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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

Monday, February 8

88% OF AUSTRALIAN PARENTS ADMIT THEY’RE UNABLE TO HELP THEIR CHILDREN WITH HOMEWORK

The average Australian parent finished high school at least 14 years ago, so it’s not surprising that 88% of mothers and fathers admit they’re unable to always help their children with school homework.

A new study from Yourtutor.com.au, an online tutoring service offering one-on-one expert study help, reveals that although one third of Australian children struggle with homework at least weekly, most parents aren’t able to offer a solution.
Lack of time, inadequate levels of knowledge, and an inability to afford support services were the main reasons for the barrier, with 62% of parents with teens stressing that times had drastically changed since they were their children’s age.  
Jack Goodman, father of three and Founder of Yourtutor.com.au says, “While parents have the best intentions, they’re often not able to help and this can lead to stress and arguments within families.  Luckily services in Australia are adapting to provide families with convenient and cost-effective solutions, such as YourTutor, which gives students assistance from accredited education professionals within minutes.”
It’s no surprise that maths and science are the two subjects stumping the highest number of parents; with 60% admitting these are their biggest struggle. 39% of mums and dads also revealed that they aren’t even able to understand primary level maths homework.
But before parents get too concerned, Mr Goodman adds, “STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) may be the hardest for parents to assist with, however a lot of the time they’re the simplest subjects for teachers and tutors to explain to students, so even if you aren’t able to help, there is always someone who is.”
YourTutor.com.au is a one-to-one tutoring service that connects students with some of the country’s best, brightest and rigorously screened teachers, lecturers and PhD students. The program is open six days a week from 3pm-midnight, giving students unprecedented access to education professionals when they need it most.
Founded in 2003, YourTutor.com.au has become the most trusted online tutoring and study help site in the education industry and was previously only available through Australian universities, TAFEs, schools, libraries and governments. Since 2015YourTutor.com.au has been accessible to every family around the country, helping Aussie children make the most out of their education.

New research finds Australians prioritise flexibility of hours over more pay



Australian workers are aspiring to maximise their free time in 2016 by outsourcing household chores and opting for flexibility of work hours over increased pay. 
 
Airtasker’s third Future of Work study reveal that up to 38 per cent of Australians intend to outsource their chores to free up time in 2016. As a benchmark, around 30 per cent of Australians currently employ others to complete their housework.
 
Meanwhile, for the first time in the study series, the majority of workers (38 per cent) indicated that flexibility was more important to them than pay when looking for work. 
 
The study serves as the first key piece of research tying together several workplace trends hinted at in 2015.  Last year it was revealed that Sydney barrister Bridie Nolan spends up to $6500 a week outsourcing chores. 
 
Meanwhile, tales of incredibly flexible work situations are also becoming increasingly common. KPMG management consultant Katie Drover reduced her workload down to four days a week in order to DJ on weekends.
 
The findings comes as part of Airtasker and Pureprofile’s third Future of Work study, which surveyed representative sample of 1002 Australians on work and life trends.
 
“The figures note a distinct shift in the mindset of the Australian worker. The idea of attaining a work-life balance is no longer about the amount of hours worked,” Airtasker CEO Tim Fung said. 
 
“It’s is now all about getting the most out of your free time, and maximising your earning potential by working smarter.”

“Now that Australian workers can earn a sizeable, reliable income whilst maintaining a flexible lifestyle by working on sharing economy platforms, traditional employers will need to think about  how they create an equally enticing work environment.

“Meanwhile, Aussie consumers are learning that they can get even more done by outsourcing their chores to locals in their neighbourhood - they’re creating free time whilst getting more done.” 

The study also revealed: 
  • Approximately 40 per cent of those surveyed indicated they would be looking for a new job in 2016, while around 80 per cent of people want to supplement their regular income in 2016.   
     
  • Around 81.5 per cent agree that the the traditional employment model of the 9-5 office job is inflexible for workers in 2016 and into the future. Only 76.4 per cent agreed with this statement in 2015.
     
  • Of those that intend to outsource chores, the majority (52 per cent) said they would rid themselves of five hours or less of housework per week. Up to 8 per cent indicated they would outsource over 20 hours worth of chores. 
     
  • Almost half (49.2 per cent) indicated that they are aware of Australia’s growing sharing economy movement. The figure represents a 4.4 per cent jump in awareness since the last Sharing Economy monitor in June 2015. 
     
  • An increase in the number of Australians who have used a sharing economy service or app to earn extra income. This rose from 4.1 per cent in 2015 to 6.1 per cent in 2016.

Tuesday, February 2

cash rate unchanged at 2.0 per cent

The Reserve bank of Australia  decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 2.0 per cent.
Recent information suggests the global economy is continuing to grow, though at a slightly lower pace than earlier expected. While several advanced economies have recorded improved growth over the past year, conditions have become more difficult for a number of emerging market economies. China's growth rate has continued to moderate.
Commodity prices have declined further, especially oil prices. This partly reflects slower growth in demand but also very substantial increases in supply over recent years. The decline in Australia's terms of trade, which began more than four years ago, has therefore continued.
Financial markets have once again exhibited heightened volatility recently, as participants grapple with uncertainty about the global economic outlook and diverging policy settings among the major jurisdictions. Appetite for risk has diminished somewhat and funding conditions for emerging market sovereigns and lesser-rated corporates have tightened. But funding costs for high-quality borrowers remain very low and, globally, monetary policy remains remarkably accommodative.
In Australia, the available information suggests that the expansion in the non-mining parts of the economy strengthened during 2015 even as the contraction in spending in mining investment continued. Surveys of business conditions moved to above average levels, employment growth picked up and the unemployment rate declined in the second half of the year, even though measured GDP growth was below average. The pace of lending to businesses also picked up.
Inflation continues to be quite low, with the CPI rising by 1.7 per cent over 2015. This was partly caused by declining prices for oil and some utilities, but underlying measures of inflation are also low at about 2 per cent. With growth in labour costs continuing to be quite subdued as well, and inflation restrained elsewhere in the world, consumer price inflation is likely to remain low over the next year or two.
Given these conditions, it is appropriate for monetary policy to be accommodative. Low interest rates are supporting demand, while regulatory measures are working to emphasise prudent lending standards and so to contain risks in the housing market. Credit growth to households continues at a moderate pace, albeit with a changed composition between investors and owner-occupiers. The pace of growth in dwelling prices has moderated in Melbourne and Sydney over recent months and has remained mostly subdued in other cities. The exchange rate has continued its adjustment to the evolving economic outlook.
At today's meeting, the Board judged that there were reasonable prospects for continued growth in the economy, with inflation close to target. The Board therefore decided that the current setting of monetary policy remained appropriate.
Over the period ahead, new information should allow the Board to judge whether the recent improvement in labour market conditions is continuing and whether the recent financial turbulence portends weaker global and domestic demand. Continued low inflation may provide scope for easier policy, should that be appropriate to lend support to demand.

Monday, February 1

Auckland Airport welcomes new Emirates non-stop Dubai-Auckland daily service

Today’s announcement that Emirates will start a new non-stop service between Dubai and Auckland from 2 March 2016 means that Auckland Airport will now only be one stop away from the airline’s 53 European and Middle Eastern destinations.

Norris Carter, Auckland Airport’s general manager – aeronautical commercial, says, “The announcement of this new non-stop Emirates flight between Dubai and Auckland is great news for Auckland Airport and even better news for New Zealand.”

“This new flight will help to significantly increase the number of people travelling between New Zealand and Europe, India and of course the Middle East. It will help to further stimulate travel, trade and tourism with these important and growing markets.”

“Auckland Airport estimates this new service using a B777-200LR aircraft will provide an extra 194,180 seats per annum on the Dubai route and deliver an additional $125 million every year to the New Zealand economy.”

“We are particularly delighted that this new Dubai direct service will be in addition to the three Emirates A380 flights that already operate daily between Auckland and Dubai - via Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. These four daily flights will provide passengers with significant choice for their journeys, and the new non-stop Dubai service will reduce journey times by around three hours each way.”

“The new non-stop flight from Auckland to Dubai is estimated to take 17 hours and 15 minutes. That is only 20 minutes shorter than the current world record holder, a 17 hours and 35 minutes Emirates flight scheduled to start next month from Dubai to Panama City. Today’s announcement means Auckland Airport will have one of the world’s longest non-stop commercial passenger flights and exciting destinations such as Rome, Athens, Budapest, Warsaw and Vienna will only be a short six hour flight away from Dubai.”

“With a fleet of more than 230 aircraft, including 72 A380s, Emirates currently flies to over 140 destinations in more than 80 countries around the world, including 38 European destinations. It is a truly global airline and since its arrival in Auckland in 2003 it has experienced significant growth.”

“Auckland Airport looks forward to celebrating the arrival of the new non-stop Auckland-Dubai flight, and we wish Emirates well for their new service,” says Mr Carter.

Thursday, January 28

Official Cash Rate unchanged at 2.5 percent

The Reserve Bank today left the Official Cash Rate unchanged at 2.5 percent.

Uncertainty about the strength of the global economy has increased due to weaker growth in the developing world and concerns about China and other emerging markets. Prices for a range of commodities, particularly oil, remain weak. Financial market volatility has increased, and global inflation remains low.

The domestic economy softened during the first half of 2015 driven by the lower terms of trade. However, growth is expected to increase in 2016 as a result of continued strong net immigration, tourism, a solid pipeline of construction activity, and the lift in business and consumer confidence.

In recent weeks there has been some easing in financial conditions, as the New Zealand dollar exchange rate and market interest rates have declined. A further depreciation in the exchange rate is appropriate given the ongoing weakness in export prices.

House price inflation in Auckland remains a financial stability risk. There are signs that the rate of increase may be moderating, but it is too early to tell. House price pressures have been building in some other regions.

There are many risks around the outlook. These relate to the prospects for global growth, particularly around China, global financial market conditions, dairy prices, net immigration, and pressures in the housing market.

Headline CPI inflation remains low, mainly due to falling fuel prices. However, annual core inflation, which excludes temporary price movements, is consistent with the target range at 1.6 percent. Inflation expectations remain stable.

Headline inflation is expected to increase over 2016, but take longer to reach the target range than previously expected. Monetary policy will continue to be accommodative. Some further policy easing may be required over the coming year to ensure that future average inflation settles near the middle of the target range.  We will continue to watch closely the emerging flow of economic data.