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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 12 December 2015
BUSINESS 24 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 12 DECEMBER 2015 Xenophon backs probe into Darwin port sale Senator calls for urgent review of foreign investment policy A motion co-sponsored by Nick Xenophon has demanded an urgent senate inquiry into controversial foreign investment deals in Australia, including the 99 year lease of the Port of Darwin to a Chinese company. The terms of reference for the inquiry ask for a sweeping examination of the Foreign Investment Review Board and national interest issues. It will specifically look at the Port of Darwin deal, the blocking of the Kidman property sale and the proposed sale of electricity assets in NSW. "There's a real sense of urgency with this inquiry, given concerns that our current foreign investment framework is full of loopholes (particularly in relation to state and territory assets) and a lack of clarity of the national interest test and DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM SA treasurer Tom Koutsantonis forecasts $355m surplus South Australia Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis handed down a Midyear Budget Review earlier this week that boasts a $355 million surplus this year, driven by a huge and unexpected dividend from the Motor Accident Commission. According to an Advertiser report, because the state's economy is predicted to grow at about half the national average every year until 2019, Mr Koutsantonis has also been forced to slash expectations for job growth. After predicting 1 per cent employment growth over the current 2015-16 financial year, or about 8,000 jobs, the government has downgraded its prediction to just a quarter of that amount. Mr Koutsantonis insisted the state government's strategy to revive the economy was sound, and that he would look at new ways to use projected surpluses to accelerate growth. Senator Nick Xenophon at a press conference in Perth last month. how it applies. This inquiry will give a timely opportunity to deal with these issues," said Senator Xenophon. "In particular, the Port of Darwin deal deserves special scrutiny, given concerns expressed by our key strategic think tank, the Australians Strategic Policy Institute." Further details of the Darwin deal emerged this week, including that the Port of Darwin Corporation's 2014 Annual Report refers to it as a "strategic defence port" and listed more than 100 visits by navy vessels in the 2013-14 financial year. It has also been confirmed that Defence Minister Marise Payne only heard about the planned sale hours before the Northern Territory government announced it publicly. PHOTO: AAP/RICHARD WAINWRIGHT. around the Darwin deal show what a shambles the whole process has been. How on earth this deal got waived through without due process is beyond most Australians," said Xenophon. The inquiry is due to report "The details emerging by early February. Victorians have the power to track and limit their betting In an Australian first, Victorians will have the power to track and limit their betting on any electronic gaming machine in the state. Minister for Consumer Affairs, Liquor and Gaming Jane Garrett said the voluntary pre-commitment scheme, YourPlay, has been available at any venue from 1 December. The technology, by Greek company Intralot Gaming Services (a wholly owned subsidiary of Intralot Australia), allows players to limit how much they spend, track their time, and set personalised warning messages to remind them to stop if they choose to do so. The statewide rollout coincided with the release of a new study which examines the emerging trends and prevalence of problem gambling in Victoria. The study found that one in three players would use a pre-commitment system to set a time or money limit on their play. The Andrews Labor government will review YourPlay in six months’ time by using the data from the gambling study as a benchmark to help measure the impact of the scheme. The study identified significant shifts in the gaming landscape over the past six years, such as the growth of sports betting and online gambling. The study outlines a number of concerning trends, including an increase in the number of low-risk gamblers, particularly among women. It collected data from more than 13,000 participants, who took part in random landline and mobile phone interviews. The Budget update included bringing forward the first tranche of business property sales tax cuts, which were announced in June and meant to kick in on July 1 next year. Karidis Corp announces $275m project in Adelaide Serviced and high dependency apartments for older people are being touted as the ‘unique’ aspect of a $275 million apartment complex planned for the former Trims site on Adelaide's King William Street. The Adelaide-based Karidis Corporation is intending to build four towers that include serviced accommodation for the aged. Shops and restaurants are also included in the proposal but it still has to be approved by authorities. The corporation's chairman, Gerry Karidis, gave the project his vote of confidence, saying that he planned to swap his Adelaide home of 40 years for one of the luxury apartments.
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