The Business of Fast Fashion

‘Fast Fashion’ refers to clothing and accessories that are designed to reflect current industry trends, yet produced using less expensive materials to ensure a low price tag

Saving our Mothers

In honoring Mother's Day, Save the Children released the 14th annual State of World's Mother report.

Stop Coca-Cocal trashing Australia

Greenpeace Australia made a new coke ad with a twist. It exposes how this drinks giant is willing to let plastic pollution trash our ocean and kill our marine life.

Thanks a Million Australia

The New Zealand tourism industry is saying a big "Thanks a Million"to Australian visitors to celebrate the record of welcoming a million Australians in a 12-month period

People! Zara commits to go toxic free

Zara, the world’s largest clothing retailer, today announced a commitment to go toxic-free following nine days of intense public pressure. This win belongs to the fashion-lovers, activists, bloggers and denizens of social media. This is people power in action

Wednesday, February 4

COMMBANK CUTS MORTGAGE RATES FOR HOME OWNERS

Commonwealth Bank today announced it will reduce interest rates on our Standard Variable Rate (SVR) by 0.25% per annum. Our 3 year and 5 year fixed rate products will also be reduced by 0.25% and 0.30% respectively. The new SVR will take effect from 20 February 2015.
The new SVR rate of 5.65% is the lowest since April 2009. Our fixed rates are now the lowest we have ever offered.

“As the nation’s largest lender, we are always seeking to deliver value to our 1.6 million home loan customers and today we are pleased to pass on the full benefit of the RBA’s recent interest rate reduction,” said Matt Comyn, Group Executive Retail Banking Services.

·         Standard Variable Rate (SVR) mortgage cut by 0.25% to 5.65%
·         5 year fixed rate mortgage reduced by 0.30% to 4.69%
·         3 year fixed rate mortgage reduced by 0.25% to 4.69%

“Our new reduced standard variable rate of 5.65% is the lowest we have offered in five years, but beyond price, we are committed to ensuring our customers have the right tools, support and advice that will give them the best home buying experience.”

By reducing the standard variable home loan rate by 0.25%, home owners will save $48 a month, based on the average mortgage of $300,000.

CommBank has reduced its variable rate on home loans by 2.16 percentage points since 1 November 2011, equating to a saving of $430 in monthly repayments and an annual saving of $5160 on a home loan of $300,000.

Monday, February 2

Holden has launched a fresh and bold new brand campaign as the company continues to execute its plan to ensure a long and successful future in Australia. This campaign includes a positive and forward-looking new tagline: Let’s Go There.
Following extensive research, Holden has developed several communications platforms and advertisements that will roll out over time to evolve the Holden brand and help strengthen the Lion brand’s unique and lasting relationship with Australia.
Holden’s Executive Director of Marketing, Bill Mott said the new brand campaign will progress Holden’s identity in Australia.  
“The new campaign has been developed from five core truths: Holden’s future is bright, there will be a next-generation Commodore, Holden understands Australian conditions and customers better than any other brand, Holden has a wave of exciting new models on the horizon and our dealers across the country are focussed on world-class customer service now and in the future”.
“Clearly we can’t communicate all of these messages in one advertisement, so we have developed several communication platforms and advertisements.
“The entire campaign has been thoroughly and comprehensively tested and we are more than confident it will strike the right chord with Australia.  
“All of our brand advertisements share specific communication equities. Specifically, children feature prominently in our new television commercials. Kids are inherently optimistic and represent the future and these are values that reflect the Holden brand.”
“We have also developed advertisements that communicate a core Holden strength. Our vehicles are, and will continue to be, tuned and tested for Australian conditions and customers at our iconic Lang Lang proving Ground in Victoria.”
“The entire campaign will be big and bold, including TV, outdoor, digital and cinema executions. It will be impossible to miss. We are confident that we have developed an outstanding communications platform that establishes a new direction and charts a bright and winning future for our iconic Australian brand,” Mr Mott said.
Holden’s new brand campaign launches on Sunday, 25 January.
Click here and here to view two of Holden’s new brand advertisements. 

Thursday, January 29

New marine rescue fleet launched at Auckland Airport


Auckland Airport has today launched a major upgrade to its marine rescue fleet to ensure survival equipment can be deployed on the Manukau Harbour in the event of an emergency.
The new additions to the fleet are:
·         a Griffon 2000TD hovercraft
·         a 12 metre Q-West catamaran command and firefighting boat; and
·         an 11 metre Icon Brands monohull rescue boat
The airport’s marine rescue fleet also includes the Griffon 2000TD hovercraft purchased in 1999.
Adrian Littlewood, Auckland Airport’s chief executive, says, “The $5 million marine rescue fleet upgrade ensures the airport will comply with international requirements as the number of aircraft and passengers coming to Auckland increases.”
“Our 30-year vision suggests passenger numbers could almost triple to 40 million a year, and aircraft movements could almost double to 260,000 a year, so it is essential that we operate a state of the art emergency service.”
“Together with the more than $5 million investment we made last year in four Rosenbauer Panther firefighting vehicles, this new marine rescue fleet represents the world’s leading safety technology.”
“While we hope we never have to use the marine rescue and firefighting fleets to respond to an incident, our emergency services crews are fully trained and ready to operate them.”
“This marine rescue fleet upgrade is the result of a review of international best practice. While many airports around the world are located close to a sea, few have marine environments similar to the Manukau Harbour. Fortunately, Singapore’s Changi Airport does, so as part of the upgrade we worked alongside their emergency service team, sharing our respective experience and observing and learning from each other.”
“The Manukau Harbour experiences a variety of conditions, including significant tidal flows and mudflats. Because of this, we have had to purchase a variety of marine rescue vessels to ensure that equipment can be deployed in the event of an emergency in any foreseeable conditions.”
“We are delighted to have been able to purchase our two new boats from New Zealand manufacturers, and our new hovercraft comes from one of the world’s leading manufacturers based in the United Kingdom,” concludes Mr Littlewood.

OCR unchanged at 3.5 percent



The Reserve Bank today left the Official Cash Rate unchanged at 3.5 percent.

Trading partner growth in 2015 is expected to be similar to 2014, though the outlook is weaker than anticipated last year. Divergences continue among regions, with growth in China, Japan and the euro area easing in recent quarters, while growth in the US has remained robust.

World oil prices have fallen 60 percent since June last year, which will boost spending power in oil importing economies but reduce incomes for oil exporters. The oil price decline, together with uncertainties around the transition of US monetary policy, has led to an increase in financial market volatility.

The lower oil price will have a significant impact on prices and activity in New Zealand. The most direct and immediate effects are through fuel prices, with the price of regular petrol falling from a national average of $2.23 in mid-2014 to $1.73 currently. This will increase households’ purchasing power and lower the cost of doing business.

Annual economic growth in New Zealand is above 3 percent, supported by rising construction activity and household incomes. The housing market is showing signs of picking up, particularly in Auckland. However, fiscal consolidation, the reduced dairy payout, the risk of drought, and the high exchange rate will weigh on growth.

While the New Zealand dollar has eased recently, we believe the exchange rate remains unjustified in terms of current economic conditions, particularly export prices, and unsustainable in terms of New Zealand’s long-term economic fundamentals. We expect to see a further significant depreciation.

The high exchange rate, low global inflation, and falling oil prices are causing traded goods inflation to be very weak.  Non-tradables inflation remains moderate, despite buoyant domestic demand and an improving labour market.  Headline annual inflation is expected to be below the target band through 2015, and could become negative for a period before moving back towards 2 percent, albeit more gradually than previously anticipated.

In the current circumstances, we expect to keep the OCR on hold for some time.  Future interest rate adjustments, either up or down, will depend on the emerging flow of economic data.

Monday, January 5

COMMONWEALTH BANK ACTIVATES EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE PACKAGE FOR CUSTOMERS AFFECTED BY SOUTH AUSTRALIAN AND VICTORIAN BUSHFIRES


The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has activated its Emergency Assistance Package for customers and businesses affected by the bushfires in South Australia and Victoria.

“The loss and devastation from the bushfires is heartbreaking and we would like to do what we can for our affected customers and community members at this difficult time,” CBA South Australia Regional General Manager Craig Brooke said.

“We have established a dedicated phone line to assist those who may need to discuss their circumstances with us and our staff are on hand to help discuss available options. If you need assistance or advice, from Monday morning, please call 1300 720 814 or visit a branch.”

The Commonwealth Bank will also be donating $500,000 to the South Australian Emergency Relief Fund and will be accepting donations from the public in its branches.

Special arrangements are in place to provide support to our Commonwealth Bank and CommInsure customers should they need it, and our staff are ready to assist them promptly with their financial concerns and enquiries.

There are a number of options available as part of the Bank’s Emergency Assistance Package, not limited to: 
·          For CommInsure customers whose homes have been damaged by the fire, emergency accommodation assistance is available;
·          Customised assistance to Commonwealth Bank home loan, credit card and personal loan customers who may experience difficulties because of the fires;
·          Loan restructuring for business customers with existing loans, without incurring the usual bank establishment fees;
·          Considering requests for additional loans (including emergency credit limit increases) where, based on our enquiries, the customer could meet the additional repayments without financial difficulty;
·          Expediting claims to CommInsure for customers seeking help through their home, contents and motor vehicle insurance;
·          Waiving prepayment charges over the next month for affected customers wishing to access term deposits and Commonwealth Investment Bonds ahead of the maturity date and;
·          Waiving branch service fees where the customer is looking to obtain a service from the Bank as a result of the disaster.

Bushfire updates in South Australia





CFS advises that a bushfire at Sampson Flat in the Mount Lofty Ranges near One Tree Hill, Humbug Scrub, Para Wirra Recreation Park, Mount Crawford, Kersbrook, Birdwood, Gumeracha, Kenton Valley, Cudlee Creek area and Inglewood may threaten your safety.

Monday, December 29

AirAsia Indonesia Flight QZ8501, search halted for day


AirAsia Indonesia regrets to confirm that flight QZ8501 from Surabaya to Singapore has lost contact with air traffic control at 07:24 (Surabaya LT) this morning. The flight took off from Juanda International Airport in Surabaya at 0535hours. 

The aircraft was an Airbus A320-200 with the registration number PK-AXC. There were two pilots, four flight attendants and one engineer on board.

The captain in command had a total of 6,100 flying hours and the first officer a total of 2,275 flying hours

There were 155 passengers on board, with 138 adults, 16 children and 1 infant. Also on board were 2 pilots and 5 cabin crew.

Nationalities of passengers:

1 Singapore
1 Malaysia
3 South Korea
1 United Kingdom
149 Indonesia 

Nationalities of crew:

1 France
6 Indonesia 

At this time, search and rescue operations are being conducted under the guidance of The Indonesia of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). AirAsia Indonesia is cooperating fully and assisting the investigation in every possible way. 

The aircraft was on the submitted flight plan route and was requesting deviation due to enroute weather before communication with the aircraft was lost while it was still under the control of the Indonesian Air Traffic Control (ATC). 


The aircraft had undergone its last scheduled maintenance on 16 November 2014.

AirAsia has established an Emergency Call Centre that is available for family or friends of those who may have been on board the aircraft. The number is: +622129850801

Family members of QZ8501, please contact: 
Malaysia: +60 3 21795959
Indonesia: +62 2129270811
Singapore: +65 63077688
Korea: 007 98142069940
 
Note: Hotline is strictly for family members only 

AirAsia will release further information as soon as it becomes available. Updated information will also be posted on the AirAsia website, www.airasia.com.

Monday, December 15

Watch Live : Sydney Siege

The hostage crisis at a Sydney cafe has cast a long shadow over the city, plunging it into lockdown chaos as a handful of hostages escape the clutches of an alleged gunman.

Wednesday, November 19

Interstellar Takes Flight At Chinese Box Office, Scoring 2D Record Launch In IMAX® With $6.7 Million


IMAX Corporation (NYSE: IMAX; TSX: IMX) today announced that writer-director Christopher Nolan's Interstellar, from Warner Bros. Pictures and Paramount Pictures, opened in China to record-setting results, estimating $6.7 million from 174 IMAX® theatres in five-days, making it the highest grossing IMAX 2D title ever in the market.

Interstellar began its record IMAX debut in China with an opening day gross of $1.1 million, the highest IMAX 2D opening of all time locally, as well as a career-best debut in China for Nolan and the overall largest opening-day IMAX gross in November. The film also earned nearly $185,000 in midnight grosses from 159 IMAX theatres, which accounted for more than half of the film's total late-night gross in China.

"The record-setting launch in China reaffirms the power and efficacy of Christopher Nolan films and his connection with IMAX," saidGreg Foster, Senior Executive Vice President, IMAX Corp. and CEO of IMAX Entertainment. 

"After its powerhouse worldwide debut last weekend in IMAX — and now with China added so successfully to the mix — we couldn't be more excited about how we believeInterstellar will perform in our global network over its run."

Interstellar has grossed more than $49.3 million worldwide from 751 IMAX locations, including China. Domestically, the film so far has grossed an estimated $25.2 million on 368 IMAX theatres, while international IMAX totals have reached $24 million from 383 theatres.

Continuing the legacy begun by IMAX trailblazer Christopher Nolan and his use of the 15 perf 65mm IMAX® cameras in The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, more than an hour of Interstellar was shot using IMAX cameras. Exclusively in IMAX theatres, these sequences expand to fill the entire screen and will deliver unprecedented crispness and clarity and provide audiences with a truly cinematic and immersive experience.

Sequences of Interstellar shot in 35mm film have been digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience® with proprietary IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-mastering) technology.  The crystal-clear images, coupled with IMAX's customized theatre geometry and powerful digital audio, create a unique environment that will make audiences feel as if they are in the movie.

MAZDA CX-3 COMPACT CROSSOVER UTILITY VEHICLE MAKES GLOBAL DEBUT


Mazda Motor Corporation today revealed the all-new 2016 Mazda CX-3 to the world, in a special event on the eve of the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show.  The all-new compact crossover SUV is the fifth model in Mazda's line-up of new-generation vehicles that feature the full suite of the company's award-winning SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY and KODO-Soul of Motion design.  With the global launch starting in Japan in the spring of 2015, and in the U.S. during the summer, CX-3 is set to become a core model in the automaker's global line-up.

"These are heady times for Mazda, with profits and sales exceeding expectations and targets both in the U.S. and globally," said Jim O'Sullivan, president and CEO of Irvine, Calif.-based Mazda North American Operations.  "CX-3 complements the Mazda lineup, as it perfectly hits the target in a rapidly growing segment in the industry.  

Customers are shopping for vehicles that are fun to drive, great to look at, fit their busy lifestyles and are an outstanding value, both at purchase and when it comes time to trade it in, making every Mazda a smart choice."

Mazda's all-new CX-3 offers all the essentials young, busy, on-the-go urbanites look for in a vehicle.  Developed to suit customers' creative lifestyle in any scene, from inner-city driving to enjoying the great outdoors, CX-3 will be powered by a SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter gasoline engine exclusively in North America.  Available in other markets will be the newly-introduced SKYACTIV-D 1.5-liter clean diesel engine.  Output details and specifications will be revealed at a later date, closer to launch.

Power will be transferred to either the front wheels, or through Mazda's new-generation all-wheel-drive system, and CX-3 also will be equipped with Mazda's unique SKYACTIV-Drive automatic transmission.  Because driving pleasure and driving safety go hand-in-hand, CX-3 will offer a wide range of Mazda's latest active, passive and in-car-infotainment technologies, including the Mazda Connect infotainment system and i-ACTIVSENSE advanced safety features.

The Mazda CX-3 will be on display throughout the run of the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, along with the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata which also makes its public debut at the show.  Additionally, the full lineup of 2015 model-year Mazdas will be on display, as well as special racing and one-off project vehicles.

Tuesday, November 18

Expedia, Inc. Completes Acquisition Of Wotif Group


Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE) and Wotif.com Holdings Limited (Wotif Group) today announced completion of the acquisition of Wotif Group by Expedia, Inc. for total cash consideration ofA$703 million or A$3.30 per share (equivalent to US$612 million or US$2.87 per share based on November 13, 2014 exchange rates). The total consideration of A$703 million was comprised of a A$51 million special dividend distributed by the Wotif Group to its shareholders before closing and A$652 million in cash from Expedia, Inc.

In the coming weeks, Expedia, Inc. expects to work with the Wotif Group team to conclude its ongoing evaluation of the available long-term strategic options for the Wotif Group businesses with an eye towards strengthening the potential of the Wotif Group's brands for its customers and partners. In the meantime, both companies will continue operating under a "business as usual" philosophy.

"We are thrilled to officially welcome Wotif Group and its terrific brands to the Expedia, Inc. family," said Dara Khosrowshahi, President and Chief Executive Officer, Expedia, Inc. "This acquisition will allow us to continue expanding our business in the Asia-Pacific region and will allow Wotif Group's customers and partners to benefit from Expedia, Inc.'s global portfolio."

"This is an exciting milestone, and an important one for the Wotif Group team," said Scott Blume, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Wotif Group. "By aligning ourselves with a powerful global leader in online travel we have taken a vital strategic step forward in our effort to revitalize the iconic brands of the Wotif Group.  We simply couldn't ask for a better partner than Expedia, Inc.," added Blume.

Wotif Group operates online travel brands in the Asia-Pacific region including, Wotif.com, lastminute.com.au, travel.com.au, Asia Web Direct, LateStays.com, GoDo.com.au and Arnold Travel Technology. Its multi-product portfolio focuses primarily on hotel and air, offering consumers more than 29,000 bookable properties in destinations around the world.