With 2017 officially named the China-Australia Year of Tourism, the Approved Destination Status (ADS) scheme and its role in ensuring quality experiences for Chinese group tours travelling to Australia, has never been more important or in such demand.
Almost two decades ago, Australia became one of the first western countries to receive organised tour groups from China under the ADS scheme.
To address a shortage of fresh eggs caused by a bird flu outbreak, the South Korean Government has temporarily removed tariffs for egg imports from a number of countries, including Australia.
Australian egg exporters are taking advantage of this temporary change, with shipments of fresh eggs already sent to South Korea.
The opportunity arose after the Australian Government – through the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources – and the South Korean Government agreed to export certification conditions which provide technical market access for shelled eggs from Australia.
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission consultation on fixed broadband speeds has found eighty percent of consumers are confused and want broadband speed information to be presented in a simple, standardised format to enable them to easily compare offers.
The ACCC has today published principles to help ensure internet service providers’ claims about broadband speeds aren’t misleading under the Australian Consumer Law.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has announced that it will not oppose the proposed acquisition of TP Jones Pty Ltd by Roberts Limited, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ruralco Holdings Limited (ASX: RHL).
Roberts and TP Jones are both rural merchandise retailers based in Tasmania and sell products such as fertiliser, agricultural chemicals, animal health products, and farm merchandise.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (DIIS) have released two new taxpayer alerts as a warning to those not being careful enough in their claims or seeking to deliberately exploit the Research & Development (R&D) Tax Incentive program.
The R&D tax incentive encourages companies to engage in R&D benefiting Australia, by providing a tax offset for eligible R&D activities. In 2013–14, more than 13,700 entities spent $19.5 billion on R&D, claiming a benefit of around $3 billion.
Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) Kate Carnell today met with House of Representatives Economics Committee chair David Coleman MP, to discuss in detail the findings of the ASBFEO’s Small Business Bank Loans Inquiry, ahead of the next round of bank hearings in March.
During the briefing, the Ombudsman raised her deep concerns regarding the unwillingness of the banks to abide by new laws governing unfair terms in standard form contracts with small businesses.
Claims made in today’s media that Tax Time 2017 is under threat due to our recent system outages are completely without foundation.
We are absolutely confident that taxpayers will be able to lodge their returns and receive refunds on time from 1 July.
It is disappointing that some people are trying to create unnecessary mischief during what has already been a challenging and testing time for the community and the ATO. This is very unfortunate as it undermines the commitment and good work that our people have undertaken to return ATO services to normal operation and bring them back online as quickly and reliably as possible.
An inquiry investigating payment times and practices in Australia is in full swing with preliminary findings confirming that big businesses and some governments are taking longer than ever to pay small businesses.
Early results from the Inquiry – which is being conducted by the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) in partnership with state-based Small Business Commissioners (SBCs), the Council of Small Business Australia (COSBOA), the Australian Institute of Credit Management (AICM) and the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) – has found almost 50 per cent of small businesses experience late payments on at least half of the bills owed to them.
The number of female offenders increased by 5 per cent (4,957 offenders) in 2015–16, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
ABS Director of Crime and Justice Statistics, William Milne, said that by contrast, male offenders increased by only 49 offenders, or less than 1 per cent.
"Theft was the most prevalent principal offence for females, while the largest increases in female offender numbers were for Theft (up 12 per cent), Illicit drug offences (up 8 per cent) and Acts intended to cause injury (up 6 per cent)," said Mr Milne.
Thousands of Sydney workers will enjoy less stress and boost their productivity this March by taking part in the Sydney Rides Challenge.
The four-week challenge gets businesses competing for the most staff riding bikes and promotes a healthy and active workplace.
Companies already on board include Westpac, NRMA, Hilton Sydney, Allianz, Lend Lease, RPA Hospital and Sydney University.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said increasing the number of people riding to work had positive flow-on effects for all Sydneysiders.
UNCTAD have released their preliminary estimates (pdf) for global foreign direct investment (FDI) flows in 2016. The numbers show that total flows dropped by 13 per cent last year, falling from US$1.75 trillion in 2015 to US$1.52 trillion in 2016. That soft performance is in line with the 2016 outcomes for world GDP and trade growth, which were also quite weak.
Australian retail turnover fell 0.1 per cent in December 2016, seasonally adjusted, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Retail Trade figures.
This follows a rise of 0.1 per cent in November 2016.
In seasonally adjusted terms, there were falls in household goods retailing (-2.3 per cent), and other retailing (-0.2 per cent). These falls were offset by rises in food retailing (0.5 per cent), clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (1.4 per cent), cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (0.2 per cent), and department stores (0.3 per cent).
Tasmania’s retail sector has continued its upward trajectory, growing for the 26th consecutive month under the Hodgman majority Liberal Government.
This is another sign of continued confidence and positive momentum in our community and economy, which is the most powerful driver of jobs growth in Tasmania.
The ABS figures out today for last year’s Christmas period marks the eighth consecutive month where retail sales achieved a turnover of over $500 million.
Melbourne has been named in the world's top 10 leading centres of university knowledge by a North American think tank.
The University of Toronto's Martin Prosperity Institute (MPI) mapped the locations of the world's 500 leading universities based on the 2016 –17 Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings.
Frost & Sullivan is expecting strong growth in the number of Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) in 2017. Currently the number of proposed listings on the ASX for 2017 looks strong with close to 45 already in the pipeline, noted Frost & Sullivan.
“Frost & Sullivan has produced over 40 Independent Market Reports (IMR’s) for companies and their lead managers to include in their prospectuses for IPO’s on the ASX over the last 5 years” says Mr. Andre Clarke, Managing Director, ANZ at Frost & Sullivan.
Australia’s world-class capabilities in cyber security will be on show as part of an Austrade delegation to the RSA Conference in San Francisco from 13–17 February 2017.
The delegation will be led by Craig Davies, CEO of the newly created Australian Cyber Security Growth Network, and he will be joined by the Chief Operating Officer, Melissa Price.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has today finalised the wholesale asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) service declaration decision, by continuing to regulate the wholesale ADSL service for a further five years.
The ACCC considers that declaring the wholesale ADSL service on a national basis will promote the long-term interests of customers during the transition to the NBN.
An inquiry into small business loans by the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) Kate Carnell, has found the big four banks consistently engage in practices that have caused significant harm to some small business customers.
The ASBFEO inquiry – completed in just over three months – investigated the circumstances surrounding a number of cases of alleged small business mistreatment by the banks, and concluded loan contract arrangements between banks and small businesses, put the borrower at a distinct disadvantage.
The number of dwellings approved fell 2.5 per cent in December 2016, in trend terms, and has fallen for seven consecutive months, according to the latest figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.
In December dwelling approvals decreased in trend terms, in New South Wales (6.3 per cent), Queensland (5.0 per cent), Australian Capital Territory (2.0 per cent), South Australia (1.3 per cent) and Western Australia (0.3 per cent) but increased in Tasmania (3.8 per cent), Victoria (1.5 per cent) and the Northern Territory (1.4 per cent).
The proportion of Australian children enrolled in government schools increased slightly in 2016, continuing the shift starting in 2015 towards government schooling, according to new figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
An ABS spokesperson, Michelle Marquardt said that government schools now educated 65.4 per cent of all Australian school students (2,483,802), rising slightly from 65.2 per cent in 2015 and 65.1 per cent in 2014.
Between 2014 and 2016, the number of students enrolled in government schools rose by 77,307, compared with an increase over the same period of 26,818 students for non-government schools.
Property crime in Australia has been declining since 2008-09, according to latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures released today.
“Analysis of the 2015-16 Crime Victimisation Survey, the eighth in the annual series found that national rates have been steadily declining over an eight year period for break-in, motor vehicle theft, theft from a motor vehicle, malicious property damage, and other theft,” said William Milne of the ABS’ National Centre for Crime and Justice Statistics.
Two programs aimed at preventing Alzheimer’s disease and supporting older Canberrans in our community to stay fit and healthy will receive funding under the Healthy Ageing Grants program.
The Healthy Ageing Grants program is about reducing age-related chronic disease risk factors and promoting healthy lifestyles for older Canberrans.
The 2016 ACT Chief Health Officer’s report released last year highlighted that age-associated chronic disease is an issue of growing importance in our community.
Australian investors are taking a leading role in developing South America’s lithium triangle, a region of high-altitude brine lakes that spans Argentina, Chile and Bolivia.
Lithium, also referred to as ‘white petroleum’, comes from the primary production of brine or hard rock (spodumene ore) which is largely concentrated in Australia, Chile and Argentina.
Renewable energy company Photon Energy NV has announced plans to construct two new solar power plants in New South Wales.
The 20-megawatt hours peak (MWp) photovoltaic (PV) plant in Leeton in NSW’s Riverina Region and 14MWp plant in Environa near the NSW/ACT border will have a combined capacity of 34MWp and investment value of A$48.3 million.