Friday, 22 September 2017 Sydney

Invest In Australia News::

  • Faster and cheaper approvals for home owners

    Changes to the Housing Code will make it easier, cheaper and faster for home owners in NSW to get approval for a new home or renovation.

    The new Housing Code will simplify the planning rules for homes approved under a fast-tracked complying development pathway.

    For the first time, the code will include easy-to-follow diagrams, making it easier to understand the building standards that must be met when building or renovating.

  • 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.

  • ASIC and ASBFEO hold banks to account on unfair contract terms

    Following intervention by the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the big four banks are taking action to protect small businesses from unfair terms in loan contracts.

    Following a round table hosted by ASBFEO and ASIC, the big four banks have committed to a series of comprehensive changes to ensure all small business loans entered into or renewed from 12 November 2016 will be protected from unfair contract terms.

  • Melbourne University wins grant as Australia’s first Academic Centre of Cyber Security Excellence

    University of Melbourne and Edith Cowan University will share A$1.9 million in Federal Government funding as Australia's first Academic Centre of Cyber Security Excellence.

    The grant reflects the University of Melbourne's long-term teaching and research focus on cyber security and its relationship with industry and the community.

  • New buses, extra weekly services for NSW

    The NSW Government will buy more than 170 new buses, bringing thousands of additional and improved weekly services to customers across the state. 

    The $1.5 billion in funding from the upcoming NSW Budget will help replace 134 of the state’s ageing bus fleet, add 42 buses and deliver 3300 more services a week.

    To help ease increased congestion, the new bus fleet will include six double-deck buses to replace the bendy-buses.

    New and enhanced services will be added to growth centres such as Macquarie Park, Olympic Park, and Marsden Park.

  • ACCC takes action against Thermomix

    The ACCC has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against Thermomix In Australia Pty Ltd (Thermomix), alleging it contravened several provisions of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) in relation to its Thermomix appliances.

    The ACCC alleges that Thermomix misled customers about their consumer guarantee rights, failed to comply with mandatory reporting requirements for injuries arising from the use of the appliances, made false representations and engaged in misleading conduct regarding the safety of the TM31 model, and made false and misleading statements about its 2014 recall.

  • Victoria’s FinTech hub in Melbourne to drive innovation

    The State Government of Victoria will establish a new FinTech hub in Melbourne's Docklands, providing a boost to local startups, attracting investment, and creating new jobs that support the state's significant professional services sector.

    The Victorian Government has released a request for proposal document which invites companies to tender to establish the FinTech hub, to be located in Dockland's Goods Shed North in the centre of Melbourne.

  • Melbourne University wins grant as Australia’s first Academic Centre of Cyber Security Excellence

    University of Melbourne and Edith Cowan University will share A$1.9 million in Federal Government funding as Australia's first Academic Centre of Cyber Security Excellence.

    The grant reflects the University of Melbourne's long-term teaching and research focus on cyber security and its relationship with industry and the community.

  • Amaroo School expansion underway

    Today I visited Amaroo School to turn the first sod of the new Amaroo School expansion. This $13.16 million project combines the construction of new learning areas for 300 extra students as well as the extension of existing infrastructure and the building of brand new hard court facilities.

    In our recent 2017/18 budget, the government recognised the need for investment in our Gungahlin public schools. Public school enrolments in the Gungahlin region have grown by about 53% over the last five years.

  • Keep Footrot Affected Sheep Out Of Our Livestock Markets

    With the advent of winter Primary Industries and Regions (SA) are urging sheep producers to be vigilant in checking for virulent footrot.

    As a result of ideal conditions over the past 12 months, PIRSA Animal Health staff have seen more cases of virulent footrot appearing in markets.

    Producers are reminded that any sheep sent to market are detected with footrot they can receive a significant fine.

    Quotes attributable to Chief Veterinary Officer, Roger Paskin

  • Melbourne, the most liveable and intelligent city in the world

    It's official. Melbourne has now been recognised as the world's most intelligent city on top of its long standing crown as the world's most liveable city.

    The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF), a global think tank based in New York, has awarded Melbourne the 2017 Intelligent Community of the Year at a ceremony in Manhattan.

    The ICF is a global network of 160 countries, cities and towns with a think tank at its heart.

  • Central West and Orana Regional Plan released

    Under the plan, the Central West and Orana region will have one of the most diverse regional economies in NSW by 2036. 

    The Central West and Orana Regional Plan is a blueprint that will guide planning and land use decisions over the next 20 years.

    It identifies five priority growth sectors, including:

  • 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.