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Invest In Australia News::

  • Concrete reinforcing product Enviromesh wins sustainable design award

    A new construction material used for reinforcing concrete in buildings has taken out the Award for Excellence in Sustainable Design in the 2010 Australian International Design Awards.

    A division of Standards Australia, the Australian International Design Awards recognise excellence in product design and innovation. Products are judged against a common set of six criteria, including innovation, quality of manufacture, functionality, human safety, visual appeal and environmental sustainability.

  • Australian R&D tax credit best in the world

    In a new report entitled Competitive Alternatives 2010 Special Report: Focus on Tax, global professional services firm KPMG has identified Australia’s new R&D tax credit as “the best in the world”.

    The new tax credit, which comes into effect from July 1st 2010, will double the rate of government support for R&D conducted by firms with a turnover of less than $20 million. Larger businesses will be eligible for a 40 per cent non-refundable tax credit, which raises government assistance from 7.5 cents to 10 cents in the dollar.

  • Melbourne’s first carbon neutral office building gets green light

    The first commercial office building in Melbourne to target carbon neutrality as its core principle has received planning approval from Melbourne City Council, with the Council stating that the “landmark development will set a new standard for green building design in Melbourne”.

    41 Exhibition Street, which is owned by the Australian Institute of Architects, will be redeveloped into an eye-catching 21 storey commercial building featuring micro retail space, an architecture gallery, industry conference spaces and 20 levels of commercial strata, four of which will be occupied by the Institute.

  • HR executives from India’s blue chip companies seek Australian expertise

    A group of senior executives from India specialising in human resources have visted Melbourne to meet with Australian industry peers for shared learning and training opportunities.

     

    The executives are members of India’s National Human Resource Development Network (NHRD) and represent some of India’s leading businesses including Maruti Suzuki, SC Johnson, Larsen and Toubro and L N Welingkar Institute of Management Development & Research.

     

    The delegation is in Australia with support from Austrade to attend the Australian Human Resource Institute’s Convention in Melbourne to learn Australian best practice in human resources management and seek Australian expertise in HR management, corporate training and other complementary HR-related practices.

  • Austrade report highlights areas of ICT growth

    Austrade has released a new report, Sustainable IT, Australia's Industry Capability & Value Proposition, which provides key insights into Australia's ICT industry and highlights areas for business growth.

     

    According to last year's ABS statistics there are approximately 400,000 Australians employed in ICT occupations and the report suggests this availability of skilled personnel underlies Australia's expertise as a hub for ICT and sustainable IT. It cites companies such as Mincom, iCare, Computershare and the SMARTS group as vendors that are delivering specialised expertise for vertical markets includng financial services, transport and logistics, medicine and healthcare, telecommunications and government.

     

  • Government responds to Johnson report on Australia as a financial services hub

    The Federal Government has responded to the Australia as a financial centre report by providing in-principle or direct support for nearly all of its 19 recommendations, including the introduction of an Investment Manager Regime, the establishment of a regulatory gateway and the development of an Asia Region Funds Passport.

     

    In response to the report’s recommendation for the introduction of an Investment Management Regime, the government has commenced a consultation process with the release of a discussion paper on the taxation of conduit income of managed funds.

     

  • Transurban to acquire Lane Cove Tunnel

    International toll road operator Transurban has announced that it will acquire Sydney’s Lane Cove Tunnel for $630.5 million.

     

    Transurban CEO Chris Lynch said: “This is a great outcome for Transurban and our security holders. There is a clear strategic value in expanding our interest on the Sydney Orbital Network, given our existing ownership stakes in the four of the asset on the network."

     

    “The Lane Cove Tunnel is a critical link in the Sydney Orbital Network, serving the transport needs of Sydney’s fast-growing North West corridor," said Lynch.

     

    “Transurban is the natural owner of the Lane Cove Tunnel and we believe the asset fits extremely well within our portfolio of prime toll roads.”

     

  • Global private equity firm opens first Australian office

    Global private equity firm The Riverside Company has opened its first Australian office in Melbourne, Victoria in a bid to strengthen its presence in the Asia Pacific region.

     

    Opened as part of the Riverside Asia Fund, the Melbourne office complements Riverside’s presence in Hong Kong, China, Tokyo, Japan, and Seoul, South Korea.

     

    Riverside’s Australian venture will be led by Partner Simon Feiglin, who joined the company in 2007 and has been working closely with the Riverside Asia Fund team since 2008.

     

  • MBD Energy one step closer to producing renewable oil

    MBD Energy, a world leader in the development of industrial scale production of algae, has signed an agreement with OriginOil, Inc. which brings it one step closer to producing a bio fuel that can viably compete with crude oil. 

     

    OriginOil, the owner of a breakthrough technology to extract oil from algae, will equip the Australian-based MBD Energy with its Quantum Fracturing and Single Step Extraction systems.

     

    MBD Energy, which has already reached agreement with three of Australia’s largest coal-fired power generators to build Bio Carbon Capture and Storance Algal Synthesiser test facilities adjacent to their utilities, will use captured smokestack CO2 emissions to grow oil-rich algae.

     

  • Barefoot Power wins product awards

    Australian lighting manufacturer Barefoot Power has won a series of product awards at an international off-grid lighting conference in Nairobi, Kenya.

     

    Organised as part of the International Finance Corporation’s Lighting Africa program, the awards recognise off-grid lighting systems that achieve high performance while remaining affordable for low-income earners in Sub Saharan Africa.

     

    Barefoot Power, which was established by Stewart Craine and Harry Andrews in 2005, won three of the four first prizes available in the room lighting, best value and top performing categories and won second prize in the task lighting category.

     

  • Investment in film industry gets a boost with changes to tax offsets

    Eligibility requirements for film tax offsets will be changed to make Australia a more attractive destination for significant film-making, and enable more businesses to benefit.

     

    The Australian Government will remove the current requirement for productions valued between $15 million and $50 million to spend a minimum of 70 per cent of their production budgets in Australia.

    The Post, Digital and Visual Effects Production (PDV) threshold will also be reduced, from $5 million to $500,000. Both changes will apply from 1 July 2010.

  • Australian banks perform well in a dull global financial landscape

    The Australian financial services industry continues to shine on the international stage - with strong profit results, experienced senior management at the helm, bad debts having reached their peak and the availability of funding improving concludes KPMG's Major Australian Banks, Half Year 2010 survey. While global economic growth remains cautious but optimistic for the four major Australian banks. 

     

    The majors have reported healthy 2010 half-year profits before tax of $14 billion compared to $9.7 billion in the second half of 2009. The performance by the Australian majors reflects a prudent approach to risk management, strong balance sheets and a resilient Australian economy, according to KPMG.

     

  • Chinese green manufacturer Novarise lists on ASX

    One of China's leading green manufacturers, Novarise Renewable Resources International Ltd, has debuted on the Australian Stock Exchange, under the symbol NOE.

     

    Novarise's listing on the ASX follows its successful Initial Public Offer (IPO) of 100,254,908 shares at A$0.25 each, raising approximately A$2.064 million from both Australian and international investors. Novarise now has a total of 399,254,908 issued and paid-up share capital.

     

  • Growing superannuation pool expected to attract global fund managers

    The Australian superannuation funds pool is expected to grow substantially following changes announced as part of the Australian Government’s response to a comprehensive review of the Australian tax system.

     

    Australia’s pool of superannuation savings today stands at over A$1.7 trillion (US$1.5 trillion).

     

    By 2035, the changes are expected to yield an additional A$500 billion.

     

    A proposed increase in the Superannuation Guarantee rate to twelve per cent from the current nine per cent is one of a series of initiatives that the Government has implemented, or is considering, to increase the competitiveness of Australia’s financial sector.

     

  • Australia-Korea trade in clean energy presents climate change opportunities

    Australia’s Parliamentary Secretary for Trade, the Hon, Anthony Byrne MP, said an increase in trade between Australia and Korea in the clean and renewable energy sector would help reduce the threat of climate change.

     

    Byrne said creating a low carbon, green economy to fight climate change is the next step in the two countries’ relationship, and it is a welcome one.

     

    Speaking about the ‘Clean and Renewable Energy Market Opportunities in Korea and Australia’ report launched in Adelaide, Byrne added that trade and investment in these emerging technologies provided a new pathway to strengthen Australia’s commercial and diplomatic ties with Korea.

     

    A clean energy delegation on visit from Korea also attended the launch.

  • Review of tax laws to support expansion of Islamic finance products

    Australia's Assistant Treasurer, Senator Nick Sherry, and Minister for Financial Services, Corporate Law and Superannuation, Chris Bowen, announced that the Board of Taxation would undertake a comprehensive review of Australia's tax laws to ensure that, wherever possible, they do not inhibit the expansion of Islamic finance, banking and insurance products.

     

    The Assistant Treasurer, made the announcement at a major business event in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) jointly organised by the Australian Business Group of Abu Dhabi and The Australian Business Council of Dubai, with the support of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry and attended by key figures from business, finance and banking community across the Gulf Region.

     

  • Major contract manufacturing facility for biologic medicines to be built in Queensland

    Australia's first major contract manufacturing facility for biologic medicines is set to be built in Queensland by 2012.

     

    Making the announcement at BIO Chicago yesterday, the Federal Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr and Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said the Brisbane-based facility would be operated by international drug manufacturer DSM Biologics.

     

    The Queensland Government has provided $7 million in seed funding for the facility under its ten-year Biotechnology Strategic Plan and the Commonwealth is investing $10 million as part of its ongoing push to win high-tech, high-value jobs and industries for Australia.

     

  • More changes to Australia's student visa program

    Australian Federal Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, has announced measures to strengthen the integrity of the current student visa program, which will make the visa application process easier for genuine full-time students, he said.

     

    The latest measures, which include changes to the assessment of students studying more than one course, increased powers to cancel visa and streamlining the processing of postgraduate students, will also impose additional checks on those who may seek to abuse the system, according to Senator Evans.

  • Australia's property market recovering fastest in the world

    Major property investors believe Australia's property market is in a faster stage of up-swing than other markets around the world, new research released by Colliers International reveals.

     

    The Colliers International Global Investor Sentiment Survey, conducted during the first quarter of the year, has shown institutional and private investors around the world believe that if the property cycle were a clock, with the top of the market at 12 o'clock and the bottom at 6 o'clock, Australia is set to swing upwards to 8 o'clock by early next year, from 7 o'clock where it currently sits.

     

  • City of Melton courts international manufacturers

    Melton Shire Council, a fast-growing urban area in Melbourne's Western region, is offering a range of incentives to international investors and developers who are contemplating establishing manufacturing operations in Australia.

     

    These incentives are available on Council-owned industrial sites in Toolern Business Park, and they relate directly to the number of new jobs to be created in Melton, which has a large skilled local labour force.

     

  • Indian seminar series on investing in Australia

    Gujarat NRE, the largest producer of low ash metallurgical coke in India with mining facilities in Australia, will be the sponsorship partner in the seminar series, 'Doing Business with Australia', organised by the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade). 

     

  • Australian Government tightens rules on foreign investment in residential housing

    Assistant Treasurer, Senator Nick Sherry, has announced a major tightening of the foreign investment rules as they relate to residential real estate, as well as strict penalty and enforcement measures for breaches of the new regulations. 

     

    Under these new regulations, foreign non-residents can only invest in Australian real estate if that investment adds to the housing stock, and that investments by temporary residents in established properties are only for their use while they live in Australia.

     

  • Sherry expresses support for foreign investment in Australia

    Assistant Treasurer Senator Nick Sherry told attendees at the Asian Venture Capital Journal Private Equity and Venture Forum in March that the Australian Government was committed to enhancing Australia's attractive as a destination for foreign investment, with some significant reofrms of aspects of its foreign investment regime already complete.

     

    "On 22 September 2009, we lifted the monetary screening threshold for privately‑owned foreign investors to $219 million — more than twice the previous threshold of $100 million," Senator Sherry said.

     

  • Austrade film competition to showcase business opportunities

    Parliamentary Secretary for Trade Anthony Byrne has this week announced the launch of a short film competition designed to showcase the world of international business opportunities in Australia. “The inaugural Austrade 2010 Short Film Competition encourages aspiring young film producers to produce entertaining, and informative films highlighting the opportunities, processes and issues for Australians pursuing international business” said Byrne.