07/06/2012 - 06:55

Today's Business Headlines

07/06/2012 - 06:55

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WA economy is growing twice as fast as China's – The West; Gillard's green tape scramble – The Fin; Pipeline in limbo as China slows – The Aus; Tinkering at edges of native title issues – The Fin; Federal grant snub to WA biodiversity – The West

Today's Business Headlines

WA economy is growing twice as fast as China's

WA's economy is growing almost twice as fast as China's according to figures that highlight the enormity of the resources boom. The West

Gillard's green tape scramble

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has written to state premiers reaffirming her plan to slash green tape on major projects, further isolating Queensland over the approval of a $6.4 billion coal project owned by Gina Rinehart and India's GVK. The Fin

Pipeline in limbo as China slows

The world’s biggest mining company, BHP Billiton, has given the strongest signal yet that it will park planned investments — including projects in Australia worth tens of billions of dollars — as it prepares to ride out the slowdown in China and weaker commodity prices. The Aus

Tinkering at edges of native title issues

The West Australian government has accused the federal government of hindering the resolution of indigenous land claims, as the mining industry backed proposed changes to the Native Title Act. The Fin

Federal grant snub to WA biodiversity

WA's premier environmental agency has claimed the federal government is short-changing the state after it received a fraction of $270 million in funding for conservation projects. The West

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

 

Page 1: Boat crash victim Kate Campbell was crying tears of joy last night after learning that lawyers acting for politician Janet Woollard and her family had offered $250,000 to settle the damaging affair.

Page 5: Perth businessman and hotel and winery owner Peter Prendiville has been appointed to spearhead Tourism WA.

Page 6: Premier Colin Barnett has conceded that WA's rental squeeze could loom as an election issue for his government as he called for more medium density affordable housing within 15km of central Perth.

Page 7: The head of the world's biggest miner has weighed into the debate over the resource sector's access to Australian workers, saying people in the eastern states “simply are not willing” to move to WA.

WA's economy is growing almost twice as fast as China's according to figures that highlight the enormity of the resources boom.

Page 11: Independent MP Janet Woollard faces a monumental challenge to overcome a messy family drama, a formidable Liberal challenger and uncertain Labor preferences in her bid to hold the battleground seat of Alfred Cove in March.

Page 17: WA's premier environmental agency has claimed the federal government is short-changing the state after it received a fraction of $270 million in funding for conservation projects.

Business: BHP Billiton looks set to jettison the $20 billion Port Hedland outer harbour push, instead flagging a slow, staged development to deal with WA's “pretty hot” economy and a subdued iron ore outlook.

Yeelirrie, WA's biggest uranium deposit, is unlikely to be developed by its owner BHP Billiton after the mining giant yesterday admitted the nuclear fuel was little more than a by-product for its global operations.

Woodside Petroleum has come under pressure to reveal when domestic gas will start flowing from its company-defining $15 billion Pluto project, following the release of a report calling for more offshore gas to be reserved for local industry.

Ten Network is asking shareholders, including its cluster of moguls, to put their hands in their pockets and help the number-three TV network raise $200 million to pay down debt and give it the “flexibility” it needs to deal with an uncertain advertising market.

Boutique Perth property developer Match Group has delayed taking a $1 million cornerstone stake in John Hancock's fledgling construction firm FBM, but downplayed suggestions that the reason was a patent dispute engulfing the composite building panel maker.

Clive Palmer-controlled Australasian Resources has switched its attention away from a planned Royal Bank of Scotland bond issue, instead appointing US financiers to tap debt markets for part of the estimated $3.5 to $4 billion the company will need to borrow to build its Pilbara magnetite iron ore project.

A WA engineering firm half-owned by contractor Thiess has been ordered to pay a $5.7 million damages bill over alleged plant defects at a manganese mine.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: The resources boom has propelled Australia's economy to the fastest pace in almost five years but the two largest states are lagging, hit by high costs, the strong dollar and cautious consumers.

Rigid and archaic work practices that have bedevilled industry in Australia for decades are among the problems threatening $921 billion in resource projects, according to the Business Council of Australia.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has written to state premiers reaffirming her plan to slash green tape on major projects, further isolating Queensland over the approval of a $6.4 billion coal project owned by Gina Rinehart and India's GVK.

Ten Network's three billionaire shareholders are down an estimated $236 million or more combined on their investments in the ailing TV broadcaster.

Page 3: BDO has regained its title as the country's sixth-largest accounting firm by revenue after striking a deal to join the national network of rival PKF.

Page 7: The West Australian government has accused the federal government of hindering the resolution of indigenous land claims, as the mining industry backed proposed changes to the Native Title Act.

Page 8: The consumer watchdog is carefully scrutinising fee increases from landfill operators and councils as the carbon tax looms on July 1 and has warned business generally against widespread price hikes after the tax commences.

Big landfill operators have joined waste-management companies in questioning their liability for the carbon tax, which comes into effect on July 1 and appears likely to force up dumping prices.

Page 12: A blueprint under consideration by Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese recommends the sale of national ports, water and roads to raise cash for investment in new infrastructure.

Page 13: Overcoming people's reluctance to move to where jobs are must become a priority, BHP Billiton and the Business Council of Australia say.

Page 15: Rising wages could make it hard for the economy to sustain its strong growth into this quarter.

Page 25: BHP Billiton is keeping a close eye on spot prices of commodities as it ponders whether to approve the construction of major growth projects such as an outer harbour at Port Hedland and an expansion of its Olympic Dam copper-uranium mine.

Big miners want to spend cash on growth while investors, wary of lower returns as project costs rise and commodity prices fall, want the money back.

Page 27: Qantas Airways is not considering major asset sales despite growing pressure to raise capital after this week's shock profit downgrade.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Wayne Swan has claimed vindication for his budget strategy after mining investment and strong consumer spending delivered the best growth i n the Australian economy in four years.

Australia has become such a high-cost and low-productivity nation that resources projects are now 40 per cent more expensive to deliver here than in the US, jeopardising an investment boom that is crucial to propping up the national economy.

Resources projects worth billions of dollars face delays and a business push to cut ‘‘green tape’’ will be derailed if the federal and Queensland governments fail to settle the $6.4 billion Alpha mine dispute.

The world’s biggest mining company, BHP Billiton, has given the strongest signal yet that it will park planned investments — including projects in Australia worth tens of billions of dollars — as it prepares to ride out the slowdown in China and weaker commodity prices.

Page 6: An increasing preference by consumers for locally grown produce and brands has pushed Coles to give its top-end sales strategy a stronger regional focus.

A parliamentary inquiry into wind farms has heard there is no evidence that turbines produce negative health effects, despite growing concerns to the contrary.

Page 8: While a $6.4 billion coalmine and railway proposed by Indian company GVK and Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting was approved last week by the Queensland government, the project still needs approval for a new berth at Abbot Point before it clears all state hurdles.

Mining groups have accused Canberra of using flawed data to delay mammoth resource plans, escalating the row over the way Environment Minister Tony Burke rules on new projects.

Skills Minister Chris Evans has indirectly accused unionists and politicians campaigning against the use of foreign labour in construction of new mines of hypocrisy by noting that many have ‘‘Scottish or Irish accents’’.

Page 9: Health and education are taking a bigger bite out of household budgets, as Australians spend more of their money on bills for the basics.

Winter stocktake sales got off to a decent start yesterday, but retailers are hoping for a deluge of shoppers this weekend as cold weather and a public holiday leave them with nothing to do but hunt for bargains.

Australia's resource states are propping up the country’s economic growth, underwritten by strong mining investment.

Page 10: The opposition has signalled it may not support the Gillard government’s landmark reforms to native title laws, arguing they will spark ‘‘complete confusion’’ and drive down the value of farmland.

Business: BHP Billiton chief executive Marius Kloppers has rejected suggestions that the mining giant should be planning to return more capital to shareholders amid increasing signs that it will abandon its five-year capital spending target of $US80 billion ($82bn).

Former Qantas chairman Margaret Jackson was in hospital in Melbourne five years ago, awaiting an operation on her arm, when she made one last attempt to explain that Qantas shareholders had been offered an almost once in-a-lifetime price for their airline at $5.60 a share.

Equity markets picked well ahead of time the storm of falling demand and commodity prices that now grips the mining sector, sending the value of the world’s top 40 miners down by 25 per cent last year despite their record profitability.

The head of one of the world’s largest liquefied natural gas producers has poured cold water on Australia’s massive LNG growth ambitions, warning the pipeline of projects faced an ‘‘abundance of issues’’.

Indonesia's push for miners to add value through further processing of bauxite and nickel ores has given struggling Australian producers something to smile about.

The battle over Central Petroleum has become mired in more legal action, with the company’s biggest shareholder Clive Palmer going to court to try to prevent a shareholder meeting scheduled for June 22.

Nexus Energy has struck more problems at its Longtom operations in Bass Strait after a mystery electrical fault indefinitely shut down the onshore Patricia Baleen gas plant near Orbost.

 

THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD:

Page 1: Surging mining investment and consumer spending deliver Australia one of the faster paces of growth in the developed world.

Page 2: Western demand for coffee, chocolate and timber is threatening a third of the world's most vulnerable animals, Sydney researchers say.

Page 3: Sydney's biggest hospitals falling short of national targets, putting federal funding at risk.

World: Wisconsin's Scott Walker becomes the US's first governor to survive a recall election, after he cut collective bargaining rights.

Business: BHP Billiton set to jettison $20 billion development in Port Hedland.

Sport: Blues five-eighth Todd Carney says he has formed a "friendship" with ousted NRL boss David Gallop.

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH:

Page 1: A magistrate has apologised for banning a father from seeing his kids, even though their mother's claims of sex abuse were false.

Page 4: Treasurer Wayne Swan says Australians should have a bounce in their step.

Page 5: Sam Stosur described as playing "like a man" when she beat French Open opponent Dominika Cibulkova.

World: The Queen appears with her direct heirs as Diamond Jubilee celebrations wrap up.

Business: Global markets remain "very fragile", ANZ banking chief says.

Sport: Mal Meninga says he's sick of NSW whingeing about refereeing blunders.

 

THE AGE:

Page 1: Prostitute claims Nine Network broadcast allegations she made about Craig Thomson after she had told the network that she wanted to retract her story. Some economists amazed at Australia's 4.3 per cent growth rate and believe it may later be downgraded. AFP agent who led investigation into the AWB oil-for-food scandal claims he was told he would be promoted if he could make the oil-for-food taskforce go away.

Page 2: The board that accumulated $18 million debt at Mowbray College was a "bunch of amateurs", says administrator.

Page 3: Prime minister to meet with childcare providers and unions at a national summit. Public transport fares to rise again next year. Australians join worldwide audience to observe the transit of Venus.

World: Russia works with US to seek an orderly transition of power in Syria, which is sliding towards civil war.

Business: The former boss of Brown Bros winery says retailers are flooding their stores with private label wines that are hollow copycats masquerading as real brands.

Sport: Travis Cloke's drawn out contract talks could undermine Collingwood's tilt at the premiership flag.

 

THE HERALD SUN:

Page 1: A judge writes to two children explaining why he gave sole custody rights to their mother and encourages them to keep in touch with their father.

Page 2: Thieves steal luxury cars from society doctor Geoffrey Edelsten. Prostitute says she got her man wrong and it wasn't Craig Thomson after all.

Page 3: Rupert the Maine coon cat in the running for the biggest feline in the world at nine kilograms and three times longer than the normal moggie. Families living on 100 per cent green power may still have to pay the carbon tax, says ACCC.

World: Mother arrested for encouraging her daughter to fight.

Business: Ten turns to shareholders to raise a $200 million fighting fund.

Sport: Dreadlocked Luke Dahlhaus signs with Bulldogs to 2015.

THE CANBERRA TIMES:

Page 1: The ACT government is set to sue the Commonwealth for tens of millions of dollars in cleaning up dumped asbestos.

Page 2: Police probe the alleged theft of tens of thousands of dollars from student funds at ANU.

Page 3: The ACT government to clean up the territory's sex sector.

World: Queen Elizabeth II finds Diamond Jubilee buzz a humbling experience. Greece considers print IOUs as the Mediterranean nation runs out of money.

Business: BHP boss Marius Kloppers urges workers to be more flexible in moving to where jobs are in Australia.

Sport: Wallabies great Stephen Larkham will line up on the weekend to help his old club Wests celebrate their golden jubilee.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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