Thursday, 18 April 2019 Sydney

Invest In Australia News::

  • Watch out for scammers when going online

    This Stay Smart Online Week, the ACCC is warning the community to watch out for common online scams they might encounter.

    The online sphere – email, the internet, social media and mobile apps – has overtaken telephones as scammers’ preferred tool of the trade to contact potential victims. In 2017, the ACCC’s Scamwatch site has received more than 51,000 reports of scammers trying to con people online. Online scam losses total nearly $37 million so far in 2017, with people aged 45 to 54 most likely to lose money.

  • Protect yourself against SCAMdalous activity

    The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is providing taxpayers with simple ways to protect themselves from scammers as part of Stay Smart Online week.

    Assistant Commissioner Kath Anderson says it’s important for taxpayers to remember to stay vigilant and to help family and friends be wary of emails, phone calls and SMS during tax time that claim to be from the ATO, even if they seem legitimate.

  • Don’t Get The Drift - Think Before You Spray

    Think about neighbours, particularly with vineyards, and don’t underestimate the potential distance of impact before spraying weeds this spring, PIRSA is warning crop producers.

    Actively growing grapevines are highly susceptible to herbicides and were the subject of off-target damage from spray drift or chemical trespass following summer rainfall events early in 2017.

    Certain weather conditions such as inversions, can result in spray drift damage up to tens of kilometres from the application site, so producers must consider sensitive crops that might be some distance away when planning a spray operation.

  • ACCC decision on NBN Co’s SAU variation on hold

    The ACCC today announced it will not make a decision on NBN Co’s proposed variation to its special access undertaking (SAU) until NBN Co further progresses its consultation with customers on its pricing model.

    NBN Co submitted its revised SAU variation in June 2017 to incorporate fibre-to-the-node, fibre-to-the-basement and hybrid fibre coaxial technologies (multi technology mix services) into the SAU, to reflect the current NBN model. This has the effect of extending the current SAU pricing arrangements to these MTM services.

  • Lack of competition driving high Brisbane petrol prices

    The ACCC has today released the findings of its study into the Brisbane petrol market, which shows a lack of competition is causing Brisbane motorists to pay more for petrol than in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.

    Between 2009–10 and 2016–17, Brisbane motorists paid 3.3 cents per litre (cpl) more for petrol on average than motorists in Australia’s other four largest cities.

    “The ACCC’s report confirms Brisbane drivers’ suspicions that they are paying too much for petrol, and that some local fuel retailers are enjoying high profit margins at their expense,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

  • Fix WestConnex and Sydney will do better

    Lord Mayor Clover Moore will join forces with transport experts, health experts and community representatives at a public meeting next week to call on the NSW Government to rethink WestConnex to deliver a better deal for all Sydneysiders.

    The discussion will explore why WestConnex won’t solve Sydney’s transport needs, why it will increase congestion and how its $50 billion budget could be better spent.

  • Tax agent sentenced to over two years’ jail

    A registered tax agent has been sentenced to 29 months’ imprisonment with 18 to serve for attempting to defraud the Commonwealth of approximately $550,000, and dealing with the proceeds of crime.

    Arjuna Samarakoon was sentenced at Melbourne County Courthouse on Wednesday for his role as a tax professional in a company which fraudulently claimed refunds on two separate occasions in 2013 from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) under the Research & Development (R&D) Tax Incentive, with a total value of $549,719. Mr Samarakoon transferred the majority of the funds to his individual bank account making a personal gain of $380,000.

  • NAB lead on simpler small business contracts welcomed

    The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman has welcomed the introduction of shorter, plain English loan contracts by National Australia Bank for small business borrowers.

    The bank announced yesterday that more than 130,000 Australian business owners would benefit from a complete overhaul of its existing business standard loan form contract.

    Ombudsman Kate Carnell said this was a positive step.

  • New Western Sydney medical hub supports hundreds of jobs

    Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Minister for Health Brad Hazzard today announced the opening of a new warehousing and distribution hub by global medical device manufacturer Medline, supporting hundreds of jobs in Western Sydney.

    Mr Barilaro said the 25,000 square metre Marsden Park facility was secured with assistance from the NSW Government-backed Jobs for NSW.

  • Full Federal Court orders $20.6million penalties against Cement Australia companies

    The Full Court of the Federal Court has upheld an ACCC appeal, and dismissed a cross appeal by Cement Australia, against the penalties imposed on Cement Australia Pty Ltd and its related companies for making and giving effect to anti-competitive agreements.

    The trial judge had imposed penalties of $17.1 million against the Cement Australia companies.  The Full Court has now ordered these companies to pay increased penalties totalling $20.6 million for breaching the anti-competitive provisions of the Act.  This is the third highest total penalty imposed for an ACCC case. 

  • Man arrested for fraud and identity crime

    A 25 year old man has today been arrested on 106 charges related to Commonwealth fraud and identity crime.

    Today’s arrest follows a joint investigation between the Financial and Cyber Crime Group, State Crime Command and the Criminal Law Investigations area of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

    It is alleged the man has been linked to 63 fraudulent tax return lodgements via myTax, from September 2015 to July 2016.

  • Connecting Country Communities Fund announced

    The NSW Government will invest at least $50 million to improve phone and data connectivity in regional and rural NSW. 

    Part of the $1.3 billion Regional Growth Fund, the Connecting Country Communities Fund will invest in communications infrastructure to connect regional NSW businesses to global markets and schools with innovative learning resources.

    Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said poor mobile and slow internet coverage were two of the biggest issues faced by people living in regional and remote NSW.

  • ATO supports small business mental health awareness

    The Australian Tax Office reaffirmed its commitment to supporting the mental health of small business owners in the lead up to World Mental Health Day on the 10th of October.

    The ATO’s Deputy Commissioner for Small Business Deborah Jenkins said “We recognise the enormous pressure small business owners are under when dealing with mental health issues. We want to use this day to reiterate our support to those who need help with their tax and super commitments”.

  • Don't let the deadline be a dread-line

    The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is reminding taxpayers that there is just one month left to lodge their own tax returns. Assistant Commissioner Kath Anderson said that over 2.5 million people have already lodged their own returns via myTax, with another 5.2 million people lodging via an agent, and she expects millions more in October.

    “The upcoming deadline shouldn’t be cause for concern though, because our suite of online services makes it easier than ever before to get your return in on time,” she said.

  • Developing the Building Surveyor industry in Tasmania

    Tasmania’s building and construction industry is essential to Tasmania’s economic revival under a Hodgman Liberal Government, employing more than 22,000 people across the State, compared with just 16,100 in the last year of the Labor-Green Government.

    That’s why we’ve set a target to increase the number of people employed in the building and construction sector by 25 per cent over the next five years.

  • Desert Mob smashes all records and looks to nudge $1M in sales

    Desert Mob 2017 has recorded its highest sales records in its 27-year history, with more than $420,000 in exhibition sales achieved as of the end of September, and an estimated $500,000 worth of additional sales at the ever-popular Desert Mob MarketPlace during the opening weekend.

    With three weeks still to go, Desert Mob 2017 is tipped to reach an unprecedented result of close to $1 million in total sales. Exhibition sales have eclipsed the previous records at the height of the contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art market a decade ago. This year’s MarketPlace sales also outstripped last year’s record.

  • Global connections strengthened with new Boston office

    The State Government of Victoria has expanded its international trade and investment network with the opening of a new US office in Boston, Massachusetts.

    The new office will promote Victoria’s medical technology and pharmaceuticals capabilities and will help connect Victorian companies to North American markets, while encouraging foreign investment in Victorian companies.

    Victoria has the largest network of international offices of any Australian state, with the Boston office joining other recent openings of offices in Singapore and Santiago.

  • National Warranty Company agrees to change extended warranties

    Davantage Group Pty Ltd trading as National Warranty Company (NWC) has agreed to make changes to its ‘Extension to Manufacturer’s Warranty’, which is primarily sold through used-vehicle dealerships, following concerns raised by the ACCC.

    NWC’s extended warranties are available nationally through dealers for new and used vehicles. The ACCC investigated following concerns that NWC’s extended warranties had the potential to mislead consumers about the benefits, and need for, purchasing an extended warranty.

    In particular, the ACCC was concerned that:

  • ACCC proposes to authorise independent cinemas to bargain collectively

    The ACCC has issued a draft determination proposing to grant authorisation to Independent Cinemas Australia (ICA), and its current and future independent cinema members, to share information and collectively bargain with film distributors.

    ICA and its members are seeking to share information with each other and collectively bargain with film distributors on the terms of film licensing agreements.

    “Independent Cinema Australia’s proposal is likely to benefit the public as it should reduce negotiation costs for independent cinemas and distributors who participate,” ACCC Commissioner Roger Featherston said.

  • Don't dodge when you lodge

    The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is reminding taxpayers there are serious consequences if they choose not to meet their tax obligations this tax time.

    Assistant Commissioner Kath Anderson said most Australians want to do the right thing, but some refuse to pay their share, or pay at all.

    “In the first instance we always try to help and educate taxpayers about how to get their tax right. Unfortunately in some cases people don’t respond or deliberately make false statements to avoid paying the right amount of tax – and we have to pursue this,” she said.

  • Population growth soars under Hodgman Government’s long-term Plan

    Under the Hodgman Government’s long-term Plan, Tasmania’s population is growing at the fastest rate since early 2011.

    Importantly, interstate migration is at the highest level in seven years.

    Under Labor and the Greens, Tasmanians were leaving in droves to look for work on the mainland.  Under the Hodgman Government’s long-term Plan, people are returning to Tasmania, because there are more jobs than ever before, the economy is growing, our lifestyle is second-to-none and they see tremendous opportunities.

    When we were elected, we rolled out a population plan, which is clearly working.

  • Camp Australia, Junior Adventures Group withdraw merger application

    Camp Australia Pty Ltd (Camp Australia) and Junior Adventures Group (JAG) have withdrawn their request for merger clearance by the ACCC.

    The ACCC commenced an informal merger review on 1 June 2017. Following extensive feedback from interested parties, including schools and parents, the ACCC expressed concerns with the proposed acquisition in a Statement of Issues published on 10 August 2017.

    “The ACCC had expressed concerns that the loss of competition between Camp Australia and JAG could result in higher prices for parents and lower quality care for students in some states,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

  • Second Commissioner’s statement: Performance of ATO IT systems

    I would like to reassure the community about the performance of the ATO’s IT systems this tax time and comment on a degradation of our services experienced earlier this week.

    Performance for Tax Time 2017 has already exceeded expectations with more than:

  • Driving for Jobs Pilot to help young Tasmanians find work

    The Hodgman Liberal Government’s number one priority is jobs and we know the lack of a drivers licence is a significant barrier towards young people gaining employment.

    That’s why the 2017/18 Budget included funding for our ‘Driving for Jobs’ pilot, which takes an innovative new approach to driver training to give young people the necessary skills needed to pass their driving test and maximise their chances of getting a good job.