Economy hit as resources go backwards
A contraction in the mining industry, triggered by lower commodity prices and tighter household spending more than halved economic growth last quarter, and Treasurer Wayne Swan admits it is becoming harder to deliver a budget surplus. The Fin
Labor backflip on dirty power angers Greens
Plans to replace heavily polluting coal-fired power stations with ''cleaner'' electricity are in turmoil and a new rift has opened between Labor and the Greens after the government scuttled a key plank of its carbon policy yesterday. The Aus
Forrest stalwarts among those to go in jobs purge
Some of billionaire Andrew Forrest's most loyal executives have fallen victim to the staff purge sweeping Fortescue Metals Group as the miner tries to cut costs to deal with its big debt burden and a plummeting iron ore price. The West
Iron ore miners take a $4bn hit
Investors have lost faith in miners' predictions of a rebound in iron ore prices and bullish outlook on another decade or two of Chinese steel growth, wiping $4 billion from the value of local iron ore stocks yesterday. The Aus
Scaffolders share raising hits hurdles
Brokers handling a capital raising for Global Construction Services were scrambling yesterday to place shares with institutional investors at potentially reduced prices after failing to complete the bookbuild on schedule. The West
THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:
Page 3: Scalpers looking to cash in on West Coast's biggest home game of the year have flooded websites with hundreds of tickets.
Page 6: Malcolm Turnbull has savaged the quality of political debate in Australia and called for truthfulness to replace the "blatant misrepresentations, exaggerations or outright lies" from both sides.
Wayne Swan has warned of deep cuts in a late-year mini budget after admitting the sharp fall in commodity prices will soon hit the government's bottom line.
The Gillard government has performed its second climate change backflip in a week, dumping plans to pay the dirtiest power stations to shut down from 2016.
Page 10: Education and jobs were the key themes of Julia Gillard's second day in Perth as her Cabinet fanned out across the suburbs to push the government's policies.
Page 14: Dolphin populations in the North West are under threat from industrial and port developments yet are being ignored in environmental assessments, research by Murdoch University has found.
Business: Some of billionaire Andrew Forrest's most loyal executives have fallen victim to the staff purge sweeping Fortescue Metals Group as the miner tries to cut costs to deal with its big debt burden and a plummeting iron ore price.
Brokers handling a capital raising for Global Construction Services were scrambling yesterday to place shares with institutional investors at potentially reduced prices after failing to complete the bookbuild on schedule.
Canada's publicly-traded utility, TransAlta, splurged $US318 million for Fortescue Metals' Solomon mine power station yesterday and is targeting further Pilbara acquisitions to expand its WA business by 40 per cent.
WA's energy market regulator has given households and business a $3.6 billion reprieve after a long-awaited decision on how much revenue Western Power would be able to recoup for access to its electricity network in the South West.
The corporate watchdog has cracked down on businessman Paul Foster's financial planning firm as a legal row rages over a Foster-linked fund with a half share in the Cottesloe Beach Hotel.
Atlas Iron says it has no plans to shelve its Pilbara expansion and it is not considering slowing operations in light of a collapsing iron ore price.
THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:
Page 1: A contraction in the mining industry, triggered by lower commodity prices and tighter household spending more than halved economic growth last quarter, and Treasurer Wayne Swan admits it is becoming harder to deliver a budget surplus.
Australia's dirtiest power stations will receive up to $5.5 billion in financial support for the next five years, despite shelving plans to invest in clean energy projects, after the federal government dumped a central plank of its carbon scheme.
Page 5: The official in charge of Europe's languishing carbon-trading scheme says the price will not automatically rise with an economic recovery and political agreement is needed to cut the number of permits in the market.
Page 6: Former and present Treasury chiefs Ken Henry and Martin Parkinson are defending the regulation of foreign investment but concede more should be done to allay community concerns as Liberal MPs lash out at the Nationals' "irrational" campaign against the sale of Cubbie Station.
Page 7: Supermarkets are turning to foreign food suppliers to supply cheap groceries for their private label lines.
Page 9: The mining states of Queensland and Western Australia led the charge in economic activity in the last quarter, defying talk of a slowdown in the resources boom.
Page 10: Treasurer Wayne Swan has vowed to keep the taxation burden lower than the level Labor inherited from the Howard government but has not ruled out raising some taxes to help push the budget into surplus.
Page 11: Resources Minister Martin Ferguson backed Gina Rinehart's complaints about high operating costs in the Australian mining industry as Prime Minister Julia Gillard mocked the heiress's wish for cheap labour.
Page 12: Australia has failed to improve its ranking in an influential global survey of competitiveness, with international business executives criticising the Gillard government's Fair Work labour rules, bureaucratic inefficiency and taxes.
Page 13: The builders of the $29 billion Wheatstone LNG project have struck two crucial greenfields agreements with the Australian Workers Union, but might still face a demarcation battle involving rival unions.
Page 21: Qantas Airways has sealed a transformational alliance with Emirates in which it will replace Singapore with Dubai as a stopover to London in a bid to shore up the future of its loss-making international business.
Page 23: Australian iron ore exporters are facing pressure to sell their product at discounted rates as China clamps down on excess capacity.
Lynas Corporation believes the Malaysian constitution makes it all but impossible for a new government to strip the company of its hard-won right to operate its rare-earths refinery in Kuantan province.
BHP Billiton petroleum boss Mike Yeager has signalled US gas prices need to rise at least another 20 per cent before the miner will resume drilling "dry gas" areas in its shale gas assets.
Page 25: Kerry Stokes' Seven Group Holdings is close to offloading internet phone company Engin, but is expected to recoup less than half the $30 million it sunk into the business over the past six years.
Page 1: Plans to replace heavily polluting coal-fired power stations with ''cleaner'' electricity are in turmoil and a new rift has opened between Labor and the Greens after the government scuttled a key plank of its carbon policy yesterday.
The nation's biggest defence project, the $8 billion construction of three air warfare destroyers, will be delayed by at least another year because of savage cuts to the defence budget and critical shortages in skills and manpower.
Industrial disputes have undercut the nation's economic performance as other countries leap ahead of Australia on a global competitiveness survey that is used to guide business investment.
Page 3: The ABC has developed contingency plans in the event an incoming Coalition government slashes taxpayer funding to the public broadcaster, chairman James Spigelman said last night.
Mothers rank affordability in childcare far more importantly than its accessibility and quality as the key policy to help them return to work after having a baby.
Page 4: The economy slowed over the past few months as consumers spent more cautiously and businesses were less eager to invest, fanning concerns the second half of the year may not be as rosy for Australia as the first.
Page 5: Mining billionaire Gina Rinehart's ''bold plan'' for northern Australia to become a special economic zone with tax and redtape exemptions has failed to win support from Labor or the Coalition.
Page 6: Improvement in the school system will be driven from the bottom, with a panel member of the Gonski review of school funding arguing the nation's top-performing schools need stiffer competition, not more money to lift their game.
The construction union faces the threat of increased financial penalties after defying Julia Gillard and spreading its campaign against Grocon to another two Melbourne building sites.
Page 7: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda has controversially claimed that big mining firms are consulting with and resourcing indigenous communities better than governments.
Traditional owners who voted for a liquefied natural gas precinct at James Price Point are threatening to reconsider their support if the Kimberley project's social and cultural impacts are not addressed as part of the approvals process.
Business: Investors have lost faith in miners' predictions of a rebound in iron ore prices and bullish outlook on another decade or two of Chinese steel growth, wiping $4 billion from the value of local iron ore stocks yesterday.
Respected business leader Dick Warburton says a corporate tax cut should be the first step of a renewed campaign of tax reform to make Australia more competitive and help lift the nation's flagging productivity.
Rare-earths miner Lynas has finally won the right to process ore at its controversial plant in Malaysia in a move likely to win strong support from the sharemarket today.
Investors have praised Nine Entertainment for clinching a deal against the odds in selling ACP Magazines, giving rise to expectations it could trigger a break-up of other Australian media assets.
BHP Billiton says it could start pouring money back into shale gas assets acquired in $US20 billion worth of ill-timed acquisitions last year if US domestic gas prices continue to rise and has given a surprisingly upbeat assessment of its undeveloped Australian gas interests.
Australia's junior iron ore miners and emerging producers face running at a loss if the price of the commodity falls significantly further.
Fortescue Metals Group has confirmed the $US300 million ($294.9m) sale of its Solomon ore mine power station in Western Australia's Pilbara region as it scrambles for cash to meet debt obligations amid slumping iron ore prices.
The rapid slide in the iron ore price is significantly weighing on investor sentiment in the resources sector, but analysts say there is hope in base metals -- copper and gold the standouts.
A codeshare deal with Emirates to be announced as early as today is expected to add up $90 million to Qantas pre-tax earnings and include Asian and trans-Tasman routes.
THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD:
Page 1: A paralympian who went to boarding school with Robert Poate, one of three Australian diggers killed by an Afghan soldier, has paid tribute to his fallen mate from London. Australia's biggest polluters are hundreds of millions of dollars better off under the carbon tax, new modelling shows. Malcolm Turnbull has taken a swipe at the "deficit of trust" in politics in a Perth speech.
Page 2: Australia will begin work on selling arms to Indonesia despite human rights abuse claims over the country's military in Papua.
Page 3: Treasurer Wayne Swan has slammed critics of Australia's world-beating economy, which has reached 21 years of uninterrupted growth.
World: US First Lady Michelle Obama's rousing speech to help launch her husband's presidential re-election campaign has had the thumbs up from Democratic Party faithfuls and Fox News.
Business: Fortescue Metals has reassured a number of banks about its financial position after it shelved expansion plans and sold off assets on Tuesday.
Sport: Veteran coach Brian Smith has been sacked from his Sydney Roosters post.
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH:
Page 1: Ballina swimmer Jacqueline Freney has claimed her sixth Paralympic gold and could claim another two. If it gets the green light, the NSW Government's $8 billion rail link plan for northwest Sydney will shave only 60 seconds off the commute from Rouse Hill and Macquarie Park in 20 years.
Page 2: Even if the North West Rail Link is built in Sydney, at a cost of $8 billion, it will make virtually no difference to commute times by 2031.
Page 3: Mr Whippy is suing celebrity chef George Calombaris over copyright infringement.
World: A 69-year-old Colombian woman dubbed the Godmother of Cocaine, who did time in the US over drug trafficking and the murder of three people, including a two-year-old boy in Miami, has been assassinated.
Business: Prime Minister Julia Gillard misrepresented Gina Rinehart by suggesting the billionaire called for Australian wages to be cut to $2 a day.
Sport: The Sydney Roosters have sacked coach Brian Smith in hopes of luring in Melbourne Storm skipper Craig Bellamy.
Page 1: The stronger than expected financial position of Australia's highest-emitting brown coal electricity generators have forced the Gillard government to abandon its attempts to close them down by 2020. Security on hand to protect racing steward Terry Bailey after alleged threat from jockey Danny Nikolic. Teachers to stage four-hour rolling strikes as industrial action escalates.
Page 3: Treasurer Wayne Swan celebrates 21 years of uninterrupted economic growth in Australia. Malcolm Turnbull calls on fellow MPs to avoid raising false expectations and misrepresenting opponents' positions. Police to continue targeting violent gang robberies in Melbourne's CBD and western suburbs.
World: Democratic convention wonders how Barack Obama will upstage his wife Michelle after her moving opening speech.
Business: Fortescue assures banks of its financial position as iron ore prices plunge.
Sport: North pick Lachie Hansen for Sunday's cut-throat final against West Coast signalling he is clear of concussion worries.
THE HERALD SUN:
Page 1: Police protect Victoria's top race steward Terry Bailey after he allegedly received a threat from jockey Danny Nikolic.
Page 2: Teachers threaten to withhold detailed end-of-year reports on their students as industrial action escalates. Gillard slams Rinehart's speech saying Africans work for $2 a day.
Page 3: Flying asylum seekers from Cocos (Keeling) Islands to detention centres is costing almost $1 million a month. Mr Whippy suing celebrity master chef George Calombaris for calling a dessert Mrs Whippi at his Kew restaurant.
World: Michelle Obama fires up Democratic National Convention with a passionate speech.
Business: Victoria growing at a slower rate than every other mainland state as manufacturing losses take their toll.
Sport: AFL presidents want an independent body to look for Andrew Demetriou's successor saying heir apparent Gillon McLachlan must not be the automatic choice.