Thursday, 24 April 2014 Sydney
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Invest In Australia News::

  • City combatting heatwaves to protect economy

    The extreme heat experienced in Melbourne between 14 and 17 January this year is estimated to have cost businesses in the municipality approximately $37 million in lost revenue, according to new City of Melbourne research. 

    The findings are part of research commissioned by the City of Melbourne as part of its Climate Change Adaptation Strategy. With the frequency and intensity of heatwaves expected to increase, an understanding of the economic impacts of such events on businesses is needed. 

    A survey of more than 600 local businesses found an overall decline in revenue of almost 10 per cent. The sectors which were impacted the most were retail, food and beverage and accommodation, with 78 per cent of these types of businesses impacted.

  • Data Alert: Australia among China’s top three destinations for outbound investment

    China’s merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in Australia has seen the highest growth since 2009, rising 34 per cent to US$7.7 billion in 2013, according to the latest PwC Trends in M&A report.

     

    Australia remains the third largest investment destination behind the US and Canada. 

     

    PwC anticipates that Australia will continue to attract large amounts of China’s expected OFI of US$500 billion in the coming years. Australia’s policies encouraging foreign investment, its free trade agreements, migration and other policies aimed at reducing operating costs and increasing productivity, make it an attractive destination for China’s OFI. 

     

    29 March 2014

  • Coalition delivers on Seniors Health Card indexation

    Thousands more self-funded retirees will have access to cheaper medicine and health benefits, with Parliament today introducing legislation to index the income thresholds for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.

     

    Minister for Social Services, Kevin Andrews, said the election commitment would enable up to 27,000 additional people to qualify for the Card over the next four years, on top of the already 290,000 recipients.

     

    “By looking after their own retirement needs self-funded retirees save the nation considerable pension costs,” Mr Andrews said.

     

    “However, with no indexation since 2001, income thresholds for the Card have not kept pace with living costs.

     

  • "Media release: Earn more, keep more: Track it with Centrelink Apps"

    More than 800,000 Centrelink customers can now earn 60 per cent more without it affecting their payment.

     

    Minister for Human Services Senator the Hon Marise Payne said people receiving Newstart Allowance, Widow Allowance, Partner Allowance, Sickness Allowance or Parenting Payment Partnered can now earn $100 per fortnight before their payment is affected, up from $62 per fortnight previously.

     

    "The increase means customers and/or their partners will have a greater incentive to take up part-time work," Minister Payne said.

     

    The easiest way to see potential increases to Centrelink payments following the 20 March change is to use the Department of Human Services' Express Plus Job Seekers app or online services.

     

  • Savings Fund New Road Train Assembly Area in Bunbury

    Today the Australian Government has approved $10.8 million to build a new road train assembly facility in Bunbury out of cost savings from the Bunbury Port Access Road and Outer Ring Road projects.

     

    Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Jamie Briggs said this was a step in the right direction to open up the Perth-Bunbury heavy vehicle network for all 36.5 metre heavy vehicles.

     

    “This project will construct a designated truck parking facility to be used for the assembly and breakdown of road trains,” Mr Briggs said.

     

    “At present, these heavy vehicles can only travel on the Perth-Bunbury link to private distribution centres with the necessary facilities.

     

  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence – New helicopter facilities in Townsville a step closer

    Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, the Hon Darren Chester MP, today announced that the $54.8 million Replacement Chinook Facilities Project, which supports the acquisition of seven new Boeing CH-47F Chinook Helicopters, has been referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works.

    “If approved, the facilities project will provide new and upgraded working accommodation, new maintenance hangars, storage and workshop facilities, and a simulator building,” Mr Chester said.

    The project will give the Army’s 5th Aviation Regiment, located at RAAF Base Townsville, the modern and appropriate facilities they need to operate, train and maintain the new helicopters and simulators.

  • Trade and Investment Minister to visit Japan and Hong Kong

    Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb will visit Japan and Hong Kong between 25-31 March to strengthen economic ties with key Asian trading partners and highlight the attractiveness of Australia to international investors.

     

    Mr Robb will travel first to Tokyo on 25-26 March to further discussions on an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Japan. He will be holding meetings with key Japanese ministers on the EPA, which is already at an advanced stage.

     

  • Labor Vote to Penalise Western Australia Again

    In voting to keep the mining tax today Labor has demonstrated once again just how anti-Western Australian they are.

     

    Bill Shorten has been deliberately confusing about whether Labor under his leadership supports or opposes the mining tax. 

     

    In Western Australia Bill Shorten set out to create the impression that he was against the mining tax.

     

    Yet in Canberra today Labor voted against the repeal of this anti-Western Australian tax.

     

    What we saw today is that Labor continues to say one thing to win votes in WA only to do the complete opposite when they’re in Canberra.

     

    The mining tax is a complex and distorting tax which was designed by Labor to target Western Australia.

     

  • Applications sought for Non-Executive Directors

    The Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) is an Australian Government statutory authority, jointly funded by the Australian Government and rural industries. 

     

    RIRDC invests in research and development to assist rural industries to be productive, profitable and sustainable. 

    Applications sought for RIRDC directors


    Applications are being sought for non-executive directors of the corporation for a three-year term, commencing in July 2014. To be considered for these part-time positions, applicants must be able to demonstrate knowledge in one or more of the following fields:

     

  • Plantation Manufacturing Innovation and Investment Fund (PMIIF)

    The Australian Government has established the Plantation Manufacturing Innovation and Investment Fund (PMIIF) with funding of up to $15.8 million (exclusive of GST) in support of the implementation of the Tasmanian Forest Intergovernmental Agreement signed on 2 May 2013 with the State of Tasmania. The Australian Government has agreed to work with the Tasmanian Government to support the Tasmania forest Industry to progressively transition to a more sustainable and diversified footing. This program is one element of the Agreement which recognizes the broad impacts of the restructuring of the forestry sector across Tasmania.

     

  • Foreign investment secures manufacturing jobs for Melbourne

     

    Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Robb, has welcomed the decision by Grupo Alibérico, through their wholly owned subsidiary Alucoil, to open a manufacturing facility in Campbellfield which is expected to generate around 30 full time jobs once it becomes operational in August.

     

    The facility will produce high quality aluminium composite panelling for the construction, mass transport and industrial sectors.

     

    "This decision to manufacture light metal products in Australia recognises our ability to produce more innovative materials" Mr Robb said.

     

  • Hunter Expressway Opens for Business

    Residents and freight operators alike have cause for celebration, with the $1.7 billion Hunter Expressway hours away from opening to traffic.

     

    Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss joined New South Wales Minister for Roads and Ports Duncan Gay at the official dedication today, ahead of tomorrow's community open day.

     

    Mr Truss said road users would save up to 28 minutes by using the 40 kilometre expressway from Branxton to the Pacific Motorway after it opens to traffic on Saturday night.

     

  • Learn about employing skilled overseas workers in NSW Central West

    21-03-2014 -

    Business owners and proprietors in Dubbo and Bathurst will get the opportunity to learn more about employer-sponsored skilled work visa options, when immigration outreach officers visit the region later this month.

     

    A spokesman from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) said the seminar will provide NSW Central West employers with an overview of their options, including information on the SkillSelect programme.

     

    “SkillSelect is an online service that connects Australian employers with potential skilled migrants,” the spokesman said. 

     

    “The service streamlines the pathway to permanent residence for people already working in Australia on temporary skilled 457 visas.”

     

  • Australian know-how helps our neighbours on World Water Day

    World Water Day is a chance to highlight the work Australia is doing to help our neighbours better manage their water resources, meet their energy needs and boost sustainable economic growth.

     

    This year World Water Day, which is sponsored by the United Nations every year on 22 March, is highlighting two issues that are essential to sustainable economic development in the Indo-Pacific region: water and energy.

     

  • Australia and the UK commit to new framework to strengthen development cooperation.

    Australia's Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop and the United Kingdom's Secretary of State for International Development, Justine Greening, have announced that Australia and the UK have signed a Partnership Arrangement to ramp up their joint international development efforts at ensuring more coordinated, effective and sustainable results.

  • Labor Puts WA Last with Confusing Plans for a New Mining Tax

    Labor must abandon its plans for a revised anti-WA Mining Tax, finally accept the will of voters at the last election and vote with the Government in Parliament next week to scrap the Mining Tax.

     

    WA jobs and prosperity remain firmly in Labor’s crosshairs as long as it persists with its intention to inflict a Mining Tax on Western Australia.

     

    In the shadow of a by-election in WA, Bill Shorten has sneakily tried to shift the goal posts on what type of Mining Tax Labor wants, but at its heart he has simply reaffirmed Labor’s support for an anti-WA Mining Tax.

     

    He is just not sure what form any new Labor Mining Tax will take.

     

  • Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption Established

    Joint Media Release

    The Hon George Brandis QC
    Attorney-General

    The Hon Eric Abetz
    Minister for Employment

     

    The Governor-General has issued Letters Patent to establish the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption and appoint the Hon Dyson Heydon AC QC as Royal Commissioner.

     

    We are pleased that such an eminent jurist as Dyson Heydon has agreed to lead this important Royal Commission.

     

  • Community Infrastructure Development grant helps re-create Margaret Olly's home and studio

    Australia's much-loved artist, the late Margaret Olley AC, will have an enduring influence on artists through the re-creation of her home studio officially opened in Murwillumbah today.


  • Australian Government Supporting drought affected farmers

    Australian farmers suffering through the crippling drought will be able to access greater government assistance sooner as part of a $320 million comprehensive drought support package.

    The Government will bring forward more generous income support arrangements for farmers and their families; extend concessional loans to eligible drought affected farm businesses; provide funds for water infrastructure and pest eradication; as well as funds for counselling support services for farmers.

    Farming is a very significant part of our economy and will play a critical role in our economic future. This is a government determined to stand by the people of Australia in good times and bad.

    As part of the package:

  • Regional funding for Alinta green energy study

    A project investigating a green energy alternative for Port Augusta and Leigh Creek has been awarded more than $130,000 in the final grant under the State Government's Enterprise Zone Fund - Upper Spencer Gulf and Outback.

    The $2.3 million project will be undertaken by natural gas and electricity supplier Alinta Energy, and involves a feasibility study and technological analysis on the viability of solar thermal generation at the Northern Power Stations 1 and 2, and Playford B Power Station at Port Augusta Power.

    The South Australian Government has partnered with the Australian Government, which is contributing $1 million towards the project from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency's (ARENA) Emerging Renewables Program.

  • Payment scheme for workers assessed under the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool

    The Australian Government will establish a payment scheme for supported employees with intellectual disability in Australian Disability Enterprises who previously had their wages assessed under the Business Service Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT).

    The scheme will deliver certainty for these employees, their families and carers, as well as their employers, while the implications of the BSWAT court decisions are worked through.

    The establishment of the scheme follows the outcome of the recent Federal Court case brought by Mr Nojin and Mr Prior.

    Longer term, the Australian Government will develop a new wage assessment process.

  • Anti-dumping ruling to benefit local currant industry

    The Coalition Government has decided to maintain duties on imported Greek currants for a further five years.

    Bob Baldwin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry, said this measure would contribute to a level playing field for Australian industry.

    “This decision assists local manufacturers to be able to competitively source currants from Australian growers, and allows Australian growers to stay in the game,” Mr Baldwin said.

    “Sunbeam Foods will be able to compete on a more level playing field when sourcing their products from local supply chains.”

  • Environmental Policy Analysis: A Guide to Non-Market Valuation

    A new Productivity Commission Staff Working Paper provides an up to date guide to valuing environmental outcomes. The paper concludes that non-market assessments can, if handled effectively, make a valuable contribution to policy and project assessment, including for major projects.

  • Confidence growing in Media and Entertainment sector

    The media and entertainment industry is starting 2014 with a high level of confidence in the global economy, according to the 9th Capital Confidence Barometer – Media & Entertainment industry results released by EY.

    Sixty-eight percent of media and entertainment executives believe the global economy is improving, which is a significant increase from the survey a year ago that showed only 26% believed the economy was on an upswing. Twenty-three percent believe the economy is stable, 4% feel it is modestly declining and 5% that it is strongly declining.