Monday, 18 December 2017 Sydney
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Invest In Australia News::

  • 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.

  • Optus in court for allegedly misleading 20,000 customers about moving to the NBN

    The ACCC has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against Optus Internet Pty Ltd (Optus), alleging it misled customers about the need to move quickly from its existing HFC network to the National Broadband Network (NBN).

    The ACCC alleges that between October 2015 and March 2017, Optus made false and misleading representations by writing to its customers to advise it would disconnect their HFC service within a specified time period as the NBN was coming to their area.

    However, the timeframes were earlier than Optus was contractually allowed to cancel the customers’ services.

  • WA building company amends unfair contracts

    Perth based building company, 101 Residential Pty Ltd, has amended its standard home building contract following ACCC concerns that it contained unfair terms and made false or misleading representations.

    Between October 2014 and August 2017, 101 Residential’s building contract contained non-disparagement clauses that allowed it to prohibit customers from publishing any unapproved information about the company, including online reviews.

    The non-disparagement clauses also allowed 101 Residential to remove any published information, suspend work on the customer’s construction site and ultimately terminate a customer’s building contract.

  • Catchdeal, Techrific and BecexTech to offer refunds

    Online electronics retailers, BXT International Ltd (BecexTech) and TCF Global Ltd (which operates Techrific and CatchDeal) have admitted to contravening the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) and provided court-enforceable undertakings to the ACCC.

    Until September 2017, BecexTech, Techrific and CatchDeal advertised electronic goods such as mobile phones and tablet computers as 'new', when they were in fact refurbished.

    Over the last year, the ACCC received 96 complaints about BecexTech, 34 complaints about Techrific and 60 complaints about CatchDeal.

  • ACCC cross-appeals from Unique College judgment

    The ACCC and the Commonwealth (on behalf of the Department of Education and Training) have filed a cross-appeal in the ongoing Federal Court litigation against Unique International College Pty Ltd (Unique).

    In June 2017, the Court found Unique had engaged in systemic unconscionable conduct in New South Wales. The Court found that Unique targeted disadvantaged consumers by offering gifts of laptops, providing financial incentives to its sales representatives and holding sign-up meetings to enrol students.

  • ATO settlements fair in the eyes of the ANAO

    The ATO is effective, comprehensive and fair in using settlements to resolve taxpayer disputes, according to an Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) report released today.

    Deputy Commissioner Debbie Hastings said the ANAO’s review of the ATO’s use of settlements highlights the improvements made in recent years to resolving taxation, superannuation and debt disputes with taxpayers.

    “The ATO does not settle disputes at any cost. The sensible use of settlements is part of our increasing commitment to earlier and more effective dispute resolution, with a focus on ensuring future compliance of the taxpayer,” she said.

  • Melbourne, the preferred location for corporate HQs

    Melbourne has surpassed other Australian capital cities as a corporate location due mostly to declining activity in the resources sector.

    Perth, a corporate centre for mining and energy, lost almost 100 ASX-listed firms to 652 in 2016. Melbourne was the only city to gain between 2013 and 2016.

    That is the period studied by University of Queensland geographer Thomas Sigler, who analysed the distribution of ASX-listed company headquarters in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

  • Optus to compensate customers for slow NBN speeds

    Optus will offer remedies to more than 8,700 of its customers who were misled about maximum speeds they could achieve on certain Optus NBN plans.

    Between 1 September 2015 and 30 June 2017, Optus offered NBN services to consumers advertising a range of speed plans. This included a “Boost Max” which advertised maximum download speeds of up to 100 megabits per second (Mbps) and maximum upload speeds of up to 40 Mbps (100/40 Mbps).

    Technical limitations on the customers’ fibre to the node (FTTN) or fibre to the building (FTTB) NBN connections, however, meant they could not get the speeds that were advertised.

  • Corporate tax transparency report for 2015–16

    The ATO has today published the corporate tax transparency report for 2015–16 which includes some tax information of more than 2,000 large companies operating in Australia.

    The report includes:

  • Takata airbag warning ahead of holidays

    The ACCC is urging drivers of vehicles with defective Takata airbags installed to check(link is external) if their car is affected by the biggest global vehicle recall in history before driving long distances this summer. 

  • 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.