Weekly Digest – 16 August 2023

Welcome to our Weekly Digest – stay in the know with some recent news updates relevant to business and the economy.

Australia lags US in beating inflation

Australia is lagging considerably behind the United States in combating inflation, with recent data showing a vast disparity between the two nations.

ASIC accuses $13.6b Active Super of greenwashing its investments in gambling and coal

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has filed its second greenwashing case in just over two weeks, alleging Active Super made misrepresentations as an “ethical and responsible superannuation fund” despite having investments in sectors it claimed to restrict such as gambling, tobacco and oil tar sands.

Data shows essential workers, including health staff, unable to afford basics like rent

The Rental Affordability Snapshot from Anglicare Australia shows that despite being in full time work, essential workers, such as health staff, are unable to afford most of the rental properties that are currently on the market.

Prime Minister pushing plan to increase renters rights

Renters rights and housing supply are set to be on the agenda when Prime Minister Anthony Albanese meets with state and territory leaders in a National Cabinet meeting next week.

No regulation of the word ‘organic’ creates costs for farmers, confusion for consumers

Mick Dan, Australian Organic Limited Farmer of the Year is deeply disturbed that Australia is the only developed country not to have a standard regulation around the word “organic”. “Regulatory reform needs to occur,” Australian Organic Limited chief executive Niki Ford said.

Roy Morgan Business Confidence drops to 87.5 in July

Michele Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan, says Business Confidence dropped to its lowest in nearly three years in July as confidence in the economy over the long-term dropped to record lows –  65% of businesses expect ‘bad economic times’ for the economy over the next year.

New business launches are slowing, as COSBOA draws attention to small business resiliency

The number of new businesses entering the Australian economy has slumped for three consecutive quarters, as the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) suggests would-be entrepreneurs are biding their time to launch a new enterprise.

NSW will not follow Victoria in banning residential gas

New South Wales (NSW) has decided not to follow Victoria’s steps in banning residential gas, citing that the ban would be too costly for households and businesses. NSW has instead opted to focus on renewable energy sources and energy efficiency measures to reduce emissions.

One in 10 retailers, builders and cafes could go bust

More than one in 10 firms in the retail, hospitality and construction sectors are at risk of going bankrupt in the next 12 months, as high interest rates and the slowdown in consumer spending pile pressure on company finances. Research from credit bureau Illion, released to The Australian Financial Reviewfound that 14 per cent of food services firms, 11 per cent of construction companies and 10 per cent of retailers were at high risk of failing in the coming year.

Electoral body suggests Australia adopt national digital voting system

The electoral body of Australia’s most populous state is recommending the gradual adoption of a national electronic voting system in the country, along with moves to adopt a national ID next year.

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