Saturday, 15 August 2020 Sydney

Invest In Australia News::

  • Taskforce to investigate stronger button battery safety


    The ACCC has established a Button Battery Taskforce to investigate ways to reduce risk to the Australian community, particularly children, of button batteries.

    In Australia two children have died in the past six years after swallowing a button battery, and hundreds of children suspected of swallowing button batteries have ended up in hospital emergency rooms.

    At least 64 children have died globally.

  • More competition in NBN wholesale market

    More retail service providers (RSPs) are directly accessing the NBN in more locations around Australia, offering greater choice and potentially better services for consumers and businesses, according to the ACCC’s latest quarterly Wholesale Market Indicators Report released today.

  • Concerns about Emergent, Oxford cold storage deal

    The ACCC has raised preliminary competition concerns about Emergent Cold’s proposed acquisition of rival cold storage operator Oxford, outlined in a statement of issues published today.

    Oxford and Emergent Cold are the second and third biggest suppliers of third-party cold storage services in Victoria.

    Cold storage is an integral part of the domestic and international supply chains for food products including dairy, seafood, raw and cooked meat, poultry, frozen vegetables and other frozen or chilled foods.

  • Trend unemployment rate at 5.3%

    Australia's trend unemployment rate increased in July 2019 to 5.3 per cent, from 5.2 per cent in June, according to the latest information released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 

    ABS Chief Economist Bruce Hockman said: "Australia's trend unemployment rate increased to 5.3 per cent in July 2019, the same level as this time last year." 

    "The trend participation rate increased further to 66.1 per cent, while employment growth continues to show strength," added Mr Hockman.

    Employment and hours

  • Rail trespassers put lives at risk and face fines of up to $5,500

    Offenders are being warned of the consequences of trespassing on the Sydney Trains network after more than 2,100 illegal incidents were recorded on the network in the past year.

    Offenders who get caught trespassing on the Sydney Trains network and are fortunate not to be injured or killed, face up to $5,500 in fines.

    Speaking during Rail Safety Week, NSW Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said people were putting lives at risk when taking shortcuts across train tracks.

  • Europcar to pay $350,000 penalty for excessive card payment surcharges

    The Federal Court has ordered CLA Trading Pty Ltd (trading as Europcar) to pay $350,000 in penalties for charging excessive credit and debit card payment surcharges in breach of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

    Eurpocar admitted that, between July and August 2017, Europcar charged Visa and MasterCard credit users fees that were higher than Europcar’s costs to accept payments from those credit cards.

    It also admitted that, between July and 5 November 2017, the company had charged excessive surcharges on Visa and MasterCard debit cards.

  • Wages rise 0.6% in the June quarter 2019

    The seasonally adjusted Wage Price Index (WPI) rose 0.6 per cent in the June quarter 2019 and 2.3 per cent through the year, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 

    Seasonally adjusted private sector wage growth was 0.5 per cent, while public sector wage growth was 0.8 per cent in the June quarter 2019.

  • Jobs and tourism benefit from national park investment

    The NSW Government is calling for construction workers and businesses to register their interest in working on the state's iconic parks as part of a $149.5 million investment commitment.

    Recent figures reveal a 16.6% increase on visitors to national parks across NSW last year. This included 60 million visitors to NSW national parks in 2018, compared to 51.77 million in 2016.

  • Bargaining imbalance between media and digital platforms must be addressed

    Disruption and dislocation in the media markets should concern all Australians, ACCC Chair Rod Sims said at the Melbourne Press Club today.

    In a speech reflecting on the recommendations in the final report of the ACCC’s Digital Platforms Inquiry, released last month, Mr Sims noted the regulatory imbalance between traditional media and digital platforms.

  • Inquiry into Murray-Darling Basin water markets commences

    The ACCC has commenced an Inquiry into markets for tradeable water rights in the Murray-Darling Basin.

    As a formal inquiry under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, the ACCC will have access to compulsory information gathering powers that will enable a thorough examination of competition and transparency issues in the markets.

  • Boosting regional ambulance coverage

    Three new paramedics will be employed at Dodges Ferry, three at Bicheno, three at Deloraine and three at St Helens this year, as part of the Hodgman majority Liberal Government’s plan to boost ambulance resources across Tasmania.

    The Hodgman majority Liberal Government is committed to continuing to boost ambulance services and support our hardworking volunteers.

    That’s why we are recruiting 42 additional paramedics in rural and regional areas, to ensure we have coverage right across the state.

  • Recognising excellence in Tasmanian timber

    Tasmanian timber is known as some of the best in the world and our forest management practices are envied around the globe.

    Our industry was recognised at the inaugural Tasmanian Timber Awards in Launceston this evening.

    The 2019 Tasmanian Timber Awards saw 40 finalists across 13 categories recognised across specialty fields in the forestry, timber and wood processing industry.

  • Record losses expected as scammers target Australians

    Australians are set to lose a record amount to scams in 2019, with projections from losses reported to Scamwatch and other government agencies so far expected to exceed $532 million by the end of the year, surpassing half a billion dollars for the first time.

    This year’s National Scams Awareness Week (12-16 August) theme is “too smart to be scammed?” and the ACCC, along with over 100 campaign partners from government and industry, is urging consumers to test their scams knowledge and refresh their scam protection and detection skills.

  • Preliminary concerns on Saputo buying cheese business

    The ACCC has preliminary competition concerns about dairy company Saputo’s proposed acquisition of the Tasmanian-based cheese business of competitor Lion Dairy & Drinks.

    Saputo owns a milk processing plant in Smithton, Tasmania. It proposes to acquire Lion’s Tasmanian cheese processing plants, located in Burnie and King Island, as well as Lion’s cheese brands, including South Cape, King Island Dairy and Tasmanian Heritage.

  • HealthEngine in court for allegedly misusing patient data and manipulating reviews

    The ACCC has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against online health booking platform HealthEngine Pty Ltd (HealthEngine) for misleading and deceptive conduct relating to the sharing of consumer information with insurance brokers and the publishing of patient reviews and ratings.

    The ACCC claims that between 31 March 2015 to 1 March 2018, HealthEngine manipulated the patient reviews it published, and misrepresented to consumers why HealthEngine did not publish a rating for some health practices.

  • Concerns about Bis-Cougar mining equipment deal


    The ACCC has raised preliminary competition concerns about Bis Industries Holdings Ltd’s (Bis) proposed acquisition of Cougar Mining Group Pty Ltd (Cougar), in a statement of issues published today.

    Bis and Cougar both provide mining equipment hire services to the underground coal mining industry in New South Wales and Queensland, including the hire of longwall relocation equipment and run-of-mine equipment.

    The ACCC has preliminary concerns about the supply of longwall relocation equipment hire services.

  • GMO free status creates markets for Tasmanian products

    In a significant boost for local producers and exporters, Tasmania’s moratorium on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) will be extended for another 10 years.

    Tasmania’s GMO-free status is an important part of the Tasmanian brand, offering a marketing advantage for our high quality, high value primary industries and is a key component in the Hodgman majority Liberal Government’s goal to grow the annual value of our agricultural sector to $10 billion by 2050.

  • Tasmanian housing sector continues to build

    The Hodgman majority Liberal Government is a strong supporter of our building and construction sector, and we are committed to further investment and jobs across the industry.

    This is why it is no surprise that momentum in Tasmania’s housing sector continues to strengthen, according to data released today by the ABS for June 2019.

  • Australia Post price rise proposal received

    Australia Post has submitted to the ACCC for assessment a proposal to increase the price of its ordinary letter services, including stamps.

    Australia Post operates a two-speed letter service, which was introduced for consumers in 2016.

    Under Australia Post’s proposal, the basic postage rate charged for ordinary small letters delivered to its regular timetable would rise from $1.00 to $1.10.

    The price of delivering ordinary large letters at the regular timetable would rise by 10 per cent.

  • New lending to households rises 1.3 per cent

    The value of new lending commitments to households rose 1.3 per cent in June 2019, seasonally adjusted, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures on new lending to households and businesses.

    The rise in new lending to households in June follows a 1.6 per cent fall in May 2019.

    Director of Financial Statistics, Ben Dorber said: “Consistent with recent house price movements, the decline in new lending commitments for dwellings has slowed in recent months.“ 

  • Stamping out serious bullying and cyberbullying

    The Hodgman majority Liberal Government’s important legislative reform that criminalises acts of serious bullying, including serious cyberbullying, namely the Criminal Code Amendment (Bullying) Bill 2019, passed the House of Assembly today. This Bill seeks to protect victims of such serious crimes, particularly children and young people.

    This Bill expands the existing crime of stalking to address serious bullying behaviour, which includes targeting those who use the internet with the intention to cause serious physical or mental harm, including self-harm.

  • “Small Business Fair Dismissal Code does not work”: Report

    The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell, has handed down a comprehensive review of the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code, recommending a suite of changes to help small business employers meet their obligations.

    “Put simply, the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code in its current form, is not working in the way it was originally intended,” Ms Carnell said.

  • Underperforming broadband services still a problem for some consumers


    Broadband speeds slowed slightly during the busy evening hours but overall results continue to be good, the ACCC’s Measuring Broadband Australia report, released today, reveals.

    The sixth Measuring Broadband Australia report, however, also shows that 12.4 per cent of consumers continue to experience underperforming services that rarely come close to reaching their maximum plan speed.

  • Over 4,000 dangerous Takata airbags replaced a day but many still at risk

    Despite 80 percent of recalled Takata airbags in Australian vehicles having been replaced since July 2017, there are growing concerns that some communities are not getting the message.

    Since the ACCC’s recommendation for a compulsory recall began in March 2018, an average of almost 77,000 vehicles have had airbags replaced each month – or more than 4, 175 airbag replacements each and every business day.