25/03/2020 - 07:00

Morning Headlines

25/03/2020 - 07:00

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Morning Headlines

Hotels, unions ditch rules for jobs

The hotel industry and unions have reached an extraordinary agreement to cut minimum work hours and suspend restrictions on duties to save jobs during the coronavirus crisis. The Fin

Miners told to keep digging as rivals halt

BHP chief executive Mike Henry says the government has made clear it wants the resources sector to continue working through the escalating coronavirus lockdown, but New Hope Coal chief executive Shane Stephan says it would be naive to think Australian mines would not be affected by the pandemic. The Fin

Australia eyes contact-tracing app

A Singapore government app to enable users to voluntarily track contacts over a 14-day period is being evaluated by the federal government. The Fin

Australia following UK curve

Australia is following in the COVID-19 footsteps of the UK and experts are warning the floodgates are likely to open soon.  The Fin

Life in isolation a mind bender

A major mental health package is being developed by the Morrison government to address what the country’s leading doctors have warned could be an explosion in cases because of the COVID-19 lockdown fuelled by elevated anxiety, isolation and loneliness. The Aus

Seven pulls guidance amid advertising uncertainties

An uncertain advertising market, suspension of productions and the AFL, as well as the potential postponing of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics due to the coronavirus pandemic has forced Seven West Media to become the latest company to pull its financial guidance. The Fin

Fiona Stanley calls for more widespread tests

One of WA’s most trusted doctors has urged the State Government to be “much more active” in testing people for COVID-19 amid concern WA is falling behind the Eastern States in swabbing people for the disease. The West

Beefed-up MyGov swamped again

MyGov capacity has been increased nearly threefold to deal with surging unemployment applications, but the government web portal went down a second time under unprecedented demand yesterday. The Fin

Regulator slaps down Qantas, launches probe

The competition watchdog is investigating whether the conduct of Qantas during the COVID-19 pandemic aims to entrench its market power and has slapped down recent comments from chief executive Alan Joyce as ‘‘disappointing’’. The Fin

Home use surge taxes Telstra

Telstra has admitted its network is experiencing congestion as more users flock to their homes. The Aus

 

 

The Australian Financial Review

Page 1: Financial markets have rebounded after the US Federal Reserve declared it was prepared to buy unlimited amounts of bonds to inject money into the world’s biggest economy and cushion the blow from the coronavirus pandemic.

The hotel industry and unions have reached an extraordinary agreement to cut minimum work hours and suspend restrictions on duties to save jobs during the coronavirus crisis.

State and federal governments are moving towards closing more businesses and placing further restrictions on people movement, while rent relief measures, including the lifting of land tax, are also in the mix, as the coronavirus crisis continues unabated.

Page 2: A Singapore government app to enable users to voluntarily track contacts over a 14-day period is being evaluated by the federal government.

Page 3: Australia is following in the COVID-19 footsteps of the UK and experts are warning the floodgates are likely to open soon.

Page 5: Some independent schools will be in an ‘‘extremely difficult’’ financial position by Easter unless the government steps in with emergency funding, with teaching jobs being first in the firing line.

Page 6: MyGov capacity has been increased nearly threefold to deal with surging unemployment applications, but the government web portal went down a second time under unprecedented demand yesterday.

Page 8: Economists and Labor want the federal government to radically rethink and significantly increase wage subsidies for small businesses to cling on to workers and to help underwrite a larger share of the private sector’s $300 billion annual wage and salary bill.

Finance ministers and central bank governors of the G20 have conceded that the global economy is headed for a global recession and that ‘‘co-ordinated fiscal action’’ is now warranted.

Page 9: Farmers say they are being swamped by backpackers looking for work after they are displaced from food service and hospitality industries while Australians queue at Centrelink offices.

Cyber security and privacy experts say remote workers should exercise caution when using video-conferencing platform Zoom, and recommend that sensitive business and legal conversations be kept off the platform because of Zoom’s data and privacy policies.

Page 10: The coronavirus crisis could spur a rethink of Australia’s visa system if a sudden surge in unemployment leaves local workers competing for jobs that have previously been done by visitors, experts say.

Page 11: Fashion retailers are hoping to entice shoppers online through sales and positive marketing as they scramble to protect revenue and staff amid tightening lockdown rules.

Page 12: Superannuation investors face losing between 10 and 15 per cent of their savings as $290 billion was wiped off the value of balances in the first weeks of the coronavirus downturn.

Page 17: Beijing will early next month lift a two-month lockdown on Wuhan, the Chinese city at the centre of the coronavirus outbreak, in a significant turning point in authorities’ battle against the pandemic.

Page 18: Company directors are being warned the government’s moratorium on insolvent trading laws cannot be used as an excuse to keep unviable businesses running, load up on unsustainable debt or dodge paying worker entitlements.

Page 19: Xinja Bank will not resume taking new deposits at its market-leading rate of 2.25 per cent despite receiving a massive capital injection from a mysterious Dubai-based investor, but the neobank is sticking with plans to begin lending in June.

The competition watchdog is investigating whether the conduct of Qantas during the COVID-19 pandemic aims to entrench its market power and has slapped down recent comments from chief executive Alan Joyce as ‘‘disappointing’’.

Page 21: Activewear queen Lorna Jane Clarkson has bought back the 40 per cent of her eponymous retail chain previously owned by Champ Ventures in a $28 million deal signed just before the coronavirus turmoil started.

Page 22: Woolworths, Coles, Metcash and Aldi will be able to share sales and stock level data after the competition regulator allowed the major food and grocery chains to work with each other to improve supplies during the COVID-19 crisis.

Page 23: BHP chief executive Mike Henry says the government has made clear it wants the resources sector to continue working through the escalating coronavirus lockdown, but New Hope Coal chief executive Shane Stephan says it would be naive to think Australian mines would not be affected by the pandemic.

Page 25: An uncertain advertising market, suspension of productions and the AFL, as well as the potential postponing of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics due to the coronavirus pandemic has forced Seven West Media to become the latest company to pull its financial guidance.

 

 

The Australian

Page 1: Scott Morrison has tightened the COVID-19 lockdown further, restricting social gatherings including weddings, funerals and barbecues, and closing services such as real estate auctions and beauty parlours, as the national cabinet attempts to curb the spread of the virus.

A major mental health package is being developed by the Morrison government to address what the country’s leading doctors have warned could be an explosion in cases because of the COVID-19 lockdown fuelled by elevated anxiety, isolation and loneliness.

Page 4: The government will freeze all pay rises for hundreds of top public servants, politicians, judges and ministerial staff as it moves to share the pain of the economic shutdown that could push hundreds of thousands of Australians on to the dole queue.

Page 5: The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Australia has surged past 2000, with 327 new cases diagnosed nationwide.

Page 7: Telstra has admitted its network is experiencing congestion as more users flock to their homes.

Page 15: The nation’s biggest investors, including AustralianSuper, IFM Investors, SunSuper and UniSuper, have booked billions of dollars in losses across their unlisted assets as the coronavirus crisis extends beyond equities and bond markets to wreak havoc on infrastructure.

Page 17: Baby Bunting has seen sales accelerate amid the COVID-19 crisis, with analysts saying the baby goods company is well placed to respond as consumers shift to online shopping.

Page 19: Viva Energy has joined Caltex in predicting an 80-90 per cent slide in demand for jet fuel as the coronavirus pandemic forces airlines to drastically cut capacity.

Page 24: Students on Youth Allowance were a last-minute inclusion in the federal government’s $66bn coronavirus package that passed the parliament on Monday night, making almost a quarter of a million of them eligible for financial relief as the crisis leaves casual workers jobless.

 

 

The West Australian

Page 3: The 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be delayed by a year in the first postponement since the modern Games began in the 19th century, becoming the biggest global event to be disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

One of WA’s most trusted doctors has urged the State Government to be “much more active” in testing people for COVID-19 amid concern WA is falling behind the Eastern States in swabbing people for the disease.

The City of Perth has suspended lease and rental payments for tenants in City-owned properties, frozen rate increases and created free one-hour parking in the central business district in moves designed to help the economy amid the coronavirus restrictions.

Page 7: The floating fear off Fremantle’s port was been avoided after hundreds of potentially sick passengers on MSC Magnifica did not disembark the ship before it pushed off last night.

Page 11: House prices are predicted to fall 10 per cent this year amid coronavirus fears, according to one of the State’s most respected property forecasters.

Page 22: Her brother Bill has long been the iconic taste of Australian childhood summers and now Bubble O’Jill is coming to a freezer near you.

Business: The vast, money-making machine that is Australia’s resources sector is determined to keep its cogs turning in the face of a virus that has already laid waste to a swag of other industries across the nation’s economy.

Japanese oil and gas giant INPEX was last night continuing the logistical challenge of evacuating all non-essential contract staff from a drill rig off the Kimberley coast after a worker tested positive for COVID-19.

Rio Tinto, South32 and Jupiter Mines are among a host of mining companies to be affected by a 21-day lockdown announced by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to contain coronavirus in the country.

Pioneer Credit has sought to reassure shareholders as continuing delays to a $120 million private-equity takeover revive doubts about the debt management company’s survival.

Consumer confidence has plunged in its biggest weekly fall on record, as fears grow over the impact of the coronavirus on job losses and the economy.

WA’s seafood industry could join other States by chartering a weekly flight to deliver its catch to recently opened Chinese restaurants.

Billionaire Andrew Forrest has described the 650 workers at his Harvey Beef abattoir as “local heroes” for continuing to process food for Australians in the midst of the pandemic.

The competition watchdog is giving supermarket rivals amnesty to co-ordinate supply and logistics so vulnerable consumers aren’t left empty handed amid unprecedented coronavirus panic-buying.

The peak building body has called for a fourfold boost to the First Home Owners Grant — to $40,000 — among a suite of emergency measures to help the construction sector survive the coronavirus challenge.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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