Jobs go as confidence evaporates – The Fin; IMF may ask for $8bn – The Fin; Stadium, MRRT on Labor radar – The West; Trade group defends China role – The Aus; Woodside needs gas as Pluto disappoints – The Aus
Jobs go as confidence evaporates
Australia is facing a jobs recession after employment stagnated last year in the worst performance since the depths of the 1990s downturn. The Fin
IMF may ask for $8bn
The International Monetary Fund could ask Australia to contribute as much as $US8 billion to a new $US500 billion raising to help protect “innocent bystanders” from the euro zone crisis. The Fin
Stadium, MRRT on Labor radar
Labor leader-in-waiting Mark McGowan has foreshadowed a more robust approach to relations with the Gillard government than his predecessor, declaring he will argue for a much greater share of infrastructure funding than Canberra has promised under the mining tax package. The West
Trade group defends China role
The Australia China Business Council has launched an impassioned defence of Beijing’s push to sell more goods and services to the Australian resources sector, saying it creates employment, increases tax receipts, cuts costs, boosts finance options and reduces risk for mining groups. The Aus
Woodside needs gas as Pluto disappoints
Woodside Petroleum has all but confirmed it will need third-party gas if it wants to pursue a $10 billion expansion of its West Australian Pluto LNG plant at Karratha, strengthening the bargaining position of potential sellers Exxon Mobil and Hess. The Aus
THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:
Page 1: Labor leader-in-waiting Mark McGowan wants police to stop using big centralised stations to service vast areas of Perth and instead concentrate on smaller stations to provide “localised policing”.
Page 4: Christmas was not quite cancelled but the retail slump meant almost 50,000 casual jobs usually created during the festive season failed to materialise, according to the latest employment figures that have boosted the case for more interest rate cuts.
ANZ and Westpac bank workers in WA are tipped to escape the brunt of expected job losses.
Page 6: Labor leader-in-waiting Mark McGowan has foreshadowed a more robust approach to relations with the Gillard government than his predecessor, declaring he will argue for a much greater share of infrastructure funding than Canberra has promised under the mining tax package.
Page 12: A WA iron ore developer claims Chinese manufacturers are winning contracts on local projects partly because they offer vendor finance at half the rate charged by Australian banks.
A Chinese company has bought one of WA's biggest dairy farms amid debate over foreign investment in prime agricultural land.
Business: Woodside Petroleum's quest to find gas for an expansion of its $14.9 billion Pluto LNG project has suffered a blow after it wrote off $US264 million of exploration work, including three discoveries.
Royal Dutch Shell has taken control of the Crux liquids project in the Browse Basin after offering to process the gas and condensate through its Prelude floating LNG operation.
The WA government could start talks with miners within weeks on how to fund a long-awaited $300 million expansion of Esperance's port, which is intended to transform the Yilgarn into WA's next iron ore province.
The fast lane of Australia's much debated two-speed economy – the resources industry – has become its own two-speed highway, with earnings from base metals producers under stress from the price crunch caused by euro-debt woes.
THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:
Page 1: Australia is facing a jobs recession after employment stagnated last year in the worst performance since the depths of the 1990s downturn.
Labor's planned reforms to building industry regulation will bring a “shameful” return to lawlessness and intimidation while raising costs and cutting productivity, former construction watchdog chief John Lloyd says.
The International Monetary Fund could ask Australia to contribute as much as $US8 billion to a new $US500 billion raising to help protect “innocent bystanders” from the euro zone crisis.
Page 3: Big four accounting firm Ernst & Young has announced a number of redundancies in its finance team and pushed back the starting date for some of its graduates.
Page 8: Business groups and the union movement are busy preparing submissions for the review of the Labor government's two-year-old industrial relations system, but the government wouldn't promise to act upon any recommendations made by the expert panel on the Fair Work Act.
Page 11: Western Australia's new opposition leader began his pitch to voters yesterday, attacking James Packer for not contributing to a $1 billion stadium next to his Perth casino, backing the federal government's mining and carbon taxes and rejecting the need to attract Chinese resources investment by buying their steel.
Page 37: Poor exploration results have clouded an otherwise strong quarter for Woodside Petroleum, signalling the long-awaited expansion of the $14.9 billion Pluto liquefied natural gas project will be further away than ever.
Credit ratings agency Fitch has warned that the heavy burden of funding new liquefied natural gas projects will weaken the financial strength of oil and gas companies.
Page 38: Some of Australia's biggest resources companies, developing projects worth $490 billion, have defended supply arrangements with Chinese equipment manufacturers and say the local industry was not capable of meeting all of their needs.
Australian steelmakers lack the flexibility and scale of their international counterparts and should focus their efforts on getting closer to emerging market demand, a metal industry expert says.
Page 1: Historic changes to the commonwealth Constitution to acknowledge indigenous Australians face almost certain defeat unless significantly amended, after a 300-page proposal presented to Julia Gillard yesterday prompted a chorus of concerns from some indigenous leaders and legal experts.
Australia has reported its worst year of jobs growth since the recession of the early 1990s, as the government conceded the emerging global downturn was having an impact on hiring decisions.
Labor's slated new leader in Western Australia has declared Tony Abbott likely to be the next prime minister and urged his federal counterparts to ‘‘let him’’ go through with a pledge to repeal the mining tax.
Page 4: The Australia China Business Council has launched an impassioned defence of Beijing’s push to sell more goods and services to the Australian resources sector, saying it creates employment, increases tax receipts, cuts costs, boosts finance options and reduces risk for mining groups.
Page 6: Laws governing key infrastructure assets such as airports, ports, roads, buildings and the electricity network should be tightened to cope with potential catastrophic events caused by climate change.
Volunteer groups have welcomed a promise by federal Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten to clarify the impact on their activities of national workplace safety laws at an emergency meeting in Melbourne this morning.
Business: A year after its controversial decision to slash house brand milk prices to just $1 a litre, supermarket giant Coles has stepped up the pressure on dairy suppliers by tying up an exclusive distribution deal with Warrnambool Cheese & Butter.
Small business owners have warned Julia Gillard of the damage higher interest rates would inflict on the struggling sector, which is Australia’s largest employer.
A ‘‘small contained’’ crisis involving a credit squeeze on one or two smaller European countries would lop 1.6 percentage points off already weakening economic growth in high-income countries such as Australia.
Woodside Petroleum has all but confirmed it will need third-party gas if it wants to pursue a $10 billion expansion of its West Australian Pluto LNG plant at Karratha, strengthening the bargaining position of potential sellers Exxon Mobil and Hess.
Oil and gas producer Santos has reported a quarterly fall in production and sales, but increased revenue thanks to higher prices.
Australian steelmakers are better placed to rebound from tough market conditions than their international competitors, but will continue to face tough competition from Asian players, according to Ernst & Young global mining and metals leader Mike Elliott.
Ivanhoe Mines has backed away from its ‘‘poison pill’’ plan to stop mining giant Rio Tinto from increasing its stake in the company.
Australia’s booming oil and gas sector has been given a negative outlook by ratings agency Fitch amid concerns about funding, cost blowouts and future demand from Asia.
Nexus Energy has signed a long-awaited, but non-binding, preliminary contract with oil major Shell to develop the gas and liquids of the offshore Crux field in Western Australia through Shell’s planned Prelude floating LNG project.
THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD:
Page 1: A referendum to recognise indigenous Australians seems certain to proceed.
Page 2: Half of maths, science and engineering students think their course is irrelevant, a study says.
Page 3: The federal government has been sitting on a register for two years that could determine who has been implanted with faulty breast implants.
World: Pakistani prime minister hauled before nation's highest court.
Business: The resources industry is also a two-speed economy, with base metals under severe stress.
Sport: Bernard Tomic's biggest threat is being coached by an Australian.
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH:
Page 1: Dumped Wiggle Sam Moran delivers a heartfelt farewell. Independent MP Andrew Wilkie has withdrawn his support for Labor's private health rebate cuts.
Page 2: Australia is facing its worst jobs crisis since 1992.
Page 3: Australian Open hopeful Bernard Tomic has a blonde model to keep him smiling.
World: The captain of the capsized Costa Concordia Francesco Schettino is a hated man.
Business: A global bank thinks Australia will keep growing for the 21st year.
Sport: Bernard Tomic will have Australia behind him as he takes on Roger Federer.
Page 1: Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy is being sued over claims he failed to follow proper planning processes and succumbed to backroom pressure from Liberal heavyweights when he backflipped over a contentious rezoning of Phillip Island farmland last year.
Page 2: A rising number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are being put on protection orders and placed in foster homes, even as the rates for non-indigenous children fall, an Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report has found.
Page 3: A decision by retailers to shy away from the usual Christmas practice of hiring extra workers has given Australia the worst jobs performance in two decades, sparking talk of two more interest rate cuts within months.
World: British Prime Minister David Cameron has accused the Iranian regime of supplying weapons for the Syrian onslaught on democracy protests as Russia' s foreign minister warned that the West was set on a path to war with Tehran.
Business: The fast lane of Australia's much-debated two-speed economy, the resources industry, has become its own two-speed highway, with earnings from base metals production under severe stress from the price crunch caused by eurozone debt woes.
Sport: Jelena Dokic's defeat against Marion Bartoli means all nine Australians in the women's draw have been eliminated.
THE HERALD SUN:
Page 1: Victorians face another power slug - this time more than $300 million - sparking calls for tougher controls to stop electricity giants exploiting customers.
Page 2: Andrew Wilkie has withdrawn support for Labor's private health rebate cuts in a slap in the face for the federal government as it prepares to water down his pokies crackdown.
Page 3: The Melbourne immigration detention centre has had 25 escapees in three years.
World: The captain of the stricken cruise ship Costa Concordia claims he tripped and fell into the water from the listing vessel and never intended to abandon his passengers.
Business: Australia's labour market has swung into reverse, suffering its worst year in almost two decades as pressure mounts for the Reserve Bank to again cut interest rates.
Sport: It was a case of lightning striking twice for Jelena Dokic with her 2012 nemesis Marion Bartoli sending her packing from the Australian Open.