Richard Branson invests in Hyperloop One … Amazon has 500 Aussie businesses signed up already … Costello calls for super reform

Richard Branson

Richard Branson threw water at fellow entrepreneur Mark Cuban after a misunderstanding.

Entrepreneur and Virgin founder Richard Branson has announced a “significant” investment from his company into Hyperloop One, a company based in the US looking to commercialise Elon Musk’s high-speed Hyperloop transportation network.

The company, which has been renamed “Virgin Hyperloop One” will continue to develop its transportation networks with the help of Virgin’s investment reports TechCrunch.

“Ever since our creation, Virgin has been known for disruption and investing in innovative companies. From our airlines to our trains to our spaceline, we have long been passionate about innovation in transport too, especially the development of technology that could transform people’s lives,” Branson wrote in a blog post announcing the investment.

“This is just the latest example. Importantly, Virgin Hyperloop One will be all-electric and the team is working on ensuring it is a responsible and sustainable form of transport too.”

Amazon has 500 businesses ready to sell ahead of launch

E-commerce giant Amazon is still gearing up for its launch in Australia over the coming months, and Business Insider reports the company has already lined up 500 Australian businesses to sell through the platform on launch.

Local retail associations have placed their support behind Amazon, with the Australian Retail Association (ARA) and the SME Association of Australia partnering with the company to support the launch of Amazon Marketplace locally.

“We believe that Amazon’s arrival brings new possibilities to Australian retailers, small and large,” ARA director Russell Zimmerman said in a statement.

“We are pleased to work alongside Amazon to bring the Seller Summit to Sydney so that businesses and retailers alike can receive practical advice and guidance on how to make the most of Amazon Marketplace.”

Costello calls for super reform

Former treasurer Peter Costello is calling on the government to establish a central agency to invest the billions of dollars in workers’ superannuation instead of it being invested by the current default funds, AAP reports.

He has suggested compulsory super payments be made into a government-managed fund.

“There is a fair argument that these compulsory payments should be allocated to a national safety-net administrator — let’s call it the Super Guarantee Agency,’ Costello said in a speech in Melbourne.

Current Finance Minister Mathias Cormann would not comment on the proposition, telling Sky News it was the first time he had heard of it.

“The government is focused on ensuring Australia has a transparent, efficient and competitive industry because people want to ensure their money is safe and investment returns on their retirement savings are maximised,” Cormann said.

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