Sunday, 21 September 2014 Sydney
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Invest In Australia News::

  • Minister for Defence – Major improvements announced to soldier survivability equipment

    More than 20,000 Australian Defence Force personnel are set to be issued with new and improved personal protective equipment, with the announcement today of a $170 million upgrade to the soldier’s kit.

    Announcing the roll-out at the Australian Defence Force Academy, Defence Minister David Johnston said the multi-million dollar roll-out would significantly enhance the capability of ADF personnel deployed on military operations.

    “Known as Land 125 Phase 3B, the Defence project to improve a soldier’s individual load carriage equipment, draws on the direct experience and feedback derived from 15 years of ADF combat operations,” Senator Johnston said.

  • $2.1 billion for local roads: signed, sealed, delivered

    Today the Australian Government delivered yet another important tranche of its infrastructure and regional development agenda with the passage of the $2.1 billion Roads to Recovery programme through the Senate.

    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the successful passage of the Land Transport Infrastructure Amendment Bill 2014 means the $2.1 billion the Government allocated to councils for local road and street works under the Federal Budget is now signed, sealed and will be delivered next month.

    “Despite months of road blocks by Labor and the Greens, the Australia Government has reached agreement with Senate crossbenchers to guarantee this vital funding for local communities across Australia,” Mr Truss said.

  • Minister for Defence – Major improvements announced to soldier survivability equipment

    More than 20,000 Australian Defence Force personnel are set to be issued with new and improved personal protective equipment, with the announcement today of a $170 million upgrade to the soldier’s kit.

    Announcing the roll-out at the Australian Defence Force Academy, Defence Minister David Johnston said the multi-million dollar roll-out would significantly enhance the capability of ADF personnel deployed on military operations.

    “Known as Land 125 Phase 3B, the Defence project to improve a soldier’s individual load carriage equipment, draws on the direct experience and feedback derived from 15 years of ADF combat operations,” Senator Johnston said.

  • A strong, sustainable health system benefits rural and regional Australians

    The Australian Government is determined to improve access to health services for people living in rural and remote areas, and we understand the challenges they face.

    Unlike Labor, the Coalition Government is taking the steps necessary to make Australia’s health system effective and sustainable.

    The best way to undermine Australia’s health system and to hurt rural and regional Australia is to continue to do nothing, which is precisely what Bill Shorten, Stephen Jones and Labor propose.

    Their plan is to wait until the health budget blows out to a point where Medicare is at risk of collapsing under its own weight. That is not how this Government works or thinks.

  • Central Queensland latest cab off the glyphosate resistance rank

    Central Queensland farmers now have a new enemy in the battle against herbicide resistant weeds - glyphosate resistant Sweet Summer Grass. - See more at: http://www.grdc.com.au/media-centre/media-news/north/2014/08/central-queensland-latest-cab-off-the-glyphosate-resistance-rank#sthash.CZFwp2bz.dpuf

  • Federal Government invests $21.5 million in home-grown ingenuity

    Parliamentary Secretary for Industry Bob Baldwin today announced $21.5 million funding for 12 new solar research and development (R&D) projects at an event hosted by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) at the University of New South Wales (UNSW).

    “The Australian Government’s $21.5 million investment is being matched by strong domestic and international industry investment, with the projects’ total value equalling more than $70 million,” Mr Baldwin said.

    “These projects represent the very best of the best. They were selected from a highly competitive R&D round promoting excellence in solar research, and are set to advance renewable energy knowledge and expertise in Australia.

  • Government supports automotive industry transition

    The Australian Government is continuing to work with the automotive sector on a transition plan to help workers and components suppliers to capitalise on new opportunities in a diverse range of industries and will continue to support domestic manufacturing through fleet procurement through until the end of local car production.

    Minister for Industry Ian Macfarlane today released the Australian Government’s response to the Productivity Commission’s Report on the Automotive Manufacturing Industry, which has been tabled in Parliament.

  • 14-210 MR ASIC winds up 10 abandoned companies owing more than $350,000 in employee entitlements

    ASIC has exercised its wind up powers to appoint liquidators to a further 10 abandoned companies to assist employees of these companies to gain access to the Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG). The appointment of liquidators will also facilitate a full and proper investigation into the reasons why the companies failed and allow recovery of any voidable or unreasonable director-related transactions.

  • Green Light for North West Coastal Highway upgrade

    The Australian Government is getting on with building the infrastructure for the 21st century without a jobs and investment destroying mining tax with today’s approval of up to $174 million in funding towards upgrades to the North West Coastal Highway.

    The highway upgrade will involve a combination of widening and overlay works for a 130 kilometre stretch between Minilya and Barradale.

    Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Jamie Briggs said the much needed upgrade will boost the productive capacity and economic performance of the highway which is the main link between Geraldton, Carnarvon, Karratha and Port Hedland.

  • Australian assistance to control the Ebola outbreak in West Africa

    The Australian Government is contributing $1 million to the World Health Organization (WHO) to help control the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa and prevent further spread of the disease.

    The WHO has declared the Ebola virus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Australia’s contribution will help WHO to provide immediate support to affected West African countries, including the provision of urgently needed medical supplies and equipment.

    This assistance is in addition to the more than $20 million Australia will contribute to the WHO in 2014 and 2015. Australia also provides $20 million annually to support WHO’s global health activities, including to respond to disease threats.

  • Ukraine, Media release, 24 Aug 2014, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, The Hon Julie Bishop MP

    The Australian Government condemns the breach of Ukraine's sovereignty by the convoy of Russian trucks which entered Ukraine without permission.

    This shows a flagrant and reckless disregard for international norms and international law.

    Russia would never allow any other nation to breach its sovereignty as it has done to Ukraine.

    It is hypocritical of Russia to claim a humanitarian motive as it is directly responsible for the ongoing instability and conflict in Eastern Ukraine.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin should withdraw all support for the separatists and ask them to lay down their arms, so the conflict can be brought to an immediate end.

  • $173 Million to Support Employees in Australian Disability Enterprises

    The Australian Government today announced $173 million to help the supported employment sector work towards new wage arrangements for supported employees currently working in Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs).

    This follows the suspension of the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT) in December 2012.

    The funding will be used in part to develop and implement a new productivity based wage tool (including new assessments) for use across the supported employment sector.

    The funding will also assist ADEs with the additional wage costs associated with the suspension of BSWAT.

    The development of the productivity based assessment tool will lead to the phasing out of BSWAT.

  • Federal funding to help Tasmanian public schools exercise greater local autonomy

    The Australian Government’s $70 million Independent Public Schools initiative will fund Tasmania’s new Community Empowered Schools program to increase autonomy in Tasmanian schools.

    Minister for Education the Hon Christopher Pyne MP said he welcomed Tasmania’s commitment to putting students first and supporting government schools to operate more autonomously.

    “My colleague and Tasmanian Minister for Education the Hon Jeremy Rockliff MP has shown his great enthusiasm and commitment to supporting Tasmania’s public schools to make local decisions about what is best for their school,” Mr Pyne said.

  • New Centre to Deliver More Health Professionals

    A new Australian Government-funded training centre in the Melbourne suburb of Camberwell will mean a major boost to the health workforce and improved patient access to health services.

    Each year, at least 160 students in medicine and other health professions will be trained at the purpose-built multidisciplinary professional education centre at Epworth Rehabilitation. 

    The Minister for Health, Peter Dutton, today officially opened the $43 million redevelopment of Epworth Camberwell.

    The redevelopment includes new mental health and education facilities and provides 153 beds for rehabilitation, sleep studies and mental health patients.

  • Update to fire damage to HMAS Bundaberg

    As previously reported the Armidale Class Patrol Boat HMAS Bundaberg suffered significant damage due to a fire which occurred on Monday, 11 August 2014 in Brisbane.

    The boat was undergoing routine maintenance at the Aluminium Boats Australia commercial facility when the fire started.

    Since then an environmental assessment of the site has been completed, allowing officials access to conduct a structural safety assessment.

    Once the safety assessment is completed, a full assessment of the extent of damage can then be undertaken.

    It is premature at this stage to speculate on the cause of the fire or the future employment of the vessel.

    Further updates will be provided as more information becomes available.

     

    20 Aug 2014

  • ACCC takes action against Informed Sources and petrol retailers for price information sharing

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against Informed Sources (Australia) Pty Ltd (Informed Sources) and several petrol retailers alleging that they contravened section 45 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (the Act).

    The ACCC alleges that the information sharing arrangements between Informed Sources and the petrol retailers, through a service provided by Informed Sources, allows those retailers to communicate with each other about their prices, and that these arrangements had the effect or likely effect of substantially lessening competition in markets for the sale of petrol in Melbourne.

  • 14-206MR ASIC investigation leads to five years in jail for former director

    An ASIC investigation has led to Mr Carlo Cini, a former director of Williamstown-based company, C Cini & Company Pty Ltd, being sentenced to five years and three months in jail.

    Appearing in the County Court of Victoria, Mr Cini was ordered to serve a minimum of three years and three months before being eligible for release.

    ASIC Commissioner Greg Tanzer said, 'Two recent ASIC investigations have led to two individuals being sentenced to a combined total of more than 10 years in jail.

    'ASIC will act to ensure those who disregard their responsibilities face the appropriate penalty. As today's sentence shows, jail time is a very real possibility'. 

  • 14-198MR Make it Mine Finance Pty Ltd pays $20,400 penalty for misleading advertising

    Make it Mine Finance Pty Ltd (Make it Mine), a credit licensee based in Bayswater, Victoria, has paid $20,400 in penalties after ASIC issued two infringement notices for making misleading representations on its website.

    Make it Mine, whose business is the rental of white goods and electronic devices, operates nationally via its website. In 2013, it used its website to:

  • 14-200MR South Yarra accountant jailed for operating illegal investment schemes

    South Yarra accountant, Mark Ronald Letten, was today sentenced in the Melbourne County Court to five years and eight months imprisonment on charges brought by ASIC.

    Mr Letten had earlier pleaded guilty to 27 charges under the Corporations Act 2001, including operating 21 unregistered managed investment schemes relating to property development. 

    Mr Letten, 60, the former director of LGH Holdings Ltd (in liquidation) and the principal of the accounting firm Lettens Pty Ltd, formerly The Letten Group, had also admitted to dishonestly using his position as a director involving the use of investor funds more than $533,000 and of carrying on a financial services business without an Australian financial services (AFS) licence.

  • Fixing the M4: Key milestones in delivering WestConnex

    Federal Assistant Minister for Infrastructure Jamie Briggs and NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay today announced key milestones in the delivery of the world class motorway for Sydney including the release of the M4 Widening Environmental Impact Statement.

    The M4 Widening is part of WestConnex, Australia's biggest urban road project which will provide greater Sydney with a continuous free flowing motorway.

    Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Jamie Briggs said over the next month comprehensive consultation will occur with the community, including businesses, residents and motorists.

  • NSW man jailed for $75,000 fraud

    A 49-year-old Parramatta man will spend up to 10 months behind bars for defrauding the Federal Government of more than $75,000.

    Parramatta Local Court heard Ronald Anderson used a different identity in his employment and did not declare his income to the Department of Human Services while claiming the Disability Support Pension between 2009 and 2012.

    The department began investigating the man after receiving a tip off from another government agency.

    In handing down the sentence on Tuesday, Magistrate Baptie told Mr Anderson "the fact that it involves substantial identity fraud, to ensure the fraud was executed, makes it a much more serious set of circumstances".

  • 14-195MR Your Super Accountant pays infringement notice in relation to ‘FREE’ SMSF set up claims

    Your Super Accountant has paid a $2,040 infringement notice penalty after making potentially misleading statements about the cost of setting up a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) using Your Super Accountant's administration services.

    ASIC’s concerns related to statements that appeared on the Your Super Accountant website in January 2014.

    The representations on the website homepage were that fund set up was free. The website homepage did not disclose any conditions.

    ASIC was concerned that although promoted as free, the conditions for fund set up required investors to pay $200 upfront – 20% of the annual administration fee – to be eligible for ‘free’ fund set up.

  • 14-196MR Esuperfund Pty Ltd pays $30,600 penalty for misleading advertising

    Esuperfund Pty Ltd has paid $30,600 in penalties after ASIC issued three infringement notices for false or misleading online advertising. Each infringement notice imposed a penalty of $10,200. 

    The advertisements related to Esuperfund's business of providing self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) establishment and administration services online to clients. Each advertisement ran between 31 January 2014 and 8 May 2014. 

    ASIC was concerned that:

  • Appointments to the Commission for International Agricultural Research

    Today I announce the appointment of five new members to the Commission for International Agricultural Research, which provides expert, strategic advice on priorities for the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).

    ACIAR plays a critical role in the Australian Government’s new aid policy by encouraging Australian agricultural scientists to use their skills for the benefit of developing countries as well as Australia.

    The five highly qualified Commissioners have made substantial contributions to Australia’s agriculture and food sectors.