MIL-OSI Asia Pacific: Biking buddies

Source: Taipei Economic and Cultural Office

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MIL-OSI Asia Pacific: First snow

Source: Taipei Economic and Cultural Office

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MIL-OSI Asia Pacific: Rail relationship

Source: Taipei Economic and Cultural Office

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MIL-OSI Asia Pacific: Thoughtful discussions

Source: Taipei Economic and Cultural Office

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MIL-OSI Asia Pacific: Start-up partner

Source: Taipei Economic and Cultural Office

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MIL-OSI Australia: $8.4 million given back to Queenslanders

Source: Government of Queensland

Queenslanders received more than $8.4 million in refunds, repairs, replacements and other compensation with the help of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) in 2018.
Attorney-General and Justice Minister Yvette D’Ath said the number of complaints saw a small increase to OFT from 15,700 in 2017 to 16,000.
“While it is disappointing that so many Queenslanders have found themselves dudded – whether it is by accident or otherwise – I’m pleased people are aware of their rights and are seeking help from the OFT,” she said.
“Unfortunately, the sector that generated the most complaints to the OFT was the personal and household goods industry, which includes products such as televisions, appliances and furniture. It was followed by personal and household services, then motor vehicle sales.
“Under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), consumer goods must be of acceptable quality, match the description provided by the seller, and be fit for their intended purpose.”
Mrs D’Ath said while the ACL did provide a measure of protection, it was time for the Federal LNP Government to ramp up protection for Queenslanders when it came to areas such as:
providing purchasers of ‘lemon’ motor vehicles an automatic right to a refund or replacement within the first 30 days without needing to prove a major failure;
banning fees for paper bills; and
taking serious action against ticket scalpers.
“While the Palaszczuk Government is delivering important protection for Queenslanders who have bought a ‘lemon’, the Federal LNP Government also needs to take their foot off the brake, get into gear and do the same.”
Mrs D’Ath said consumer protection legislation gave the OFT the power to pursue some matters all the way to court, but the OFT could not make a judgment or order on consumer complaints – only a tribunal or court had the power to do this.
“In these cases, the OFT undertakes a conciliation process – a free informal service where OFT officers act as an intermediary between the consumer and the trader, explaining to both what their rights and responsibilities are under the legislation,” she said.
“Conciliation won back more than $5 million in redress for complainants in 2018, with results ranging from a $40,800 refund for a car for a consumer in Brisbane’s Bracken Ridge, to $1800 worth of replacement equipment for a Sunshine Coast DJ.”
The OFT also achieved more than $1.5 million in court-ordered compensation for consumers in 2018. The remaining redress was achieved through other OFT outcomes including Enforceable Undertakings and claims against the Agents Financial Administration Act 2014.
Mrs D’Ath said the first thing consumers should do if they had a problem with goods or services was talk to the trader directly.
“Usually, customer satisfaction is very important to businesses, and most will be happy to work with you to resolve your complaint,” she said.
“However, if you are unsuccessful in getting the trader to help you, you can lodge a formal complaint with the OFT.”
For more information on consumer rights, or to lodge a complaint, visit www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading.

OFT Region

Number of complaints finalised in 2018 for consumers of this region

Top five industries complained about by these consumers in 2018

Redress obtained by these OFT offices in 2018

Brisbane *

9873

Personal & household goods
Personal & household services
Motor vehicle sales
Real estate agents
Motor vehicle repairs, servicing

$3,817,942

Cairns

642

Personal & household goods
Motor vehicle sales
Personal & household services
Motor vehicle repairs, servicing
Real estate agents

$264,267

Mackay

322

Personal & household goods
Motor vehicle repairs, servicing
Personal & household services
Motor vehicle sales
Real estate agents

$516,120

Rockhampton

418

Personal & household goods
Motor vehicle repairs, servicing
Motor vehicle sales
Personal & household services
Real estate agents

$514,323

Gold Coast

2067

1      Personal & household goods
2      Personal & household services
3      Motor vehicle sales
4      Real estate agents
5      Motor vehicle repairs, servicing

$854,413

Sunshine Coast

1191

1      Personal & household goods
2      Motor vehicle sales
3      Personal & household services
4      Motor vehicle repairs, servicing
5      Real estate agents

$952,312

Hervey Bay

586

Personal & household goods
Motor vehicle sales
Motor vehicle repairs, servicing
Personal & household services
Real estate agents

$454,801

Toowoomba

510

Personal & household goods
Personal & household services
Motor vehicle sales
Motor vehicle repairs, servicing
Electricity & gas supply

$423,710

Townsville

454

Personal & household goods
Motor vehicle sales
Personal & household services
Motor vehicle repairs, servicing
Electricity & gas supply

$661,989

TOTAL

$8,459,880

 
*includes consumers who reside outside Qld or provided no address
**the redress figures provided are those obtained by each OFT region, they do not perfectly align with the individual complaint numbers as some matters may be handled by another OFT office for operational reasons and because some matters for which redress was obtained may have originated from information received rather than consumer complaints

ENDS

Media contact:
Emma McBryde 0447 155 332

MIL OSI Australia

MIL-OSI Australia: New fruit and vegetable stalls wanted for Gleadell Street Market

Source: State of Victoria Local Government 2

Tuesday 22 January 2019

We are looking for two new fresh fruit and vegetable stallholders to trade at our weekly Gleadell Street Market.
Every Saturday, Gleadell Street in Richmond is transformed into a bustling fresh food market, overflowing with seasonal fruits and vegetables, fresh bread, herbs, flowers and other gourmet delights.If you are interested, please contact us on 9205 5166 or email info@yarracity.vic.gov.au.
Please note, we are currently only looking for stallholders that will sell fresh fruit and vegetables. If you are not proposing to sell fresh fruit and vegetables, please do not contact us regarding this vacancy.

We are looking for two new fresh fruit and vegetable stallholders to trade at our weekly Gleadell Street Market.
Every Saturday, Gleadell Street in Richmond is transformed into a bustling fresh food market, overflowing with seasonal fruits and vegetables, fresh bread, herbs, flowers and other gourmet delights.If you are interested, please contact us on 9205 5166 or email info@yarracity.vic.gov.au.
Please note, we are currently only looking for stallholders that will sell fresh fruit and vegetables. If you are not proposing to sell fresh fruit and vegetables, please do not contact us regarding this vacancy.

MIL OSI Australia

MIL-OSI Australia: Rockhampton Ring Road a certainty

Source: Government of Queensland

The billion-dollar Rockhampton Ring Road is certain to go ahead with a $200 million commitment by the Queensland Government and a federal funding guarantee.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk welcomed the $800 million investment announced by federal Labor leader Bill Shorten, to be complemented by the state’s 20 per cent share.
“The Rockhampton Ring Road with the 780 jobs the project could support has been high on my Government’s priority list,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“It will boost economic activity in the region, improve flood immunity and build an efficient and safe bypass around the city for heavy vehicles and through traffic.
“I thank Mr Shorten for this important announcement for the people of central Queensland, and I am delighted to confirm my Government’s share to give the project the green light.
“I also thank hard working Rockhampton MP Barry O’Rourke for his relentless advocacy.”
Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey said Mr Shorten has shown he understands Queensland by putting dollars on the table for this and other projects.
“As with all major projects, we want a fair deal for infrastructure in Queensland and will work with whoever has the top job in Canberra to make that happen,” Mr Bailey said.
“The Bruce Highway provides the economic lifeblood for regional communities and the Rockhampton Ring Road is guaranteed no matter who wins the federal election.”
Mr O’Rourke said the region would benefit greatly from the Rockhampton Ring Road with planning work already underway.
“I thank the Premier for confirming the state’s investment and congratulate Mr Shorten for his commitment to this vital project,” Mr O’Rourke said.
RACQ Head of Public Policy Rebecca Michael welcomed the funding announcements.
“The Rockhampton Ring Road will improve freight efficiency and safety as well as reduce congestion through Rockhampton City,” she said.
ENDS
Media Contact: Premier’s office – Shane Doherty 0439 624 473
Minister Bailey’s office – Toby Walker 0439 347 875

Source: Government of Queensland

The billion-dollar Rockhampton Ring Road is certain to go ahead with a $200 million commitment by the Queensland Government and a federal funding guarantee.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk welcomed the $800 million investment announced by federal Labor leader Bill Shorten, to be complemented by the state’s 20 per cent share.
“The Rockhampton Ring Road with the 780 jobs the project could support has been high on my Government’s priority list,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“It will boost economic activity in the region, improve flood immunity and build an efficient and safe bypass around the city for heavy vehicles and through traffic.
“I thank Mr Shorten for this important announcement for the people of central Queensland, and I am delighted to confirm my Government’s share to give the project the green light.
“I also thank hard working Rockhampton MP Barry O’Rourke for his relentless advocacy.”
Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey said Mr Shorten has shown he understands Queensland by putting dollars on the table for this and other projects.
“As with all major projects, we want a fair deal for infrastructure in Queensland and will work with whoever has the top job in Canberra to make that happen,” Mr Bailey said.
“The Bruce Highway provides the economic lifeblood for regional communities and the Rockhampton Ring Road is guaranteed no matter who wins the federal election.”
Mr O’Rourke said the region would benefit greatly from the Rockhampton Ring Road with planning work already underway.
“I thank the Premier for confirming the state’s investment and congratulate Mr Shorten for his commitment to this vital project,” Mr O’Rourke said.
RACQ Head of Public Policy Rebecca Michael welcomed the funding announcements.
“The Rockhampton Ring Road will improve freight efficiency and safety as well as reduce congestion through Rockhampton City,” she said.
ENDS
Media Contact: Premier’s office – Shane Doherty 0439 624 473
Minister Bailey’s office – Toby Walker 0439 347 875

MIL OSI Australia

MIL-OSI Australia: Creating opportunity and encouraging aspiration: the key to a growing economy and a…

Source: Australian Liberal Party

“Aussie Rules: what Australia can teach the world”, screamed the headline of The Economist last November. An in-depth analysis of the Australian economy and our remarkable 27 years of uninterrupted economic growth.

A growth story which both sides of politics have contributed to.

It has been on the Coalition’s watch that the GST was introduced, the waterfront reformed, the Future Fund established and a decade of budget surpluses delivered.

Labor oversaw a reduction in tariffs, the floating of the dollar, started key privatisations and moved away from centralised wage fixation in favour of enterprise bargaining. Critically, key Labor reforms had the support of the Coalition in Opposition.

It’s in this spirit of progress that the Coalition has continued to carry the baton of economic reform since our election over five years ago.

Bearing in mind that, with half the population being born after 1980, the majority of Australians have never experienced a recession in their working lives.

As Australians, we all realise how ‘lucky’ we are to live in this country. But of course it is not just luck that got us here and it is no time to be complacent.

What is needed is hard work, good policies and the right values.

So today, as Treasurer, I want to share my thoughts on three important areas:

First, Australia’s remarkable record of uninterrupted growth and the importance of this strong performance continuing in light of emerging global economic risks;

Second, the values and beliefs that drive and underpin the Coalition’s approach when it comes to managing the economy;

Third, our economic plan which has aspiration, productivity, growth and fiscal discipline at its core.

Coalition’s economic record

In politics as in life, you will never get every call right. What matters is getting the big calls right.

For the Coalition, reforms to the tax system, competition policy and workplace relations, along with red tape reduction and budget repair, have all been key features of our economic record over the past five years.

But one of the most significant for the long-term benefit of the country has been our achievements on trade.

In 1991 we had only one free trade agreement, it was with New Zealand. Today, we have eleven and counting. When we came to Government, Australia’s free trade agreements covered around a quarter of our total two way trade, today it is 70 per cent and rising to 88 per cent when current negotiations are completed.

We have secured agreements with our biggest regional partners, China, Japan and Korea, who between them account for around half of our exports worth more than $175 billion per year. More recently the eleven-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was finalised.

Global growth is being driven out of the emerging markets of Asia and the region’s rising middle class, which is estimated to grow to 3 billion by 2030.

The centre of global economic activity has never been closer, leading some to observe that the tyranny of distance has become the power of proximity.

This is good news for the economy as a whole, with 1 in 5 Australian jobs now related to trade.

Whether it is the lobster fishermen in Geraldton, the wine maker in the Barossa or the apple farmer in the Derwent Valley, the biotechnology firm in Rockhampton, the precision engineer outside Melbourne or the fund manager here in Sydney, they are all winners from the trade agreements the Coalition has secured.

But it is important to recognise that these trade agreements just don’t fall into one’s lap. You have to believe in them and the opportunities that they open up, often staring down vested interests that seek to weaken your resolve.

It is no secret that our political opponents equivocated on the China FTA and gave up on the TPP, saying it was “dead in the water”. They are now threatening to open-up settled agreements and outsource negotiations at the behest of the unions.

It’s through our commitment to free trade, together with our other policy reforms, that sees the Australian economy in better shape today compared with what we inherited.

Growing faster than any G7 country, except the United States, Australia’s GDP growth is at 2.8 per cent compared to 2.1 per cent when we came to Government.

Over 1.2 million new jobs have been created, driving unemployment down to 5.1 per cent compared to the 5.7 per cent when Labor left office.

Importantly, more than half of the 1.2 million jobs created have been filled by women, with a record number of females now in the workforce. They are also being joined by growing numbers of young people, with over 100,000 young people getting a job last year, the highest number on record.

Annual average growth in government spending has been reduced to 1.9 per cent, the lowest of any government in fifty years and half what it was under Labor. Spending restraint and good economic management are making possible a return to surplus and an end to the decade of deficits.

In the words of Standard & Poor’s, the Government has been recognised for its “fiscal prudence” and “better budget performance”.

As MYEFO indicated, the cumulative surpluses over the next four years will be $30.3 billion, with surpluses rising to 1 per cent of GDP in 2025-26.

Net debt as a percentage of GDP will fall from around 18 per cent today to 1.5 per cent in the medium term.

This is important because as Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Guy Debelle has said, “In terms of government, public debt is sustainable until it is not.”

The strength of the economy is not only helping us deliver record spending on the essential services people need without increasing taxes, but provides the flexibility and resilience to respond to challenges as they arise.

Just as Howard and Costello’s strong budget management prepared the nation for the unexpected shock of the Global Financial Crisis, the Coalition is again rebuilding the buffers that will mean Australia can better absorb the impact of any future economic and financial shocks.

As the Prime Minister has warned, there are storm clouds hanging over the global economy.

Persistent trade tensions, high global debt levels and a contraction in growth in several key economies have changed the global outlook.

The German and Japanese economies recorded negative growth in the September quarter, while China has seen its growth slow through the year to its lowest rate since 2009.

Overnight, the International Monetary Fund updated its forecasts, downgrading growth from 3.7 to 3.5 per cent, noting the “global expansion is weakening and at a rate that is somewhat faster than expected” and saying “the risks to more significant downward corrections are rising” as investor sentiment has deteriorated, assets have been repriced and debt burdens have increased.

Domestically, the drought is having an impact, the housing market has softened, there are signs that credit growth is being constrained and the pick-up in wages growth remains gradual.

While the RBA in its most recent monetary statement in December said that “the Australian economy is performing well”, they did point to some uncertainty in the outlook for household consumption.

This is where confidence in the housing market is key. Economists and credit rating agencies have raised the potential adverse impacts to the economy that would flow from a hard landing in the housing market.

While regulatory interventions to date have put the housing market in the words of Governor Lowe “on a more sustainable footing”, what the economy can ill-afford right now are punitive tax policies that would will hurt both supply and demand and are completely inappropriate in the current environment.

Coalition’s values

It’s against this backdrop that our economic plan with its focus on growth, productivity, aspiration and budget repair, takes on even greater significance as we navigate the currents ahead.

Our values are key:

  • Encouraging the individual and their enterprise;
  • upholding personal responsibility;
  • maximising choice;
  • supporting families;
  • backing entrepreneurship and small business;
  • rewarding effort and hard work;
  • upholding the rule of law;
  • ensuring a safety net which is underpinned by a sense of decency and fairness

These are all values that go to the heart of what the Liberal and National Parties are all about.

These values are as relevant today as they were when Sir Robert Menzies founded the Liberal Party more than seventy years ago.

They are in our DNA, they define our national purpose and they are what motivate people to join the Liberal Party and run for office.

These values underpin our core beliefs.

  • That the invisible hand of capitalism delivers far more than the dead hand of socialism.
  • That Government is not the solution to every problem.
  • That fairness is achieved through equality of opportunity, not equality of outcomes.
  • That Government has no money of its own. It’s the people’s money and every dollar of tax is a dollar less in their pocket.
  • That we should be optimistic and outward looking, confident in the knowledge that our people are our greatest competitive advantage.
  • That communities work from the ground up, not the top down.
  • That intergenerational equity requires fiscal discipline as the next generation should not have to pick up the tab for the last.
  • That people should be encouraged to be self-reliant, but be absolutely assured that that if they need it, the safety net will be there.

Coalition’s economic plan

These values and beliefs are reflected in our policies and drive our economic plan.

Our plan, recognising that the private sector employs nine out of every ten workers, is focused on making sure that businesses stay competitive, keep investing and continue to hire more workers.

This is the pathway to wealth creation, job creation and higher wages. And it can only be achieved by boosting productivity through lower taxes, targeted spending, flexible labor markets, significant infrastructure and opening up new markets.

This is all about expanding the productive capacity of the economy so that we can grow the pie, providing a better future for all Australians.

Our plan, which is working and is being rolled out over the medium term, will deliver:

  • Legislated tax relief for 10 million working Australians, which will see a whole tax bracket abolished and 94 per cent of people paying no more than 32.5 per cent in the dollar.
  • Fast-tracked legislated tax relief for 3.3 million small and medium sized businesses, employing around seven million people, and providing an instant-asset write off encouraging them to invest in their business.
  • Once-in-a-generation reforms to the distribution of the GST, creating more equitable and sustainable outcomes for all States and Territories and all Australians.
  • Increased access to finance for small business with a $2 billion fund, while cutting around $6 billion in red tape and ensuring that small businesses get paid on time and are not used as a bank by big businesses.
  • Enhanced productivity and competitiveness of the construction sector with the reinstatement of the Australian Building and Construction Commission and establishment of the Registered Organisation Commission as a cop on the beat, helping maintain the rule of law.
  • Funding for over 500 major projects with a record $75 billion in infrastructure investment, including a second airport for Sydney after fifty years of indecision; the Melbourne Airport rail-link; the Inland Rail; upgrades to the Bruce Highway in Queensland; the Metronet project in Perth, Road Corridor Projects in Adelaide and the Bridgwater Bridge replacement in Tasmania.
  • A $1 billion Urban Congestion Fund to reduce average commute times and ease the burden on our public transport system as our population grows and the cost of congestion in Australia’s capital cities estimated to double between now and 2030.
  • An unprecedented $200 billion defence investment plan, promoting advanced manufacturing and creating jobs across the country.
  • A better deal for energy consumers, by removing the ability of networks to game the system; simplifying retail offers; underwriting new generation and expanding the iconic Snowy Hydro project with the largest renewable energy storage project in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • Strengthened rules applying to multi-nationals, bringing $7 billion of sales into the Australian tax net each year.
  • An additional 300,000 apprenticeships through a $1.5 billion Skilling Australians Fund, which will equip young people with the skills necessary to compete successfully in the jobs market of the future.
  • Improved affordability and access to housing by unleashing supply, assisting first home buyers to build a deposit through super and incentivising more private investment in affordable housing. Over the last year, more than 100,000 first home buyers received loan approvals, the highest number since 2009.
  • Opportunities for people to move from welfare to work, by encouraging mutual obligation and providing incentives for businesses to take on young employees under the PaTH Program, which has seen 70 per cent of young people who participated in an internship be in employment three months later. These programs have helped the Government deliver the lowest number of people of working age on welfare in twenty-five years. We should never forget that, as the Productivity Commission recently reminded us, that the one constant that matters most in tackling inequality and poverty is having a job.
  • Much-needed reform to our superannuation system with legislation before the parliament that will boost the retirement incomes of millions of people. This will be done by preventing the erosion of their balances through a cap on fees in low balance accounts, banning exit fees and avoiding the cost of inappropriate insurance within their super.
  • Record levels of funding for health and aging programs with a 75 per cent boost for hospital funding and the new listing of 1900 medicines on the PBS, including on the weekend the addition of another life-saving drug, this time for lung cancer.
  • A Medical Research Future Fund which is on track to reach $20 billion by 2021, making it one of the largest medical research funds in the world.
  • Choice in education with our $300 billion School Funding Package, which will see funding per student increase by more than 60 per cent over the decade.

All of these initiatives and more are being delivered through fiscal discipline and while returning the budget to surplus. Importantly, this is being done with a tax-to-GDP speed limit that ensures we live within our means, but which the Labor Party now says serves “no useful economic purpose”.

In addition to continuing to roll out these initiatives across the economy, the Government will soon receive the final report from the Hayne Royal Commission. This follows the recent release of the Productivity Commission’s landmark inquiry into the efficiency and competitiveness of Australia’s $2.7 trillion superannuation system.

Central to the Government’s thinking in responding to these reports will be restoring trust in the financial system by delivering better consumer outcomes including in retirement.

This requires a culture of compliance and accountability, regulators that are fit for purpose and an acknowledgement by the sector that people must be put before profits. All of this must be achieved without inadvertently strengthening the position of incumbents or unduly restricting the flow of credit or other vital financial services that Australians need and the economy relies on.

In his Interim Report, Commissioner Hayne makes the telling observation that “much more often than not, the conduct now condemned was contrary to the law”. He makes clear that while behaviour was poor, misconduct when revealed was insufficiently punished or not punished at all.

This raises the issue as to whether new laws are required or whether existing laws simply need to be better enforced. Simplification may be, according to the commissioner, a better route rather than adding “an extra layer of legal complexity to an already complex regulatory regime”.

After three years of painstaking work, the Productivity Commission’s report into superannuation has provided some compelling insights into how the current system is failing to advancing the interests of all members.

The health of Australia’s superannuation system is fundamental to the strength of the national economy and the quality of life in retirement of every working Australian, so we must get it right.

Calling out the “anachronistic” design flaw at the heart of the system with default funds a product of our industrial relations system, the Productivity Commission says current arrangements give rise to an unlucky lottery for members.

With a series of changes including more aggressively weeding out underperforming funds, the establishment of an independent expert panel to select ‘‘a best in show’’ short-list and the decoupling of default fund selection from the industrial relations system, the Productivity Commission finds members could be $3.8 billion better off each year. For somebody entering the workforce today, this could see them $533,000 at retirement or about double what their retirement balance could otherwise be.

Unlike our political opponents our response will be focussed only on one thing: the best interests of all members.

Conclusion

With our economic plan working and a whole series of significant reforms underway, there is no room for complacency. The IMF have provided a timely reminder of what could be around the corner.

What is absolutely certain is that as a nation we cannot afford to fall for the false prophets who would have you believe:

that a country can tax itself into prosperity;

that a government can redistribute what its economy doesn’t produce;

that economic growth can be achieved while punishing aspiration.

For Labor, the pursuit of class warfare is more than just rhetoric. It is at the heart of their policies from tax to trade to industrial relations. It’s a dark shadow, not a light on the hill.

Labor and their co-conspirators in the ACTU are promising to rewrite the economic rule book, disrupting the economy as we know it and sending a chill through every workplace. With the ACTU wanting to install their union organisers on every company and government board including the Reserve Bank of Australia, it is no wonder that the Business Council has warned that the ACTU’s plans could send Australia “back into the dark ages”.

Blinded by its obsession with class warfare, Labor is ignoring the message from the Productivity Commission that our tax and transfer system has worked well in sharing income growth and reducing inequality.

In the words of the then Chair of the Productivity Commission Dr Peter Harris, “This will be instantly rejected by some, since it is not the popular perception. But it is the unquestionable fact.’

In other words, no political party has a monopoly on fairness or equality.

But what is not fair is Labor’s $200 billion of new taxes that will hit retirees, homeowners, renters, small business owners and all those aspiring to build a better life for them and their families.

Labor’s tax and redistribution agenda is one of the most radical, aggressive and dangerous Australia has ever seen. Putting at risk our prosperity and harmony and taking us back decades.

No wonder there is now a growing chorus of opposition. Australians are starting to see Bill Shorten’s plan for $200 billion in taxes for what it really is.

At the next election, Australians will have a clear choice.

Between a Labor Party with its $200 billion of punishing new taxes and a Coalition that has kept its promise of delivering more than 1.2 million new jobs, cutting taxes, growing the economy, redefining our trading relationships that lock us into the emerging markets of Asia and providing an unprecedented social dividend with record spending on health and education.

We are repairing the nation’s finances and on 2 April will announce a budget surplus, the first in more than a decade.

All of which is possible because we have a strong economy and an economic plan that is working.

The choice for the people of Australia could not be clearer.

MIL OSI Australia

MIL-OSI Australia: New banks to provide Australians with more choice

Source: Australian Treasurer

The Coalition Government’s reforms to increase competition in the banking sector are working, with Volt Bank becoming the first bank to transition from a restricted licence to a full licence today.

The restricted licensing framework was introduced by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) in May 2018 to make it easier for new banks to get started and help foster competition in the sector.

The framework allows licence holders to carry out limited banking services for up to two years while they develop their capabilities and resources.

A fully digital, Australian bank, Volt Bank was the first authorised deposit-taking institution (ADI) to be granted a restricted licence – in May 2018 – and now becomes the first bank to transition from a restricted licence to a full licence.

This follows the arrival of Xinja Bank late last year – the second ADI to be granted a restricted licence.

The Coalition Government has introduced a number of reforms to reduce barriers for innovative new entrants into the banking sector, including permitting all ADIs to use the term ‘bank’, providing new businesses with access to crowd-sourced equity funding and mandating ASIC to consider competition as part of its decision making process.

Further, our introduction of the Consumer Data Right, with the banking sector being the first to roll out the initiative through open banking, will be a game changer when it comes to how consumers leverage their data to obtain more tailored products and services and have more information to make better choices.

Increasing competition in the banking sector to give consumers more choice, lower prices and better service is part of the Government’s plan for a stronger economy.

MIL OSI Australia