Saturday, 26 July 2014 Sydney

Invest In Australia News::

  • ACCC reauthorises brick levy to help with bricklayer shortage

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has granted authorisation to the Australian Brick & Blocklaying Training Foundation (ABBTF), Think Brick Australia and the Concrete Masonry Association of Australia to continue to apply a small levy on the sale of clay brick and concrete masonry products.

    The funds raised will support programmes to address shortages of trained bricklayers by promoting bricklaying apprenticeships to school leavers and bricklayers, and assisting apprentices to complete their training.

    “The levy makes it easier for bricklayers to take on apprentices,” ACCC Commissioner Dr Jill Walker said.

  • 14-149MR GE Capital Finance Australia hit with $1.5 million penalty over false or misleading representations

    The Federal Court has made declarations and ordered consumer credit provider GE Capital Finance Australia, which trades as GE Money, pay a penalty of $1.5 million for making false or misleading representations to more than 700,000 of its credit card customers.

    The court found that at various times between 5 January and 27 May 2012, GE Capital told certain credit card customers that to activate their credit card, or apply for or obtain an increased credit limit, the customer also had to consent to receiving invitations to apply for credit limit increases.

  • Australia Extends Transport Safety Assistance to Indonesia

    Australia will continue to support safer maritime and aviation transport in Indonesia with the Australian Government committing $4.6 million to extend the Indonesia Transport Safety Assistance Package for 2014–15.

    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the funding formed part of Australia's aid program to Indonesia and built on the $43 million allocated to the Indonesia Transport Safety Assistance Package since 2007.

    “Indonesia and Australia have worked closely to strengthen transport safety in the region through the training of transport safety inspectors and accident investigators, and undertaking joint search and rescue exercises,” Mr Truss said.

  • Online agriculture tools for schools announced in Riverina

    Minister for Education the Hon Christopher Pyne MP and the Federal Member for Riverina, the Hon Michael McCormack MP will meet today to talk about the Government’s education reforms and announce $2 million to develop online agriculture education tools for schools.  

    The Australian Government will invest an extra $2 million to ensure primary and secondary school students in the cities and the bush can learn more about Australia’s important agricultural sector.

    The Agriculture in Education initiative will be launched at the Graham Centre of Agriculture Innovation at Charles Sturt University in Wagga.

  • More than $371,000 in funding for youth arts projects

    I am delighted to announce that five arts and cultural organisations which support and nurture talented young Australians have received funding to continue their great work.

  • NTC to focus on delivering better productivity for Australian transport

    The National Transport Commission (NTC) will examine new ways to boost the productivity of Australia’s transport networks as part of its new work program released by NTC today. The new work program was approved by the Council of Transport and Infrastructure Ministers on 23 May 2014.

    CEO of the NTC Paul Retter said the NTC had already started work on many of the projects outlined in the first year of the program following a thorough analysis by the NTC, governments and industry of the highest priority issues to be examined to help improve the performance of Australia’s heavy vehicle, rail and intermodal transport systems.

  • 14-141MR Findings from 31 December 2013 financial reports

    ASIC today announced the results from a review of the 31 December 2013 financial reports of 135 listed and other public interest entities.

    The review saw ASIC contact 23 companies about their reports. Matters ASIC looked at included inadequate impairment of assets and inappropriate accounting treatments.

    Inquiries of a company will not necessarily lead to material restatements. Matters involving six of the entities ended without any changes to their financial reporting.

    While the results from our review of 31 December are incomplete, our risk-based surveillance led to material changes to 4% of the financial reports previously reviewed for reporting periods ended 30 June 2010 to 30 June 2013.

  • 14-143MR ASIC makes determination about Global Metals

    ASIC has determined Global Metals Exploration NL (Global Metals) must not rely on a short form prospectus until June 2015.

    The determination followed Global Metals failing to meet its ongoing disclosure obligations.

    Section 713 of the Corporations Act 2001 allows a company, in certain circumstances, to issue securities using a short form prospectus instead of a full prospectus.

    ASIC has the power to prevent a company from relying on these reduced prospectus content rules if a company breaches disclosure obligations in place to ensure material information is provided to investors on a continuous basis.

    Global Metals failed to do the following on time:

    report to members for the 2013 financial year

  • 14-140MR ASICs audit inspection findings for 2012-13

    In our view, in 20% of the total 454 key audit areas that we reviewed across 107 audit files at firms of different sizes, auditors did not obtain reasonable assurance that the financial report as a whole was free of material misstatement. This compares to 18% for ASIC’s report covering the previous 18-month period ending in June 2012. While our overall levels of findings has not yet improved, the largest six audit firms only finalised their action plans on audit quality for 30 June 2013 year ends, and these plans are yet to have full effect.

    Commissioner John Price said, ‘While audit firms have made good efforts to improve audit quality, these are yet to be reflected in our risk-based inspection findings.

  • Labor continue to live in debt and deficit denial

    Labor must come clean and tell the Australian people if they support the Budget ever returning to surplus.

    Labor set Australia on a pathway to $667 billion of gross debt, with $123 billion in cumulative deficits, yet continue to oppose plans to fix their mess. They’re happy for Australia to continue to pay $1 billion in interest every month on their debt.

    Instead of supporting, or offering an alternative to, the Government’s Economic Action Strategy Labor continue to live in denial about the debt and deficit disaster they created.

    This morning Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen said he was happy to compare Labor’s fiscal bottom line with the Government – bring it on we say.

  • Australian company wins LHD sustainment contract

    Minister for Defence Senator David Johnston today announced an Australian company had been awarded a multi‑million dollar contract to sustain Australia’s new Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ships.

    Kellogg, Brown & Root Pty Ltd (KBR) has been awarded the key contract to provide Capability Support Coordinator (CSC) services for the LHDs over the next five years.

    “KBR will bring their world-class asset management expertise to the sustainment of Australia’s new LHDs,” Senator Johnston said.

    “This will ensure the vessels are always ready to meet their operational commitments, and maximise the availability of the ships throughout their 40-year lives.”

  • G20 Leaders encouraged to drive economic growth

    As we mark the halfway point in Australia’s presidency of the G20, I met with representatives of G20 Leaders and Finance and Central Bank Deputies in Melbourne today to further our shared commitment to drive economic growth.


    In Sydney earlier this year, G20 member nations committed to an ambitious target to boost our collective GDP by more than two per cent above current projections over the next five years.


    In November, leaders of the G20 nations will gather in Brisbane to ensure concrete outcomes are delivered for the betterment of member countries and the world: economic growth, jobs and a global economy that can weather future shocks.


    The G20 is about people, not governments.


  • Implementing the Federal Government’s dementia research boost

    Sixty of Australia’s leading dementia experts made a commitment today to ensure that the government’s $200 million dementia research boost would make a lasting difference in the prevention, treatment and management of dementia for all Australians.

    In a meeting hosted by the National Health and Medical Research Council, research leaders, community advocates and federal and state government representatives presented ideas on how Australia could best direct its research efforts in dementia. 

    NHMRC CEO Professor Warwick Anderson said the meeting was essential to ensure that the funding would have as much benefit as possible for people with dementia, their carers and families.

  • The Way Forward on Financial Advice Laws

    When the previous government announced the detail of its Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) law changes back in April 2011 the Coalition's position was very clear.

    We expressed our concern that investors receiving financial advice would face more red tape, increased costs and reduced choice if those laws were passed in full. Our fundamental concern was and remains that over time fewer Australians would be able to access or afford high quality financial advice under Labor's FOFA.

    We made it clear that we supported sensible financial advice reforms which increase access to affordable, high quality advice as well as transparency, consumer choice and competition.

  • $22 million boost to Teach for Australia

    The Minister for Education the Hon Christopher Pyne MP announced an increase of $22 million in funding for the Teach for Australia programme.

    The Teach for Australia programme aims to fast-track high-calibre non-teaching graduates into disadvantaged schools through an intensive training programme that leads to a post-graduate teaching qualification.

    More information about the programme is available on the Teach for 



    24 June 2014

  • $13 million to improve natural disaster resilience

    A new support package to boost Victoria's resilience for natural disasters includes funding to train and deploy managers for spontaneous emergency volunteers, to develop evacuation planning arrangements for flood risk areas, and to train volunteer search and rescue dogs.

    Commonwealth Minister for Justice Michael Keenan joined Victorian Minister for Police and Emergency Services Kim Wells today to announce more than $13 million dollars for projects to boost Victoria's resilience to natural disaster.

    Mr Keenan said while the nature and size of the country's landscape meant that natural hazards were a fact of life in Australia, communities were stepping up efforts to manage natural disaster risks.

  • 14-134MR ASIC permanently bans former financial services and credit representative

    ASIC has permanently banned Mr Roy Whye Wah Moo of Doncaster East, Victoria, from providing financial services and engaging in credit activity.

    Until 2013, Mr Moo was an Australian financial services authorised representative and an authorised credit representative of a national financial planning firm. 

    ASIC took action after Mr Moo pleaded guilty in December 2013 in separate proceedings in the County Court of Victoria to one charge of dealing with money which was the proceeds of crime, where the value of the money was $100,000 or more.

    Under the Corporations Act 2001 and National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009, ASIC may ban anyone who is convicted of fraud.

  • 14-136MR ASIC pilot program frees up business names for registration

    ASIC will soon commence a pilot program to free up business names for registration.

    ASIC will be contacting business name holders about its intention to cancel their business name registration. Business name holders will have two months to renew their business name if they wish to maintain their registration. Otherwise, businesses need take no further action and ASIC will cancel the registration.

    ASIC Commissioner, Greg Tanzer, said the program was an important step in opening up the pool of business names for registration and ensuring the register of business names was accurate and up-to-date.

    He added that the measures provided fairness in the system by requiring all businesses to pay their renewal fees to maintain their registration. 

  • Sherwin Iron Limited - Panel Receives Application

    The Panel has received an application from Mr Jerry Ren and his related parties Citizen International Investment Pte Ltd and Citizen International Investment Limited (together, “Citizen Parties”) in relation to the affairs of Sherwin Iron Limited. The application concerns a 1 for 1 non-renounceable pro-rata entitlement offer and share purchase plan announced by Sherwin on 6 June 2014.

    Details of the application, as submitted by the applicant, are below.

    A sitting Panel has not been appointed at this stage and no decision has been made whether to conduct proceedings. The Panel makes no comment on the merits of the application.


  • Critical industry issues to be addressed through seven new Research Hubs

    The Hon Christopher Pyne MP

    • Minister for Education
    • Leader of the House

    The Australian Government has committed more than $23.9 million to establish seven new industry research hubs that will address critical industry challenges across areas such as mining and resources, grain improvement, aquaculture and manufacturing.

    The funding has been provided through the Australian Research Council (ARC) Industrial Transformation Research Hubs scheme.

  • Critical industry issues to be addressed through seven new Research Hubs

    The Hon Christopher Pyne MP

    • Minister for Education
    • Leader of the House

    The Australian Government has committed more than $23.9 million to establish seven new industry research hubs that will address critical industry challenges across areas such as mining and resources, grain improvement, aquaculture and manufacturing.

    The funding has been provided through the Australian Research Council (ARC) Industrial Transformation Research Hubs scheme.

  • Support for Solomon Islands infrastructure following the floods

    The Australian Government is providing a further $2 million to help the Solomon Islands rebuild key infrastructure following the devastating floods that hit Honiara in April this year. The funding comes on top of the Australian Government's $3 million emergency flood assistance package to provide immediate humanitarian relief to the people affected by the disaster.

    The floods caused major damage to roads and bridges in and around Honiara, cutting communities off from services, markets, employment and each other.

  • Labor's Useless and Unhelpful Advice on Tax

    The Government was left with a legacy from Labor of over 92 tax measures that had been announced but never legislated. 

    This was symbolic of Labor’s ad-hoc and dysfunctional decision making.

    We have acted swiftly to clean up Labor’s mess to provide certainty and reduce red tape for investors, small business and corporate Australia.

    The Government is proceeding with the majority of measures announced by the previous government targeted at corporate profit shifting.

    We are also taking a leading role in global efforts to tackle tax evasion through our presidency of the G20.

  • Australia supports action against forced labour

    Senator the Hon Eric Abetz

    • Leader of the Government in the Senate
    • Minister for Employment
    • Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service

    The Hon Julie Bishop MP

    • Minister for Foreign Affairs

    The Hon Michael Keenan MP

    • Minister for Justice

    The Australian Government has joined the international community in supporting the adoption of a new International Labour Organization Protocol seeking to eliminate forced labour, including human trafficking and slavery.