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Saturday , May 27 2017
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Australia

Australian customs nabbed Japanese national over live lizards in luggage

Australian customs staff

PERTH: A man has been caught allegedly attempting to board a plane for Japan with 13 live lizards in his luggage at Perth airport. The Japanese national was arrested on Wednesday after an X-ray screening of his suitcase found a suspicious package inside. Customs officers allegedly found seven adult bobtail lizards and six babies in cotton bags. WA bobtails can ... Read More »

Australia’s Mesoblast posts narrower quarterly loss, rise in R&D costs

loss

CANBERRA: Australian regenerative medicine maker Mesoblast Ltd on Thursday posted a narrower quarterly loss but booked a rise in research and development costs. The company reported a net loss of $9.8 million for the three months to March 31, compared with a loss of $16.9 million a year ago. Total revenue was $901,000, compared with $4.1 million a year ago. ... Read More »

Australia to pursue free trade agreement with Peru

fta

CANBERRA: The Australian government on Wednesday confirmed it will be pursuing a free trade agreement (FTA) with Peru, with the nation’s Trade Minister Steve Ciobo to visit Lima for the first round of negotiations in July. After the United States in January declared that it would not be signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – a free trade deal between 12 ... Read More »

Customs slammed for poor record-keeping

customs export

CANBERRA: Doubts have been raised as to whether Australia’s customs officials have been lawfully accessing people’s text messages and other kinds of data. The Commonwealth Ombudsman was scathing of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection in a review tabled in parliament on Tuesday. The report follows inspections of 20 agencies and their use of powers to access metadata and ... Read More »

Australian Border Force bag two tons of cocaine, tonne of meth in past 6 months

COCAINE

CANBERRA: Australian authorities have netted almost two tonnes of cocaine and more than one tonne of ice in the past six months. Border Force officers in recent months have bagged 1.9 tonnes of cocaine, including the biggest ever seizure of the drug in the country’s history off the NSW coast. More than one tonne of methamphetamine has also been seized, ... Read More »

Chevron appeals $340m ATO tax bill

ATO

CANBERRA: Oil and gas giant Chevron is taking its landmark fight with the Australian Taxation Office over a $340 million bill to the High Court. The Gorgon and Wheatstone LNG projects operator yesterday said the company had decided to seek special leave to appeal to the court over the financing dispute. The case has wide-ranging implications for Chevron and other ... Read More »

Australian tax official charged in $123 mln fraud probe

tax charged

CANBERRA: A senior Australian tax bureaucrat and two of his children are among 10 people charged in connection with a sophisticated tax fraud that police say netted 165 million Australian dollars ($123 million) in less than a year. Australian Taxation Office Deputy Commissioner Michael Cranston faces up to five years in prison if convicted of abusing his position as a ... Read More »

Woodside oil well in Pilbara leaked into ocean for 2 months

Woodside Petroleum's Okha floating, production storage and offloading (FPSO) facility.

CANBERRA: A subsea oil well that leaked for up to two months off the Pilbara coast last year but was not disclosed until this week belonged to the Woodside Petroleum-operated North West Shelf project. The leak, the biggest reported offshore of Australia last year, was conservatively estimated by Woodside to total up to 10,500 litres of fluid over two months, ... Read More »

ATO deputy commissioner Michael Cranston caught up in $165m tax fraud bust

ato

CANBERRA: Australian Taxation Office Deputy Commissioner Michael Cranston has been caught up in a major tax evasion scheme allegedly involving his son and daughter. Mr Cranston, 58, has been issued with a court attendance notice for allegedly publicly abusing his position as a senior official of the Commonwealth, the AFP said today. He has not been officially been charged, but ... Read More »

Australia Q1 wage price index holds at record low of 1.9%

AUS

CANBERRA: A closely-watched measure of Australian labor costs held at record lows at the start of 2017, reaffirming calls for continued low-rate stimulus by the country’s central bank. The wage price index – a gauge of hourly wage growth –  rose 0.5% in the three months ending March, following a similar gain e fourth quarter, the Australian Bureau of Statistics ... Read More »

Australian vegetable growers inspired to break into export markets

vegetable

CANBERRA: Australian vegetable growers have been given a practical overview of the export process, including the tricks of the trade to take advantage of booming export markets, at the Australian Vegetables Export Seminar 2017, held on Monday 15 May at Adelaide Convention Centre.  The seminar, organised by AUSVEG and funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia, ran in conjunction with Hort Connections ... Read More »

Tax office warns energy companies they are risking prosecution over deductions

ato

CANBERRA: The tax office has warned that at least a dozen companies are in the “red zone”, risking possible litigation for claiming massive tax deductions from related party loans. The ATO issued the warning while releasing draft guidance on Tuesday designed to force companies, many in the resources and energy sectors, to restructure loans so they are not used to ... Read More »

Gas export boom loser may win from Australia supply crunch

GAS EXPORT

SYDNEY: Missing out on Australia’s natural gas export boom may be the best thing that happened to Arrow Energy Ltd. The decision by the Royal Dutch Shell Plc and PetroChina Co. JV to scrap a A$20-billion project to ship Arrow’s fuel overseas as liquefied natural gas looks like a blessing in disguise. The Brisbane-based producer now plans to boost output, ... Read More »

Australia’s cruise industry sails to record highs in 2016

aci

CANBERRA: The Australian cruise market has grown by 21 per cent, with 1,281,159 Australians taking a cruise in 2016. The growth of 222,378 passengers is the biggest increase on record, according to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia’s 2016 Australian Ocean Passenger Cruise Industry Source Market Report. CLIA Australasia’s Managing Director, Joel Katz said “In 2016, Australia achieved the ... Read More »

Australian banks say to pass on $4.6 bln tax hit to customers, shareholders

New Zealand meat, wine exports to face uncertainty on U.S border tax

SYDNEY: Australia’s biggest banks will pass on the financial hit from a new A$6.2 billion ($4.60 billion) tax to their customers and shareholders, the companies said on Monday in their first detailed responses to the surprise levy. Commonwealth Bank of Australia ( CBA ) <CBA.AX>, the country’s No. 1 lender, described the tax on liabilities unveiled in last week’s federal ... Read More »

Australia’s GrainCorp H1 profit triples; maintains FY forecast

GRAINCORP

CANBERRA: Australia’s largest listed grain handler GrainCorp Ltd <GNC.AX> said on Thursday its half-year underlying profit more than tripled and reaffirmed its full-year forecast, as a record wheat crop underpinned revenue growth. GrainCorp said its underlying net profit for the six months ended March 31 came in at A$100.1 million ($73.6 million), up from A$32.2 million last year. The grain ... Read More »

Australian double tax on bitcoin will end July 1st

tax

CANBERRA: The Australian government’s 2017-18 Budget was released on Tuesday, and cryptocurrency enthusiasts in the country have at least one provision that should put a smile on their faces. After more than a year of waiting for the government’s promised GST tax relief to materialize, Bitcoin users will no longer need to worry about the existing double tax on the ... Read More »

Australian Customs destroys a piece of history

customs

CANBERRA: Australia is known for its strict quarantine regulations, but Australian Customs have taken things to the extreme and have disappointed the scientific community in the process. Two lichen specimens were on loan from France’s National Museum of Natural History and New Zealand’s Landcare Research Allan Herbarium to assist with Australian research, but the 19th century plants were destroyed by ... Read More »

Bitcoin gets a tax cut in Australia’s 2017 budget

budget-highlights

CANBERRA: Australia’s 2017 federal budget is (finally) putting an end to the double taxation of digital currencies like bitcoin as a part of a wider FinTech-forward agenda by the government. The double taxation of digital currency-related transactions in Australia has shuttered promising startups and frustrated the FinTech community over the years. The cryptocurrency is seen as an intangible property rather ... Read More »

Monadelphous wins long-term Ichthys LNG contract

lng

CANBERRA: Monadelphous has been awarded a long-term maintenance services contract at INPEX’s Ichthys LNG project offshore Western Australia. The contract is for an initial six-year period, but has the option to be extended for an additional two years. INPEX engaged Monadelphous to deliver operational, campaign and shutdown maintenance services and brownfield projects implementation associated with the Ichthys central processing facility ... Read More »