Gillard tells Barnett to be part of the nation

Julia Gillard is urging Colin Barnett to drop his antipathy towards the rest of Australia and ensure WA becomes more integrated with the rest of the country. The West

Now bosses face triple pay slug

Employers struggling with higher penalty rates face a three-pronged pay push in coming months as unions target a substantial increase in minimum wages covering about 1.4 million workers, along with higher pay for apprentice and junior retail workers. The Fin

Sacked mine manager sues BHP for $2m

The former general manager of the Ravensthorpe Nickel West Project is suing BHP Billiton for $2 million in the Supreme Court over alleged unfair dismissal. The West

Production hopes fire up Buru stock

The prospect of imminent oil production sent Buru Energy shares up as much as 30 per cent to a record yesterday as Eric Streitberg's long-held pursuit of hydrocarbon riches in the Kimberley starts to attract global investor attention. The West

ABCC chief slams Fair Work Act

The head of the building industry watchdog has shone a light on the limitations of the Fair Work Act, warning that its bargaining provisions are being improperly used and failing to deliver productivity gains. The Aus

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Perth Airport's charter terminals have become the new stalking ground for prostitutes trying to lure fly-in fly-out workers returning from remote mine sites.

Page 6: The former general manager of the Ravensthorpe Nickel West Project is suing BHP Billiton for $2 million in the Supreme Court over alleged unfair dismissal.

Public discontent over the state government's $440 million Perth waterfront redevelopment is growing with more than 9,000 people petitioning Parliament for an inquiry into the project.

Page 10: Julia Gillard is urging Colin Barnett to drop his antipathy towards the rest of Australia and ensure WA becomes more integrated with the rest of the country.

Colin Barnett has hit out at Wayne Swan's criticism of mining magnates, saying it was the Federal Treasurer’s “bungling” not vested interests that caused the demise of the original mining tax.

Page 12: The Reserve Bank has admitted parts of Australia are suffering from changes wrought by the mining boom but the problems are not enough to force a cut in official interest rates.

Page 16: The Innaloo Megaplex is set to double in size under a $50 million proposal that includes a bowling alley and karaoke venue, supermarket, offices, shops and cafes.

Page 17: A purported safety threat to mining magnate Gina Rinehart from an unknown man in Dubai was not enough to convince a judge that details of her family legal feud should remain secret.

Page 18: More than $26 million in taxpayers' funds was handed out last year to more than 400 public servants who accepted voluntary severance packages.

Business liftout:

Page 1: Michael Minosora, the one-time head of Ernst & Young's Perth practice who has set his sights on making a fortune out of mining, has for the second time in three months been forced to dig deep into his personal finances to provide cash to keep the cursed $900 million Windimurra vanadium project alive.

More than two-thirds of Australian miners are yet to make any preparations for the federal government's planned mineral resources rent tax, despite their concerns that the changes will result in huge compliance costs.

Page 2: The prospect of imminent oil production sent Buru Energy shares up as much as 30 per cent to a record yesterday as Eric Streitberg's long-held pursuit of hydrocarbon riches in the Kimberley starts to attract global investor attention.

Page 3: Kagara may need to return to equity markets for a cash boost, despite shuttering some of its Queensland mines in an effort to cut costs.

Page 18: WA's economic growth is likely to fast-track a recovery in retial trade with direct benefits to Perth's retail property, where luxury brands, food and beverage operators and bulky goods operators are already actively leasing, according to CBRE's latest Perth MarketView report.

Page 20: Master Builders Australia warns there could be serious ramifications for the already depressed sections of the building industry if last-minute additions to the powers of the new building industry watchdog are allowed.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

 

Page 1: Mining companies are investigating legal options to hit green groups with claims for millions of dollars over plans to use litigation to delay coal mines and infrastructure projects.

Australia's richest person, mining billionaire Gina Rinehart, asked for a board seat at Fairfax Media when she visited the company's offices in Sydney yesterday.

Shadow treasurer Joe Hockey will today commit a Coalition government to labour market reform, incentives to states to fix housing shortages, and a Productivity Commission inquiry into policies for industries hurting due to the high dollar.

Employers struggling with higher penalty rates face a three-pronged pay push in coming months as unions target a substantial increase in minimum wages covering about 1.4 million workers, along with higher pay for apprentice and junior retail workers.

Cash gifts pledged in wills to arts organisations should attract a full tax break while the donor is still living, a review designed to encourage Australians to give more money to the arts recommends.

Page 4: West Australian Premier Colin Barnett has backed claims Wayne Swan ambushed former prime minister Kevin Rudd and the resources industry with the mining tax and said the federal Treasurer’s attacks on mining billionaires were inappropriate.

Page 6: Business has won a seat at the Council of Australian Governments, giving it a new forum to set deregulation priorities and revisit crucial but unfinished competition reforms.

Page 7: The Gillard government is exploring tax incentives – which could be unveiled in the budget in May – to upgrade companies' ageing capital stock and boost productivity.

Page 8: Gina Rinehart's 11th-hour attempt to have juicy details of her bitter family dispute kept secret on the basis that her safety may be compromised has failed, after a NSW Supreme Court judge rejected a threat from an unnamed man in Dubai who claimed “she is not safe”.

Page 10: Deregulating university fees would lead to prestigious institutions charging significantly inflated prices, a leading consultant has warned.

West Australian Environment Minister Bill Marmion ruled out an increase in the state's landfill levy to encourage more recycling of construction waste.

Page 11: For the first time in more than 30 years, farmers in all states and industries will make a profit this year as their sales overseas rise above $35 billion, driven by the wettest two-year period on record.

Hopes for official interest rate cuts dimmed yesterday when the central bank left monetary policy on hold for a third consecutive month amid signs that the economy entered 2012 in better shape than had been feared.

Page 22: Xstrata Coal chief executive Peter Freyberg has warned that over-regulation by state and federal governments risks the benefits of Australia's resources boom.

Page 23: Kagara is to shut marginal operations, stop exploration activity and shed 130 jobs as it seeks to combat a slump in zinc and copper prices and the high Australian dollar in order to return to profitability.

Page 28: Australia's biggest employer, Wesfarmers, and the UK's largest private sector employer, Tesco, are mirroring each other through simultaneous plans to increase staff numbers despite the brutal retail environment in both countries.

Page 53: A planning quagmire of excessive charges and delays is driving up the cost of new homes, shrinking the plots they are built on and widening the undersupply of homes, according to a peak industry body report.

Page 55: Western Australia is at risk of a land shortage even though the local property market is languishing under an abundance of supply and low consumer confidence, according to the Urban Development Institute of Australia.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: A World Heritage mission wants tough new environmental conditions placed on coal and gas port expansion applications, pending the outcome of a strategic review into the combined threat they pose to the Great Barrier Reef.

A powerful union official has criticised a plan by environmental activists to sink the coal export industry with a litigation blitz on key projects, declaring it an ‘‘economy killer’’ that would be rejected by the Australian people.

The value of international students to the Australian education sector has collapsed by 20 per cent as the high dollar gouges an industry already reeling from migration cutbacks, a prohibitive visa regime and violence against foreign students.

Page 2: The head of the building industry watchdog has shone a light on the limitations of the Fair Work Act, warning that its bargaining provisions are being improperly used and failing to deliver productivity gains.

A stumble by a key Coalition economic spokesman over the status of Tony Abbott’s paid parental leave plan has exposed tensions in the opposition over fiscal policy.

Page 3: Media executives and journalists are being offered the chance to attend a $500-a-head workshop on the recommendations of the federal government’s Finkelstein media inquiry, despite no indication it will lead to a new regulatory regime.

Page 6: Julia Gillard has enlisted the nation’s most powerful business groups to increase pressure on premiers and chief ministers to break a deadlock on economic reforms, such as national licensing of tradesmen, which could unlock a combined $4 billion in productivity gains.

Wayne Swan has come under attack from South Australian Labor Treasurer Jack Snelling over moves to penalise states that raise their mining royalty rates.

Page 7: The Reserve Bank expects to keep interest rates steady for the remainder of the year but is counting on an improvement in productivity to keep inflation under control.

The good times have finally come to rural Australia, with farmers across the nation enjoying unprecedented prosperity and rising income.

Page 8: Australia's wealthiest person, Gina Rinehart, has been told the supposed threat to her safety and that of her family is not enough to warrant a suppression order over the case being brought against her by three of her children — despite a claimed warning about her safety from a stranger in Dubai.

Business: Sweeping changes have been proposed to the way all superannuation funds operate, including mooted ASX-style standards of disclosure over the salaries of the directors and managers who oversee Australia’s $1.3 trillion industry.

A department head at Iraq’s largest state-owned oil company has reportedly left the country amid accusations that he took bribes from a subsidiary of Leighton Holdings to help it secure contracts.

The Reserve Bank’s decision to keep official rates on hold yesterday was widely expected, but Bank of Queensland’s parallel decision to raise its mortgage rates is a reminder the central bank might have to lower rates sooner than it would have liked.

The China-driven commodities super cycle may have peaked after the world’s biggest commodities buyer this week lowered official growth forecasts.

Indian power and steel tycoon Naveen Jindal has warned Australia’s proposed mining tax could ‘‘dampen enthusiasm’’ among international investors and that the carbon tax was ‘‘as much a concern for Indian companies’’ as Australian business.

Gloucester Coal’s board has unanimously backed a deal to merge with China’s Yanzhou Coal to create a $9.3 billion miner, which will become Australia’s largest listed pure coal play.

Westpac is ramping up its outsourcing strategy by sending a further 126 positions offshore, adding to the growing number of job losses across the finance sector and sparking calls the banks are in a ‘‘race to the bottom’’ to rein in costs to protect profits.

Women working full-time are being paid only 80 per cent of the wages of their male counterparts doing similar work, according to a new survey released by research house IBISWORLD.

The resources boom in Queensland and Western Australia is pitting international business travellers against mining executives for access to hotel beds and flights.

 

THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD:

Page 1: SES and army personnel door knocked throughout the night to advise Wagga Wagga residents to evacuate by morning.

NSW government plans will mean miners will have access to all areas of the state, but proposals to drill in areas deemed strategic agricultural land will have to pass scrutiny from an independent panel.

Premier Barry O'Farrell accuses The Star of running a smear campaign to blacken a sexual harassment victim's name.

Page 2: Official interest rates set to remain on hold, possibly for the rest of the year.

Page 3: NSW Business Chamber scores the O'Farrell government 7.5 out of 10 for its first year. Nearly 20 per cent of public hospitals fail to meet hand hygiene standards.

World: A machine gun shooting range has opened in Las Vegas. Vladimir Putin defends charges of fraud from international observers as he celebrates his victory in Russia's presidential elections.

Business: Indian companies may become less enthusiastic about investing in Australia as concerns over new taxes on mining and carbon increase, says Indian parliamentarian Naveen Jindal.

Sport: Melbourne officials left disappointed after Canberra coach David Furner claimed Storm players executed six illegal tackles.

 

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH:

Page 1: Premier Barry O'Farrell will announce new laws that will take away traffic planning powers from Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore. A joint state government and City of Sydney committee will manage the city's transport issues. People escape from Wagga Wagga as Murrumbidgee River threatens to break flood records.

Page 2: O'Farrell takes away transport planning laws from Moore continued.

Page 3: NSW high school students will take mental health classes to combat depression and mental illness in adolescents.

World: Prince Harry arrives in Jamaica for a four-day visit amid a push by PM to cut ties with British monarchy.

Business: Westpac sends 119 Aussie jobs offshore to boost profits.

Sport: NRL at risk if tougher laws to stamp out tackles above the nipple line are not introduced.

 

THE AGE:

Page 1: Australia's biggest military contractor, Tenix Defence, is under federal police investigation for allegedly bribing officials and politicians across Asia to win massive contracts. The Australian Council of Trade Unions is poised to get a new national secretary.

Page 2: The federal government will consider widening the powers of the Medicare watchdog to investigate suspected rorts by corporatised medical chains.

Page 3: Victoria Police is asking people who successfully apply to become police to consider careers as protective services officers on railway stations as it tries to deliver one of the Baillieu government's key pre-election promises.

World: Syrian forces are carrying out mass arrests and summary executions in Baba Amra, the former rebel stronghold in the city of Homs, according to a growing body of evidence.

Buisness: Indian companies share the Australian business community's concerns over new taxes on mining and carbon and may become less enthusiastic about investing here, the head of one of India's biggest steel and power companies says.

Sport: St Kilda has revealed bold plans to officially align its new player academy with European soccer clubs and also become the first club to harvest overseas talent on a major scale.

THE HERALD SUN:

Page 1: A millionaire businessman who secretly helped a single friend conceive through IVF has launched a legal fight over custody.

Page 2: Workers and home buyers have been caught in an economic pincer: banks may lift interest rates just as another wave of sackings sweeps Victoria.

Page 3: A justice group fronted by Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton and US boxer Rubin Hurricane Carter is preparing to battle to free triple child killer Robert Farquharson.

Business: The rate-cutting cycle is all but over and pressure is mounting for interest rates to rise, a former Reserve Bank director has warned.

Sport: Daniel Wells is poised to make a shock return for North Melbourne on Sunday, six months after he was struck down by a life-threatening illness.