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Investment drive taxes Government

PROPOSALS from Federal Treasury for a major overhaul of Australia’s international tax system could have a fundamental impact on WA’s ability to attract business investment and talented individuals. Businesses and the community have until October 30 to voice their opinions to the Board of Taxation on the raft of measures put forward. The treasury proposals cover four principle areas, including the need to attract equity capital for offshore expansion. Full report, Page 4.

MTA welcomes changes to act

THE long awaited changes to the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act will come into effect from next week. Under the changes, vehicles valued below $4,000 will no longer be protected by warranty, while exemptions that applied to four-wheel drive vehicles and motor cycles will be lifted. The Motor Trades Association has embraced the changes, saying it will enable buyers and sellers to negotiate with more confidence. The amendments to the act change the statutory warranty requirements. Full report, Page 5.

Epic battle continues despite court ruling

NATURAL gas customers in Perth and the State’s South West are none the wiser as to what tariffs they will be paying following a WA Supreme Court ruling last week. The court’s determination was made on action brought by Dampier to Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline owner Epic Energy against the State’s independent Gas Pipelines access regulator, Ken Michael. However, vindication and positives have been claimed by those involved, as well as industry onlookers. Full report, Page 6.

Keystart brokers new funds deal

THE WA Government has overhauled its low-cost housing assistance program, Keystart, shifting its distribution to mortgage brokers in a move that could substantially increase its loan book and profitability. Keystart already has a $1.5 billion loan book, representing about 18,000 mortgages, but expects widening public access from a handful of terminating building societies to 43 approved brokers will add at least a further $500 million to that within two to three years. Full report, Page 7.

Treaty process under review

AUSTRALIA is aiming to tighten its treaty making process with other countries or international bodies so as to provide greater transparency and public accessibility. Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer said the timeframe for parliamentary consultation with interest groups would be extended, while official information on treaties and the process would be made freely available on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website. Public submissions on treaties sent to the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties have almost doubled. Full report, Page 8.

Indigenous Art Focus

The shortage of indigenous talent on the database of ArtSource WA was the catalyst for this feature on Aboriginal art. ArtSource is the Artists’ Agency of WA, providing an employment and referral agency that assists clients and commissioners to find the right artist for a particular commission or task. Pages 17-20.

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