back.