09/09/2010 - 06:55

Today's Business Headlines

09/09/2010 - 06:55

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Swan firm on mining tax – The Fin; Premier slams Swan for misleading Rudd – The Aus; New MP insists that WA get bigger slice of tax pie – The West; Regulator backs gas giants – The Fin; Upset Palmer seeks a scalp – The West

Today's Business Headlines

Swan firm on mining tax
The Gillard government's mining tax will be excluded from next year's tax summit but could be amended on the floor of Parliament as independent MPs gain an "open line of communication" to Treasurer Wayne Swan over the reform. The Fin

Premier slams Swan for misleading Rudd
West Australian Premier Colin Barnett has accused Treasurer Wayne Swan of making a ''colossal mess'' of the mining tax by misleading former prime minister Kevin Rudd into believing he had negotiated a deal on the tax with the mining industry and the states. The Aus

New MP insists that WA get bigger slice of tax pie
WA National Tony Crook says the likelihood of the Gillard government successfully introducing a mining tax will force him to demand the state treble its share of returns. The West

Regulator backs gas giants
Western Australia's major gas producers have won the right to collectively price gas contracts for at least another five years after the competition regulator ruled yesterday that it was too risky to force the energy giants to compete against each other. The Fin

Upset Palmer seeks a scalp
Clive Palmer has called for the West Australian politician who sought an investigation into the mining magnate to be removed from his job as the opposition spokesman on state development. The Fin

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: The state government's former Perth Arena project manager had the stadium's developer BGC and its contractors work on his home while overseeing the troubled city construction, which is more than $320 million over its budget and two years overdue.

Page 4: The wrong message is being sent by recent appeal decisions which overturned jail terms and granted more lenient sentences for "glassing" attacks n clubs and pubs, police leaders say.

Page 5: Brendan Fevola's $800,000-a-year contract with the Brisbane Lions is in jeopardy after he was accused yesterday of indecent exposure and suspended indefinitely by his club.

Page 6: WA National Tony Crook says the likelihood of the Gillard government successfully introducing a mining tax will force him to demand the state treble its share of returns.

Colin Barnett has sunk the federal government's hopes for a quick post-election deal on health reform, declaring WA will instead have a separate health system to the rest of the country.

Page 7: The mining sector attacked the Rudd-Gillard government's plans for the mineral resources rent tax as it ploughed hundreds of millions of dollars into new exploration projects across the nation.

Page 9: Bob Brown has opened the door to siding with Tony Abbott and the independents to pass legislation against the government's wishes.

Julie Bishop is safe as Liberal deputy leader after senior frontbencher Andrew Robb aborted a short-lived bid to remove her and become shadow treasurer.

Page 10: Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Sam Walsh has unveiled a high-powered arts lobby group to push for a better deal for a sector that traditionally lacks political clout.

Page 15: The City of Stirling and Main Roads WA have been accused of overseeing a $3 million traffic blunder at Scarborough Beach which is claimed to have crippled local businesses and confused motorists.

Page 16: Domestic airfares are expected to plummet next year, with Virgin Blue launching bigger planes and better deals on Perth routes.

Page 18: Mounted police, drug-sniffer dogs, uniformed officers and the riot squad will swarm through WA's major entertainment precincts at the weekend as part of a national crackdown on drunken violence and anti-social behaviour.

Business: The odds of a takeover battle for Foster's before it presses the button on a demerger of its wine and beer businesses next year have shortened after a private equity firm bid as much as $2.7 billion for the wine division.

Serial sharemarket predator David Tweed has launched legal action against Wesfarmers in a bid to force the industrial conglomerate to hand over a copy of its share register.

Canadian uranium miner Cameco has thrown its weight behind BHP Billiton's push for a yellowcake road-to-rail transfer hub on the outskirts of Kalgoorlie-Boulder that would alleviate the need to transport the nuclear fuel through the Goldfields city.

BHP Billiton's $US40 billion takeover target, PotashCorp, has moved to dispel whispers that it is struggling to drum up a counter-bid or other alternatives that will justify its strong rejection of the offer.

The head of Hanglong Mining, the Chinese Group that has earmarked $US5 billion to build a mining house in Australia, is in Perth to meet representatives of Moly Mines and the Export-Import Bank of China and to discuss funding for WA's first molybdenum mine.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: The Gillard government's mining tax will be excluded from next year's tax summit but could be amended on the floor of Parliament as independent MPs gain an "open line of communication" to Treasurer Wayne Swan over the reform.

Retail superannuation funds received the lowest amount of money in the June quarter for 12 years as sharp falls in equity markets and regulatory uncertainty spooked investors.

Page 3: The housing industry is showing tentative signs of picking up after higher interest rates and the phasing-out of grants for first-time buyers hit construction and home sales earlier this year.

Page 4: Western Australia's major gas producers have won the right to collectively price gas contracts for at least another five years after the competition regulator ruled yesterday that it was too risky to force the energy giants to compete against each other.

Page 5: Clive Palmer has called for the West Australian politician who sought an investigation into the mining magnate to be removed from his job as the opposition spokesman on state development.

Page 7: Australia's earnings from the export of energy and minerals surged to near-record levels in the three months ended June 30, driven by Chinese demand for iron ore and coking coal and higher crude oil prices.

Page 9: Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has dismissed Julia Gillard's claim to enjoy a popular mandate as prime minster even as his colleagues have questioned her government's legitimacy, signalling and aggressive Coalition strategy to end Labor's fragile hold on power.

Page 11: Business and tax experts believe reforming state taxes would deliver the biggest dividend to the economy and have called on the federal government to show leadership in a new round of negotiations through the Council of Australian Governments.

Page 12: Raising the rate and broadening the base of the goods and services tax is the key to moving forward wholesale tax reform, tax experts said.

Page 13: Small business representatives want a seat at the tax summit table to push for the selective implementation of recommendations from Treasury secretary Ken Henry's tax review that will benefit their members.

Page 14: Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has denied that increasing the focus on regional Australia in the early stages of building the $43 billion national broadband network will threaten the financial viability of the project.

Page 23: Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan chief executive Bill Doyle said his company was actively soliciting help from third parties as it sought to fend off a $US40 billion hostile takeover bid from BHP Billiton.

The radio industry is counting on the influence of regional independents Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott in the new Gillard government to accelerate the launch of digital radio in country areas.

Page 54: A storm is brewing in the real estate industry as subcontractor payment systems are introduced to challenge employee entitlements, and union control.

Page 55: Listed property groups delivered returns largely in line with expectations over the latest reporting season, but that has not stopped analysts from downgrading a number of stocks - particularly those perceived as defensive investments.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Anger towards the Labor Party is so widespread that in Queensland -- where the Gillard government suffered its biggest losses on August 21 -- the Bligh government is now facing a voter backlash of NSW proportions.

Julia Gillard's promise to deliver the ambitious National Broadband Network to regional areas before major cities will cost taxpayers billions of dollars and undermine the project's business case, the opposition has warned.

Labor's alliance with the two rural independents has hit its first hurdle, with Rob Oakeshott demanding the mining tax be included in the government's proposed tax summit, despite Wayne Swan's refusal to allow the original super-profits tax to be discussed.

Page 2: The Church of Scientology is among religious and charitable organisations that would come under greater scrutiny after a Senate committee recommended that not-for-profit organisations open their books to prove they provide a benefit to the community.

Page 3: A mother who was allegedly flashed by AFL badboy Brendan Fevola at a community barbecue is expected to give her version of events to police today.

Page 4: The Henry tax review's business panel member says the Gillard government must use its promised tax summit to build the case for comprehensive tax reform.

Page 5: Andrew Robb stood accused last night of flirting with a deputy leadership challenge as a stalking horse to seize Treasury spokesman Joe Hockey's job, as former leader Malcolm Turnbull was expected to return to the front bench in the communications portfolio.

Julia Gillard has been handed her first frontbench resignation, giving her more room to promote ambitious MPs jockeying for positions in Labor's ministry.

Page 6: West Australian Premier Colin Barnett has accused Treasurer Wayne Swan of making a ''colossal mess'' of the mining tax by misleading former prime minister Kevin Rudd into believing he had negotiated a deal on the tax with the mining industry and the states.

Rural doctors will push the country independents to lobby for a $400 million boost to the regional health workforce.

Page 7: Many families in the bush earning under $55,000 a year would have paid no tax if the rural independent MPs had backed the Coalition to form government.

Business: Foster's has turned down an offer of up to $2.7 billion from a US private equity firm, believed to be Cerberus Capital, for its Treasury Wine Estates division, saying it would prefer to spin off the wine business as a separately listed entity.

Mining giant Rio Tinto and steel mills in Japan have settled on a price cut of 13 per cent for iron shipments made between October and December.

Australia's June quarter mineral and energy exports were the second highest on record, at $44.02 billion, as BHP Billiton's drive to smash annually set iron ore and coal prices reaped big price increases.

Mongolia is moving closer to Australia in the race to supply China with coking coal for its voracious steel industry, with exports up 100 per cent this year.

As the political climate in Canberra finally settles, the major Australian banks are facing a conundrum which could place them firmly at the centre of the national spotlight.

Potash Corp of Saskatchewan chief Bill Doyle says his biggest shareholders have told him BHP Billiton's $US40 billion ($43.7bn) hostile bid is a ''non-starter''.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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