Wednesday, 29 March 2017 Sydney

Invest In Australia News::


    Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) Kate Carnell has used an Estimates hearing to once again call on the banks to implement the changes outlined in the ASBFEO bank loans inquiry report as quickly as possible, in order to establish balance in the relationship between financial lenders and their small business customers.

  • Japanese farmers to learn from Tasmanian partnership

    The Hodgman Liberal Government is continuing to promote Tasmania's economic, trade and investment potential to Asia and secure future growth and job opportunities.

    Last night we signed a significant memorandum of understanding (MOU) between TasTAFE and Japanese Agriculture (JA) Biei in Tokyo during Tasmania's trade delegation to East Asia.

  • Economy grows 1.1 per cent in December quarter

    The Australian economy recorded broad-based growth of 1.1 per cent in seasonally adjusted chain volume terms in the December quarter 2016, a rebound from the previous quarter’s decline of 0.5 per cent, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows. Australia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has now grown 2.4 per cent through the year. 

    Growth was recorded in 15 out of 20 industries. Strongest growth was observed in Mining, Agriculture, forestry and fishing, and Professional scientific and technical services, each industry contributed 0.2 percentage points to GDP growth. 

  • Marriott investment another boost for thriving visitor economy

    Confirmation that the world’s largest hotel company is developing a $50 million property in Hobart is a massive vote of confidence in Tasmania and the future of our thriving visitor economy.

    Record numbers of tourists coming here, and they are staying longer and spending more, with benefits flowing through to local businesses and creating more jobs.

    That's why the Hodgman Liberal Government's plan to grow the economy and create jobs focusses on supporting our tourism and hospitality sectors.

  • TasInvest 2017: Taking Tasmania to Japan

    The Hodgman Liberal Government is taking the best Tasmania has to offer to the world through our trade, tourism and investment offerings with the TasInvest 2017 expo in Tokyo on February 27-28.

    Following the success of TasInvest 2014 in Hobart which saw delegates from across Asia come to Tasmania to explore our products and investment opportunities, we are now taking TasInvest to Asia.

  • New program to help grow commercial fishing in NSW

    A new subsidised share trading market will open, after an inquiry into the NSW commercial fishing sector. 

    The NSW Commercial Fisheries Business Adjustment Program(external link) will allow commercial fishers across the state to grow and invest in their businesses.

    Following feedback from commercial fishers:

  • NSW, Indonesia look to boost business ties

    Forging stronger business and economic ties was the focus of today’s meeting between Indonesian President Joko Widodo and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

    President Widodo met with the Premier on his first official state visit to NSW, and Australia, since his election in 2014. Sydney is the only stop on the two-day itinerary.

    “NSW is committed to strengthening its ties with Indonesia, one of our closest and most important neighbours,” Ms Berejiklian said.

  • Cognizant opens digital business collaboratory in Melbourne

    Digital startup Cognizant has announced the opening of its Digital Business Collaboratory in Melbourne.

    Victorian Minister for Small Business and Trade Philip Dalidakis cutting the virtual ribbon.

    The dedicated space will house a team of experts, technology, and a managed innovation process for clients to work directly with Cognizant and partners to prototype and build innovative solutions for the digital economy.

  • WorkSafe ACT well progressed in implementing Audit recommendations

    Joint media release: Gordon Ramsay MLA and Rachel Stephen-Smith MLA

    The implementation of recommendations made in the Auditor-General’s Performance Audit of WorkSafe ACT’s administrative processes of Mr Fluffy demolitions is progressing well, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations Rachel Stephen-Smith said today.

    Ms Stephen-Smith said safety remained the key priority of the government and the community can have confidence in the demolition activity underway.

  • Commissioner's statement on recent coverage of ATO enterprise agreement negotiations

    I would like to correct the record on a number of inaccurate statements and commentary made in the media about ATO enterprise agreement bargaining over the last week or so.

    The ATO has never put a 0.8% pay increase to a vote of employees as widely reported. A package of initiatives, including extending the official working day by 9 minutes, was put to a vote for a 3% pay rise in the first year followed by increases of 1.5% for each of the next 2 years being the maximum of 6% allowable under the bargaining framework for the Australian Public Service.

  • New strategy to grow the defence industry across NSW

    A new strategy has been launched to drive growth across the NSW defence industry.

    The Strong, Smart and Connected strategy will provide a major boost to regional NSW, strengthen the economy and further support Australia’s defence needs.

    The key strategy areas are:

  • ACCC releases Statement of Issues on South32 Ltd’s proposed acquisition of Metropolitan Collieries Pty Ltd

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued a Statement of Issues on the proposed acquisition by South32 (ASX:S32) of Metropolitan Collieries (Metropolitan), currently owned by Peabody Energy.

    South32 and Metropolitan are two of the largest producers of coking coal in the Illawarra region and the two largest suppliers of coking coal to Australian steelmakers.

  • Rates Decision a Shot In The Arm For Small Business

    A reduction in Sunday and public holiday penalty rates in select industries will help ensure small business owners in these sectors can operate longer hours, offer their staff more work, and in doing so meet consumer expectations, Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) Kate Carnell said.

    “Today’s decision by the Fair Work Commission to reduce rates in the retail, hospitality and fast-food industries is a win for common sense that will ultimately boost jobs and stimulate growth across the economy,” Ms Carnell said.

  • Petrol prices were the highest in more than a year in December quarter

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s ninth quarterly report on the Australian petroleum industry has found that the December quarter 2016 had the highest quarterly average price since the June quarter 2015. This coincided with unprecedented growth in popularity of fuel price comparison apps and websites as motorists seek out the cheapest fuel in their area.

  • Good News for Small Business Retailers in NSW

    Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) Kate Carnell has welcomed the passage of legislation providing enhanced protection for small businesses in New South Wales when negotiating retail tenancy leases.

    “Ensuring small businesses have the ability to trade on their merits and operate on a level playing field is vital for the growth of the sector,” Ms Carnell said.

    “The changes made to the NSW Retail Leases Act embody this idea by helping increase transparency and protection for small businesses when working out the details of a lease agreement with their landlord.


    The Reading Writing Hotline together with the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) Kate Carnell, is today launching a joint campaign to support and encourage small business employees who are looking to improve their reading, writing, numeracy and digital literacy skills.

    A pharmacist by trade, Ms Carnell said she once owned and operated a number of small businesses and knows first-hand the importance of workplace literacy for employers and their staff.

  • Lumo energy pays penalty of $10,800 for representations about retail gas tariff increase

    Energy retailer Lumo Energy Australia Pty Ltd (Lumo) has paid a penalty of $10,800 following the issue of an infringement notice by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

    Lumo call centre staff made representations to a number of consumers in February 2016 that the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) was responsible for increases to Lumo’s retail gas tariffs when the rise was due to a commercial pricing decision made by Lumo.

    “It’s important that energy retailers take responsibility for their commercial decisions, especially those which may be detrimental to consumers, rather than attempting to shift blame onto regulatory organisations like the AER,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

  • Incorrect R&D claims in the ATO’s sights

    The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (DIIS) are continuing their joint efforts to curb the incorrect use of the Research & Development (R&D) Tax Incentive program with the release of a further two taxpayer alerts.

    Speaking on behalf of the ATO, Deputy Commissioner Michael Cranston said that these new alerts related to behaviours noticed in the agricultural, software and IT industries where ordinary business activities were being incorrectly claimed as R&D activities and R&D expenditure.


    In order to truly instil confidence among small business owners, all politicians must embrace the proposed tax cut for businesses with a turnover of up to $10 million, allowing the sector to grow and thrive well into the future.

  • SMSF Association and ATO announce strategic partnership

    The SMSF Association and Australian Tax Office (ATO) have announced a three-year strategic partnership, effective 15 February 2017.

    In a statement of intent released today, the Association and ATO outlined their intentions to work together to ensure effective regulation and integrity of the SMSF sector.

    SMSF Association Managing Director/CEO Andrea Slattery says the partnership is a landmark agreement between the key regulator in the SMSF sector and the recognised peak body.

  • Bank Code Review Supports ASBFEO Recommendations

    An independent review of the banking code of conduct has reinforced the findings of Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) Kate Carnell’s recent bank inquiry report, which highlighted the need for a code with ‘teeth’, including greater emphasis on small business lending.

    The independent review conducted by Mr Phil Khoury, into the Australian Bankers’ Association’s (ABA) Code of Banking Practice, gathered feedback from the sector – including from the ASBFEO – and recommended a variety of changes to ensure greater coverage in the Code for small business customers.

  • Asbfeo In Sa For Small Business Feedback

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

    In Adelaide to attend a small business roadshow with Federal Small Business Minister Michael McCormack MP, Ms Carnell said small businesses have until the end of the month 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.

  • Modern business services exports to ASEAN may be greater than you think

    Modern business services is a term that encompasses a range of professional services such as Financial Services, Insurance and Pension Services, Telecommunications, Computer and Information Services and Other Business Services.

    In a recent blog, my colleague Tim Quinn distinguished these from more traditional services exports such as tourism and other travel related services (including transport).

  • Parliament Responds To Asbfeo Call For Small Business Focus

    Ensuring small businesses have access to justice, particularly in cases where there's an imbalance of bargaining power, is one of the key principles outlined in the ASBFEO’s small business reform agenda, released just last week.

    "It's certainly pleasing to see all sides of politics are hearing our message on the need for low-cost and timely access to justice for small business owners, whether it be in relation to anti-competitive behaviour, or regarding a dispute with their financial lender,” Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) Kate Carnell said.