Today's Business Headlines

21/09/2009 - 06:51

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Brighter outlook in the booming west; Reserve Bank wary of putting interest rates up as strong Aussie dollar could choke recovery; Premier’s 8pm shop hours offer falls flat; Rudd aligns with US on stimulus; Ministers downplay NBN risks

Brighter outlook in the booming west
The clouds of economic uncertainty are clearing in the west, with strong tourism numbers feeding a growing optimism that Western Australia is set to ride the second wave of an unprecedented resources boom. The Australian

Reserve Bank wary of putting interest rates up as strong Aussie dollar could choke recovery
The Reserve Bank marches to the beat of its own drum and will have few qualms about being the first mover among central banks in lifting rates. The Australian

Premier's 8pm shop hours offer falls flat
The push to extend weeknight shopping hours remains dead in the water after the Opposition and the Nationals yesterday rejected Premier Colin Barnett's suggestion of an 8pm compromise. The West

Rudd aligns with US on stimulus
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has backed the Obama administrations call for continued government spending to revive economic growth, but warned talks on climate change were not making the progress needed to conclude a global deal later this year. The Fin

Ministers downplay NBN risks
Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner declared taxpayers might only need to fund one-quarter of the cost of the planned $43 billion national broadband network (NBN) but rebuffed calls yesterday for a study to examine whether the project was worth the expense. The Fin

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 4: Prime Minister Kevin Rudd intends applying shock therapy to fellow world leaders at this week's United Nations gathering to convince them the damaging effects of climate change are already being felt.

Page 6: Cottesloe's beachfront area needs to become a more dynamic environment full of small bars and cafes if it is to reach its full potential, according to a business sector think tank.

The push to extend weeknight shopping hours remains dead in the water after the Opposition and the Nationals yesterday rejected Premier Colin Barnett's suggestion of an 8pm compromise.

Page 7: The new Perth to Bunbury highway was officially opened to great fanfare yesterday, with politicians, fluoro-clad cyclists and busloads of families all squeezing into a marquee at the Pinjarra Road interchange to witness the event.

Page 10: A curfew at Perth Airport would have a disastrous effect on WA's $30 billion international air cargo trade, industry groups have warned.

Page 11: John and Elizabeth Alferink live on 90ha of prime grape-growing land in Margaret River wine region's millionaires' row and refuse to sell, despite offers from next door neighbour Voyager Estate - owned by cashed up iron ore heir Michael Wright.

Page 14: Australia's resilient economy and lower than expected unemployment is set to deliver the Federal Government a $60 billion windfall over coming years and bring the Budget back into the black earlier than forecast.

Treasurer Wayne Swan has fired a broadside at a Senate committee that will today start examining the Government's stimulus package, arguing he will stick to his guns and continue to roll out the spending.

The Government has sought to calm Telstra shareholder's fears that its national broadband network plans will wipe out their investment, arguing the telco giant will continue to make money hand over fist.

Page 17: Australia is slowly supplanting Britain in importance in India, according to one of the nation's leading political commentators, but risks wasting its rise with policies such as banning the sale of uranium to India.

Business: Son's of Gwalia creditors have been warned it could take up to five more years to resolve litigation with the collapsed miner's former auditors ahead of a vote on a settlement intended to see many of them pocket nearly one fifth of their initial investment.

Business is booming for scrap gold traders as consumers rush to take advantage of soaring gold prices to offload unloved or unwanted gold items.

Macquarie Group's $345 million plan to cut its management ties with its listed airport fund was under threat last night from a rival consortium in a dispute which could trigger a sfull-blown battle for control.

Gold has rarely sparkled this brightly and last week went perilously close to eclipsing its all-time record high of $US1032.70 an ounce.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has backed the Obama administrations call for continued government spending to revive economic growth, but warned talks on climate change were not making the progress needed to conclude a global deal later this year.

A consortium led by fund management veteran Mike Fitzpatrick has made a last-minute attempt to scupper Macquarie Group's controversial $345 million deal to sever its long-term management contract with its specialist airports fund, Macquarie Airports.

Page 5: Energy and mining companies might have to publish sensitive information about the value of their reserves in their annual reports, under proposed accounting changes designed to give investors more accurate information about resource assets.

Businesses engaged in mining, engineering and software activities could find it more difficult to qualify for research and development tax credits under strict rules planned by the federal government.

Page 6: Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner declared taxpayers might only need to fund one-quarter of the cost of the planned $43 billion national broadband network (NBN) but rebuffed calls yesterday for a study to examine whether the project was worth the expense.

House prices at the bottom end are expected to fall next year as first home buyers start to retreat and interest rates start to climb.

Page 8: Australian consumers have spent their government cash handouts at twice the rate of their American counterparts, according to research that is likely to ignite debate at a Senate inquiry today into the economic impact of heavy public spending.

Page 9: The federal opposition has backed a push for developed nation governments to help pay for poorer countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions, arguing Australia's financial support should focus on slowing the destruction of tropical rainforests.

Page 12: Fairfax Media's Ron Walker is preparing to fight to retain his post as chairman of the media group, setting the scene for a fiery board meeting between independent directors and the Fairfax family next month.

Page 13: Investors in Great Southern's forestry assets will today be dealt a blow when the receiver McGrath Nicol warns that landlords of the timber assets could terminate their leases next month, jeopardising investor's rights.

Page 14: The head of hardware chain Mitre 10 fears the creation of a duopoly in the $24 billion market as newcomers Woolworths and its joint venture partner Lowe's take on industry leader Bunnings.

Oil and gas juniors Horizon Oil and New Guinea Energy may soon hitch themselves to the increasingly crowded liquefied natural gas bandwagon after the pair's new joiunt venture partner flagged its LNG aspirations.

Page 15: Macmahon Holdings and Downer EDI are among a group of companies vying for a lucrative contract to carry out mining activities at Gindalbie Metals' soon-to-be established $1.8 billion Karara iron ore operation in Western Australia.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Australia has unveiled a compromise proposal to break the deadlocked Copenhagen climate change negotiations that offers developing countries a more flexible way to pledge their efforts towards global greenhouse gas reductions.

Business leaders in New York are to get a big sales pitch from Kevin Rudd as he talks up the Australian economy's miraculous escape from the global recession -- but not before he met former US president Bill Clinton to discuss climate change.

The mobile phone is eating a larger slice of the household budget than petrol this year, as the aftershocks of the global financial crisis force Australians to shift some of their consumption back to home base.

Page 2: The cost to taxpayers of the government's new high-speed broadband network could be just a quarter of the initial $43 billion estimated price tag, Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner says.

Page 3: The clouds of economic uncertainty are clearing in the west, with strong tourism numbers feeding a growing optimism that Western Australia is set to ride the second wave of an unprecedented resources boom.

Investors and people upgrading their homes are bolstering the property market, with the number of first-home buyers now in steady decline.

Page 4: Passage of an unamended version of the Rudd government's emissions trading scheme after a double-dissolution election would be a policy ''disaster'', according to the Coalition's new stand-in emissions trading spokesman, Ian Macfarlane.

Page 7: The Rudd government has washed its hands of responsibility in the face of calls to control executive pay.

Business: BHP could have its eye on Anglo American and Xstrata, two midsized miners. But those companies may not offer enough synergies in terms of geography and products, say some mining analysts.

A Group of Timbercorp investors who have been trying to get off the ground a proposal to buy the collapsed company's assets say they will oppose the liquidator's decision to sell part of the almond assets, which includes water rights, to an overseas company.

Federal government ministers yesterday contradicted each other over whether Telstra would be forced to sell its stake in Foxtel as part of the plan to break up the telco and bring more competition to telecommunications.

The Reserve Bank marches to the beat of its own drum and will have few qualms about being the first mover among central banks in lifting rates.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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