Saturday, 15 August 2020 Sydney

Invest In Australia News::

  • Optus back in court over NBN disconnection claims

    The ACCC has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against Optus Internet Pty Limited and Optus Mobile Pty Limited (Optus), alleging Optus misled consumers about the need to move to the NBN or risk being disconnected.

    On 24 May 2018, Optus sent an email offering its NBN broadband services to 138,988 of its mobile customers, and advising them that their broadband service would be ‘disconnected very soon’ and encouraging them to ‘make the switch, before it's too late.’

  • ACCC appeal in PN Aurizon case

    The ACCC has lodged an appeal against the Federal Court’s decision to dismiss the ACCC’s proceedings in relation to Pacific National’s acquisition of Aurizon’s (ASX: AZJ) Acacia Ridge Terminal.

    In July 2018, the ACCC brought proceedings alleging that Pacific National’s acquisition of the Acacia Ridge Terminal in Brisbane would substantially lessen competition by raising the barriers to entry for potential new rail operators.

  • Sowing The Seeds Of Success For The Future Of Grains

    For the first time, South Australia’s grain industry will have a whole-of-industry focused strategic plan to drive further growth and value in the state’s largest agriculture sector.

    At a dryland farm on the Yorke Peninsula, Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone today announced the State Government has committed $140,000 to Grain Producers SA (GPSA) for the development of a South Australian Grain Industry Blueprint.

  • Latin moves: doing business with Latin America

    Find out why Latin America is heating up for Victorian trade and investment prospects.

    From online platforms such as Carsales, to agricultural heavyweights Nufarm and Rubicon, to mining giants Newcrest and OceanaGold, more and more Victorian-based companies are making inroads into Latin America.  

  • $2.3M penalty for fake Indigenous Australian art

    The Federal Court has ordered Birubi Art Pty Ltd (in liquidation) to pay $2.3 million for making false or misleading representations about products it sold in breach of the Australian Consumer Law.

    In October 2018, following action by the ACCC, the Federal Court found that Birubi falsely claimed that products it sold were hand painted by Australian Aboriginal persons and made in Australia when that was not true.

  • The NSW Government will create more quality green spaces and increase the tree canopy in Sydney by 2022.

    Two of the new Premier’s Priorities will focus on improving the environment. The first priority aims to increase the number of homes in towns and cities within a reasonable walking distance of quality green, open and public space.

    The second priority will aim to increase the tree canopy in Sydney by planting a million trees across Sydney by 2022.

    More trees will provide communities with more shade, cooler suburbs, more oxygen and better urban environments.

    Premier Gladys Berejiklian said planting trees and creating new parks is just as important as building new roads, rail lines, schools and hospitals.

  • Ombudsman welcomes workplace relations system review

    The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell has welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement that the Australian government will take a fresh look at reinvigorating our workplace relations system.

    “The federal government’s intention to review the workplace relations system is encouraging for the small business sector,” Ms Carnell said.

    “The overwhelming view among small businesses is the legislation is far too complicated, particularly for those with less than 20 employees and no expert HR or legal departments.”

  • Red Rich Fruits amends contracts with growers after ACCC concerns

    A trader in apples, pears and other fresh fruits has agreed to change its horticulture produce agreements with growers after the ACCC raised concerns the agreements contained unfair contract terms, and terms which did not comply with the Horticulture Code of Conduct.

    M.V Napoleone & Co Pty Ltd, trading as Red Rich Fruits, has agreed to amend a term in its standard form horticulture produce agreement considered by the ACCC to likely be an unfair contract term under the Australian Consumer Law.

  • The NSW Government will aim to increase the number of public school students in the top two NAPLAN bands for literacy and numeracy by 15 per cent by 2023.

    Under the new Premier’s Priority, an additional 18,700 students will improve their literacy skills and 13,500 students will boost their numeracy skills.

    The Bump It Up program(external link), which identifies schools that have potential to lift their students’ performance in literacy and numeracy, will be extended to all schools across the state.

  • Stable year for Murray–Darling Basin infrastructure operators, despite drought

    Hotter and drier-than-average weather led to reduced water availability and higher prices for tradeable water products in 2017–18, placing pressure on water users in the Murray–Darling Basin, the ACCC’s ninth annual Water Monitoring Report has found.

    Despite this, the ACCC found that 2017–18 was a relatively stable year for major water infrastructure operators, with relatively minor changes in hypothetical (or average) bills for irrigators in the majority of networks.

  • Concerns about AP Eagers’ proposed acquisition of AHG

    The ACCC has preliminary concerns about AP Eagers’ (ASX: APE) proposed acquisition of the shares in Automotive Holdings Group (AHG) (ASX: AHG) that it does not already own, and its impact on competition in new car retailing in the Newcastle/Hunter Valley region of New South Wales.

    The ACCC is currently assessing an application for merger authorisation from automotive retailer AP Eagers.

  • Fishermans Bend: Australia's largest urban renewal project

    About 80,000 jobs and 80,000 homes are targeted to be created by 2050 at Fishermans Bend.

    Did you know Australia's largest urban renewal project is taking shape right on the doorstep of Melbourne’s central business district? It’s called Fishermans Bend and it’s a name you’ll be hearing a lot more of in the coming years.  

    But for starters, where exactly is it?  

  • Uukoo wins Newcastle Regional Pitchfest

    Newcastle startup Uukoo will head to Sydney to take on the best regional startups in NSW after winning the Newcastle leg of the Jobs for NSW Regional Pitchfest – Australia’s largest pitch competition for regional startups.

    Minister for Jobs Stuart Ayres said Uukoo, which has created a digital application to treat people with dementia, has secured an all-expenses paid trip to a three-day Regional Bootcamp at the Sydney Startup Hub on 12-14 August.

  • Australia's population grows by 1.6 per cent

    Australia's population grew by 1.6 per cent during 2018, according to the latest figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

    ABS Demography Director Beidar Cho said: "Steady growth over recent quarters has resulted in a population of 25.2 million people at 31 December 2018."

    The number of births in 2018 reached an all time high of 314,900, 161,900 of these were male and 153,000 female. The previous record was 312,200 in 2012. There were fewer deaths in Australia during 2018, compared with 2017 (158,500 in 2018 and 160,100 in 2017). As a result, natural increase was 156,300 people in 2018, compared with 144,100 in 2017.

  • Doubling Tasmania’s power generation capacity

    The Hodgman Liberal Government is on track to achieve our bold vision to unlock Tasmania’s potential as the renewable energy Battery of the Nation.

    The first Tasmanian Energy Development Conference, being held in Devonport this week, is outlining how a second interconnector will unlock Tasmania’s huge renewable energy potential thanks to our many natural advantages including hydro and world class wind power resources.

  • Small businesses hurt by financial misconduct encouraged to file legacy complaints

    The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell has encouraged eligible small businesses impacted by financial misconduct as far back as 1 January 2008, to lodge a complaint with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).

    From July 1, eligible small businesses will only have a one year window to apply to AFCA regarding complaints dating back to 1 January 2008.

  • Launch Festival brings Silicon Valley to Sydney

    The NSW Government has brought Silicon Valley to Sydney for the 2019 Sydney Launch Festival to give NSW startups a chance to pitch to a global audience and learn from the world’s top startup founders and investors.

    Minister for Jobs Stuart Ayres said Launch Festival, hosted by the event’s San Francisco founder and CEO Jason Calacanis, was a great opportunity for NSW startups to hear from the best experts on how to grow globally.

  • Jump Swim in court for alleged misleading conduct

    The ACCC has instituted proceedings against franchisor Jump Loops Pty Ltd and its parent company Swim Loops Holdings Pty Ltd (collectively Jump Swim) in the Federal Court, alleging that it made false, misleading or deceptive statements about Jump Swim School franchises, in breach of the Australian Consumer Law. 

    The ACCC alleges Jump Swim made representations in its promotional material that a prospective Jump Swim School franchisee would have an operational swim school within 12 months of signing a franchise agreement, when it did not have reasonable grounds for making that statement.

  • Guide for energy retailers on new Retail Code


    Energy retailers in South East Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia must comply with obligations under a new Electricity Retail Code from July 1 this year, including by advertising electricity plans in a way that makes it easier for consumers to compare prices and offers.

    A new ACCC guide released today details how retailers in these regions should apply the new code in relation to their customers.

  • Hunter's Brightest Board the Startup Express

    Minister for Small Business Damien Tudehope today welcomed 28 of the Hunter region’s brightest startup companies to NSW Parliament ahead of their visit to compete at the 2019 Launch Festival in Sydney.

    Mr Tudehope said the startups have travelled to Sydney aboard the ‘Startup Xpress’ bus, organised by the Business Centre and Local Innovation Network hub Hunter iF.

  • World Investment Forum opens in Sydney

    Over 400 global business leaders and senior officials from 36 countries will converge in Sydney for the 2019 World Forum for Foreign Direct Investment.

    Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said the three-day forum funded by the NSW Government will provide an opportunity to attract global investment to key industry precincts being developed across the State.

  • Monthly average losses to NBN scams almost triple in 2019


    Australians are losing more money to NBN scams, with reported losses in 2019 already higher than the total of last year’s losses.

    Consumers lost an average of more than $110,000 each month between January and May this year, compared with around $38,500 in monthly average losses throughout 2018 – an increase of nearly 300 per cent.  

    “People aged over 65 are particularly vulnerable, making the most reports and losing more than $330,000 this year. That’s more than 60 per cent of the current losses,” ACCC Acting Chair Delia Rickard said.

  • Information sessions on Katoomba Airfield Proposal

    The NSW Government will hold public information sessions over the next two weeks to help inform the Blue Mountains community about a lease proposal for Katoomba Airfield.

    Department of Industry Executive Director Crown Lands Chris Reynolds said information sessions will be held at the Hotel Blue at 88 Lurline Street, Katoomba.

    “The Department has placed on public exhibition an application to lease Katoomba Airfield at Medlow Bath and is seeking community feedback,” Mr Reynolds said.