Friday, 22 September 2017 Sydney

Invest In Australia News::

  • May retail stats confirm continued growth

    Tasmania’s retail sector has registered yet another month of consecutive growth, bringing the total to a record-breaking 31 months of month-on-month growth.

    Statistics released by the ABS today show the nominal value of retail trade in Tasmania was estimated at $516.6 million in trend terms for the month of May, up 0.4 per cent compared to the previous month.

    Nationally, retail turnover was estimated to have increased by 0.3 per cent from the previous month.

    Today I joined Debbie Hingston, founder and proprietor of Nurture by Nature, one of the North-West Coast’s recent success stories.

  • $60m Economic Stimulus Scheme rolls out State-wide

    Southern councils are being urged to apply for a government loans scheme which will allow important community infrastructure projects to be brought forward to stimulate the economy, create jobs and provide better local facilities.

    The number one priority for the Hodgman Liberal Government is to create jobs, especially in regional Tasmania, and 8400 jobs have been created since we came to Government.

    The Tasmanian Economic Stimulus Scheme follows a highly successful pilot in the North and North-West.

  • Call for fairer treatment of freelancers

    The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell has backed freelancers in their push for fairer treatment from large corporations.

    Following her inquiry into payment times and practices, Ms Carnell said there was a demonstrated need for quicker payments to small businesses operating as creative soloists, contractors and freelancers.

    “Some larger companies are pushing freelancers to breaking point and there are no rules in Australia that prevent this,” she said.

    “Freelancers generally work alone and can’t afford to be waiting three months or more for payment.

  • New Trainees Get Their First Taste Of Local Government

    Young trainees from the Murraylands and Riverland will today attend their first induction as part of the State Government’s $4 million Regional Youth Traineeship Program.

    The Welcome to Local Government Induction event in Karoonda is the third of a series of inductions across South Australia this year designed specifically for program trainees and supervisors.

    The 13 trainees attending the induction today are part of 57 Round two inductees, bringing the total number of trainees recruited under the program across the State to 114.

  • Smart technology that beams real-time information to electronic signs on major roads has expanded to 42 more locations across Sydney.

    The updated technology shows motorists how many minutes it will take for them to reach key landmarks or destinations.

    Electronic message signs displaying this new travel time information will be located across six corridors:

  • Tackling the mounting e-waste problem

    Australians are among the biggest users of technology in the world, buying millions of items a year. We love our gadgets and regularly update our devices, but the flip side of all this consumption is that electronic waste is one of the fastest growing types of waste.

    As more and more outdated electronic equipment - like computers, photocopiers, printers, faxes, monitors, batteries and mobile phones - ends up in landfill, the negative impacts of e-waste on the environment and society will increase.

  • AIIA welcomes expanded 457 visa MLSSL for ICT specialists

    The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), the nation’s peak member body for the ICT industry, has issued the following statement in relation to the Government’s decision to revise the list of eligible skilled occupations on the 457 visas that bring temporary foreign workers into the country:

    ‘The revisions to the occupations list address the critical skills shortages that exist in cyber security, cloud and data, analytics, and other ICT related areas,” said Rob Fitzpatrick, Chief Executive Officer of the AIIA.

  • Small business urged to review their payment surcharges

    The ACCC is urging small business owners to start preparing now for the ban on excessive payment surcharges that will apply to all businesses across Australia from 1 September 2017.

    The new law limits the amount that a business can charge customers for use of payment methods such as EFTPOS (debit and prepaid), MasterCard (credit, debit and prepaid), Visa (credit, debit and prepaid) and American Express cards issued by Australian banks. It came into effect for large businesses last year.

  • Dairy Code of Practice welcomed

    The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman has welcomed the new dairy industry Code of Practice for Contractual Arrangements between farmers and processors.

    Ombudsman Kate Carnell had input to the code and said she will monitor its effectiveness over the next 12 months.

    Ms Carnell said the voluntary code addresses issues that may be contested under the Unfair Contract Terms law for Small Business, which began operating on November 12.

    “I’m very pleased that all the major processors and farmer organisations have signed the code,” Ms Carnell said.

  • Petrol prices increased during the March quarter but fuel price apps can help motorists

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s tenth quarterly report on the Australian petroleum industry has found that the quarterly average price for petrol in the March quarter 2017 was 129.1 cents per litre (cpl), which is the highest since the September quarter 2015 (133.2 cpl).

    Prices in the five largest cities (i.e. Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth) increased by 7.1 cpl. Retail prices in Perth were the highest with the average retail petrol price in Perth reaching 132.1 cpl.

  • ACT Government delivers changes to build a better city

    ACT Labor took a bold agenda of reform and investment to the 2016 ACT Election. The people of Canberra overwhelmingly supported this agenda and since October the ACT Government I lead has set about implementing it. While we have achieved much already, July 1 is an important date to recognise because it is the beginning date of some important legislation, regulations and programs that will improve our city.

    A wide range of changes and new programs come into effect tomorrow and are an important step in the delivery of an even better Canberra. A list of highlights, as well as a link to a comprehensive list of changes, can be found below.

  • Don’t take your tax return for a ride

    Tax time is coming and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) wants people involved in ride-sourcing to make sure they understand their tax obligations.

    Assistant Commissioner Tom Wheeler said that drivers in the sharing economy should be aware that anything they earn is assessable income that needs to be included in their tax return.

    “It pays to know what your tax obligations are as a driver so you can report and fulfil them correctly from the start,” he said.

  • Taking time to get your tax right

    Tax time tees off this weekend and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is reminding taxpayers to take their time to get it right.

    Assistant Commissioner Kath Anderson said 2.8 million people lodged their tax return in July last year, which is 22 per cent of all tax returns lodged for 2015-16.

    “We know that some taxpayers like to get in early and lodge in the first month of tax time, but our analysis shows that if you lodge in July, you’re far more likely to make a mistake by leaving out some of your income,” Ms Anderson said.

  • New international day recognises importance of small business

    The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell, has welcomed United Nations recognition of small business as a driver of employment and economic development.

    Tuesday 27 June has been designated Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day.

    A resolution was adopted unanimously at the UN General Assembly in April.

    The assembly noted that more than 95 per cent of enterprises in the world are micro, small and medium-sized and they account for about 60 per cent of international private sector employment.

  • Fintech small business lenders support research survey

    New research will aim to establish current trends and best practice in the growing fintech lending market to small and medium-size enterprises (SME).

    Fintech small business lenders will be surveyed as part of a collaborative research project by the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) with industry organisation FinTech Australia and independent SME finance expert Neil Slonim from

  • Australian Competition Tribunal decision on Tabcorp-Tatts merger

    The Australian Competition Tribunal has formally made its determination granting merger authorisation for Tabcorp to acquire Tatts and has today published its reasons for decision.

    In November 2016 Tabcorp sought informal merger clearance from the ACCC to acquire Tatts.

    Shortly after the ACCC released its paper seeking views on potential competition issues in March 2017, Tabcorp withdrew its application for informal clearance and instead lodged an application with the Tribunal for authorisation of its proposed acquisition of Tatts. 

  • ACCC proposes to grant bulk wheat Port Code exemptions at the Port of Geelong and Port Adelaide

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released draft determinations proposing to exempt Riordan Grain Services and Semaphore Container Services from certain parts of the mandatory Bulk Wheat Code in relation to their respective operations at the Port of Geelong and Port Adelaide.

    “Riordan and Semaphore will both face significant competitive constraint from larger operations. The ACCC’s preliminary view is that it is appropriate to grant exemptions to these smaller players,” ACCC Commissioner Cristina Cifuentes said.

  • ACCC won't oppose Cabcharge buying Yellow Cabs in Queensland

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will not oppose the proposed acquisition by Cabcharge Australia Limited (ASX:CAB) of Yellow Cabs (Queensland) Pty Ltd.

    Yellow Cabs is one of the two large taxi networks in Brisbane, with a market share of approximately 50 per cent. While Cabcharge does not currently operate any taxi networks in Queensland; it does provide non-cash payment services and equipment.

  • Taking care of business

    The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is encouraging small businesses to get a head start on the new financial year by taking care of business now.

    Assistant Commissioner Deborah Jenkins says that thousands of small businesses register every month, which means there are a lot of new business owners about to have their first tax time experience.

    “We understand that around 50 per cent of small businesses come under financial pressure within the first year, and one of the biggest issues is cash flow,” she said.

  • Tax Time 2017 work-related expenses audio and video grabs

    One of the ATO’s main focus areas this year is incorrect claims for work-related expenses.

    These recordings feature Assistant Commissioner Kath Anderson discussing why it’s important to know what can and can’t claim before you lodge and the three golden rules for making work-related expense claims. The audio file (WAV 11.7 MB) and video fileExternal Linkare available for media use.

    Audio transcript

  • Don't be a dummy with your deductions

    The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is warning taxpayers to avoid incorrect claims for work-related expenses at tax time this year.

    Assistant Commissioner Kath Anderson said the ATO is using real-time data to compare taxpayers with others in similar occupations and income brackets, to identify higher-than-expected claims related to expenses including vehicle, travel, internet and mobile phone, and self-education.

    “It is important to know what you’re eligible to claim before lodging your tax return and to make sure you don’t claim more than you’re entitled to,” Ms Anderson said.

  • Regional Growth Fund

    Councils, industry and community organisations in regional NSW are encouraged to apply for funding for their local infrastructure projects.

    The $1.3 billion Regional Growth Fund includes:

  • Small businesses encouraged to claim instant asset write-off

    The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman has encouraged small business operators to take advantage of the Government’s instant asset write-off extension.

    More businesses are now eligible to buy equipment (new or second hand) up to $20,000 and write it off immediately after legislation passed the Senate. Multiple claims can be made under the program.

    Small business has also been redefined for tax purposes as having a turnover less than $10 million, up from $2 million.

    Ombudsman Kate Carnell welcomed the changes.

  • Small business needs reliable power and stable prices

    The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman has called for a bipartisan approach to energy policy to avoid job losses and business closures.

    Ombudsman Kate Carnell says the small business sector faces being crippled by rising electricity costs and reduced reliability if the status quo remains.

    Ms Carnell said both sides of politics should endorse the Finkel Report and adopt its recommendations.

    “Business as usual is no longer an option. Business as usual is lack of reliable power and exponential price increases,” she said.