The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2017-06-15T03:11:41Z Beware of headlines promising lower electricity prices 2017-06-15T03:11:41Z beware-of-headlines-promising-lower-electricity-prices-1 Since the Finkel review was released late last week, there have been headlines stating that electricity prices would fall if the recommendations of the review were adopted.   Here’s a warning: These headlines are misleading.   While I am not in disagreement with the review or the recommendations put forward, what I take issue with is how they are falsely being framed and fed into mainstream media.   Based on my extensive knowledge of the electricity industry, a more accurate headline should be:  “Despite Finkel’s recommendations, prices will still rise for most”.   The review actually states that relative to ‘Business as Usual’ (the ongoing and unchanging state of the energy market operating within the present policy vacuum), wholesale electricity prices can somewhat improve from a forecasted ‘worst case scenario’, provided Finkel’s recommendations are adopted.   But here’s the catch: prices for most will not be lower than what we’ve seen to date. Because despite Finkel’s recommended solutions, we’re continuing to operate within the existing policy vacuum, which is pushing prices up.   Additionally, many businesses and residential users have not yet felt the full impact of the increases we have had over the last 12-18 months in the wholesale market. These increases will filter through over the next year or so as larger businesses re-contract and as retailers adjust their pricing for their other customers.   Some of this we are already starting to see with retailers announcing significant increases in pricing for residential users and small businesses from 1 July 2017. Ouch.   In short, for most us, prices are likely to go up before we experience any relief produced from Dr Finkel’s recommendations. ends * Rod Boyte is the founder and a director of Smart Power Ltd. Rod is an independent energy management solutions specialist who has helped hundreds of organisations across Australia and New Zealand rethink the way they purchase and manage energy to achieve greater levels of sustainability and operational excellence. Rod has been a member of the Energy Management Association of New Zealand (EMANZ) since 1995 and served on the EMANZ board from 1998 to 2002 (Vice Chairman in 2002). Over the past six years Rod has represented consumers at all levels by sitting on various groups including the Frequency Standard Working Group, Policy Procurement Working Group and the Metering and Reconciliation Working Group.  Rod is a frequent guest speaker at key industry conferences and events providing insights and predictions into current and future issues. His most recent engagement was in May at Vic Water's 2017 Future State of Electricity conference. With 25 years in the energy management field, Rod Boyte is deemed to be one of the most experienced energy management executives in Australia. enquiries: Rod Boyte can be contacted on 0420 266 866. Wendy McWilliams, WMC Public Relations, T: 03 9803 2588 / 0421 364 664 E: Working Families are desperate for more support from the Federal Government 2017-05-03T06:46:54Z working-families-are-desperate-for-more-support-from-the-federal-government Working Families are the backbone of the Australian society and economy and yet they don’t get the support from the Federal Government they need in terms of child care.    Parents At Work ran a working families survey for the month of April 2017.  With 328 respondents the survey provides up-to-date, relevant statics on the experience of working parents (and families) in terms of work, child care and Federal Government support.   In fact when asked if the Federal Government is doing enough to support working parents, the overwhelming majority 81% said they would like to see the Federal Government provide them with more support.    Specifically they would  like more federal government support in the areas like higher financial subsidies for child care, paying higher rates to child care workers, and more child care places.  “The rising cost of child care continues to be a barrier for working parents – specifically accessibility of child care and affordability of child care.  These two issues have a significant impact on the number of mothers working full-time.“ states Celeste Kirby-Brown, Sales and Marketing Director of Parents At Work and author of the report.   Respondents had many excellent ideas for addressing the accessibility and affordability of child care issues including: 1.       Treating “Childcare as a work related expense on my tax.” 2.       Allowing “Salary sacrifice child care fees.” 3.       Seeing “…school hours changed to be in line with working hours.”   About the 2017 Working Families Report The report was compiled from a group of 324 working parents and was run for the month of April 2017.  It was completely anonymous and asked questions on the following: 1.       Gender 2.       Participation in paid work 3.       Living with a partner 4.       The partner’s participation in paid work 5.       Use of formal and informal child care 6.       Unfair treatment by employers during pregnancy, during leave or whilst returning to work 7.       Support given by employers to working families 8.       Support given by the Federal Government to working families   The Parents At Work working families survey provided a unique opportunity for everyday Australian parents to be heard on key issues that impact their career and family life.   You can download your copy of the working families report here. $2b trade deficit in wood products a source of national shame 2017-04-24T05:07:13Z 2b-trade-deficit-in-wood-products-a-source-of-national-shame Australia is the seventh most forested country in the world[1] and Australians have more forest per person than most other countries except for the Canadians and the Russians.  Rob de Fégely, National President of the Australian Institute of Foresters presented a grim picture of Australia’s contribution to managing renewable forest and plantation resources to the 19th  Commonwealth Forestry Conference in India this month. Rob said, ‘It is a source of some national shame that Australia has a significant trade deficit in forest products of more than $2 billion each year. This is not an economic argument but a moral and social one.  We have the space, skills, wealth and knowledge to do more. ‘Using wood is good – it is a carbon-positive, renewable resource - and it is almost impossible to live a day without using wood products in some form. Wood is a timeless product and we should encourage its use. ‘Most of Australia’s 125 million hectares of forest are either privately owned or on leasehold land yet the bulk of the production from natural forests come from public multiple use forests.  In addition, most of our planted forest estate was either established by public forest agencies or with some form of government assistance. ‘Private forest owners and Indigenous Australians, particularly in natural forests are conspicuous by their absence in the long-term supply of wood products.  We can change this if we have the community support and political will to do so! ‘Indigenous Australians own, manage or have an interest in around 30 per cent of Australia’s forests and many are wanting greater autonomy in the management of their land and forests.  ‘Effectively managing forests for environmental outcomes is also not the pretty picture we are often led to believe. Australia has considerable areas of conservation forests which have no effective monitoring making it challenging to make informed decisions about forest management particularly in a landscape context.  Are these forests achieving what we think they are? ‘We need to investigate whether there is market failure in the domestic forest products market and whether incentives are needed to continue to develop new forest resources. Although I am often reminded that one of the best incentives is a simple one called profit! ‘Australia has a proud history of forest management and has the ability to improve conservation outcomes from its forests while meeting demand for renewable resources like wood,’ said Rob. Media contact: Rob De Fégely 02 6153 3044 [1] Geoscape Offers World-First Decision Making Capabilities to Australian Organisations 2017-04-04T22:57:33Z geoscape-offers-world-first-decision-making-capabilities-to-australian-organisations Locate17 – Sydney, Australia – 5th April, 2017: PSMA Australia, a provider of the nation’s location datasets, today officially launched its award-winning innovation in location intelligence, Geoscape. In a world-first, Geoscape enables Australian organisations to make better decisions using location-based insights that were previously too costly or time consuming for most businesses to access. This is the first time location information and data analytics have been combined and made available in this way, on a national level. PSMA also confirmed the much-anticipated Sydney dataset will be released on 5th April, 2017, with the national rollout due for completion by early 2018. To download a sample of Geoscape, visit: “Geoscape is a breakthrough in location-based intelligence that provides essential infrastructure for Australia’s digital economy, and puts Australia on the world map as a leader in this technology,” said Dan Paull, PSMA’s Chief Executive Officer. “As a business intelligence tool, Geoscape gives organisations the opportunity to improve services and increase revenue through evidence-based decision making. It will be used by governments to improve Australia’s future planning, development and management, including everything from building smarter cities to keeping people safe during fires, floods and other natural disasters. There’s also a vast range of applications in the private sector, with particular interest coming from the telecommunications, insurance and utilities sectors.” DigitalGlobe, Inc. (NYSE: DGI), the global leader in Earth imagery and information about our changing planet, uses a range of geospatial technologies to deliver core components of the Geoscape dataset. By connecting the world's highest quality commercial satellite imagery and an ecosystem of analytics partners on the Geospatial Big Data platform (GBDX), DigitalGlobe is able to automatically and accurately extract many types of features about the built environment at continental scale. "The convergence of high-resolution satellite imagery, cloud computing, and machine learning technologies has created some incredibly exciting opportunities for organisations to analyse man-made and natural environments at country and continent scales more quickly and efficiently than ever before,” said Dr. Walter Scott, DigitalGlobe Founder, CTO, and EVP. “We are proud to partner with PSMA Australia to harness these innovations and create a digital index of Australia’s built environment that will benefit a wide range of industries, including business intelligence, insurance, and telecommunications.” How Geoscape works PSMA has collaborated with DigitalGlobe to create the Geoscape dataset, which uses a combination of satellite imagery, crowdsourcing and machine learning to capture attributes of the built environment and link each building to a geocoded address. Organisations can see and analyse this data to gain new insights and improve the way they plan and operate. The data includes building footprints and heights, roof construction, land cover, tree heights, the presence of solar panel installations and swimming pools, and more. The data can be visualised using mapping platforms and 3D modelling tools. New opportunities for enhanced service delivery As Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystems evolve and smart cities become a reality, Geoscape can underpin them by linking a wide range of information generated about the lifecycle of the built environment. Data from a rich mesh of sensors can be tied to a location, an address, a legal land parcel and an area, ranging from a single building, to a few streets, to a planning zone or a region. Geoscape creates a wide range of opportunities for improved service delivery including in: Risk management (flood modelling, fire risk modelling, wind impact assessment) Geoscape provides information about the size and roof construction of buildings, their proximity to vegetation and other buildings and a model of terrain to support the assessment of risk. Market assessment For businesses providing property related services Geoscape provides information about buildings, solar panel installations, swimming pools, roofing material, surfaces and vegetation. Telecommunications Geoscape supports the rollout of wi-fi and 5G networks by providing a model of the terrain and information on the shape and heights of buildings and tree cover to support blackspot analysis. Natural disaster impact assessment Preliminary post-event assessment of the likely impact of natural disasters on building infrastructure and vegetation. Valuations Provides building sizes, number, roofing information, vegetation location, heights and basic land use for the valuation process. How Pitney Bowes uses Geoscape Pitney Bowes has been a partner of PSMA Australia for over 15 years. Geoscape is the main dataset used by Pitney Bowes to create its GeoVision product. The data captured in Geoscape is taken and combined with Pitney Bowes location intelligence platforms to create unique and leading edge solutions, which are capturing world-wide recognition. For more information, please see a case study Australia's ground-breaking Geoscape is rolling out, region by region, across Australia. For progress on the national rollout of Geoscape, view the release schedule at Download your free trial To download a sample of Geoscape to see how it could be used in your organisation, visit Want to know more? If you’re interested in speaking with PSMA to learn more about Geoscape, you may visit them at Booth 110 and 112 at Locate17 or contact For more information: About PSMA Australia PSMA Australia’s goal is to facilitate broad and sustainable access to high-quality location data by offering foundational national spatial information derived from the authoritative data sources of Australia’s federal, state and territory governments and private sector partners. PSMA was formed by the governments of Australia in 1993 to collate, transform and deliver their location data as national datasets. An unlisted company limited by shares, PSMA is owned by all the governments of Australia. As an independent and self-funded business, PSMA is able to collaborate beyond government to drive innovation and provide fundamental infrastructure for a digital world. For more information visit: About DigitalGlobe DigitalGlobe is a leading provider of commercial high-resolution earth observation and advanced geospatial solutions that help decision makers better understand our changing planet to save lives, resources and time. Sourced from the world's leading constellation, DigitalGlobe’s imagery solutions deliver unmatched coverage and capacity to meet its customers' most demanding mission requirements. Each day customers in defence and intelligence, public safety, civil agencies, map making and analysis, environmental monitoring, oil and gas exploration, infrastructure management and navigation technology, and providers of location-based services depend on DigitalGlobe data, information, technology and expertise to gain actionable insight. For more information visit: Media Contact: Kate Donnelly Spectrum Group +61 2 9469 5700 Australian businesses secretly handing millions to cybercriminals 2017-03-29T04:34:06Z australian-businesses-secretly-handing-millions-to-cybercriminals A regional Australian retailer that paid a $250,000 ransom to cybercriminals – and stayed quiet about it to avoid making front-page news – is among the silent victims of online crime, government and industry leaders heard last night. Speaking at the Parliament House launch of a new book to help leaders understand and navigate cybersecurity, Dan Tehan, Minister Assisting Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Cyber Security, said businesses are refusing to admit being hit by cybercrime for fear of reputational damage. Mr Tehan said cybercrime is conservatively estimated to cost the Australian economy $1 billion annually – but added that the real figure is likely to be much higher. He said Surviving The Rise of Cybercrime, a new book by cybersecurity company MailGuard founder Craig McDonald, should be read in every boardroom in Australia. In under an hour, the non-technical book helps leaders understand and mitigate cyber threats ranging from phishing to ransomware. “It is easy to read, it is understandable, I think it’s the sort of publication that we do need to get being read in every single boardroom in Australia,” Mr Tehan said. “We also need to make sure it’s getting read by those organisations that look after small businesses, whether it be the accountants, whether it be the lawyers, whether it be banks, small or large, we need to get this being read across executives, and to the homes, and to small businesses across this nation.” Mr Tehan told the crowd of political and industry leaders, including Australian Cyber Security Growth Network CEO, Craig Davies, Alastair MacGibbon (Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on Cyber Security) and shadow minister for cyber security, Gai Brodtmann, that businesses were suffering huge financial losses in silence. “One of the unfortunate things is that a lot of the businesses, especially small businesses, that are getting impacted, don’t want to come forward because of the reputational risks that they suffer as a result of the attack,” he said. “Last week, I met with a company, a small retail company. It had been hit a couple of months ago. $250,000 – this company, in a medium-sized regional town, had to pay to get their computer systems up and back and operating normally. “Now, that is a huge hit to any business, but for a regional firm to cop something like that, is absolutely significant. And, they didn’t, and still don’t, want to get on the front page and publicise that that’s what happened to them.” Mr Davies praised author Craig McDonald as a true pioneer of cybersecurity in Australia, and said choosing MailGuard as ACSGN’s first official partner was an easy decision. “MailGuard were actually the first partner we selected to join us in the mission of the Growth Network. Because it was important for us to protect our team from threats that were coming through, and also to protect our mission, what needed to be done.” Referring to MailGuard’s newly-formed global partnership with Microsoft, Mr Davies said: “MailGuard was founded in 2001, and has been recognised as a world-leading cybersecurity firm in the realm of protection. I think it’s important to note that the relationship that they have now formed with Microsoft is recognition of what they’ve been able to achieve here in Australia as a small, successful firm, based in Victoria.” Download the eBook version of Surviving the Rise of Cybercrime here. About Surviving the Rise of Cybercrime Cybercrime costs the Australian economy between $1 billion and $17 billion annually, or roughly 1 per cent of GDP. The average attack costs SMBs $276,000. Cybercrime is a rapidly-growing industry. It is now the number one economic crime in Australia, according to PwC, having been deemed “statistically insignificant” just six years ago. It’s easy for cybercriminals to get a foot in the door, with 91% of cyber attacks arriving via email, usually via phishing. Every day, 205 billion emails are sent around the world – and everyone with an email address is a potential target. Surviving the Rise of Cybercrime explains the complex threat in straight-forward terms, with the aim of empowering time-poor, non-tech executives in under an hour. The book covers: ·         Identifying threats to a business ·         Why cybercriminals target particular businesses and staff ·         Why IT teams struggle to prevent these rising threats ·         The role leaders and executives need to play in cybersecurity ·         How to educate managers and teams as the frontline of your company’s cyber defence. New guide arms government and business leaders with cybersecurity tactics 2017-03-27T03:04:24Z new-guide-arms-government-and-business-leaders-with-cybersecurity-tactics-1 The huge economic risk posed by cybercrime has prompted an industry expert to pen a jargon-free guide to help leaders understand the growing problem. To be launched tomorrow (Tuesday, March 28) by the Hon Dan Tehan MP, Australia’s Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security, in the presence of leading Australian cybersecurity experts from industry and government, the book explains the complex threat in straight-forward terms. Author Craig McDonald, CEO and founder of Australian cybersecurity pioneer MailGuard, wrote the guide with the aim of empowering time-poor, non-tech executives in under an hour. Cybercrime is a rapidly-growing industry. Last year, 594 million people were victims of online crime. It is now the number one economic crime in Australia, according to PwC, having been deemed “statistically insignificant” just six years ago. It’s alarmingly easy for cybercriminals to get a foot in the door, with 91% of cyber attacks arriving via email, usually via phishing. Every day, 205 billion emails are sent around the world – and everyone with an email address is a potential target. It means sorting the legitimate senders from criminal impersonators is growing increasingly difficult. McDonald says he wrote Surviving the Rise of Cybercrime to help executives navigate an ever-changing threat landscape. “Every day I talk to successful business leaders who are charged with the responsibility of steering their organisations to success. To many, cybersecurity is new and unfamiliar territory,” McDonald said. “In cybersecurity, the human factor is the greatest vulnerability for any organisation, and a large part of the challenge is generating awareness and educating those who are in harm's way. This is particularly the case with executives who are time-poor and often feel that there’s too much to consider. “Some executives take the view that it’s somebody else’s problem – most commonly a member of their IT team. In today's climate such attitudes are outdated and plain dangerous.” The cost of cybercrime to business and government Cybercrime costs the Australian economy between $1 billion and $17 billion annually, or roughly 1 per cent of GDP. The average attack costs SMBs $276,000. Australian Government departments and agencies are not immune, with international cyber attacks reportedly targeting Austrade, the Defence Science Technology Group and the Bureau of Meteorology. The Australian Cyber Security Centre says between January 2015 and June 2016 the Australian Signals Directorate responded to 1,095 cybersecurity incidents against government systems. The Prime Minister's cyber security adviser, Alastair MacGibbon, who will attend the book launch, has stated that the Australian Government is "attacked on a daily basis". Surviving the Rise of Cybercrime covers: Identifying threats to a business Why cybercriminals target particular businesses and staff Why IT teams struggle to prevent these rising threats The role leaders and executives need to play in cybersecurity How to educate managers and teams as the frontline of your company’s cyber defence. For a copy of the ebook version of Surviving the Rise of Cybercrime, please visit: What executives say about the book “Outstanding. This book is a must-read for every executive. Cybercrime poses a serious threat to every business, large and small. No longer just an IT problem; all executives must comprehend the risks. Cyber attacks lead to serious business disruption, reputational damage and financial loss. It’s the responsibility of every executive, and this book provides a thorough foundation for understanding the cybersecurity landscape.” – Pip Marlow, former managing director, Microsoft Australia and newly-appointed CEO strategic innovation, Suncorp. “Knowledge of cybersecurity issues is essential for all executives irrespective of the business they are in. This guide puts the current state of cybersecurity into perspective with deep insights from visionaries in government and commerce, and offers practical advice on defining and protecting critical assets.” – Bradley Bastow Chief Technology Officer, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. “Gone are the days when cybercrime was simply a matter for IT professionals. In today’s world, cybersecurity is an important issue for all leaders and managers at all levels of all organisations. If you value business continuity and strategic growth for your organisation, then Surviving the Rise of Cybercrime is a must-read for all executives.” – Professor Gary Martin FAIM FACE Chief Executive Officer, Australian Institute of Management, Western Australia.   About MailGuard: MailGuard is an Australian tech innovator and the world’s foremost cloud email and web security service, with customers in 27 countries. MailGuard provides real-time protection against malicious email such as whaling, ransomware, phishing and spear phishing, 2-48 hours ahead of the market.   For more information contact: Jaclyn McRae MailGuard media liaison 0438921019 MyNetFone appointed to Victorian Government Voice Services Panel 2017-01-31T06:36:51Z mynetfone-appointed-to-victorian-government-voice-services-panel Sydney – 31 January 2017 – MyNetFone, Australia’s largest provider of hosted voice and data communications services, today announced it has been appointed to the Voice Services Panel for the Victorian Government as part of the Government’s Telecommunications Purchasing and Management Strategy 2025 (TPAMS2025)[1]. Appointment to TPAMS2025 represents a substantial opportunity for MyNetFone. In 2013 the total fixed voice expenditure by Victorian Government was in the order of $30m per annum[2]. MyNetFone has been selected as one of only 3 providers to the fixed voice panel.   From February 2017, Victorian Government Departments and Agencies will be able to access innovative, cost effective voice services on MyNetFone’s smart new-generation Australian voice network. This represents the first time that Victorian Government entities have had the opportunity to choose a supplier that specialises in new-generation IP telephony through highly reliable and scalable SIP infrastructure.   “MyNetFone has significant experience meeting the voice services needs of government agencies.” said Rene Sugo, CEO of MyNetFone parent MNF Group. “I welcome this appointment and look forward to working with Victorian Government entities to optimise their voice services and achieve savings for the Victorian people.” The appointment is a result of the company’s long term strategy to address the Enterprise and Government segments in the Australian domestic market. It builds on the success of projects in Tasmania and New South Wales.   All Victorian Government Budget Sector Agencies must purchase their voice services from panel suppliers. Additionally, other government entities can also choose to purchase from the TPAMS panel providers. Budget Sector Agencies include all 7 central government departments including the Department of Education, Health and Environment, Land water and Planning and a further 22 government entities including Vic Roads, the Victorian Electoral Commission, and the Essential Services Commission.  /ENDS  About MyNetFone MyNetFone is Australia’s largest provider of hosted voice and data communications services for business, enterprise and residential users. MyNetFone is part of the MNF Group, which owns and operates Australia’s largest VoIP network and a global Tier 1 voice carrier network. MNF Group was founded in 2004 and listed on the ASX in mid 2006. It has a reputation for quality, value and innovation, having won numerous awards including the Forbes Asia’s 200 Best Under a Billion (2014, 2015), Deloitte Technology Fast 50 (2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015), PC User Product of the Year (2005), Money Magazine Product of the Year (2007) and many others. For further information about MyNetFone please visit: further information please contact: Sue Ralston Einsteinz Communications T: (02) 8905 0995 E:         [1] [2] Pg 3, Managing Telecommunications Usage and Expenditure, Victorian Auditor-General’s Report, September 2013 UTRC can employ Stawell Gold Mine’s new unemployed workers 2016-12-13T12:56:40Z utrc-can-employ-stawell-mine-s-new-unemployed-workers Following his Open Letter* to Stawell residents advising them of a misinformation campaign regarding UTRC’s removal of the largest tyre stockpile in Australia, Dr Matthew Starr is again imploring the Victorian Government to take steps that will see the business start employing many of Stawell Gold Mines’ retrenched workers. With up to 150 people losing their jobs at the mine (announced Tuesday, 13 December), UTRC offers Stawell a chance to employ up to 50 people in early 2017.  “All we request from the government is to waive some of the small regulatory fees that UTRC has been hit with, and provide greater support for our efforts to eliminate Victoria’s number one environmental hazard,” said Dr Starr. “UTRC is the only new business of size attempting to become operational in Stawell that can employ up to 30 per cent of the newly unemployed.  “UTRC is the best option for the unemployed workers who now face a very unhappy Christmas and New Year, with a bleak outlook for 2017.” The Stawell tyre stockpile comprises almost 9 million tyres, which UTRC purchased in June 2015 to create a new, environmentally-friendly, clean-tech facility to recycle the tyres. Dr Starr added, “We intend to support the workers of Stawell for the long term and as UTRC in Stawell has been classified as a Transfer Station for Victoria's used tyres, we can assure the town that there will be jobs well into the future.” * You can view the Open Letter, which is being delivered this week, at and a copy should be attached. Dr Matthew Starr can be contacted on 0402 457 315. Short + Sweet: SNACKABLETV youth broadcast network for short-form content launches 2016-12-01T01:16:58Z short-sweet-snackabletv-youth-broadcast-network-for-short-form-content-launches Meet SNACKABLETV, a revolutionary digital youth network housing the best in bite-sized content. It’s an entirely new way for young people all over the world to access high quality short-form entertainment for FREE, without annoying advertisements or subscriptions. VIEW THE SIZZLE REEL Millennials are diverse, curious and engaged - so, SNACKABLETV is too. It does not discriminate against gender, sexuality, race, creed or socio-economic status, only against beige content. SNACKABLETV launches with solid collaborations and partnerships as official Youth & Content Broadcaster for Sydney Festival, co-produced podcasts with the team from Melbourne’s Sans Pants Radio and short films produced by future creative superstars from the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS). Offering something for everyone, SNACKABLETV plays host to content across seven channels; Culture, Film, Gaming, Music, Podcast, Style, and a dedicated hub for today’s news, events, and the best of the net; What’s Hot. Original series’ will feature respected members of the creative community including; street artist Scott Marsh; music journalist Danny Clayton; celebrity fashion stylist Mikey Ayoubi; mindfulness coach Kylie Ryan; comedians Rhys Nicholson and Robbie Armfield; musicians Client Liaison, Sleep Makes Waves and The Jezabels; and so much more incredible talent in front of and behind the lens. In the face of a fracturing media landscape, SNACKABLETV also offers a solution for brands to target a millennial audience utilising quality native content by creating this ‘safe space’ free of subscriptions and free of pre-rolls and pop-up ads to give viewers a great experience which will keep them coming back for more. The network will lead the fight against ‘Digital Litter’, a result of too much access to poorly made content. Everything on SNACKABLETV is short, sharp, and captivating. It’s video that is never boring, always inspiring, with an added dose of learning for the socially aware, completely free of charge to the viewer. SNACKABLETV Co-founders Kate Edwards and Shae Constantine said today: “We are extremely proud to be launching Australia’s first short form broadcast network made especially for young people. “SNACKABLETV is purpose built as much for the consumer as it is for the creator – it’s a conduit between the two worlds. We identified a gap, in that there is so much good content out there and before now it hasn’t had a home or a chance to get to an audience who will appreciate it. “Our doors are wide open to young creatives and creators. We want to distribute the best short-form content the world has seen, and this is only possible with a truly robust digital platform to facilitate the relationship between creator and audience. That platform is SNACKABLETV.” Content is currently available online (mobile, tablet or desktop) via The bar has been set high and SNACKABLETV is committed to pushing the boundaries in both the controversy and quality stakes. New content will be released on all channels across the network constantly. Stay tuned for updates on exciting co-productions and distribution partnerships. In the face of a fracturing media landscape, SNACKABLETV also offers a solution for brands to target a millennial audience utilising quality native content by creating this ‘safe space’ free of subscriptions and free of pre-rolls and pop-up ads to give viewers a great experience which will keep them coming back for more. Interview and content requests contact The Lantern Group: Louisa Read +61 412 955 101 Fiona Gulin +61 487 992 333 CONNECT WITH SNACKABLETV FACEBOOK INSTAGRAM #snackableTV MEDIA MATERIALS DROPBOX Multicap customers feel ‘confident and prepared’ as NDIS rolls out in Mackay 2016-11-03T01:38:44Z multicap-customers-feel-confident-and-prepared-as-ndis-rolls-out-in-mackay Multicap, a leading disability service provider, has been working closely with our customers in Mackay to ensure that every person transitioning to the NDIS is as prepared as possible. Multicap has prepared a number of new resources to assist with the planning and preparation for transition to NDIS. Members of staff are also available to accompany people with disability and their carers to National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) planning meetings to provide support, assistance and advice. At Multicap we are committed to achieving the best possible outcomes for all people with disability. Sharon cares for her brother Scott and she is one of many family members in Mackay that Multicap has been assisting to prepare for the NDIS to roll out. Sharon said: “Multicap staff have taken the burden off me as Scott’s carer. The preparation they have put into NDIS has been a life saver. They have been respectful and sympathetic yet professional and knowledgeable – nothing has been too hard for Multicap staff.” “Multicap has made the transition seem easy and understandable rather than frightening, I feel very well prepared and confident going into Scott’s planning meeting with the NDIA.  Multicap staff care about Scott, they love him and nothing is ever too hard for them. “If I could give a million dollars to everyone at Multicap I would!” Multicap CEO Joanne Jessop said, “Everything we do at Multicap is focussed on enhancing the lives of our customers and their families. The transition to NDIS is a fantastic opportunity for people with disability to have more choice in the support and services they access. The NDIS is a new world of possibilities.  “A new Mackay Multicap Hub will be announced early in the new year. The hub will welcome all members of the community, not just people with disability. Our new hub represents the commitment of Multicap to invest in the Mackay community, and provide a foundation on which we can deliver our sole purpose, ‘to enhance the quality of life of people with disability and their families’. “Mackay is the first region with Multicap services to roll out the NDIS, and we are very excited to walk alongside our customers and their families on this exciting journey.” To find out more about how Multicap can assist with the transition to NDIS please call Michele Steadman on 0427 038 115. Web links Multicap: About Multicap Multicap is a leading not-for-profit organisation supporting individuals with disability.  Operating for over 50 years, Multicap is one of the top disability service providers in Queensland offering individual and group day programs, supported employment, respite, social support and much more. Our passion is for every individual’s right to connect and realise the possibilities available to them and this drives us to always believe there is a way.  We create opportunity. We are champions of possibility. We inspire partnerships of support. Our door is always open.  Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) Call for Papers DEADLINE 23rd October 2016 & ECI Excellence Awards 2016-10-10T01:49:46Z early-childhood-intervention-eci-call-for-papers-deadline-23rd-october-2016-eci-excellence-awards 27th NSW/ACT Conference - Call for Papers Call for Papers DEADLINE EXTENDED - 23rd October 2016 In order to build the best conference program, we are seeking papers for sessional workshops. ECIA NSW/ACT is inviting professionals to submit abstracts for presentations, workshops or panels that explore innovative practices, challenges, research and policy directions. Click here to view or download the 'Call for Papers' Flyer. Click here to view or download the Abstract Submission Template to aid with your submission.* *Note: The Abstract Submission Template may automatically begin downloading in your default browser. Check your browser or go to the Downloads folder on your computer to access this document. Read more... Excellence Awards The Excellence Awards aim to honour and recognise outstanding achievements in the ECI sector that have contributed to the improvement of the lives of children with disability and/or developmental delay and their families. The Excellence Award categories celebrate and acknowledges teams and organisations that demonstrate excellence, passion, vision and a commitment to assisting children with disability and/or developmental delay and their families to achieve their goals. The ‘Excellence Awards’ will be presented for outstanding achievements in the ECI Industry at the NSW/ACT Conference on 25th - 26th May 2017 at the Novotel Sydney Brighton Beach. Award Categories The following award categories will be open for nominations: Outstanding family-centred practice Champion of Inclusion Team around the child Innovative practice Applications and Nominations Applications will open on 14th November 2016. Nominations must be for a team or organisation in the early childhood intervention sector operating in NSW or ACT and includes; early childhood educators, special educators, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, audiologists, social workers and psychologist. Applicants can self-nominate their team or organisation or nominate another team or organisation. Nominations for individuals will not be accepted. ECIA Members and Non Members are eligable to apply.* *Note: ECIA Members can nominate at no cost. Non ECIA Members are required to pay an application fee of $99 (inc. GST). Theme: ECI: Beyond Possibilities - Investing in the Future Location: Novotel Sydney Brighton Beach Dates: Thursday 25th and Friday 26th May 2017 Early Childhood Intervention Australia NSW/ACT 2017 Conference has as its theme ‘ECI: Beyond Possibilities - Investing in the Future’. This provides an exciting opportunity for service providers and professionals interested in Early Childhood Intervention and Early Childhood, to come together with a focus on building the capacity of our sector and the community, understanding the NDIS and the impact on children with disability and/or developmental delay and their families. The conference will have a strong focus on the key issues affecting practice in early childhood intervention, now and into the future. State Conference Registrations NOW OPEN Register now to receive the Early Bird discount! Registrations for the NSW/ACT Conference ECI: Beyond Possibilities - Investing in the Future are now open. You can register to attend the two day conference on: Both days – Thursday 25 & Friday 26 May 2017 Day One Only – Thursday 25 May 2017 Day Two Only – Friday 26 May 2017 Two Days One Day Early Bird ECIA NSW/ACT Member Rate* $505 $305 Early Bird Non-Member Rate* $585 $345 ECIA NSW/ACT Member Rate $560 $360 Non-Member Rate $640 $400 *Early Bird rates will finish on 24th March 2017 If you have any queries about registering for the conference or need any further information, contact Libby Forsyth on (02) 9873 2593 or Read more... Australian book industry welcomes the Marrakesh Treaty 2016-09-28T21:44:46Z australian-book-industry-welcomes-the-marrakesh-treaty The Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works to Visually Impaired Persons and Persons with Print Disabilities comes into effect today. It is an important step towards making the world of the written word accessible to those with vision and perceptual impairment. The Books Create Australia alliance supports the view that access to the written word is vital for all Australians. The Treaty establishes a copyright exception for visually impaired people and facilitates cross-border sharing of accessible versions of books in formats such as adapted electronic, braille, audio and large print. Cross-border sharing will increase the overall number of accessible versions of works in circulation worldwide by eliminating duplication and reducing friction in their delivery to print disabled people. Australian copyright legislation has had an exception for the vision impaired facilitating access for many years. “The Australian book industry has a long and proud tradition of making publications in accessible format and of making master files available to organisations working with the print-handicapped community. We look forward to working with all stakeholders to improve accessibility through practical solutions with real impact” said Michael Gordon-Smith, Chief Executive of the Australian Publishers Association. The Australian Publishers Association (APA), Australian Booksellers Association (ABA), the Australian Society of Authors (ASA) and the Print Industry Association of Australia (PIAA) support collaborative approaches to the implementation on the Marrakesh Treaty in Australia. As part of the book industry’s commitment to accessibility for the print disabled, the APA is a supporter of the Accessible Books Consortium (ABC). What is the Accessible Books Consortium? The Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) aims to increase the number of books worldwide in accessible formats - such as braille, audio and large print - and to make them available to people who are blind, have low vision or are otherwise print disabled. The ABC is a multi-stakeholder partnership, co-founded by the International Publishers Association, World Blind Union (WBU), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA). What is the Books Create Australia alliance? Publishers, bookshops, printers, authors, literary agents and readers have united in support of the #BooksCreate Australia campaign, voicing opposition to the proposed changes to copyright and PIRs by the Productivity Commission in their report on Intellectual Property Arrangements in Australia. Keep up with the latest news on the Australian book publishing industry’s advocacy campaign: #BooksCreate Twitter @bookscreateaus | Facebook Books Create Australia | Instagram @bookscreateaus For more information and/or interviews, please contact: Emma Rusher, House of Rusher T 0423 213 626 | E AIIA undertaking significant survey on analytics and data usage by Australian businesses, government and NGOs 2016-09-12T02:46:08Z aiia-undertaking-significant-survey-on-analytics-and-data-usage-by-australian-businesses-government-and-ngos FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 12 SEPTEMBER 2016 Encourages new and established organisations in all sectors to participate in order to develop the most comprehensive report possible The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), the peak member body for the ICT industry, today announced it is undertaking a major survey of Australian organisations on analytics and data usage. The purpose of the survey is to find out what differentiates those business, government and NGO organisations that effectively use data and analytics for senior decision making. The survey is open to individual respondents via the AIIA website until 31 September 2016. It is anticipated that a whitepaper will be published towards the end of the year incorporating an analysis of the results and providing a body of knowledge that will help guide business leaders on ways to incorporate data and analytics into their organisation in order to remain competitive. Rob Fitzpatrick, CEO of the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), says, "On a global scale, we see those organisations that know how to use data effectively are usually the strongest performers. If Australia is serious about driving an ideas boom and creating new employment opportunities, we need to ensure that we help local organisations better understand and then take advantage of data to be competitive. “This is not just a survey for tech companies. The information generated will benefit all industries and we encourage participants across all sectors whether they be in education, retail, finance, or others, as well as established and newer companies to participate,” added Fitzpatrick. This initiative is being led by the AIIA’s Data and Analytics Special Interest Group, which is chaired by Dr Roger Kermode, director of business consulting firm Alimua Pty Ltd and former practice principal for analytics and data management for Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and Graeme Wood, general manager of marketing for Semantic Software Asia Pacific. “There is mounting evidence that data-driven organisations tend to require fewer assets, execute with greater insight and less risk, and ultimately generate higher returns. We believe incorporating these practices is an important part of creating a sustainable and growing economy in Australia and is crucial to seeing our standing in world innovation and growth rankings improve,” says Dr Kermode. The data collected will be analysed by data scientists at the University of Technology Sydney. Professor Michael Blumenstein of UTS Sydney says, “Much has been published on big data, automation and the use of analytics at an organizational level. However, despite the recognition of data increasing in importance, the use of data between and within organisations varies widely. The AIIA survey has been constructed to find out why. It’s designed to enable deep diagnostics and analysis of what actually take place inside organisations across different functions and different levels, not just what is visible externally.” Numerous leading Australian organisations are encouraging their members to complete the survey, including: Data61, The Knowledge Economy Institute; NSW State Government; Advance Australia; FINSIA; CPA Australia; StartupMuster; UTS Faculty of Engineering and IT; and, the UTS Business School. # # # 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 the AIIA has pursued activities to stimulate and grow the digital ecosystem, to create a favourable 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 CONTACT For more information, please contact Joanna Stevens Kramer at 0408 466 410 or email For more information about the AIIA please visit Australians Are Being Taxed To Death: Property Club Reveals 2016-08-24T06:35:47Z australians-paying-nearly-1-million-every-minute-in-taxes-property-club-reveals Governments throughout Australia should be focused on cutting taxes rather than penalising property owners through reducing tax benefits such as negative gearing as they are already collecting nearly $1 million in taxes every minute according to Kevin Young, Presidents of Property Club, Australia’s largest independent property group. Mr Young said that the latest official figures on taxation collection by all levels of Government show they collected $119,563 million in taxes during the three months covering the December quarter 2015. “That means Australians are now paying around $1,313 million in taxes every day, $55 million every hour and nearly $1 million every minute! We are born free and taxed to death. “And the amount of taxes being collected by Government is increasing with total taxation revenue increasing by 17.9% (6 times the inflation rate) over the December quarter. “The debate on negative gearing has helped to mask the massive tax take by Governments throughout Australia and a lot of this money is being collected from property owners. “By limiting negative gearing, the Government would in effect discourage investment in property and with fewer people funding their retirement through this form of asset creation, the financial burden on the Federal Government pension system will only increase.  “At the same time, State Governments would have to provide more social housing as there would be fever rental properties becoming available as property investors deserted the real estate market due to limitations on negative gearing.  “Governments throughout Australia need review their current expenditure levels rather than cutting tax incentives such as negative gearing.  “By dabbling with changes in property taxes, they will only distort the property market as has been the case with the previous change to negative gearing undertaken by the Hawke Labor Government. “Property Club predicts that quarantining negative gearing to new home building would result a fourteen-fold increase in demand for new homes as currently only 7% of investors buy new.  “I have been investing in property for 50 years and these proposed changes to negative gearing will result in a huge increase in prices of new housing because supply would not cope with the huge surge in demand.  “Currently, new home building approvals are very sluggish and it takes at least two years before the new home building sector is able to meet any upswing in demand due to the time lag in construction of new homes,” he said.  ENDS   Property Club Has 83 Millions Reasons For An Investigation Into Outrageous Profits Of Big Banks 2016-08-24T05:30:17Z property-club-has-83-millions-reasons-for-an-investigation-into-outrageous-profits-of-big-banks A lack of competition in the Australian banking industry is allowing the four big banks to fleece more than $83 million in profits every day from their mum and dad customers according to Kevin Young, Property Club president, Australia’s largest independent property group.  Mr Young said that last financial year, the big four Australian banks had a combined net profit of $30.3 billion, making them the most profitable in the developed world.  “Every year the big four banks report record profits for the benefit of their shareholders due to their stranglehold on the lending market in Australia,” he said.  “Property Club welcomes the establishment of a Royal Commission into the banking and finance sector but believes that the terms of reference should be wider than proposed by the Labor Party to include competition in the banking sector and the operation of the RBA.  “We have been calling for a Royal Commission into the big banks for several years because of this lack of competition and accountability in the banking sector has allowed the big banks serve the interests of their shareholders through rewarding them with massive profits while ripping off mortgage holders with their worldwide high interest rates.                          BIG FOUR BANK PROFITS (2015)                          Commonwealth                $9.1 billion                          Westpac                          $7.8 billion                           ANZ                               $7.2 billion                           NAB                               $6.3 billion  “The Reserve Bank (RBA) has failed to force the big four banks to offer more competitive interest rates and has presided over interest rates in Australia which are now much higher than the USA and the UK, for example, even though their relative economies are now stronger than ours.  “Through its high interest rate policy and ‘turning a blind eye’ to the big banks who have increased interest rates well above its own interest rate settings, the RBA has made these banks the most profitable in world.   “This was recently underlined by the world’s central bank, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the pre-tax profits of Australia's big four was the equivalent of 1.28 per cent of their total assets.  "Australians have every right to demand greater accountability from the Reserve Bank when you consider that its head is paid over $1 million a year which is around three times the annual salary of the head of the Federal Reserve in the USA.  “We believe that the RBA should be brought under the control of Treasury  so this key organization in the economy is more accountable. "This is why Property Club has been calling for a Royal Commission into the operations of the RBA as well as the big for banks. “We should not miss this opportunity to undertake a thorough review of competition in the banking sector through a Royal Commission with terms of reference that are too restrictive. “Since 1902, there have been more than 100 Royal Commissions and Commissions of Inquiry established by the Federal Government. These Inquiries have examined a range of industries over the last century such as sugar, tobacco, insurance, construction, oil, shipping, butter, fruit and pearl-shelling to name a few," he said. ENDS