Friday, 22 September 2017 Sydney
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Invest In Australia Blog::

  • VIP Sheds Pty Ltd breach the Australian Consumer Law

    An investigation conducted by Consumer, Building and Occupational Services (CBOS) has found that VIP Sheds Pty Ltd has committed offences under section 158(7) of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), by wrongly accepting payment for goods and services, and failing to supply within an agreed or reasonable timeframe.

    The Director of Consumer Affairs has issued 31 Infringement Notices to the two former directors of VIP Sheds, Mr Carl Dobson and Mrs Cassandra Dobson, with a total value of $95 480 ($47 740 per director), in accordance with section 25 of the Australian Consumer Law (Tasmania) Act 2010.

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  • New High Yield Oat Variety To Help Reduce Cholesterol

    Grain growers and consumers are set to benefit from a new local oat variety, Kowari, which will be available for seeding next year.

     

    A dwarf plant type, Kowari has been developed by the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), a division of Primary Industries and Regions SA, since 2003 as part of the National Oat Breeding Program.

    Kowari produces increased levels of beta glucan which helps to reduce blood cholesterol re-absorption. Furthermore, its high yielding potential and disease resistance promises to make it attractive to growers.

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  • Open banking would improve access to finance for small business

    The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman has welcomed government moves to reduce regulatory barriers to entry for new entrants to the banking system.

    Treasury is consulting on proposed changes to the Banking Act, which would allow use of the word “bank” by authorised deposit-taking institutions.

    Ombudsman Kate Carnell said this should improve access to finance for small business.

    “The power and control of the established banks remains a barrier for small businesses seeking capital to start or expand their operations,” Ms Carnell said.

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  • ACCC won't oppose Tronox's proposed acquisition of Cristal's titanium dioxide business

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has decided to not oppose the proposed acquisition by Tronox Limited of the titanium dioxide business of National Titanium Dioxide Company Limited (Cristal).

    Tronox and Cristal both produce titanium dioxide pigment in Australia, which is used as an additive in products such as paint, plastics, and ink to impart whiteness, provide opacity qualities, and protection by absorbing ultraviolet light. It is most commonly used in the production of coatings, largely for architectural and decorative purposes, as well as specialised coating applications such as in the automotive or marine industries.

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  • Excessive payment surcharge ban

    From tomorrow, every business across Australia will be banned from charging customers excessive surcharges for using certain types of EFTPOS, Mastercard, Visa and American Express cards to make payments.

    The excessive surcharging ban has applied to large businesses since September last year and now extends to all businesses that are either based in Australia or use an Australian bank. The ban does not affect businesses that choose not to apply a surcharge to payments.

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  • Petrol prices at lowest level since 2002, but margins high

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission report on the Australian petroleum industry for the June quarter 2017 shows that retail margins remained high despite quarterly average petrol prices in the five largest cities dropping by 3.9 cents per litre (cpl) from the March quarter to 125.2 cpl.

    In 2016-17 annual average petrol prices were at their lowest levels in real terms since 2001-02 (see Chart 1).

    Annual average retail petrol prices in the five largest cities were 122.6 cpl in 2016-17, slightly higher than in 2015-16 in nominal terms.

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  • ACCC proposes to authorise roll out of Woolworths' discount programs to participating BP sites

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued a draft decision proposing to grant conditional authorisation to a commercial alliance between BP Australia Pty Ltd, BP Resellers, and Woolworths Limited (ASX:WOW).

    Authorisation would allow participating BP service stations to accept Woolworths shopper dockets and participate in the Woolworths Rewards loyalty program, if BP is successful in acquiring Woolworths’ service stations.

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  • SuperStream benefits support the superannuation industry and its members

    Following a five-year rollout, superannuation members are now receiving an estimated $2.4 billion per year in savings thanks to SuperStream. SuperStream is one of the largest ever changes to Australia’s financial system, with an estimated investment across the industry of $1.5 billion.

    More than one million businesses have been involved in the rollout, with over 800,000 employers, over 200 APRA funds and approximately 350,000 self-managed superfunds now experiencing the benefits of SuperStream reforms.

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  • ATO releases Super Guarantee gap estimate

    The ATO has today released its estimate of the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) gap. The gap is the difference between the theoretical amount payable by employers to be fully compliant with their SG obligations and actual contributions received by funds.

    The ATO estimates the net SG gap to be 5.2 per cent or $2.85 billion of the total estimated $54.78 billion in SG payments that employers were required to pay in 2014-15.

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  • Is shared home ownership the answer to Australia’s affordability crisis?

    With property prices in Melbourne and Sydney increasing at five times the rate of inflation, Australians are searching for new and innovative ways to get into the property market, with the added challenge of being outbid by Chinese money competing for the same property.


    According to the latest report released by the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB), overseas buyers invested $60.75 billion into Australian residential real estate in 2014-15. That’s 75 per cent more than approved investment in 2013-14 and 254 per cent more than 2012-13.

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