Saturday, 22 July 2017 Sydney
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Invest In Australia News::

  • Business and industry stakeholder updates

    The Department of Trade, Business and Innovation are delivering stakeholder updates across the Territory.

    Join the Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Department of Trade, Business and Innovation and General Manager, Northern Australia Development and Trade to hear about key initiatives, policies and programs the department will be delivering in 2017-18.

    Business and industry stakeholders are encouraged to attend.

  • ACCC won't oppose GE's proposed acquisition of Baker Hughes

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has announced it will not oppose the proposed acquisition of Baker Hughes Incorporated (Baker Hughes) by General Electric Company (GE).

    On 6 January 2017, GE and Baker Hughes announced that the companies will establish a new listed company combining the oil and gas business of GE and the whole business of Baker Hughes. The global merger is valued at approximately US$32 billion.

    The ACCC says the merger remedy obtained by the US Department of Justice requiring GE to sell its GE Water business to Suez brings certainty that this sale will occur, removing potential competition concerns in Australia.

  • Sprint Telco pays penalty for unauthorised transfer

    Sprint Telco Pty Ltd (Sprint Telco), a telecommunications provider, has paid a penalty of $10,800 following the issue of an infringement notice by the ACCC.

    The ACCC issued the infringement notice because it had reasonable grounds to believe that Sprint Telco made a false or misleading representation to a consumer during a telemarketing call in October 2016, in which the consumer was transferred from Telstra Corporation Limited (Telstra) to Sprint Telco.

    It is alleged that Sprint Telco represented to the consumer that Sprint Telco was acting as Telstra’s agent or with Telstra’s approval, when that was not the case.

  • ICRC releases final electricity prices

    Joint media release: Chief Minister Andrew Barr MLA and Shane Rattenbury MLA

  • New strategy to recognise and support Canberra’s carers

    A partnership between the ACT Government, Carers ACT and democracyCo will develop a new ACT Carers Strategy – delivering on a key election commitment for the community sector.

    Every day, almost 50,000 ACT carers provide vital support to people with a disability or who experience mental illness or have a chronic health condition.

    In yesterday’s Budget, the ACT Government delivered on its commitment recognise the valuable contribution carers make to the ACT community by providing $200,000 to develop and implement the ACT Carers Strategy.

  • Innovation boost for Canberra businesses partnering with UC

    Both students and businesses are set to learn from each other through a new partnership launched this week at the University of Canberra.

    The ACT Government is delivering an innovation boost to our local economy, partnering ACT businesses up with teams of students from the University of Canberra.

    Participating businesses, engaged by the Government’s Innovate Canberra team, will each be allocated teams of third year UC students that will compete to develop and pitch a digital communications strategy. The businesses then have the option of bringing on a student to see through the implementation of the winning strategy.

  • International visitors boost NSW economy

    International visitors have contributed a record $9.8 billion into the NSW economy in the last 12 months. 

    The latest International Visitor Survey results found NSW attracted more than 3.9 million overnight international visitors in the last 12 months, a 10 per cent increase from the previous year.

    Sydney continues to be the most popular Australian capital city for international tourists and regional NSW reached a record high with 781,000 international visitors.

    Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall said the China market was a key driver in drawing record numbers to the state.

  • ACCC won't oppose proposed merger of Dow and DuPont in Australia

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will not oppose the proposed merger of The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) and E.l. Du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont).

    On 27 March 2017 the European Commission cleared the proposed merger, subject to divestiture of major parts of DuPont's global pesticide business and global research and development organisation. Separately Dow will also divest its acid co-polymers and ionomers business.

  • Release of the ATO systems report

    Today the ATO has released a report into the systems outages we experienced in December last year and February this year. This report incorporates findings from our own internal review, as well as technical advice and a separate report prepared by independent expert reviewers.

    Key findings

    The report outlines what happened to our IT systems and the impact on our stakeholders. In summary the report has found that:

  • Lumo Energy pays penalty for alleged energy offer misrepresentations

    Energy retailer Lumo Energy Australia Pty Ltd (Lumo) has paid a penalty of $10,800 after being issued with an infringement notice by the ACCC.

    The ACCC issued the infringement notice because it had reasonable grounds to believe that Lumo had contravened the Australian Consumer Law by making a false or misleading representation about energy discounts.

    Lumo made a representation on its website in February 2017 that consumers, including those outside of Victoria, could save 33 per cent off their total electricity bill and 17 per cent off their total gas bill if they switched to Lumo.

  • Optus to compensate customers shortchanged on data, call and text inclusions

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has accepted a court enforceable undertaking from Optus Mobile Pty Limited agreeing to compensate customers following an investigation into concerns that Optus was providing less data than advertised to consumers.

    The undertaking relates to three separate incidents in 2015 and 2016 where Optus decided to reduce some of the data, calls and/or texts inclusions offered with particular Prepaid products without telling affected customers.

  • Fraudster brought to justice

    Hightrade executive Song (Peter) Chang was convicted of conspiracy to defraud the Commonwealth and sentenced to 5.5 years’ jail on Friday following a complex investigation by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

    Between 2002 and 2007, 45-year-old Chang conspired to defraud the Commonwealth of $10.5 million by engaging in fraudulent behaviour during the construction of the Pokolbin golf course.

  • Tax Time 2017 scams audio grab

    The ATO is reminding Australians to be on the lookout for aggressive tax debt scams and has released audio content for radio stations interested in covering the story.

    The recording features Assistant Commissioner Kath Anderson speaking about what to be aware of and how to protect yourself from scams. (WAV 15.6 MB)This link will download a file

    Transcript

    Stop! Scammer time!

  • Stop! Scammer time!

    The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is reminding Australians to stop and think before giving their personal details or hard-earned money to scammers this tax time.

    Assistant Commissioner Kath Anderson said 48,084 scams were reported to the ATO between July and October last year.

    “We have already seen a five-fold increase in scams from January to May this year and typically expect further increases during the tax time period,” Ms Anderson said.

  • Penalty Rates Decision Welcomed

    Today’s transitional arrangement decision by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) is a good outcome for Australia’s SME’s.

    The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) Kate Carnell says the FWC’s decision to reduce Sunday and public holiday penalty rates in the retail, hospitality, fast food and pharmacy sectors is fair.

    “This is a justified decision, backed by plenty of evidence from the final penalty rates decision report. Finally small business and family enterprise owners across Australia will have a chance to compete with big business,” Ms Carnell said.

  • April retail trade continues streak to 30 months

    Tasmanian retail trade figures have continued their marvellous month-on-month growth to register an unprecedented 30 consecutive months of growth.

    This is great news for the Tasmanian economy, which has seen renewed business and consumer confidence under the Hodgman Liberal Government - rated the best State Government in Australia in terms of its policies that support small business (ref Sensis Business Index).

  • Japan Airlines introduces direct flights from Melbourne to Tokyo

    Japan Airlines has announced daily direct flights between Melbourne and Tokyo from September boosting the number of seats on this popular route.

    The addition means that 31 international airlines will soon be flying in and out of Melbourne Airport, including direct flights to Colombo on SriLankan Airlines from October.

  • KPMG Quarterly Superannuation Update

    Introduction

    Thank you for the invitation to today’s lunch.

    This event is always a great opportunity to update you as some of our most important stakeholders about what is happening in the industry.

    Since I spoke here last year there have been a lot of policy changes and ongoing conversations about the superannuation industry and its central role in people’s futures.

    Session Outline

  • Scam targets migrants

    The ACCC is warning migrants to watch out for scammers pretending to be from government agencies including the Department Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in a new scam targeting recent travellers.

    Scammers are calling migrants, claiming to be from DFAT and the Department of Immigration, and alleging that they have given false information on their visa documents or departure documents when they recently returned home to Australia. The victim is told to hand themselves into police, or pay almost $1000 via wire transfer through Western Union to stay in Australia, or face deportation.

  • ACCC takes action against Geowash car wash franchisor

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has applied to the Federal Court for leave to commence proceedings against Geowash Pty Ltd (subject to deed of company arrangement) (Geowash), a national car wash franchisor that has been marketing and selling hand car wash franchises since 2013. 

    The ACCC proceedings will allege that Geowash made false or misleading representations and engaged in unconscionable conduct in breach of the Australian Consumer Law, and also failed to comply with the good faith obligation which is contained in the Franchising Code of Conduct. 

  • ACCC releases electricity inquiry issues paper

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has today released an issues paper for its inquiry into retail electricity supply and prices in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, and the ACT. The ACCC is seeking submissions by the end of June from interested parties.

    The paper sets out the key issues that the ACCC will focus on during its inquiry, including:

  • Court orders Acquire to pay $4.5 million penalty

    The Federal Court has ordered Acquire Learning and Careers Pty Ltd (Acquire) to pay penalties of $4.5 million for engaging in unconscionable conduct, making false or misleading representations and breaching the unsolicited consumer agreements provisions in the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). 

  • ACCC appeals Yazaki Corporation penalty decision

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has appealed the recent decision of the Federal Court imposing a penalty of $9.5 million against Japanese company Yazaki Corporation (Yazaki) for collusive conduct.

    “The ACCC submitted to the Court that Yazaki should be ordered to pay a penalty of between $42 million and $55 million, to reflect both the size of Yazaki’s operations and the very serious nature of its collusive conduct,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

  • ACCC takes action against NIB

    The ACCC has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against NIB Health Funds Limited (NIB), alleging it contravened the Australian Consumer Law by engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct, unconscionable conduct and making false or misleading representations.

    The ACCC alleges that NIB failed to notify members in advance of its decision to remove certain eye procedures from its “MediGap Scheme” (MediGap Change) in 2015.

    Under the MediGap Scheme, members had previously been able to obtain these eye procedures without facing out-of-pocket costs when doctors participated in the scheme.