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IPA partners with Qantas Business Rewards

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THE Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) has entered into a strategic partnership with the Qantas Business Rewards program to provide new benefits to its members.

“This partnership will reward our members via the Qantas Business Rewards program by giving members the opportunity to earn Qantas Points when they attend IPA’s major events,  participate in our online continuous professional development (CPD) sessions or automatically renew their IPA membership,” said IPA chief executive officer, Andrew Conway.

“Maintaining currency of knowledge is essential for our members and our online CPD sessions and major educational events help provide this, but this way they are also rewarded for their efforts.

“This will also apply for members entering the new IPA Program; our professional program which is now a fully-fledged MBA and provides them with a strong competitive advantage to grow their business.

“I hope that members can redeem points for something they wish to purchase or towards flights, whether they be for business or pleasure purposes. We see this as a very good fit for the IPA and our members,” said Mr Conway.

Business owners with an ABN can join the Qantas Business Rewards program for free through IPA. Head of Qantas Business Rewards Eric Jelinek said the partnership is a great way for public accountants to earn points though the IPA’s event and professional programs, as well as on their everyday business and travel expenses.

“The Qantas Business Rewards program gives accountants with an ABN the opportunity to earn Qantas Points with more than 50 partners on everything from fuel and office supplies, to energy bills and insurance,” said Mr Jelinek.

“Once a business has built up their points balance, those points can be used on travel items like flights, hotels and car hire, as well as products through the Qantas Store and Qantas epiQure.

“For public accountants, being a Qantas Business Rewards member opens up a variety of ways to easily increase your Qantas Points which you can use as a Qantas Frequent Flyer or for your business.”

publicaccountants.org.au

 

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Walking away from traffic congestion in Melbourne

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MELBOURNE’s economy is only as strong as its transportation system is efficient. Businesses rely on the free movement of freight and people into the CBD and around the city for work, to access services and for tourism.

The House Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities will consider the Australian Government’s role in delivering transport infrastructure critical to Melbourne’s global competitiveness at a public hearing in Melbourne on Tuesday. The hearing is part of a broader inquiry into the Australian Government’s role in the development of cities.  

The Committee would like to discuss strategies to boost the delivery of active and public transportation.

There is strong recognition amongst submitters to the inquiry that public and active modes of transport, like light rail, walking and cycling, can relieve traffic congesting major transit routes into the city.

However, some submitters have been critical of the cost benefit analysis process which informs Australia’s transport infrastructure investment decisions. They suggest that processes may not adequately factor in the congestion relief and health gains delivered by these modes.

In its submission to the inquiry, the Australian Cycling Promotion Foundation argued that the “provision of roads for motor vehicles is also extremely expensive given the low density of vehicles that use traffic lanes compared to other modes”.

It recommended that, “mode-agnostic cost benefit analysis is undertaken on all major transport projects to ensure decisions are made on an objective value for money basis”.

 

Public hearing details: 9.00 am – 2.30 pm, Tuesday, 21 November 2017, Meeting Room G3, 55 St Andrews Place, East Melbourne

9.00 am:               City of BallaratRegional Capitals AustraliaLatrobe City Council

10.40 am:             Roads AustraliaInner Melbourne Planning AllianceHale Infra Strategy Pty LtdTown and Country Planning Association

12.50 pm:            Heart FoundationAustralian Cycling Promotion FoundationCentre for Research Excellence in Healthy Liveable Communities, RMIT

2.30 pm: Close

The hearing will be broadcast live at aph.gov.au/live

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Fair Work Ombudsman targets businesses in Melbourne’s inner eastern suburbs

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THE Fair Work Ombudsman’s latest proactive compliance and education campaign is targeting at least 200 businesses in Melbourne’s inner east.

Fair Work Inspectors are checking wage and time records of a cross-section of businesses in Hawthorn, Kew, Camberwell, Doncaster and surrounding suburbs to ensure that they are complying with their workplace obligations.

The region is being targeted primarily due to the vulnerability of its workforce, with the large numbers of young workers and a significant culturally and linguistically diverse community. Thirty-one per cent of the population speaks a language other than English at home.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James said that young workers in particular are overrepresented in the disputes her agency deals with relating to the area.

“Around one-fifth of the workforce in Melbourne’s inner east is aged between 15-24, yet this cohort makes up almost 30 per cent of the disputes we receive from this area,” Ms James said.

This ranks the region ninth in the country in terms of the proportion of disputes received from young workers. Most of these disputes relate to the cafe, restaurant and takeaway foods sectors.

“Young workers can be particularly vulnerable to exploitation in the workplace due to their lack of work experience and limited understanding of their workplace entitlements,” Ms James said.

With the region projected to experience strong growth over coming years, the Fair Work Ombudsman’s proactive compliance activities will also help to ensure that new businesses entering the labour market fully understand and comply with workplace laws.

Businesses across a range of industries will be audited, including those in the retail trade, accommodation and food services and education and training industries.

Last financial year, the Fair Work Ombudsman received 244 disputes from Melbourne’s inner east region. The agency recovered more than $530,000 for 141 workers in the region during the same period.

“Our proactive compliance and education activities ensure that employers know how to access the advice and information they need,” Ms James said.

“With the wealth of information freely available about workplace rights and obligations, there are no excuses for businesses to not be providing their workers with their lawful pay and entitlements.”

Ms James said inspectors would be on the lookout for any instances of non-compliance and will take appropriate action in response to any identified breaches.

“We have a range of tools at our disposal, from letters of caution and on-the-spot fines to litigation in the courts for the most serious cases,” Ms James said.

“With maximum penalties for certain workplace contraventions recently increasing by up to ten times, employers must be aware that serious breaches of the law can expose them to big fines.

“Employers should be on notice that they cannot get away with deliberately flouting workplace laws.”

The Fair Work Ombudsman offers a range of free tools and resources for employers at www.fairwork.gov.au, including the Pay and Conditions Tool (PACT) to assist business owners to calculate applicable pay rates and templates for pay slips and time-and-wages sheets.

www.fairwork.gov.au

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Racing Queensland welcomes Tribunal ruling on Tabcorp-Tatts

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RACING Queensland has welcomed a ruling from the Australian Competition Tribunal granting authority for the Tabcorp combination with Tatts Group.

The Full Federal Court had previously set aside an earlier determination from the Tribunal and sent the matter back to the Tribunal for reconsideration.

The ACCC had sought a review when the Tribunal granted authorisation for Tabcorp to acquire Tatts Group in June 2017.

In a statement this morning the Tribunal said "it has reconsidered the evidence, in relation to both anti-competitive detriment and public benefit, and concluded that the merger is likely to result in such benefit that it should be permitted to proceed".

RQ CEO Eliot Forbes had previously welcomed the proposed combination saying it would deliver greater certainty for the Queensland Racing Industry.

“I look forward to working with Tabcorp to grow and enhance the Queensland racing industry," dDr Forbes said. "We have a deed of understanding with Tabcorp that will bring meaningful benefits to racing in Queensland.

“That deed will result in an increase in capital investment in the Queensland wagering business (currently UBET) across retail and on-course wagering facilities, as well as increased investment in technology, sponsorships and marketing.”

The Tribunal expects to publish its reasons in full on Wednesday, November 22.

www.racingqueensland.com.au

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Boosting business in Geelong

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MELCBOURNE is not the only city grappling with urban sprawl. With stronger population growth than all other regional Victorian municipalities combined, Geelong is rapidly expanding into new greenfield, master-planned communities in Armstrong Creek, Batesford South and Lovely Banks.

The House Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities will visit Victoria’s second city on Monday to discuss strategies to ensure these new communities have access to critical community infrastructure and employment opportunities in a timely manner.

The Committee is conducting a public hearing at City Hall as part of its inquiry into the Australian Government’s role in the development of cities.

It will discuss ways Australia’s regional cities can learn from capital cities’ experiences in accommodating much larger populations. It would like to see regional centres cultivate employment opportunities in new master-planned neighbourhoods, to minimise car dependency and avoid the congestion issues plaguing capital cities.

In its submission to the inquiry, the City of Greater Geelong said, “planning for population growth in the [region] has included planning for employment nodes and access to jobs”.

“It is critical to the Geelong region that as we grow in population that this is supported by growth in jobs.”

“Federal government support in investment attraction and funding for significant infrastructure can provide critical leverages to enable private investment in regional centres and assist in promoting the competitive advantage of regional locations for business.”

Further information on the inquiry, including the full terms of reference, is available on the Committee website.

 

Public hearing details: 9.00 am – 3.00 pm, Monday, 20 November 2017, Council Chamber Room, City Hall, 30 Gheringhap Street, Geelong

9.00 am: G21 – Geelong Region AllianceCommittee for GeelongCity of Greater Geelong, Geelong Chamber of Commerce

10.40 am: Wyndham City CouncilHorsham Rural City CouncilLeadWest

12.50 pm: Regional Development Australia – Barwon South West Committee, Barwon Regional Partnership, Urban Development Institute of Australia - Geelong Region Committee

2.10 pm: Professor Louise Johnson, Deakin University, Mr Todd Denham, UN Global Compact Cities Programme

3.00 pm: Close

The hearing will be broadcast live at aph.gov.au/live

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

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