18/09/2009 - 06:51

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18/09/2009 - 06:51

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Board war as Fairfax family demands Walker's scalp; Population blow-out to strain budget; Trial mining a major step for BC Iron; After the panic, $4bn is hoarded; Leighton linked to new Gorgon deal

Board war as Fairfax family demands Walker's scalp
Fairfax Media director and major shareholder John Brehmer Fairfax has unleashed a blistering attack on the company's chairman, Ron Walker, and joined a revolt by key investors opposing his re-election at the annual general meeting. The Fin

Population blow-out to strain budget
Federal Treasury has dramatically upgraded its forecast of the population by mid-century, prompting Treasurer Wayne Swan to warn the younger and larger nation will put pressure on the budget but also provide economic opportunities. The Fin

Trial mining a major step for BC Iron
Emerging Pilbara miner BC Iron has taken another step towards becoming a producer with the start of trial mining at its joint venture project with Fortescue Metals Group. The Australian

After the panic, $4bn is hoarded
Households are still hoarding $4 billion in cash that was pulled out of the banks in September and October last year, during what the Reserve Bank has revealed was a panic run. The Australian

Leighton linked to new Gorgon deal
Speculation was mounting last night that Leighton Holdings had been awarded a third major contract for Gorgon, just days after Chevron and its partners approved the $43 billion LNG project. The West

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 4: Premier Colin Barnett has demanded an apology from the Labor Opposition and Sydney's Brian Waldron after a parliamentary inquiry cleared him of any wrongdoing in the dispute of historic Peppermint Grove property The Cliffe.

Page 5: Mechanic Nadja Lenehan had the last laugh yesterday after years of being ridiculed as a woman in the male-dominated car industry when she was named the Australian Apprentice of the Year.

Page 11: The latest rains have left South-West crops saturated and slowed their growth rates.

The number of animal species in the path of the Timor Sea oil spill is bigger than previously thought, according to WWF-Australia.

Page 15: High Court chief justice Robert French will plead with the State and Federal governments to be mindful of the justice system when they make budget cuts.

Page 16: A US-based renewable energy expert is bidding to construct WA's biggest wave energy power station off the coast at Yanchep.

Page 17: More babies and migrants are likely to swell Australia's population by 1.5 million in the next 40 years, increasing pressure on future governments to get spending under control.

Page 18: The Reserve Bank has made a record profit of almost $9 billion in the midst of the global recession - and will deliver a financial windfall to the Federal Government that will help bring down the budget deficit.

Business: A bitter war has broken out over control of the Fairfax media empire, with influential board member John B. Fairfax launching a stinging attack on chairman Ron Walker and his stewardship of the company.

Dome Coffees has returned to profit and flagged a big expansion drive across WA that will cost the café chain up to $25 million.

Speculation was mounting last night that Leighton Holdings had been awarded a third major contract for Gorgon, just days after Chevron and its partners approved the $43 billion LNG project.

Telstra is still firmly behind the Federal Government's push for a national broadband network (NBN), the telecommunication giant's chairwoman Catherine Livingston says.

Australia's biggest food and drinks group was born yesterday when Lion Nathan's shareholders gave the nod to Japanese food and beverages company Kirin's $3.4 billion takeover.

One-time Monarch Gold boss Michael Kiernan says he has learnt from the past as he prepares to bring the assets at the heart of the miner's collapse into production within months.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: Fairfax Media director and major shareholder John Brehmer Fairfax has unleashed a blistering attack on the company's chairman, Ron Walker, and joined a revolt by key investors opposing his re-election at the annual general meeting.

Federal Treasury has dramatically upgraded its forecast of the population by mid-century, prompting Treasurer Wayne Swan to warn the younger and larger nation will put pressure on the budget but also provide economic opportunities.

Australia's largest law firms have maintained profitability through the downturn, using a series of emergency cost-cutting measures that include pay and hiring freezes and wide-scale redundancy programs.

Page 3: The federal government will reveal tougher eligibility rules today for companies wanting to claim then more generous tax credits for research and development under a revamped scheme worth $1.4 billion over four years.

Page 4: A parliamentary enquiry has criticised the foreign investment regulator for delaying the release of timely data and recommended it should be subject to more parliamentary scrutiny.

Page 7: A reduction in the 30 per cent corporate tax rate could be funded by introducing higher taxes on the resources sector, a senior Treasury official said yesterday.

Demand for workers remains weak despite mounting optimism about the outlook as cautious employers keep investment and expansion plans on hold while they assess the durability of the recovery.

Page 8: The Rudd government's controversial bank guarantees should be reviewed to balance the treatment of big and small banks, a Senate inquiry has urged in a finding backed by all sides.

Page 9: BHP Billiton has agreed to a deal allowing for the major expansion of coal exports at Newcastle Port and ending years of ship queues and wrangling over access to the port.

West Australian Premier Colin Barnett has lashed out at devotees of the 1980s Perth rock band The Triffids after he was cleared of corruption allegations over a campaign to remove a historic mansion, The Cliffe, from the state's heritage register.

Page 10: Telstra could postpone the break up of its operations until 2018 under the federal government's plans to force the company to back its $43 billion national broadband network, according to details that have raised concerns among the company's rivals.

Page 13: Exporters have warned they could face huge demurrage costs if ships are forced to wait hours for quarantine inspection as the government slashes biosecurity resources following the Senate's decision to block fee increases.

Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard has been forced to defend the flexibility of the government's new workplace laws in the face of the bargaining dispute that shut the main Australian factory of food giant Campbell's Soups.

Page 14: The federal government received a $1 billion boost to is budget bottom line after the Reserve Bank of Australia posted a record $6 bilion dividend last financial year.

Page 15: The Australian Tax Office will convene and urgent meeting with tax practitioners next week to debate how more than 460,000 discretionary trusts should be taxed.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Households are still hoarding $4 billion in cash that was pulled out of the banks in September and October last year, during what the Reserve Bank has revealed was a panic run.

War has erupted inside the boardroom of Fairfax Media, after major shareholder and director John B. Fairfax publicly declared a bid to dump the company's chairman Ron Walker.

Australia's population will hit 35 million in 40 years -- seven million more than had been expected -- as a rising birthrate and rapid migration almost double the rate of population growth.

Page 4: The Coalition has pledged to keep a comprehensive safety net of pay and conditions for workers, subjecting workplace agreements to a stringent no-disadvantage test, in an effort to neutralise Labor claims the opposition wants to revive the Work Choices regime.

It's age before stimulus. The ageing of the population has outrun the Rudd government's attempts to prop up the economy, with the health sector replacing retail trade as the nation's top employer.

Liberals and Labor have closed ranks around Australia's foreign investment review regime and played down concerns about sovereign wealth funds, but called for stronger curbs on complex acquisitions of multiple small assets that now escape assessment.

Senior Reserve Bank managers received a massive 28.8 per cent increase in their total remuneration over the past year, while the Rudd government was lashing out at corporate '' fat cats''.

Page 5: Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland yesterday declared that anyone using a lawyer to resolve a dispute was ''well and truly up the creek without a paddle'' as he challenged the profession to embrace his push for consumer reform.

Beleaguered air navigation provider Airservices Australia is back on a collision course with staff after cancelling the leave of 30 air traffic controllers for three months following flight delays and cancellations on Sunday.

Page 6: Australia could have a fight on its hands in coming decades to attract the migrants needed to ensure a labour force large enough to offset productivity losses caused by a rapidly ageing population.

A harbourside Sydney apartment building owned by Perth businessman Warren Anderson and his wife, Cheryl, was passed in at a mortgagee auction last night after falling $3 million short of the reserve price.

Page 7: Sales of CDs continue to plummet in Australia, but a leap in digital downloads has kept the local music industry afloat in the first six months of this year, according to figures from the Australian Recording Industry Association.

Business: War has erupted inside the boardroom of Fairfax Media, after major shareholder and director John B. Fairfax publicly declared a bid to dump the company's chairman Ron Walker.

A group of international hedge funds has joined forces to offer an alternative lifeline to the debt-stricken listed Babcock & Brown Infrastructure group, which has $7 billion of assets but is teetering on the edge.

The Australian dollar has become one of the best performing currencies on the world's financial markets as the increasing risk appetite of global investors pushed the domestic currency to a 13-month high.

That John B. Fairfax has moved against Ron Walker surprise no one.
But his decision to launch a brutal boardroom blitzkrieg with such rude vigour against the incumbent Fairfax Media chairman is quite astonishing.

A powerful Senate committee has recommended the federal government retain the Four Pillars policy on big bank mergers and intensify parliament's scrutiny of the level of competition in the retail banking market.

The federal government needs to engage with consumers and the business community about how they plan to use its $43 billion national broadband network if the ambitious project is to ever succeed, advisory firm Deloitte says.

Norwegian liquefied natural gas shipper Golar has signed an initial agreement to sell LNG from LNG Ltd's planned Gladstone plant to Toyota in a deal potentially worth $15 billion ($17bn).

It was last drinks for Lion Nathan yesterday as shareholders overwhelmingly approved a $3.5 billion buyout by the biggest stakeholder, Japanese brewing giant Kirin.

Linc Energy's shares went on another run yesterday after the company's chief executive said the sale of its Queensland coal assets was close, more than a year after a failed attempt to sell the tenements to China for $1.5 billion.

Shares in Woodside Petroleum rose 1.5 per cent yesterday on news of an oil discovery off Africa's west coast.

Emerging Pilbara miner BC Iron has taken another step towards becoming a producer with the start of trial mining at its joint venture project with Fortescue Metals Group.

Nicholas Bolton may have raised some disapproving eyebrows over his self-serving antics in relation to BrisConnections, and now the Multiplex Prime Property Fund (MPP), but he is being treated outrageously by the Australian Securities Exchange.

There will be no pay rises for most employees next year as companies rein in their salary budgets to help them ride out the financial storm, according to the latest Mercer survey.

One of the frontrunners in the bidding race for Great Southern's forestry assets has called for the other contenders to make their offers public.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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