The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2019-01-21T04:50:48Z Picking superannuation winners is a ‘political’ solution that disregards best interest of Australians & economy 2019-01-21T04:50:48Z picking-superannuation-winners-is-a-political-solution-that-disregards-best-interest-of-australians-amp-economy The recently released Productivity Commission review of the Australian superannuation industry was written to address political issues with a total disregard for the best interest of members in superannuation funds.   I have worked in the superannuation and investment industry for over 40 years and its ‘Common Sense 101’ NOT to engage in picking winners.   Picking fund performance winners has so many different variables.  Investment funds have different investment styles, asset allocations, benchmarks, research, trading methodology, currency policy, ethical policies, governance policies and access to listed and unlisted investment assets.   Comparing the returns of one balanced fund to another is like comparing apples with oranges.    What about the superannuation investors life time horizon?   A 21-year old should be put in an asset allocation that reflects their time until retirement and their individual risk profile which will be very different to a retired 70 year old investor.   This issue of underperforming superfunds needs to be addressed and these funds need to be made accountable to their members. The industry associations, regulators and government need to apply pressure and incentives for the non-performing funds to merge.   Trustees are legally obliged to act in the best interests of their members but why isn’t this being enforced?   The other major issue highlighted by the Report is the number of investors with multiple accounts.   This issue should be addressed by educating Australians about the superannuation system and empowering fund members to take ownership in managing this matter.  The ATO could be proactive in monitoring multiple accounts.   Financial literacy as a basic life study course should be in all school curriculums and given the highest priority.  The FPA, AFA and other associations should be leaders in this important undertaking along with the government.   What about self-employed Australia?   The majority of the jobs in the future will be self-employed, but both sides of the superannuation politics (industry funds and retail funds) don’t like self-managed superfunds because they lose control of the superannuation assets.    Everyone forgets that self-employed people are not covered by the compulsory 9.5% superannuation scheme and it is imperative that this sector is aware and educated about the importance of superannuation.   The Australian superannuation system is recognised worldwide as a very progressive initiative but now we get a report based on selecting winners for political reasons.   This is simply bad public policy!   At a time when financial advice has never been more important to Australians, the number of consumers that can afford / access advice is in decline due to mounting costs, regulation and client affordability.   Simultaneously, the need to access advice, particularly in the area of retirement and debt management continues to increase dramatically and will escalate even further in coming years.   Hence the need for Australians to be financially literate as knowledge will assist them to take responsibility for their own superannuation assets.    Unfortunately, self interest groups with loud voices continue to dominate the debate and influence policymakers at the expense of the long-term sustainability of the financial services sector – and in turn the well-being of Australians and the economy.   ENDS   Issued by Connect Financial Service Brokers    www.connectfsb.com.au                    Media enquiries         Mr. Joe Perri, Joe Perri & Associates Pty Ltd Mobile: +61 412 112 545   Email:   jperri@joeperri.com.au     Hundreds of locals are picking grapes for the homeless 2019-01-21T00:49:15Z hundreds-of-locals-are-picking-grapes-for-the-homeless With a passion to do good in the world, Vinomofo set about to bring its exceptional Homeless Grapes Project to the Hunter Valley for the very first time. Little did they realise as they set the event live that all tickets would be snapped up in just three days.    Three days. (insert mic drop).   More than 150 people are setting upon Dalwood Estate in the Hunter Valley on the 2nd of February to pick grapes and become a winemaker for the morning, creating a Hunter Valley White Blend 2019 that will literally help thousands of people in need.   The local community has graciously and generously donated their time and wineries throughout the region including Hungerford Hill, Brokenwood, David Hook, De luliis and Margan have all donated a selection of their grapes to this wonderful cause, before a community pick at Dalwood Estate on the 2nd of February.   This soon-to-be 2019 Hunter Valley White Blend will truly showcase the very best that the Hunter has to offer and create something truly special for the local community.   All proceeds from the sale of this wine - yup, every single cent of it - will go directly to those experiencing homelessness through a frontline charity based in Sydney that has been selected by the wineries involved in this project.   Vinomofo’s CEO, Justin Dry said the Homeless Grapes Project is one that rallies the community together and makes groundbreaking change.   “From a Facebook post in 2015, we’ve grown this cause to become a national project, each time working with local frontline charities so we can be hands on in making a difference. From McLaren Vale, Coonawarra, the Yarra Valley and now the Hunter Valley, we’re expanding each and every year to do more so we can help more people each year.   “Last year our McLaren Vale shiraz made more than $59,000 for the Hutt Street Centre in Adelaide. That is truly life-changing stuff for hundreds of people who have been doing it really tough. Over the four years that we’ve been working on this project, we’ve donated more than $150,000 to local charities and we’re not planning to stop any time soon” Little Caesars to open Darlinghurst location on Victoria Street. $3.95 Pepperoni Pizzas for the first week! 2019-01-17T22:44:17Z little-caesars-to-open-darlinghurst-location-on-victoria-street-3-95-pepperoni-pizzas-for-the-first-week Little Caesars, America’s fastest growing, best value pizza chain is opening its thirteenth New South Wales store in Darlinghurst at 274-290 Victoria Street. The Darlinghurst store will open on Monday the 21st of January 2019. Opening at 274-290 Victoria Street, Little Caesars Darlinghurst will greet its new neighbours with its pizzas and tasty side items including its famous five dollar, 12” Large HOT-N-READY® Cheese or Pepperoni Pizza for only $3.95 pick-up during its opening week. The HOT-N-READY range means locals and visitors will be able to quickly choose, order and take away selected Little Caesars pizzas and sides on the spot, removing the need to pre-order over the phone or online.  Already proven to be popular with customers throughout New South Wales, the value-driven HOT-N- READY range - where a Large 12” Cheese or Pepperoni Pizza is only five dollars - will be a key offering in Darlinghurst. In addition, online ordering and pizza delivery via Deliveroo and UberEats will be available for convenience.  “We are excited to bring Little Caesars to Darlinghurst. For everyone on the go, our Best Value and Fast service Hot-N-Ready menu will be sure to help keep everyone happy! This location will also be open late and ready to serve! “We promise the same quality, low cost option that has been making meal time fun and simple globally for years. Our 12” large pizza is over 40 percent larger than most other 10” large pizzas – that’s equivalent to 3.5 more slices at Little Caesars!” said Little Caesars Director, Ernest Koury.  Little Caesars prides itself on its quality ingredients, using sauce from fresh crushed tomatoes, its own pepperoni recipe and daily-made dough in each and every store. The growth of Little Caesars to Darlinghurst will also provide local job opportunities, with approximately 15 new roles to be filled.  Little Caesars Darlinghurst will be located at 274-290 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst 2010. We open at 11am on Monday, 21 January 2019. HOT-N-READY® is a large 12” Cheese or Pepperoni pizza, hot out of the oven and ready to take away with no need to pre-order over the phone. For more information about Little Caesars, visit www.littlecaesars.com.au. Find us on instagram at instagram.com/little_caesars.au or Facebook at facebook.com/littlecaesarsAU. For interview opportunities or further information, please contact: Monica Partyka 0498 499 067 monica@littlecaesars.com.au. Blood cancer patient needs could go unmet as incidence rates rise 2019-01-17T00:02:15Z blood-cancer-patient-needs-could-go-unmet-as-incidence-rates-rise Currently 12,800 Australians are diagnosed with a blood cancer like leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma every year1. The latest analysis shows that by 2025, this number will increase to around 17,000 people2. "That’s close to 50 Australians projected to be newly diagnosed, every day, by 2025 – or two people every hour,” Leukaemia Foundation National CEO Bill Petch said. Mr Petch said while the continued increase in diagnosis rates was concerning, the good news was improved treatments and care was increasing the survival rates of people living with blood cancers. However, this combination was placing even greater demand on the Leukaemia Foundation's services, as more and more Australians living with blood cancer sought information and support. “The demand on all of our services, which include emotional and practical support and the provision of vital, disease specific information and education, will only continue to grow and be put under pressure,” Mr Petch said. Demand for the Leukaemia Foundation's patient accommodation service, which provides a homeaway- from-home at no cost to regional Australians forced to relocate to capital cities closer to treatment facilities, has already reached an all-time high. In 2017/2018 demand for the service peaked. The Leukaemia Foundation provided 56,000 nights of accommodation – a 2800-night increase on the previous year, and more than 4000 nights higher than the 2015/2016 period. The Leukaemia Foundation is calling for Australians to throw their support behind this year’s 2019 World’s Greatest Shave as it prepares to meet the growing demand for its services. “These services are critical to Australian families who really need our support and will be even more critical in the future,” Mr Petch said. Without funds raised through campaigns like World’s Greatest Shave, people living with blood cancer may be unable to access the support they need,” Mr Petch said. "The Leukaemia Foundation simply won't be able to meet the increased needs of those needing help, without financial support." “We invite all Australians to get involved with World’s Greatest Shave to help the Leukaemia Foundation continue to build our services to cater for future demand while we continue to fund vital research into a cure.” Sign up today at www.worldsgreatestshave.com or phone 1800 500 068 today. Australian Country Party Announces its National Expansion as the First, Truly Democratic, Grass Roots Political Party in Australia 2019-01-16T08:43:49Z australian-country-party-announces-its-national-expansion-as-the-first-truly-democratic-grass-roots-political-party-in-australia MEDIA RELEASE 15 January 2019 Australian Country Party Announces its National Expansion as the First, Truly Democratic, Grass Roots Political Party in Australia New Federal Chairman of the Australian Country Party, Glenn O’Rourke, today announced the official commencement of the National Expansion of the Australian Country Party.   “The Australian Country Party is a grass roots up party that listens to people and allows members and supporters direct input into the election of candidates and leadership and will represent all Australian’s equally and fairly.” Glenn said.   The Party is neither left nor right, nor do we segregate Australians into different groups, we all have equal value and we all have valuable voices. Our candidates and MP’s will be focused on engaging with, listening to and representing their individual electorates and contribute to broad policies, through local consultation, that firstly relate to their electorates and then the greater region, State or Territory and Country.   Our candidates and MP’s will operate together as a cohesive collective in their electorates or councils like people have come to expect independents to.   Glenn went on to outline, “We are committed to providing a structure, economies of scale and the benefits of a registered party, along the lines of an alliance of Independent candidates and MP’s. Our catch phrase and philosophy will be ‘People before Party, Policies before Politics’.”   Other Major Political Parties No Longer Represent the People    “The factional and power base control of the current major and most minor parties in Australia and the recent need for minor party leaders to place their names or images on their parties, has only entrenched a career politician environment, party first and electoral cycle approach to the political system in Australia.   This long-term situation has created a severe disconnect of Australia’s voters and has seen a significant disengagement from politics in the country and a belief that people have no vehicle to discuss, nor impact the effect of legislation on their world. People feel that there is nothing they can do to change things, to make Australia the lucky country it once was again.” Glenn Said.   Glenn Stated “People are sick of the opposition of policies, just because the other political party came up with them. Policies that support international interests before Australia’s and Australian People’s interests are also unacceptable. People want a political party to hear their cries and propose and amend legislation in the interests of Australia and its people first.”   Australian Country Party to Break the Back of the Flawed Two-Party System and Provide A True Third Party Alternative for Australia   The Australian Country Party stands with Australians giving a new, broadly inclusive option to vote for. A grass roots founded and solid alternative party to the Major Parties and the plethora of single interest or ego driven minor parties.    Australian Country Party will be registering in every State and Territory and working towards achieving a national membership of at least 100,000 members in the next few years.   In contrast to most other political parties, Australian Country Party members and the broader community will play an active role in broad policy development, party direction, candidate endorsement and political leadership selection. Additionally, Australian people will also be involved in candidate preselection, through USA style primaries in their local electorates.   Sitting MP’s Will Join the Australian Country Party    “As the expansion momentum of the Australian Country Party picks up, we expect a growing number of sitting MP’s, Federal, State and Local to join the Party, as they have realised that they are not able to represent their electorates as they planned to do when they entered politics. The needs of their electorate are silenced and they have to toe party lines or lose preselection, even if it goes against their own and their electorates needs and wants.” Glenn explained and then went on to say.   “Additionally, the Independents sitting in Parliaments and local councils around the country, will realise they do not have to reinvent themselves within their community as a candidate but gain all the added advantages of a national political party that supports and encourages them to represent their electorate’s people first, without a party dictated voting direction.”   Call for Quality Candidates of Australia to Nominate for Australian Country Party    Quality Candidates are now being sought Australia-wide as candidates for Federal, State and Territory and Local Councils, that are committed to the need to build the support of their electorate. Candidates that understand that it is a passionate long-term commitment, to listen to and represent their people.   You can nominate online at www.australiancountryparty.org.au/join   Support our National Expansion:   ·         Nominate for Local Council, State and Territory and Federal Electorates NOW. ·         Sign up for our newsletter now, to be kept up to date on developments. ·         Consider joining the Party to play a part in this exciting adventure for the future of Australia. For Media Contact: Glenn O’Rourke 0405 111 228 / glenn.orourke@countryparty.org.auWebsite: www.australiancountryparty.org.au  Social Media: @auscountryparty Freelancer.com reveals the fastest growing online jobs in 2018 2019-01-15T05:45:45Z freelancer-com-reveals-the-fastest-growing-online-jobs-in-2018 SYDNEY, 15 January, 2019: The vital importance of an online presence in today’s business landscape was driven home in 2018, with jobs aimed at developing, populating, promoting and marketing websites among the fastest growing areas of online work last year, according to Freelancer.com’s latest Fast 50 Report. The Freelancer.com Fast 50 Report charts the quarterly movement of the top 50 fastest growing and declining job categories on the Freelancer.com marketplace, which claims more than 31 million users around the world and has facilitated over 15 million jobs to date. This special edition of the Freelancer.com Fast 50 Report looks closely at the big job trends that dominated 2018 and also provides a snapshot of the fastest moving job types in Q4, 2018. “Freelancer.com is the largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace in the world by number of users and jobs posted, so the depth and breadth of data we are able to draw upon to uncover global online employment trends is unparalleled. This rich insight offers invaluable information to freelancers who want to maximise their skills and ensure they remain up to date and in step with the broader business market, which can be dynamic, with demand changing over time,” said Freelancer.com CEO and Chairman Matt Barrie. Analysis of nearly two million jobs posted on Freelancer.com in 2018 has revealed that online content was king in 2018, with both the first quarter and the final quarter of the year dominated by growth in jobs focused on the creation of websites and the content that populates them. A surge in content-heavy jobs during the first three months of 2018 and again in the three months ending December 2018 saw the popularity of skills in writing, design and animation on the Freelancer.com marketplace rise dramatically during the year, compared to the year prior. This trend appears to give some credence to the proclamation by Microsoft co-founder and former CEO Bill Gates in a 1996 essay entitled ‘Content is King’ that content is where he expected “much of the real money will be made on the Internet”. While Gates conceded in his essay that his definition of the term ‘content’ becomes very wide in the context of the Internet, he is clear that opportunities would abound for most companies in supplying information or entertainment online. “The broad opportunities for most companies involve supplying information or entertainment,” Gates wrote. “No company is too small to participate.” Now, over two decades later, jobs being done online to create content on the Internet are quickly becoming some of the most popular, fastest-growing jobs being done by freelancers on the Freelancer.com marketplace, demonstrating the dominance of content in today’s online world. Year in review: the fastest moving jobs in 2018 The case for content A prominent online presence is one of the top currencies of value for organisations today, with more business being conducted online than ever before. This is evident in the sheer volume of new jobs done on the Freelancer.com marketplace in 2018 relating to web development and the creation of content for use online, along with jobs aimed at boosting the online presence of those websites. Indeed, jobs aimed at getting compelling digital content online heavily populated the fastest growing job categories in 2018, with categories such as Writing, 2D Animation, Illustrator and After Effects all dominating the list top 25 fastest growing jobs over the course of 2018. Writing was by far the fastest growing job category in 2018, growing by 537.5% compared to the previous year. Academic Writing also saw substantial growth over the year, claiming a place in the top 10 fastest growing skills categories for 2018. Two other important areas in the creation of online content that were in the top 20 fastest growing areas in 2018 were Blog Writing jobs, which grew by 146.6% year-on-year, to 4,537 jobs in the category in 2018, and SEO Writing -- such an important tool for businesses wanting to build their online presence -- which rose by 84.8%, claiming 2,590 jobs. 2D Animation, meanwhile was one of the top five fastest growing categories for the 12 months ending December 2018, seeing a 167.6% increase compared to the year ending December 2017, with 3,747 jobs done in the category. After Effects, software typically used for digital visual effects and motion graphics, enjoyed an 83% year-on-year increase, with more than 26,000 jobs in the category being done in 2018. At the same time, jobs featuring Illustrator, Adobe’s popular vector graphic editing software, rose by 84.3%, with more than 109,000 jobs in this category being done during 2018. Both After Effects and Illustrator were included in the top 20 fastest growing skills areas in 2018. Jobs involving another popular Adobe product, InDesign, also rose during the year, claiming thousands of jobs. Indeed, jobs utilizing the desktop publishing and typesetting software increased by 65%, claiming more than 10,700 projects during 2018. Where’s your website? If jobs involving the creation of digital content for online use were among the top growing areas during 2018, the it should come as no surprise that jobs involving the creation of the websites on which to put that content also dominated the top growing categories during the year. Web Development, for example, grew by 92.3% during the year, with 9,632 jobs in the category being done during 2018. Moreover, other jobs playing a major role in web development, such as Django, the open-source web framework used to create database-driven websites, were also fast growers during the year. Django jobs specifically rose by 68.3% year-on-year in 2018, with more than 4,500 jobs in the discipline being done during the year. Likewise, Express JS, the web application framework for Node.js that it typically used for creating web and mobile applications, also grew markedly during the 12-month period, experiencing a 128.4% year-on-year rise in 2018, claiming over 2,600 jobs. React.js, the open-source JavaScript library often used to develop user interfaces for mobile applications or single page applications (SPAs) on the web, meanwhile, grew by 81.4% during the year, claiming 7,604 jobs over the 12-month period. Tying into web development is API  (Application Programming Interface), which was the second fastest growing job category in 2018. Jobs involving APIs -- the set of tools and protocols used for building application software and also an important tool for the development of websites -- grew by 352.4% in 2018, claiming over 4,600 jobs during the year. Also playing an increasingly important role in the development of e-commerce websites is the jobs category of Shopify Templates, which grew by 110.7% year-on-year, with over 6,300 jobs in the category. This growth appears to demonstrate the growing interest in e-commerce websites and the accompanying growing demands in services surrounding their development, in this case Shopify. Of course, once a website is built and ready to go, organisations need to find ways to drive traffic to it; this is especially true for organisations that do the bulk of their business online, like online sellers and marketplaces. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why the Search Engine Marketing job category grew so quickly during the year, seeing a 66% increasing while claiming 9,413 jobs in 2018. Jobs on the slide While jobs involving the creation of web content and the development of places to put it grew substantially during 2018, jobs in other software development areas actually saw a decrease in popularity over the year. A major marker of this trend was the Software Development job category, which fell by 70.7%, with 9,212 jobs in 2018. By contrast, the Software Development category had over 31,000 jobs in 2017. The App Designer category also experienced a 70.7% year-on-year fall, to 2,531 jobs in 2018. Likewise, App Developer jobs fell by 66.1%, to 6,070, during the year. Jobs involving Shopping Carts, digital shopping systems typically used by e-commerce sites to facilitate purchasing by web customers, fell by 65.4% to 5,845, a marked fall from the 16,800 jobs the category enjoyed in 2017. At the same time, Order Processing, often involving the packing and delivery of products ordered online, dropped by 63.2% to 832 jobs in 2018. The annual decrease in these two job categories may signal waning interest among users in building an e-commerce site from scratch and carrying out tasks manually, with people instead opting for full-service online e-commerce platforms that automate such processes, such as Shopify, an area that saw substantial job growth during the year. Among the other job areas that saw a substantial fall during the year was the Industrial Design category, which fell by 60% to 1,256. Manufacturing, meanwhile, fell by 59.7% to 1,808. At the same time, Materials Engineering fell by 57.7% claiming just 654 jobs over the course of the year. Rising stars: the emerging jobs to watch As noted earlier, e-commerce is an area of rapidly increasing growth in today’s online world, with many businesses making the leap online to sell their goods into a broader, global market. This can be seen in the surge of jobs involving e-commerce platform Shopify, including Shopify Templates, which collectively saw some growing interest and volume in 2018. Shopify jobs typically include things like managing inventory, HTML or CSS code editing and creating discount codes or coupons, while Shopify Templates jobs involve the creation of templates for online stores on the Shopify e-commerce platform. While not in the top 25 fastest growing jobs in 2018, the Shopify category enjoyed a 21.7% year-on-year increase 2018, with 13,177 jobs done in the category. As noted previously, Shopify Templates jobs also saw rapid growth during the year. Machine Learning is another area that is fast becoming a dominant skills area. Machine Learning, which plays a core role in the development of Artificial Intelligence, focuses on automatically recognizing complex patterns and making intelligent decisions based on available data. This branch of study develops algorithms for computers to evolve behaviors based on available data. Machine Learning jobs grew by 71.7% in 2018, with over 7,400 jobs being done in the category. The Blockchain category, involving jobs dealing with the distributed digital ledger that is used to maintain the continuously growing list of records underpinning cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and other applications in fields like finance and supply chain systems, also saw substantial growth in 2018. Indeed, Blockchain jobs surged in popularity, becoming the second fastest-growing category during the year, rising by 300.8% compared to the previous year. In 2018, there were more than 5,400 jobs in the category, compared to just 1,361 in 2017. Data Mining, the practice and process of deciphering and extracting patterns from data, is also an area to watch. Data Mining is becoming an invaluable tool for the increasingly large number of organisations doing business over the Internet, and often plays into the hands of Machine Learning, which typically makes use of rich, often exhaustive data sets to train software and help it ‘learn’ new behaviours. In 2018, Data Mining jobs enjoyed 37.1% growth, equating to 11,243 jobs in 2018. The full Freelancer.com Fast 50 Annual Report for 2018 can be found below: The 50 Fastest Moving Jobs in 2018 Rank Job Category 2017 2018 Change (%) 1 Writing 1343 8537 535.67 % 2 API 1037 4691 352.36 % 3 Blockchain 1361 5455 300.81 % 4 Academic Writing 2828 8644 205.66 % 5 2D Animation 1400 3747 167.64 % 6 Social Media Management 1069 2752 157.44 % 7 Blog Writing 1840 4537 146.58 % 8 Express JS 1144 2616 128.67 % 9 Shopify Templates 3015 6352 110.68 % 10 Drawing 1349 2711 100.96 % 11 Excel VBA 1202 2353 95.76 % 12 Web Development 5009 9632 92.29 % 13 Hindi 1522 2889 89.82 % 14 SEO Writing 1402 2590 84.74 % 15 Illustrator 59188 109056 84.25 % 16 After Effects 14395 26349 83.04 % 17 React.js 4191 7604 81.44 % 18 DNS 1201 2127 77.10 % 19 PhoneGap 2736 4753 73.72 % 20 English (US) 25179 43520 72.84 % 21 Machine Learning 4340 7452 71.71 % 22 Adobe Illustrator 6202 10590 70.75 % 23 Django 2710 4560 68.27 % 24 Search Engine Marketing 5672 9413 65.96 % 25 Adobe InDesign 6515 10752 65.03 % 26 Press Releases 2449 1145 -53.25 % 27 Cocoa 1239 574 -53.67 % 28 Nutrition 1030 468 -54.56 % 29 Psychology 1935 859 -55.61 % 30 Plugin 3330 1449 -56.49 % 31 Materials Engineering 1546 654 -57.70 % 32 Pattern Making 1256 526 -58.12 % 33 Label Design 2925 1195 -59.15 % 34 Weddings 1195 488 -59.16 % 35 Motion Graphics 4924 1991 -59.57 % 36 Manufacturing 4486 1808 -59.70 % 37 Industrial Design 3141 1256 -60.01 % 38 Logistics 1442 562 -61.03 % 39 Order Processing 2263 832 -63.23 % 40 Shopping Carts 16899 5845 -65.41 % 41 App Developer 17898 6070 -66.09 % 42 Payroll 3498 1134 -67.58 % 43 Pickup 2228 681 -69.43 % 44 CATIA 1010 306 -69.70 % 45 App Designer 8634 2531 -70.69 % 46 Software Development 31449 9212 -70.71 % 47 Journalist 1580 427 -72.97 % 48 Squarespace 1781 440 -75.29 % 49 Email Developer 4262 840 -80.29 % 50 LESS/Sass/SCSS 2697 514 -80.94 % Quarterly snapshot: the fastest movers in Q4 The full Freelancer.com Fast 50 Q4 2018 Report ranking can be found below: Freelancer.com’s Fast 50 Report: The 50 Fastest Moving Jobs in Q4 2018 Rank Job Category 2018 Q3 2018 Q4 Change (%) 1 Matlab and Mathematica 2261 3049 34.85 % 2 Statistical Analysis 1203 1616 34.33 % 3 Mathematics 2006 2630 31.11 % 4 Algorithm 2224 2902 30.49 % 5 Statistics 1695 2210 30.38 % 6 Report Writing 5245 6777 29.21 % 7 Academic Writing 1791 2246 25.40 % 8 Electrical Engineering 3002 3712 23.65 % 9 Machine Learning 1748 2087 19.39 % 10 Shopify Templates 1549 1839 18.72 % 11 Mechanical Engineering 1877 2175 15.88 % 12 Product Descriptions 1544 1784 15.54 % 13 Database Programming 1241 1428 15.07 % 14 eBooks 1570 1804 14.90 % 15 Data Mining 2501 2845 13.75 % 16 Poster Design 1023 1150 12.41 % 17 Electronics 2850 3198 12.21 % 18 Arduino 1329 1491 12.19 % 19 Research Writing 12647 14169 12.03 % 20 Microcontroller 1756 1964 11.85 % 21 Ubuntu 1058 1182 11.72 % 22 Database Administration 1147 1279 11.51 % 23 Shopify 3137 3465 10.46 % 24 Microsoft Office 1815 1997 10.03 % 25 Business Analysis 2611 2856 9.38 % 26 Graphic Design 126892 101544 -19.98 % 27 Arts & Crafts 1081 861 -20.35 % 28 Virtual Assistant 6028 4781 -20.69 % 29 Coding 1294 1025 -20.79 % 30 Sales 5319 4210 -20.85 % 31 Testing / QA 1096 850 -22.45 % 32 App Developer 1495 1155 -22.74 % 33 Joomla 1803 1378 -23.57 % 34 Programming 2188 1634 -25.32 % 35 Data Entry 27390 20443 -25.36 % 36 Data Processing 13517 9925 -26.57 % 37 Banner Design 10055 7351 -26.89 % 38 Excel 24039 17574 -26.89 % 39 Translation 15145 11005 -27.34 % 40 CSS3 1150 827 -28.09 % 41 Adobe Illustrator 2462 1756 -28.68 % 42 Visual Basic 3702 2608 -29.55 % 43 Legal 1815 1256 -30.80 % 44 Windows Desktop 2961 2039 -31.14 % 45 Writing 2212 1502 -32.10 % 46 Project Management 1846 1216 -34.13 % 47 Adobe Flash 1921 1250 -34.93 % 48 Design 2110 1328 -37.06 % 49 XML 2038 1110 -45.53 % 50 ASP 2156 722 -66.51 % - Ends - For more information, please contact: Leon Spencer Director of Communications lspencer@freelancer.com About ​Freelancer​ ® Eleven-time Webby award-winning Freelancer.com is the world’s largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace by total number of users and jobs posted. More9than 31 million registered users have posted over 15 million jobs and contests to date in over 1,000 areas as diverse as website development, logo design, marketing, copywriting, astrophysics, aerospace engineering and manufacturing. Freelancer owns StartCon, Australia's largest startup conference, expo and entrepreneur community established in 2009, WarriorForum.com, the world’s largest Internet marketing community & marketplace, and Escrow.com, the world’s largest provider of secure online escrow and online transaction management for consumers and businesses on the Internet. Freelancer Limited is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange under the ticker ASX:FLN. New Zealand Releases New Health and Safety Strategy 2019-01-15T03:50:56Z new-zealand-releases-new-health-and-safety-strategy The New Zealand Government has rolled out a new workplace health and safety strategy for the next decade, which includes a broader definition of work-related harm. Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway said although the nation had made significant progress in recent years, New Zealand’s rates of work-related harm was still high by international standards. “We have made significant progress in reducing work-related harm since the Pike River tragedy but it is clear there is much more we can and must do.” The strategy includes better management of work-related health risks including mental health, while helping business most at risk – such as dangerous sectors and small firms. It also looks to support at-risk workers including Maori, Pasifika, migrants and seasonal workers. “There are still 50-60 deaths from work injuries each year and 600-900 deaths from exposures to health risks associated with their work. This is unacceptably high and the pace of progress has stalled.” “Deaths from work-related disease may be as many as 10 times the number of deaths from acute harm each year, and issues like bullying, stress and fatigue are having a huge impact on workers across New Zealand.” According to the government, the strategy will: Set a clear direction for New Zealand and provide a shared vision Identify common capability gaps and opportunities, through a set of goals and priorities that help focus efforts Support better coordination, by providing visibility of different roles and a framework of discussion Improve measurement, through the work to build a better picture of New Zealand’s overall health and safety  The Strategy was jointly developed by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and WorkSafe New Zealand, together with a range of stakeholders. Its development flows on from the recommendations of the Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety that reviewed New Zealand’s system in response to the Pike River tragedy in 2012. “New Zealand can be among the world-leaders for workplace health and safety if we can get our attitudes and practices right. The strategy will help us achieve this, by focusing on what makes the biggest impact in key areas that we must improve,” Mr Lees-Galloway said. Drug and Alcohol Training Reduces Workplace Substance Abuse 2019-01-15T03:45:22Z drug-and-alcohol-training-reduces-workplace-substance-abuse Businesses are capable of reducing substance abuse in their workplaces through the implementation of drug and alcohol first-aid programs, according to new research. A study conducted by researchers at the National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA) at Flinders University examined the experiences of over 100 managers and supervisors who undertook alcohol and other drug (AOD) training sessions. The results revealed that workplaces have the capacity to prevent, ameliorate or exacerbate AOD use. As illicit drug use continues to increase alongside a general decline in irresponsible drinking, businesses should consider taking advantage of training workshops in order to remain aware of key issues concerning AOD use. Training of managers and supervisors in these courses can enhance the workplace culture, policy and physical environment, making time spent at work safer and healthier. The programs also improve skills, knowledge and understanding in tackling the workplace risks of AOD use, as well as raise levels of individual self-help. Researchers suggest businesses set a goal for the new year to take a systemic top-down approach to reducing AOD abuse, which in turn will reveal overlooked problems that might be affecting employee health, injury rates and productivity. Problems concerning company profitability may also be revealed, with alcohol-related absenteeism costing Australian businesses up to $2 billion a year. According to NCETA Director Professor Ann Roche, in order for the top-down approach to be most effective it should complement AOD training for individual workers. “This study highlights the potential for tackling alcohol and other drug issues in their early stages, commencing with testing and information sessions for individual workers to help encourage and sustain more healthy behaviours.” Alongside a range of bottom-up approaches, the top-down approach can have innumerable benefits, including the opportunity to identify workplace conditions that may be precursors to AOD use, such as stress or bullying. Researchers said further study is required into the applicability and suitability of drug and alcohol first-aid programs in different workplaces and industry groups. “While more than half the participants in workplace AOD workshops say they didn’t have a chance to apply the skills they learnt in the workshop, we recommend more follow-up training and wider implementation of such programs — particularly in industries with high and endemic rates of AOD.” The world’s first virtual lawyer, built for Amazon’s Alexa, tests whether lawyers will be replaced by robots 2019-01-14T23:09:35Z the-world-s-first-virtual-lawyer-built-for-amazon-s-alexa-tests-whether-lawyers-will-be-replaced-by-robots The Alexa Skill works by asking the questions a lawyer would, then drafting a legal document that considers the context, facts, jurisdiction and best practice. It takes a few minutes for the interview to take place and the legal document to appear by email in your inbox. Adam Long, CEO of Smarter Drafter, says “The virtual lawyer tests whether human lawyers are at risk of being replaced by robots. “We mapped the decision making processes of expert lawyers in excruciating detail to create a tool that would perform at the level of a human lawyer.” The prototype is powered by Smarter Drafter’s unique AI (artificial intelligence), called Real Human Reasoning™. Smarter Drafter is already used in more than 150 law firms in Australia, but is currently only accessible to lawyers. Adam Long, CEO of Smarter Drafter, says “Lawyers already delegate legal drafting to other experts – now they can give those same instructions to software and have the job done in moments, without any human errors. Here, we’re testing whether we can put the same power in the hands of the document’s end user.” No date has been set for the release of the first working Alexa integration, but Adam is optimistic: “We’re only months away from a voice assistant for businesses and homes that will create any legal document you need. You can see the prototype in action at SmarterDrafter.com.au/Alexa The team have written an assessment of the technology in this article (which you may reproduce): Is the lawyer of the future a voice assistant on your desk? If you would like more information or to schedule an interview please contact Smarter Drafter CEO Adam Long, 0421 498 170, adam@smarterdrafter.com.au Additional images and media available at: ​https://smarterdrafter.com.au/press-and-media-resources/ RACING QUEENSLAND AND MIRUNNERS ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP TO BOOST PREMIUM THOROUGHBRED RACEHORSE OWNERSHIP 2019-01-10T22:16:50Z racing-queensland-and-mirunners-announce-partnership-to-boost-premium-thoroughbred-racehorse-ownership Gold Coast, 11 January, 2018: A groundbreaking partnership between Racing Queensland and miRunners is set to revolutionise racehorse ownership for Queenslanders by offering premium and affordable thoroughbred ownership with some of the state’s top trainers.MiRunners plans to buy a number of high-quality yearlings at this week’s  2019 Magic Millions Yearling Sale and, for the first time, also at the QTIS March Yearling Sale.Racing Queensland CEO Brendan Parnell said, "There's nothing like the thrill of owning a share in a racehorse, especially when it's bought in Queensland and trained in Queensland.“This innovative partnership with miRunners is an important step in Racing Queensland’s plans to increase the ownership and participation pool, introducing a new generation of Queenslanders to the excitement of thoroughbred ownership, which is critical to the future sustainability of Queensland racing.” MiRunners co-founder Steve Brown said the new partnership continues the success and track-record the company has had in making premium thoroughbred racehorse ownership available to every Australian, and in building partnerships with organisations inside and outside the industry. "Like all Australians, Queenslanders are looking for affordable and premium thoroughbred ownership and this partnership will ensure Queenslanders can experience the thrill of owning a regally-bred colt or filly from their home state, with leading local trainers. “Having partnerships like this gives Australians another great reason to become racehorse owners because they can buy into horses closely aligned with their states. “We know from our experience with Tony Gollan and Lyrical Girl that Queenslanders are looking for affordable and premium thoroughbreds to own, we also know that previously Queenslanders haven’t been afraid to look interstate to achieve this. “Now they can participate in their own territory. Queenslanders will be able to be part of their own ownership community with some of the best Queensland trainers and take on the southern competition with a premium product! “These industry initiatives allow miRunners to accelerate our vision for thoroughbred ownership for everyone, and give the industry bodies access to our proven technology, processes, relationships and access to thousands of potential owners.” MiRunners is at Magic Millions this week to grow its stable of yearling thoroughbred colts and fillies. MiRunners purchased Highgrove Stud’s filly Written Tycoon x Sponsored for $176,000 on the first day, and has confirmed that the yearling will be trained by leading Queensland horseman Rob Heathcote at the historic Eagle Farm racecourse. As with every miRunners thoroughbred, each new horse will be offered for sale to the public as 1,000. Units in the Written Tycoon x Sponsored yearling will cost just $176 each - one-thousandth the auction purchase price, with monthly fees of just $15 per month to cover, training, insurance and all other costs including veterinary care. If more than one unit is bought in any horse, the monthly costs of each subsequent unit is just $5 per month. Owners will receive weekly updates direct from their leading trainer, enjoy many additional benefits of ownership,  and join the bigger miRunners owners’ community for race days and social days. Early interest in owning units in Written Tycoon x Sponsored can be lodged at  https://bit.ly/2shsEkT. MiRunners has a total of seven premium thoroughbreds with over 2,200 owners from every walk of life. Units are also available in three other yearlings: Lyrical Girl, trained by Tony Gollan in Brisbane; Rubick X Slainte, trained by Bjorn Baker in Sydney (and nearly sold out); and Not A Single Doubt x Countess Dehere, trained by Troy Corsten and offered in partnership with Geelong Racing Club in Geelong. Go to mirunners.com for details. Ends. MiRunners is at: https://mirunners.com/ https://www.instagram.com/mirunnersdotcom/ https://twitter.com/miRunnersDotCom https://www.facebook.com/miRunnersDotCom For more information, contact: Alan Smith, Digivizer, 0404 432 700 
Australia's Short-Stay Hotel Platform is Changing Traditional Booking Sites. 2019-01-08T05:28:36Z australia-s-short-stay-hotel-platform-is-changing-traditional-booking-sites Have you ever found yourself at the airport waiting to board your flight, only to find out that it has been delayed for SIX hours?!!   While sleeping in the airport terminal is out of the question and the idea of booking a hotel room at the full rate seems too much for a short amount of time.   Introducing Suite24- Australia’s Short-Stay Hotel Booking Platform.   The concept of Suite24 is that it enables you to book hotel rooms in hourly time blocks, without the price tag of an overnight stay.   Now you can stay in an airport hotel throughout the duration of your layover and come back to board the flight feeling refreshed and revived.   The market of hotel and tourism is experiencing a lack of flexible booking options and now the new custom-built platform enables hotels to manage their inventory hourly.   Not only used for businessmen and women, Suite24 works great for those that want a couple of hours in the daytime to use facilities in centrally located hotels in major capital cities.     Starsha Green of Suite24 conducted market research in the space and discovered 85% of the hotel rooms sit vacant between the times of 10am and 5pm every day.   “In perspective, there are around 300,000 hotel rooms in Australia and adding another 10,000 by 2020.    “With Suite24, hotels can turn those empty rooms into high revenue generating income streams as well as attract new demographics to those hotels through flexible and affordable options,” Starsha told guests at the 2018 Qantas Airlines AVRO Accelerator presentation in Sydney.     Suite24 is not only a solution for disruption or delayed flights, in fact it is a solution for any occasion such as stays while on road-trips, a place to get ready for a wedding and more.    “The opportunities are endless and Suite24 creates a customised experience for everyone through the digital concierge and on-demand booking system accessible through a smart phone.” Media enquires please contact VO Group - chanel.heeren@vogroup.com.au   Many Sunscreens Don’t Meet Their Label Claims 2019-01-02T04:51:24Z many-sunscreens-don-t-meet-their-label-claims-1 A New Zealand investigation into sunscreen manufacturers has seen six out of 10 sunscreens fail to meet the SPF claims made on the label. Consumer NZ tested 10 sunscreens against two aspects of the voluntary Australian and New Zealand standard for sunscreens: First was a sunscreen’s SPF (sun protection factor), which measures protection against UVB rays, and second was its broad-spectrum protection (against UVA and UVB rays). Only three of the 10 sunscreens met their SPF label claim and the requirements for broad-spectrum protection. Five products claimed to be either SPF50 or 50+, and produced results of between 16 and 42. However, the worst performing product by far was Coola Classic Body Sunscreen Plumeria SPF30 – which only produced an SPF of 6. The watchdog says a key reason for the variations was a lack of consistency between batches. “Companies don’t have to regularly test their products to ensure they still meet SPF claims even if the ingredient supply changes. This is especially an issue for sunscreens containing titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.” The sunscreen standard is mandatory in Australia, but voluntary in New Zealand where sunscreens are classified as cosmetics. Consumer NZ said they had been “campaigning for a mandatory sunscreen standard for many years.” “In a country with one of the highest rates of skin cancer and melanoma in the world, it’s not good enough sunscreens aren’t regulated.” “Companies should be testing each new formulation of a product, especially if it contains different active ingredients. They should also regularly test their products to ensure different batches still meet their label claims.” Skin Cancer College president Dr Keith Monnington said voluntary compliance with the standard was simply not satisfactory for a country with high skin cancer rates. “Consumers need to have confidence in SPF claims made by sunscreen manufacturers.” Sunscreens that met their claims: Nivea Sun Kids Protect & Sensitive Sun Lotion SPF50+ UV Guard Max Sunscreen SPF50+ Essone Natural Sunscreen Summer Coconut & Jojoba SPF30 Smart365 Sun Sunscreen Lotion Kids SPF50+ Sunscreens that didn’t: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Face & Body Dry-Touch Sunscreen Lotion SPF50 Bondi Sands Coconut Beach Sunscreen Lotion SPF50+ Banana Boat SunComfort SPF50+ Sunsense Sensitive Invisible SPF50 Coola Classic Body Plumeria SPF30 This is certainly not the first study to find sunscreens were falling short of the label claims. Last years Consumer NZ investigation found only nine (out of 20) sunscreens met their SPF label claim and requirements for broad spectrum. And earlier this year, a US consumer organisation found 24 (out of 73) lotions, sprays, sticks and lip balms tested at less than half their labelled SPF. The Skin & Cancer Foundation of Australia recently urged employers to wake up on sun safety, after a study found an ‘unacceptable’ number of organisations were failing to meet their responsibilities in protecting workers from sun exposure (see related article). The study found that of the 8 million Australian workers who work outside sometimes, mostly, or all of the time, an alarming 57% said their employers did not supply them with sunscreen. Consumer NZ’s sun safety advice: Look for sunscreens with an SPF of at least 30+, plus water resistance and broad-spectrum protection. Apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes before going outside. Apply plenty – about one teaspoonful (5ml) for each arm, each leg, your back, your front and your face (which includes your neck and ears). That adds up to about 35ml for a full-body application. Ignore “once-a-day” claims. Sunscreen should be reapplied often – every two hours you’re outside. Mopping up sweat or towelling dry reduces protection: apply another coat of sunscreen immediately. Uber’s Self-Driving Cars Back on the Road in USA 2019-01-02T04:46:38Z uber-s-self-driving-cars-back-on-the-road-in-usa Having lowered their expectations, Uber plans to slowly resume testing its self-driving cars on Pittsburg roads, eight months after a fatal accident in Arizona that saw the company and its program come under intense scrutiny. In March this year, a Volvo SUV equipped with Uber’s autonomous-vehicle (AV) system failed to respond to a pedestrian crossing the road, striking and killing 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg at approximately 60 kph (see related article). The crash caused the safety of autonomous vehicles, and specifically the LIDAR technology that drives them, to come under intense public scrutiny, with some suggesting Uber’s self-driving program was too aggressive. Now, a downgraded version of the original program will begin in the next few weeks, and will see Uber’s autonomous vehicles run a one-mile loop in Pittsburgh. The cars won’t operate at night or in wet weather, and won’t exceed 25 miles an hour (40 kph). Before the accident, Uber had around 200 autonomous vehicles on the roads in Arizona, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto, with vehicles clocking speeds as high as 55 miles an hour (89 kph). The program has continued to face obstacles since its inception, with cars failing to react as fast as human drivers, and some test drivers complaining that software patches were causing the cars to drive erratically. An internal email sent to Uber executives that was recently made public raised safety concerns about the company’s autonomous vehicle program just days before the fatal accident in March. The email claims that Uber’s vehicles were getting into accidents regularly, with the fleet “hitting things every 15,000 miles”, and vehicles being damaged “nearly every other day”. It also claims that near misses occurred every 100 miles and that backup drivers had to intervene once every one to three miles. Last month, Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi noted that the company recognises that there are still considerable inherit risks involved in their self-driving program. “We are committed to anticipating and managing risks that may come with this type of testing, but we cannot — as no self-driving developer can — anticipate and eliminate every one.” INDEPENDENT FUNERAL HOMES GROW MARKET SHARE 2018-12-27T23:23:35Z independent-funeral-homes-grow-market-share A more informed consumer, an increase in funeral shopping and the rise of modern, creative funeral directors has seen a shift in funeral volumes to smaller independent funeral homes, according to eziFunerals. In the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS, 2017), there were 160,909 deaths registered in Australia - an increase of around two per cent on the previous year. However, despite an increase in death rates, Australia’s two largest funeral companies, InvoCare (IVC:ASX) and Propel Funeral Partners (PFP:ASX) have reported weaker funeral volumes.  Both InvoCare and Propel have recently provided trading updates to the ASX and shareholders, indicating weak industry volumes over the Winter period, which has extended into October and November. According to JP Morgan, in October 2018, Invocare reported that comparable business funeral volumes were down around 2,000 for the 9 months to September 2018, impacting group revenue by A$17m. Propel has also predicted lower funeral volumes in 1H19, on a comparable basis. Each has flagged a relatively benign flu season as the reason for the lower volumes. Peter Erceg, Founder of eziFunerals believes that there may be other factors at play, which will continue to significantly impact on funeral volumes in the future. The introduction of funeral disruptors and the rise of small and modern independent funeral homes. Since its launch in 2017, eziFunerals and other comparison websites have experienced considerable growth in consumer traffic. ‘More consumers are shopping around for funeral services’, he says. Chapter House Funerals, founder and chief executive, Troy Upfield said, ‘a mild flu season did not have a major impact on our business. I can’t understand why the large funeral chains are reporting lower volumes when he and other smaller independent funeral homes experienced growth in the corresponding period’, he says. Troy believes that consumers are much more informed when it comes to the funeral industry and has noticed a shift to smaller family owned funeral homes. 'Chapter House Funerals is a small family owned businesses that provide real value for money when compared to the large corporate brands', he said. ‘Consumers understand that it is common practice for staff of multiple brands to swap ties, scarves and magnets on the side of hearses in between funerals to represent the brand to which you made the ‘first call'. If you contact some well-known corporate funeral brands, you are likely to get the same person, lead company, staff, hearse, and service, just a different brand with a separate marketing budget, he says. eziFunerals urges consumers to continue to shop around for funeral services. ‘Not all funeral directors are the same. So it pays to do your homework!’ By asking the right questions, comparing funeral homes and making informed choices, you can save time, money and unnecessary grief.   About eziFunerals eziFunerals is a free consumer advocacy and funeral planning platform that supports individuals and families cope with end of life decisions, death and funerals. We are an independent, Australian-owned and operated company, and are not a subsidiary of any other corporation. We are not part of any other funeral company. Founded by consumers frustrated by how difficult it was to get independent information, eziFunerals supports consumers plan a funeral, compare prices and select the right funeral director anywhere, anytime. INQUIRY INTO FUNERAL COSTS RAISES SERIOUS CONCERNS 2018-12-23T01:56:08Z funeral-industry-investigation-raises-serious-concerns-2 The funeral industry in the UK is facing a major inquiry from the competition watchdog after findings by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found the price of funerals has risen by three times the rate of inflation in just 10 years. RIP Off Claims Force Funeral Inquiry   What issues did the Funeral Consumer Watchdog find? Issues found by the CMA during its six-month review include:   The price of the essential elements of a funeral has increased by more than two thirds in the last 10 years. The CMA says that today, people generally spend between £3,000 ($5,200 AU) and £5,000 ($8,700 AU) organising a funeral. It says for those on the lowest incomes, this amounts to nearly 40% of their annual outgoings, more than they spend on food, clothing and energy combined.   Customers could save over £1,000 ($1,700 AU) by looking at a range of choices in their local area. Despite choice being available, the CMA says that people organising a funeral are usually distressed and often not in a position to do this – making it easier for some funeral directors to charge higher prices.The CMA has also found that prices are often not available online, making it difficult to compare options.   Some larger chains have implemented policies of consistently high year-on-year price increases. The CMA says that a number of these have now introduced lower cost funeral options, but this doesn't go far enough to make up for years of above inflation price hikes.The CMA's evidence also indicates most people who organise a funeral remain extremely vulnerable to exploitation and future rises in charges.   Fees charged by crematoria have increased by 84% on average in the past 10 years. The CMA says that cremations account for 77% of funerals, yet there are limited choices for most people in their local area.It says the cost increase amounts to more than three times the rate of inflation.   Other findings from the review include how funeral directors are: Failing to inform customers about cheaper options unless they specifically raise concerns about cost; Not providing a clear breakdown of prices online so families can compare like‑for-like funeral packages; Luring in customers with low-cost deals and then selling more expensive options once they are in the branch; Using family names to give the impression branches are independent when they are, in fact, owned by the same group     What are the lessons for the funeral industry in Australia? eziFunerals, Founder, Peter Erceg believes that the issues found by the CMA raises similar concerns about funeral prices in Australia. “People organising a funeral can be exploited at one of the most emotional and stressful times in their lives. Huge upfront costs and unclear fees are far too common, with thousands of dollars of ‘extras’ regularly added for items not wanted or needed by unwary consumers.” Here in Australia, the funeral services is dominated by two publicly listed companies, being InvoCare Limited (ASX: IVC) and Propel Funeral Partners Ltd (ASX: PFP). InvoCare owns well known brands such as White Lady Funerals, Simplicity Funerals and Value Funerals. Between them they likely account for more than 40% of the Australian funeral industry, following aggressive acquisitions to grow market share and profits for shareholders However, unlike the UK Competition and Markets Authority, ASIC and the ACCC have been silent in looking at issues in the way the funeral industry operates nationally, including the rate at which the large corporate brands have raised prices in recent years. "It’s time for the funeral industry to be reviewed here as well. Most funeral homes in the industry do the right thing, but government regulators in Australia need to act in the interests of consumers, even when there are marketplace reasons not to do so, says Erceg. Only time will tell if the fallout from the UK funeral inquiry will have serious flow on effects for the corporate funeral industry in Australia.   About eziFunerals eziFunerals is a free consumer advocate and funeral planner that supports individuals and families cope with end of life decisions, death and funerals. We are an independent, Australian-owned and operated company, and are not a subsidiary of any other corporation. We are not part of any other funeral company. Founded by consumers frustrated by how difficult it was to get independent information, eziFunerals supports consumers plan a funeral, compare prices and find a trusted funeral director anywhere, anytime.