Coalition to oppose telco reforms The coalition will oppose the federal government's telecommunications reforms, introduced as part of its plan to build the $43 billion national broadband network. In a joint party room meeting, the coalition agreed the legislation, which paves the way for the break-up of Telstra, should be opposed in its current form.Gorgon contracts reach $7bn The awarding of contracts for the massive Gorgon gas project is gathering pace with operator Chevron so far handing out about $7 billion worth of work, including the latest $810 million contract to Dutch group Boskalis.Boskalis Australia, a subsidiary of Netherlands-headquartered Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V, will design and construct the port, which includes a material offloading facility, at Barrow Island.State formalises approvals overhaul The state government will formalise its new lead agency framework and a string of legislative changes as part of its plan to overhaul Western Australia cumbersome approvals processes. Premier Colin Barnett said the changes would help to deliver more decisions quickly, and avoid the loss of another project like Inpex's Ichthys.BHP, Rio scrap iron ore marketing JV BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto have announced they will not proceed with one of the key aspects of a planned merger of their iron ore operations in the Pilbara. In a move likely aimed at appeasing competition regulators, the mining companies scrapped plans to jointly market up to 15 per cent of production from their Pilbara operations.New EPA means faster approvals: Govt The state government has announced plans to split the Environmental Protection Authority from the Department of Environment and Conservation, in a move that has won rare bipartisan support from resources and conservation groups. The change should help speed up the state's environmental approval process, according to the government.
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