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Invest In Australia News::

  • Telco provider BVivid pays penalties and will release consumers from contracts

    The ACCC has accepted a court-enforceable undertaking from telco provider BVivid Pty Ltd (BVivid) for making telemarketing calls to consumers in areas transitioning to the NBN that BVivid has admitted likely breached the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

    BVivid also paid $25,200 in penalties after the ACCC issued it with two infringement notices.

    From October 2017 to at least May 2018, BVivid cold-called consumers and told them their internet services would be disconnected or they would lose their telephone number if they did not move to the NBN immediately.

  • LG to pay $160,000 for misleading representations to two consumers

    The Federal Court has imposed $160,000 in penalties on LG Electronics Australia Pty Ltd (LG) for making misleading representations to two consumers about their consumer guarantee rights.

    In June 2018, the Full Federal Court partially upheld an appeal by the ACCC against an earlier judgment dismissing the ACCC’s case.

    The Full Court found that LG made misleading representations to two consumers who believed they had purchased faulty televisions, when it implied on phone calls they had no rights other than those under LG’s manufacturer’s warranties.

  • Cartel immunity policy strengthened, whistleblowing tool launched

    The ACCC has strengthened its cartel immunity and cooperation policy to enhance its transparency and clarify its scope.

    The updated immunity policy, which has been informed by experience gathered during key criminal investigations, will come into effect on 1 October 2019.

  • New lending to households rises 3.9 per cent

    The value of new lending commitments to households rose 3.9 per cent in July 2019, seasonally adjusted, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures on new lending to households and businesses.

    The rise in new lending to households in July follows a 1.9 per cent rise in June 2019.

    ABS Chief Economist, Bruce Hockman said: “In July, growth in new lending commitments to households was the strongest since October 2014.”

  • Delivering for Tasmania’s forest industry

    The Hodgman majority Liberal Government has a mandate to drive business investment and create real jobs for Tasmanians, including rebuilding the forestry industry and supporting the 5,700+ people it employs.

    Our Strategic Growth Plan for Tasmania’s forests, fine timber and wood fibre industry provides a clear pathway to assist industry to grow, supporting forestry jobs.

    We are investing $500,000 to help build a stronger industry, by providing forestry contractors with skills and access to professional advice to take their businesses to the next level.

  • LG to pay $160,000 for misleading representations to two consumers

    The Federal Court has imposed $160,000 in penalties on LG Electronics Australia Pty Ltd (LG) for making misleading representations to two consumers about their consumer guarantee rights.

    In June 2018, the Full Federal Court partially upheld an appeal by the ACCC against an earlier judgment dismissing the ACCC’s case.

    The Full Court found that LG made misleading representations to two consumers who believed they had purchased faulty televisions, when it implied on phone calls they had no rights other than those under LG’s manufacturer’s warranties.

  • Cartel immunity policy strengthened, whistleblowing tool launched

    The ACCC has strengthened its cartel immunity and cooperation policy to enhance its transparency and clarify its scope.

    The updated immunity policy, which has been informed by experience gathered during key criminal investigations, will come into effect on 1 October 2019.

  • Ombudsman urges prospective franchisees to do their homework

    The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell is urging prospective franchisees to do their homework before investing, after the ACCC found some franchisors were failing to provide adequate information to buyers.

    The regulator found one-in-three franchisors in the food services sector had failed to disclose useful contact details of former franchisees to allow prospective buyers to conduct due diligence.

  • Significant concerns with customer loyalty schemes

     

    Customer loyalty schemes, including frequent flyer, supermarket and credit card operators, must ensure they are not misleading consumers according to an ACCC draft report released today for comment.

    The ACCC’s Customer Loyalty Schemes draft report highlights a number of concerns:

  • ACCC opposes chilled ready meals deal

    The ACCC has decided to oppose the proposed acquisition of Jewel Fine Foods (Jewel) by B&J City Kitchen.

    B&J City Kitchen and Jewel (in administration) are the two largest manufacturers of chilled ready meals in Australia. Chilled ready meals are pre-cooked complete meals, which require little preparation by consumers before consumption and are sold through grocery retailers, petrol stations, convenience stores and food service operators, such as airlines.

  • Ombudsman seeks feedback on Business Funding Guide

    The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell is seeking feedback on the ground-breaking Business Funding Guide.

    The guide, released in July by ASBFEO in partnership with Scottish Pacific Business Finance, is an industry-first publication primarily written for accountants, bookkeepers, brokers and other financial advisers, to help their small business clients find the right funding and get ‘finance fit’ to increase their likelihood of having funding applications approved.

  • Court finds Ashley & Martin contract terms unfair

    The Federal Court has found hair loss business Ashley & Martin’s terms in three standard form contracts with consumers are void because they were unfair.

    From June 2014 until at least June 2017, Ashley & Martin signed up more than 25,000 customers to its ‘Personal RealGROWTH Program’ using three different standard form contracts which have all been found to contain unfair terms.

  • Appeal on cartel conduct in the Mount Penny coal licence cartel case dismissed

    An ACCC appeal against a Federal Court judgment in relation to alleged bid rigging conduct involving Cascade Coal Pty Ltd (Cascade), Paul and Moses Obeid and others was dismissed today by the Full Federal Court.

    The appeal focused on whether parties associated with Obeid family members and Cascade were “in competition” at the time they withdrew a bid for Mount Penny and Glendon Brook mining exploration licences. The Full Federal Court has concluded there was no error of law on that issue.

  • Medibank in court for alleged misrepresentations to members about benefits

    The ACCC has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against Medibank Private Limited trading as ‘ahm Health Insurance’ (Medibank), alleging that Medibank made false representations about benefits covered by its health insurance policies, in breach of the Australian Consumer Law.

    The ACCC alleges that Medibank falsely represented to members holding ahm “lite” or “boost” policies, who were making claims or enquiries, that they were not entitled to cover for joint investigations or reconstruction procedures, when in fact their policies covered these procedures.

  • Australians paying millions too much for foreign currency services

    Australian consumers are paying too much for foreign currency conversion (FX) services because of confusing pricing and a lack of robust competition, a new ACCC report has found.

    The final report of the ACCC’s Foreign Currency Conversion Services Inquiry highlights important competition and consumer issues affecting individuals and small businesses who use international money transfers (IMTs), foreign cash, travel cards, and credit cards or debit cards for transactions in foreign currencies.

  • Australia records first current account surplus in 44 years

    The largest quarterly goods and services surplus on record at $19.9 billion and a narrowing net income deficit to $13.9 billion, contributed to Australia recording a seasonally adjusted $5.9 billion current account surplus for the June quarter 2019, according to latest information released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). This is Australia's first current account surplus since the June quarter 1975.

    ABS Chief Economist Bruce Hockman said: "Six consecutive quarters of goods and services surpluses, broadly commodity driven, have laid the foundation for our first current account surplus in 44 years.

  • New guidelines on repeal of intellectual property exemption issued

    Changes to parts of Australia’s competition law relating to intellectual property (IP) matters, which come into effect on 13 September 2019, are explained in new ACCC guidelines published today.

    The guidelines on the repeal of subsection 51(3) of the Competition and Consumer Act are designed to explain the ACCC’s enforcement approach to IP rights.

  • Action against BlueScope for alleged cartel conduct

    The ACCC has instituted civil proceedings in the Federal Court against BlueScope Steel Limited (BlueScope) and its former general manager sales and marketing, Mr Jason Ellis, for alleged cartel conduct in relation to the supply of flat steel products.

    The ACCC alleges that between September 2013 and June 2014, BlueScope and Mr Ellis attempted to induce various steel distributors in Australia and overseas manufacturers to enter agreements containing a price fixing provision. 

  • ABS Corporate Plan, 2019-20

    This Corporate Plan provides a high-level description of the work of the ABS for the 2019-20 financial year in line with our Strategic Directions for the next four years, to give our staff, stakeholders, partners, business, and the Australian community an understanding of how we intend to continue to deliver high quality, relevant and trusted official statistics.

  • New report reveals challenges facing small business sector

    The Australian small business sector is facing a major shake-up over the coming decade, with the highest proportion of small business owners aged between 45 and 59 years.

    That’s according to the Small Business Counts report released at the COSBOA National Small Business Summit today by the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell, which has revealed 61% of employing small business owners are approaching retirement age.

  • Next step for consumer data right in energy

    The ACCC is progressing the most reliable, secure and efficient way to share data with energy service providers under the Consumer Data Right (CDR) reforms, bringing consumers one step closer to being able to better determine the right energy plan for them.

  • Outer suburbs have highest concentrations of children

    Australia's outer suburbs were home to some of the highest concentrations of kids in the country in 2018, according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 

    Children under 15 years of age made up less than a fifth of the population in Australia's capital cities, but in some suburbs the proportion of children rose to close to a third.

    ABS Director of Demography Beidar Cho said the areas with the highest concentration of kids were generally located on the outskirts of our capitals, such as Bonner on the northern fringe of Canberra where children made up 32 per cent of the population, and Point Cook - South in outer Melbourne (31 per cent).

  • Ensuring foreign investors pay their fair share

    The Hodgman majority Liberal Government welcomes foreign investment in Tasmania, however we believe all participants in the property market must pay their fair share to allow us to invest further in the essential services and infrastructure our growing state needs.

    In recent months, the Government has been consulting with stakeholders, including the TFGA, Tasmanian Law Society and Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand, on taxation arrangements for foreign investors, including proposed changes to the definition of ‘foreign person’ in the Duties Act 2001.

  • Tasmania’s building and construction boom

    The Hodgman majority Liberal Government is a strong supporter of our building and construction sector, and we are committed to maintaining the momentum and investing for further growth, to create more jobs across the industry.

    Tasmania’s building and construction sector continues to lead the nation as indicated by June 2019 quarter data released today by the ABS.