Today's Business Headlines

07/11/2008 - 06:52

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

Burke charged with corruption; State projects get the axe as cash dries up; Receivers refuse to guarantee ABC child-care centres will stay open; ASIC won't intervene in Incremental bid; Rudd goes local with $1bn spend

Burke charged with corruption
Disgraced former West Australian premier Brian Burke has been charged with corruption and giving false evidence to the Corruption and Crime Commission -- his third set of criminal charges since leaving office in 1988. The Australian

State projects get the axe as cash dries up
State governments will wind back infrastructure projects worth billions of dollars and some state budgets may slip into the red as the global economic crisis hits both state and Commonwealth revenues and threatens the Rudd Government's cooperative federalism reforms. The Australian

Receivers refuse to guarantee ABC child-care centres will stay open
Receivers dealing with the wreck of ABC Learning have refused to guarantee that all centres would remain open, throwing the child-care plans of thousands of parents nationwide into doubt. The West

ASIC won't intervene in Incremental bid
Cooper Energy's $104 million takeover bid for Perth peer Incremental Petroleum will go down to the wire after Australia's corporate regulator yesterday refused to weigh into the hostile bid battle. The West

Rudd goes local with $1bn spend
The Rudd government has locked in a further $1.1 billion of spending to stimulate the economy before next year's budget, with a proportion of the fund earmarked for local community infrastructure programs. The Fin Review

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: The first day of state parliament since the election of the Barrett Liberal-Nationals government was overshadowed yesterday when former premier Brian Burke, his business partner Julian Grill and former Labor minister Norm Marlborough were charged by the Corruption and Crime Commission with counts arising from the hearings into lobbyists of 18 months ago.

Page 3: Receivers dealing with the wreck of ABC Learning have refused to guarantee that all centres would remain open, throwing the child-care plans of thousands of parents nationwide into doubt.

Page 4: The state government has come under more pressure to axe major infrastructure projects after the WA Treasury told Treasurer Troy Buswell yesterday that WA would lose about $700 million in GST payments from the Commonwealth over the next three-and-a-half years as a result of the economic slowdown.

The grim prospect of running up consecutive budget deficits has forced the Rudd government to comb for savings to help fund multi-billion-dollar election commitments it hs promised to meet.

Page 5: Unemployment in WA fell to a record low in October, leaving just 27,000 people looking for work, but officials warn it is only a matter of time before companies start laying off workers.

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch has flagged "across-the-board" job cuts at his Australian newspapers to help combat a slowdown which yesterday triggered News Corporation's biggest share price plunge in 20 years.

Page 11: Colin Barnett has all but ruled out building a totally new stadium at Subiaco, saying yesterday that it would offer no improvement for football fans until 2016.

Business: North American brewing giant Molson Coors has been revealed as the owner of a 5 per cent stake in Foster's Group, giving it a seat at the bar amid persistent takeover talk.

Cooper Energy's $104 million takeover bid for Perth peer Incremental Petroleum will go down to the wire after Australia's corporate regulator yesterday refused to weigh into the hostile bid battle.

Japan has threatened BHP Billiton with legal action if the mining giant does not provide confidential details of its proposed $144 billion takeover bid for arch rival Rio Tinto.

Former BHP Billiton boss Brian Gilbertson is expected to install himself as chairman of Jupiter mines if his audacious partial takeover of the WA iron ore minnow succeeds.

Dragon Mining has hit investors with the second batch of bad news in a fortnight, this time warning the collapse in commodity prices had forced it to suspend dewatering at its Vammala nickel mine in Finland for at least six months until conditions improve.

About $7 billion in losses are looming for Australian banks as fallout from the credit crisis and a slowing economy are set to cause more corporate loans to turn bad.

Media giant News Corp intends to keep its powder dry until certainty returns to world financial markets.

RCR Tomlinson has found a new chief executive, United Group's Paul Dagleish.

The operator of Australia's $1.2 billion north-south freight railway, which links the port of Darwin with southern cities, has been put into receivership after a group of second-tier debt-holders killed a plan to sell the business.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: The Rudd government is scrambling to secure the child-care positions of 110,000 children at ABC Learning Centres after directors of the embattled company called in administrators yesterday.

The Rudd government has locked in a further $1.1 billion of spending to stimulate the economy before next year's budget, with a proportion of the fund earmarked for local community infrastructure programs.

A stockmarket decline after initial optimism over Barack Obama's election victory has put more pressure on the US president-elect to push ahead swiftly with the selection of a new administration to deal with the global economic slowdown.

Page 3: Former West Australian premier Brian Burke and former minister Julian Grill have been charged with corruption following investigations into the two lobbyists by the state's Corruption and Crime Commission.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Disgraced former West Australian premier Brian Burke has been charged with corruption and giving false evidence to the Corruption and Crime Commission -- his third set of criminal charges since leaving office in 1988.

Receivers of ABC Learning want banks and taxpayers to provide a $60 million funding lifeline to keep its childcare centres open until Christmas.

The Rudd Government's plans for a national broadband network are at risk of unravelling with Telstra threatening not even to put in a bid this month.

State governments will wind back infrastructure projects worth billions of dollars and some state budgets may slip into the red as the global economic crisis hits both state and commonwealth revenues and threatens the Rudd Government's cooperative federalism reforms.

Page 2: The company operating the Adelaide to Darwin rail line has been placed in voluntary administration with debts to creditors mounting to $500 million.

Page 3: More than 30 million litres a day of industrial and hospital waste will be recycled as drinking water for residents of south-east Queensland.

Page 4: Labor's insistence on cabinet committees and community cabinet meetings, such as Wednesday's in Launceston, is slowing the wheels of government.

Page 5: New vehicle sales slumped 11 per cent last month in a nightmare October that confirmed the worst fears of an industry under assault from all sides.

Business: More than 200 years after New Yorkers William and Ralph Foster founded a brewery in Melbourne, an American beer company appears set to take Australia's biggest beer producer back across the Pacific.

Freightlink, the owner and operator of the Adelaide to Darwin freight line hailed by former Prime Minister John Howard as Australia's gateway to Asia, has placed its $1.2 billion business in voluntary administration.

The leave entitlements of 16,000 staff of collapsed childcare group ABC Learning Centres and 330 employees of failed finance group Allco Finance Group have been frozen as receivers pick their way through the two complex businesses.

News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch yesterday flagged '' extremely challenging'' times for the global media sector in the coming year, after a deteriorating international advertising market caused a sharp fall in first-quarter profit and a cut in forecast earnings.

Having secured almost $38 billion of work since June 30, Leighton Holdings not only expects to escape an economic downturn, but to achieve 15 per cent profit growth in 2008-09.

The Japanese Government has ordered BHP Billiton to provide details of its proposed $US78 billion ($114.6 billion) takeover of Rio Tinto within 11 days or face possible criminal prosecution.

Online advertising group Seek has downgraded its earnings guidance and now expects zero profit growth this financial year, as the economic slowdown slashes the number of job ads being placed by employers.

Telstra has signalled it may have to cut its earnings forecasts if the economic environment in Australia worsens, and warned the Government again about the dangers of any forced separation of its business.

Travel wholesaler, distributor and retailer Jetset Travelworld has slashed profit guidance by 20-30 per cent this year, blaming volatile economic conditions and the weaker Australian dollar for its downgrade.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options