Saturday, 15 August 2020 Sydney

Invest In Australia News::

  • ACCC appeals decision on Woolworths disposable picnic products

    The ACCC has appealed the Federal Court’s decision to dismiss its case against Woolworths relating to the environmental claims Woolworths made about their ‘W Select eco’ picnic products.

    The ACCC had alleged Woolworths made false or misleading claims about its range of disposable plates, bowls and cutlery which were labelled “biodegradable and compostable”.

  • ACCC won’t oppose Wesfarmers’ proposed acquisition of Catch

    The ACCC has decided not to oppose the proposed acquisition of online retailer Catch Group by Wesfarmers (ASX:WES).

    Wesfarmers, through its Kmart and Target stores, and Catch both retail a variety of products to consumers, ranging from clothing and general merchandise to homewares and electronics.

    Catch offers out-of-season, clearance or overrun branded products, as well as operating a growing online marketplace through which third-party sellers supply products.

  • Authorisation proposed for New Energy Tech consumer code

    The ACCC proposes to authorise a new consumer code for retailers of products such as solar generation systems, energy storage systems, electrical vehicle charging and other emerging energy products and services.

    The New Energy Tech Consumer Code (the Code) sets minimum standards of good practice and consumer protection and will apply to all aspects of customers’ interactions with participating retailers, including marketing; finance and payments; warranties and complaints handling processes.

  • Big Warehouse pays penalty and compensates customers

    Online spare parts retailer Big Warehouse has paid a $12,600 penalty after the ACCC issued an infringement notice against the company for allegedly breaching the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) by misleading a consumer about their consumer guarantee rights in relation to spare parts they had ordered.

    In addition to paying this penalty, Big Warehouse has provided a court-enforceable undertaking to the ACCC in which it admits it was likely to have contravened the ACL by representing to consumers that:

  • Qantas stake in Alliance Airlines raises concerns

    The ACCC has expressed preliminary competition concerns about Qantas’ (ASX: QAN) acquisition of a 19.9% interest in Alliance Airlines (ASX: AQZ), which took place on 1 February 2019.

    Brisbane-based Alliance supplies charter air services to corporate customers in Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia; mainly mining and resources companies requiring services for their fly-in-fly-out workforces. Alliance competes strongly with Qantas for this business, either in its own right or in cooperation with Virgin under the Charter Alliance Agreement.

  • Ombudsman supports extension of unfair contract terms to insurance

    The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell has welcomed draft legislation that extends the unfair contract term regime to insurance contracts, but says much more should be done to improve protections for small businesses.

    “Removing the current exemption for insurance contracts from the unfair contract term regime as recommended by Commissioner Hayne, is a logical step,” Ms Carnell says.

    “However there’s room for significant improvements to the current unfair contract term legislation more broadly.

  • Northern Australia insurance consumers need more choice and more control

    A national comparison website for home insurance and greater power for consumers in claims settlements are among measures proposed by the ACCC in its latest Northern Australia Insurance Inquiryreport, released today.

  • Dwelling approvals decline in June

    The number of dwellings approved in Australia fell by 1.3 per cent in June, in trend terms, according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

    "The trend series for total dwellings has fallen for 19 consecutive months. The decrease in June was driven by private dwellings excluding houses, which fell 2.5 per cent in trend terms," said Daniel Rossi, Director of Construction Statistics at the ABS. "Approvals for private houses were also down 0.8 per cent."

  • ACCC appeals 'flushable' wipes decision

    The ACCC has appealed the Federal Court’s decision to dismiss part of the ACCC’s case against Kimberly-Clark which relates to claims it made to consumers about its Kleenex Cottonelle ‘flushable’ wipes.

    The ACCC had alleged that in representing its products as ‘flushable’ on product packaging and its website, Kimberly-Clark had misled consumers about the suitability of its wipes to be flushed down the toilet.

  • Consultation on Landmark’s proposed rural store divestments

    The ACCC is seeking views on a proposed undertaking offered by Nutrien in relation to its proposed acquisition of Ruralco (ASX: RHL).

    Nutrien operates rural merchandise stores and other rural services in Australia under the Landmark brand.

    Nutrien’s proposed undertaking seeks to address some of the preliminary competition concerns identified by the ACCC in its statement of issues released on 13 June 2019.

  • Motor vehicle registrations slow down

    The national fleet of registered motor vehicles increased by 1.7 per cent from last year to 19.5 million registered vehicles in 2019, according to newly released ABS Motor Vehicle Census data. 

    "While the total number of vehicles grew over the last year, it was a much smaller increase than the 2.1 per cent annual growth we have seen since 2015," said Lauren Binns, Director of ABS Transport Statistics.

    Most states and territories reported overall increases in vehicle registrations in 2019 however, the rate of growth was lower than 2018, with the exception of Tasmania (up 2.6 per cent in 2019 from 2.4 per cent in 2018) and Western Australia (which reported a steady 0.6 per cent increase).

  • Tasmania’s Next Iconic Walk to showcase our wild West Coast

    Tasmania’s wild West Coast has been chosen as the preferred location for our Next Iconic Walk which will showcase all this unique region has to offer, as well as further enhancing our reputation as one of the best eco-tourism destinations in the world.

    A signature Liberal election commitment, up to $20 million will be invested to deliver our next iconic multi-day, hut-based walk which will enhance the visitor economy throughout the entire region.

  • We welcome TradePlus 24 to Melbourne

    A lending startup offering SME’s alternative funding solutions, TradePlus 24 recently launched their first operation outside of Zurich here in Melbourne and Invest Victoria was delighted to have been part of their entry to the Australian market.

    TradePlus24 was created by a team of entrepreneurs from the banking and insurance industry in Zurich in March 2016, and have Credit Suisse, SIX Group and Berliner Volksbank Ventures as major investors.

  • Holistic, dynamic reforms needed to address dominance of digital platforms

    The dominance of the leading digital platforms and their impact across Australia’s economy, media and society must be addressed with significant, holistic reform, according to the final report of the ACCC’s Digital Platforms Inquiry released today. 

    The report contains 23 recommendations, spanning competition law, consumer protection, media regulation and privacy law, reflecting the intersection of issues arising from the growth of digital platforms.

  • Farming forum to reduce food losses

    Farmers, producers and processors from across the state have met today in Longford to explore how food innovation hubs can increase production efficiencies, reduce on-farm loss and increase the amount of Tasmanian product available to consumers.

    Supporting farmers to increase production efficiencies is a key element of the Hodgman Liberal Government’s AgriFood Plan to grow the farm gate value of our agricultural sector to $10 billion per annum by 2050.

  • Car deal conditionally authorised with Newcastle and Hunter Valley divestitures

    The ACCC has conditionally authorised AP Eagers’ (ASX: APE) proposed acquisition of Automotive Holdings Group (AHG) (ASX: AHG), following an undertaking from AP Eagers to sell its existing new car dealerships in the Newcastle and Hunter Valley region to a third party. 

    The merger did not raise concerns nationally, or in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, where the overlap between the operations of AP Eagers and AHG is limited and there is sufficient competition from other dealerships and suppliers.

  • Concerns about ANZ Terminals, GrainCorp deal

    The ACCC has released a statement of issues raising preliminary concerns about ANZ Terminals’ proposed acquisition of GrainCorp Liquid Terminals Australia Pty Ltd (ASX:GNC).

    ANZ Terminals and GrainCorp both provide port-side bulk liquid storage services in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, where they compete to store liquids including edible oils, tallow, non-flammable industrial chemicals and base oils for customers.

  • Share Your Views To Shape The Future Of SAS Regions

    Less than a week remains to have your say on the Marshall Liberal Government's Regional Development Strategy, which will deliver the first whole-of-government plan for supporting regional enablers and long-term investment to shape the future of the state’s regions.

    A Community Advisory Panel – appointed by the Minister – has undertaken a series of forums across the state, providing an opportunity for key regional stakeholders and community members to provide direct feedback.

  • Boosting South Australia's Wine and Tourism Industries

    South Australia's wine and tourism industries will soon have better access to cutting edge technology that will further drive our state’s already booming wine exports, thanks to new Marshall Liberal Government funding.

    The program, called 'Foment – SA's Wine and Tourism Tech Revolution', will offer support to wine and tourism start-ups to help them take advantage of new advanced technologies.

  • Debt collection company in court over alleged harassment


    The ACCC has instituted proceedings against debt collection agency Panthera Finance Pty Ltd alleging it unduly harassed three consumers over debts they did not owe.

    The ACCC alleges that Panthera repeatedly contacted the three consumers for the payment of the disputed debts despite being advised that they were not liable for the debts, and in two cases placed an incorrect default listing on the consumers’ credit rating files. It also allegedly imposed onerous requirements on these consumers to “prove” they didn’t owe the debts which Panthera was trying to collect.

  • West Tamar Destination Action Plan to build on visitors to the north

    Tourism is one of Tasmania’s great competitive strengths, and is driving our continuing strong economic performance.

  • Vineyard owner pleads guilty to water theft from Murray river

    The owner of a vineyard on the NSW-Victorian border has pleaded guilty in the Land and Environment Court to stealing 1378 megalitres of water from the Murray River.

    The landholder in the Wentworth Local Government Area pleaded guilty to all eight charges of taking water from a watercourse without an allocation, a breach of section 60C(2) of the Water Management Act 2000.

    The water was allegedly unlawfully taken between April 2016 and March 2019.

  • How criminals steal your identity information to steal your money

    Scams reported to the ACCC involving identity theft or the loss of personal/banking information have cost Australians at least $16 million this year, and this figure is likely to be just the tip of the iceberg.

    Four in 10 Scamwatch reports in 2019 involve attempts to gain information or the actual loss of victims’ information.

  • From 1 August 2019, tough new penalties will be introduced for trespassers who illegally enter farms in NSW.

    Under changes to the Biosecurity Regulation 2017(external link), trespassers caught illegally on farms will receive an on-the-spot fine of $1000. Further fines include up to $220,000 per person and $440,000 for corporations.