14/10/2010 - 06:42

Today's Business Headlines

14/10/2010 - 06:42

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Burrup denies any misuse of funds - The Fin; State urged to make NBN uptake compulsory – The West; Infigen-Eurus mull Emu wind farm tilt – The Fin; EC ruling looms for Rio, BHP – The Aus; Brown makes gas hub stand – The West

Today's Business Headlines

Burrup denies any misuse of funds
Burrup Fertilisers has vehemently denied claims that company funds were used to pay invoices linked with shipping interests of Burrup's controlling shareholder, Perth businessman Pankaj Oswal. The Fin

State urged to make NBN uptake compulsory
WA National Tony Crook has urged the state government to force every home and business to connect to the National Broadband Network unless they explicitly opt out. The West

Infigen-Eurus mull Emu wind farm tilt
Renewable power outfit Infigen Energy has teamed up with Japanese renewable electricity player Eurus Energy to assess a bid for the Emu Downs wind farm in Western Australia. The Fin

EC ruling looms for Rio, BHP
BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto will meet European Union regulators this month over the pair's ailing $US116 billion ($117.7bn) West Australian iron ore merger, as the Brussels-based watchdog nears a decision on the plan. The Aus

Brown makes gas hub stand
The campaign against a $30 billion gas project on the Kimberley coast in the state's far north went up a significant notch yesterday when Senator Bob Brown "planted his feet on the ground" of James Price Point and vowed to fight the huge development. The West

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 4: Woodside Petroleum's outspoken boss Don Voelte said yesterday he would retire and return to the US late next year, once he had overseen development of the Perth company's $13 billion Pluto liquefied natural gas project.

Page 6: WA National Tony Crook has urged the state government to force every home and business to connect to the National Broadband Network unless they explicitly opt out.

Page 9: The bill to taxpayers for the new State Theatre Centre could exceed $100 million before it opens early next year.

Page 13: WA has boosted its green credentials, recycling an extra 100,000 tonnes of waste during the last financial year, but still trails every other state.

Page 14: Lazy Hills residents who ignore warnings to clear fire hazards around their properties are putting their neighbours' lives at risk as WA enters another catastrophic fire season.

Page 16: Fly-in fly-out work leads to less job satisfaction and has a negative impact on the lifestyles of workers and their families, but does not damage relationships, health or increase stress, a study has found.

Page 17: The failure of the Department of Health to implement a crucial computer system could delay the 2014 opening of the Fiona Stanley Hospital and is harming its ability to track communicable diseases, the Auditor-General has warned.

The campaign against a $30 billion gas project on the Kimberley coast in the state's far notrh went up a significant notch yesterday when Senator Bob Brown "planted his feet on the ground" of James Price Point and vowed to fight the huge development.

Business: Woodside Petroleum chairman Michael Chaney and his board face the challenge of replacing outgoing chief executive Don Voelte without decimating the company's highly regarded senior management ranks.

Skills shortages and rising utility prices threaten to slow WA's next economic boom, according to the WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

A team of WA scientists working on a potentially ground-breaking cancer treatment has won the state's first allocation from a multi-million-dollar fund set up to commercialise early-stage medical research discoveries.

Bankrupted former Perth developer and founder of the Soils ain't Soils mulch business Kevin Pollock will serve at least another 14 months in jail after being sentenced yesterday over a $7 million tax fraud committed more than a decade ago.

Investors are bracing for profit warnings from some of Australia's biggest businesses in the coming annual meeting season as a soaring dollar and higher input costs pressure earnings.

A leading radiation biologist has questioned opposition to uranium mining in WA, saying people had more to fear from medical check-ups than living near or working at a mine site.

Vikas Rambal's Perdaman Chemicals and Fertilisers hopes to lock in debt funding for its $US3 billion Collie urea project over the next six months, after signing a 20-year offtake deal with listed fertiliser giant Incitec Pivot to underpin production.

OM Holdings has ended talks with Ukrainian billionaire Gennadiy Bogolyubov over a merger with the Woodie Woodie manganese mine in the Pilbara after the parties failed to agree on a "mutually sustainable transaction structure".

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: The federal government is examining ways to issue infrastructure bonds that would tap private sector capital and help clear an investment backlog of more than $450 billion.

The new chief executive of Woodside Petroleum will inherit a much stronger earnings stream but also two growth projects facing major challenges after Don Voelte revealed his plans to retire.

Page 3: Workplace Relations Minister Chris Evans has warned that some employees could lose minimum conditions under the next stage of the government's award overhaul and has urged industrial umpire Fair Work Australia to delay plans to scrap some old industrial instruments.

Page 4: Retailers might be worried about poor sales as Christmas approaches, but consumer spending may actually be a lot stronger than much of the statistical evidence suggests.

Page 5: Another element of the deal with regional independent MPs to overhaul Parliament is in doubt.

Page 7: Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce has become the latest critic of a carbon tax, arguing it could distort competition for business if Australia moves faster than other countries.

International education received "zero assistance" from government and played second fiddle to tourism despite being worth vastly more to the economy, former diplomat and politician Bruce Baird said yesterday in a plea for government money.

Page 11: Burrup Fertilisers has vehemently denied claims that company funds were used to pay invoices linked with shipping interests of Burrup's controlling shareholder, Perth businessman Pankaj Oswal.

Page 16: The issues paper for the national resources rent tax proposes a novel point at which the tax kicks in for coalmining: part-way through the processing plant.

Page 17: Teams of specialist competition lawyers hired by Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton are expected to meet European competition officials this month to discuss the proposed $US116 billion Pilbara iron ore joint venture.

AWB managing director Gordon Davis will pocket more than $3.1 million if Canadian fertiliser giant Agrium successfully takes control of the former wheat monopoly exporter in December.

Page 19: Several internal candidates are set to be scrutinised by Woodside Petroleum chairman Michael Chaney and his fellow board members as Australia's largest independent oil and gas company begins its hunt for a new chief executive.

Page 20: Rio Tinto's listed subsidiaries, Energy Resources of Australia and Coal & Allied Industries, slashed their production forecasts in weak quarterly reports yesterday, dampening expectations the parent will release stellar figures in its own report today.

Renewable power outfit Infigen Energy has teamed up with Japanese renewable electricity player Eurus Energy to assess a bid for the Emu Downs wind farm in Western Australia.

Page 49: Office property is on the rebound, and the Perth and Brisbane CBD markets, in particular, recorded strong levels of inquiry and activity over the September quarter, according to the latest Jones Lang LaSalle statistics.

Page 50: Foreign banks have led the charge out of commercial property but they may be the lenders to lead the way back.

Page 54: Stockland chief executive Matthew Quinn has fired a broadside at governments around the country - federal, state and local - urging them to outline a clear property development strategy instead of pleasing a small group of voters.

Mirvac Group's residential division could be sold off if the Australian real estate investment trusts sector went into a "consolidation phase", Duetsche Bank analysts say.

Page 55: All economic indicators are going up in Western Australia - except property prices.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Key independent Tony Windsor has threatened to push for alternatives to mass water buybacks, including redirecting water into the struggling Murray from outside of the basin, as the Gillard government faces a political firestorm in rural communities over plans to rescue the river system.

The competition watchdog has questioned the need for a cost-benefit analysis for the $43 billion National Broadband Network, claiming it was the proper role of governments to spend money on visions for the future.

Page 2: Unfair dismissal applications increased to more than 10,000 in the first year of Labor's Fair Work Act, a 35 per cent rise on the previous 12 months.

Page 4: The top 40 high-flyers from the government department responsible for overseeing the National Broadband Network were paid almost $10 million in combined salaries over the past year.

Business: Woodside chief executive Don Voelte will hand over responsibility for the group's highly complex growth projects, Browse and Sunrise, after announcing yesterday he would return to his native US next year after seven years at the helm.

The nation's biggest fertiliser maker, Incitec Pivot, has signed a potential $12 billion contract to buy the entire output of Perdaman Chemicals' planned $3.5bn urea plant in Western Australia.

Australia could be managing its resources boom a lot better, with all arms of policy needing a sharper focus on dealing with the massive surge of income it is bringing into the economy, according to economist and Reserve Bank of Australia board member Warwick McKibbin.

BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto will meet European Union regulators this month over the pair's ailing $US116 billion ($117.7bn) West Australian iron ore merger, as the Brussels-based watchdog nears a decision on the plan.

Shares in Challenger Financial Services Group surged yesterday on plans to extend its buyback to purchase a further 10 per cent of its shares, which could increase earnings per share by up to 8 per cent.

THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD:

Page 1: It was time to move. After 13 months of painstaking investigation, Strike Force Narrunga was ready to roll. Its members had discovered the price they believed was paid for the assassination of the standover man Michael McGurk: $300,000. And they had the alleged murder weapon: a gun found in the waters of Rozelle Bay.

World: Amid whistles, raw shouts and tears, the foreman Florencio Avalos hugged his wife, Monica; his sobbing son Bairon, 7, and the Chilean President, Sebastian Pinera.

Business: Investors are bracing for a swathe of profit warnings from some of Australia's biggest businesses in the upcoming annual meeting season as a soaring dollar and higher input costs start pressuring profits.

Sport: Shane Warne blasted Australian captain Ricky Ponting for his field settings to spinner Nathan Hauritz against India yesterday.

 

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH:

Page 1: Finally, a breath of fresh air. After two months trapped, first of 33 Chilean miners surfaced as the world rejoiced.

Page 2: The execution of notorious businessman Michael McGurk was five months in the planning and the price on his head was several hundred thousand dollars, police will allege.

World: Commuters performed "acts of remarkable heroism and human fortitude" battling to save victims of the July 7 bombing attacks, an inquest has heard.

Business: The nation's peak infrastructure body has backed the National Broadband Network (NBN) although it has questioned the lack of a business case for the $43 billion project.

Sport: National Rugby League coaches have been put on high alert for an outbreak of job uncertainty with only five men guaranteed to be holding their position this time next year.

 

THE HERALD SUN:

Page 1: Saved: Mario Sepulveda, one of 33 men trapped for a record 69 days more than 600m underground, led the celebrations yesterday as millions around the world watched the dramatic rescue unfold live.

Page 3: The devastated father of a young woman close to death after an appalling hit-and-run says he won't let her die.

Page 5: It was an embrace Bairo Avalos waited 69 days for. Sobbing, the young boy pushed off his comically oversized miners hat and fell into the arms of his father, Florencio Avalos - the Chilean miner who was hoisted into the history books yesterday as the first of the Los 33 to leave the San Jose mine after being trapped 620m beneath underground.

World: One million people are expected to lose their jobs in the next four years as a result of the British government's decision to cut public spending by $130 billion, according to a report issued yesterday.

Business: A rebound in consumer confidence is likely to bring some cheer to traders, but leading retailers say Australia's bargain-hooked shoppers and the high Aussie dollar will put them to the test this Christmas.

Sport: Geelong powerbrokers have declared a new era at Skilled Stadium does not mean the end of the club's premiership run.

 

THE AGE:

Page 1: Monash University is poised to slash about 300 staff and shave $45 million from next year's budget as a nationwide slump in international student enrolments begins to bite; One by one they came, the miners who had been trapped underground for more than two months in Chile ascended to the surface, ending their captivity.

Page 2: Indonesia's immigration head slammed the proposed refugee processing centre in East Timor yesterday, warning it would become a magnet for asylum seekers.

Page 3: Vulnerable children and teenagers in state care are embroiled in hundreds of critical incidents each year, including sexual assault, exploitation and physical harm.

World: A global audience watched captivated yesterday as the first of 33 miners trapped for a record 68 days deep underground emerged into the cold night air of Chile's Atacama Desert.

Business: Investors are bracing for a swathe of profit warnings from some of Australia's biggest businesses in the coming annual meeting season as a soaring dollar and higher input costs start to pressure profits.

Sport: The fall-out from the 2010 grand final rematch has ignited an angry stand-off between the AFL and the MCG, with league chief executive Andrew Demetriou floating the prospect of scheduling future replays involving interstate clubs outside Victoria.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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