Pro-business groups urge ACT Opposition to abandon plans to tear up light rail contracts

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Three prominent pro-business groups have urged ACT’s Liberal Opposition to reconsider its plans to tear up light rail contracts if they win the 2016 territory election.

Earlier this year, the Canberra Liberals said they would cancel any light rail contracts signed by the current Government.

The move attracted a stern rebuke from then prime minister Tony Abbott, who said all contracts should be honoured.

But the Liberals went on to formally warn two consortia shortlisted to help construct it the light rail project that a change in government would put an end to the project.

Now the Business Council of Australia (BCA), the Australian Industry Group (AIG) and Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA) have weighed in, asking the party to change its policy.

IPA chief executive Brendan Lyon said Australia needed investment to fill the infrastructure gap and grow the economy beyond the resources boom.

He said for this reason, voiding light rail contracts would damage the national interest, and cost Canberra dearly in compensation.

“Australia has a hard-won reputation as one of the world’s safest places to invest, but the axing of Victoria’s East West Link contract has

NSW Government to sell off luxury hotels in Sydney to fund projects

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The New South Wales Government has announced it will fund an upgrade of Sydney’s Circular Quay by selling off several sites, including luxury hotels.

The Shangri-La and Four Seasons hotels in the city’s CBD, the Novotel and Mercure hotels at Darling Harbour, and commercial offices at Darling Quarter are among the properties owned by the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority (SHFA) that will be put on the market.

The Government said it would raise $200 million to fund the construction of new state-of-the-art ferry wharves, with construction expected to begin in 2019.

Premier Mike Baird said the Government did not need to be the landlord for luxury hotels and the money raised would be put to good use.

“For those of us that looked at the wharves for a long time, we know that they’re functional but we think they can do much, much more.” Mr Baird said.

“They can provide the sort of gateway you see in global cities around the world that’s attractive, that’s inviting, that’s vibrant.”

The Government’s vision for the wharves included double-storey buildings with new retail facilities.

Finance Minister Dominic Perrottet said the SHFA assets were deemed to be not of long-term

Free tram zone extended to stops near MCG on AFL grand final weekend

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Melbourne’s free tram zone will be extended to stops near the MCG during the AFL grand final weekend.

Footy fans will benefit from the extension of the free tram zone to the MCG for four days from Wednesday.

Three stops on Wellington Parade to Clarendon Street will be free until midnight on grand final day.

Stops at Rod Laver and Hisense arenas will also be free.

Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan said the State Government wanted to make it cheaper for people to enjoy the grand final weekend.

“When you put it in the context of the broader public transport budget, which is billions and billions of dollars, this is a small contribution that the Government can make to that,” she said.

“It’s about making it easier for families to get to the MCG.”

Unlike trams, commuters will still have to pay to catch the train.

Boost Your Business with a Virtual Receptionist

Running a business can hit a lot of different snags that make your path forward even more difficult than it has ever been. The 21st century is rife with a lot of opportunities to expand into unknown and untapped territory. You could really boost your business in a matter of days. In the age of the Internet and unprecedented connectivity, people have been really hitting virtual gold veins on the Web and expanding their business very quickly.

For example, if you sell t-shirts from an online storefront, you probably have a certain number of t-shirts that you already have printed. Ideally, you will also know how many you can sell at short notice. But what do you do if someone wears your shirt on a popular sports broadcast? For example, if a footballer ran onto the pitch for warm-ups wearing one of your shirts, you would see your sales skyrocket. The number of orders within the next few days would be unprecedented. You would need to have a way to not only respond to those requests, but to keep them organised. You wouldn’t want to miss out on any of that great business, but you might not

Give Yourself Much Deserved Peace of Mind

The choice to seek a divorce from your spouse is a difficult one at best, and you deserve highly trained, unbiased support from professionals. A family lawyer is trained and willing to give you the unwavering support and assistance you need in order to make your divorce proceedings fast, simple, and as stress-free as possible. You set yourself up to make mistakes when you choose to file for divorce on your own. Although some cases are simple enough for a do-it-yourself divorce, these are few and far in between. Before you decide whether a family lawyer is your best choice, take the time to consider these benefits.

Expertise in Their Field

A family lawyer in London – Hanne & Co, for example – is experienced in the complicated laws involved in any divorce. In order to protect your money and assets, your family lawyer trained themselves in all the family law, bylaw, and loopholes you might struggle to keep up with on your own. If you are not extremely careful, your spouse may be entitled to assets you never knew they could take, and it is the job of your lawyer to ensure this does

Forex is an international stock exchange

Forex is an international stock exchange on which are traded currency pairs. This activity is attractive to many people because it is one of the most profitable investments. Experienced traders, operating more capital (thousands of dollars), is carried out during the day to 20 positive transactions to obtain huge profits. It’s no secret that trading in the foreign exchange market has allowed a considerable number of players to put together a whole state. Some of them perform successful forex trading.
However, newcomers to the Forex too early to think about the big profits. They have to succeed to become “students” and master the theoretical and practical knowledge. And should start with a study of technical analysis, which is essential for the correct prediction of the development on the stock exchange events. In doing so, they will certainly help to read the works of classics of the stock market – A. Elder, L. Goh, William J. O’Neil. They can be encouraged to participate in all the forums, training workshops, which are often carried out brokerage companies. In parallel with these classes should start monitoring the foreign exchange market, in which the relationship is established between the quotes and currency news

How Joshua Landy built an app to help doctors swap insights

Joshua Landy, a practising physician, came up with the idea for Figure 1 while enrolled at Stanford University in 2012, studying doctors’ smartphone habits. He launched the app in 2013 with two co-founders. As of September, Figure 1 had 500,000 users worldwide.


“Figure 1 provides health-care professionals around the world with instant access to specialized knowledge. We’re already seeing cases where a doctor from the U.K. helps a doctor in Mexico.

How Figure 1 plans to go global with its “Instagram for doctors”

“Users register on our network, and we verify they have a licence to practise medicine. They’re then able to upload a case. They can either take a picture or upload a picture you have, and enter a caption. We review every image to make sure there are no privacy violations. And after that, the images are live in the Figure 1 feed, where our users can answer, comment, discuss and add to their favourites. People are gaining exposure to cases they wouldn’t otherwise see. And seeing more cases is what makes a physician better at his or her job.

“Figure 1 is in more than 175 countries in the world. Part of our growth strategy is ensuring we’ve done the

CIBC CEO Victor Dodig on banking’s tech revolution

The financial services industry is facing numerous threats, as startups and established players like Apple and Google are gunning to steal market share by providing easier, more convenient banking and payment options. It’s a challenge that Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce CEO Victor Dodig is tackling head-on. His strategy is to work with some of these new entrants to deliver better services for clients, while strengthening customer relationships. Innovation alone isn’t enough to win, Dodig argues. Banks also need to be financially sound and strongly tied to their client base to prosper in this new era.


Since becoming CEO in 2014, you’ve talked about doing a complete reinvention of the bank. What do you mean, more specifically?

How Canadian startups are changing the way we bank

I’d say just reinventing the culture of how we’re trying to run our bank. I try to run it as a very flat institution. I try to be accessible so people feel like there’s a direct line to what’s going on as opposed to feeling like there’s this shroud of secrecy. It’s about flattening the structure and humanizing the bank. If we’re going to attract great people who want to work in a fun place, we

A Basic Guide to Honda Car Finance

Personal Contract Purchase Agreements  Personal contract purchase is one of the most popular options for Honda car finance. This is a good choice if you are not planning on upgrading the vehicle for foreseeable future. The monthly repayments are typically quite low with the provision to make a lump sum payment initially. Your monthly repayments are scheduled for a set duration with the balance of the finance due as a lump sum as a final payment. However, there is some flexibility with this type of finance as you can choose to make the final lump sum payment and keep the vehicle or return or part exchange the vehicle against a new agreement.     Hire Purchase:  Hire purchase is considered to be a traditional form of new or used car finance. This agreement allows for your to borrow the funds needed and repay it back over a set term. The amount available to borrow is typically dependent on the amount of deposit put down. Generally, the higher amount of deposit, the lower the monthly repayments and the less interest is accrued. Once the loan has been repaid, the ownership of the vehicle is passed to you. Hire purchase is considered to be

What Business Integration Can Do For Your Business

If technology is a medium that you use to carry out your organization’s goals, having business integration is recommended. This is especially true in an industry that is driven by fierce competition. Being able to respond immediately to customer’s demands is crucial to success. Applications such as EBI, EAI, ELI, EDI and EII have proved helpful in allowing multi-tasking.

It is common for every growing organization to constantly update its technology. As we move on to the modern era, new demands call for new products and services. In order to cope in a fast-paced market, new applications are required. Hence, you install the latest software.

Though almost application is vital to your organization’s performance, it unintentionally gives birth to a gap. The gap widens every time a new application or software is introduced. This can pose threats to the organization since the gap slows down the process of productivity.

To address this issue, business integration provides not only a technical solution. It becomes a medium to sustain or even surpass your organization’s performance. With good business integration software, you are assured flexibility in properly delivering your product or service. This puts your organization on the front line of your industry.

There are many integrating

Business-to-Business Web site

In case of business-to-consumer scheme there are people who offer services or products and they serve as end products for people who buy them because customers are not likely to do anything else with the purchase other than use it themselves. On the other hand B2B model is set up in such a way that both parties are exchanging some products or services intending to use it somehow in the future, either for creation of their own product/service or aiming to resell for profit generation. Currently most all big and small businesses and entrepreneurs recognize the importance and overall benefits of using Internet. Both models of business welcome the possibility to cut down production costs, elimination of multiple intermediaries and costs savings as a result of technology usage. In business-to-consumer situation Internet that can be easily accessible by everyone at any time and any place is the best tool for selling goods or services. After all Internet makes the very existence of such phenomenon possible. When we consider business-to-business model a simple Web site available for everyone will not be sufficient and most probably will be a dangerous idea. Security concerns for those who operate big sums of money or

Satellite Internet Performance

In metropolitan areas, it’s pretty easy to get cable internet. With so many internet service providers vying for our business, for most of us, we just have to decide who gives us the best value for our money. Of course, in the city, many seldom need to worry much about the performance of cable internet. Cable internet is easy to acquire and it’s blazing fast. That’s all there needs to be said about cable internet. An estimated 70% to 80% of American households have internet access. Over 65% of that estimate have high-speed broadband internet and only 6% (approximately 93 million Americans) still use dial-up. Regardless of performance, people using dial-up do so because it is cost-effective and easy to set up.

It should be noted that among the 93 million still using dial-up are internet users living in smaller rural towns, far removed from the more metropolitan areas of their state, and must resort to using dial-up because of limited options. Internet service providers of cable and DSL do not cater to remote areas due to distance and cost. And due to the frustrations that dial-up users have dealt with (disconnects and slow data transfer speeds), many are turning to

Business to Business Partnership Opportunities

There are several types of business to business partnerships that a business owner may pursue in order to improve their business. The main objective behind most business relationships is to find new customer leads and convert them into increased sales and revenue for both participating companies. 

There are several types of business to business partnerships that a business owner may pursue in order to improve their business. The main objective behind most business relationships is to find new customer leads and convert them into increased sales and revenue for both participating companies. Consider these four primary types of business to business partnerships in order to achieve the goal of increased sales and revenue including: suppliers, customers, resellers or companies with significant existing sales channels and/or vendors. Each type of partnership has its own unique set of advantages and challenges for successfully implementing and maintaining, therefore it’s important to evaluate each type to understand which is in your best interest to pursue.

Suppliers

Creating business relationships with suppliers usually makes great financial sense and can lead to unique business opportunities. Many suppliers are in a very competitive environment and constantly have to find new channels to sell their products. As a rule suppliers will

Broad coalition of small businesses, working parents and seniors calls on Oregon legislature to stand up to Wall Street pressure on retirement security

(Salem, Ore.)— The Retirement in Reach coalition (a broad group of organizations representing approximately 900,000 Oregonians) today attacked “Wall Street financial interests” that are fighting HB 3436B. In a press conference held at the Oregon State Capitol, the coalition called on the Oregon Legislature to pass the bill to create a task force to study ways to increase retirement savings for working Oregonians.

“This is a classic battle between Main Street and Wall Street,” said Deborah Field, co-owner of Paperjam Press in Portland and Executive Team Member of the Main Street Alliance of Oregon, an organization representing more than 1,200 small businesses around the state. “We support creating low-cost, simple ways for our employees to save for retirement, and HB 3436B is the first step. Opposition to this bill has been dominated by Wall Street lobbyists and big businesses and we want to be clear: they don’t speak for us.”

HB 3436B, passed by the Oregon House of Representatives on Monday, creates the Oregon Retirement Savings Investment Task Force, which includes representatives from employers, the financial services industry, the public and the State Treasurer. The task force is charged with developing recommendations for an Oregon Secure Retirement Plan—which would be available

Growing old can be risky business

Managing money can be difficult at any age. For older adults, changes in physical condition and life circumstances can lead to changes for the worse in financial behavior, putting their well-being in danger. Now those changes have been given a name: age-associated financial vulnerability.

Two experts in elder abuse coin the term and explain the concept in an opinion article published in the Oct. 13 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine. They also call for research to identify and help older adults at risk from age-associated financial vulnerability, or AAFV for short.

They define the condition as “a pattern of financial behavior that places an older adult at substantial risk for a considerable loss of resources such that dramatic changes in quality of life would result.” To be considered AAFV, this behavior also must be a marked change from the kind of financial decisions a person made in younger years.

“For example, if an older adult gives his or her neighbor $10,000, this many be a sign of AAFV. However, if the older adult has given large sums of money to those in need throughout his or her adult lifetime, then the $10,000 gift in old age may not

5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Marketing Budget

A critical element to any successful small business is developing an effective marketing plan.

While larger businesses have the ability to invest massive amounts of resources into their marketing efforts, most small businesses don’t have that luxury. The key for smaller businesses is to figure out how to get the most bang for their marketing buck, which is what Linda and Mike Boyd of the Denver-area Instant Imprints franchise have done. Instant Imprints is a nationwide franchise that combines screen printing, embroidery, signage and promotional products all under one business umbrella.

Owner Linda, and her husband, Mike, who is in charge of business development, have been perfecting their marketing plan for the past four years. Mike Boyd said the key in coming up with a good strategy is not being intimidated by the marketing process.

“For many years we let what we didn’t know about that discipline stop us from doing anything,” Mike Boyd told Business News Daily. “Once we stopped trying to figure out ‘marketing’ and instead did things that would make us more visible to the people who wanted to be our customers, stuff started to happen.”

Here are the points Boyd said he and his wife focus on when creating

Patients Are Becoming Lobbyists for the Industry

If the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) is driving the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), then patient representatives are relegated to the passenger seat. The goal of the EUPATI Project is to help patient representatives better understand the drug approval process. A total of 18 pharmaceutical companies are participating in EUPATI, with more EFPIA members involved than in any other IMI project.

That doesn’t come as a surprise to NGOs like the Trans-Atlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD). The group fears the project may simply be a Trojan horse, an attempt to train patient advocacy groups to lobby for faster approval of medications. Like other NGO workers, David Hammerstein of TACD has been critical of IMI’s inception. “It’s unacceptable that, within IMI, patient representatives are trained by the pharmaceutical industry and that the EU is investing millions in a project that is further strengthening the already strong pharmaceutical industry lobby.”

Many patient advocacy organizations live off the donations they receive from the pharmaceuticals industry. According to research conducted by SPIEGEL, patient organizations in Germany recorded more than 1,300 such donations in 2013 alone.

Project director Jan Geissler denies

International airlines under pressure to better accommodate travellers in wheelchairs

Kim Jago is lobbying Australian airlines to purchase a machine that will make it easier for people in wheelchairs to travel overseas.

Ms Jago, who has a severe mobility disability, is preparing for a trip of a lifetime, but for that to happen she needs help getting on a flight in Hong Kong, so she can return to Australia.

“My condition is deteriorating,” she said.

“I don’t know how long I’m going to be here for and I’m trying the very best to fulfil a few of my bucket list dreams and this (trip) was one of them.”

Her story has resonated with disability groups around the world and she said she will not stop until she sees industry-wide action.

Qantas, who sponsors Australia’s Paralympic team, told Ms Jago it is unsure if it can fulfil her request for special assistance to get her on her flight home from Hong Kong next year.

Qantas uses a third party overseas, so it said it is not responsible for special assistance equipment there.

Ms Jago spoke to Qantas for more than an hour today, trying to get those at the airline to change their mind and is optimistic the airline is now doing all it can.

“After today, I’m

Valley of death journey for Australian biotech to pharmacy shelves

The boss of an Australian research-based pharmaceutical company says it is a tough road for biotech companies to make it to pharmacy shelves.

Pharmaxis chief executive Gary Phillips has highlighted the challenges in commercialising products.

“We call it the valley of death,” he said.

“In the years before innovation and just before we get onto the market, the risk is the highest.

“You need a really committed team of people and unless you’re well funded, it’s very difficult to make that leap.”

Mr Phillips has jumped on the recent comments from new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for more collaboration between primary research institutions and industry.

“You only need to look at the US as a shining example to see what’s possible,” he said.

“They have a vibrant biotech sector and a huge number of start-up companies that are coming out of universities that are well funded.”

If we have policy which changes when we change a government or even when we change a Prime Minister, that reducers investor confidence.

Pharmaxis chief executive Gary Phillips

Australia is home to 104 listed life-science companies, which research firm Bioshares valued at a combined $70 billion as of the end of June.

That list boasts global giants such

Mother’s plea to Prime Minister to stop Perth Freight Link

Just hours after Malcolm Turnbull toppled Tony Abbott in the leadership ballot, a tenacious mother-of-four sent him a plea for help.

Tania Smirke was not wasting any time alerting the new Prime Minister to the giant highway that threatens to destroy her home in the southern Perth suburb of Palmyra.

“I’m one of the people who’s life is playing out like the fictitious family, the Kerrigans, in the great Aussie movie, The Castle,” she said in an email to Mr Turnbull, after watching the leadership spill on television.

“I do hope you have more common sense than our last PM.”

The Perth Freight Link, she said in the letter, “seems to have come from the back of a Weetbix box”.

Impact means they’re going to take our home and bulldoze it, which is quite scary really

Tania Smirke – Palmyra resident

Mrs Smirke and her husband Damon are among hundreds of residents fighting the proposed freight link through Perth’s southern suburbs.

The toll road, which would be built in two stages, is to be funded by the State and Federal Governments.

It aims to take 500 trucks a day off suburban roads and improve freight times to Fremantle Port.

The Commonwealth’s contribution of

Volkswagen appoints new chief amid reports of more rigged emission tests in diesel cars

Volkswagen has appointed a new chief executive to deal with the emissions cheating scandal that has engulfed the German car company.

Matthias Mueller, the head of VW’s Porsche unit, replaces former long-time chief executive Martin Winterkorn who quit earlier this week soon after the scandal involving diesel cars unfolded.

Mr Mueller, 62, has the unenviable task of winning back the public’s trust in the world’s biggest carmaker.

“Under my leadership, Volkswagen will do all it can to develop and implement the strictest compliance and governance standards in the whole industry,” he said.

Acting chairman Berthold Huber made an apology to “our customers, the public, authorities and investors” and asked them to give Volkswagen a chance to make good on the damage from the emissions cheating.

“I want to be very clear, the manipulation of tests for diesel engines is a moral and political disaster,” he said.

He said a number of employees had been put on leave until the details of the emissions cheating were cleared up.

Customers and motor dealers are furious Volkswagen has yet to say which models and construction years are affected, and whether it will have to recall any cars for refits.

In a further setback, Switzerland announced it was banning the sale

New 150 tonne furnace delivered to Nyrstar’s Port Pirie smelter as part of $514 million redevelopment

The centrepiece of the half-a-billion-dollar Port Pirie smelter redevelopment – a new furnace that is expected to significantly reduce lead emissions – has arrived at the site, with the South Australian Government declaring it a “major milestone”.

Installation of the 150-tonne furnace shell and associated works will be carried out at the Nyrstar site in the next few months, and requires foundations 26-metres deep.

The city has been battling to control high blood-lead levels for years, especially in children, and Nyrstar and the State Government both expect a significant improvement in air quality as a result of the new furnace.

“This redevelopment cleans up those lead issues that have bewitched this town for so long,” Treasurer and State Development Minister Tom Koutsantonis said.

The Government has underwritten $291 million of the smelter’s redevelopment, which is due to be completed in the second half of 2016.

Mr Koutsantonis said he was confident the Government’s investment would pay off and would help regenerate the town.

“The risk to the taxpayer is exceptionally small and, quite frankly, this is an example of the Government using its balance sheet to go and leverage private investment,” he said.

“A town of over 10,000 people would have been if dire straits if

Light rail would set Hobart up for 21st century former deputy PM Tim Fischer says

A light rail system would “set Hobart up for the 21st century”, former deputy prime minister Tim Fischer has told the Tasmanian Government.

Mr Fischer said the old rail tracks between Hobart and Glenorchy could easily be converted into a modern transportation system.

“It is long overdue,” he said.

“It is an efficient way to move many people.

“It would set Hobart up for the 21st century and this project should happen.

“The track is already there.

“There is modern technology relating to light rail on narrow gauge, which can be done without even having to erect overhead wires.”

The former Nationals leader is in Tasmania to discuss the proposal with local industry leaders.

Mr Fischer said the project should have been commissioned long ago, and argued that the State Government had a fiscal responsibility to build a light rail system in Hobart.

“Over the years, if you provide good modern light rail, people will flock to use it,” he said.

“I believe that it stacks up formally and I believe it massively stacks up once operations commence.

“Now that we have a Prime Minister backing light rail ahead of road, go for it.”

Tasmania’s Minister for State Growth, Matthew Groom, said Infrastructure Tasmania is assessing the light rail option and