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ACT takes second spot in list of best performing states … Business owner defends “no Israelis” sign … Vic government to spend $90 million to attract businesses

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By Dominic Powell and Emma Koehn

The Australian Captial Territory has beaten Victoria to claim second place in CommSec’s quarterly State of the States report, with New South Wales retaining its top spot as the Australian state with the best economic performance.

Each state is rated on eight key economic indicators, comprising of economic growth; retail spending; business investment; unemployment, construction
work done; population growth; housing finance and dwelling commencements.

The loss of Victoria’s second place position was attributed to a drop in performance on the housing finance indicator, while the ACT surged ahead in housing finance and business investment.

Coming in fourth is Tasmania, which has moving up in the rankings since last year and snatched the fourth spot from Western Australia thanks to population growth. However, CommSec states there is “little to separate it” from the other states.

The full state rankings as of April 2017 are:

1. NSW

2. ACT

3. Victoria

4. Tasmania

5. Queensland

6. Northern Territory

7. South Australia

8. Western Australia.

Cairns businessman defends “no Israelis” sign as a political statement

A body piercing business in Cairns, Queensland, has come under fire over the weekend after an Israeli tourist posted a photo of a sign put up in the business that states “no Israelis served here”.

According to The Cairns Post, tourist Mohr Wenger claims she was told by the business owner he didn’t serve Israelis out of “principal” as he does not agree with what the Israel government does.

“[The sign] means, ‘I don’t want to listen, I don’t care who you are but if you are from Israel go away’,” said Wenger.

“That’s sugarcoating antisemitism. That’s sugarcoating racism.”

However, the business owner, Mark Bryce, told The Cairns Post the sign had “nothing to do with race or religion” and was “purely about the Palestinian issue”.

“We support the BDS movement,” Bryce told The Cairns Post. The BDS movement refers to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, which puts pressure on the Israeli government to end the occupation of Palestine and grant equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel.

“We don’t want the sign misinterpreted, so we’ve taken it down and we’re going to replace it with one that says we support the BDS movement,” Bryce told The Cairns Post.

“I don’t hate anybody, but this issue, it’s affected me.”

Victorian government to lure manufacturing businesses with $90 million commitment

The Victorian government will commit $90 million in its state budget to attract businesses and create jobs in manufacturing and aviation, reports the ABC.

The funding package is less than a similar jobs plan in last year’s budget, worth $116 million, but Industry Minister Wade Noonan said the state remained focused on the global context of job creation.

 We do recognise that as a state we need to actively compete in a globally competitive marketplace,” he said, reports the ABC.  

It’s unclear at this stage how the funds will be used. The Victorian state budget will be handed down next week.

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