Politics & the Economy

Liberals facing election traps

Uncertainty about the direction of the government and its leadership is likely to persist despite the premier's win last week.

Hughes Drilling enters administration

The parent company of Perth-based mining services company JSW Australia has entered voluntary administration, with representatives of McGrathNicol appointed yesterday.

State's debt, deficit better than anticipated

The state's budget position for the 2016 financial year has come in nearly $700 million better than was initially forecast when it was released in May last year, but still in the red to the tune of $2 billion, with revenue $915 million down on the previous year.

Marmion takes transport in reshuffle

Bill Marmion will pick up the transport portfolio in a minor cabinet reshuffle that also includes the introduction of two new ministers; Paul Miles and Mark Lewis.

WA still attractive despite downturn: Brickworks boss

Brickworks managing director Lindsay Partridge says Western Australia remains an attractive market despite setbacks during the year, when it undertook a major restructure of its Austral Bricks WA and Auswest Timber businesses.

BHP renews attack on Nationals

BHP Billiton's top Australian executive has stepped up the company's criticism of the WA Nationals' planned iron ore tax hike, two days after an opinion poll found high support for the proposal.

Beazley warns on consequences of US isolationism

Australia has a greater reliance on its economic and financial relationship with the US than at any time since World War II, former Labor leader Kim Beazley told a Business News breakfast, but a Donald Trump presidency could mean a big shift in the superpower's relationship with its allies.

Uncertainty in US, Europe put gold in driver’s seat

ANALYSIS: A convergence of geopolitical and political events is causing widespread concern across Europe and the US, and WA's gold sector could offer some stability for investors.

US law firms to continue Bell Group saga

The state government has muscled up for the renewal of legal battles over the $1.7 billion Bell Group dispute, appointing a US law firm that promotes itself as being tougher and scarier than its peers to handle the matter.

$23m in funding for incubators

Atomic Sky chief executive Andy Lamb hopes Western Australian incubators will be taken into consideration when the federal government carves up $23 million in grants to support startups across the nation.

Team united after ‘therapeutic’ meeting: Barnett

Colin Barnett has seen off an attempted spill motion at today's party room meeting by 31 votes to 15, emerging with what he claimed was a united Liberal team after a 'therapeutic' exercise.

Melbourne deal adds to lucrative port sales

Victoria's Labor government has reaped a bumper price of $9.7 billion from the sale of the Port of Melbourne, suggesting the WA government could potentially raise in excess of $2 billion from the sale of Fremantle Ports.

Historical echoes haunting Barnett

Whether Premier Colin Barnett stays or goes is a political decision, but it would be unwise for anyone to imagine that a change at the top of government will not have a significant effect on the way business is conducted in Western Australia.

Barnett confident of keeping job

Colin Barnett says he is confident he has the support to continue as premier if there is a leadership spill this week, following the resignation of ministers Dean Nalder and Tony Simpson over the weekend.

Super changes for Morrison to quell backbench

Treasurer Scott Morrison has made changes to the federal government's proposed superannuation reforms after months of internal party pressure, with a proposed $500,000 lifetime non-concessional contribution cap replaced by a reduction of the existing annual cap.

L'Estrange moves forward on fracking

The state government has acted on a key recommendation from a parliamentary inquiry into fracking delivered late last year, appointing a working group to review laws around land access.

Lower jobless rate obscures weakness

The two main features of the latest labour force figures appear to be telling different stories, with a falling unemployment rate obscuring underlying weakness in job creation.

Confidence and unemployment flat in August

Consumer confidence has experienced a relatively stable six months, while economists expect the unemployment rate to have remained steady at 5.7 per cent in August.

$6bn in federal budget savings agreed

The federal government has secured opposition support to pass one of the most substantial budget packages since the coalition took office in 2013, making trade-offs on renewable energy funding and welfare payments to pick up about $6 billion in savings.

Builder not blamed for hospital asbestos

The builder of the $1.2 billion Perth Children's Hospital has not been blamed for asbestos found in ceiling panels but should have done more to protect the health of workers, an inquiry has found.