The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2019-12-13T03:59:15Z Hills District mortgage broker ranked among Australia’s Top 100 2019-12-13T03:59:15Z hills-district-mortgage-broker-ranked-among-australia-s-top-100 §  Scott Partridge of Mortgage Choice in Sydney Hills ranked 26 out of Australia’s Top 100 mortgage brokers. §  14 Mortgage Choice brokers reached the Top 100 – more than any other aggregator, with eight being ranked in the Top 50 brokers. §  Sydney Hills home buyers have the advantage of a local home loan expert recognised as one if the nation’s best. SYDNEY (13 Dec 19): Leading Hills District mortgage broker – Scott Partridge, Principal of Mortgage Choice in Sydney Hills, has been officially recognised as one of Australia’s most successful brokers, achieving a rank of 26 out of the nation’s Top 100 brokers. The annual ranking of Australia’s 17,000 mortgage brokers by Mortgage Professional Australia (MPA) acknowledges the ‘best of the best’ home loan experts across Australia. Mr Scott Partridge, said, “It’s an honour to be ranked so highly among Australia’s leading mortgage brokers. My focus has always been to help home buyers in the Hills District achieve their property goals, and that dedication is definitely paying off.” Despite opening his Hills District office just three years ago, Scott Partridge is no stranger to the MPA Top 100, having ranked in this elite category in both 2016 and 2017. In addition to helping Hills District residents secure the right home loan for their needs, Scott and the team at Mortgage Choice Sydney Hills also assist their customers with business lending, car loans, insurance and financial planning.     Explaining his success, Mr Partridge said, “It’s a reflection of my ‘customer first’ philosophy. I invest time building long term relationships with all my customers – no matter whether they are first home buyers, upgraders or investors.” This year saw a total of 14 Mortgage Choice brokers, including two female brokers, rank in the MPA Top 100 – the most of any aggregator Australia-wide, with eight Mortgage Choice brokers ranking in the Top 50. CEO of Mortgage Choice – Ms Susan Mitchell, who herself is ranked among the MPA Mortgage Global 100, said, “This is an outstanding result for Scott Partridge and his entire team at Mortgage Choice in Sydney Hills. Reaching the MPA’s Top 100 can only be achieved through continued effort and absolute dedication to customer needs, and that’s exactly what Scott Partridge has delivered. “This is not just a win for Scott, it is also great news for home buyers across the Hills District, who can be confident they have support and expertise of one of Australia’s leading home loan experts.”                                                                              *****ENDS****    AIIA seeks consultation following Government's response to ACCC Digital Platform Inquiry 2019-12-12T03:25:26Z aiia-seeks-consultation-following-governments-response-to-accc-digital-platform-inquiry Sydney, Australia – 12 December 2019 -- The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), the nation’s peak member body for the ICT industry, has issued the below statement following the Government’s response to the ACCC Digital Platform Inquiry. AIIA welcomes the release of the report titled ‘Regulating in the digital age – Government Response and Implementation Roadmap for the Digital Platforms Inquiry’. During the 12-week consultation period, the Government received more than 100 written submissions and held numerous meetings to better understand stakeholder views. The AIIA acknowledges that the Government has the right to carefully consider the influence of large digital platforms. This must be balanced against the risks that further regulatory measures may impact innovation and the operation of the digital economy. The AIIA is reviewing the Government’s response to the ACCC Digital Platforms Inquiry, but are seeking assurances that the Government will consult widely with industry during its implementation. The AIIA looks forward to working with the Government, in particular on its commitment to consult around data privacy reforms. The Government’s response to the ACCC Digital Platforms Inquiry can be viewed here. # # # About AIIA The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) is Australia’s peak representative body and advocacy group for those in the digital ecosystem. Since 1978 AIIA has pursued activities to stimulate and grow the digital ecosystem, to create a favorable business environment for members and to contribute to Australia’s economic prosperity. We do this by delivering outstanding member value by providing a strong voice of influence; building a sense of community through events and education; enabling a network for collaboration and inspiration; and developing compelling content and relevant and interesting information. For more information on AIIA Policy and Advocacy key areas please visit Media Contact For more information please contact: Jeffrey Coote Tel: (02) 8355 3130 AIIA announces new Board and State Council Chair appointments to represent Australia’s ICT industry 2019-12-10T22:58:21Z aiia-announces-new-board-and-state-council-chair-appointments-to-represent-australias-ict-industry Melbourne, Australia – 10 December 2019 -- The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), the peak member body for the ICT industry, today announced four new Board appointments and three new State Council Chairs. Former AIIA Board Deputy Chair, Rob Hillard, has been appointed as new Chairman. Rob is currently Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer at Deloitte, former Managing Partner of Deloitte Consulting, and a recognised industry technology expert. Existing Board members Angela Fox and Mark Nicholls take on the shared responsibility of AIIA Board Deputy Chair, while Murray Hurps has been appointed Treasurer, and John Paitaridis remains on the Board as Immediate Past Chair. The Full Board of Directors now includes: Stuart Althaus (Chief Executive Officer, SME Gateway) Craig Baty (Principal, Data Driven) Ken Boal (Vice President, Cisco) Matt Codrington (Managing Director, Lenovo Australia & NZ) Angela Fox (Managing Director, Dell Australia & NZ) Rob Hillard (Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer, Deloitte) Murray Hurps (Director of Entrepreneurship at the University of Technology Sydney) John Ieraci (Chief Customer Officer, Telstra Enterprise) Megan James (Consultant to the ICT Industry) David La Rose (Managing Director, IBM Australia & NZ) Sharryn Napier (Vice President & Regional Director Australia & NZ, Qlik) Mark Nicholls (Managing Director, Information Professionals Pty Ltd) John Paitaridis (Chief Executive Officer CyberCX & CEO Technology Portfolio, BGH Capital) Vito Rinaldi (Managing Director, Blue Crystal Solutions) Karl Sice (Business Leader ANZ, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise) Rupert Taylor-Price (Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Vault Cloud) Steven Worrall (Managing Director, Microsoft Australia) Directors are elected for up to three-year terms to set strategic direction for the AIIA and work closely with AIIA management to develop the National Business Plan and oversee operational excellence. The AIIA is also pleased to announce the State Council Chairs for 2020. They are: NSW - Bridget Luke, IBM Australia Ltd (with deputies Jon Asquith, ServiceNow; Matt Day, Deloitte; and Sonya Sherman, Objective) South Australia - Karin Geraghty, iinet (with deputies Rohan Bishop, Adept, and Jason Dreimanis, DWS) Victoria - Warren Hill, Data#3 Ltd (with deputies Sam Parker, ServiceNow and Simon Elliot, ACT - Greg Boorer, CDC Data Centres Pty Ltd (with deputy Hala Batainah, GiG Enterprises) Western Australia - Sharon Brown, Sharon Brown & Associates (with deputies Geoff Harben, KPMG and Daniel Harvey, Amristar) Queensland - Mark Nicholls, Information Professionals Pty Ltd. “I’m delighted to welcome the new appointments to AIIA’s National Board and our State Councils. These members represent the diversity of the Australian digital economy, including large Australian companies, multinationals and small and medium sized businesses,” said the Chairman Rob Hillard. “As the new Chairman, I recognise that it’s more important than ever for the IT industry to have a representative industry association. Through the AIIA, we look for ways to introduce positive change to help Australian businesses be more competitive, meet the needs of their customers and remain successful on the global stage. “The AIIA’s vision is to grow Australia’s social and economic prosperity through technology innovation. Our Board members bring a vast range of skills, industry insights and experiences to the table, as together, we aspire to improve advocacy and shape policy for the Australian ICT sector, generate new business opportunities, increase collaboration with other members, and build professional standing.” Find more information on AIIA Board members here. # # # About AIIA The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) is Australia’s peak representative body and advocacy group for those in the digital ecosystem. Since 1978 AIIA has pursued activities to stimulate and grow the digital ecosystem, to create a favorable business environment for members and to contribute to Australia’s economic prosperity. We do this by delivering outstanding member value by providing a strong voice of influence; building a sense of community through events and education; enabling a network for collaboration and inspiration; and developing compelling content and relevant and interesting information. Media Contacts For more information please contact: Carmelle Pavan GM Marketing & Communications – AIIA M 0402 099 349 Jeffrey Coote Tel: (02) 8355 3130 CGT BILL PASSES IN BOTH HOUSES LEAVING AUSSIE EXPATS FACING UNEXPECTED TAX BILLS 2019-12-10T22:16:00Z cgt-bill-passes-in-both-houses-leaving-aussie-expats-facing-unexpected-tax-bills No longer do expats have access to the main residence exemption for capital gains - even if they were a resident for tax purposes for the majority of the time they owned the property. While industry professionals called for prorating or resetting the cost base to market value to reduce the period the gain was calculated on, neither recommendation was implemented. Etax Accountants Tax Manager, Simone Gielis, says there is unfortunately not a whole lot the affected expats can do to avoid paying Capital Gains Tax (CGT). “These changes are likely to catch a lot of Australian citizens living and working overseas out, with many facing large capital gains tax events for selling a property they lived in sometimes for many, many years.” “Moving forward, expats who are no longer considered Australian residents for tax purposes will just have to pay CGT if they sold their property on or after 9 May 2017. The only caveat applies to those expats who have been foreign residents for 6 years or less AND they have had one of the following life events:   A terminal medical condition to themselves, their spouse or child under 18 or Death, Divorce or separation, said Ms Gielis.”   The bill was originally announced in 2017-18 budget aimed at denying foreign non-residents the CGT main residence exemption.   This was part of the Government’s plan to combat the growing housing affordability crisis.   -ENDS- MessageXchange becomes first Peppol-certified e-invoicing Access Point service provider in Australia and New Zealand 2019-12-06T00:19:14Z messagexchange-becomes-first-peppol-certified-e-invoicing-access-point-service-provider-in-australia-and-new-zealand November 20, 2019 – MessageXchange has been certified by the Australian and New Zealand Peppol authorities, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) respectively, as the first Peppol Access Point service provider for e-invoicing in Australia and New Zealand. Estimates indicate e-invoicing could save the Australian economy alone $28 billion over ten years[1]. E-invoicing through the Peppol standard enables businesses to easily exchange invoices electronically, from a supplier’s software directly to their customer’s software. The standard was developed by Peppol and the e-invoicing network is governed by the international standards body, OpenPEPPOL. MessageXchange’s Access Point lets organisations send and receive Peppol e-invoices electronically, removing the need for unnecessary data entry and inaccurate optical character recognition (OCR) scanning. The Peppol e-invoicing standard lowers the barriers and fosters adoption of e-invoicing. The model is based on four corners, where corners one and four are the supplier and customer, and corners two and three are Access Points, which connect to other Access Points. John Delaney, Managing Director, MessageXchange, said, “MessageXchange is thrilled that to be the first Peppol-certified Access Point service provider in Australia and New Zealand. E-invoicing can provide huge efficiencies and cost savings to businesses, being 60 to 80 per cent more efficient than paper-based processing.[2] This certification is testament to the commitment of MessageXchange to meet the Peppol standard and bring efficiencies to Australian and New Zealand businesses.” MessageXchange is at the forefront of e-invoicing and can help businesses needing an e-invoicing Access Point. This includes software companies offering e-invoicing to their customers, as well as businesses that need to connect their existing software to the Peppol e-invoicing network. The company has long been involved in establishing e-invoicing in Australia as a member of the ATO Strategic Working Group, the ATO Digital Service Provider Architecture Reference Group (DARG) and OpenPEPPOL. John Delaney said, “E-invoicing is becoming a critical tool for Australian organisations. It removes the need for data entry and its inherent errors. Sending invoices electronically significantly reduces chances of it getting lost and shortens the time it takes to receive an invoice, reducing payment times. With the Australian Government recently announcing it will pay e-invoices within five days, e-invoicing is set to take off.” -ENDS- About MessageXchange MessageXchange is an innovative Australian-based cloud B2B integration service provider. Our solution can streamline business operations and provide visibility and business insights. Founded in 1996, MessageXchange today processes more than 100 million messages each year for customers such as Target, Harvey Norman, Costco Australia, The Good Guys and Telstra. For more information, visit [1] [2] Kemp survey shows business struggling with application issues 2019-12-05T22:06:02Z kemp-survey-shows-business-struggling-with-application-issues Businesses are being plagued by a lack of notification and assistance with application issues. Since they are not utilising the agility and uptime of per-application load balancers, routine tasks are taking longer than expected. Their plight is outlined in a report commissioned by Kemp, which compiles industry findings from a Forrester Consulting survey data of IT and business leaders across five Asia-Pacific markets; and results from a ZK Research survey with respondents from the US and UK. The State of Application Experience (AX) report shows that in more established environments, IT professionals are finding it increasingly difficult to add new applications. New or separate infrastructure might be deployed to safeguard an existing application set so that they don’t impact each other, increasing the time to deployment. Some commercial load balancers are often seen to be unnecessarily complicated to configure. These require extra time to learn how to configure, troubleshoot and test new deployments. Cloud issues As cloud providers have their own native load balancers, the same configuration cannot be replicated across clouds or back at home, adding to the time required to deploy applications in different locations. However, Lee Doyle, of Doyle Research, says: “ADC (application delivery controllers) functionality has evolved to meet the challenges of the multi-cloud world. ADC features now can be flexibly delivered where and when they are needed. “Application delivery resources are right-sized for the workload and can be dynamically adjusted to meet changing demands (e.g. seasonal variations). Per-application or per-workload ADC deployment means that each environment can be scripted, automated and secured in a customised manner for optimal operationally efficiency.” Concerns and challenges The agility and uptime of per-application load balancers has not yet been utilised, and routine tasks take longer than expected. Insufficient notification and assistance with application issues is affecting businesses. In longer established environments, it is becoming harder to add new applications. New or separate infrastructure might be deployed to safeguard an existing application set so applications don’t impact each other, thus increasing the time to deployment. The report shows that a majority of enterprises are facing application experience challenges in multi-cloud. Some 66 percent have difficulty integrating and managing across third-party cloud environments, while 57 percent say siloed management brings latency in application experience. Another 57 percent say multi-cloud is unable to cater to their unique needs. While multi-cloud architecture eliminates enterprises’ dependency on any single cloud provider, organisations encounter significant AX challenges when using two or more public clouds. More than half of organisations receive insufficient notification and assistance with mission critical application issues. Close to a third of organisations surveyed experience mission critical application downtime between an hour to a day. Future needs What do IT teams need in the future? The migration of applications to multi-cloud is enabling better application experience, control and flexibility. Pay-per-use load balancing of applications is designed to make scalability and automation faster. Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) research has found that enterprises are increasingly deploying hybrid cloud and multi-cloud architectures to support digital initiatives and IT transformation. Thirty-five percent of network managers say public cloud initiatives are a major driver of their decision-making today, while another 35 percent say private cloud initiatives are a major driver. In addition, the average enterprise claims that 45 percent of its network traffic is attributable to public cloud applications.” The State of AX report predicts that IT Teams will continue to manage applications in both multi-cloud and on-premises for the foreseeable future. Those applications will be both cloud-native and traditional applications. The shift from hardware to cloud and software load balancer is very gradual. Load balancers are seen as key to maintaining the best and most secure application experience. “Application experience, which focuses on outcomes, will resonate with customers that want to provide value to the business through the application of technology, and opens the door to talk about more than just load balancing – AX is about the entirety of the, including performance, reliability, consistency and security capabilities,” says Mike Fratto, Senior Analyst, Applied Infrastructure and Devops, 451 Research. The report predicts: 1. Applications will be managed in cloud and on-premises. Migration to the cloud is not all or nothing. While there is lots of noise around cloud migration, many organisations will not be moving applications to the cloud. 2. Organisations will manage some cloud-native applications and traditional applications in the cloud. About a third of applications will not be modified or replaced before being migrated to the cloud. 3. Hardware load balancers still reign but only software load balancers can grow in the cloud. Hardware load balancers are still furthest along in the deployment process when compared to other form factors. 4. Organisations view load balancers as fundamental to maintaining the best application experience. Forrester spoke to organisations across five countries and asked how many applications on average need to be managed by a given load balancer, 8-10 organisations need to manager between 50 to 400 applications on a given load balancer. 5. Load balancers are seen as a key location for application security services. Organisations revealed that load balancing and single sign-on/client authentication are the most common application services being deployed. WAF. SSL, VBPN and DNS are also very commonly deployed. Kingston-based broker recognised as industry top performer 2019-12-05T10:47:43Z kingston-based-broker-recognised-as-industry-top-performer St Leonards, NSW (December 5, 2019) – More Than Mortgages’ Deanna Ezzy has been included in the annual Mortgage Professional Australia Top 100 Brokers list, sponsored by Suncorp. This prestigious list recognises the best brokers in Australia and is widely regarded as the industry benchmark for top performers. “With the challenging lending environment of the last two years, brokers’ figures for 2019 have taken a hit, but those who made it into MPA’s Top 100 have prepared their businesses to succeed,” says Mortgage Professional Australia editor Rebecca Pike. “In the past, the Top 100 list has been based on the value of loans written over the past 12 months. But this year we have changed the criteria to take into consideration some of the other factors that show a broker’s success. While loan value still makes up most of the weighting, conversion rate, number of loans and growth in value have also been included.” Speaking to Mortgage Professional Australia about going through last year’s challenges, particularly with The Banking Royal Commission Recommendation, Ezzy is very grateful that she’s doing what she loves to do and highlighted her resilience and drive “to continuously strive to be the best I can be.” “Thankfully, both sides of the government decided not to implement the RC recommendation to broker remuneration, however there was 6-8 weeks of ‘not knowing’ if the career path I had chosen (and loved) would even exist in 12 months’ time. This has been the biggest challenge I have ever faced in my career. I was forced into thinking of new ways to service my clients. As a result, there are a few things that I have planned to implement in future. When you have something like your livelihood almost ripped away from you overnight, your perspective on things change. I’ll never take this wonderful career and industry for granted, that’s for sure. Making it through this time has given me the resilience and determination I didn’t know I had.” Read the full report in issue 19.12 of Mortgage Professional Australia, out now or find out more about Ezzy HERE.   -ENDS-   Mortgage Professional Australia (MPA) is the leading business magazine for the mortgage and finance industry. Launched in 2001, MPA continues to be the key resource mortgage and finance professionals turn to for in-depth industry issues, market trends, business analysis and intelligence. MPA is also very well known for its annual surveys and special reports such as Brokers on Banks and the MPA Top 100 that recognise key individuals and businesses and provide a unique snapshot of an industry that is continually evolving. MPA is published by independent media company Key Media. In conjunction with the print and online publications, Key Media also produces several mortgage and finance industry events including the Australian Mortgage Awards. Find out more about Key Media’s magazines, events and websites at Mark Ackroyd weighs in on an ever-changing mining industry 2019-12-03T04:16:51Z mark-ackroyd-weighs-in-on-an-ever-changing-mining-industry Salomae Haselgrove, Editor for Australian Mining Magazine writes. Mark Ackroyd has observed significant change in the mining industry and equipment sectors during the past two decades since founding National Plant & Equipment, part of the National Group, in 1997. Starting with a single bulldozer, Ackroyd has consistently grown his operations, diversifying and building complementary entities and verticals to establish a business empire. He has become a key industry player, with the National Group now one of Australia’s most well-known heavy earthmoving equipment businesses, renting equipment to Tier 1 mining companies such as BHP, Rio Tinto, Anglo American and Fortescue Metals Group. During his career, Ackroyd has experienced record-breaking industry highs and economic downturns, in which only the adept have survived. Ackroyd has overcome various challenges and managed to experience organic growth even during downturns. He has become highly regarded for being on the pulse of industry trends and foreseeing emerging market opportunities. When asked how he has climbed the ladder from a sole operator, to a privately-owned business competing against large industry players, Ackroyd explains his ability to pick market trends, to adapt to industry forces and to never give up regardless of the challenges faced have ensured ongoing success and longevity. Since the economic downturn of earlier this decade, Ackroyd has seen the market move from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) producing large volumes of equipment to many OEMs  significantly reducing production. Now the market is experiencing significant growth, largely due to the rise of resource prices, a weaker Australian dollar with a record low cash rate and an increase in demand from China. OEMs have responded by ramping up production, but with large heavy earthmoving equipment taking as long as 18 months to produce, Tier 1 miners looking to increase production in line with the rise of resource prices and demand are finding it hard to keep up. According to the September 2019 Resources and Energy Quarterly report, Australian resource exports appear likely to hold up in 2019–20, even in the face of volatile commodity markets. The global economy is forecast to grow by 3.2 per cent in 2019 and by 3.5 per cent in 2020 and 2021, creating various opportunities. Higher export volumes and a lower than expected Australian dollar are likely to see Australia’s resource and energy export earnings set a new record of $282 billion in 2019–20. The depreciation of the Australian dollar will help counter the impact of escalating US-China trade tensions, with Australia benefitting from an investor flight to safety. But trade tensions between the US and China represent one of the largest risks to this outlook. To put it into perspective, Australia is the second largest exporter of thermal coal in the world, with 208 million tonnes (worth $26 billion) exported last year. About 20 per cent went to China, illustrating the importance of the country’s mineral and resource exports. National Group’s equipment largely services coal and iron ore. Australia’s iron ore export earnings are expected to reach $81 billion in 2019–20, driven by higher prices. Australia’s metallurgical coal export volumes are forecast to grow from 183 million tonnes in 2018–19 to 198 million tonnes by 2020–21, reflecting production growth from restarts and new capacity in the Bowen Basin, a key mining region in which the National Group has a large presence. Australia’s thermal coal export earnings reached a record $26 billion in 2018–19. Strong growth in export earnings has primarily been driven by high prices in 2018 and a high contract price settled for 2019–20. Although Australia is largely impacted by Chinese demand, the global political climate could also create opportunities. For instance, possible implications of ‘Brexit’ for Australia’s trade with the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU). The UK’s decision to leave the EU (known as Brexit) has presented great uncertainty and unique challenges. However, Australia should be encouraged that the UK has signalled it is willing to enter into new trade partnerships following its departure from the EU, with Australia well positioned to redefine and expand Anglo-Australian trade and investment relationships. Although the global economy largely impacts the mining industry as a whole, there are factors under our control, such as productivity, that are increasingly important. Looking ahead, Ackroyd anticipates that companies will make changes to keep up with the ever-evolving industry, from their response to global markets, the equipment and technology they introduce, and how their decisions impact productivity and therefore profitability. “It’s not only the equipment that is changing, but also the way in which companies are acquiring it,” Ackroyd explains. More companies are looking towards long-term hire or rent-to-buy options rather than purchasing machines, a trend Ackroyd notes has grown in the past few years. “The cost of heavy earthmoving equipment is extremely high and therefore requires a significant amount of capital expenditure,” Ackroyd says. “The volatility of the mining industry and the constant shifting resource prices can pose significant risks for mining companies. “Therefore, hiring mining equipment can reduce exposure to industry forces and help mitigate these risks for them.” In addition to cutting costs, renting equipment also gives companies more flexibility to keep up with the industry as it grows and changes. “Hiring equipment can enable a company to re-allocate available resources and more easily react to market trends as they occur,” Ackroyd says. “Having more liquidity enables a company to invest in other areas of their business that can realise further opportunities and therefore increase their bottom line.” Ackroyd has witnessed this firsthand, with National Group’s renting arm, National Plant & Equipment, expanding its fleet to over 300 machines, including excavators, dump trucks, dozers, graders, loaders, compactors, water trucks, service trucks and floats. Technology and how it will impact the industry and those who work in it, is another major talking point surrounding mining and equipment that Ackroyd monitors. Despite technology’s ability to create a safer, more efficient and more sustainable mining environment, some workers remain apprehensive about what an automated future will look like. Innovative practices are helping shape the future of the mining industry and will be a key driver towards a sustainable future. Automation is gaining ground and will have a large impact on mining companies, their equipment and their employees. However, Ackroyd believes miners shouldn’t worry about their jobs, but instead be prepared to evolve their skillset along with the industry as it continues to change. Ackroyd has watched this play out at Wolff Mining, a company that became part of the National Group this year. Wolff continues to transition workers from machine cabins by up-skilling them so they can instead work from a control room. “As automation increases, this will have an impact on mine site staff,” Ackroyd says. “Wolff for instance, enables one operator to control up to four dozers from a control room. “However, this does not mean the other three workers are now out of a job; their roles will simply change shape. “Automation will open up new opportunities for workers to up-skill into new areas of the industry, whilst giving them greater safety going forward.” Semi-autonomous, or driverless dozers are a big win for safety, allowing workers to operate from a safe and remote location. Wolff’s work in optimising semi-autonomous tractor system technology is a world-first application into a mining production environment. Ackroyd sees the application of this technology becoming more widespread throughout the industry in the future. With technological change in mining inevitable, Ackroyd tips drones and remote control operations to be the next big innovation to watch. “In the future, there will be a need for more remote control operators and safety staff to oversee fully automated operations,” Ackroyd says. “Automated technology will become more standard on new equipment that will further enable mining companies to utilise this technology to increase productivity, efficiency and safety.” To view more news articles from the National Group go to  Contact Us For more information on this or any other news story, or to request a more detailed interview with the Managing Director of the National Group Mark Ackroyd, contact our Marketing Executive's Lee Edmondson or Kain Ford on or 1300 096 618. RBA Rate decision for December 2019 2019-12-03T03:40:31Z rba-rate-decision-for-december-2019 MEDIA RELEASE Tuesday 3 December 2019 The Reserve Bank of Australia has left the Official Overnight Cash Rate (OCR) unchanged at 0.75 per cent. ASX interest rates futures markets had priced in a 9 per cent expectation of a cut this month. “Banks, credit unions and other lenders are still slicing rates and adjusting deals,” said Vadim Taube, CEO of leading Australian financial comparison site Top Low-rate variable home loans December 2019 There are 10 variable rate home loans under 2.9 per cent pa now listed on InfoChoice’s database of 1800 home loans from 145 institutions. The lowest variable home loan comparison rate is 2.71 % pa with 110 variable home loan products for owner -occupiers now charging advertised rates less than 3.3 per cent pa. Top Low-rate fixed home loans December 2019 Borrowers can lock in a fixed mortgage rate under 3 per cent for five years - until December 2024 – or early 2025 assuming a 6 week settlement period. “There are now twenty-eight home loans with advertised fixed five-year rates under three per cent listed on InfoChoice,” said Vadim Taube, CEO of leading Australian financial comparison site  “A standout deal in the fixed rate market is UBank’s 2.69% pa (comparison rate 3.19% pa) fixed for three years,” said Vadim Taube. There are 36 one-year fixed rate home loans under 3% pa. There are 76 two-year fixed rate home loans under 3% pa. There are 73 three-year fixed rate home loans under 3% pa. There are 20 four-year fixed rate home loans under 3% pa.   How much can I save by switching? December 2019 Switching from a $300,000, 25 year home loan charging 4.0 per cent pa to a loan charging 2.9 per cent pa could save a borrower  $52,929 over the life of the loan according to the InfoChoice refinancing calculator. “Even switching from a loan charging 3.5 per cent to a really low-rate mortgage of 2.9 per cent pa or less can save you almost one hundred dollars per month and $28K over the loan,” said Vadim Taube. “The RBA has reported that borrowers are getting rate cuts themselves by comparing, switching and negotiating with lenders. There’s no better time to refinance than right now to a super low rate and the RBA has reported last week that many Aussie borrowers are doing just that. “If your bank is not offering you a great rate, you can find alternatives that can reduce your repayments by hundreds of dollars per month easily at the moment. Compare 1800 home loans from 145 institutions at InfoChoice.   Go straight to the latest rates information from individual banks and other institutions here.   For more information on Savings account rates, data and commentary, please contact:   Jason Bryce, Media Manager on 0428 777 727   For more comments, please contact: Vadim Taube, Chief Executive on 0403 580 794   * listed on InfoChoice’s database of 1800 home loans and 145 institutions in Australia. InfoChoice compares financial products from 145 banks, credit unions, authorised deposit-taking institutions, non-bank lenders and other financial product providers in Australia. InfoChoice does not compare every product in the market. Some institutions may have a commercial partnership with InfoChoice. Rates are provided by partners and taken from financial institutions websites. We believe all information to be accurate on the date published. InfoChoice strives to update and keep information as accurate as possible.   Comparison rate is based on a secured loan of $150,000 over the term of 25 years. WARNING: These comparison rates apply only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and costs savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan   InfoChoice is a leading Australian comparison website for retail banking and personal finance products. We’ve been helping Aussies find great offers on credit cards, home loans, savings accounts, term deposits, personal loans and car loans for over 25 years. Our mission is to help consumers make an informed purchasing by bringing together the most comprehensive list of financial products on the market today.   At InfoChoice, we strive to be: •           Comprehensive. We compare more than 3500 individual products from 145 providers within Australia to offer you the best value. •           Informative. We know how important it is for you to crunch the numbers before buying. Our calculators help you understand the cost of different products over the long term and show you the potential savings. MP Insurance Brokers & Honan Insurance Group Asia announce new partnership to benefit Malaysia marketplace 2019-12-02T01:11:30Z mp-insurance-brokers-amp-honan-insurance-group-asia-announce-new-partnership-to-benefit-malaysia-marketplace Honan Insurance Group Asia (Honan) and Kuala Lumpur headquartered MP Insurance Brokers Sdn Bhd have joined forces in a new business that will give the venture an immediate and significantly heightened presence in the Malaysian broker insurance marketplace.   The new business will be known as MP Honan Insurance Brokers Sdn Bhd and will be dedicated to providing clients with tailored insurance solutions to address and manage their individual and business risk protection needs.     Commenting on behalf of Honan, CEO Mr. Andrew Fluitsma said, “We are excited by the opportunity to partner with MP Insurance Brokers.   “The combination of their knowledge of the Malaysian marketplace combined with our global resources and access to World Broker Network (WBN) – the world’s largest structured network of independent local brokers – will give MP Honan Insurance Brokers significant capacity to offer an enhanced and broader service offering”. Ms Saw Kheng Lay, CEO of MP Insurance Brokers said, “Partnering with Honan was an easy undertaking as their approach to the provision of the highest standards of client service and managing risks strongly reflected and aligned with both our culture and core values”.   “In addition, it’s an important step forward for our business and demonstration to clients of our commitment to delivering service and capacity by providing the latest personalised solutions to help them manage and address a wide range of risks in a rapidly changing and highly complex commercial environment”.   MP Insurance Brokers Sdn Bhd was established in 1976 and has gone from strength to strength as a broking house managed by a team of industry professionals with a track record in the delivery of quality services to clients.  The company is also acknowledged for its global approach to finding solutions for local situations – including a number of strategic alliances that are of benefit to clients. Honan Insurance Group is a leading national Australian broker with over 55 years’ experience and a committed presence in the Asian marketplace with offices in Singapore and Malaysia.   Honan takes immense pride in its reputation as a dynamic specialist insurance broking business providing the highest standards of professionalism and service to clients.  The group is also acknowledged for its in-depth experience in Employee Benefits and through its WBN affiliation with access to 1500 professionals in over 100 countries.    Ms Saw Kheng Lay and Mr. Andrew Fluitsma concluded, “The new partnership will be of immense benefit to Malaysian businesses through the provision of value-added benefits and competitive insurance solutions tailored to each client's individual business requirements.   “We are confident MP Honan Insurance Brokers Sdn Bhd will grow its presence in the Malaysian marketplace and look forward to realizing our strategic and growth aspirations”.   Issued jointly by Honan Insurance Group  & MP Insurance Brokers Sdn Bhd           Media Enquiries:                 Mr. Joe Perri,            Joe Perri & Associates Pty Ltd                                                 Mobile:                      +61 412 112 545                                                 Email:                  Cashwerkz and Complii sign alliance to automate compliance process for stockbrokers and their clients placing online cash investments 2019-12-01T22:00:00Z cashwerkz-and-complii-sign-alliance-to-automate-compliance-process-for-stockbrokers-and-their-clients-placing-online-cash-investments Leading FinTech Cashwerkz (ASX: CWZ) has continued to establish innovative partnerships for the benefit of the financial services industry and the end consumer. Today it announced it has integrated its digital cash investment platform with Complii FinTech Solutions Ltd (Complii), the secure digital platform which provides an electronic centralized framework to manage AFSL (Stockbroker/Financial Planner/Advisor) centric workflows for compliance, capital raising and operational efficiencies. The Complii customisable software automates, records and reports on regulation obligations by profiling and ensuring ongoing compliance is carried out at both client and organisational levels. Complii also creates an automated end-to-end capital raising solution from live client and/or adviser bidding, offer letter generation and electronic client acceptance for both retail and institutional clients. It has produced greater efficiency and productivity enhancements for over 41 broker and dealer groups and 3000 underlying users. Complii is in operation at many leading brokerage houses including Shaw and Partners, Canaccord Genuity Patersons, Argonaut Securities and Blue Ocean Equities. “We are really delighted to announce this strategic partnership as we collectively solve significant compliance cash and fixed interest problems for the advisory community to help them all act in their clients’ best interest” said John Nantes, Executive Chair. “Our latest strategic agreement with Complii underpins our ongoing commitment to transform and streamline the application, administration and compliance of online at call and term deposit cash investments.” The enhancement of the Cashwerkz compliance chain makes for an even more compelling use of the platform for the Australian financial services industry and its customers. “Our Authorised Deposit-Taking Institutions (ADI) partners have made it very clear our Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti Money Laundering (AML) compliance technologies are a key reason it pays to partner with Cashwerkz. And now we are making it just as imperative for AFSL holders and brokers to rely on the Cashwerkz platform with Complii technology to identify, automate, record and report on the cash investment transaction with powerful performance and efficiency benefits.” For Complii Managing Director, Alison Sarich, the alliance is a shining example of how fintech continues to innovate and remove the manual processes in the industry. “We know AFSL holders and brokers have no time for paperwork with the volume of compliance requirements and customer service obligations they have today. They want to focus on the customer. This improves accuracy levels and is an incredible time saver on a day-to-day basis.” She continued: “Our alliance with Cashwerkz is going to further leverage what Complii brings to the table. The entire process for sourcing, placing and reporting on the neo-cash marketplace just became so much easier, whilst being more compliant than ever. This further frees up AFSL holders and brokers to focus on their clients, and not worry about manual paperwork and the issues that surround this.” The Cashwerkz open integration Application Programming Interface (API) also provides a technology roadmap for its alliance partners looking to offer apps for their client base in the future. Cashwerkz is the leading digital-only cash investment platform. It is designed to deliver bank-grade security and does not handle investors’ money or charge a fee to investors. Instead, it gets paid by the issuing ADI partners on its platform for cash investments. This makes Cashwerkz a powerful cash management offering for self-managed super funds (SMSF), financial advisers, fund managers, the wholesale market, custodians, and Industry superannuation funds. Brokerage houses already using Complii can access the Cashwerkz platform from today. Both firms intend to approach additional AFSL holders and brokerage firms in the coming months to help them meet their best interest obligations and solve for cash and fixed interest accordingly. /ENDS Financial Planners & Wealth Managers Flock To Innovative New Platform Offering Disruptive Approach To Property Investment 2019-11-22T01:13:30Z financial-planners-amp-wealth-managers-flock-to-innovative-new-platform-offering-disruptive-approach-to-property-investment SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — CityYield, a leading prop-tech investment platform, are proud to announce month-on-month user growth has surpassed 120% during November, driven by increased adoption among financial planners and wealth managers across Australia. The surge in participation among the finance community highlights the growing importance technology plays in finding new investments and building a modern portfolio for investors. Launched in 2017, CityYield has played an instrumental role in transforming property investing by developing an innovative online platform enabling participating agents and financial professionals to offer fully managed property investments from leading developers and real estate holding funds around the world. By joining CityYield, participating professionals have begun diversifying client portfolios by recommending investments from CityYield’s extensive selection of high performing properties. Each of the available property listings is supported by a comprehensive library of training, reports and resources to help CityYield partners present each opportunity as fluently as possible to their clients. The platform has simplified the entire purchase process for investment property by offering full end-to-end support covering mortgage financing, property management, insurance, taxation and more. Financial planners and wealth managers have been increasingly drawn to the CityYield investment platform following findings released by the Royal Commission in early 2019 which set forth revised guidelines designed to improve individual outcomes for investors. These changes have driven financial professionals to seek out new investment products which comply with the regulations limiting commissions and eliminating trailing payouts. CityYield will be opening the next enrolment period for new agents, financial planners and wealth managers on December 1st. Firms who would like to learn more about offering international investment property by leveraging the CityYield platform can submit an application by visiting the link below. Click here to apply  NEW FINTECH APP CREATING EASE FOR THE RIDESHARE INDUSTRY 2019-11-19T04:26:19Z new-fintech-app-creating-ease-for-the-rideshare-industry Founded by qualified accountants, Selda Kaplan and Michael Kambouridis, Rideshare Tax has now officially launched to the Australian rideshare community and it already has the support of rideshare giant, Uber. The fintech app, which simplifies and demystifies tax requirements for rideshare drivers, was created after a disgruntled rideshare driver vented to Selda about his tax woes and the lack of support available.   With rideshare drivers having to pay GST and lodge quarterly BAS statements from the moment they start driving, Selda and Michael realised there was a gap in the market for a streamlined, compact and easy-to-use app that could guide drivers through their tax journey. From applying for ABN and GST, to tracking and managing expenses, Rideshare Tax is an in-hand accountant, without the costly fees.   The free app, which is the first of its kind directed at the rideshare industry, is available for both Android and iOS users and allows drivers to download income, track earnings and access a digital logbook. For maximum ease, Rideshare Tax has also partnered with rideshare leader, Uber to allow their riders’ data to be downloaded directly into the app. The team has plans to organise similar arrangements with Ola, Shebah, DiDi and Bolt in the future.   App users can download BAS reports for free, or seamlessly and securely lodge them through the app for a small price of $49 per quarter. With the ATO cracking down on the sharing economy, Rideshare Tax provides a simplified solution, with access to qualified accountants, that can save drivers hundreds of dollars per year.   With over 1300 signups to the platform so far and plans to launch an equity crowdfunding campaign at the start of 2020 to push further growth and awareness across the country, Rideshare Tax is set to revolutionise the way rideshare drivers manage their tax for good.   “The sharing economy is booming, but drivers are becoming overwhelmed with the bookkeeping and tax requirements. Rideshare Tax is a one-stop-shop for rideshare drivers. We’re here to ensure they can drive more and worry less,” says Michael.   - ENDS -   For further information, or to speak with co-founders Selda Kaplan and Michael Kambouridis, please get in touch:   Megan Chambers || Aussie medicinal cannabis company, Greenfield MC Global, launches crowd funding campaign offering investment opportunities for under $250 2019-11-18T03:48:45Z aussie-medicinal-cannabis-company-greenfield-mc-global-launches-crowd-funding-campaign-offering-investment-opportunities-for-under-250 Greenfield MC Global, an Australian-owned medicinal cannabis company, has launched an equity crowd-sourced funding (CSF) campaign offering an opportunity for small Australian investors – and first-time investors – to become shareholders in and part-owners of the rapidly growing company. With a minimum investment amount set at just $242, Greenfield MC Global’s CSF has been positioned to make it accessible to people who may not ordinarily consider investing. “In the weeks before launching our CSF, we achieved phenomenal success with our Series B investment round, securing $1.75 million from a wide range of experienced investors, including medical experts, lawyers, high profile business leaders and even celebrities,” explained Nicholas Hanna, CEO of Greenfield MC Global. “With this latest crowd-sourced funding campaign we wanted to open up the opportunity to invest in Greenfield MC Global to the hundreds of smaller investors who reached out to us during our last funding round.” As the number of patients being approved to access medicinal cannabis in Australia continues to soar – with the latest figures showing a 985% increase in approvals from October 2018 to October 2019[1] – Greenfield MC Global will maintain its primary focus on the cultivation, manufacture and distribution of pharmaceutical-grade medicinal cannabis, while also commencing research projects in both New Zealand and the Philippines, and continuing to import high-quality medicinal cannabis for distribution within Australia, from a range of trusted international sources. “We are passionate about the potential of medicinal cannabis to positively impact patients’ lives and we want to ensure that every Australian who needs it, can get it,” said Greenfield MC Global’s Chair and President, Arjun Chhabra. “If the worldwide opioid epidemic has shown us anything, it’s that the status quo approach to patient healthcare, treatment and management needs to change, and we want to be a part of that change. We’re excited to invite Australians who also believe in the power of medicinal cannabis to join us on our mission to revolutionise healthcare in this country.” Greenfield MC Global also welcomed the new Parliamentary Inquiry into the accessibility and regulation of medicinal cannabis in Australia announced last week, with Chief Operations Officer Katy Williams Day adding, “We look forward to the findings of the Senate’s Community Affairs Committee from the Parliamentary Inquiry next February with great anticipation. Improving the accessibility and affordability of medicinal cannabis for Australians is a key priority for Greenfield MC Global and we hope that this Inquiry accurately identifies the existing barriers and outlines ways to effectively reform the system.” Greenfield MC Global’s CSF is offered via Capital Labs, the equity CSF platform of The iQ Group Global, and one of the first equity CSF platforms to be approved by ASIC. The CSF is open now and will close on 12 December 2019 Medicinal Cannabis – Key Facts The global medicinal cannabis industry is predicted to be worth US$150bn by 2025[2] The medicinal cannabis market in APAC is expected to tip USD$5.8bn by 2024[3]. More than 3,500 approvals for medicinal cannabis were issued in Australia via the Special Access Scheme in October 2019, an increase of 985% in 12 months[4] Up to 20,000 new patients are expected to enter the medicinal cannabis market in Australia over the next 12 months[5] A new Federal Parliamentary Inquiry into the accessibility and regulation of medicinal cannabis in Australia was announced on 14 November 2019, with the report due in February 2020 Legislation was amended to allow research into and cultivation of cannabis for medicinal use in Australia in 2016 Medicinal cannabis is currently approved for use in 42 different health conditions in Australia, including some forms of epilepsy, some cancers and side-effects of cancer, chronic pain, inflammatory conditions, neurological conditions and more. – ENDS – Distributed by Uproar Marketing on behalf of Greenfield MC Global Media contact: Rachel McDougall | | 0401 694 301 NOTES FOR EDITORS Images and Video Resources A collection of high-resolution images, including photographs of Greenfield MC Global CEO Nicholas Hanna visiting Canadian cannabis producer EPHS Holdings’ cultivation site 43 second promo video – featuring Dr Ben Barresi and Arjun Chhabra About Greenfield MC Global Greenfield MC Global is a licenced medicinal cannabis importer and distributor in Australia, with expanding operations in cultivation, research and distribution in the Asia-Pacific region. Independent and privately owned, Greenfield MC Global focuses on medicine, science and results. Formed in 2018, Greenfield MC has a vision to be Asia-Pacific’s leading wholesaler and patient-retailer of medicinal cannabis products. Headquartered in Sydney, Australia, Greenfield MC Global is also represented across Melbourne and Brisbane in Australia, as well as New Zealand, South Korea and the Philippines. For further information visit: About Capital Labs Capital Labs is an equity crowd-funding platform dedicated to launching innovations with impact. Partnering only with companies launching technology and innovations that have a positive influence on the world, Capital Labs enables early stage companies and start-ups to raise capital from investors in exchange for shares in their business. Capital Labs is powered by The iQ Group Global, a group of companies that find, fund and develop bioscience discoveries to create life-changing medical innovations. For further information visit: and [1] Fresh Leaf Analytics Oct 2019 [2] Grandview Research 2018 [3] Prohibition Partners, The Asian Cannabis Report, May 2019 [4] Fresh Leaf Analytics Oct 2019 [5] Fresh Leaf Analytics: Patient, Product and Pricing Analysis Q1 2019 AIIA’s US trade delegation lays the groundwork for Australia’s next wave of digital tech 2019-11-14T22:02:38Z aiias-us-trade-delegation-lays-the-groundwork-for-australias-next-wave-of-digital-tech Sydney, Australia – 15 November 2019 -- The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), the peak member body for the ICT industry, has completed a six-day trade delegation to the US to help organisations learn about how to best utilise and implement the latest developments in digital technology. The delegation included global businesses, senior executives of government agencies, venture capital organisations, SMEs and startups who travelled to the West Coast of the US from 3-8 November 2019 and visited San Francisco (Silicon Valley) and Seattle. The itinerary included visits to Microsoft, Amazon, Salesforce, DocuSign, IBM, ServiceNow, Adobe, Cisco, Google and Infosys. Ron Gauci, CEO of AIIA, said the trade delegation enabled members to better understand the opportunities and the role they can play in working with the Federal Government to deliver the digital services agenda. “Once again the US delegation has proven to be a valuable opportunity for AIIA members to network with some of the world’s best companies, and to learn about trends and the latest developments in their markets,” said Gauci. “There is currently a strong focus and investment in Artificial Intelligence, and the related issues around the ethics and transparency of its use are of great importance. All the major tech companies we visited also have a focus on the culture and skills required to harness and take advantage of the digital revolution. “As the Australian Government continues its digital transformation agenda across all portfolios, an understanding of cutting-edge technology developed by the private sector is critical. It is also vital that government and business work together and partner successfully for the benefit of taxpayers and citizens.” The AIIA Ministerial Delegation has enabled technology sector business leaders to engage with government and leading digital organisations including Microsoft, Adobe, KPMG, IBM, ServiceNow, Cisco, Infosys, Telstra, Datacom, CDC Data Centres, Veriluma, Itree, Sypaq, iCIMS, BGH Capital, MXA, Informpros, Talihealth, AUCloud and OK RDY. The delegates also attended the Australian Landing Pad showcasing innovative Australian technology startup companies. “By spending six days with a group of like-minded business people, sharing insights on best practices in digital transformation, I’m confident that Australian tech leaders have forged relationships that will lead to greater collaboration and improvement of our government digital services,” said Gauci. “We are delighted that the delegation has created opportunities for our members to grow their business through the relationships forged on the trip, and to learn about the innovations which should assist them in delivering future government outcomes.” For a video on the AIIA’s US trade delegation view here. To find out more about how to join the AIIA, please visit # # # Additional information Sponsors and Hosts included: Amazon, Microsoft, Salesforce, IBM, Cisco, Infosys, HERE Technologies, Google, DocuSign, ServiceNow and Adobe. About AIIA The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) is Australia’s peak representative body and advocacy group for those in the digital ecosystem. Since 1978 AIIA has pursued activities to stimulate and grow the digital ecosystem, to create a favorable business environment for members and to contribute to Australia’s economic prosperity. We do this by delivering outstanding member value by providing a strong voice of influence; building a sense of community through events and education; enabling a network for collaboration and inspiration; and developing compelling content and relevant and interesting information. For more information on AIIA Policy and Advocacy key areas please visit Media Contact For more information please contact: Carmelle Pavan GM Marketing & Communications – AIIA M: 0402 099 349 Jeffrey Coote Tel: (02) 8355 3130