16/07/2013 - 00:04

Morning Headlines

16/07/2013 - 00:04

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Morning Headlines

Barnett dismisses US as gas rival

West Australian Premier Colin Barnett says he does not believe the United States poses a significant threat to the country’s gas export potential, despite emerging signs the two will increasingly compete for Asian customers. The Fin

Rudd cuts to fund ETS

The Rudd government will impose a new public service efficiency dividend, slash at least $750 million from climate change programs and possibly tighten fringe benefits tax concessions for salary-sacrificed cars to help cover the $4 billion bill for dropping the fixed ­carbon price. The Fin

Ditch tax and save hundreds: Bowen

Treasurer Chris Bowen has claimed the decision to ditch the carbon tax next year will save a typical family $380 a year, but only half in the form of lower power bills. The Fin

WA power overhaul will cost some homes more: Nahan

Changing the way households are billed for electricity could leave some people worse off, West Australian Energy Minister Mike Nahan has conceded. The Fin

Hunt on for 13 fat cats

The WA Government is in the middle of an unprecedented recruitment drive for top-level bureaucrats, with almost one in five public sector agencies being steered by acting bosses. The West

Multinationals, wealthy on tax hit-list

Multinationals and big businesses that shift profit offshore to slash tax bills will receive more scrutiny than ever before, the Australian Taxation Office has revealed in its annual hit-list of targets. The Fin

TWE faces $160m US bottleneck

Market analysts have attacked Treasury Wine Estates over the performance of its US wine business after the company shook investor confidence yesterday with news of a $ 1 60 million writedown, which sent its share price plunging. The Aus

Newcrest Mining may face 2nd class action

Newcrest Mining may have to defend itself against two shareholder class actions after law firm Slater & Gordon confirmed it is investigating the company’s record on disclosure. The Fin

Resources group asks PM to revise laws

THE nation’s peak resource employer group has urged Kevin Rudd to take immediate action to overhaul workplace laws to lift productivity or risk undermining $ 350 billion invested in Australia’s resource sector. The Aus

Jakarta opens door to talk about tow-backs

Jakarta has raised the possibility of co-operating with the Coalition in turning asylum-seeker boats back at sea, with the Indonesian Foreign Minister saying the nation is willing to discuss Tony Abbott's controversial policy. The Aus

 

The West Australian

Page 1: Soccer club Perth Glory has dumped its fast food and soft drink sponsorship in exchange for $500,000 in taxpayers’ money to promote anti-obesity messages.

Page 4: The competition watchdog will assume new “carbon cop” powers to ensure the axing of the carbon tax flows to consumers next year.

Vietnamese boat people have been stopped just 50km from Broome, again exposing how thinly stretched the nation’s maritime border patrols have become.

Australia will send 50 police officers to Papua New Guinea to battle rising crime, as the nation’s leaders pledged continued cooperation on asylum-seeker processing.

Kevin Rudd will accelerate efforts to stitch up a fresh trade deal with China ahead of the election and plans to send new Trade Minister Richard Marles to hold top-level talks in Beijing next week.

Page 5: Access to drugs that go missing or are abused by staff at two major hospitals are being investigated during an inquest into the deaths of two nurses suspected of accidentally overdosing on medications taken from their work.

West Australians have gone on an SUV buying spree – just as the average petrol price passes $1.50 a litre with warnings it will push even higher.

Page 7: The WA Government is in the middle of an unprecedented recruitment drive for top-level bureaucrats, with almost one in five public sector agencies being steered by acting bosses.

Page 11: The Department of Fisheries has refused to reveal whether more than one great white shark was responsible for repeatedly setting off receivers near Cottesloe beach just days before a surfing carnival there.

Page 17: A report into Australia’s air-traffic control system has found deficiencies with the operation, safety and management of the nation’s routes as air travel booms.

Business: A lack of market reaction to its resource estimate has failed to sour Mark Creasy’s view of Sirius Resouces’ nickel-copper project with the veteran prospector and major shareholder labelling it a “nine out of 10” deposit.

Swiss-based mining project developer MRI Advisory has taken a swipe at WA councils, accusing the state’s local government bodies of being less supportive of mining than those elsewhere in Australia.

WA’s peak business lobby group has used its pre-Budget submission to urge Premier Colin Barnett to introduce strict key performance indicators for Government agency heads, lift the freeze on attraction and retention benefits and recruit the private sector to deliver and operate key infrastructure.

Staff and contractors employed by WA’s state-owned electricity utilities are facing the axe because of a blowout in numbers and the Barnett government efforts to shore up its finances before next month’s budget.

 

The Australian Financial Review

Page 1: The Rudd government will impose a new public service efficiency dividend, slash at least $750 million from climate change programs and possibly tighten fringe benefits tax concessions for salary-sacrificed cars to help cover the $4 billion bill for dropping the fixed ­carbon price.

Treasury Wine Estates is destroying millions of litres of cheap wine in the US and slashing the price of brands such as Beringer and Lindeman’s, in a move that will decimate 2013 bottom line profits and has sparked questions about its US sales practices.

Page 3: Multinationals and big businesses that shift profit offshore to slash tax bills will receive more scrutiny than ever before, the Australian Taxation Office has revealed in its annual hit-list of targets.

Supermarket giant Coles has told the Federal Court that consumers should not assume the word “baked” means “baked from scratch” as it defends allegations of misleading conduct.

The Queensland government has called on Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to back up his claims of streamlining environmental approvals for major projects, saying they have evidence the federal government is moving to add another layer of duplication to the approval of major projects.

Page 4: Treasurer Chris Bowen has claimed the decision to ditch the carbon tax next year will save a typical family $380 a year, but only half in the form of lower power bills.

Page 5: Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has ruled out doing any deal that would see him preside over a hung Parliament as opinion polls continue to point to a knife-edge election.

Page 6: Former Liberal Party campaign heavyweight Lynton Crosby is under attack over his claimed role in the British government’s decision to drop laws for plain packaging for cigarettes despite its adoption in Australia.

Students from disadvantaged groups won spots at universities in record numbers last year, driven by a policy critics say has lowered standards.

The Labor Party’s tough new approach to scandal claimed its first scalp when its powerful national executive dumped the candidate for a prominent Sydney seat following allegations aired at a corruption inquiry.

Page 7: Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls has warned that the state could face a further credit downgrade despite the Liberal National government’s attempts to rein in debt and public spending.

Page 8: Audits of the rich and super-rich who use complex structures to hide wealth, including in tax havens and through trusts, are expected to double.

Page 9: Every second of this financial year, the Australian Taxation Office will check roughly 20 pieces of information from banks, share registries and other sources, using its super-charged computers to try to catch taxpayers hiding income.

Property developers who repeatedly liquidate their businesses to avoid paying tax and other bills have drawn the ire of the taxman, who has singled them out in his annual list of targets.

Page 10: A former top adviser to Kevin Rudd and Peter Costello says productivity-enhancing reforms to tax, workplace ­relations and infrastructure funding are needed to help protect Australia from the slowdown in the Chinese economy.

Changing the way households are billed for electricity could leave some people worse off, West Australian Energy Minister Mike Nahan has conceded.

Page 11: West Australian Premier Colin Barnett says he does not believe the United States poses a significant threat to the country’s gas export potential, despite emerging signs the two will increasingly compete for Asian customers.

Page 12: Unemployment for executives is suspected by recruiters to be rising well above the latest national overall jobless rate of 5.7 per cent.

Page 15: Heavy investments in glittering websites with dazzling branding and attractive price discounts are being made by a flood of online retailers, as they attempt to steal a bigger share of the $225 billion spent by Australian consumers in the retail sector each year.

Page 17: AGL Energy looks almost certain to achieve its ambitions to boost the number of New South Wales electricity customers to 800,000 after it launched a $100 million takeover for Australian Power and Gas.

Newcrest Mining may have to defend itself against two shareholder class actions after law firm Slater & Gordon confirmed it is investigating the company’s record on disclosure.

Paladin Energy chief executive John Borshoff says Canada must heed the words of one of its biggest companies and prioritise lifting restrictions on foreign ownership of uranium mines.

Government advertising jumped by a massive $22 million in the month of June, an 111 per cent increase compared to June 2012, helping the overall ad market to rise 1.8 per cent.

Page 19: A senior National Australia Bank executive says global requirements to hold more capital mean banks may not have the funds needed to lend to companies if there is a pick-up in demand for credit.

Listed investment company Djerriwarrh said business confidence is one of the biggest hurdles hitting institutional investors hunting for investment opportunities across the Australian share market.

Colonial First State, ANZ Global Wealth and BT Financial have refused to rule out raising fees for superannuation clients to help recoup the costs of implementing industry reforms, following in the footsteps of rivals AMP and MLC.

RHG is encouraging its shareholders to support Resimac’s latest takeover offer, which values the former Rams ­Mortgage Corp business at around $157.3 million.

Page 22: Virgin Australia has boosted its growing “virtual network” of international flights through a new code-share and frequent flyer agreement with Germany’s second-largest airline, airberlin, that will add Berlin and Dusseldorf as European destinations.

Page 23: NBN Co is bypassing council approvals to build new wireless towers in regional NSW, in a bid to speed up the roll-out of broadband to regional homes and businesses.

Telstra’s freeze on fixing asbestos-laden pits, and pay disputes between contractors have caused a dramatic slow-down of the national broadband network’s roll-out in Tasmania.

Page 36: Cafe owners, restaurateurs, carpenters and real estate agents will be targeted this year as the Tax Office chases ­companies that fail to pay staff superannuation entitlements.

Page 37: Cromwell Property Group is positioning for further expansion after refreshing its mandate to raise equity and advance the sale of non-core assets.

Former News Corp Australia chief executive Ken Cowley and a host of celebrities are selling off the landmark Tower Estate portfolio of rural retreats in the Hunter Valley.

Page 39: The vast majority of real estate agents working in commercial property will have to retain their real estate licences.

 

The Australian

Page 1: CABINET ministers have signed off on deep cuts to federal outlays including another hit to the public service to fund an early shift to an emissions trading scheme as part of Labor's election pitch to ease the cost of living by driving down the carbon price.

JAKARTA has raised the possibility of co-operating with the Coalition in turning asylum-seeker boats back at sea, with the Indonesian Foreign Minister saying the nation is willing to discuss Tony Abbott's controversial policy.

THE 84 Vietnamese asylum-seekers on a vessel stopped just north of Broome this week are part of the largest influx of people arriving from the communist country by boat in almost two decades.

KEVIN Rudd is more popular with women than was his predecessor, Australia's first female prime minister, in a finding that questions the effectiveness of Julia Gillard's gender war.

Page 2: AN old army base set up to hold asylum-seeker children in less jail-like conditions than immigration detention centres has still left them traumatised and damaged by the experience.

THE prospect of a large new asylum-seeker centre alongside Port Moresby's international airport is being considered by Papua New Guinea officials.

SOUTH Australia’s Labor government is in turmoil as pressure mounts on the Premier’s closest advisers and senior bureaucrats to follow Education Department chief executive Keith Bartley and resign in the wake of a damning royal commission into a school rape cover- up.

Page 3: PEOPLE with disabilities living in the ACT would have had access to a national insurance scheme at the same time as other launch sites this month, but it was delayed a year because authorities were concerned about how providers would cope with the new model.

THE Australian Taxation Office will target wealthy Australians using ‘‘lifestyle assets’’ such as yachts, property and hobby farms that belong to private companies but are really being enjoyed for personal benefit as part of its focus for the year ahead.

Page 4: THE rollout of the National Broadband Network is at risk of grinding to a halt in Tasmania and parts of Victoria as subcontractors battle the network's main construction partners over better pay conditions.

UNIONS are warning of a hollowing out of skills needed for the National Broadband Network in a bid to pressure the government to legislate to stop Telstra from sending jobs offshore.

THE Australian Greens have strengthened their grab for the rural vote at this year’s federal election, pledging $ 100 million in grants for farmers to save electricity and install solar and wind power.

BUSINESS has hit out at the Greens’ new policy platform, warning that it will hit capital supplies and push major projects offshore.

NORTHERN Australia’s transformation into a tropical food bowl should progress alongside a vast expansion of the underground gas industry, a leading economist has warned.

MORE than 75 per cent of voters want a total ban on the dumping of dredge waste in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage area, a survey conducted by environment groups has found.

Page 6: THE daughter of a former federal Labor minister has lashed out at the preselection process for Julia Gillard’s soon- to- be- vacated seat, claiming the procedures had been tainted by allowing ‘‘ineligible candidates and non- financial members’’ to run.

THE nation’s peak resource employer group has urged Kevin Rudd to take immediate action to overhaul workplace laws to lift productivity or risk undermining $ 350 billion invested in Australia’s resource sector.

CHINA’S economy is slowing, but not as rapidly as some feared, bringing a boost to financial markets throughout the region.

Page 17: MARKET analysts have attacked Treasury Wine Estates over the performance of its US wine business after the company shook investor confidence yesterday with news of a $ 160 million writedown, which sent its share price plunging.

INVESTMENT banker Richard Poole, who has recently been embroiled in the investigation into disgraced Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid, is set for an $18 million payday after AGL Energy launched a friendly $103m takeover bid for upstart energy retailer Australian Power & Gas.

Page 18: AS the numbers pile up showing China’s sizzling growth cooling down, industries worldwide — from German paper- cutter makers to Indonesian palm- oil exporters — are confronting an altered landscape of winners and losers.

MINOTAUR Exploration is set to snap up cash- strapped junior Breakaway Resources in a friendly takeover that will consolidate exploration ground in the copper- rich Cloncurry- Mount Isa district of north Queensland.

Page 19: A MYSTERIOUS bid for Melbourne-based Merlin Diamonds has collapsed after revelations the company's chairman, colourful mining magnate Joseph Gutnick, switched his allegiance from the takeover target to the suitor during the offer period.

QUEENSLAND-BASED construction company Watpac has cut $30 million in costs from its business as it clears the decks ahead of a focus on mining services, defence and social infrastructure and commercial construction, according to chief executive Martin Monro.

Page 25: DIRE predictions of slumping iron ore prices and warnings of the end of the commodities super- cycle aren’t deterring some deep- pocketed, long- view investors whose appetite for the steelmaking raw material is driving mining- asset mergers and acquisitions activity from Australia to Canada.

PRIVATE equity giant Blackstone is embarking on a $ 100 million- plus spending spree for bulky goods centres in Australia, with Charter Hall’s Artarmon Home HQ on Sydney’s north shore the latest deal under negotiation for about $ 74 million.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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