Friday, 22 September 2017 Sydney
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Invest In Australia News::

  • Petrol prices at lowest level since 2002, but margins high

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission report on the Australian petroleum industry for the June quarter 2017 shows that retail margins remained high despite quarterly average petrol prices in the five largest cities dropping by 3.9 cents per litre (cpl) from the March quarter to 125.2 cpl.

    In 2016-17 annual average petrol prices were at their lowest levels in real terms since 2001-02 (see Chart 1).

    Annual average retail petrol prices in the five largest cities were 122.6 cpl in 2016-17, slightly higher than in 2015-16 in nominal terms.

  • ACCC proposes to authorise roll out of Woolworths' discount programs to participating BP sites

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued a draft decision proposing to grant conditional authorisation to a commercial alliance between BP Australia Pty Ltd, BP Resellers, and Woolworths Limited (ASX:WOW).

    Authorisation would allow participating BP service stations to accept Woolworths shopper dockets and participate in the Woolworths Rewards loyalty program, if BP is successful in acquiring Woolworths’ service stations.

  • SuperStream benefits support the superannuation industry and its members

    Following a five-year rollout, superannuation members are now receiving an estimated $2.4 billion per year in savings thanks to SuperStream. SuperStream is one of the largest ever changes to Australia’s financial system, with an estimated investment across the industry of $1.5 billion.

    More than one million businesses have been involved in the rollout, with over 800,000 employers, over 200 APRA funds and approximately 350,000 self-managed superfunds now experiencing the benefits of SuperStream reforms.

  • ATO releases Super Guarantee gap estimate

    The ATO has today released its estimate of the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) gap. The gap is the difference between the theoretical amount payable by employers to be fully compliant with their SG obligations and actual contributions received by funds.

    The ATO estimates the net SG gap to be 5.2 per cent or $2.85 billion of the total estimated $54.78 billion in SG payments that employers were required to pay in 2014-15.

  • Is shared home ownership the answer to Australia’s affordability crisis?

    With property prices in Melbourne and Sydney increasing at five times the rate of inflation, Australians are searching for new and innovative ways to get into the property market, with the added challenge of being outbid by Chinese money competing for the same property.


    According to the latest report released by the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB), overseas buyers invested $60.75 billion into Australian residential real estate in 2014-15. That’s 75 per cent more than approved investment in 2013-14 and 254 per cent more than 2012-13.

  • NSW Government backs UNSW with $8.7 million for Quantum Computing

    The NSW Government today announced it would invest $8.7 million from its Quantum Computing Fund (QCF) in a new quantum computing partnership led by the University of NSW (UNSW).

    Deputy Premier and Minister for Skills John Barilaro said the funding would support a new company - Silicon Quantum Computing Pty Ltd - charged with creating the world’s first quantum computer.

    “NSW has an incredible and an unusual depth of talent in quantum research, and the world is watching our progress,” Mr Barilaro said.

  • Payment times improve but more needs to be done

    The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell, has welcomed new data which shows that late payment performance is beginning to improve.

    The latest Dun & Bradstreet report shows that late payments fell during the second quarter of 2017 by 4.6 per cent, while prompt payments rose sharply.

    On average, 63.8 per cent of Australian businesses paid their bills on time. However, just 12 per cent of ASX-listed companies pay on time compared with almost 34 per cent of non-ASX-listed companies.

  • Small business loan protection threshold should be raised to $5m

    The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell, has questioned Commonwealth Bank’s commitment to small business lending reform following evidence to a parliamentary select committee.

    Ms Carnell said it was good that banks have finally committed to complying with unfair contract terms legislation, but the lending threshold should be $5 million instead of the $3 million they have agreed.

    At the Select Committee on Lending to Primary Production Customers in Sydney on August 11, the Commonwealth Bank spokesman said:

     

  • Supporting and growing Tasmania’s Construction Industry

    Tasmania’s building and construction industries have no stronger supporters than the Hodgman Liberal Government.

    Over the weekend at our State Conference we announced a target to increase the number of people employed in Tasmania’s building and construction industry by 25 per cent by 2022.

    These industries are important to the future of Tasmania’s economic success and the Liberal Government has a proven track record of creating jobs in this sector. We currently have more than 22,000 people employed in the sector, compared with just 16,100 in the last year of the Labor-Green Government.

  • EPA approval good for regional jobs and the salmon industry

    Today’s approval of Tassal’s Okehampton Bay aquaculture site by the independent Environment Protect Authority, including additional environmental monitoring at the site, is positive news for this sustainable industry and boosting jobs in regional Tasmania.

    The Okehampton Bay finfish lease has now received the highest environmental tick in the land through the federal Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) process and the environmental science underpinning salmon farming at Okehampton Bay was previously assessed by the independent Marine Farm Planning Review Panel as appropriate.

  • Watch out for NBN scams

    The ACCC is warning the community that scammers are pretending to be from NBN to con victims out of their money and personal information.

    Scamwatch has received 316 complaints this year about scammers impersonating NBN with nearly $28,000 reported lost.

    “Scammers are increasingly using trusted government brands like NBN to trick people into falling for scams. Their goal is always to either get hold of your money or personal information,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

    The three common scams reported to Scamwatch that involve scammers impersonating NBN are:

  • Melbourne is the global human capital and lifestyle city

    Melbourne has just been crowned a global champion for human capital and lifestyle, according to the latest international research.

    The fDi Intelligence Global Cities of The Future study 2017/18 has categorized Melbourne as the top major human capital and lifestyle city with a population of less than 10 million, edging out Sydney and Tokyo.

    Melbourne scored highly in literacy rates, education expenditure, health, quality of life, percentage of population as labour force, number of students and numerous other indicators.

  • ACCC wants NBN plan advertising overhaul

    The ACCC has published guidance for retailers on how to advertise speeds for NBN broadband services, including clearly identifying typical minimum speeds during peak periods.

    The publication, Broadband Speed Claims – Industry Guidance, seeks to move retailers from advertising their services based on the maximum internet speeds that may be delivered during off-peak periods, to the speeds consumers can expect to achieve during the busy evening periods between 7pm and 11pm.

  • No time like the present for lodging your tax

    With a suite of online tools that make lodging easier than ever before and the majority of pre-fill information now available, Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan said now is an ideal time to do your tax.

    “We have developed a suite of online services that have made it easier than ever before to get your tax return done, and now we have most pre-fill records such as wages, bank interest and dividends ready for taxpayers and agents to use. This means most of the work is done for you,” Mr Jordan said.

  • Cable car consultation process

    The Hodgman Government is committed to growing the economy and creating jobs through sensitive and sensible development in the state’s natural areas.

    A cable car on Mount Wellington would be a game changer.  It would showcase one of our most stunning natural landmarks, it would make the pinnacle more accessible to more people and, of course, it would create new jobs for Tasmanians.

    The idea of a cable car on Mount Wellington has been around for over 100 years and it is time to take the next step.

  • Jetstar direct Adelaide service in hot demand

    Jetstar’s new service of direct flights between Adelaide and Hobart is already proving popular with a massive 5,000 seats sold in the first 12 hours.

    The new service is expected  to attract more than 46,000 passengers a year and initial demand highlights Tasmania’s popularity as a must see destination.

    Tourism Tasmania has committed to increase its cooperative marketing with Jetstar to capitalise on the new service, and is also expanding its highly successful Go Behind the Scenery marketing campaign this Spring into the Adelaide market.

  • Spirit Success – Passengers and Freight Up, Fares Down

    The Hodgman Liberal Government’s plan to deliver more passengers and lower fares on the Spirit of Tasmania ferries has been an unequivocal success.

    New figures show the Spirits carried 433,925 passengers in the last financial year, a massive 31 per cent increase on the 330,698 carried four years earlier under the former Labor-Green government.

    According to TT-Line, we have also seen under this Government a reduction in average fare prices of about 15 per cent in real terms.

  • Northern Territory Operators Take to the UK Birdfair

    Northern Territory tourism operators have hit the road to target birding enthusiasts at the annual UK Birdfair.

    Held annually, the British Birdwatching Fair runs from 18 to 20 August and is the largest bird fair in the world attracting more than 25,000 people and over 300 exhibitors.

    The Northern Territory is a magnet for birding and nature enthusiasts and our involvement in the UK Birdfair helps to attract visitors to the NT and ensure that our destination is kept at front of mind within this niche tourism market.

  • Unconventional NT Showcase Series targets business event planners

    The NT Convention Bureau’s inaugural Unconventional Darwin Showcase 2017, a four day mega-familiarisation program that ran from Thursday 10 August to Sunday 13 August, has attracted more than 20 business event planners from across Australia.

    Department of Tourism and Culture CEO Alastair Shields said the Unconventional Darwin Showcase was the first in a series of mega-familiarisations, with similar events to follow in Uluru in mid-October and Alice Springs in early May next year.

  • Independent review confirms value of the ASBFEO

    The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, which was established in March 2016, has welcomed the findings of an independent legislative review into the office.

     

    Independent reviews are required under the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Act.

     

    The first independent review was led by Ms Su McCluskey, with support from a secretariat provided by the Nous Group.

     

  • ACCC proposes to approve collective bargaining between Licensed Post Offices and Australia Post

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued a draft determination proposing to grant authorisation to Licensed Post Office Group Ltd (LPO Group) and its current and future licensed post office members to collectively negotiate with Australia Post.

    LPO Group and its members are seeking to collectively negotiate and enter into a new agreement with Australia Post, or vary the agreements that are currently in place for the provision of postal and distribution services by Licensed Post Offices (LPOs).

  • New GST law changes impacting overseas businesses

    There are two changes to the application of the Australian goods and services tax (GST) that will impact overseas businesses selling to Australia.

    The changes are:

  • Competition amendment fairer for small business

    The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell, has welcomed the passing of an “effects test”, which reframes Section 46 of the Competition and Consumer Act.

    “This levels the playing field for small business and safeguards competition,” Ms Carnell said.

    “The legislation will stop large businesses with significant market power from using that power to impact broadly upon a market with adverse consequences for competitors.

    “It doesn’t stifle price discounting or loss-leading behaviour.

  • Preliminary Outcomes Report 2016-17 shows another balanced budget

    For the second year in a row, the Hodgman Government has balanced the budget.

    Under Labor and the Greens, Tasmania was living on the credit card and the budget was a mess with massive deficits.

    Because we’ve balanced the budget, it means that we can invest more in the important things, like health, education and supporting vulnerable Tasmanians.

    Balancing the budget means we don't need to make Tasmanians pay more for essential services by increasing taxes, which is why I announced yesterday that a re-elected Hodgman Government is committed to no new or increased taxes.