07/08/2009 - 06:49

Today's Business Headlines

07/08/2009 - 06:49

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

Business coughs up for ministerial access; Unions wage bitter turf war; BHP rail snub irks juniors; Schubert’s swansong from CBA; Jobs data pushes Australian dollar higher

Today's Business Headlines

Business coughs up for ministerial access
The WA Liberal and National parties will pocket more than $300,000 this year by charging business executives for exclusive access to government ministers. The West

Unions wage bitter turf war
A turf war has erupted over union coverage of Australia's export iron ore industry, prompting Julia Gillard to warn last night that unions would feel the "force of the law" if they engaged in disruptive and unlawful conduct. The Australian

BHP rail snub irks juniors
Pilbara iron ore juniors have reacted angrily to new signs that BHP Billiton has no intention of giving ground on third-party railway access, accusing the mining giant of being "in a state of denial". The West

Schubert's swansong from CBA
John Schubert, who missed out on the top board job at BHP Billiton this week, yesterday announced he would stand down as chairman of Commonwealth Bank. The Age

Jobs data pushes Australian dollar higher
Australia's economic resistance to the global slowdown was underscored yesterday by July's unemployment rate holding steady at 5.8 per cent, surprising even the most optimistic pundits and pushing the share market and Australian dollar higher. Herald Sun

 

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 3: The WA Liberal and National parties will pocket more than $300,000 this year by charging business executives for exclusive access to government ministers.

Page 5: WA health groups have welcomed a landmark application before the Supreme Court to decide if quadriplegic Christian Rossiter can refuse the food keeping him alive, saying it could clear up a grey legal area for patients and health workers.

Page 6: WA has become the unemployment black hole of Australia with 18,000 people losing full-time work last month, pushing the state jobless rate to a six-year high of 5.7 per cent.

Page 10: The state government raised the stakes in its drive to overhaul local government yesterday, saying it would withhold $100 million a year from councils that did not merge as required for its reform process.

Page 12: The WA farm industry has emerged after the faltering resources boom to post strong export figures despite the global downturn.

Page 13: Insurance fraud in WA has soared as people seek quick fixes in the global economic downturn, according to the RAC.

Business: Pilbara iron ore juniors have reacted angrily to new signs that BHP Billiton has not intention of giving ground on third-party railway access, accusing the mining giant of being "in a state of denial".

Allan Rickerby is one of many businesspeople trying to find a way to take advantage of new communications technologies, without getting lost in the marketing hyperbole or wasting time and money.

Financial advisers should be required by law to act in the best interests of their clients, and incentives paid to advisers that distort financial advice should be scrapped, according to the corporate regulator.

For the better part of the past decade global equity analysts and economists were all singing from the same musical sheet, accompanied by the central bank symphony, and the sound was pure harmony to investors' ears.

The City of Geraldton is closer to being one of the first mainland towns linked to the Rudd government's national broadband network after telco major Optus said it had tendered for the work.

Rupert Murdoch's push to charge readers for online news would have "minimal impact" on their wallets and would inevitably be followed by News Corp's competitors, analysts said yesterday.

Alumina has posted a 130 per cent fall in underlying earnings after tax for the June half, a better-than-expected result for the producer of one of the commodities hardest hit by the global financial crisis.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: The labour market is proving to be unexpectedly resilient as increasingly optimistic employers retain staff in anticipation of the economic recovery starting by the end of the year.

David Turner will replace John Schubert as chairman of Commonwealth Bank of Australia next year, stepping into the role at a delicate time for the big four leader as it emerges from the financial crisis with the threat of increasing regulatory intervention.

Page 3: Lachlan Murdoch's business partner Siobhan McKenna is one of two former McKinsey partners the Rudd government has chosen to sit on the board of the national broadband network company.

Page 4: Western Australia's major government departments are ignoring a compulsory ceiling on employee numbers imposed by Treasurer Troy Buswell in February, confidential government documents reveal.

Page 11: The Australian economy continues to spit out strong data and, not surprisingly, economists are starting to speculate about the Reserve Bank of Australia increasing interest rates before the end of this year.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: A turf war has erupted over union coverage of Australia's export iron ore industry, prompting Julia Gillard to warn last night that unions would feel the "force of the law" if they engaged in disruptive and unlawful conduct.

Large construction companies are set to "make a killing" out of multi-million-dollar contracts in Aboriginal housing, while local black tradesmen remain idle and unable to gain access to construction contracts.

Australia is defying the global downturn with strong growth in employment last month, raising the prospect that the economy will keep growing throughout the rest of the year.

Page 3: It was tents and microphones at 10 paces as Australia's breakfast radio hosts gathered in five central-city locations to spruik digital radio.

Page 4: The Australian job market's new-found ability to share the pain will underpin the Reserve Bank's upward revision of its economic growth forecasts today.

The number of people with jobs has barely changed in the past 12 months, but the total hours being worked has fallen at the same speed as in the last two recessions.

Page 5: Liberal MPs are continuing to suggest Andrew Robb as the alternative Liberal leader, despite the Victorian frontbencher's pledge of "full support" to the incumbent, Malcolm Turnbull.

Malcolm Turnbull and senator Eric Abetz will have to explain their roles in the OzCar faked email affair to a Senate committee that could find them guilty of contempt of the Senate -- an offence punishable by censure, fine or, theoretically, even a jail term.

The expensive e-health ambitions of Canberra, from personal electronic health records to online consultations, could be bankrolled from the leftover $1.8 billion in the "nation-building" Health and Hospitals Fund.

Page 7: A member of a key stakeholder group involved in the federal government's $672 million remote housing package has demanded more transparency in the way the project is being rolled out, saying there has been almost an information blackout.

Page 8: Defence is calling for design submissions for the navy's new future submarine to replace its Collins-class boats -- a potential $25 billion contract looming as the government's largest, most expensive military purchase ever.

Page 9: Warnings about the risks of abalone farming at sites on South Australia's remote Eyre Peninsula were ignored by Australian Bight Abalone, of which ALP fundraiser and lobbyist Nick Bolkus is a director, in a rush for profit that has led to the company's collapse.

Business: The Commonwealth Bank has extended the changes at the top level of corporate Australia by appointing a new chairman to lead the nation's largest home lender through the next stage of the financial cycle.

News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch has cautiously forecast better times ahead -- including a rise in 2009-10 operating profit -- after $US8.9 billion in writedowns dragged the company to a $US3.4bn ($4.04bn) net loss for 2008-09.

News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch has given his strongest indication yet the company's newspapers will soon charge for their content online, stating the mastheads could no longer afford to simply give away information on the internet.

Glenn Rufrano, the New Yorker paid $3.56 million by Centro Properties Group to save it from drowning in debt, has announced he is stepping down as chief executive.

Alumina has posted an 86 per cent drop in its half-yearly net profit but the miner said the worst of the financial crisis was behind it and early signs of recovery in global markets were emerging.

Gaming group Tabcorp will plunge an extra $100 million into expanding its Star City Casino in a bid to boost profitability as it faces increased competition in its gaming and wagering markets.

The federal government has named the board that will oversee its $43 billion national broadband network, revealing a team of executives strong in legal and business experience.

Plunging market values brought on by the global financial crisis have pushed several large defined benefit superannuation funds into technical insolvency, the market regulator APRA has disclosed.

The prospect of an interest rate rise as early as next month has emerged, after the Australian labour market proved surprisingly resilient during the global economic downturn.

Major Australian banks could be forced to return capital to shareholders once the financial crisis clears, rather than storing funds on the balance sheet, a leading global banker says.

Wall Street banks and lawyers could collect almost $US1 billion ($1.18bn) in fees from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and American International Group for helping to manage and break up the insurer.

The Australian sharemarket closed stronger yesterday, pulled up by the resource and financial sectors after better than expected unemployment data and a rerating of banking stocks.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options