The Northern Territory news Tue 6 Jan 2015
The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin
News Corp Australia
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News Corp Australia
06 NEWS TUESDAY JANUARY 6 2015 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 Easing Aussie dollar to help retail and tourism RETAILERS and tourism operators are set to cash in on the Aussie dollar hitting a fresh five-and-a-half-year low. But consumers are being warned the weaker dollar will mean airfares, overseas travel, electronics and other imported goods will become more expensive. The dollar was fetching US80.45 yesterday evening after dipping to US80.35 during the day. A weaker Australian dollar benefits retailers, whose goods will become more competitive against online rivals who typically price their products in US dollars. Local tourism operators are also gearing up for more international visitors, while equally Aussies will be more inclined to holiday at home, where theyll get more bang for their buck. Some stockists of imported goods, such as electronics, will likely pass on any price rises to the shopper, although lower global oil prices mean transport costs arent a big factor. And a weaker Aussie wont prompt the Reserve Bank to lower interest rates, meaning homeowners with a mortgage wont be getting any extra relief anytime soon. If the RBAs serious about cutting rates, the Aussie tends to go down afterwards, but if it goes down first, (RBA governor) Glenn Stevens might be happy to let the dollar do the work for him, Westpac currency strategist Sean Callow said. The dollar slipped after traders flocked to the US greenback in anticipation of an interest rate hike in America. Separately, online shoppers could soon be paying more on goods as the Government considers applying GST to all online purchases. Changes could see GST added on at the point of sale from overseas retailers. New federal Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg yester day said exempting overseas online retailers from the tax for sales of less than $1000 was unfair to taxpayers and domestic retailers. This is not a level playing field, Mr Frydenberg wrote in a newspaper column yesterday, adding that the threshold would be looked at in the Governments tax system review. He said the $1000 threshold was way above those of other Western nations, such as Canada, at $C20 ($21) and the UK at 15 ($28.35) while there was no exemption in the US. If these nations can adopt a lower threshold, why cant we? Mr Frydenberg said. With retail sales for the cru cial Christmas trading period forecast to have hit more than $32 billion according to the Australian National Retailers Association, news of potential action on the GST threshold was welcomed. It amounts to a billion dollars foregone in tax thats not going to state schools, roads or hospitals, ANRA chief executive Anna McPhee said. Ms McPhee said the Australian Taxation Office was exploring ways to impose the GST on overseas retailers, likely at the point-of-sale. This technology already exists, its just a case of switching it on for the retailers in the jurisdictions were talking about. By PAUL GLIDER Aileen Coultar, Gina Forrester, Bianca Forrester and Roweena Coultar enjoying the ice rink in Alice Springs Picture: ROSE COOKNEY Cool kids join the fun at Alices own ice-skating rink THEYRE in the middle of Australia but about 300 people have been having fun at the ice-skating rink at the Alice Springs Convention Centre. Centre event manager Rebecca Watling said people of all skating abilities had been going down and having a go at the rink since it opened on Boxing Day. We have been really busy, with people coming all day from when we open at 10am until we close at 6pm, she said. And there is late-night skating, until 9pm, on Thursdays and special theme sessions like the 80s and 90s Disco on Saturday. The tiny tots sessions, from 10am to noon on Wednesdays and Sundays, are also popular. They also have themes such as Frozen and Disney on Ice. We have skates available for children as young as four through to adults. It is all included in the price, although some people bring their own skates, and people can skate as much as they like. All we ask people to do is bring socks and suggest they bring a jumper as it is pretty cool. While everyone is welcome, children younger than 12 need to be accompanied by an adult (who does not have to skate). The only time people have to get off the ice is when it is scraped for 10 minutes every three hours. The ice-skating rink was brought to Alice Springs and took a week to set up. Ms Watling said the temperature under the ice was -10C to -15C, which kept the whole room a bit chilly. The ice is refreshed every night with a coating of water, which freezes overnight, so it is fresh for the skaters at 10am. The ice skating rink is open every day up to and including Australia Day, when it will be open until 8pm, except for a private function on Sunday, January 25. The ice-skating rink was previously in Alice Springs in January 2011. It has been brought back as part of the NT Governments Youth Program. Building consent rejected for now Theft of alcohol leads to arrests A DEVELOPMENT application to build a 22-storey building on Stokes Hill Wharf has been turned down. However, the project could go ahead if the applicant provides further information. Toga Darwin applied to the Development Consent Authority to build 79 one-bedroom, 75 two-bedroom and two three-bedroom multiple dwellings in a 22-storey building at Lot 9197 Stokes Hill Rd. The closing date for submissions was October 24, despite the sign still being erected at the site to date. The DCA considered an application on November 21 but decided to delay its decision to a later date to allow the applicant to provide additional information to enable a proper assessment of the proposal to be carried out. The DCA requested details in relation to the current and projected traffic distribution data, the staging of the development and resulting traffic impact and upgrades to the requirements of the Department of Transport. Once the applicant has provided all the required additional information, the application will be scheduled to be reheard by the DCA. THREE men and a teenage boy have been charged over a string of incidents in Alyangula over the weekend. Senior Sergeant Alex Brennan said two of the men, aged 29 and 25, allegedly broke into a home and stole alcohol on Saturday evening. They then took it to a nearby community, where they met with a 23-year-old man and the 16-year-old boy, he said. The 29-year-old was charged with unlawful entry, stealing, two counts of damage to property, bringing and drinking alcohol in a dry area, drink-driving, and driving unlicensed and uninsured. The 25-year-old was charged with unlawful entry, stealing, damage to property, and drinking alcohol in a dry area. They will appear in Alyangula Court on January 14. The 23-year-old was charged with receiving stolen property and drinking in a dry area and appeared in Darwin Magistrates Court yesterday. The 16-year-old was also charged with dangerous driving, drink-driving, and driving unlicensed and uninsured. He appeared in Darwin Youth Justice Court yesterday. By STEVE MENZIES in Alice Springs
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