Mining tax hole: Swan was warned
Treasurer Wayne Swan was warned four months ago the minerals resource rent tax wouldn't raise any revenue in the first quarter and possibly throughout the rest of the financial year, threatening Labor's budget surplus. The Fin
Power chiefs get big pay rises
Western Power has been forced to defend massive salary and benefits increases to its management team as West Australians battle to cope with 62 per cent rises in their power bills. The West
More BHP workers sacked
The axe has fallen at BHP Billiton's Nickel West, with up to 100 support staff made redundant yesterday to reignite industry speculation the mining giant is preparing to sell the struggling business. The West
Fortescue seeks royalties delay
Fortescue Metals Group has asked the West Australian government to defer the payment of hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties in another sign of financial difficulties at the iron ore miner. The Fin
Strong dollar to force rate cuts: ANZ
ANZ's chief executive Mike Smith has warned the weakness in the economy could be exacerbated by a strengthening Australian dollar and force the Reserve Bank to cut interest rates aggressively next year. The Aus
THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:
Page 3: Western Power has been forced to defend massive salary and benefits increases to its management team as West Australians battle to cope with 62 per cent rises in their power bills.
Consumer advocacy group Choice has stepped up its campaign against technology "rip-offs" by offering advice on how to bypass geo-blocking technology that stops Australians accessing cheaper prices for products including iTunes music, apps and movies.
Page 4: The state's triple-A credit rating is facing a one-in-three change of being downgraded, according to ratings agency Standard and Poors.
Mining magnate Gina Rinehart could have her deal to import 1,700 foreign workers torn up if her Pilbara iron ore project did not make an ongoing effort to recruit and train Australian workers first, a Senate committee has been told.
Page 5: Julia Gillard was involved in the "conspiracy" to topple Kevin Rudd as prime minister days before the coup, according to claims that contradict her account.
An acoustic receiver off Ocean Reef was activated by a tagged great white shark at least 29 times yesterday but the Department of Fisheries will not say whether it is one shark or several predators lurking off the coast.
Page 6: Garden City shopping centre in Booragoon will double in size to become WA's biggest shopping complex and one of the 10 biggest in the country under a $400 million redevelopment plan.
Page 9: Australia's first female indigenous MP has accused green groups of "colonising" Aboriginal people in their bid to block the Kimberley gas hub, saying the development was her people's best chance of controlling their destiny.
Page 10: A state government-funded report into the future of Perth's councils has declared the days of "roads, rates and rubbish" are over and called for far fewer councils with more power to tackle housing, transport and environmental issues.
Page 13: The Greens are demanding that the Gillard government overhaul the mining tax in response to fears it will fail to raise any cash.
Page 14: More than 1,000 public sector workers walked off the job yesterday to demand better wages from the Barnett government.
Page 16: WA senator David Johnston has inflamed tensions in the Liberal Party after he claimed an internal battle over wheat deregulation was nothing more than a "media beat-up".
Business: The axe has fallen at BHP Billiton's Nickel West, with up to 100 support staff made redundant yesterday to reignite industry speculation the mining giant is preparing to sell the struggling business.
The looming domination of floating LNG developments over the traditional land-based processing option received a big fillip yesterday when the federal government approved plans by Santos and GDF Suez for their Bonaparte project.
Resolute Mining has thrown a spanner into the works of Noble Mineral Resources' plans to recapitalise, mounting a surprise raid on the embattled miner's shares in an effort to stymie an equity tie-up with China's Zhongrun Resources Investment.
Deregulated shopping in WA has helped reinforce Coles' trading dominance over its arch-rival as Wesfarmers nears the fifth annual anniversary of its $19 billion purchase of the supermarket chain.
Canada's Teck Resources has quashed suggestions it might be a buyer for minority stakes in Fortescue Metals Group's Pilbara mines, with executives declaring the price of iron ore assets was "very rich" and it had not been able to find a reasonable entry price into the commodity.
The swarm of activity by WA-based explorers in Brazilian gold continued yesterday, with shareholders ratifying the partnership between Strickland Resources and Orinoco Resources to create Orinoco Gold.
THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:
Page 1: Treasurer Wayne Swan was warned four months ago the minerals resource rent tax wouldn't raise any revenue in the first quarter and possibly throughout the rest of the financial year, threatening Labor's budget surplus.
Page 3: Labor frontbenchers claim a group of backbench rebels is pressuring Prime Minister Julia Gillard to dump agreements and is using the issue to try to destabilise her leadership.
Page 4: The West Australian government will announce within weeks whether a Chinese company can buy 15,000 hectares of irrigation land in the state's north as debate intensifies over foreign investment in farmland.
Australia's engagement with China surged in the past year despite slowing Chinese investment and rising concern about its more aggressive approach to regional security.
Page 6: Peter Costello, who many regard as the last Australian treasurer to deliver comprehensive tax reform, says the government's attempt to cut a deal with the business community to reduce the 30 per cent corporate tax rate was doomed from the start.
Page 12: Fortescue Metals Group has asked the West Australian government to defer the payment of hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties in another sign of financial difficulties at the iron ore miner.
Page 13: Australia and New Zealand Banking Group chief executive Mike Smith has warned the Australian economy will slow next year, as more small businesses default on their loans and US quantitative easing threatens to push up the exchange rate.
Plunging coal prices and weak liquor sales have taken the gloss off healthy retail revenue growth at Wesfarmers as the conglomerate approaches the five-year anniversary of its $20 billion acquisition of Coles Group.
Page 15: Arrium's board is holding firm for a higher price after spurning a second advance from the Posco and Noble Group-led Steelmakers Australia consortium.
Page 16: China's slowdown is in line with what other major economies have experienced as they have developed and is no cause for concern, says BHP Billiton chief executive Marius Kloppers.
Teck Resources has ruled out cutting a deal with Fortescue Metals Group a year after buying a small stake in the iron ore miner.
Page 1: Army chief David Morrison will sound the alarm today on Defence budget cuts, saying he wants to ensure troops are not sent to war poorly equipped because of ''misconceived strategy or economic stringency''.
The ferocious miners' campaign that led to Kevin Rudd's removal as prime minister was a direct result of an assurance Wayne Swan gave Rio Tinto that the resource super-profits tax had not been settled -- four days before he announced a final version of it.
Australia's cities will become less productive and less competitive than their global rivals unless governments abandon their fixation with building new roads and embrace rail projects.
Australia's live-sheep export trade has been ''strangled'' since a supposedly disease-ridden consignment was turned away by Bahrain, then culled in Pakistan.
Page 2: Australia's first manufacturing facility to test cutting-edge solar cell technology appears to be an early casualty of Monday's $500 million in cuts to research funding.
Page 3: James Packer has formally launched a bid to build and operate Sydney's first six-star resort hotel but wants the state government to gift him a casino licence to help raise the $1 billion required.
Page 4: Western Australia and NSW are at risk of losing their prized AAA-credit ratings after Standard & Poor's warned of declining revenue streams and higher cost pressures facing both states.
Labor's mining tax is designed to fund $5.6 billion in regional infrastructure, increased superannuation payments, and boost family support payments by $1.8bn.
Tony Abbott has seized on revelations Julia Gillard's mining tax failed to earn any revenue from the three big miners in the first quarter to accuse the government of creating sovereign risk issues for no reward.
The Rudd government's original mining tax would have been no more successful in raising revenue than the minerals resource rent tax that replaced it, and would have exposed taxpayers to the risk of multi-billion-dollar losses.
Page 7: Public documents that were essential in the fraudulent operation of a union slush fund that Julia Gillard helped to establish 20 years ago are missing from the official file in Western Australia.
Page 8: Chinese investment in Australia has halved, despite the furore over the sale of Cubbie Station and heated debate about restricting foreign investment.
Business: ANZ's chief executive Mike Smith has warned the weakness in the economy could be exacerbated by a strengthening Australian dollar and force the Reserve Bank to cut interest rates aggressively next year.
The Wesfarmers-owned Coles supermarket business has continued to boost sales over rival Woolworths in recent months, with its ongoing investment in cheaper prices driving foot traffic and volumes through the checkout.
Shopping centre giant Westfield Group and AMP Capital have finalised their widely flagged ownership split of seven Australian shopping centres in an asset shuffle worth $5.8 billion.
Newcrest has raised the prospect of cranking up dividend payments as its $3.2 billion capital expenditure in Papua New Guinea and NSW comes to an end, assuming gold prices remain strong.
Amcor is confident of delivering higher earnings in the next year despite the pressure of a high Australian dollar and rising costs.
Explorer Karoon Gas says deals with Japan's Inpex or the Woodside Petroleum-led Browse liquefied natural gas project, along with a $US13.8 billion ($13.28bn) Darwin LNG expansion, are options for the development of the ConocoPhillips-led Poseidon field in Western Australia's offshore Browse Basin.
The $80 billion Future Fund is keen to invest in more Australian infrastructure but it is having trouble finding new projects at good prices, its managing director Mark Burgess said yesterday.
THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD:
Page 1: Premier Barry O'Farrell has left open the door for James Packer not to have to apply for a casino licence as the $1 billion complex at Barangaroo is not a "full blown" casino. Julia Gillard was involved in deposing Kevin Rudd as leader of the ALP days before the coup, a new book claims. New figures show more older women are having babies.
Page 2: Greens and independents are pushing for the federal government to re-legislate to toughen the mining tax.
Page 3: Hackers infiltrated the NSW Education Department's computers and sent an email to teachers telling them funding would not be cut. NSW Treasurer Mike Baird says there's no need for the state's mini-budget to shore up finances because of the risk of a credit downgrade.
World: Republican challenger Mitt Romney has been forced to focus on abortion in the lead-up to the presidential election, just when he'd rather be talking about jobs and the economy.
Business: ANZ has handed down a record $6 billion full-year cash profit.
Sport: Cricket Australia's media rights contract is likely to come in around $1 billion when it's finalised this summer.
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH:
Page 1: James Packer has received initial approval for his 350-room luxury resort and high-roller gambling complex at Barangaroo.
Page 2: A lawyer who has been defending embattled federal MP Craig Thomson started his career in the labour movement. Police have invited Craig Thomson to speak with them.
Page 3: Asylum seekers who started a riot at the Christmas Island detention centre have received protection visas to stay in the country. Filming of Wolverine in Sydney's west has pushed on despite soaring temperatures.
World: Hollywood star Tom Cruise is suing a US magazine for $50 million over a claim he abandoned his daughter. Prince Charles and Camilla are getting into the Aussie spirit ahead of their trip to Australia, with Kylie Minogue singing to them at a function.
Business: ANZ's share price fell almost one per cent on Thursday, despite the bank recording a record profit.
Sport: State of Origin is looking for a new sponsor after Harvey Norman pulled out.
Page 1: Julia Gillard was involved in the conspiracy to topple Kevin Rudd as prime minister days before the coup, according to new claims that contradict her own account. Lord Mayor Robert Doyle could face a local government watchdog investigation over allegations that his leading council candidate, Kevin Louey, organised cash-for-access meetings with developers. Most Melbourne homes are too expensive for households on a median income, a government report reveals. The Immigration Department has denied a claim an asylum seeker tried to hang himself on Nauru, despite a witness saying the man had a swollen neck and would have died had he not been pulled down.
Page 3: Melbourne's underground rail loop is a disaster waiting to happen, the state's public sector watchdog says. The stationery retail chain Zetta Florence is accused of selling counterfeit goods and copying artwork for its own wrapping paper, calendars and diaries, after an exclusive distribution deal with a key supplier collapsed earlier this year. Melbourne surgeons have partially succeeded in regrowing breast tissue using a patient's own fat cells in a pilot trial. Thousands of farmers and other regional Victorians face a nervous wait after the collapse last night of the financing group Banksia Securities, which has put at risk $660 million in savings.
World: A Republican Senate candidate's remark about rape and pregnancy has forced Mitt Romney to confront the emotional issue of abortion, just as the White House challenger hoped to focus on the economy in the last days before the election.
Business: ANZ chief Mike Smith has declared victory in his five-year promise to generate a significant slice of the banks business from Asia, as he handed down a record $6 billion full year cash profit.
Sport: Adelaide is believed to have guaranteed Kurt Tippett $200,000 outside of his contract and suggested the arrangement be kept secret from the league.
THE HERALD SUN:
Page 1: Thousands of investors are facing hundreds of millions of dollars in losses after the shock collapse of Banksia Financial Group.
Page 2: Moonee Valley's two-day Cox Plate carnival kicks off tonight, and attention moves to dual world champion Casey Stoner's final MotoGP at Phillip Island on Sunday. The first coloured coin produced by the Royal Australian Mint for general circulation will commemorate the sacrifice of Australians at war.
Page 3: Melbourne could get a new major commercial passenger airport on the southeast fringe under a state government blueprint for the city's development in coming decades.
World: Beijing is ready to approve new nuclear power plants as part of plans to reduce reliance on oil and coal, ending a moratorium imposed after Japan's Fukushima disaster.
Business: ANZ has shaken off the impact of weak credit demand to chalk up a record full-year profit as it continues to reap dividends from its Asian growth program.
Sport: North Melbourne is on the verge of poaching Geelong's chief executive Brian Cook in what would be one of the AFL's biggest off-field coups.
THE CANBERRA TIMES:
Page 1: Julia Gillard plotted against Kevin Rudd, according to former Labor MP Maxine McKew in her new book.
Page 2: History against Hunter as Greens limp out of ACT assembly.
Page 3: WikiLeaks resumes release of US secrets.
World: Ceasefire a small step for Syrians.
Business: Don't bet on Crown licence, says Echo.
Sport: Stanhope backs Hodge to keep name on Stromlo circuit.