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

House price growth ‘way better than expected’ as further rises expected in 2024

REA Group Economic Research Director Cameron Kusher says the growth in house prices has been “way better than expected” as it was predicted last year’s price falls would continue. According to NAB forecasts: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide house prices are expected to grow five per cent or more in 2024, while Perth is at 1.2 per cent and Hobart is at zero.

South Australians estimated to defy national spending trend ahead of Christmas

The Australian Retailers Association has estimated that South Australians will spend just under $4.3 billion in the month leading up to Christmas, with that forecast tipping that SA will be the only state to increase festive sales compared to last year.

Australians may get more cost-of-living relief in the next budget, Jim Chalmers says

Jim Chalmers has said Australians could receive more help with cost-of-living relief in the budget next May and confirmed the government is working up new policy measures to accelerate the transition to net-zero emissions.

New shutdown rules for awards

On 22 December 2022, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) issued the 4 yearly review of modern awards—Plain language—Shutdown provisions [2022] FWCFB 246 (Determination) to vary clauses about temporary shutdown periods in 78 modern awards. On 1 May 2023, new clauses were inserted into those awards to reflect the FWC’s Determination. As a result, the upcoming Christmas period is likely the first time many businesses will shutdown under the new provisions. To avoid breaching the relevant award (and therefore breaching the Fair Work Act 2009), it is critical that employers covered by these awards understand their new obligations.

Aussie business collapse hotspots revealed

Suburbs in western Sydney and south-east Queensland dominate the list of areas that have the highest risk of business failure for 2024, according to CreditorWatch’s November Business Risk Index.

Confidence “crumbles”, Australia’s economy “buckles”

In a sobering update on the Australian economy, it is apparent that business confidence has crumbled at year end.

Australia plans to halve migrant intake, tighten student visa rules

Australia said it would tighten visa rules for international students and low-skilled workers that could halve its migrant intake over the next two years as the government looks to overhaul what it said was a “broken” migration system.

The multi-billion dollar fight over your superannuation

There is a multi-billion dollar fight on for your superannuation that you should be very aware of. A group of the large industry funds, led by AustralianSuper, are pushing for a system in which members could be “defaulted” into retirement products when they reach retirement age.

New rules for fixed term contracts

The landscape of employment contracts is evolving, and it’s essential for employers to be aware of the changes concerning fixed-term contracts effective 6 December 2023.

Farmer fury in Australia signals tough road to renewable energy

Hundreds of farmers are refusing to allow high-voltage overhead power lines to pass through their land, opposition that is threatening Australia’s plans to increase renewable generation and reduce emissions by 43% from 2005 levels by 2030.

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