Friday, 23 August 2019 Sydney

Invest In Australia News::

  • Global shipping company Wallenius Wilhelmsen charged with criminal cartel conduct

    Following continuing investigations by the ACCC, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean AS (WWO), a Norwegian-based global shipping company, has today been charged with criminal cartel conduct.

    The charge relates to alleged cartel conduct concerning the international shipping of certain vehicles to Australia between June 2011 and July 2012.

    The charge was laid by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecution (CDPP) in the NSW District Registry of the Federal Court. The matter has been set down by the Court for a first mention on 29 August 2019.

  • Weak Australian dollar sees petrol prices at highest level in four years



    The annual average retail petrol price in 2018–19 was the highest in real terms (i.e. adjusted for inflation) in four years according to the ACCC’s latest report on the Australian petroleum market for June quarter 2019.

  • ABS selects Census Privacy Impact Assessment provider

    The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has announced it has selected Galexia to undertake the 2021 Census of Population and Housing Privacy Impact Assessment.

    Galexia will identify and evaluate the potential impact of the Census on the privacy of individuals. It will also recommend ways to minimise or manage possible privacy issues or risks.

    General Manager, Census Division, Chris Libreri said the commencement of the Privacy Impact Assessment is an important stage in the development of the next Census.

    “We are taking a ‘privacy by design’ approach to planning and conducting the Census. This ensures the privacy of individuals is considered at every step, right across the program.

  • ACCC continues to focus on supporting small business

    Unfair contract terms are a key focus in the ACCC’s latest Small Business in Focus report.

    The twice yearly report, which provides an update on key developments in the small business, franchising, and agriculture sectors, reports on the ACCC’s continued actions to protect small businesses against terms in a standard form contract that may be considered unfair.

  • Landmark and Ruralco rural services deal not opposed

    The ACCC will not oppose the proposed acquisition of rural services company Ruralco (ASX:RHL) by Nutrien, which operates in Australia through its wholly owned subsidiary, Landmark.

    The ACCC’s decision is subject to an undertaking requiring Nutrien to divest three rural merchandise stores located in Broome (WA), Alice Springs (NT) and Hughenden (Qld), to a purchaser approved by the ACCC.

  • East coast gas market still tight

    The east coast gas market is unlikely to experience a shortfall in 2020 but supply remains tight and more development and production is needed, the ACCC says in its seventh Gas Inquiry Report, released today.

    The ACCC has found that a gas supply shortfall in the east coast gas market in 2020 is less likely than it was for 2019, mainly because east coast producers expect to produce more gas, about 113 PJ, than in 2019.

  • Tasmanian whisky to be showcased in Kyoto

    Tasmanian whisky producers will be promoted on the world stage at the prestigious Whisky and Craft Beer Showcase, to be held in Kyoto, on Sunday 25 August 2019.

    Sullivans Cove Distillery, Lark Distillery (Australian Whisky Holdings), Belgrove Distillery, and Old Kempton Distillery have been invited to represent Tasmania at what is the largest whisky showcase in Japan.

    Belgrove Distillery’s involvement is a result of their participation in the Government’s Trade and Investment Mission to Japan earlier this year.

  • Lifting Stifling GM Moratorium Gives Farmers A Choice

    The Marshall Liberal Government has today announced farmers on mainland South Australia will be given the choice to plant Genetically Modified (GM) food crops next season.

    The decision to lift the Genetically Modified Food Crops Moratorium on mainland South Australia, but retain it on Kangaroo Island, follows recommendations from a high-level independent review undertaken by Emeritus Professor Kym Anderson AC.

  • Nuts about bees: almond pollination in full swing

    Almond pollination is now buzzing in Victoria.

    This month, about 110,000 rented bee hives from Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland will travel by truck to pollinate Victoria’s almond blossom regions.  

  • Building the export capability of local businesses

    The Tasmanian Government is delivering increased assistance for our exporters to expand into markets across the world, supporting more local jobs and investment.

    One of the key priorities identified in my Government’s new Trade Strategy was to build the export capability of local businesses, and the appointment of a new TradeStart adviser in northern Tasmania will help do this.

  • Water filter cartridge business likely to have misled customers

    Saipol Technologies Pty Ltd (Saipol), a water filter cartridges business, has acknowledged it was likely to have breached the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) by engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct and making false or misleading representations regarding its water filter cartridges.

    The ACCC has accepted a court enforceable undertaking in which Saipol admits that from at least 1 January 2017 to 3 July 2018, it is likely to have misled business customers in promotional material for its ‘C grade’ water filter cartridges. 

  • Transparency improving in cattle and beef industry

    Australia’s cattle and beef industry has taken some steps towards improving transparency in dealings between processers and farmers, but more work is needed, the ACCC has noted today.

  • Jobs Victoria linking job-seekers and employers

    Since 2016, Jobs Victoria has helped almost 10,000 people find, and keep, a job.

    By far the single biggest Victorian Government investment in terms of getting more people into work, Jobs Victoria is an almost $100 million program focusing on long-term unemployed or those at risk of long-term unemployment.  

    With around 70 partners across the state, it helps people find work and helps business find staff through flexible, no-cost to the recruiter, localised recruitment.  

  • Digital Innovation Festival leads the way across Victoria

    Victoria is set to host its fourth Digital Innovation Festival celebrating technology and Victoria’s culture of innovation.  

    From 23 August to 6 September, the Digital Innovation Festival (DIF) will bring together visitors and digital experts to share ideas, network and learn new skills, with hundreds of events staged throughout the state.

  • Ombudsman urges action on small business growth “collapse”

    The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell says she is deeply concerned by fresh data showing small business growth is in crisis, urging the government to do more to break down the barriers to business expansion.

    “The Institute of Public Affairs’ (IPA) latest research has found an alarming decline in the rate of small business growth,” Ms Carnell says.

    “What concerns me greatly about this report’s findings is the sharp drop in the percentage of small businesses hiring additional staff.

  • Nation’s strongest growing economy delivering more jobs

    Under the Hodgman majority Liberal Government, Tasmania has seen a dramatic turnaround in economic performance from just five years ago.

    Today’s Australian Bureau of Statistics’ labour force data for July 2019 shows 13,000 jobs have been created since we came to office.

    In July, there were 200 jobs added to Tasmania's economy, all of which are full time positions.

  • Cruise Ship strategy a blueprint to deliver sustainable growth across the state

    Cruise ships are an important contributor to Tasmania’s visitor economy, injecting $30.5 million into the state last year.

    The Sustainable Cruise Blueprint, released today, outlines our plan to grow this to $50 million by 2022, by encouraging smaller, expedition vessels to visit our regional ports.

    The Blueprint will ensure the benefits of cruise ships are shared by even more Tasmanians and supports our plan for visitors to stay longer and spend more time in regional areas.

  • Taskforce to investigate stronger button battery safety


    The ACCC has established a Button Battery Taskforce to investigate ways to reduce risk to the Australian community, particularly children, of button batteries.

    In Australia two children have died in the past six years after swallowing a button battery, and hundreds of children suspected of swallowing button batteries have ended up in hospital emergency rooms.

    At least 64 children have died globally.

  • More competition in NBN wholesale market

    More retail service providers (RSPs) are directly accessing the NBN in more locations around Australia, offering greater choice and potentially better services for consumers and businesses, according to the ACCC’s latest quarterly Wholesale Market Indicators Report released today.

  • Concerns about Emergent, Oxford cold storage deal

    The ACCC has raised preliminary competition concerns about Emergent Cold’s proposed acquisition of rival cold storage operator Oxford, outlined in a statement of issues published today.

    Oxford and Emergent Cold are the second and third biggest suppliers of third-party cold storage services in Victoria.

    Cold storage is an integral part of the domestic and international supply chains for food products including dairy, seafood, raw and cooked meat, poultry, frozen vegetables and other frozen or chilled foods.

  • Trend unemployment rate at 5.3%

    Australia's trend unemployment rate increased in July 2019 to 5.3 per cent, from 5.2 per cent in June, according to the latest information released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 

    ABS Chief Economist Bruce Hockman said: "Australia's trend unemployment rate increased to 5.3 per cent in July 2019, the same level as this time last year." 

    "The trend participation rate increased further to 66.1 per cent, while employment growth continues to show strength," added Mr Hockman.

    Employment and hours

  • Rail trespassers put lives at risk and face fines of up to $5,500

    Offenders are being warned of the consequences of trespassing on the Sydney Trains network after more than 2,100 illegal incidents were recorded on the network in the past year.

    Offenders who get caught trespassing on the Sydney Trains network and are fortunate not to be injured or killed, face up to $5,500 in fines.

    Speaking during Rail Safety Week, NSW Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said people were putting lives at risk when taking shortcuts across train tracks.

  • Europcar to pay $350,000 penalty for excessive card payment surcharges

    The Federal Court has ordered CLA Trading Pty Ltd (trading as Europcar) to pay $350,000 in penalties for charging excessive credit and debit card payment surcharges in breach of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

    Eurpocar admitted that, between July and August 2017, Europcar charged Visa and MasterCard credit users fees that were higher than Europcar’s costs to accept payments from those credit cards.

    It also admitted that, between July and 5 November 2017, the company had charged excessive surcharges on Visa and MasterCard debit cards.

  • Wages rise 0.6% in the June quarter 2019

    The seasonally adjusted Wage Price Index (WPI) rose 0.6 per cent in the June quarter 2019 and 2.3 per cent through the year, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 

    Seasonally adjusted private sector wage growth was 0.5 per cent, while public sector wage growth was 0.8 per cent in the June quarter 2019.