Friday, 23 August 2019 Sydney

Invest In Australia News::

  • East coast gas prices need to follow export prices down

    High gas prices remain a critical issue for domestic gas users and could see more businesses move or close in the east coast, according to the Gas Inquiry 2017‑20 Interim Report released by the ACCC today.

    The report shows that most commercial and industrial Australian gas users will pay more than $9/GJ for gas this year, and some more than $11/GJ.

  • Recognising Tasmania’s top exporters

    Nominations for the 2019 Tasmanian Export Awards are now open to recognise the contribution our leading exporters make to our State.

    Tasmania has what the rest of the world wants and now is the time to maintain the momentum and invest for growth in our trade sector to support local businesses and create more jobs.

    The 2019-20 State Budget invests an additional $4.4 million to support Tasmania’s first Trade Strategy, which will increase market opportunities and support Tasmanian businesses to get their products to the world.

    Tasmania’s trade continues to grow strongly, with exports growing 6.6 per cent compared to the last year.

  • Greens honest about their slash and burn budget alternative, unlike Labor

    It says a lot that two Green members can put together an alternative budget while 14 Labor members can’t.

    First and foremost, it says that everyone apart from Rebecca White and Labor realises that you can’t be an alternative government if you don’t have an alternative plan.

    While the Greens deserve credit for at least backing up their constant negativity with an alternative budget, it is very clear that a future Labor-Green Government would once again decimate jobs, businesses and our economy.

    Slashing infrastructure projects, de-funding important tourism initiatives and infrastructure, and gutting major industries like racing is the last thing Tasmania needs.

  • Allegations Sony breached consumer law for PlayStation games

    The ACCC has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against Sony Interactive Entertainment Network Europe Limited (Sony Europe) for making false or misleading representations to Australian consumers on its website and in dealings with Australian customers of its PlayStation online store.

    The ACCC alleges that from around September 2017, Sony Europe told consumers seeking a refund for faulty games that it did not have to provide refunds for games that had been downloaded, or if 14 days had passed since purchase.

  • Auditor-General report on Emergency Department services

    The Tasmanian Government notes the Auditor-General’s report into Tasmania’s Emergency Departments.

    The recommendations and findings contained within the report outline several opportunities to provide better care for more Tasmanians.

    We look forward to examining these closely as part of the upcoming Access Solutions Meeting and will be providing a copy of the report to the attendees to help inform discussions.

  • Return of Michaelia Cash provides much-needed continuity for small businesses

    The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell welcomes the return of Senator Michaelia Cash to Cabinet as Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business.

    “Senator Cash’s return as small and family business minister demonstrates the importance of this sector in Australia, getting on with the important work that’s already begun since the Minister’s initial appointment,” Ms Carnell said.

  • Amended OxoPak certification trademark approved


    The ACCC has approved OxoPak Pty Ltd’s application for a certification trademark for certain biodegradable plastics after substantial changes were made to it to address concerns raised by the ACCC.

    The approved OxoPak mark certifies that plastic bags and other packaging materials meet specified standards of oxo-biodegradability. The mark is intended to be used on plastic products that are recyclable or, if they do end up in the environment as litter, are oxo-biodegradable.

  • Bellinger River snapping turtles saved from extinction

    A captive breeding program at Taronga Zoo has successfully returned 10 critically endangered Bellinger River snapping turtles to their natural habitat on the Mid North Coast.

    The $100 million Saving our Species captive breeding program rescued 20 virus-free turtles from the Bellinger River. In 2015, 90 per cent of the estimated 4500 turtles living in the river were wiped out by a virus within three months.

    In the first year of the program, 22 healthy turtles hatched, with another 31 healthy turtles hatching in 2018.

  • Regional Pitchfest to unearth startup talent

    Minister for Jobs Stuart Ayres is calling on NSW’s brightest startups to share their innovative ideas at Australia’s largest pitch competition for regional startups – the 2019 Jobs for NSW Regional Pitchfest.

    Minister for Jobs Stuart Ayres said the statewide event, supported by the NSW Government-backed Jobs for NSW, will see applicants participate in one of nine local pitching events across regional and rural areas from Broken Hill to Byron Bay.

  • Digital giants’ buy-up of start-ups poses challenges for merger laws

    Competition regulators world-wide are grappling with the rise of dominant digital platforms like Facebook and Google, and are debating whether current competition laws need to be reframed in response, ACCC Chair Rod Sims said in a speech today.

    Speaking at the 2019 Competition Law Conference in Sydney, Mr Sims noted a global discussion among anti-trust authorities on how should they respond to acquisitions by big digital platforms of start-ups that, while small, may evolve into significant competitors.

  • Labor’s Alternative Budget challenge

    When Rebecca White makes her budget reply in Parliament next week there will be nowhere to hide for a fence-sitting, policy-free Labor Party.

    After another year of being all complaints and no solutions, Labor must finally be honest with Tasmanians on what their policies are, what those policies would cost, and which projects and services that the Hodgman Liberal Government is delivering would they cut to pay for them.

  • Appeal in laundry detergent cartel case unsuccessful

    The Full Court of the Federal Court has dismissed the ACCC’s appeal against a ruling that there was insufficient evidence to find that PZ Cussons Australia (Cussons) engaged in cartel behaviour in the laundry detergent market.

    “We took this action because the alleged conduct related to an essential household product that is frequently purchased and used by Australian consumers,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

    “The ACCC takes cartel conduct extremely seriously, due to its impact on consumers and the wider economy.”

  • International competition regulators sign new competition framework

    The ACCC has joined the International Competition Network’s ‘Framework on Competition Agency Procedures’ (CAP) alongside more than 60 other global agencies.

    The CAP provides a multilateral framework that promotes procedural fairness in relation to the way regulators conduct competition investigations and enforcement.

    “This framework promotes cooperation and the exchange of experience between competition authorities around the world on the important issue of procedural fairness,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said. 

  • 2019-20 Budget: $16 million upgrades to the West Coast Wilderness Railway

    The Hodgman Liberal Government’s 2019-20 State Budget is about maintaining the momentum and investing for growth, including in our key tourism infrastructure.

    The Budget includes a substantial investment of $16 million over four years to support the West Coast Wilderness Railway, a key tourism drawcard for the West Coast and North West.

    The investment will include substantial upgrades to the railway’s infrastructure and expand capacity with new rolling stock.

  • Kogan in Court for alleged false or misleading discount advertisements

    The ACCC has instituted proceedings against Kogan Australia Pty Ltd (Kogan) in the Federal Court alleging that Kogan made false or misleading representations about a 10% discount promotion, in breach of the Australian Consumer Law.

    Between 27 and 30 June 2018, Kogan ran an online promotion where consumers could obtain a 10% discount on most of its products by using the discount code “TAXTIME”.  The promotion was held ahead of the end of the 2017/18 financial year.

    Kogan published this promotion on its website and via text messages and emails to consumers.

  • New guide for fixed wireless broadband customers

    The ACCC has today published advice for NBN fixed wireless customers experiencing broadband speed problems, and has updated its guidance for retailers about how to advertise broadband speed claims.

    Customers on fixed wireless networks, many living in regional and rural areas, are still facing broadband congestion during the busy evening period, and many fixed wireless broadband customers are not getting speeds anywhere near the maximum advertised in their plan.

  • Tasmanian construction and building industry leads the nation

    According to the latest ABS figures released today, Tasmania recorded the strongest growth in the construction and building sector in the year to March 2019.

    This is fantastic news, and confirms the Hodgman Liberal Government’s initiatives to help build intergenerational infrastructure and increase housing supply are working.

  • Cherbourg community stands against unlawful door-to-door traders

    New roadside signage in the Aboriginal community of Cherbourg in southern Queensland is reminding door-to-door traders about their legal obligations under the Australian Consumer Law.

    The community today launched the ‘Do Not Knock informed’ communities program, a joint initiative between the Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council, the ACCC and the Queensland Office of Fair Trading (QOFT).

    The signage, located at the entrance to Cherbourg, reminds door-to-door traders that they must not approach houses displaying do-not-knock notices.

  • APLNG’s acquisition of Origin’s Ironbark project not opposed

    The ACCC will not oppose Australia Pacific LNG’s (APLNG) proposed acquisition of the Ironbark coal seam gas project from Origin Energy (Origin).

    APLNG is a large gas producer with significant gas tenements in eastern Australia. It supplies almost 30 per cent of the gas going into the east coast market, and processes the balance of its gas for export at its LNG facility near Gladstone, Queensland.

  • Funding for housing to be boosted in 2019-20 Budget.

    In recognition of continuing high demand for social and affordable housing, the Hodgman Liberal Government will allocate almost $68 million in 2019-20 to boost the supply of new social and affordable homes.

    This budget is about maintaining the momentum and investing for growth. The Hodgman Liberal Government recognises the increased demand for housing, and we are working through our ten year Affordable Housing Strategy to address housing stress and reduce homelessness in Tasmania.

  • Cherbourg community stands against unlawful door-to-door traders

    New roadside signage in the Aboriginal community of Cherbourg in southern Queensland is reminding door-to-door traders about their legal obligations under the Australian Consumer Law.

    The community today launched the ‘Do Not Knock informed’ communities program, a joint initiative between the Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council, the ACCC and the Queensland Office of Fair Trading (QOFT).

    The signage, located at the entrance to Cherbourg, reminds door-to-door traders that they must not approach houses displaying do-not-knock notices.

  • NBN consumers continue shift to higher speed plans

    More than 5.2 million Australian households are now connected to the NBN, with almost 60 per cent subscribed to higher speed plans, according to the ACCC’s latest quarterly Wholesale Market Indicators Report, released today.

    The report shows that NBN residential broadband connections across Australia rose by 8.5 per cent in the March quarter, up from 4.8 million at the end of the previous three months.

  • The good news continues for commercial kaffir lime leaf growers in the Northern Territory

    In good news for kaffir lime leaf growers, the first interstate consignment of leaves were sent from the Northern Territory to New South Wales on 13 May under a recently-approved national protocol.

    In April 2019, a protocol detailing procedures for the treatment and movement of kaffir lime leaves was approved by the other state and territory governments. The approved protocol allows the Territory’s commercial kaffir lime leaf growers to transport kaffir lime leaves to interstate markets for culinary purposes.

  • GSK and Novartis misled consumers with Voltaren Osteo Gel claims

    The Federal Court has accepted admissions by GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Australia Pty Ltd (GSK) and Novartis Consumer Health Australasia Pty Ltd (Novartis) that they breached the Australian Consumer Law by making false or misleading representations in the marketing of Voltaren Osteo Gel and Voltaren Emulgel pain relief products.

    GSK and Novartis admitted that from January 2012 to March 2017,  they marketed Osteo Gel as being specifically formulated and more effective than Emulgel in treating osteoarthritis related pain and inflammation.