Today's Business Headlines

25/09/2008 - 06:57

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State hit by $731m blowout: Buswell; 'Morale' cash quietens builders; Only 'faint glimmer' WA will retain Inpex gas project, says Barnett; Strike move sees NW union revival; Turbulence forces Qantas to delay $2bn float

Today's Business Headlines

State hit by $731m blowout: Buswell
New Treasurer Troy Buswell claims a massive blowout in the cost of infrastructure projects will see programs cut and projects axed or delayed as the Liberal-Nationals government struggles to come to grips with escalating costs and falling revenues over the next four years. The West

'Morale' cash quietens builders
Griffin Energy made '' morale booster'' payments of $1200 each to about 200 angry construction workers on the troubled $400 million Bluewaters power station south of Perth after entering negotiations that have since been shown to involve the disgraced lobbyist Brian Burke. The Australian

Only 'faint glimmer' WA will retain Inpex gas project, says Barnett
Premier Colin Barnett remained pessimistic yesterday that WA could hang on to a multi-billion-dollar gas plant which is set to be lost to Darwin, despite making an 11th hour pitch to the company behind the project. The West

Strike move sees NW union revival
The militant mining union said it was enjoying a resurgence in the North West after it won the right yesterday for Pilbara rail train drivers to vote for a strike and successfully brokered its first enterprise bargaining agreement with BHP Billiton in more than a decade. The West

Turbulence forces Qantas to delay $2bn float
Market volatility has claimed another victim, with Qantas forced to postpone floating its frequent flyer program worth an estimated $2 billion. The Age

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: New Treasurer Troy Buswell claims a massive blowout in the cost of infrastructure projects will see programs cut and projects axed or delayed as the Liberal-Nationals government struggles to come to grips with escalating costs and falling revenues over the next four years.

Australia's beleaguered banks underpinned a surprise sharemarket bounce yesterday after US investment guru Warren Buffet said he would inject up to $US 10 billion ($11.9 billion) into Wall Street investment bank Goldman Sachs despite mounting disquiet within US political ranks about a $US700 billion bailout of the country's financial sector.

Page 3: The federal government's budget centrepiece aimed at delivering a tax break to 400,000 middle-income families has crashed with the shock defeat of its plan to relax the Medicare surcharge.

Page 4: The Reserve Bank might have to lift official interest rates if consumer spending and confidence grew too quickly because the inflation threat facing the country was not over, the International Monetary Fund said.

Page 5: WA's biggest rock lobster processor has warned that the state's $300 million fishery is at risk of permanent damage unless urgent reductions in the annual catch are made.

Page 7: Premier Colin Barnett remained pessimistic yesterday that WA could hang on to a multi-billion-dollar gas plant which is set to be lost to Darwin, despite making an 11th hour pitch to the company behind the project.

Page 11: The militant mining union said it was enjoying a resurgence in the North West after it won the right yesterday for Pilbara rail train drivers to vote for a strike and successfully brokered its first enterprise bargaining agreement with BHP Billiton in more than a decade.

Business: Andre Forrest's Fortescue Metals Group has taken a big step towards forcing itself onto the Pilbara railway lines owned by BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto after the High Court yesterday found the key infrastructure was not an exclusive part of the iron ore process.

Australian mining companies face an uphill battle chasing nearly $26 billion in fund in the middle of a global credit crisis that has seen borrowing costs soar, UBS analysts warned yesterday.

Billionaire investor Warren Buffet, who tells investors to be "greedy when others are fearful", has taken his investment s in key companies this year alone to more than $US30 billion ($36 billion) after agreeing to tip $US 5 billion into Goldman Sachs, in the process safeguarding one of Wall Street's most venerable names.

After a year mired by a share price rout and technical issues affecting production at its flagship Langer Heinrich mine in Namibia, Paladin Energy finally rewarded shareholders with positive news yesterday, reporting a 175 per cent jump in uranium reserves.

Forestry Group Great Southern yesterday denied its crucial $800 million restructure was in jeopardy after a combination of market turbulence, investor backlash and the financial woes of major shareholder Ospraie Group prompted what it called a "review" of the way the proposed deal would be priced and structured.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 3: Contributions to self-managed superannuation funds more than quadrupled in the 12 months up until June last year.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: The National Australia Bank may seek to offload its $1 billion exposure in US property markets to the massive banking rescue being mounted by the US Government.

Some of Australia's most powerful office holders are being denied access to the nation's most exclusive men's club -Athenaeum in Melbourne - because they are women.

A welfare group says the government should spend money fitting households with energy-saving devices rather than giving low-income households compensation for their energy bills.

Page 2: The Australian Manufacturing and Workers Union says Labor has broken an election promise with its revised industrial relations regime.

Griffin Energy made '' morale booster'' payments of $1200 each to about 200 angry construction workers on the troubled $400 million Bluewaters power station south of Perth after entering negotiations that have since been shown to involve the disgraced lobbyist Brian Burke.

Page 3: Australian retailers have been directed to remove a popular Chinese sweet from sale after it was found to contain the same toxic chemical which led to the hospitalisation of thousands of Chinese children.

Page 4: The International Monetary Fund has warned the Reserve Bank against cutting interest rates too rapidly, believing inflation remains a bigger threat to the Australian economy than the global financial turmoil.

Page 6: The Liberal Party's Queensland division was on the verge of insolvency when it agreed to merge with the Nationals to form the Liberal National Party in July.

World: US President George Bush has made his farewell speech to the UN, an organisation he has previously labelled irrelevant.

Business: With stock shorting bans in place the market is facing problems, sparking rumours the bans may shortly be lifted.

BHP Billiton has been issued with another ''please explain'' request from an international watchdog as it continues to jump hurdles to advance its hostile $US160 billion ($190 billion) takeover of rival Rio Tinto.
The Australian Securities Exchange will become a major trader of carbon permit derivatives and expects the financial diversification to be a major source of revenue growth.

Department store chain David Jones has reported a 25 per cent rise in annual profit and expects further gains in the current financial year despite forecasting sales to remain flat or even decline over the first three quarters.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank expects to continue growing revenue while monitoring the impact of ''seriously challenged'' financial markets on Australian households.

Commonwealth Bank has been singled out as the most likely entity to pursue an acquisition of Suncorp's banking operations, possibly paying about $4 billion.

Qantas may face further delays in the arrival of its Boeing 787s, as manufacturer Boeing is unable to say how delivery of the new plane will be affected by industrial action in the US.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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