29/01/2014 - 05:06

Morning Headlines

29/01/2014 - 05:06

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Morning Headlines

Abbott strikes while hot

The Abbott government has signalled a broad-ranging royal commission into the union movement following fresh allegations of corruption in the construction industry, setting the scene for a drawn-out assault on Labor’s traditional support base. The Fin

Judge to rule on fresh WA Senate poll

West Australians could find out as early as tomorrow night if they will be ordered back to the polls for a fresh Senate election. The West

Hopes for BC’s iron ore deposit

BC Iron managing director Morgan Ball is increasingly confident that the life of the Nullagine iron ore mine in Western Australia will be extended. The Aus

Red flag over jobs for uni graduates      

The Employment Department has raised concerns about Labor’s ‘‘demand-driven’’ system of university funding, warning that job prospects for graduates may get worse as the historic expansion of Australia’s tertiary system pumps ever more jobseekers into a deteriorating labour market. The Aus

Electricity gap subsidy hits Budget bottom line

The gap between the price WA households pay for their electricity from Synergy and the cost to generate, transmit and retail that electricity is growing, costing the State Budget nearly half a billion dollars a year in subsidies. The West

UK fashion giant looks for space

The $13 billion British department store retailer Marks & Spencer is accelerating plans to enter the crowded Australian market in a move that could put more pressure on incumbents Myer and David Jones. The Fin

Workers pulled off Forge power project

Relations appear to have soured dramatically between embattled contractor Forge Group and at least one of the key subcontractors on its Diamantina power station project near Mount Isa. The Aus

 

 

The Australian Financial Review

Page 1: The Abbott government has signalled a broad-ranging royal commission into the union movement following fresh allegations of corruption in the construction industry, setting the scene for a drawn-out assault on Labor’s traditional support base.

The private equity owners of Australia’s second-biggest private hospital operator, Healthscope, have kicked-off a $4 billion sale process which could lead to the biggest float in four years.

Page 3: The Australian Bureau of Statistics has cast doubt on the future quality of its economic data after an accumulated $117 million in deficits left it with barely enough cash to “keep the lights on”.

Page 5: Australia’s next governor-general, Peter Cosgrove , is a monarchist at heart but would not begrudge the nation becoming a republic if that is what the people wanted.

Page 6: Builders have backed the Coalition's plans to reinstate the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC), claiming “industrial thuggery” is rising on construction sites.

Page 8: Weak-kneed Australian businesses habitually cave in to unrealistic union pay demands, jeopardising their viability and risking a wages break-out, Employment Minister Eric Abetz says.

Page 11: The $13 billion British department store retailer Marks & Spencer is accelerating plans to enter the crowded Australian market in a move that could put more pressure on incumbents Myer and David Jones.

Page 14: Home-loan lenders are cutting interest rates on new fixed-rate mortgages in a bid to draw in customers amid a growing belief that the next move in official rates by the Reserve Bank of Australia will be up.

Page 18: Building materials group Boral says first-half earnings will be higher than some analyst forecasts, after dry weather pushed forward profits on major construction projects, but concerns remain about earnings growth for the rest of 2013-14.

The head of SingTel-Optus’s Australian seed funding program has welcomed Telstra’s plans to invest millions of dollars in start-up companies.

Page 23: JB Hi-Fi has distanced itself from a series of confidence-sapping profit downgrades in the retail sector, flagging a 10 per cent rise in December-half profit and sticking to its forecasts for solid sales growth this year.

 

 

The Australian

Page 1: Australia risked a return to the ‘‘wages explosions’’ of the 1970s and 80s, when thousands of workers lost their jobs, unless employers and unions took responsibility for the cost of their pay deals to the broader economy, the Abbott government has warned.

The Employment Department has raised concerns about Labor’s ‘‘demand-driven’’ system of university funding, warning that job prospects for graduates may get worse as the historic expansion of Australia’s tertiary system pumps ever more jobseekers into a deteriorating labour market.

Page 2: Trade Minister Andrew Robb will visit Japan again soon to put additional momentum behind a push to strike a free-trade deal by July that would have significant benefits for Australia’s agricultural sector.

Page 4: Senior figures from the powerful union accused of corruption and links to organised crime in the building industry want the Fair Work Commission to strip the union of its capacity to run its own elections due to a raft of concerns about rorted ballots.

Page 6: A new Productivity Commission report reveals that more than 16 per cent of children need but cannot access a childcare place, with parents of just over half these cases — 51 per cent — saying the main reason they want additional access to education and care is to allow t hem to meet work commitments.

Page 19: Fresh concerns have emerged over National Australia Bank’s troubled British division after Royal Bank of Scotland shocked the market with a £3 billion ($5.6bn) provision to cover the long-running fallout from miss old financial products.

BHP Billiton is set to embark on the world’s biggest pre-drill, or seismic, exploration program, focusing on huge potential oil targets in the Caribbean.

Treasury Wine Estates entered a trading halt yesterday as the iconic winemaker signalled another possible profit downgrade amid continued struggles in the US and Asia.

Page 20: Heavy equipment giant Caterpillar is predicting that demand from mining customers will start to recover either this year or next, in what would be a much-needed boost for Kerry Stokes’s WesTrac earthmoving business.

BC Iron managing director Morgan Ball is increasingly confident that the life of the Nullagine iron ore mine in Western Australia will be extended.

Nickel miner Western Areas has flagged a likely upgrade to its guidance in the coming weeks as its Forrestania project performs ahead of expectations and sentiment towards the nickel sector improves.

Page 21: Relations appear to have soured dramatically between embattled contractor Forge Group and at least one of the key subcontractors on its Diamantina power station project near Mount Isa.

 

 

The West Australian

Page 4: Signs are growing that the national economy is stabilising and poised to pick up as low interest rates and the falling Australian dollar boost business bottom lines.

Page 8: Gen. Peter Cosgrove says he will be a governor-general for all Australians and not just a military figurehead for the centenary of Anzac commemorations.

Page 13: The gap between the price WA households pay for their electricity from Synergy and the cost to generate, transmit and retail that electricity is growing, costing the State Budget nearly half a billion dollars a year in subsidies.

Page 16: West Australians could find out as early as tomorrow night if they will be ordered back to the polls for a fresh Senate election.

Page 18: The Aqua Resort in Busselton is WA’s sole representative in the annual list of Australia’s top hotels released by the world’s biggest online travel site — TripAdvisor.

Business: The sagging gold price may have caused headaches for mining executives around the world but it has set workers at Perth Mint scrambling to keep up with demand as buyers take advantage of falling prices to top up their holdings.

After yesterday’s market response, White Cliff Minerals managing director Todd Hibberd may have to learn a little more Russian.

Perth-based concrete construction company Whittens has sealed a $50 million contract for work at Gina Rinehart’s Roy Hill iron ore project.

Australia’s peak farm lobby group wants a central authority to oversee spending on rural roads and a greater focus on private investment in freight infrastructure.

Veteran Perth dealmaker Michael Fotios says Investmet’s decision to sell a big package of Northern Star Resources shares ahead of an announcement it would tap equity markets was a “complete coincidence”.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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