Business and Finance

  • hydraulic fracturing

    Northern Territory implementation plan for hydraulic fracturing

    On 17 July 2018, the Northern Territory (NT) Government released its plan to implement the 135 recommendations of the Independent Scientific Inquiry into unconventional hydraulic fracturing. The plan details... more
  • Growth

    Growth top of mind for regional businesses

    Commonwealth Bank’s Regional Business Insights report shows that nearly half (49 per cent) of all regional businesses can see opportunities for growth. The research provides a snapshot of regional businesses ... more
  • Venture capital

    Venture capital investment in Australian startups hits new peak

    Australian venture capital (VC) invested in Australia hit a record US$630 million in the 2017/18 financial year, according to Venture Pulse Q2 2018, the quarterly global VC trends report published by KPMG. Over... more
  • ETF

    Why invest in Active exchange traded funds

    Most investors are aware of the surge in popularity of exchange traded funds (ETFs) but fewer are aware of a new type of ETF: Active ETFs. Active ETFs are like an actively managed fund that can be bought or ... more

Australian investment opportunities open up in China

The Chinese Government recently introduced reforms to remove barriers in investment in priority sectors, increasing opportunities for Australian investors in the world’s second largest economy. China's Ministry of Commerce and National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has rules for foreign investment in a range of sectors, as part of continued measures in opening up China’s economy. The move widens market access in sectors like finance, energy, resources, agriculture, professional services, transportation and infrastructure, opening up new investment opportunities for Australian investors and businesses. China reiterated the opportunity for further liberalisation and investment at the Fifth Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Ministerial Meeting in Tokyo on Sunday. To promote business certainty, we encourage China to implement the new openings in a timely ... more

ECA: small businesses are losing trust in energy providers

A new report released by Energy Consumers Australia (ECA), outlines that small businesses electricity bills were up in both South Australia and the ACT in April, in comparison with the same time last year. In NSW, bills also increased by about 15 per cent. The Energy Consumers Australia’s acting CEO Lynne Gallagher announced that small businesses need a ‘relief’ from the rising costs of electricity in their businesses.  Currently, there is 1 million business classified as small energy customers under various thresholds of annual energy consumption. The ‘Australian Energy Market Commission Report’ found that satisfaction in energy providers reached the lowest point observed since the survey’s inception in 2014, however from those surveyed, satisfaction with gas providers remained broadly unchanged. “With retail electricity prices for small business either flat or fal... more

Queensland Government proposes significant reforms for resource activities

The Queensland Government has sought to strengthen its financial assurance and rehabilitation framework in response to cases such as Linc Energy Ltd (in Liq); Longley & Ors v Chief Executive, Department of Environment and Heritage Protection [2017] QSC 53. In 2016 the Queensland Government commissioned the Queensland Treasury Corporation to carry out a review of the financial assurance framework for the resources sector. The findings of that review were published in the Review of Queensland Financial Assurance Framework. In 2017 the Queensland Treasury Corporation released the Better Mine Rehabilitation for Queensland Discussion Paper, Financial Assurance Framework Reform Discussion Paper and Financial Assurance Review – Providing Surety Discussion Paper, which proposed significant reforms to the rehabilitation and financial assurance frameworks in Queensland for resource act... more

Chinese investment in Australia remains strong despite slowdown

Chinese investment in Australia has dropped to USD 10.3 billion (AUD 13.3 billion) in 2017 – down 11 per cent (in USD terms) from 2016 – in spite of renewed investment in mining, continued investment in commercial real estate and a surge in healthcare investment. Changing regulatory, political and economic landscapes impacted new investment flows from China to the world during the year, with global Chinese overseas direct investment falling by 29 per cent. The volume of Australian deals was on par with the previous year, but average deal sizes fell, with 76 per cent below AUD 100 million. While investment by private Chinese companies grew, the total volume of State Owned Enterprise (SOE) investment dropped for the first time since 2014. NSW continued to attract the most investment, followed by Victoria and WA. These are among the key findings of the latest Demystifying Chine... more

GEO 2017 registration requirements in Victoria now finalised

In November 2017, the Victorian Government published an update to the General Exemption Order (GEO) which came into operation on 1 April 2018*. The updated GEO changes the regulatory framework in relation to the exemptions which apply to the generation, supply or sale of electricity in Victoria. In addition to changes to the exemptions which apply to such activities, the GEO update also introduced new requirements which apply to those who engage in the supply and sale of electricity, providers under solar power purchase agreements and community energy projects which seek exemption under the GEO (non-licensed electricity providers). One of the key new requirements is that most of the non-licensed electricity providers are required to register for exempt activities in a new public register which has been established by the Essential Services Commission (ESC) and became available on 1... more

Emerging issues for the Australian resources and energy sector in 2018

A range of legislative and policy reforms were introduced over the past 12 months which may significantly impact on Australia's resources and energy sector during 2018. This publication identifies a number of emerging issues where we expect to see further policy development this year. Over the past two years the Australian resource and energy sectors have experienced growth and an increase in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity. This trend is generally attributed to increased commodity prices and changes in the long-term strategic direction of many companies that were traditionally heavily invested in the coal sector. Over the last year we have seen many of the large international mining houses including Rio Tinto and Wesfarmers engage in significant divestment of their Australian projects to further their investment and diversify into other industries and minerals. This trend... more

Knowing your purpose combats negative stress

Building a strong sense of purpose in workplaces can help combat negative stress and lower staff turnover, according to the 2018 Pro Bono Australia Salary Survey. Now in its sixth year, Pro Bono Australia’s annual not-for-profit salary survey is the largest survey of salaries in the social sector in Australia. It provides reliable salary benchmarking data for key roles across the not-for-profit sector, which employs one in eight Australians. Whilst the survey was conducted solely in the not-for-profit sector it has concrete implications for the wider workforce, particularly with regards to job satisfaction. It found that while negative stress was a significant challenge for many employees, the factors that motivated and engaged people at work could also protect them against negative stress. This is crucial as report author, Andrew Beveridge from Beveridge Consulting, said t... more

Peabody chief named chairman of World Coal Association

Peabody President and Chief Executive Officer Glenn Kellow has been named Chairman of the World Coal Association (WCA). “I look forward to working with the global industry as we approach the challenges and opportunities ahead,” Glenn said. “The WCA plays a vital part in deepening understanding of the role coal plays in the global energy mix and supporting greater use of advanced coal technologies, including today’s high-efficiency, low-emissions coal-fueled generation technologies and carbon capture, use and storage.” The WCA is a global network for the coal industry, comprised of major international coal producers. The organisation works to demonstrate and gain acceptance for the fundamental role coal plays in achieving a sustainable, lower carbon energy future. The WCA’s views strongly align with Peabody’s on key industry issues, including the need for the world ... more

Committee endorses new Mineral and Energy Resources Bill

Another step towards the introduction of the overhaul of the Financial Assurance (FA) and progressive rehabilitation regime on 1 July 2018 was taken today as the Economics and Governance Committee (Committee) tabled its report in Parliament. The Committee's report unanimously recommends that the Mineral and Energy Resources (Financial Provisioning) Bill 2018 (Qld) (MERFP) is passed, subject to one inconsequential drafting recommendation. The Parliament's next sitting day is 1 May 2018, and with MERFP already listed in the daily agenda we expect to see it debated in Parliament during the next session. With two sitting weeks in May, there is ample opportunity for MERFP to be passed in time for the 1 July 2018 commencement date. We provided a comprehensive overview of MERFP when it was first introduced to Parliament in October 2017. While this version lapsed with the intervening St... more

Virtual hub provides resources for small business owners

The Fair Work Ombudsman has launched the Small Business Showcase, a virtual hub providing a wealth of resources for small business owners seeking information about their workplace obligations. Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James said Australia’s workplace relations system is complex and can be hard to navigate, particularly for time-poor small and family businesses. “Our experience, backed up by research, is that small businesses can be overconfident when it comes to compliance – failing to check the rules to ensure they’ve got things right.” Ms James says that figures show there are lower rates of workplace compliance amongst small businesses when compared to larger businesses (an average 15 per cent lower over the past two and a half years). “Our Small Business Showcase is a great opportunity for small businesses to brush up on their workplace relations knowledge,... more

Five reasons to move your corporate training online

Employees are said to be an organisation’s most important asset. Which is why a considerable amount of time and resources is spent training them. But what if there was a more flexible option that increased value and reduced costs? An increasing number of organisations are rethinking their training strategy and moving away from traditional training methods. In fact, the 2017 Training Industry Report found 40% of respondents were anticipating purchasing online learning tools and systems. The following are just some of the many reasons your business should consider implementing your own online training solution. Return on Investment As they say in business – money talks. And traditional training methods can be significantly costly to administer. Expensive learning materials, venues, travel, catering, printing – all become considerations of the past when you move online. Once ... more