WITH the 2018 eftpos Australian Retailers Association (ARA) Australian Retail Awards just around the corner, the ARA has announced the finalists of this year’s prestigious Awards breakfast.  

This year’s Awards themed, The Retail Realm: Thinking outside the shop, encompasses every element of the retail sphere, including customer experience, technology, payments, sustainability, supply chain, growth, employee development and corporate social responsibility.

With 13 awards up for grabs, the ARA has revitalised the awards process, working with a panel of expert judges and industry leaders to determine what constitutes the ‘best in retail’ across three categories in the Retail Realm.

Reimagining the Awards evaluation process, the ARA’s panel of esteemed judges conducted the first awards analysis, reviewing all nominations over a two-week period and scoring each submission out of five. Each retailer was then ranked alongside their award category counterparts, with the highest-ranking retailers making the finals.

The two most sought-after retail awards, the 2018 National Retailer of the Year Award and the Excellence in Customer Experience Award, will undertake further analysis by The Realise Group, a customer experience measurement agency, to determine the winner amongst the top three finalists.

Russell Zimmerman, ARA executive director, said this revised methodology, coupled with mystery shopping initiatives and field agency surveys, ensures the highest-standard of credibility and integrity in presenting these prestigious awards.

“The Australian retail industry continues to evolve, and with new technologies entering the retail realm and changing customer expectations, we need to recognise the proactive retailers pushing the industry forward,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“As online and global markets continue to challenge the retail industry, the variety of small, medium and large retailers making it to the finals showcases the diverse and extraordinary talent we have in Australian retail,” Mr Zimmerman said.

While a record number of entries were received by the ARA this year, the 2018 eftpos ARA Australian Retail Awards finalists shone the brightest in the Retail Realm.

The 2018 eftpos ARA Australian Retail Awards breakfast will be held Thursday October 18 at the Myer Mural Hall in Melbourne. To secure your seat for the 2018 eftpos ARA Australian Retail Awards head to The Retail Realm to purchase tickets.

About the eftpos ARA Australian Retail Awards:

First held in the 1970s, the eftpos ARA Australian Retail Awards are the nation’s longest running and most prestigious retail event, recognising and rewarding outstanding retail businesses, innovations, and individuals across all sectors of retail. Relaunched in 2008, the annual 2018 eftpos ARA Australian Retail Awards breakfast will commence on Thursday 18 October at the Myer Mural Hall in Melbourne. To secure your seat for the 2018 eftpos ARA Australian Retail Awards buy tickets here.

About the Australian Retailers Association:

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is Australia’s largest retail association, representing the country’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 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 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.





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INCREASING Newstart is an immediate reform that could begin to significantly reduce poverty and disadvantage in Australia and CEDA research shows it is in line with community expectations, according to CEDA chief executive, Melinda Cilento.

In support of the ACOSS Raise the Rate campaign and new economic analysis out today from Deloitte Access Economics in support of this campaign, Ms Cilento said CEDA’s June Community Pulse report and nation-wide poll showed 79 per cent believe the gap between the richest and poorest is unacceptable.

“Ensuring the benefits from Australia’s record run of economic growth are extended across the community is vital to Australia’s future prosperity,” she said.

“After 27 years of uninterrupted economic growth, a record among developed economies, around one in 10 Australians are still living in poverty, that is unacceptable.

“CEDA has supported increasing Newstart since 2015 and again called for an increase to payments following our April 2018 report, How unequal? Insights on inequality.

“Our community has an expectation that the benefits of growth should be fairly distributed and that we have appropriate safety nets. Action by the Federal Parliament on Newstart is overdue.

“Punitive social safety nets make it harder for people to get back into work, which is a poor outcome for the person concerned, for the economy and for our society.

“At just $278 a week, or around $40 per day, Newstart has not increased in real terms for over 24 years with recipients struggling to cover the basics like rent, utilities, health and transport costs.  

“While the gap between the Pension and Newstart payments was relatively narrow in the 90s, the gap widened through the 2000s and Newstart today is only 61 percent of the Pension, or approximately $175 less per week.

“Inadequate Newstart payments entrench poverty and the cycle of disadvantage.

“It is evident that the current Newstart payments do not provide a reasonable standard of living.

“Increasing the payment would dramatically change the lives of more than 750,000 Australians – more than the combined populations of Canberra and Hobart.

“Raising the Newstart payment would ensure the payment scheme delivers on its purpose, rather than being an entry point into disadvantage.”



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THE Japanese Government today (September 14)  failed in their push to end the global moratorium on whaling at the 67th meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in Brazil. 

Japan lost the vote on their 'Way Forward' proposal that would have led to new commercial whaling quotas being established by 2020; 27 countries voted in favour of Japan's proposal and 41 against.

The proposal needed a three-quarters majority to succeed, but did not even achieve a simple majority. Australia voted against the proposal.

“This is a win for the whales. Japan’s outrageous attempt to bring back commercial whaling has been condemned to history. This is Japan’s latest failure to resuscitate a dying industry,” said Tooni Mahto, campaigns manager with the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS).

“The IWC’s rejection of Japan’s proposal sends a clear message to the Government of Japan that commercial whaling must be a thing of the past. Today the world has voted for the protection of the world’s majestic whales.

“Whaling has lost its social license on a global scale. Whaling is a cruel, outdated and unnecessary industry, and today's vote affirms the world's commitment to the protection of these gentle giants.

“Whales face a greater number of threats today that at any stage in their past. Climate change, entanglement in fishing nets, plastic pollution, underwater noise and ship strikes threaten our ocean giants. Our whales need help, not harpoons.

“Australia stood tall for the whales at this IWC meeting. The Australian Government led the charge to save the ban on whaling, and also increased pressure on Japan to cease its controversial ‘scientific whaling’ programs,” Mr Mahto said.

Under the Government of Japan’s 'Way Forward' proposal to change the rules of the IWC, Japan was also pushing to change the IWC’s voting rules so that decisions like the setting of whaling quotas could be made by a simple majority, rather than the current three quarters majority. That proposal failed too.

Australia has been a global leader in whale conservation since the Fraser Government banned whaling in 1979. Australia took and won the landmark International Court of Justice legal case against Japan in 2014.

AMCS is attending the meeting. The 89 nation IWC meets every two years.

The full Commission meeting is taking place in Florianopolis, Brazil from September 10-14, ending today.



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THE Queensland Resources Council (QRC) has welcomed the proposed merger of local Metallica Minerals and Canadian company Melior Resources as further proof of growing confidence in the State’s resources industry. 

Under the proposal, Melior will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Metallica, which will remain listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). 

QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said he welcomed the recognition, in the merger announcement, on a pipeline of longer term development and exploration assets, all located in Queensland. 

These assets include: Goondicum Ilmenite and Phosphate rock mine; Cape York Heavy Mineral Sands and Bauxite Project JV; Cape Flattery Silica Sands Project; and the Esmeralda Graphite Project.

“At a time when the resources sector is creating a new job every hour and a $1 billion in exports every week, the proposed Metallica-Melior is further good news for a sector doing great things in Queensland,” Mr Macfarlane said. 

Simon Slesarewich, who will retain the managing director’s role, is a QRC board member. 



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PRO-WHALING nations including Japan, Iceland and Norway have blocked plans to create a whale sanctuary spanning the South Atlantic Ocean.

The Sanctuary failed in a vote at today’s International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in Brazil when whaling nations Japan, Iceland and Norway and other pro-whaling countries voted against the proposal.

The South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary failed to achieve the three-quarters majority needed to be established. 39 countries voted for the sanctuary, 25 against, with three abstentions. The Australia Government voted to support the establishment of the South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary.

“The world’s whales need sanctuary. Whales have never faced such a range of threats. Climate change, entanglement in fishing nets, plastic pollution, underwater noise and ship strikes threaten our ocean giants” said Tooni Mahto, campaigns manager with the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS).

“There is an urgent need for us to better protect our whales and dolphins now, before it's too late.

“This sanctuary would have given our magnificent whales vital protection, and supported the growth of sustainable whale watching tourism to benefit local communities.

“Once again whaling nations have stood in the way of progress at the IWC.

“Pro-whaling nations have repeatedly blocked much-needed conservation measures like whale sanctuaries at recent IWC meetings, while pushing for a return to commercial whaling.

“Rather than supporting sanctuary for the whales, Japan wants to drag us back to the bad old days of global whaling.

“It is outrageous that Japan is urging the IWC to lift the ban on commercial whaling, and arguing for new commercial whaling quotas to be opened by 2020.

The IWC is due to debate the Government of Japan’s controversial “Way Forward” proposal that would lead to the resumption of commercial whaling tomorrow (Wednesday September 12, Brazil time).

Whale populations in the South Atlantic Ocean have been heavily impacted by commercial whaling and are yet to fully recover, AMCS said.

The ‘South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary’ proposal was put forward by the governments of Brazil, Argentina, Gabon, South Africa and Uruguay. Brazil committed to bring the proposal for a South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary back to next IWC meeting for approval.

AMCS is attending the meeting. The 89 nation IWC meets every two years.

The full Commission meeting is taking place in Florianopolis, Brazil September 10-14.



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