Wednesday, 29 March 2017 Sydney
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Invest In Australia News::

  • Myth-busted: The truth about the ATO's EA ballot process

    There are a number of inaccurate and misleading comments about the ATO’s enterprise agreement ballot process reported in Fairfax media today.

    It is disappointing that yet again in this process, the Australian Services Union are seeking to bargain through the media and in doing so, only undermine employees’ trust and community confidence in the ATO and unduly delay the bargaining process. If employees are on leave or are not rostered on during the voting period they would not be able to vote unless the company conducting the voting process could make contact with them.

  • Social and Affordable Housing Fund contracts awarded

    The NSW Government has chosen partners from the private and not-for-profit sectors to deliver more housing with links to support services for some of the most vulnerable in our community.

    Five organisations have received contracts to deliver thousands of homes and tailored support services across NSW as part of the first phase of the Social and Affordable Housing Fund (SAHF).

  • Melbourne named top tech city in Australia

    Melbourne has been named Australia's top tech city with its combination of good infrastructure, business environment, talent pool and lifestyle.

    Savills' Tech Cities 2017 report revealed Melbourne's offerings make it an ideal Australian base for tech companies, with its liveability placing it among other global cities like Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Toronto, and above more established tech rivals.

  • Refund fraudster sentenced to three years’ jail

    A 33-year-old Thai national, Pornpat Chuensukjit, was sentenced in the New South Wales District Court yesterday to three years’ jail after being convicted of three counts of refund fraud.

    The conviction comes after a two-year joint investigation between the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Taxation Office which led to Chuensukjit’s arrest in 2014 along with her co-accused, Kritsakul Thavapitak. Thavapitak was sentenced in the New South Wales District Court in November last year to two years’ jail.

  • Court dismisses ACCC cartel proceedings against electrical cable manufacturers and wholesalers

    The Federal Court has dismissed proceedings brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission against electrical cable manufacturers and wholesalers, and their executives for alleged cartel conduct.

    The ACCC alleged that in 2011 at a meeting of the Electrical Wholesalers Association of Australia, the respondents made and gave effect to an arrangement which had the purpose of fixing prices, preventing, restricting or limiting the supply and acquisition of electrical cable, and allocating customers. In particular, the ACCC alleged this arrangement included the following provisions:

  • ACCC denies authorisation for insurance companies to jointly set a cap on sales commissions

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued a final determination denying authorisation to 16 insurance companies to agree to a cap of 20 per cent on commissions paid to car dealers who sell their add-on insurance products.

    “The ACCC is denying authorisation because we believe this proposal is unlikely to change sales incentives or the quality of products, and consumers will still be sold products without being given adequate information or opportunity to make a considered decision,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

  • Tax officers hit the streets to help small businesses

    The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is visiting more than 400 businesses across Perth and Canberra over the next month as part of a campaign to help small businesses stay on top of their tax affairs.

    Assistant Commissioner Tom Wheeler said the ATO has a focus on businesses operating in the cash and hidden economy to ensure fairness for all businesses and the community.

  • Grants Available To Help Businesses Break Into Premium Export Markets

    South Australia’s food and beverage businesses are being encouraged to gain industry-standard third-party certifications needed to tap into new markets and attract discerning consumers.

    Applications to Round 4 of the Building South Australia’s Premium Food and Wine Credentials Grant Program are now open to SA food and beverage businesses with individual grants of up to $25,000 available.

    The grant program will help growers, producers, processors and manufacturers to leverage premium products and position themselves in national and international markets.

  • ASIC and ASBFEO join forces to ensure bank lenders meet unfair contract laws

    Australian lenders including the country's big four banks have substantial work to do to eliminate unfair terms from their loan agreements, a joint review of small business standard form contracts undertaken by ASIC and the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) has revealed.

     

    ASIC and the ASBFEO reviewed small business loan contracts from eight lenders and found there’s been a failure to take sufficient steps to comply with their new obligations under unfair contract terms (UCT) legislation.

     

  • Aba Walking Both Sides Of The Street On ASBFEO Loan Contract Reform

    Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) Kate Carnell has refuted claims made by the Australian Bankers’ Association’s (ABA) chief executive Steven Münchenberg that eliminating all non-monetary covenants from small business loans under $5 million would raise the risk of lending to small business, saying the ABA – and the banks – are contradicting themselves in arguing against the reform.

    “On the one hand the banks say they rarely use non-financial default clauses, but on the other, they say to remove them would increase risk for the banks.  If you don’t use them, how on earth could it possibly increase the banks’ risk to get rid of the clauses?” Ms Carnell said.

  • Demand for data driving changes in telco market

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has today published its annual reports on prices and competition in the telecommunications sector.

    Data downloads have increased 52 per cent for fixed broadband and 69 per cent for mobile.

    “These reports show that many of the significant structural changes transforming the sector in 2015-16 are being driven by consumer demand,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

  • ACCC takes action against Audi over diesel emission claims

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against German company Audi Aktiengesellschaft (Audi AG), its Australian subsidiary Audi Australia Pty Ltd (Audi Australia), and their owner, German company Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft (VWAG).

    The ACCC alleges that Audi AG and Audi Australia engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct, made false or misleading representations and engaged in conduct liable to mislead the public in relation to certain diesel vehicle emission claims, and that VWAG was knowingly concerned in this conduct.

    The ACCC alleges that between 2011 and 2015:

  • Tax officers hit the streets to help small businesses

    The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is visiting more than 400 businesses across Perth and Canberra over the next month as part of a campaign to help small businesses stay on top of their tax affairs.

    Assistant Commissioner Tom Wheeler said the ATO has a focus on businesses operating in the cash and hidden economy to ensure fairness for all businesses and the community.

  • Jetstar and Virgin to pay penalties for misleading ‘drip pricing’ practices

    The Federal Court has ordered Jetstar Airways Pty Ltd (Jetstar) to pay a $545,000 penalty and Virgin Australia Airlines Pty Ltd (Virgin) to pay a $200,000 penalty for breaches of the Australian Consumer Law.

    In November 2015, Jetstar was found to have made false or misleading representations about specific advertised airfares on its website in 2013 and its mobile site in 2014. Virgin was found to have made false or misleading representations about specific advertised airfares on its mobile site in 2014.

  • Hoyt's Food pays $10,800 penalty for alleged false and misleading 'Oregano' representations

    Hoyt Food Manufacturing Industries Pty Limited (Hoyt’s Food) has paid a penalty of $10,800 following the issue of an infringement notice by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Hoyt’s Food is a distributor of oregano and supplies to major retailers across Australia.

    The ACCC issued the infringement notice because it had reasonable grounds to believe that Hoyt’s Food had made false or misleading representations in contravention of the Australian Consumer Law, after it tested the composition of a sample from a batch of the 25g net variety of “Hoyt’s Oregano Leaves rubbed” (batch number 28615).

  • Banks Bloviate About Change But It’s Business As Usual

    Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) Kate Carnell said the responses today from CBA and ANZ to the ASBFEO bank inquiry recommendations fall well short of what’s needed to improve current small business lending practices.

    “Judging by the responses of the big banks so far, it’s clear they’re not listening to the growing chorus of concern about the way they treat small business borrowers,” Ms Carnell said.

  • SoleNet and Sure Telecom banned from operating telco services

    The Federal Court has ordered the corporations trading as SoleNet and Sure Telecom (the SoleNet/Sure Telecom Companies) and Mr James Harrison pay penalties totaling $250,000 and be restrained from carrying on a business or supplying services in connection with telecommunications for a period of two years.

    The Court also disqualified Mr Harrison from managing corporations for three years. The orders take effect 1 April 2017.

    “The disqualification of Mr Harrison as a director sends a clear message that directors have responsibility to ensure their businesses comply with the Australian Consumer Law,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

  • Quality of service improves as airports collect substantially more money per passenger

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s annual Airport Monitoring Report has found that Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, and Brisbane airports all received an overall weighted rating of ‘good’ for their quality of service in 2015-16.

    The report, Airport monitoring report 2015-16, found that both Brisbane and Perth airports were rated equal highest of the monitored airports within the ‘good’ category. These overall ratings are drawn from survey results (both airlines and passengers) and objective indicators.

  • ASBFEO IN QLD FOR SMALL BUSINESS FEEDBACK

    Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) Kate Carnell is reminding small businesses across Queensland to have their say on payment times and practices, ahead of the deadline for submissions to the ASBFEO’s inquiry into the issue.

    In Brisbane today to attend a small business roadshow with Federal Small Business Minister Michael McCormack MP, Ms Carnell is urging small businesses to share their experience when it comes to the amount of time they’re left waiting for big businesses – and some governments – to pay their invoices.

  • Record business investment for NSW economy

    New data has revealed the NSW economy delivered record business investment in 2016.

    The Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed NSW business spending grew by almost 10 per cent to $29.2 billion last year.

    Business investment across the rest of Australia in 2016 fell by more than 20 per cent.

    Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the result was a vote of confidence in the long-term strength of a diverse NSW economy.

  • ATO adds value to developing financial literacy

    The ATO is helping teachers add tax and super to their classes this year with dedicated educational resources.

    In partnership with the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), the ATO has developed resources that align to the Australian Curriculum for students in years seven to 10.

    “Understanding tax and super is an important skill for young Australians, and we are pleased it is now part of the Australian curriculum,” Assistant Commissioner Kath Anderson said.

  • ASBFEO Applauds Coles For Bringing Their Payment Times ‘Down, Down’

    Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) Kate Carnell says Coles is leading by example after reducing the time they take to pay their small business suppliers, with the Ombudsman encouraging other big businesses to do the same.

    Coles has announced that from July 1, they’ll be reducing payment times to within 14 days for businesses with a turnover of up to $1 million.

    “I congratulate Coles’ management for their leadership on this issue, and call on other big businesses to follow Coles’ lead and reduce their own payment times to small business suppliers,” Ms Carnell said.

  • NT operators travel to world’s largest travel trade show

    14 Northern Territory tourism operators are on their way to the world’s biggest travel trade show the International Tourism Borse (ITB) in Berlin 6-10 March, which is part of the 2017 NT Central Europe Mission.

    Royal Flying Doctor Service Central Operations General Manager Northern Territory Michael Toomey said his team was pleased to be attending ITB.

    “The RFDS tourist facility is a new product for the Territory so it’s important to promote the availability of this attraction, especially when there is growing tourism interest in military history around the world.

  • Online one-stop shop for development applications

    Development applications will take less than 30 minutes when a new online lodgement portal launches later this year.

    Currently, the average time it takes homeowners and builders to investigate, prepare, submit, lodge and track a development application manually is up to 10 days.

    The Department of Planning and Environment’s planning portal will eventually be a one-stop shop for development applications and complying development certificate submissions.