Monday, 25 March 2019 Sydney

Invest In Australia News::

  • Tackle your tax bill today

    The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is today reminding taxpayers who have been issued with a tax bill after lodging their 2016–17 return that in most cases these are due by 21 November.

    Assistant Commissioner Kath Anderson says anyone finding it hard to pay their bill by the due date should contact the ATO as soon as possible.

    “There are a range of things we can do to help you meet your obligations. The most important thing is that you get in touch with us so we can talk you through the available options,” Ms Anderson says.

  • ACCC won't oppose proposed acquisition of OfficeMax by Complete Office Supplies

    The ACCC will not oppose the proposed acquisition of OfficeMax Australia (OfficeMax) by Complete Office Supplies (COS).

    COS and OfficeMax both supply office products to commercial and government customers in Australia.

    The ACCC focussed on the supply of traditional office products, particularly stationery, to large commercial and government customers.

    “The ACCC found that a combined COS-OfficeMax would continue to face competition from Winc (formerly Staples), and to a lesser extent from Lyreco. Post-acquisition, Winc will remain the market leader by some margin,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

  • AIIA appoints board for 2017-18 year

    The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), the nation’s peak industry body for the technology sector, today announced its national board for the 2017-18 year, following yesterday’s Annual General Meeting held in Sydney.

    The AIIA board is composed of 16 directors, including 10 elected directors, five directors appointed by the Board, and the immediate past Chair. Directors are appointed for up to three years from the date of their election.

    Fiona Anson, co-founder and director JobGetter, and Steve Worrall, managing director Microsoft Australia were newly elected to the board.

  • ATO warns SMSF trustees to be wary of risky retirement planning arrangements

    The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is warning self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) trustees and retirees about the risks of some emerging retirement planning arrangements that they may consider, or be approached about.

    ATO Deputy Commissioner James O’Halloran said the ATO knows most people do the right thing and work hard to save for their retirement.

    “If a taxpayer becomes involved in any illegal arrangement, even by accident, they may incur severe penalties, jeopardise their retirement savings and risk losing their rights as a trustee to manage their own fund.”

  • West Coast to become Tasmania’s next iconic drive destination

    Tasmania’s spectacular West Coast is set to become Tasmania’s next iconic drive.

    Developing and branding a unique drive experience to the West will be the first priority of a new Tasmanian Journeys Project which is designed to encourage more visitors to explore and stay in our regions.

    Given the success of the Great Eastern Drive, we believe an iconic drive to the West Coast could inspire more visitors to head West and experience this diverse, historic and breathtaking part of Tasmania.

  • iNsTagrammers exhibition comes to Alice Springs this Summer

    Northern Territory Library’s iNsTagrammers: the best in NT photography from Instagram exhibition is coming to Alice Springs this summer.

    Developed by curator Caddie Brain, the Alice Springs exhibition features 20 new images from Central Australia’s iNsTagrammers, the best snaps of local life from local cattle producers, remote midwives, teachers, ice-cream makers and artists, mums and mayors.

    “The exhibition celebrates the very best in contemporary photography shared on social media by Territorians,” Ms Brain said.

  • Court publishes redacted version of liability decision in ACCC v CFMEU case

    The Federal Court has today published its judgment on liability in the ACCC v CFMEU case.

    The ACCC commenced proceedings against the CFMEU in November 2014 alleging secondary boycott conduct in breach of section 45D of the CCA.

    The Court also made non-publication and suppression orders which mean parts of the judgment are redacted.

    The ACCC is unable to comment on the judgment due to the non-publication and suppression orders. Accordingly the ACCC will be making no further statements until such time as the non-publication and suppression orders are lifted.

  • Have your say about improving quad bike safety

    Quad bikes riders and industry can make a submission to the ACCC’s quad bike safety investigation, with proposed reforms outlined in an Issues Paper released today.

    “Tragically, 114 people have been killed in Australia in quad bike accidents since 2011. The ACCC is investigating a range of possible options to improve quad bike safety and prevent further deaths and injuries in the community,” ACCC Commissioner Mick Keogh said.

    “A key question is whether a safety standard should be introduced for quad bikes under the Australian Consumer Law.”

  • Small Business unfair contract terms in focus

    The ACCC is continuing to educate business and take enforcement action to ensure that small businesses receive the protections of the new unfair contract terms laws.

    Since 12 November last year, when the laws were extended to small business contracts, the ACCC has taken successful court action against a major waste management company, JJ Richards & Sons Pty Ltd, for unfair contract terms including an automatic five-year rollover clause, a unilateral price variation term and a broad indemnity provision.

  • Small business sector welcomes fair contracts law

    The Australian small business sector has embraced and welcomed legislation that protects them from unfair contracts.

    Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell, said a recent survey showed high awareness among small business operators of the unfair contract terms (UCT) legislation, which has now been in force for one year.

    The East & Partners SME survey* of 1280 businesses showed 49.6 per cent had relied on the UCT legislation to negotiate fairer terms in the previous six months and the awareness level was 78.2 per cent.

  • ACCC releases quarterly report on the NBN wholesale market

    Wholesale Market Indicators Report for the period ending 30 September 2017.

    The ACCC says competition is increasing as more access seekers have built sufficient scale to directly connect with the NBN at more points of interconnection (POIs).

    “This report provides a clear indication of the level of competition developing over the NBN,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

  • Licensed post offices and Australia Post may collectively bargain

    The ACCC has granted authorisation to the Licensed Post Office Group Ltd (LPO Group) and its current and future licensed post office members to collectively negotiate with Australia Post.

    LPO Group and its members sought authorisation from the ACCC to collectively negotiate and enter into a new agreement with Australia Post, or to vary agreements already in place for the provision of postal and distribution services by Licensed Post Offices (LPOs).

    LPO Group currently has 870 members and will represent 525 of these financial members in negotiations with Australia Post.  Australia Post currently has a total network of 2881 licensed post offices.

  • ATO finalises its position in relation to SMSF event-based reporting

    After detailed consultation with the self-managed super fund (SMSF) sector, the ATO announced today that its implementation of SMSF event-based reporting from 1 July 2018 will be limited to those SMSFs with members with total superannuation account balances of $1 million or more.

    Deputy Commissioner James O’Halloran said that this means that SMSFs whose members’ total superannuation balances are less than $1 million can choose to report events which impact their members’ transfer balances at the same time that the SMSF lodges its SMSF annual return.

  • Funding Boost To Draw More Visitors To The EP

    Tuesday 7 November 2017

    Facilities to attract and keep visitors in the lower Eyre Peninsula will be built at the Glen-Forest Tourist Park and Vineyard with the support of a $193,750 Regional Development Fund grant.

    The family-operated tourist park will expand and improve their current facilities, adding a new reception, kiosk and shop, along with a cellar door and the creation of an adventure maze.

    An additional six FTE positions will be created during construction, with another six ongoing FTEs to manage the expanded facility.

  • ACCC releases second self-assessment against the regulator performance framework

    The ACCC has released its second self‑assessment report, which measures the agency against the Australian Government’s Regulator Performance Framework(link is external) across 2016-17.

    The framework requires Commonwealth regulators to assess their own performance against six key performance indicators(link is external). The framework and indicators focus on a regulator’s actions in relation to the businesses that are subject to its regulatory processes.

  • Anchor furniture to stop deaths and injuries

    The ACCC is co-leading an international safety campaign urging parents and carers to anchor unstable furniture and large TVs to the wall to prevent infant deaths and serious injuries.

    The consumer watchdog is joining the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and 18 other regulators from around the world in alerting consumers to the dangers of unstable furniture and large TVs.

    Suppliers are also being urged to take immediate steps to improve the stability of these products and supply anchors at the point of sale.

  • Fighting for Tasmania’s fair share of GST

    The Hodgman Government will always fight for Tasmania’s fair share of the GST.

    The Productivity Commission’s review into the method for distributing GST among the states and territories is an opportunity for Tasmania to once again unite and clearly say that as a community we simply won’t stand for it.

    That’s why I have invited the Productivity Commission to hold a public hearing in Tasmania as part of its review.  I want the opportunity to once again explain to the Productivity Commission face to face, that we will fight tooth and nail for every single cent of GST that we are entitled to.

  • Petrol price apps can save millions for motorists

    The ACCC’s September quarterly report on the Australian petroleum industry reveals how much money motorists can save by avoiding buying petrol at the peak of the price cycle.

    ACCC analysis has found if motorists in Sydney had simply avoided buying E10 on the six days around the price cycle peaks in the previous six months, they would have paid on average around 2.6 cents per litre (cpl) less.

    Assuming similar savings for the other types of petrol (i.e. regular unleaded petrol (RULP) and premium unleaded petrol), the estimated overall savings for Sydney motorists over a year would be in the region of $85 million.

  • ATO statement regarding the ‘Paradise Papers’

    The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) is today reporting about information they have in relation to offshore law firm Appleby.

    The ATO has been working closely for several months with our partner agencies here and overseas in anticipation of a data release by the ICIJ. These relationships have enabled the ATO to commence analysis of the intelligence received to identify possible Australian links.

  • Australian Unity to compensate some members over dental benefits

    Following an ACCC investigation, Australian Unity has agreed to pay compensation to members who held couple and family policies in 2015 that were likely to have been misled about the dental benefits they could claim from their policy. It is expected that Australian Unity will pay at least $620,000 in compensation to affected consumers. 

    At the start of 2015, Australian Unity’s Comprehensive Extras policy for couples and families included one overall limit for dental benefits, which was between $1,600 and $2,400 per calendar year. The insurer’s fact sheets, website and terms and conditions in 2015 represented to members that these benefits were fixed and would not change for that year.

  • AirAsia to refund Passenger Movement Charge for affected travellers

    AirAsia will offer refunds to affected customers after incorrectly levying the Passenger Movement Charge (PMC) to children under 12 years old on certain flights from Darwin to Bali between December 2010 and September 2017.

    The ACCC raised concerns with AirAsia following media reports in September. Children under the age of 12 are exempt from the PMC under the Passenger Movement Charge Collection Act 1978.

    “Some AirAsia customers have been incorrectly charged for a levy of up to $60 that did not apply. Affected customers should contact AirAsia to obtain a refund for that charge,” ACCC Deputy Chair Dr Michael Schaper said.

  • Business bank model urged for consideration

    The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman has called for an Australian version of the British Business Bank to be considered.

    Speaking at the Franchise Accountants Network conference in Sydney, Ombudsman Kate Carnell said access to finance was a major challenge for Australian small-medium enterprises.

    “Banks are happy to lend to small businesses, but only if they have security such as property or cash,” Ms Carnell said.

  • Study to identify future ferry sites and infrastructure need for Darwin

    The Northern Territory Government is investigating the potential for future ferry services in and around Darwin Harbour to cater for future growth within the next 50 years.

    The Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics has engaged maritime infrastructure specialists Mott MacDonald to assess several locations to see if they are suitable for future ferry services and identify the infrastructure needed to expand ferry services in Darwin.

    The analysis will also look at trigger points for future demand for ferry transport over a 50-year period.

  • ACCC decides interim authorisation not needed for Port of Brisbane and Carnival

    The ACCC has decided not to grant interim authorisation to the Port of Brisbane and the cruise ship operator Carnival for their proposed licence agreement relating to a proposed new cruise ship terminal.

    “The decision was based on there being no conduct to which the interim authorisation would apply. It does not involve any assessment of the merits of the application for final authorisation,” ACCC Commissioner Roger Featherston said.