Immigration intake will remain at record level for 2017 – 2018

Australia’s permanent migration programme for 2017-18 will remain at a ceiling of 190,000 places. This was announced by Department of Immigration and Border Protection Minister Peter Dutton on budget day. After recent announcements of abolishing the 457 visas and strengthening the requirement to gain Australia’s citizenship, all eyes were on government to see if the…

Lithium Australia looks overseas to build Lithium processing pilot plant

An engineering design study for a large-scale pilot plant for Lithium Australia’s breakthrough Sileach Lithium processing technology has identified an overseas location with potential for substantial capital cost savings.Lithium Australia appointed CPC Project Design in December to conduct the study, which includes capital cost estimates, operating cost estimates and comparisons of logistics costs for a…

Foreign investment jumps 29 per cent to $248 billion last year

Victoria has emerged as the focus for overseas buyers of Australian homes, attracting 44 per cent of residential purchases by foreign investors last financial year. NSW, with 32 per cent of residential home purchases, was the second most popular state for an inflow of foreign property investment, according to the Foreign Investment Review Board’s 2015-16…

Chinese bank ‘Australian training money’ used as genuine $100 notes in Darwin

Fake Australian $100 notes supposed to be used to train Chinese bank tellers have made their way to Darwin where people are using them illegally. Northern Territory Police have warned people to look for the notes, which are marked with Chinese characters that reportedly translate as “Training Money. SAMPLE. Only for practice. Circulation Forbidden”. The…

Export demand predominantly to China creates orange shortage in Australia 

The citrus growing region of Mildura in Victoria, last year’s record export season saw more than a third of Australia’s citrus fruit exported. The current shortage was partly fuelled by the record 2016 citrus export season, which saw demand from overseas markets, predominantly China, absorb the vast majority of Valencia supplies before Christmas. This season’s…

China’s growing appetite for protein drives beef boom

The mining boom may be over but Australia’s beef cattle bonanza appears to be continuing ­unabated. Almost daily, there is news of wealthy Chinese investors snapping up vast northern cattle stations for multi-million-dollar sums. The Foreign Investment Review Board is believed to have approved on Monday a newcomer’s bid to buy a $100 million cattle…

ASIO’s new neighbours’ links to Chinese government

Chinese billionaire Liang Guangwei, the head of a state-backed technology conglomerate with high-level political connections, has been linked to the $64 million purchase of land next door to the new headquarters of Australia’s domestic spy agency.Mr Liang, a former People’s Liberation Army soldier who has hosted Chinese leaders including former president and premier Hu Jintao…

Keep foreign workers coming, IMF says

Just hours before Treasurer Scott Morrison hands down his second budget, the International Monetary Fund has offered some sage advice – keep Australia’s borders open to foreign workers. At a time when the Turnbull government is tightening the criteria for foreign workers and Labor is in a flap over it’s “Employ Australians First” ad, the…

ATO chases millionaire Sir Yii Ann Hii over tax debt

THE Australian Taxation Office has been thwarted in its bid to claw back a tax debt owed by former high flying Brisbane businessman Sir Yii Ann Hii. In the past year, the amount owed by Sir Yii has ballooned from $64 million to $69 million, with interest currently accruing at $13,157 a day. Fiona Biltris,…

Chinese buying big in Australian agribusiness

CHINA’S investment in Australian agribusiness has tripled in just one year as China strives to meet rising demand for high-quality food among its growing middle class. In 2016, Chinese companies invested $1.2 billion in Australian agribusiness, three times the investment of $375 million in 2015, shows a report form financial services provider KPMG and the…

Aus farmers struggling due to Imported semi-cooked pork products 

THE pork market has plummeted to the cost of production, with imported pork – including semi-cooked pork bellies and ribs coming from New Zealand – carrying most of the blame. The market has dropped $1 a kilogram since this time last year, according to Victorian Farmers Federation pork committee chair John Bourke, Stanhope. “This time…

Native title amendment the final hurdle for Adani megamine

THE Adani megamine is expected to be signed and sealed within a fortnight and the first of up to 600 workers will start to fill its Townsville office next month. The company is in the final phase of its negotiations and approvals. The last stumbling block is whether Labor will support the native title amendments…