14/09/2009 - 06:54

Today's Business Headlines

14/09/2009 - 06:54

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Shell ticks $50bn gas project; Middle-East threat to gas boom profits; PM puts poll pressure on Turnbull; Oil rig spilling 400 barrels a day; Bosses call for bigger class sizes.

Today's Business Headlines

Shell ticks $50bn gas project
Australia's biggest ever energy project, the $50 billion Gorgon LNG development, will be unveiled today after the global board of joint venture partner Shell finally gave the go-ahead at a meeting on Friday. The Australian

Middle-East threat to gas boom profits
Australia's much-vaunted liquefied natural gas boom is at risk of being swamped by massive volumes of low cost gas out of the Middle East nation of Qatar, the world's largest LNG producer. The Fin

PM puts poll pressure on Turnbull
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has given his strongest indication yet that he is considering an early election in an attempt to pressure Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull into passing the government's reform agenda in the Senate. The Fin

Oil rig spilling 400 barrels a day
The oil leaking from a stricken rig off Western Australia has emerged as the nation's third biggest spill after the company responsible for the disaster admitted up to 400 barrels a day had flowed into the sea for more than three weeks. The Australian

Bosses call for bigger class sizes
Western Australia's peak employer group has demanded a radical return to larger class sizes, saying there is no evidence the national trend to smaller classes has led to anything other than a drop in teaching standards. The Australian

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 3: Former fisheries minister Jon Ford claims rumours of fisheries officers using truckloads of fish for personal use were rife during his reign and it was likely the corrupt practice had been going on for years.

Page 4: The Federal Government has raised the chance of an early election next year by considering a recall of Parliament just before Christmas to bring back blocked legislation.

Some of the nation's most influential business and political leaders will gather in Perth in November to discuss WA's emergence as a major power because of its proximity to the rapidly developing Asian countries in its time zone.

Page 6: Hundreds of thousands of seabirds migrating south to Perth will be in danger as they fly West Atlas oil slick, conservationists have warned.

Only three new units have been built as part of the State Government's pledge in February to fast-track the building of 600 homes in 12 months to boost social housing stock.

Page 9: The partners of the $50 billion Gorgon LNG project are expected to hand down their long-awaited investment decision today.

Page 10: The first development site in the $2 billion Northbridge Link project, between the Arena stadium and the old entertainment centre, will be released to the market within months.

Page 14: The Australian public has endorsed the Government's arguement it should continue its stimulus measures and ticked its management of the economic crisis in a Nielsen poll that also shows some improvement in Malcolm Turnbull's approval.

A year after Lehmann Brothers collapsed and unleashed global financial cantagion, US President Barack Obama will argue on Wall Street today that his policies rescued an economy that now must be rebuilt.

Page 15: Local councils may as well close their planning departments if a State Government proposal to streamline the approval process for development projects goes ahead, according to the mayors of two local authorities.

Page 17: Australia ranks last among wealthy countries in being ready to compete in a clean energy future or play its part in a strong climate treaty, an international report has found.

Page 19: The State Government is pressing ahead with a plan to spend $20 million next year to provide underground power to homes in some Perth suburbs and country towns.

Business: WA farmers are unlikely to see any respite from declining wheat prices this year or the next, but the future looks brighter for the nation's hard-hit dairy industry, latest reports show.

Woodside's $1.6 billion Angel project has taken the top prize in this year's WA Engineering Excellence Awards, announced at a gala dinner at the weekend.

Great Southern's receivers have reported "solid" levels in the failed group's forestry and horticultural assets, a week after hoisting the for sale sign.

The headline deals of the past week might have been among WA's uranium and iron ore players - China Inc's swoop on three more juniors and Paladin's $149 million war chest - but it's gold that's looking like it's back in vogue.

The minimum level of education to be a financial planner in Australia is woefully inadequate.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has given his strongest indication yet that he is considering an early election in an attempt to pressure Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull into passing the government's reform agenda in the Senate.

Australia's much-vaunted liquefied natural gas boom is at risk of being swamped by massive volumes of low cost gas out of the Middle East nation of Qatar, the world's largest LNG producer.

Food giant Campbell's Soups has shut its main Australian plant because of a stand-off with unions over introducing the federal government's key measure to boost productivity and workplace flexibility under the new Fair Work laws.

Page 3: The Bank for International Settlements is cautiously optimistic about prospects for a gradual recovery in the global economy amid mounting evidence that measures of financial risk are falling to pre-crisis levels.

There's still some threat of downside before harvest, but WA and SA are expecting bumper crops.

Page 4: The limits of individual flexibility arrangements, or IFAs, are still to be tested but the federal government's Fair Work Ombudsman gives the following example.

Page 5: The federal government is preparing to launch a major assault on Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull in parliament this week after he refused to rule out the reintroduction of individual workplace agreements.

A federal government crackdown on big projects claiming tariff and important duty concessions worth about $2.1 billion a year will include stricter checks on whether Australian businesses were able to supply the goods.

The federal government's push to clamp down on massive payouts for executives is set to come under scrutiny in the Senate this week amid concerns the proposed changes will inadvertently drive an increase in base salaries.

Page 6: The big, six-cylinder car may be endangered as business, unions and green groups campaign for a re-write of tax breaks to favour cleaner, greener vehicles.

Page 7: Australia's peak standard-setting body is facing a revolt over attempts to impose new fees to finance its activities amid claims it has mismanaged what was supposed to be a lifetime endowment of $160 million.

Page 8: A leading global association for investment professionals has called for consistent rules across the Asia-Pacific to force directors to disclose thier margin loans, after a string of cases left investors increasingly exposed.

Page 13: Cadbury, the world's second-biggest confectionery company, says an unsolicited takeover offer from Kraft Foods is "unappealing" due to its rival's business model and "lower growth" prospects.

Page 14: The pre-marketing for the $3 billion float of Myer will begin today though its private equity investor TPG is expected to postpone the book-build until November, exposing the long-awaited float to greater risk of a downturn in equity markets and retail sales.

Cape Lambert Iron Ore executive chairman Tony Sage will meet fund managers in New York over the next three days to gauge the US market's appetite for the potential $250 million float of the Lady Annie copper mine in Queensland.

The Rudd government is set to introduce new laws to reshape Australia's telecommunications sector as early as this week, a move with huge implications for Telstra and its 1.4 million shareholders.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: A more favourable political climate under the Rudd government and less hostile workplace laws have helped unions defy historical trends and record membership increases across a range of industries.

One of Australia's most powerful union leaders has lashed out at the push for green jobs, labelling it a ''dopey term'', and has dismissed environmental campaigns against some of the nation's major export industries as ''judgmental nonsense''.

Page 2: The oil leaking from a stricken rig off Western Australia has emerged as the nation's third biggest spill after the company responsible for the disaster admitted up to 400 barrels a day had flowed into the sea for more than three weeks.

Page 3: A shout after work may be on the way out, as health authorities try to recruit big-brother bosses to curtail staff drinking habits.

Page 6: The Rudd government will this week attempt to put Malcolm Turnbull to the sword on industrial relations and the opposition's economic credentials.

Tight deadlines imposed on the Rudd government's social housing program are under threat after $750 million was redirected to primary schools in this month's stimulus package revision.

Page 7: Western Australia's peak employer group has demanded a radical return to larger class sizes, saying there is no evidence the national trend to smaller classes has led to anything other than a drop in teaching standards.

Julia Gillard is under mounting pressure from the mining and construction sectors and the opposition to revamp a key $2.1 billion government training program to better target skills needed to boost the nation's productive capacity.

Page 9: The number of luxury properties selling at mortgagee auctions has soared as receivers and banks cut prices by up to 50 per cent to meet the market.

A record 200,000 Australians are expected to own a home for the first time this year, as low interest rates and government stimulus handouts help more people than ever to climb on the property ladder.

Business: Australia's biggest ever energy project, the $50 billion Gorgon LNG development, will be unveiled today after the global board of joint venture partner Shell finally gave the go-ahead at a meeting on Friday.

Banks appear to be using bundles of their own mortgages to satisfy the regulatory requirement that they keep a minimum level of liquid assets to meet any unexpected demand for funds.

GE Capital Australia has racked up losses of $263.8 million in the Australian market, with its US parent threatening to cut off its funding in 12 months.

JPMorgan's local capital markets and investment banking arm has recorded a first-half profitability surge because of rapidly improving conditions.

Listed property trusts have risen by 64 per cent since the market's March trough, well ahead of the 46 per cent boost for the general equities market.

Well-known hotel chains are moving to secure greater control of the accommodation market amid the global slump, with most major brands announcing they are in negotiations to add up to five new management agreements to their stable in Australia and New Zealand.

Fairfax Media missed its opportunity to get into the booming online classifieds market, says carsales.com chief executive Greg Roebuck.

The Reject Shop managing director Gerry Masters has quit the company for family reasons after less than three years in the job.

JB Hi-Fi boss Richard Uechtritz has been given a 20 per cent pay rise after steering the home entertainment and electronic retailer to a 45 per cent rise in annual profit.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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