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Posts Tagged ‘announced’

As all of you have been waiting for the news on changes of migration program rules, the DIAC has today announced the forthcoming changes in the program. It focus, especially on the 175, 176, 475 visa application where a successful skill assessment is a MUST for all applicant regardless of their location. It means the same rules apply for both the on-shore and offshore applicants.

To read more about the changes please follow this link.

The department has also changed their refund policy which applies to all refund applications made after 21 December 2009; those who already applied for a refund prior to this but the case has not yet been finalized are also covered by the same policy. However, the detail of the policy is not available yet. I think if anybody wish a refund should contact the department to make sure whether they are eligible for a refund or not. To read more about the changes please follow this link.

I assume that there are more changes to come in the program, especially in the prioritization and MODL or CSL or whatever they may call it.

Source  : http://www.pomsinoz.com/forum/migration-issues/74743-01-january-2010-changes-migration-program-announced.html

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Businesses can claim an additional tax deduction when they buy certain assets, and when they spend money to improve existing assets, for a limited time. It’s called the Small Business and General Business Tax Break – ‘business tax break’ for short.

The Australian Government announced the tax break as an ‘investment allowance’ in December 2008 aimed at helping businesses meet the challenges of the economic downturn.

The government later extended this tax break in the May Budget to allow small businesses to claim a 50% tax deduction on eligible assets bought by 31 December 2009.

Source  :   www.ato.gov.au

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The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, today announced the establishment of the Council for Immigration Services and Status Resolution.

The council will provide independent advice on the implementation of measures associated with the government’s immigration policy initiatives including New Directions in Detention and the national rollout of the Community Status Resolution Service.

‘The Government’s focus is on resolving the immigration status of people quickly and fairly while ensuring they are treated humanely and with dignity and respect,’ Senator Evans said.

‘The council will provide independent advice on policies, services and programs to achieve timely, fair and effective resolution of immigration status for people seeking asylum or other migration outcomes in Australia.

‘The terms of reference and membership of the council reflects the range of expertise required to implement the Government’s New Directions in Detention policy.’

The council, which succeeds the Immigration Detention Advisory Group, will meet for the first time on October 21 to identify priority issues to be addressed over the next two years. The IDAG provided valuable advice on the adequacy of detention services, accommodation and facilities at immigration detention centres around Australia.

The new council will also advise on the suitability of facilities and service delivery arrangements but its major focus will be on assisting the department with strategies to resolve a person’s immigration status in a community setting rather than in a detention centre provided they pose no risk to the community.

The council will be chaired by Paris Aristotle AM, director of the Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture and a former member of Immigration Detention Advisory Group with more than 25 years’ experience in the field.

Other members will include:

  • Air Marshal Ray Funnell AC (Retd) – former Chief of Air Force and a former member of IDAG, Air Marshal Funnell will serve as the deputy chair for the group
  • Ms Kerrin Benson – chief executive officer of the Multicultural Development Association
  • Mr Noel Clement – general manager of domestic operations for the Australian Red Cross
  • Ms Caz Coleman – project director of the Hotham Mission asylum seeker project
  • Ms Libby Lloyd AM – chair of the former National Council to Reduce Violence Against Women and was recently appointed to chair the Violence Against Women Advisory Group
  • Dr Maryanne Loughry – associate director of Jesuit Refugee Service–Australia. Dr Loughry is a psychologist, a research scholar at Boston College and the University of Oxford and a member of the Governing Council of the International Catholic Migration Commission
  • Associate Professor Harry Minas – director of the Centre for International Mental Health, University of Melbourne and the Victorian Transcultural Psychiatry Unit, he is a former member of IDAG and chair of the Detention Health Advisory Group (DeHAG)
  • Associate Professor Nicholas Procter – Associate Professor, school of nursing and midwifery, University of South Australia
  • Dr Jamal Rifi – Dr Rifi is the 2009 NSW Local Hero of the Year and Recipient of 2007 Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission Award. He is a former Commissioner for the Community Relations Commission for a Multicultural NSW, a general practitioner and an active community volunteer
  • Professor Samina Yasmeen – director of the Centre for Muslim States and Societies at the University of Western Australia and a current member of the Australian Multicultural Advisory Council (AMAC).
  • ‘I believe the new group will provide valuable perspectives and their community links will help to strengthen the provision of community services to immigration clients in support of timely case resolution,’ the minister said.

    The minister acknowledged the work of members of the previous Immigration Detention Advisory Group.

    ‘I’d like to acknowledge and thank the valuable and long–standing contribution of members of the Immigration Detention Advisory Group since its establishment in 2001,’ Senator Evans said.

    ‘Their independent expert advice provided to the previous and current government has been greatly appreciated.’

    Information about the Council for Immigration Services and Staus Resolution (CISSR) – Terms of Reference is available on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s website.
    See: Council for Immigration Services and Staus Resolution (CISSR) – Terms of Reference

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    The Federal Minister for Early Childhood Education and Child Care Kate Ellis  announced $5.8 million for three new Early Learning and Care Centres in Western Australia.

    The Australian Government will invest $5.8 million in building new centres at Karratha in the state’s north-west, and Darch and Mirrabooka in Perth’s northern suburbs.

    The Karratha centre will be built at Tambrey Primary School with $2.2 million of Australian Government funding. It will provide 120 new long day care places for Pilbara youngsters.

    Woodside Energy will provide more than $4 million over three years to the centre.

    “This partnership is a fine example of how the Federal Government and local industry are working together to deliver high quality care and education for Australian children and their families,” Ms Ellis said.

    “The Pilbara is key to our nation’s economic development and this service will help companies, like Woodside, to attract and retain a skilled workforce.”

    About $1.8 million in Australian Government funding will be invested in centres at Darch and Mirrabooka.

    Ashdale Primary School will host the Darch centre and will offer at least 50 new long day care places, while the Mirrabooka Early Learning and Care Centre will also offer about 50 new places.

    All three centres will be built by 2010 on land contributed by the WA Government.

    The construction of the centres on school sites presents opportunities for future integration of education and care services with junior schooling.

    “The Australian Government is working hard to provide families with access to quality early childhood education and care,” Ms Ellis said.

    “These centres will also provide more job opportunities and boost local economies.”

    The Australian Government is continuing to discuss an Early Learning and Care Centre for Port Hedland with the WA Government.

    An Autism-specific Early Learning and Care Centre was announced for Perth last month.

    The new centres form part of the Australian Government’s $114.5 million plan to build 38 Early Learning and Care Centres by 2010.

    This initiative is part of the Australian Government’s Education Revolution, which is improving early childhood care and education for Australia’s children and families.

    Source  :  www.thegovmonitor.com

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    After the original name coined by a Perth man was universally condemned and then dumped, Kraft has announced its new product will now be called Vegemite Cheesybite.

    After a vote by 30,000 Australians and New Zealanders at the weekend, Vegemite Cheesybite emerged with 36 per cent support to replace the much-maligned moniker iSnack2.0.

    WA web designer Dean Robbins, 27, briefly hit the spotlight when it was revealed his suggestion of iSnack2.0 would brand the new product.

    His concept was dumped just four days after it was revealed by Kraft when it became obvious consumers hated it.

    Quantum Market Research conducted online polling and a telephone survey to gauge support for a number of names for the cream cheese version of the iconic brand.

    Vegemite Cheesybite was the most popular, followed by Vegemite Smooth with 23 per cent of the vote.

    “We have been overwhelmed by the response of the Australian public; it has been an insightful debate,” Kraft Foods Australia New Zealand head of corporate affairs, Simon Talbot, said in a statement.

    “Australians have now selected a popular name for a successful product.”

    The Vegemite Cheesybite-named stock will appear on shelves in the coming months.

    In the mean time, Vegemite iSnack2.0 jars are still being distributed and sold around the country.

    Source  :  www.thewest.com.au

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    From 31 October 2009, the South Australian Government Financing Authority (SAFA) has announced it will not accept any further applications from General Skilled Migration (GSM) applicants who wish to lodge a capital investment, as it will close the scheme.

    Since the announcement of the reopening of the capital investment scheme by SAFA on 29 January 2009, the department has contacted all applicants whose cases had been assessed and who indicated they intended to lodge a capital investment.

    Any applicants who have indicated on their application form that they intend to lodge a capital investment, but have not yet done so, are advised to finalise their capital investment before the scheme is closed.

    Applicants who did not indicate on their application form that they intended to lodge a capital investment, but now wish to do so because they will be relying on the five bonus points to meet the Point Test, should also contact the department and finalise their capital investment before the scheme is closed.

    This is the final opportunity for all pre 1 September 2007 GSM applicants to lodge a capital investment. As there will be no further capacity for applicants to make a capital investment to gain the bonus five (5) points, the department will not provide applicants any additional time to make a capital investment once the scheme offered by SAFA closes. Please note that this also applies to those applicants who have appealed to the Migration Review Tribunal (MRT) and those applicants seeking judicial review.

    Applicants who still intend to make a capital investment are strongly urged to do so before 31 October 2009.

    Please note that only SAFA provides an approved designated security that enables an applicant for a pre-1 September 2007 GSM visa to be awarded bonus points for making a capital investment.

    For more information  :  http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/capital-investment-scheme-faqs.htm

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    British Airways has teamed up with Australian radio station Nova 969 to launch a special promotion.

    The airline announced that it would be carrying the popular radio presenting trio Merrick & Rosso & Kate Richie to the UK for a week in September.

    Every day during the week, listeners will have the chance to win a pair of World Traveller tickets to London.

    The competition is part of an initiative being launched by BA to promote its offer of a trip from Sydney to the UK with a free European break thrown in.

    BA previously worked with the radio presenters to launch a competition giving listeners the chance to win holidays in Bangkok.

    Sam Heine, the airline’s commercial manager in the south-west Pacific region, said: ‘After our best ever result, off the back of the 2008 consumer promotion Mile Thai Club, it meant that we once again turned to Nova to produce an integrated solution that would spread awareness of the exciting fare deal British Airways has to offer and also to let Australians experience everything that’s fantastic about the UK.’

    BA operates flights to Sydney via Singapore and Bangkok, as well as connections to Melbourne, Perth and other Australian cities as part of a codeshare deal with Qantas.

    Source  :  http://news.opodo.co.uk/NewsDetails/2009-08-26/BA_teams_up_with_Australian_radio_stars

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    The Rudd Government’s partnership with business and community leaders to Keep Australia Working has secured more than 1000 jobs in its first week, Minister for Employment Participation, Senator Mark Arbib, announced today.

    Senator Arbib today joined Local Jobs Champions Bill Kelty and Lindsay Fox at the third Keep Australia Working Forum at Casula, where he announced 240 jobs in Canterbury Bankstown and South Western Sydney Employment Priority Area.

    The Australian Government is providing $3.7 million from the $650 million Jobs Fund for three Western Sydney Projects.

    The 240 jobs in Western Sydney bring to more than 500 the positions funded through the Jobs Fund and come on top of the 250 jobs in South Eastern Melbourne and 23 jobs in Northern Tasmania announced at jobs forums earlier this week.

    The private sector is also playing a significant role in boosting employment with Lindsay Fox announcing this week he would employ an extra 450 staff over the next two years at Linfox and Woolworths announcing 60 jobs for its new logistics centre in Launceston.

    “The Rudd Government is doing everything possible to keep Australians working,” Senator Arbib said. 

    “This week by working together – the Government and industry – we’ve managed to create or protect more than 1000 jobs.

    “Not every week will be as successful as this week in keeping people in work. There will be ups and downs, because the global recession is far from over.

    “But this week has shown what can be achieved by working together.”

    Parliamentary Secretary for Employment Jason Clare said community leaders, business representatives and job service providers would today join Government to develop a regional employment strategy for Canterbury Bankstown and South Western Sydney.

    “The Keep Australia Working forums allow the community to maximise the benefits of the Government’s Economic Stimulus Plan and Jobs Fund and develop localised responses to the impact of the global recession.

    “We want to find job opportunities for local businesses and workers, particularly in areas like Western Sydney where unemployment is a growing problem.”

    Mr Clare said Local Jobs Champions, Lindsay Fox and Bill Kelty, would bring their considerable experience and wisdom to the table.

    “The Local Jobs Champions will help forum participants identify local skill and labour needs and develop directions for the future,” Mr Clare said.

    “It’s great to have Lindsay Fox and Bill Kelty on board. Few people understand the Australian economy better than these blokes, they’ve been through it before. They’re travelling with us around the country helping areas hit hardest by the global recession.”

    Today’s forum is the third in a series being rolled out in employment priority areas across Australia as recommended in the Keep Australia Working interim report presented last week to Deputy Prime Minister Gillard by Senator Arbib and Mr Clare.

    There are now 20 employment priority areas around the country:

    • Canterbury Bankstown and South Western Sydney (New South Wales)
    • Illawarra (New South Wales)
    • Richmond Tweed and Clarence Valley (New South Wales)
    • Mid North Coast (New South Wales)
    • Sydney West and Blue Mountains (New South Wales)
    • Central Coast Hunter (New South Wales)
    • South Eastern Melbourne (Victoria)
    • North Western Melbourne (Victoria)
    • Ballarat Bendigo (Central Victoria)
    • North Eastern Victoria
    • Ipswich Logan (Queensland)
    • Cairns (Queensland)
    • Townsville Thuringowa (Queensland)
    • Caboolture Sunshine Coast (Queensland)
    • Southern Wide Bay Burnett (Queensland)
    • Bundaberg Hervey Bay (Queensland)
    • Northern and Western Adelaide (South Australia)
    • Port Augusta Whyalla Port Pirie (South Australia)
    • South West Perth (Western Australia)
    • North West/Northern Tasmania.

    For more information on Keep Australia Working, visit http://www.deewr.gov.au/Employment/KeepAustraliaWorking/Pages/home.aspx

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    DIAC have just announced that the anyone obtaining their Contributory Parent Visa after 1 July and then planning to sponsor an existing partner will be faced with a potential 5 year wait. What this means, as an initial response, is that people going down that route who have not included an existing spouse in the application should be doing so immediately.

    This is the text of the announcement:

    Amendments to the Migration Regulations 1994 in relation to Contributory Parent visas and split applications

    1 July 2009 Legislation Change

    Client summary

    From 1 July 2009, the Migration Regulations 1994 (the ‘Regulations’) are amended to prevent persons who are granted a permanent Contributory Parent category visa (Subclasses 143 and 864) from sponsoring their partner or fiancé for a Partner or Prospective Marriage visa for five years from the day of their visa grant, if they:

    * were granted their permanent Contributory Parent category visa on or after 1 July 2009; and
    * were in a spouse or de facto partner or fiancé relationship on or before the date their permanent Contributory Parent category visa was granted and now wish to sponsor that partner or fiancé.

    This limitation may not apply in compelling circumstances which are not financially related.

    Additional information:
    There have been a number of instances in which couples seeking to migrate under the Contributory Parent category visa provisions have resorted to the split application strategy, whereby:

    * only one member of a parent couple applies for and is granted a permanent Contributory Parent category visa; and
    * once eligible (usually after two years of being lawfully resident in Australia), this parent subsequently sponsors their spouse (the other parent) under the partner visa category which has a much smaller Visa Application Charge (VAC).

    Up until 1 July 2009, this strategy is not prohibited by migration legislation and it is being used in order to reduce the costs associated with migration under Contributory Parent category visa. However, it clearly undermines the Government’s policy intent of ensuring that those parents who migrate under the Contributory Parent visa category make a contribution by means of the VAC to partially offset the significant costs of parent migration to the broader community. Contributory Parent migrants are also subject to the provision of a ten year Assurance of Support (AoS) and payment of a bond.

    Furthermore, those who lodge a split application benefit by by-passing the ten year waiting period for parent visa holders to access Government benefits and assistance, whilst spouse visa holders are able to access such benefits within two years of visa grant.

    Amendments are being made to information products affected by this legislative change.

    Source  :  http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=616147

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    THE Rudd Government has dumped one of its key election promises, the Grocery Choice price monitoring website, after supermarkets failed to provide enough information to make the site reliable.

    After a meeting today with major supermarkets, Competition Minister Craig Emerson announced that the measure – an election promise that was aimed at keeping grocery prices low – would not proceed, The Australian reported.

    “Upon close examination of the data requirements for reliable price information, I have formed the view that it is not feasible to generate that information in a timely manner, “ Dr Emerson said.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    website cost of living in oz

    The scheme had been due to be up and running next week.

    The dumping of Grocery Choice comes after the Government last year abandoned FuelWatch after it was defeated in the Senate.

    Mr Rudd campaigned heavily prior to the election on easing the cost-of-living pressures on working families and increasing competition in the petrol and grocery sectors.

    Both FuelWatch and Grocery Choice were criticised for not putting downward pressure on prices.

    Earlier this month it emerged that the consumer advocate Choice would be forced to go it alone on the website as the major supermarket chains continued to drag their feet over supplying price data.

    Choice took over the running of the website from the Rudd Government, which launched it after campaigning on easing cost-of-living pressures before the election.

    The $13 million site, which originally launched last August, was heavily criticised for displaying information that was too general and outdated to be useful.

    Source  :  www.news.com.au

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