China steel purge threat to boom
China's biggest steel makers are planning to shut unprofitable capacity permanently over the second half of 2012 as the impact of slowing Chinese growth continues to shake iron ore markets. The Fin
Energy groups argue over compo
A new stoush has erupted over billions of dollars of carbon price compensation for brown-coal electricity generators amid warnings that linking the Australian scheme to Europe has ''breathed new life'' into the most polluting power stations. The Aus
Moody's flags FMG downgrade
Ratings agency Moody's has intensified the pressure on Fortescue Metals Group, warning late last night it was reviewing the debt-laden miner's financial ratings for a possible downgrade. The West
Mining tax won't cover promises
The mining tax will fall $620 million short next financial year of fully funding federal budget plans for families and businesses that it was designed to fund, even if commodity prices bounce back to meet government forecasts. The Fin
Gloomy driller upsets sector
The positive vibe permeating the mining services sector this reporting season was wiped out by a wave of selling yesterday after the world's biggest driller gave a gloomy prognosis. The West
THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:
Page 3: Supreme Court Chief Justice Wayne Martin has questioned whether child protection policies which let some Aboriginal children live in appalling conditions are an "overreaction" to the disastrous Stolen Generation era.
Page 7: A second-hand clothing collection company in WA has been accused of exploiting cancer victims in Australia and poverty in Africa as part of an "unconscionable" multi-million dollar business.
Page 9: Traffic congestion is beginning to bite Perth businesses, slicing into profits and productivity and putting jobs at risk.
Page 10: Australia's $20 billion woman, Gina Rinehart, was yesterday criticised for being out of touch with ordinary Australians after calling for cuts in the minimum wage.
Page 32: The company responsible for the 2008 Montara oil disaster off the Kimberley is facing fines of up to $1.7 million after pleading guilty in Darwin Magistrates Court yesterday to four charges relating to the spill.
WA Labor has revealed another big-spending election commitment, promising to buy 10 new three-car train sets if it wins office.
Business: Ratings agency Moody's has intensified the pressure on Fortescue Metals Group, warning late last night it was reviewing the debt-laden miner's financial ratings for a possible downgrade.
The August iron ore price meltdown has slashed the estimated worth of Australia's two richest people by more than $5.5 billion.
Perpetual chief executive Geoff Lloyd believes investor confidence is the worst he has ever seen, but insisted the blue chip fund manager was not waiting for markets to recover.
The positive vibe permeating the mining services sector this reporting season was wiped out by a wave of selling yesterday after the world's biggest driller gave a gloomy prognosis.
VDM Group paid its top executives cash bonuses despite the struggling contractor posting a $54.8 million annual loss.
Chris Bonwick's Independence Group has written down more than half the value of its $500 million acquisition of Jabiru Metals last year, unveiling another round of paper losses in its latest results.
State Energy Minister Peter Collier has questioned the need for Australia's renewable energy target, saying it is costly and may be unnecessary given the carbon tax has come into force.
THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:
Page 1: China's biggest steel makers are planning to shut unprofitable capacity permanently over the second half of 2012 as the impact of slowing Chinese growth continues to shake iron ore markets.
Federal cabinet ministers have been told that departments face another round of big staffing cuts, in a move that will blunt Labor's attack on state Coalition governments for slashing public service numbers.
More than 150,000 workers across the construction industry have threatened to strike if police try today to break what union leaders admit is an illegal blockade of a Grocon building site in Melbourne.
Page 3: Foreign investment should be welcomed "without any sense of conditionality", John Howard told a conference in China, just days after Opposition Leader Tony Abbott flagged a tougher approach to investment by state-owned enterprises in a speech in Beijing.
Page 4: A government working group has recommended the $7000 first-home owner grant be scrapped, arguing it is not a cost-effective use of money.
Page 5: Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says the Coalition's policy promises will be fully funded, but has refused to detail the cuts a Coalition government would make to alleviate the budget's "dire" fiscal position.
The mining tax will fall $620 million short next financial year of fully funding federal budget plans for families and businesses that it was designed to fund, even if commodity prices bounce back to meet government forecasts.
Page 7: Gina Rinehart's calls for Australians who are "jealous" of the rich to "do something" about it was insulting to millions of workers, Treasurer Wayne Swan says.
Page 9: Companies have raised their investment plans by the least in almost two decades, adding to fears that the mining boom may soon peak just as a worsening iron ore rout deepens Labor's surplus challenge.
Page 10: China's steel-making peak body has slashed its outlook for long-term demand and forecasts the world's second biggest economy will need 40 per cent less steel by 2025 than estimates by Australia's big three miners.
Page 15: Boart Longyear, the world's largest mineral exploration drilling company, has painted a bleak outlook for the global mining industry and warned that more projects will be shelved as miners cut back on development.
Page 17: Regional TV broadcaster Prime Media expects to continue to take audience share from the embattled Southern Cross Media.
Page 19: Fortescue Metals Group will divest non-core assets, pre-sell iron ore to customers, defer non-essential spending and raise further debt if necessary to avoid an equity raising to fund its $US9 billion expansion.
Page 1: The army's darkest day since the Vietnam War will not hasten Australian troops' withdrawal from Afghanistan, Julia Gillard declared as the nation grieved for five dead Diggers, three shot by a rogue Afghan soldier.
Unions have threatened a 24-hour shutdown of the Victorian building industry in support of the construction union's fight against Grocon, which a senior official admitted yesterday was ''illegal''.
Page 2: A new stoush has erupted over billions of dollars of carbon price compensation for brown-coal electricity generators amid warnings that linking the Australian scheme to Europe has ''breathed new life'' into the most polluting power stations.
Ministers are bracing for another round of budget cuts beyond this week's freeze on federal grants as Treasury warns of the risk to the surplus from the latest falls in commodity prices.
Kevin Rudd has ramped up his public profile, lashing Tony Abbott's political style, continuing his personal campaign to reduce homelessness and providing his view on the outlook for the Chinese economy.
Government grants totalling well over a billion dollars have escaped Labor's budget freeze, including a $15 million hand-out to upgrade the airport in the seat of independent MP Rob Oakeshott.
Falling commodity prices have failed to dent Australia's bulging resource investment pipeline, but lower interest rates are yet to provide much cheer for Australia's beleaguered builders, as building approvals retreat to lacklustre levels observed earlier in the year.
Page 6: Queensland's giant Cubbie cotton station will be sold to the Chinese for less than the mooted price tag of $300 million-plus, insiders to the controversial deal say.
Welfare groups are delighted with Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten's change of heart over Newstart, but have declared the time for talking about its adequacy is over and urgent action is required.
Page 7: Three years after PTTEP Australasia's Montara platform started spewing tens of thousands of litres of oil and gas condensate into the Indian Ocean off Western Australia, the Thai company will today be sentenced over the disaster.
Page 9: German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in China yesterday as the head of the largest German business delegation to visit the country, underscoring Germany's growing economic dependence on the world's most populous nation amid Europe's economic stagnation.
Business: Iron ore prices have continued their rapid fall, dragging down mining shares, putting further pressure on federal and West Australian budget estimates and leading Fortescue Metals Group to join analysts in admitting the slump may have further to go.
Property giant Lend Lease yesterday flagged stronger earnings from its Australian construction and development arms, including the $6 billion Barangaroo urban regeneration project in Sydney, as the group continued to pull back to its home ground.
Investment group Perpetual has hacked further into its cost base, announcing an IT outsourcing agreement with Fujitsu Australia that will cut 100 jobs, as funds continue to flow out of the business despite its top performing asset management team.
Mining drill contractor Boart Longyear lost more than one-third of its market value yesterday after offering a downcast view of near-term exploration spending, slashing guidance because of tightened spending from big miners and a lack of available funds for smaller ones.
China's appetite for investing in Australia's resources sector is unlikely to be diminished by the recent plunge in commodity prices, which could be used to its advantage, according to one of the nation's largest law firms.
Shares in internet provider iiNet took a 3 per cent hit yesterday as its managing director signed himself a $13.2 million pay cheque after selling more than four million shares in the Perth-based company.
THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD:
Page 1: Australia's military has experienced its darkest day since the Battle of Long Tan in the Vietnam war after five diggers were killed in two separate events, one a "green on blue" attack where three Australian soldiers were shot dead by a rogue member of the Afghan National Army. NSW MP Anthony Roberts and his chief of staff have been accused of verbally assaulting a female staff member for more than two days, causing her severe psychological trauma that led to her resignation. Questions are being asked about Indonesia's search and rescue capacity amid fears that more than 100 asylum seekers are dead.
Page 2: Abortion pill RU486, which is on the World Health Organisation's list of essential medicines, will become widely available after approval for its importation was granted by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
Page 3: A 74-year-old priest who was once the right-hand man of a bishop has become the first Australian Catholic priest charged with concealing the alleged sex crimes of another.
World: Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan has performed well after a nervous start in the most important speech of his life at the party's national conference.
Business: Fortescue Metals chairman Andrew Forrest has spent nearly $40 million on shares in the company to shore up confidence and flush out short-sellers.
Sport: The Australian Rugby League Council's decision to crack down on shoulder charges during the NRL finals has been received positively.
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH:
Page 1: Five Australian soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan in the country's worst day at war since the Battle of Long Tan in the Vietnam War in 1966.
Page 2: Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan story continues.
Page 3: Prime Minister Julia Gillard has urged Australians to show resolve and has vowed to complete the military's mission in Afghanistan.
World: A 100-year-old man has backed his car on to a pavement in Los Angeles, hitting 11 people including nine children, blaming the incident on a brake failure.
Business: One of Australia's big four banks could take over British bank Standard Chartered in a bid to tap into a new source of growth.
Sport: Shoulder charges will be cracked down upon severely during the NRL finals series.
Page 1: Prime Minister Julia Gillard vows to continue Afghanistan fight after death of five diggers stuns the nation. About 95 asylum seekers feared lost at sea off the Java coast after boat sinks on the way to Christmas Island.
Page 2: Toll Holdings warned by discrimination watchdog it must do more to prevent sexual harassment. Celebrations with Tasmania's gay marriage bill passed in the lower house.
Page 3: Victorians may pay electricity company SP AusNet's costs in class actions over its alleged role in Black Saturday bushfires via higher electricity prices. Tony Mokbel called to assist inquiry into race fixing.
Page 5: Abortion pill RU486 set to be widely available to Australian women after getting the green light from the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
World: Mitt Romney tells America he's the one who can revive the world's largest economy, despite polls showing he's the least popular presidential candidate in almost 30 years.
Business: Fortescue Metals chairman Andrew Forrest splashes out nearly $40 million to shore up confidence in the mining company.
Sport: Carlton football club board to sign off on a three-year maximum $3 million coaching contract offer to Mick Malthous
THE HERALD SUN:
Page 1: Three diggers murdered by Afghan traitor with another two killed in a chopper crash.
Page 2: Prime Minister Julia Gillard implores Australians to show resolve, vowing to finish the mission in Afghanistan.
Page 3: Deadly betrayals against diggers likely to rise as Taliban asserts influence ahead of Australia's troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014.
Page 7: Victorians boozing at alarming levels and openly admitting it on new state government drinking assessment website.
Page 8: The CFMEU has spent more than $3 million paying penalties for industrial action in the past seven years.
World: Condoleezza Rice accuses Barack Obama of creating a culture of grievance and entitlement, and of turning rich and poor Americans against each other.
Business: Shares in a succession of Australia's leading mining companies hit their lowest levels in years as iron ore prices tumble.
Sport: Mick Malthouse emerges as the only serious contender for the Carlton coaching job.