Swan budget fiddle comes under threat
Independent MPs and the Greens are threatening to block a key policy that helps deliver the Gillard government a $1.1 billion surplus this financial year because they feel ambushed by Treasurer Wayne Swan's budget fiddling to create a "designer surplus". The Fin
Strikes stall ports productivity
Waterfront labour costs have blown out to their highest level since the aftermath of the bitter Patrick dispute of the late 1990s at the same time as workforce productivity on the wharves is suffering its first major setback. The Aus
Slipper vote sinks coalition
Peter Slipper has delivered a heavy blow to the coalition, delivering his critical vote to secure the Gillard government's wheat deregulation legislation while attacking Julie Bishop for being an unprincipled follower of "naked politics". The West
Miners stockpile MRRT credits
The Gillard government faces a new threat to the estimated $2 billion in revenue it expects to raise this year from the mining tax because the biggest iron ore and coal producers are rapidly building up state royalty ''credits'' to offset their commonwealth payments. The Aus
No-vote not a protest, says Atlas Iron founder
Atlas Iron founder David Flanagan has suffered a surprise vote against his shift from an executive role to becoming the company's chairman, with just over 12 per cent of shares voting against his re-election as director. The West
THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:
Page 3: Peter Slipper has delivered a heavy blow to the coalition, delivering his critical vote to secure the Gillard government's wheat deregulation legislation while attacking Julie Bishop for being an unprincipled follower of "naked politics".
Page 5: Thousands of West Australians who booked cruises aboard luxury ship Athena face having their holiday plans cancelled after the liner's parent company went into administration yesterday.
Page 9: First homebuyers are expected to help drive a mini-boom in new homes in the next year as they increasingly find it more affordable to build than pay Perth's rocketing rents.
Page 10: Gina Rinehart has failed in a last-ditch bid to keep her bitter family battle out of the courts and to restrict access to 14 years of financial records central to her management of the multi billion-dollar family trust.
Retail giant Woolworths says it has not ruled out further legal action after the Supreme Court upheld a Liquor Commission decision to deny it an alcohol superstore in Bicton.
Page 13: Green groups and the opposition have accused the state government of reneging on efforts to combat climate change after it pruned a team of public servants working on the issue.
Business: National Australia Bank chief executive Cameron Clyne has defended his domestic strategy and ruled out a fire sale of the bank's troubled British businesses after yesterday announcing a 22 per cent fall in full-year profit.
Atlas Iron founder David Flanagan has suffered a surprise vote against his shift from an executive role to becoming the company's chairman, with just over 12 per cent of shares voting against his re-election as director.
The fortunes of beleaguered Macmahon Holdings have turned up at the prospect of winning its biggest contract yet.
Griffin Coal says a default on debt repayments by its Indian parent Lanco Infratech and falling coal prices will not affect plans to increase production at its Collie mines by nearly 40 per cent by early next year.
The fortunes of former Perth stockbroker Josef El-Raghy and his family took a hit this week when the London-traded stock of one-time Perth-based gold miner Centamin tumbled after reports of major concerns of its Egyptian gold mine.
Perth's Tiger Resources has become the latest junior miner to suffer under the weight of sovereign risk surrounding Africa, deflecting rumours yesterday that the Democratic Republic of Congo government could increase its interest in its copper projects.
THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:
Page 1: Independent MPs and the Greens are threatening to block a key policy that helps deliver the Gillard government a $1.1 billion surplus this financial year because they feel ambushed by Treasurer Wayne Swan's budget fiddling to create a "designer surplus".
National Australia Bank chief executive Cameron Clyne warned that the federal government's economic forecasts were too optimistic after the bank suffered a sharp drop in profits and a surge in bad debts.
The competition watchdog has called for more discipline on enterprise bargaining at Australian ports after long-running industrial action by the Maritime Union produced the biggest jump in wages and the first fall in labour productivity since the bitter waterfront dispute of the late 1990s.
Nathan Tinkler wants to become chairman of Whitehaven Coal by Christmas and install his own management team at the company he has described as "a constant source of worry."
Page 3: The Productivity Commission has warned the government to get out of the way of inevitable structural change by removing regulatory roadblocks and scrapping handouts to struggling industries.
Page 7: Opposition Leader Tony Abbott faced Coalition divisions in Parliament yesterday and accusations he has abandoned Liberal principles as the government did a deal with the Greens to further deregulate Australia's multi billion-dollar wheat exports.
West Australian Premier Colin Barnett is testing the appeal of Canberra bashing as he prepares for next year's state election, concerned that the widespread perception his government would be easily returned to power could weaken his campaign.
Page 8: Prime Minister Julia Gillard says the budget is still "on track" to deliver a surplus after Opposition Leader Tony Abbott likened the promise to her 2010 commitment there would be no carbon tax.
Page 9: The Reserve Bank may have more scope to keep rates on hold next week and gauge the impact of last month's cut, which the bank says pushed borrowing costs to "relatively low" levels.
Page 10: The federal government's independent climate change adviser has dramatically revised down its estimates of the impact of the Renewable Energy Target on household power prices, amid renewed attacks on the scheme.
Page 12: Key government ministers, including Foreign Minister Bob Carr, have lent their support to the tourism industry's push to foster stronger links between Australia and Asia by relaxing working holiday visas and making it easier for cashed-up Chinese tourists to get into the country.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has indicated he is not in favour of cutting weekend penalty rates for workers in the hospitality industry if the Coalition wins power.
Page 13: The federal government's business tax working group has officially drawn a line under attempts to fund a cut to the corporate tax rate by slashing breaks for business, bringing talks to an early end.
Page 27: National Australia Bank has ruled out a "fire sale" of its troubled British banks, despite being hit by a $2.6 billion charge for bad debts and a sharp drop in profits.
Steelmakers Australia is hopeful that tough market conditions will force the board of Arrium back to the negotiating table after its sweetened offer was shot down.
Page 32: BHP Billiton is examining new conveyor belt technology that would remove the need to use as many trucks - manned or autonomous - in its mines, and helping to cut costs and boost productivity.
Page 1: Waterfront labour costs have blown out to their highest level since the aftermath of the bitter Patrick dispute of the late 1990s at the same time as workforce productivity on the wharves is suffering its first major setback.
Business is seeking a direct say on the Gillard government's new Asia policy amid concerns over how to implement the ambitious blueprint without major spending programs.
The Gillard government faces a new threat to the estimated $2 billion in revenue it expects to raise this year from the mining tax because the biggest iron ore and coal producers are rapidly building up state royalty ''credits'' to offset their commonwealth payments.
Superstorm Sandy has smashed the most densely populated US region back to another century, as millions of Americans struggle without homes, power, electronic communications -- even the capacity to boil water for a New York coffee.
Page 2: NSW Treasurer Mike Baird has been embarrassed by an audit of state finances that has found about an extra $1 billion in Treasury coffers, providing ammunition to opponents of Mr Baird's cost-cutting program.
Page 4: Julia Gillard has accused Tony Abbott of endorsing an ''offensive'' strategy to continue asking questions about her time at Slater & Gordon in the early 1990s and a ''slush fund'' she set up for a former boyfriend accused of misappropriating money from Australian Workers Union funds.
The introduction of modest changes to federal workplace laws face delay, with the opposition and the Greens likely to refer them to a Senate inquiry.
Page 6: Two Liberal backbenchers have defied Tony Abbott by abstaining from a crucial vote on Labor's push to deregulate the wheat industry, ensuring a revamped package will pass the parliament.
Labor's diluted poker machine reforms allowing punters to voluntarily set bet limits are poised to go before parliament tomorrow after the Greens last night declared their support.
Page 7: Gina Rinehart's children have been given the green light to attempt to have their mother removed as head of the family trust after a court found Australia's wealthiest person would have a case to answer.
The Barnett government plans to replace Western Australia's 60-year-old conservation act with legislation to protect endangered species and habitats in alignment with federal laws to avoid duplication and streamline development approvals.
Business: China has agreed to make one of its biggest recent investments in Australia, with China National Offshore Oil Corp inking a $US6 billion ($5.7bn) deal to take a one-quarter stake in BG Group's Queensland Curtis LNG project being built at Gladstone to export coal-seam gas.
Billabong chief Launa Inman has conceded tax exemptions on internet shopping are unlikely to be scrapped, while Woolworths supermarket boss Tjeerd Jegen believes it was wrong for retailers to push for GST to be levied on online purchases.
South Korean steelmaker Posco and Hong Kong trader Noble Group say they have abandoned their bid for steelmaker and iron ore miner Arrium, the former OneSteel, after the target rejected a higher $1.2 billion offer.
National Australia Bank chief executive Cameron Clyne is facing criticism over the bank's strategy after it recorded a sharp profit fall that was blamed on the weak global economy and its troubled British assets.
BHP Billiton has followed Rio Tinto's lead in using automated and remote technology at West Australian iron ore mines, revealing it plans to run a fleet of robot trucks at its newest mine in the Pilbara region, co-ordinated from a recently established remote-operations centre in Perth.
BHP Billiton's iron ore and coal chief has given a dour outlook for the price of the country's biggest export, saying iron ore prices are unlikely to remain at current levels as supply increases and demand eases.
Telstra chief executive David Thodey has underlined the importance of expanding in Asia and beyond as the giant telco looks for new revenue opportunities with big-ticket corporate clients.
News Limited has tightened its control of Australia's premier pay-TV assets after shareholders in the James Packer-controlled Consolidated Media Holdings yesterday voted in favour of a $1.94 billion takeover offer.
THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD:
Page 1: James Packer's plan for a new Sydney casino dodged a competitive tender process after state government guidelines were changed.
Page 2: A doctors' revolt on a newly privatised medical scheme for the Defence Force is threatening to cripple military healthcare.
Page 3: New guidelines on treating children to be introduced after the death of four-month-old Elijah Slavkovic.
World: Flood barriers call after superstorm Sandy batters New York.
Business: National Australia Bank chief Cameron Clyne says the bank's loss-making UK branch is his single biggest challenge.
Sport: Quade Cooper's rugby career is in limbo after he was fined $40,000.
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH:
Page 1: Baby born to Australian mum in the middle of New York's superstorm Sandy. Labor and the Greens have done a deal to allow pokie reforms to pass through federal parliament.
Page 2: Liberal upper house MP Scot Macdonald is to be referred to the ICAC.
Page 3: A billion dollar mistake has dragged the NSW government's budget back into the black.
World: A 12-year-old Los Angeles boy is in court accused of murdering his neo-Nazi father.
Business: Bad debts from the UK has led to the National Australia Bank posting a fall in profits.
Sport: Multi-millionaire owner Nathan Tinkler says he would walk away from racing for the right price.
THE HERALD SUN:
Page 1: Cadel Evans back home for the Spring Carnival. Victorian government tells the feds to keep their $100 million for hospitals and health because it comes with too many strings attached.
Page 2: Smart meter customers will be slugged up to an extra $20 in annual charges.
Page 3: Cask wine could double in price to $27 under a plan to overhaul alcohol taxation. Tanzi the giraffe embarks on a road trip from Melbourne to Mogo Zoo on the NSW south coast. The security team for the 2015 cricket World Cup dumps a former state government manager who is under police investigation.
World: Reports are surfacing of the damage that Hurricane Sandy did in the Caribbean, wiping out 70 per cent of Haiti crops.
Business: NAB's faltering UK banks send full year net profit tumbling 22 per cent.
Sport: Melbourne is expected to reject allegations that it tanked in 2009 saying they never told their players to throw games.
Page 1: Hurricane Sandy claims at least 39 lives as it sweeps across US eastern seaboard causing widespread devastation. There is a danger of over-diagnosing of breast screening for women, expert warns. Explosive chemicals have polluted groundwater in part of a Melbourne western suburb.
Page 2: Melbourne City Council tells court that judges should not be able to tell offenders to pay penalties to charities.
Page 3: Fewer women being appointed to top ASX 200 boards, according to the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Workers better off than ever, says latest cost-of-living figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which shows lower costs from interest rates counteract the higher costs imposed by the carbon tax. Four female and four male southern brush-tailed rock wallabies released at the Grampians as part of a program to diversify genetic pool in the national park.
World: Fires, caused by Hurricane Sandy, destroys more than 100 homes ocean-side community of Breezy Point in New York's Queens borough
Business: NAB rules out a fire sale of its poor-performing UK businesses after full-year 22 per cent drop in net profit.
Sport: Melbourne players tried to overturn tanking in 2009 in meeting with senior club officials but were told the club needed to gain early draft picks.