THE Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman has announced the formation of a Small Business Team, commencing April 1, 2019.
In 2017/18, complaints from small businesses increased 8.7 percent to 20,433. This increase was largely driven by issues including no action or delayed action by their service provider to resolve their phone or internet issue, followed by complaints about disputed charges for a service or equipment.
In announcing the Small Business Team, Ombudsman Judi Jones said, “Small businesses are relying more than ever before on phone and internet services to be accessible, be informed, and to do business. It is critical they are able to rely on the phone and internet services they sign up for, and to have access to a free, independent, and effective complaint resolution service when their complaint is unresolved.”
Assistant Ombudsman of Dispute Resolution Jillian Brewer is looking forward to the delivery of this specialised service.
"Resolving small business complaints can involve complex phone, internet and equipment setups, and an understanding of how these issues impact business loss," Ms Brewer said. "The Small Business Team will deliver a dispute resolution service that is responsive to the high impact phone and internet problems can have on the day to day operations of small businesses.”
About the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman
The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman provides a free and independent dispute service for small business and residential consumers who have an unresolved complaint about their telephone or internet service in Australia. Residential consumers and small businesses should contact www.tio.com.au or 1800 062 058.
The Telecommunications Industry Sector
The Telecommunications industry regulators are the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA),http://www.acma.gov.au and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) https://www.accc.gov.au.
Government and the regulators set policy and regulations for the telecommunications sector. Communications Alliance is the peak body for Australian communications industry http://www.commsalliance.com.au
THE Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has condemned the proposal put forward by the Andrews Labor Government to enshrine public holiday penalty rates for Easter Sunday, Christmas Day and Grand Final Friday into law.
Russell Zimmerman, executive director of the ARA said this suggestion put forward by the Labor Government will have a direct effect on retailers who are already struggling in the current retail climate.
“While the Andrews Government are focused on the interests of the employees, they are failing to acknowledge the hardworking retailers who are trying to stay afloat in the unpredictable retail environment,” Mr Zimmerman said.
“Retailers are feeling the pinch of rising rental costs and poor consumer sentiment and this proposal put forward by Mr Andrews will only heighten the strain already placed on retailers who are operating within such an overwrought market.”
According to recent trade figures published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), retail is trading at 3.02 percent nationally, with January trade figures for Victoria in particular trading at 4.23 percent well-below the outstanding 6.39 percent year-on-year high recorded in October. The ARA believes that if public holiday penalty rates are embedded into law, it will have a devastating impact on not only retailers but staff as well.
“The Labor Government’s proposition shows complete insouciance for retailers, especially those operating within shopping centre precincts who may be slapped with hefty fines for not opening their doors on public holidays,” Mr Zimmerman said.
“In addition to this, retailers will be forced to reconsider their rostering procedures to compensate for the increased wages for public holiday rates, which will have a direct impact on retail staff who want to work. If retailers are unable to open on these days, they will lose valuable business as consumers will turn to online instead.”
Australia has seen the closure of many retail stores over the last few months and the ARA believes the Andrews Labor Government’s announcement will only add to this sepulchral inclination.
“As a result of financial difficulties, Australia has already bared witness to the closure of many beloved retail stores and we do not wish to see this trend disseminate across the retail sector,” Mr Zimmerman said.
“The ARA disagrees with the Andrews Labor Government’s stance and will continue to advocate on this behalf of its members to protect the integrity and sustainability of the $320 billion-dollar retail sector.”
About the Australian Retailers Association:
Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is Australia’s largest retail association, representing the country’s $320 billion-dollar sector, which employs more than 1.3 million people. As Australia’s leading retail peak industry body, the ARA is a strong pro-active advocate for Australian retail and works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,800 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.
QUEENSDLAND'S RESOURCE sector is making further inroads into bringing down the state’s unemployment rate by investing in new projects and expanding existing activities, said the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).
QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said ahead of today's ABS jobs data the resource sector was already doing the heavy lifting with more than 1,300 jobs available in mining, resources and energy on the employment website Seek.
“These are long-term jobs and can provide education and training to advance employees into the next stage of their careers,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“Our sector continues to drive economic opportunities in all corners of the state with more than $14 billion in new or commissioned projects this year alone.
“The mining industry has by far the highest average weekly full-time adult earnings of any industry at $2659 – or over $138,000 per annum. Over 75 percent of these current vacancies pay $100,000 or more which is income that flows through to the butcher, bakery and hairdresser.
“In the Mackay region there are more than 500 vacancies, 84 in Rockhampton and the Capricorn Coast, 65 in Townsville, 80 in Mount Isa, 38 across the Darling Downs and in the nation’s biggest mining town Brisbane there are 372 jobs.
“Premier Palaszczuk highlighted the importance of the resource sector’s contribution to employment at the QRC’s Annual lunch last November and the resources sector shares the Government’s ambition.
A report by CSIRO found people wanted industry and government to work together with communities and wider society to promote effective, constructive, and mutually beneficial relationships.”
The Queensland resources sector supports more than 316,000 full-time jobs and contributed $62.955 billion to the State’s economy in 2017/18. The sector also contributed more than 80 percent of the State’s exports with overseas sales of Queensland coal, metal and petroleum increasing to more than $60 billion, propelling Queensland exports to a record $81 billion in 2018.
FINANCIAL services information publishing company Rainmaker Group announced today that it has completed its transaction with Bauer Media to acquire Money magazine.
Following the purchase, Money magazine will become Rainmaker’s key consumer title under its media division, Financial Standard. It currently publishes five B2B titles, including its flagship newspaper, and three B2C titles: The Good Super Guide, The Good Investment Guide and The Good Economics Guide.
“This is our first major acquisition since our media division, Financial Standard, was established in 2003. While we have steadily built our business in trade media, this acquisition meets our longer-term objective of growing our consumer media platform,” said Christopher Page, founder and group managing director of Rainmaker.
Following the deal, Rainmaker Group has announced new leadership roles.
Michelle Baltazar, executive director of media at Financial Standard, will assume the role of editor-in-chief.
- Darren Snyder, editor of Financial Standard, will move to the role of managing editor of Money
Jamie Williamson, associate editor of Financial Standard’s magazine FS Advice – The Australian Journal of Financial Planning, will move to the role of editor at Financial Standard.
Money editor Effie Zahos and deputy editor Maria Bekiaris will provide Rainmaker Group and Financial Standard with their editorial services to assist with the transition. However, they have chosen not to continue past the transition period.
“We hold Effie and Maria in high regard and wish them well in their future endeavours. Effie’s strong leadership and editorship has enabled Money to boast the loyal reader following that it has today,” Mr Page said.
The Money team, namely Ann Loveday (art director), Sharyn McCowen (online content producer), Bob Christensen (senior sub-editor), Debra Duncan (senior sub-editor) and Simon Park (brand manager) will move across to Rainmaker’s offices, effective March 25, 2019.
Award-winning finance author and financial literacy advocate Paul Clitheroe AM will continue in his role as Money’s chairman and chief commentator.
“We’re excited to work with an incredibly talented and passionate group of people. They have built a solid foundation from which we can further grow Money’s reputation as the leading source of personal finance news and expert advice,” Ms Baltazar said.
Established in 1999, Money is Australia’s longest running and most-read personal finance magazine.
About Financial Standard
Financial Standard is the publishing division of Rainmaker Group. Financial Standard is focused on providing trade news and investment analysis for professionals in superannuation, financial planning and wealth management. Established in 2003, Financial Standard also publishes FS Advice - The Australian Journal of Financial Planning; FS Super – The Journal of Superannuation Management; FS Private Wealth – The Journal of Family Office Investment; FS Managed Accounts – The Journal for Managed Account Professionals. It also publishes three B2C titles: The Good Super Guide, The Good Investment Guide and The Good Economics Guide. www.financialstandard.com.au
About Rainmaker Group
The Rainmaker Group was founded in 1992 and has established a reputation as a leading financial services information company in Australia providing market intelligence, industry research, media and publishing, events and consulting services. Rainmaker produces strategic, tactical, and analytical information about the financial services industry predominantly for superannuation funds, investment managers financial planners and consumers. The Rainmaker Group comprises: Rainmaker Information, Financial Standard, FS Aspire CPD, SelectingSuper, SelectAdviser and SuperGuard360. www.rainmaker.com.au