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Time running out to nominate for awards

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MINISTER for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan said today time was running out for businesses to nominate for the inaugural Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Awards, closing on December 22.

The Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Awards will showcase leading Australian businesses that are employing veterans as well as former Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel making significant contributions to their workplace.

The winners will be announced at a gala award ceremony to be held in Canberra and attended by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Mr Tehan said the awards celebrate the skills and talents former ADF personnel bring to a job as well as promoting the Australian businesses that were employing veterans.

“I strongly encourage Australian businesses of all sizes to nominate for an award and help honour the service and sacrifice of the men and women who defend our nation by celebrating their ongoing contribution to the Australian community,” Mr Tehan said.

“The awards will highlight the Australian businesses that are recognising these skills and utilising them to be successful. They will encourage other businesses to think about what a veteran could offer their workplace.

“Nominating your business for an award is a fantastic way to raise awareness about the positive contributions our veterans are making after they leave the ADF.

“Each year, around 5,200 people leave the ADF and the Turnbull Government is working to ensure they transition smoothly to civilian life and find meaningful employment.

“Over the course of their careers in Defence, our ADF personnel acquire qualities that are in high demand. They are leaders, problem solvers and work well in teams.”

The Government has also established an Industry Advisory Committee (IAC) on Veterans’ Employment, comprising representatives from a range of industries, to develop strategies and best practice for employing and retaining veterans.

Nominations for the awards close on December 22. Visit www.veteransemployment.gov.au/awards to enter.

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Retailers decking the halls with online sales this Christmas

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WITH the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and Roy Morgan Research predicting Australians to spend more than $50 billion over the Christmas trading period from November 15 to December 24, 2017, the ARA believe online platforms will be a driving force for retail sales this Christmas.

The ARA and Roy Morgan forecast Aussie shoppers to spend over $7 billion in the ‘Other Retailing’ category this festive season, and expect consumers to spend 3.96% more on this category during the Christmas trading period.

Russell Zimmerman, ARA Executive Director, said the ARA’s combined research with Hitwise and Neto have found an overwhelming shift in Australian shoppers turning to online retail platforms during this busy season.

“With online shopping accounting for more than 7% of total retail sales, the ARA and Hitwise saw 12.3 million active consumers use online platforms to finalise their Christmas purchases in 2016,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“Due to the ease and convenience online platforms provide Australian shoppers in the 24-hour marketplace, the ARA estimates online purchases will account for 13% of overall retail sales in the next five years.”

With recent Hitwise data illustrating a 55% year-on-year increase in online visits during Boxing Day 2016, and searches for this year’s Black Friday more than doubling year-on-year, the ARA believe consumers will continue to shift their spending to online platforms.

“As online retail is growing at 5% every year, our recent research with Hitwise illustrates more and more Australians are searching for Christmas gifts online, with electronic devices such as PlayStations, Xboxes and iPads ranking in the top three search terms on eBay this year,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“Search terms for children’s toys and games are also gaining more traction year-on-year with some of the hottest products on eBay during November including Lego, Elf on the Shelf and Nintendo Switch.”

Chris Harley, Head of Research at Hitwise Australia, said Hitwise have seen visits to the ‘Shopping and Classifieds’ industry hit a staggering 1.004 billion visits during November 2017.

“We’ll continue to see strong visitation in this category right up to the 19th/20th December when we see a traditional slight fall in visits due to the impact of customers needing products delivered prior to Christmas.” Mr Harley said.

Ryan Murtagh, Founder and CEO of Neto, said Neto’s latest State of E-Commerce Report identified a significant growth in online gifting this year, with the average retail basket size increasing by 16% in 2017.

“Although 40% of consumers state clothing, shoes, handbags and accessories are their most frequent online purchase, sports and recreation was Australia’s second fastest growing industry in 2017 with average monthly sales growing by 39% this year,” Mr Murtagh said.

“Given the ever-increasing health consciousness of Australians, coupled with the onset of summer, we will likely see a trend towards outdoor and health-centric gifts over Christmas.”

With basket size increasing, and 5,000 merchants now offering Afterpay, Mr Zimmerman said those merchants who offer Buy Now, Pay Later options will have a distinct advantage this Christmas trading period.

“Transactions via Buy Now, Pay Later options have increased by 147% this year, therefore, we can only expect online retail sales to rise during Christmas and throughout the new year,” Mr Zimmerman said.

Follow the links to view ARA and Roy Morgan’s 2017 Annual Pre-Christmas Sales Predictions, Neto’s 2017 State of eCommerce Report and Hitwise’s Pre-Christmas Shopping Trends and Products.

ARA ROY MORGAN PRE-CHRISTMAS SALES PREDICTIONS 2017

November 15 – December 24, 2017

2017 Pre-Christmas Sales Growth by Category

State

2016 Pre-Christmas actual results ($mil)

2017 Forecast Pre-Christmas sales ($mil)

Predicted Growth

FOOD

19643

20284

3.27%

HH GOODS

8503

8704

2.37%

APPAREL

3869

3890

0.54%

DEPARTMENT STORES

2928

2957

0.99%

OTHER

6911

7184

3.96%

HOSPITALITY

6854

7052

2.89%

NATIONAL

48708

50073

2.80%

[ARA / ROY MORGAN]

2017 Pre-Christmas Sales Growth by State

State

2016 Pre-Christmas actual results ($mil)

2017 Forecast Pre-Christmas sales ($mil)

Predicted Growth

NSW

15692

16265

3.65%

VIC

12267

12742

3.87%

QLD

9838

9951

1.15%

SA

3164

3266

3.23%

WA

5386

5434

0.89%

TAS

967

996

3.01%

NT

499

508

1.77%

ACT

895

911

1.76%

NATIONAL

48708

50073

2.80%

[ARA / ROY MORGAN]

About the Australian Retailers Association:

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is the retail industry’s peak representative body representing Australia’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. The ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.

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Interim Report on regional development and decentralisation tabled

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THE Select Committee on Regional Development and Decentralisation today tabled its Interim Report.

The Committee Chair, Dr John McVeigh MP, said: “this report provides an update on the work the Committee has undertaken to date, and the work it intends to complete in coming months.

“The Committee is encouraged by the response to its inquiry so far, with over 180 written submissions received, and 115 people appearing at public hearings held in regional and rural locations across the country.  In particular, the Committee is encouraged by the cross section of people from regional and rural communities who have shared their experiences and insights regarding best practice approaches to regional development, including ways to better support the social and economic future of their communities. There is however, more work to be done.

The Committee plans to hold further public hearings in Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory in early 2018, before tabling a final report later in the year.

The Committee’s Resolution of Appointment requires an Interim Report be tabled no later than 31 December 2017.  It follows the tabling of an Issues Paper by the Committee in August 2017.

The Interim Report and the Issues Paper can be found on the Committee’s website.

Interested members of the public may wish to track the committee via the website

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ATO Annual Report 2017 performance review

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THE House Committee on Tax and Revenue has resolved to commence its annual review of the Commissioner of Taxation’s Annual Report 2016–17.

As Australia’s principal revenue collection body, the annual report is a key mechanism for the ATO’s accountability to the Government and the Australian community. The 2017 annual report was tabled in Parliament in October in accordance with section 46 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013. 

Chair of the Committee Mr Kevin Hogan MP observed that the Committee’s annual report review process has broadened in scope since the formation of the Committee in May 2013 and, accordingly, is now being conducted once a year instead of biannually.

“The Committee’s examination of the ATO report not only enables Members to monitor technical advances under the agency’s Reinvention Program but also to probe more challenging aspects of other ATO operations, both internal and external,” Mr Hogan said.

“The Committee’s inquiry may cover, for example, the ATO’s fraud control management in the wake of Operation Elbrus, the administration of the Australian Business Register and business debt, and the results of the ongoing audit of cash dominant industries.”

To facilitate optimum feedback on the ATO’s administration of these and other matters discussed in the Annual Report, the Committee invites submissions to be lodged by 2 March 2018.

Public hearings for the inquiry will be held with the Commissioner of Taxation and the Inspector-General of Taxation, and with tax advisory bodies, other stakeholders and members of the public in early 2018.

The 2017 Annual Report of the Australian Taxation Office is available at: https://www.ato.gov.au/About-ATO/Annual-report-2016-17/

Interested members of the public may wish to track the committee via the website

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Innovation leaders to tackle global problems on Monday at RMIT

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HOW innovation can free our oceans from plastics, make our food more secure and lead to better energy solutions will be on the agenda at RMIT University  next Monday.

Practitioners and experts from around the globe will gather for the 2017 Asia-Pacific Summit for ISPIM – the International Society for Professional Innovation Management.

Speakers will unpack a range of topics including the blue economy and how our oceans can unlock the planet’s potential; big data and artificial intelligence; future energy infrastructure; and fintech.

“Wicked problems” like plastics in the ocean, food agility, and ‘flirt 2.0’, or how to unleash innovation in the era of digital disruption, will also be tackled.  

The 2017 summit brings together global innovation leaders and showcases Melbourne’s best-practice innovation.

The three-day event is hosted by RMIT’s Global Business Innovation Enabling Capability Platform.

The conference will include an address by the Hon Frank McGuire MP – Parliamentary Secretary for Medical Research and Parliamentary Secretary for Small Business an Innovation in the Parliament of Victoria.


A full program and speaker details are available at:
https://www.ispim-innovation-summit.com/

WHAT: 2017 ISPIM Innovation Summit 


WHEN: 9am Monday 10am to 3pm Wednesday 13 December

WHERE:  Swanston Academic Building (Building 80), RMIT University, 445 Swanston St,Melbourne.

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