Leaders' clash of the visions – The Aus; Rinehart's $200m Fairfax raid – The Fin; Developer lashes Hedland council – The West; Mining projects surge defies pressures – The Fin; Focus fails to hit target – The West
Leaders' clash of the visions
Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott have marked out the economy as their preferred battleground for the year ahead, each claiming to have the solutions to lift the economy out of the doldrums. The Aus
Rinehart's $200m Fairfax raid
Mining billionaire Gina Rinehart's bid to boost her stake in Fairfax Media could trigger a boardroom stoush at the newspaper, digital media and radio group. The Fin
Developer lashes Hedland council
The developer behind a twice-rejected proposal to build 129 homes near South Hedland has accused the local council of being anti-development and uncommitted to relieving the town's critical housing shortage. The West
Mining projects surge defies pressures
The investment pipeline has swelled above $900 billion despite the disturbing global outlook as the nation's reliance on the mining boom for growth intensifies. The Fin
Focus fails to hit target
Focus Minerals chief executive Campbell Resources says the decision to divert cash from its Coolgardie gold operation to assets acquired from Crescent Gold was “money well spent”, despite contributing to the miner's failure to meet guidance at its flagship mine. The West
THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:
Page 1: Mining magnate Gina Rinehart was last night trying to become the largest shareholder in one of the nation's biggest media companies, Fairfax Media.
Page 5: WA welfare groups are struggling to keep up with a surge in demand for help with back-to-school costs.
Page 6: Growers fear that Coles' latest campaign to attract shoppers by cutting fruit and vegetable prices is unsustainable and could see more producers going to the wall.
Page 7: The move by Coles a year ago to slash milk prices 33 per cent to $1 a litre has not resulted in the collapse of the WA dairy industry – but farmers remain unhappy.
Page 8: Premier Colin Barnett has usurped the powers of the state's independent Public Sector Commissioner, Mal Wauchope, by refusing to allow an inquiry into events surrounding the sacking of his media adviser James Larsson.
Page 12: Tony Abbott's battle to find billions of dollars in savings if he claims power appears to have forced him to scale back plans for big personal income tax cuts.
WA's mobile phone coverage will be expanded by 22 per cent over the next three years after Telstra was yesterday awarded a multi-million-dollar contract to build 113 mobile phone towers across the state.
Page 16: Median house prices across Perth dropped $20,000 last year, with no sign yet the property market has responded to recent interest rate cuts.
Page 18: The developer behind a twice-rejected proposal to build 129 homes near South Hedland has accused the local council of being anti-development and uncommitted to relieving the town's critical housing shortage.
Page 26: A former union organiser is suing the WA teachers union for nearly $500,000 after it breached his contract.
Page 1: The decision by new Woolworths chief executive Grant O'Brien to offload the Dick Smith electronics chain speaks volumes about the herculean task ahead of the supermarket giant to get its mojo back to take on Coles, just as its arch rival cranks up its “down down” price war strategy to include fruit and vegetables.
Gary Smith has taken the helm of KPMG but he is just as happy plugging the raft of other senior changes in the practice.
Page 2: China's grip on the global trade of rare earths is unlikely to be loosened, despite it losing a battle with the World Trade Organisation over export restrictions on nine commodities.
The name Minproc is set to disappear after more years in WA in favour of the mining engineering company's international parent AMEC.
Page 3: Focus Minerals chief executive Campbell Baird says the decision to divert cash from its Coolgardie gold operation to assets acquired from Crescent Gold was “money well spent”, despite contributing to the miner's failure to meet guidance at its flagship mine.
GE Oil and Gas has extended its reach in Australia's LNG industry by winning contracts worth more than $1 billion to provide equipment and services to Inpex's Ichthys project.
Page 5: Navitas yesterday defended its $289 million purchase of SAE just over a year ago after a disappointing performance by the media technology training business put it on the back foot in the December half, sparking an investor backlash.
Page 7: Qantas is just a notch away from losing its coveted investment grade rating after Moody's downgraded the airline because of high fuel prices and strong competition.
Australia will remain a strategic supplier of live cattle to Indonesia, says the major exporter Australian Agricultural Company, despite the controversy surrounding last year's export ban and Indonesia's subsequent declaration that it would seek to reduce reliance on imports.
Page 20: With its low vacancies, climbing rents and high absorption rates, Perth's office market is leading the country and few surprises are expected tomorrow when the Property Council of Australia releases official figures for the city's office market.
THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:
Page 1: Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has held out the prospect of tax cuts at the end of a first term of a Coalition government, along with $4 billion for dentistry in Medicare, as dividends of more frugal government.
Mining billionaire Gina Rinehart's bid to boost her stake in Fairfax Media could trigger a boardroom stoush at the newspaper, digital media and radio group.
Woolworths' earnings will decline for the first time in 13 years after Australia's biggest retailer decided to jettison the Dick Smith electronics chain as part of a longer-term plan to restore profit growth to 10 per cent.
Page 4: Unions have promised a campaign against a plan by Telstra to send more jobs overseas, a move designed to boost profits at the phone company.
Page 5: Opposition frontbencher Malcolm Turnbull has called on NBN Co to release an updated business plan after Telstra questioned NBN's pricing strategy and financial targets.
Page 7: Prime Minister Julia Gillard has flagged cuts to government spending to deliver a surplus next financial year, warning of “hard choices” before the budget in May.
Page 8: The investment pipeline has swelled above $900 billion despite the disturbing global outlook as the nation's reliance on the mining boom for growth intensifies.
Farmers are angered by new cuts in the price of fresh fruit and vegetables by Coles, saying plummeting prices come at the expense of producers.
Page 10: Business leaders have welcomed the appointment of prominent indigenous community leader David Wirrpanda to the board of Africa-focused gold explorer Volta Mining.
Page 48: Australian capital city median dwelling prices continued to slump in December, according to new figures.
Page 50: The chronic hotel shortage in Western Australia's thriving Pilbara is attracting plenty of investors, but there are concerns about the longevity of the region's resources boom.
Page 1: Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott have marked out the economy as their preferred battleground for the year ahead, each claiming to have the solutions to lift the economy out of the doldrums.
The supermarket giants have been accused of mounting a phoney war as food price deflation, not discounting, delivers shoppers long-awaited relief at the checkout.
The nation’s richest person, iron ore billionaire Gina Rinehart, is seeking to expand her influence in the media by taking a strategic shareholding in Fairfax Media.
Page 2: Gina Rinehart has removed her 26-year-old daughter, Hope Welker, from the board of a family company that owns a $5.4 million Sydney mansion.
Workers at the BHP-operated Port Kembla coal terminal will embark on a seven-day strike from this morning, leading to disruption to some NSW coal mines and delays in ships accessing the port.
Page 7: Tony Abbott has promised that a Coalition government would deliver tax cuts, dentistry on Medicare and disability insurance — but only after returning the federal budget to a strong surplus.
Page 8: Japan has banned imports of all Australian poultry products after an outbreak of avian influenza among ducks in Victoria.
Employers have warned that young workers will lose jobs if the shop assistants union succeeds in legal action to prevent students from being employed after school for shifts of a minimum 90 minutes.
Page 9: Key staff at unions and companies such as BHP Billiton and Qantas would be regulated as lobbyists under proposals pushed by the Queensland Integrity Commissioner, who says the rules to control lobbying are ‘‘alarmingly inadequate’’ and exploited because of ‘‘gaping holes’’.
Business: Iron ore billionaire Gina Rinehart is expected to push for a board seat at Fairfax Media after last night seeking an additional 9.9 per cent stake in the media company through a $192 million share raid.
The Qantas Group is expected to reduce capacity and review discretionary spending as it grapples with a deteriorating operating environment that yesterday prompted Moody’s to cut its jealously guarded credit rating.
The big banks are stoking up a fresh competition war, with deposit bases being built to offset their dependence on the wholesale funding markets.
Massive profit growth is a thing of the past for resource industry leaders BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, with commodity price weakness caused by Europe’s debt crisis set to affect their profits to be announced next week.
Tiger Airways Australia is heading back to Cairns and boosting frequency to Sydney and Perth as it moves to address the low fleet utilisation that contributed to a third-quarter operating loss of $S8.6 million ($6.4m).
Navitas shares fell more than 10 per cent yesterday after the international education services provider warned that regulatory issues and a disappointing performance from a key acquisition would see second-half net profit weaker than the previous year.
Telstra yesterday briefed staff and unions that it was proposing to move offshore 73 jobs and make a further 26 roles redundant, as part of a review aimed at streamlining its back-office processes.
Westpac has called on the government to postpone its Future of Financial Advice reforms after highlighting 44 flaws in the proposed legislation.
THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD:
Page 1: Mining magnate Gina Rinehart has pushed to take a $192 million or 10 per cent stake in Fairfax Media. Senior supporters of Julia Gillard have told Kevin Rudd to drop his leadership ambitions.
Page 2: Unfair dismissal claims continue to rise under the Fair Work Act.
Page 3: One of the five men charged over the murder of Sydney businessman Michael McGurk is reportedly likely to escape prosecution in return for giving crucial evidence.
World: Russia is facing intense pressure to back a Security Council resolution calling for President Bashar al-Assad to step down.
Business: Woolworths is feeling the brunt of a cool summer and falling food prices.
Sport: Todd Carney's origin hopes for 2012 looks to have been killed off, with NSW coach Ricky Stuart committed to Mitchell Pearce.
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH:
Page 1: Mining magnate Gina Rinehart bids for a large slice of Fairfax Media.
Tony Abbott aspires to include dentistry in Medicare. MPs protest against Coles move to cut price of fruit and vegetables.
Page 3: Ted Baillieu argues against running a by-election candidate in Rob Hulls' strong Labor seat. Declining house prices levelling out.
World: West pressures Russia on its opposition to political change in Syria.
Business: A cool summer and falling food prices add pressure to Woolworths December quarter results.
Sport: GWS looks to settle on Luke Power and Callan Ward as co-captains.
THE HERALD SUN:
Page 1: Bus operator Ken Grenda shares $15 million pay-off with his 1800 loyal staff.
Page 2: Troubled desal plant hits another obstacle with faulty valves that control water flow. Bernard Tomic to face court over Australia Day run-in with police.
Page 3: Mick Gatto company goes bust owing $3 million. Red Dog wins AACTA award for best film.
Business: Private equity firms target electronics group Dick Smith.
Sport: AFL stars at stake as former IMG agent and player Liam Pickering looks to set up his own business.