Monday, 20 November 2017 Sydney

Invest In Australia News::

  • Holden undertakes to comply with consumer guarantees

    The ACCC has accepted a court enforceable undertaking from GM Holden Ltd (Holden), which commits Holden to comply with its consumer guarantee obligations under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) and adopt recommendations from the recent ACL review.

    The ACCC investigated Holden following consumer complaints about its response to a manufacturing fault.

    “Holden acknowledged that it misrepresented to some consumers that it had discretion to decide whether the vehicle owner would be offered a refund, repair or replacement for a car with a manufacturing fault, and that any remedy was a goodwill gesture,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

  • Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre launched in Melbourne to boost ecosystem

    Australia’s manufacturing sector has been invigorated with the launch of the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC).

    Manufacturing is an essential part of Australia’s knowledge economy and innovation ecosystem.

    Through the IMCRC, manufacturers will be able to capitalise on emerging opportunities.

    The IMCRC will collaborate with manufacturing businesses, research organisations, industry associations and government.

  • Olympic Park to trial NSW’s first driverless Smart Shuttle

    A two-year trial of the state’s first automated Smart Shuttle at Sydney Olympic Park will start in August 2017.

    The NSW Government has joined forces with HMI Technologies, NRMA, Telstra, IAG and Sydney Olympic Park Authority to launch the first trial of a driverless shuttle bus in NSW.

    Once the first stage of tests and safety checks are completed in a secure, off-road environment, the trial will extend to public use at Sydney Olympic Park.

    Transport Minister Andrew Constance said the ultimate goal of the trial was to find the best way to harness the next generation of driverless technology.

  • ACCC invites feedback on NBN Co’s revised Special Access Undertaking variation

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has today published a consultation paper inviting submissions on NBN Co’s revised variation to its Special Access Undertaking (SAU). NBN Co withdrew its original SAU variation and submitted a revised SAU variation in June 2017.

    The main purpose of the revised variation is to incorporate fibre-to-the-node, fibre-to-the-basement and hybrid fibre coaxial technologies into the SAU, to reflect the current NBN model. Among other things, this has the effect of extending the current NBN pricing structure to these technologies.

  • Alternative Investments in Australian SME’s with Global Reach

    Accrutus Capital, a Sydney based small-scale capital raising intermediary is paving the way for small-to-medium Australian enterprises to raise debt capital through SME Bonds. Offering investors opportunities available from the Australian private sector in highly profitable unlisted public companies, to provide a wider choice of alternative investments.

  • Have Your Say On The Regulatory Framework For Industrial Hemp In South Australia

    Regulations governing the cultivation and processing of industrial hemp will be released for public consultation today, with information sessions to be held in metropolitan and regional parts of the State.

    Information sessions for industry and interested parties will be held at the following locations, with bookings essential:

  • Investing in Western Sydney’s arts and culture

    The NSW Government has secured the site for the relocated Powerhouse Museum on Parramatta’s riverfront and is partnering with the council to redevelop the Riverside Theatre. 

    The government’s agreement with the City of Parramatta includes:

  • Prysmian to pay penalty of $3.5m for engaging in cartel conduct

    The Federal Court has imposed a pecuniary penalty of $3.5 million against Prysmian Cavi E Sistemi S.R.L. (Prysmian), an Italian corporation, for engaging in cartel conduct in relation to the supply of high voltage land cables in Australia.

    The Court found in July last year that Prysmian had entered into and given effect to agreements involving price guidance to competitors and project allocation. The contravening conduct related to an Australian project in 2003 to supply high voltage land cables and accessories to the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Scheme.

  • ACCC takes action against Ford

    The ACCC has instituted proceedings against Ford Motor Company of Australia Limited (Ford) alleging that it engaged in unconscionable and misleading or deceptive conduct, and made false or misleading representations in its response to customer complaints.

    The customer complaints were about Ford’s Focus, Fiesta and EcoSport vehicles supplied in Australia between 2011 and 2016, which featured a type of transmission known as PowerShift Transmission (PST).

  • ACCC grants Bulk Wheat Port Code exemptions at Port of Geelong and Port Adelaide

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued final determinations that exempt Riordan Grain Services and Semaphore Container Services from having to comply with certain parts of the mandatory Bulk Wheat Code when providing services at their respective Port of Geelong and Port Adelaide facilities.

    “The ACCC considers that both Riordan and Semaphore will face significant competitive constraint, specifically from GrainCorp and Viterra,” ACCC Commissioner Cristina Cifuentes said.

  • Don't be the next scam victim

    The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is urging all Australians to keep their personal information secure and to report any suspicious activity immediately this tax time.

    Assistant Commissioner Kath Anderson warns that identifying information like tax file numbers, bank account numbers or your date of birth are the keys to your identity, and can be used by scammers to break into your life if they are compromised.

  • Sydney Metro headquarters on track

    Track laying is now complete at Rouse Hill, where the new world-class Sydney Metro maintenance facility will be based.  

    The completed railway tracks at the facility sit on 11,500 sleepers and 26,000 tonnes of ballast.

    Nine kilometres of both track and overhead wiring is also now in place.

    The facility will be used for:

  • Egg producer penalised $750,000 for misleading 'free range' claims

    The Federal Court has ordered Snowdale Holdings Pty Ltd (Snowdale) to pay penalties totalling  $750,000 for making false or misleading representations that its eggs were ‘free range’, in proceedings brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

    “This is the highest penalty that a Court has ordered in relation to misleading ‘free range’ egg claims. It reflects the seriousness of Snowdale’s conduct and the importance of egg producers being truthful about marketing claims they make,” ACCC Commissioner Mick Keogh said.

  • Lululemon pays infringement notices

    Lululemon Athletica Australia Pty Ltd (Lululemon) has paid penalties totalling $32,400 following the ACCC issuing three infringement notices for alleged false or misleading representations about consumer guarantee rights.

    First, from 1 May 2017 to 24 May 2017, Lululemon listed sale items on its website under the heading “We Made Too Much”. The web page read “We made a little extra – don’t be shy, help yourself. It’s yours for keeps so no returns and no exchanges”.

    The ACCC alleges that, by this statement, Lululemon represented that consumers were not entitled to return and obtain a refund for, or exchange, these products under any circumstances.

  • Open markets must benefit consumers or distrust will grow

    Markets must work in favour of consumers and the public must be convinced of the benefits of competition or distrust in the market mechanism can grow, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chair Rod Sims warned today.

    Addressing the 2017 Australian Conference of Economists in Sydney, Mr Sims signalled any loss of public confidence in market economics puts at risk the positive change countries and institutions are capable of if they embrace an open market system.

    “I feel strongly that we will all be considerably worse off if this increasing disillusion with a market economy goes unchecked,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.   

  • Better infrastructure transparency for taxpayers

    The costs, benefits and risks of infrastructure and other public service projects will be more transparently and consistently reported to taxpayers under a new Australian accounting standard released today.

    Public sector entities will soon be required to recognise assets and liabilities that relate to their public private partnerships (PPPs), following the release of Australian accounting standard, AASB 1059 Service Concession Arrangements: Grantors.

  • Trend full-time employment growth continues

    Monthly trend full-time employment increased for the ninth straight month in June 2017, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today. Full-time employment grew by a further 30,000 persons, while part-time employment decreased by 4,000 persons, underpinning an increase in total employment of 26,000 persons.

    "Full-time employment has increased by around 187,000 persons since September 2016, with particular strength over the past five months, averaging around 30,000 persons per month," Chief Economist for the ABS Bruce Hockman said. "Full-time employment now accounts for about 68 per cent of employment, however this is down from around 72 per cent a decade ago." 

  • ACCC on changing telecommunications market dynamic

    Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chairman Rod Sims has welcomed the entry of new mobile and fixed broadband competitors into the rapidly changing telecommunications market.

    Addressing the Communications Day Unwired Revolution Conference in Sydney today, Mr Sims said there were encouraging signs that competition in the sector was healthy.

  • Good mental health critical to business success

    Small business operators have been urged to take as much care of their mental health and wellbeing as they do of cashflow and serving customers.

    The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman has published online resources and links to raise awareness of wellbeing issues and warning signs.

    Ombudsman Kate Carnell said high levels of stress and long working hours left small business people vulnerable to fatigue, anxiety and depression.

  • Small businesses bleeding from higher energy costs

    The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman says small business operators are the forgotten people in Australia’s energy crisis.

    Ombudsman Kate Carnell says high energy users like manufacturers and hospitality businesses are casualties of a failed system.

    “It makes sense for heavy users to negotiate long-term contracts, but it’s nearly impossible to meaningfully compare quotes without expert knowledge,” Ms Carnell said.

    “Combined with poor reliability of supply, small businesses are in a precarious position. It’s a disincentive to employ and invest.

  • New partnership to help tackle climate change across Australian towns and cities

    The ACT Government today joined the Cities Power Partnership which will transform Australia’s energy future from the ground up by enabling local councils to rapidly decrease carbon emissions and prevent worsening climate change impacts.

    “I’m pleased to announce the ACT is one of 35 cities and regional councils across Australia who today signed up to be part of a national movement for climate action,” Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury said. “The Cities Power Partnership is a positive way to sidestep political roadblocks and red tape.

  • ACCC statement on Aldi Flushable Wipes

    Earlier this week, the ACCC raised concerns with ALDI regarding its promotion of ALDI Green Action Flushable Bathroom Cleaning Wipes (100pk) in its Special Buys catalogue. The ACCC’s concerns stem from the use of the term ‘flushable’, in particular the concern that such a claim may mislead consumers if the claim cannot be substantiated.

    The ACCC is already pursuing alleged misleading ‘flushable’ claims more generally, with two proceedings currently before the Federal Court against Pental and Kimberly-Clark Australia Pty Ltd. 

  • Statement on recent reports of refund fraud

    The ATO is investigating recent reports of two tax agents whose clients are reporting the receipt of an unexpected ATO refund into their bank account. There is no information to suggest ATO systems have been compromised. The impacted agents proactively contacted the ATO and we are working in partnership to mitigate the risk to other clients and revenue.

    Fraudsters steal personal identification information using various methods from sources outside of the ATO. This information is used to impersonate ATO clients and lodge fraudulent tax refunds. The protection of client information is a shared responsibility of the ATO and a broader network of trusted partners. 

  • Labor in hiding on cable car, White’s small target strategy revealed

    Days after releasing draft legislation on the Mt Wellington cable car, Labor has gone into hiding and is refusing to comment.

    This is clearly a sign that Labor is looking to join the Greens and doing everything to block the next steps in making a cable car a reality.