23/02/2017 - 06:41

Morning Headlines

23/02/2017 - 06:41

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Morning Headlines

Henry calls for tax reform growth plan

National Australia Bank chairman and former Treasury secretary Ken Henry says the 10 per cent goods and services tax rate should be increased and the company tax rate cut more aggressively than planned to help business investment drive a stronger economy. The Fin

 

Decision on penalty rates due

The Fair Work Commission’s long awaited decision on whether to cut weekend penalty rates in retail, hospitality and fast-food industries will be handed down on Thursday morning. The Fin

 

APA won’t lower bar for renewables

APA Group chief executive Mick McCormack has sought to dispel lingering market concerns that the gas pipeline owner’s push into renewable energy may compromise returns after striking a deal for a new $315 million wind farm in Western Australia. The Fin

 

Israeli PM blasts Labor elders

A war of words has erupted between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former Labor leaders Bob Hawke and Kevin Rudd over their calls for recognition of a Palestinian state, prompting Bill Shorten to reassure the Jewish state that it has a “great friend” in the Australian Labor Party. The Aus

 

State transformed by big spending: Barnett

West Australian Premier Colin Barnett has credited his government’s massive spending program for transforming the state, as he sought to explain record debt during an election debate with Opposition Leader Mark McGowan last night. The Aus

 

Crown cutting jobs as CEO calls it quits

James Packer’s Crown Resorts is expected to cut hundreds of jobs over coming months following a wholesale review of the business by new executive chairman John Alexander. The Aus

 

Key seats poll shock

Colin Barnett is facing the fight of his political life with a string of polls showing six crucial battleground Liberal-held seats in Perth poised to fall to Labor. The West

 

Chevron to expand Gorgon

As Chevron focuses on bringing the final Gorgon train into production over the next few months, the LNG project operator is preparing for additional spending to keep gas flowing to the Pilbara’s Barrow Island. The West

 

The Australian Financial Review

Page 1: National Australia Bank chairman and former Treasury secretary Ken Henry says the 10 per cent goods and services tax rate should be increased and the company tax rate cut more aggressively than planned to help business investment drive a stronger economy.

Philip Lowe has made a strong plea to business to take the lead in investing for growth and infrastructure to give the Reserve Bank of Australia governor space to end the ultra-low official interest rate policy that is fuelling risky house price growth.

Page 3: Seven West Media chairman and billionaire Kerry Stokes and director Jeff Kennett have been criticised by a NSW Supreme Court judge for engaging in a public spat with Amber Harrison.

The Fair Work Commission’s longawaited decision on whether to cut weekend penalty rates in retail, hospitality and fast-food industries will be handed down on Thursday morning.

Page 4: Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen has slapped down a second attempt by the party’s Left faction to promise at the next election that high-income earners must pay at least a minimum level of tax under the so-called ‘‘Buffett rule’’ tax plan.

Page 5: The Turnbull government is at odds with itself again, this time with ministers making conflicting statements about whether the refugee deal with the United States was part of a people swap.

Page 8: Australia has sealed a record $11 billion government bond deal, attracting an estimated $20 billion in orders just a month after it set a previous high-water mark with a $9.3 billion sale.

Page 9: The iron ore price boom won’t last. That was the downbeat message from China’s chief government forecaster and the steel industry’s main lobby group on Wednesday, even as the iron ore price surged towards a three year high of $US95 a tonne.

Page 15: Woolworths has delivered its strongest supermarket sales growth in more than two years but chief executive Brad Banducci is reluctant to claim the worst is over until he sees whether rival Coles sparks a full-blown price war.

The surging iron ore price has buoyed the fortunes of Fortescue Metals Group, which has declared a bumper 20¢ dividend after its first half net profit soared 283 per cent to $US1.2 billion.

Page 17: Woodside Petroleum has put expansion of its Pluto liquefied natural gas project firmly back onto the agenda as it doubles down on tapping growth potential within its business and shifts the focus away from acquisitions.

Page 18: APA Group chief executive Mick McCormack has sought to dispel lingering market concerns that the gas pipeline owner’s push into renewable energy may compromise returns after striking a deal for a new $315 million wind farm in Western Australia.

 

The Australian

Page 1: A war of words has erupted between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former Labor leaders Bob Hawke and Kevin Rudd over their calls for recognition of a Palestinian state, prompting Bill Shorten to reassure the Jewish state that it has a “great friend” in the Australian Labor Party.

The government has failed to secure the crucial support of Pauline Hanson for its omnibus bill without major changes, as the One Nation leader suggests women who work part-time will deliberately get pregnant to access paid parental leave payments tied to the package.

The leaders of some of Australia’s biggest companies have blasted the chaotic state of the power grid, including BHP Billiton chief executive Andrew Mackenzie who warned the nation’s renewable energy schemes could raise costs and reduce power security while having no impact on emissions.

Page 2: Angry politicians are pushing for parliament to reassert its control over the Remuneration Tribunal to bring the salaries of public service chiefs into line with community expectations, amid outcry that some department heads are earning double that of senior ministers.

Page 3: A senior judge is forcing Maurice Blackburn lawyers to stop concealing from thousands of Black Saturday bushfire survivors the bills for the firm’s legal work which has seen more than $100 million in fees and costs reaped from the 2009 disaster.

The former lover of Channel Seven boss Tim Worner breached obligations to the company and was “reckless or indifferent” to damaging others’ reputations in an apparent “revenge” attack, according to a judge.

Page 4: The Coalition and the Labor Party have moved to blame each other if the Fair Work Commission announces that weekend penalty rates will be cut.

West Australian Premier Colin Barnett has credited his government’s massive spending program for transforming the state, as he sought to explain record debt during an election debate with Opposition Leader Mark McGowan last night.

Page 5: The former Labor government may have erred in its decision to significantly expand the National Disability Insurance Scheme eligibility criteria when the $22 billion project was legislated, potentially threatening its sustainability.

Page 6: Israel was “the original start-up nation” and its focus on innovation in science and technology was a perfect fit with Australia’s ambitions, Malcolm Turnbull said yesterday.

Page 19: Brad Banducci, the management consultant turned grocer, has woken Woolworths from a seven year malaise by finally beating arch rival Coles at supermarket same-store sales growth to stoke investor hopes of a long promised return to form for the nation’s biggest retailer.

James Packer’s Crown Resorts is expected to cut hundreds of jobs over coming months following a wholesale review of the business by new executive chairman John Alexander.

Page 21: Fairfax Media will continue to print weekday newspapers “for some years yet” after a U-turn by Fairfax chief executive Greg Hywood.

APN News & Media boss Ciaran Davis has urged the competition watchdog to block a $1.6 billion merger between the two largest players in the outdoor advertising sector, saying the deal will stifle innovation and diminish competition.

Page 23: Woodside Petroleum chief executive Peter Coleman says acquisitions conceived last year when it appeared the oil price would be lower for longer have given the company a two-year head start on its rivals and the company needs to press home that advantage.

Fortescue Metals chief Nev Power says once problematic debt levels could be paid right down to zero after a bumper first-half profit saw debt reduced by $US1.7 billion ($2.21bn) and a record dividend that will deliver chairman and major shareholder Andrew Forrest $207 million.

APA Group chairman Mick McCormack has hit out at state and federal energy policy that he says is conducive to investment but is not delivering the right outcome for Australian business and household consumers.

 

The West Australian

Page 1: Colin Barnett is facing the fight of his political life with a string of polls showing six crucial battleground Liberal-held seats in Perth poised to fall to Labor.

Page 4: Colin Barnett and Mark McGowan took their election pitches prime time last night as they faced off in a leaders’ debate that failed to scale great heights or trip either contender up in a “gotcha” moment.

The cost of living is starting to outpace wages across WA in a blow to the struggling economy and State Budget.

Page 6: Southern River could be on a razor’s edge on election night but Dave Penney will not say who he wants to win.

Osborne Park Hospital will get a $28 million upgrade to services if Labor is elected.

Page 7: WA Liberal campaign headquarters has no plans for Malcolm Turnbull to return to WA before the March 11 election, with his visit on Monday described by a senior strategist as “a waste of time”.

Page 14: Bill Shorten will today double down on Labor’s renewable energy policies, challenging Malcolm Turnbull to act in Australia’s long term interest on electricity.

Page 18: Increased competition has begun to bite into the Perth hotel market, with cheaper room rates and the lowest occupancy levels in 12 years.

A judge has torn apart the case of Seven West Media chief executive Tim Worner’s former lover Amber Harrison, saying she has breached at least some of her obligations to the company and has been “reckless or indifferent” to damaging reputations.

Page 19: Petrol prices have climbed to their highest levels in more than a year with motorists in regional parts of WA copping some of the biggest increases.

Page 20: Proponents of Alfred Park’s proposed $25 million wave park have moved to allay community concerns about the development as is took a step closer to being realised.

Page 62: Woodside Petroleum has given itself a better shot at processing gas onshore from yet-to-be developed fields off the North West through a staged 20 per cent expansion of the Pluto LNG plant.

Shoppers at the country’s biggest grocery chains are about to benefit from cheaper prices for some time yet, with a rejuvenated Woolworths promising to maintain pressure on Coles over the June half-year.

As Chevron focuses on bringing the final Gorgon train into production over the next few months, the LNG project operator is preparing for additional spending to keep gas flowing to the Pilbara’s Barrow Island.

Page 63: Fortescue Metals Group boss Nev Power has flagged bigger dividend payouts as the company motors through its debt repayments, after it delivered a 20¢ a share interim dividend in yesterday’s half-year report.

Dacian Gold’s renewed pitch at the equity markets for finance for its Mt Morgans project near Laverton comes fully underwritten, ensuring it avoids the issues that came with its last attempt to secure funds for the $220 million gold mine.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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