Sunday, 21 January 2018 Sydney
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Invest In Australia News::

  • Beware opening a scammer's con this Christmas

    The ACCC is warning the community to be wary of scammers trying to ruin their Christmas holidays.

    “Scammers often try to take advantage of people during the busy Christmas period and prey on our vulnerabilities at this time of year. For example, they may take advantage of you looking for a good deal on a family holiday, searching for a loved one’s present at an online store, or even that you’re expecting a present from someone through the post.”

    Watch out for three common holiday season scams:

  • Ombudsman calls for lower ‘tap-and-go’ transaction fees

    The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman has supported a parliamentary committee recommendation for banks to reduce “tap and go” transaction fees.

    The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics recommended that banks let merchants send tap-and-go payments from debit cards through eftpos instead of credit.

  • Ombudsman calls for lower ‘tap-and-go’ transaction fees

    The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman has supported a parliamentary committee recommendation for banks to reduce “tap and go” transaction fees.

    The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics recommended that banks let merchants send tap-and-go payments from debit cards through eftpos instead of credit.

  • Airwallex forms new alliance to transact with Europe and Britain

    Melbourne-based international payments company Airwallex has announced a strategic partnership to enable customers to transact with Europe, the United Kingdom and Scandinavia.

    Airwallex customers will be connected to the UK and the Single European Payments Area via Railsbankto send and receive local payments.

    This will cut costs and increase the speed and transparency of international payments.

  • Technology companies to miss out on safe harbour under revised Copyright Bill

    The government introduced the Copyright Amendment (Disability Access and Other Measures) bill earlier this year, but at the last minute removed a large extension to the safe harbour provision.

    Subsequent consultations have taken place since, and, it’s now been revealed that safe harbour will be extended to educational institutions and libraries but platforms will be excluded.

    If you run an online platform, safe harbour would have given you legal protections for hosting copyright infringing content if you remove it quickly after being notified.

  • ACCC won't oppose the proposed merger of Fox Sports and Foxtel

    The ACCC has decided to not oppose the proposed merger of Fox Sports and Foxtel after finding the transaction would not substantially lessen competition.

    Currently, News Corporation (News) (ASX:NWS) owns 100 per cent of Fox Sports and owns Foxtel jointly with Telstra (ASX:TLS). Under the merger, Foxtel and Fox Sports will be brought together under common ownership, with News holding 65 per cent of the merged entity. Telstra will hold the remaining 35 per cent interest. The merged entity will also enter a number of agreements with Telstra.

  • 26th NSW-Guangdong Joint Economic Meeting a success

    The NSW-China economic relationship has entered a new era following the 26th NSW-Guangdong Joint Economic Meeting (JEM), which focused on growing both economies through innovation.

    Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Guangdong Governor Ma Xingrui signed a Joint Statement at the JEM, setting a clear agenda for the NSW-Guangdong Sister State relationship into the future.

    “The Joint Statement we have signed commits us to collaboration across health, education, financial services and smart cities. It will shape the NSW-Guangdong relationship for years to come,” Ms Berejiklian said.

  • GSK and Novartis in court for alleged misleading representations

    The ACCC has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against GlaxoSmithKline Healthcare Australia Pty Ltd (GSK) and Novartis Consumer Health Australasia Pty Ltd (Novartis), alleging they made false or misleading representations in the marketing of Voltaren Osteo Gel and Voltaren Emulgel pain relief products.

    The ACCC alleges that Novartis and GSK represented that Osteo Gel was specifically formulated for treating osteoarthritis conditions, and was more effective than Emulgel to treat those conditions, when the two products are identically formulated.

  • Economy grows 0.6 per cent in September quarter

    The Australian economy grew 0.6 per cent in seasonally adjusted chain volume terms in the September quarter 2017, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today. 

    Chief Economist for the ABS, Bruce Hockman, said: “Increased activity in both private business investment and public infrastructure underpinned broad growth across the industries.”

  • Labor has a history of selling government businesses – at least ten government businesses sold between 1998 and 2014

    It’s clear that Labor is considering selling off more tax payer owned businesses to prop up their election spending.

    This morning Michelle O’Byrne admitted on radio that Labor would consider selling TasNetworks.

    Scott Bacon’s forced denial was too little too late, because as we all know with Labor you can’t trust what they say, instead you need to look at their record.

    Between 1998 and 2014 Labor sold at least ten government businesses, including:

  • Retail turnover rises 0.5 per cent in October

    Australian retail turnover rose 0.5 per cent in October 2017, seasonally adjusted, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Retail Trade figures. 

    This follows a 0.1 per cent rise in September 2017.

    "In seasonally adjusted terms, there were rises across all industries led by cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (1.7 per cent)," the Director of the Quarterly Economy Wide Survey, Ben James, said. 

    There were also rises for food retailing (0.3 per cent), clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (1.0 per cent), other retailing (0.3 per cent), department stores (0.5 per cent) and household goods retailing (0.1 per cent) in October 2017.

  • Retail turnover rises 0.5 per cent in October

    Australian retail turnover rose 0.5 per cent in October 2017, seasonally adjusted, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Retail Trade figures. 

    This follows a 0.1 per cent rise in September 2017.

    "In seasonally adjusted terms, there were rises across all industries led by cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (1.7 per cent)," the Director of the Quarterly Economy Wide Survey, Ben James, said. 

    There were also rises for food retailing (0.3 per cent), clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (1.0 per cent), other retailing (0.3 per cent), department stores (0.5 per cent) and household goods retailing (0.1 per cent) in October 2017.

  • ACCC commences inquiry into digital platforms

    The Federal Government has today formally directed the ACCC to commence an inquiry into digital platform providers such as Facebook and Google.

    The ACCC’s inquiry will look at the effect that digital search engines, social media platforms and other digital content aggregation platforms are having on competition in media and advertising services markets.

    “The ACCC goes into this inquiry with an open mind to and will study how digital platforms such as Facebook and Google operate to fully understand their influence in Australia,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

  • Access to Justice inquiry

    The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman has launched an inquiry into access to justice for small business.

    Ombudsman Kate Carnell said small business operators were at the wrong end of a power imbalance in dealings with big business and governments.

    “Consumer protections don’t always apply to small businesses, who have limited options in seeking resolution,” she said.

    “There are mediation services provided by my office and state Small Business Commissions, but if the dispute can’t be mediated it starts to get expensive.

  • More couple families have both parents working

    The number of couple families with children that have both parents working has increased in the last decade, according to statistics released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

    Chief Economist for the ABS, Bruce Hockman said that in June 2017 some 64 per cent of couple families with children had both parents working, while a decade ago the proportion was 59 per cent. 

    “The increasing proportion of couple families with children where both parents work is an ongoing trend we have been observing for a decade, as female participation rates in the labour market have increased to the current record high of around 60 per cent,” Mr Hockman said. 

  • ACCC homes in on better broadband speed info for consumers

    The ACCC has today announced SamKnows as the successful tenderer to undertake its $6.5 million broadband speeds monitoring program, which will see broadband speeds recorded across 4000 Australian homes over the next four years.

    The appointment of SamKnows to deliver the ACCC’s Measuring Broadband Australia program follows the conclusion of a competitive open tender conducted in accordance with Commonwealth government requirements.

    Over the first year of the program, some 2000 households will receive testing devices, with the results of the speed tests being reported on publically by the end of the first quarter in 2018.

  • ACCC seeking comment on Telstra's proposed FTTC migration plan

    The ACCC is seeking feedback on a discussion paper detailing Telstra’s proposed variation to the NBN Migration Plan to facilitate the rollout of fibre to the curb technology (FTTC).

    In 2015 the ACCC approved a revised Migration Plan which details how Telstra will progressively migrate existing customers’ telephone and internet services to multi-technology mix NBN services.

    Telstra’s proposed variation will facilitate the rollout of FTTC by NBN Co as an access technology. The rollout of FTTC is planned to commence in 2018.

  • ACCC won't seek review of Tabcorp-Tatts determination

    The ACCC has decided that it will not apply for judicial review of the Australian Competition Tribunal’s determination to grant conditional authorisation to Tabcorp (ASX:TAH) for the proposed acquisition of Tatts Group (ASX:TTS).

    “The ACCC has closely examined the Tribunal’s reasons. Unlike the original decision of the Tribunal we do not consider there is any error of law that needs to be corrected. For this reason the ACCC will not be seeking further review,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

  • Section 46 no defence for uncompetitive firms

    ACCC Chairman Rod Sims has delivered a warning to Australian firms: the competition watchdog is not going to protect them from competition.

    Delivering a speech in Sydney today, Mr Sims outlined how the recently legislated changes to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA), especially s46, help the ACCC protect the competitive process by allowing firms, big and small, to compete on their merits.

  • Dwelling approvals rise 0.7 per cent in October

    The number of dwellings approved rose 0.7 per cent in October 2017, in trend terms, and has risen for nine months, according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

    "Dwelling approvals have continued to strengthen in recent months, rising above 19,000 dwellings in October 2017," said Justin Lokhorst, Director of Construction Statistics at the ABS. "This is the first time the series has reached this level since August 2016."

  • AASB Discussion Paper: Australian-specific Insurance Issues - Regulatory Disclosures and Public Sector Entities

    Have your say:  If insurance risk is economically the same, shouldn’t the accounting be the same?

    Certain public sector insurance contracts or ‘insurance-like’ arrangements that arise by statute currently fall outside the scope of AASB 17 Insurance Contracts, although they are substantially no different from contracts within the scope of AASB 17.  This leads to diversity in practice and the possibility that some public sector entities may not appropriately reflect their insurance risk in their financial statements.

  • ACCC to delay consideration of BP's acquisition of Woolworths' service stations

    At the request of BP and Woolworths (ASX: WOW), the ACCC has delayed its consideration of BP’s proposed acquisition of the Woolworths’ retail service station sites so that the ACCC can consider further information from the parties. The expected new decision date is 14 December 2017. 

    “This is a significant decision for the retail petrol market in Australia. The extension to the consideration period will allow the ACCC to consider further information from the parties,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

  • ACCC takes action against Ashley & Martin for alleged unfair contract terms

    The ACCC has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against Ashley & Martin Pty Ltd (Ashley & Martin) alleging that clauses in its standard form contracts are unfair under the Australian Consumer Law and therefore void.

    Ashley & Martin is an Australian company that provides hair loss treatment programs and hair replacement services to customers through its clinics in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

  • ACCC takes action against Jayco

    The ACCC has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against Jayco Corporation Pty Ltd (Jayco), Australia’s largest caravan and recreational vehicle manufacturer, alleging it breached the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) by its conduct towards four customers who purchased defective Jayco caravans.

    The ACCC alleges that, between 2013 and 2015, Jayco acted unconscionably towards four customers by obstructing them from obtaining redress, such as a refund or replacement for their defective caravan. Jayco allegedly did this despite knowing the caravans were defective and not functioning properly, even after repeated, and failed, repair attempts.