Saturday, 22 July 2017 Sydney

Invest In Australia News::

  • Open markets must benefit consumers or distrust will grow

    Markets must work in favour of consumers and the public must be convinced of the benefits of competition or distrust in the market mechanism can grow, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chair Rod Sims warned today.

    Addressing the 2017 Australian Conference of Economists in Sydney, Mr Sims signalled any loss of public confidence in market economics puts at risk the positive change countries and institutions are capable of if they embrace an open market system.

    “I feel strongly that we will all be considerably worse off if this increasing disillusion with a market economy goes unchecked,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.   

  • Better infrastructure transparency for taxpayers

    The costs, benefits and risks of infrastructure and other public service projects will be more transparently and consistently reported to taxpayers under a new Australian accounting standard released today.

    Public sector entities will soon be required to recognise assets and liabilities that relate to their public private partnerships (PPPs), following the release of Australian accounting standard, AASB 1059 Service Concession Arrangements: Grantors.

  • Trend full-time employment growth continues

    Monthly trend full-time employment increased for the ninth straight month in June 2017, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today. Full-time employment grew by a further 30,000 persons, while part-time employment decreased by 4,000 persons, underpinning an increase in total employment of 26,000 persons.

    "Full-time employment has increased by around 187,000 persons since September 2016, with particular strength over the past five months, averaging around 30,000 persons per month," Chief Economist for the ABS Bruce Hockman said. "Full-time employment now accounts for about 68 per cent of employment, however this is down from around 72 per cent a decade ago." 

  • ACCC on changing telecommunications market dynamic

    Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chairman Rod Sims has welcomed the entry of new mobile and fixed broadband competitors into the rapidly changing telecommunications market.

    Addressing the Communications Day Unwired Revolution Conference in Sydney today, Mr Sims said there were encouraging signs that competition in the sector was healthy.

  • Good mental health critical to business success

    Small business operators have been urged to take as much care of their mental health and wellbeing as they do of cashflow and serving customers.

    The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman has published online resources and links to raise awareness of wellbeing issues and warning signs.

    Ombudsman Kate Carnell said high levels of stress and long working hours left small business people vulnerable to fatigue, anxiety and depression.

  • Small businesses bleeding from higher energy costs

    The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman says small business operators are the forgotten people in Australia’s energy crisis.

    Ombudsman Kate Carnell says high energy users like manufacturers and hospitality businesses are casualties of a failed system.

    “It makes sense for heavy users to negotiate long-term contracts, but it’s nearly impossible to meaningfully compare quotes without expert knowledge,” Ms Carnell said.

    “Combined with poor reliability of supply, small businesses are in a precarious position. It’s a disincentive to employ and invest.

  • New partnership to help tackle climate change across Australian towns and cities

    The ACT Government today joined the Cities Power Partnership which will transform Australia’s energy future from the ground up by enabling local councils to rapidly decrease carbon emissions and prevent worsening climate change impacts.

    “I’m pleased to announce the ACT is one of 35 cities and regional councils across Australia who today signed up to be part of a national movement for climate action,” Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury said. “The Cities Power Partnership is a positive way to sidestep political roadblocks and red tape.

  • ACCC statement on Aldi Flushable Wipes

    Earlier this week, the ACCC raised concerns with ALDI regarding its promotion of ALDI Green Action Flushable Bathroom Cleaning Wipes (100pk) in its Special Buys catalogue. The ACCC’s concerns stem from the use of the term ‘flushable’, in particular the concern that such a claim may mislead consumers if the claim cannot be substantiated.

    The ACCC is already pursuing alleged misleading ‘flushable’ claims more generally, with two proceedings currently before the Federal Court against Pental and Kimberly-Clark Australia Pty Ltd. 

  • Statement on recent reports of refund fraud

    The ATO is investigating recent reports of two tax agents whose clients are reporting the receipt of an unexpected ATO refund into their bank account. There is no information to suggest ATO systems have been compromised. The impacted agents proactively contacted the ATO and we are working in partnership to mitigate the risk to other clients and revenue.

    Fraudsters steal personal identification information using various methods from sources outside of the ATO. This information is used to impersonate ATO clients and lodge fraudulent tax refunds. The protection of client information is a shared responsibility of the ATO and a broader network of trusted partners. 

  • Labor in hiding on cable car, White’s small target strategy revealed

    Days after releasing draft legislation on the Mt Wellington cable car, Labor has gone into hiding and is refusing to comment.

    This is clearly a sign that Labor is looking to join the Greens and doing everything to block the next steps in making a cable car a reality.

  • Enterprising Young Rural Ambassador Wins Award

    Lachy Johnson, a 19-year-old apprentice mechanic from Bordertown, has been named South Australia’s Young Rural Ambassador for 2017.

    Representing the Mundulla Agricultural, Horticultural & Floricultural Society (A, H & F) and the South East and Border Show Association, Lachy was named the winner at the Young Rural Ambassador Award State Final by the Agricultural Societies Council of South Australia at Rydges South Park Adelaide on Friday night.

  • Low cost, low cover private health policies rising

    An ACCC report into the private health insurance industry released today has found that affordability of private health insurance remains a significant concern for consumers.

    The complexity of policy information provided by insurers is another key issue, reflected in increasing complaints about the industry. 

    “Our report found that people are shifting towards lower-cost policies with lower benefits.” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

  • AG Energy Council meeting: States and territories “getting the job done”

    Today ACT Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury joined with ministers from Victoria, South Australia, and Queensland at the COAG Energy Council meeting to call on the Federal Government to push ahead with implementation of a Clean Energy Target (CET).

    “Today the ACT joined with our state counterparts in encouraging the Federal Government to follow the leadership of our jurisdictions in adopting a Clean Energy Target,” Mr Rattenbury said.

    “We are disappointed that the Federal Government has chosen instead to dither and delay on real climate action, while states and territories including the ACT are busy getting on with the job.

  • ACCC urges Horticulture Industry to comply with code

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is putting growers and traders in the horticulture industry on notice that they need to take steps to comply with the 2017 Horticulture Code of Conduct, or face penalties and fines.

    Addressing the 2017 NSW Farmers Horticulture Forum today, ACCC Commissioner Mick Keogh called on growers and traders to familiarise themselves with the Code and to ensure their businesses are compliant.

  • Beware high risk, no reward investment scams


    The ACCC is warning the community to watch out for investment scammers who promise the world but leave their victims with broken dreams and empty bank accounts.

    “In the first half of 2017, Australians have reported losing over $13 million to investment scams to the ACCC’s Scamwatch website, making it the most profitable of all the current scams. It is likely that losses are much higher as many victims do not report scams or contact other authorities,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

  • Report finds pharmaceutical manufacturing driving huge growth in Victoria’s exports

    New data shows Victoria's medical technologies and pharmaceuticals exports are experiencing rapid growth thanks to world-class advanced manufacturing capabilities.

    Victorian Minister for Industry and Employment Wade Noonan today launched the State of the Sector Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals 2017 report while visiting GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) facility in Melbourne's east.

  • Sydney Startup Hub gives regional NSW a place to land and launch

    A new $35 million startup hub in Sydney’s CBD will provide a world-class landing pad for regional startups to tap into global networks, customers and investment.

    Announcing the new Sydney Startup Hub (SSH) today, Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW and Small Business, John Barilaro, said the Hub would give regional startups a dedicated space to showcase their businesses and ideas.

    “The Sydney Startup Hub is Sydney by name only, it is truly a statewide initiative that supports regional entrepreneurs and connects the wider startup community.

  • Rising parcel delivery costs hit small business

    Small business operators have raised concerns with the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman regarding the cost of sending parcels.

    It appears that Australia Post provides volume discounts to big customers who send large amounts of parcel mail.

    Ombudsman Kate Carnell is considering options to level the playing field for small businesses.

    “Concerns have been raised with me by small business operators regarding their capacity to compete with big business when it comes to online sales,” Ms Carnell said.

  • Tasmanian defence industries taking on the world

    The Hodgman Liberal Government continues to back our State’s capabilities in the manufacturing and defence contracting sectors, and welcomes the latest international successes of two home-grown companies, which cements what should be our place in Australia’s own defence building sector.

    CBG Systems and Liferaft Systems Australia (LSA), both based at Derwent Park, are taking Tasmanian know-how and innovation to the world’s defence forces.

  • Mice Baiting And Chemical Use Alert To Combat Plague

    Famers are being advised to follow best practice chemical use when combatting mice numbers, which have now reached plague proportions in some areas of South Australia.

    Under the Agricultural and Veterinary Products (Control of Use) Act 2002 it is an offence to NOT follow these specific mandatory instructions when an approved chemical label includes instructions that contain the words MUST, MUST NOT, DO NOT, NOT TO BE USED or USE ONLY.

  • ACCC releases findings of beer taps investigation

    The ACCC has conducted an in-depth investigation into the contracts of Carlton United Breweries (CUB) and Lion Pty Limited (Lion) after allegations from some craft brewers that the major brewers were locking them out of beer taps in pubs, clubs and live venues through the use of exclusivity provisions and volume requirements.  

    The ACCC investigation examined contracts and practices at 36 venues across NSW and Victoria and found that their impact is unlikely to substantially lessen competition in any of the markets we investigated. However, the competition watchdog says it will continue to closely monitor conduct and developments in the market.

  • Second Commissioner’s Statement: ATO digital forensic capability

    I would like to reassure the community about the ATO’s use of digital forensic capability, following media reports today.

    The ATO does not monitor taxpayers’ mobile phones or remotely access their mobile devices.

    Circumstances where the ATO uses technology such as the Universal Forensic Extraction software provided by Cellebrite, is to support criminal investigations. For example, where assets such as laptops or mobile devices may contain information about activity related to suspected organised crime or alleged large scale promotion of aggressive tax schemes.

  • Certainty for stakeholders who rely on ATO systems

    The ATO remains committed to ensuring the ongoing stability, availability and resilience of our IT systems for Tax Time 2017 and into the future.

    The issues we have encountered with our systems over the past few weeks highlight the sheer size, scale, and complexity of the ATO’s IT environment. We continue to examine the triggers and cause of these issues and this analysis is informing the ongoing remediation work we are undertaking. We can confirm recent events have not been related to our storage area network (SAN), but have been caused by other hardware or mainframe issues, and sometimes simply human error.

  • Judicial review of procurement complaints welcomed

    The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman has welcomed the Government Procurement (Judicial Review) Bill as a “first step in the right direction” to provide small businesses with a legislated mechanism to raise complaints.

    Ombudsman Kate Carnell says the Australian Government spends between $50-60 billion each year on goods and services.

    In 2015–16, small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) accounted for 24 per cent of procurement by value ($13.7 billion).

    Ms Carnell said the percentage, as a share of overall total value, had been steadily declining over the past three years.