03/08/2012 - 07:01

Today's Business Headlines

03/08/2012 - 07:01

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Today's Business Headlines

Laws favour unions, say employers

Employers have savaged an independent review of the Gillard government's workplace laws, with the Business Council of Australia saying the recommendations would not stop unions “holding a gun” to the heads of resource companies. The West

Packer hails News bid for ConsMedia

James Packer has welcomed the competition watchdog’s decision to approve News Limited’s $2 billion bid to buy Consolidated Media Holdings, as a wait-andsee game unfolds on whether Kerry Stokes will oppose the bid. The Aus

Union scandal: I'll come clean

The former union official and alleged bagman for a financial scandal linked to the then-boyfriend of Julia Gillard wants to give evidence for the first time to police and prosecutors about his role and the conduct of others. The Aus

China pulls back

Resources companies could be forced to renegotiate deals with potential Chinese backers after the government in Beijing ordered a more cautious approach to investments. The Fin

50 jobs go, fears for more as sector slows

Big miner's cutbacks to expansion projects are thought to be behind Calibre Group sacking about 50 white-collar staff two days ahead of the engineer's disappointing stockmarket debut yesterday. The West

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 4: Employers have savaged an independent review of the Gillard government's workplace laws, with the Business Council of Australia saying the recommendations would not stop unions “holding a gun” to the heads of resource companies.

Federal Labor faces a wipe-out in WA and three other states and territories, according to internal polling leaked to Seven Network.

Page 10: A $5.2 million program to tackle the higher than normal rate of suicide among construction workers will be rolled out across major building sites in WA.

Darrell Lea has almost halved the number of its stores and axed almost 200 jobs as the embattled confectioner moves closer to finding a buyer.

Page 11: A WA anti-obesity campaign is taking aim at junk food promotion in sport, calling on WA clubs to dump their “unhealthy” sponsors.

A watchdog set up by health groups to monitor alcohol advertisements has condemned dozens linking alcohol with football, fast cars and “calendar babes”.

Page 14: The state's consumers are stocking up on clothes and shoes as they join shoppers across the nation returning to Australia's shopping centres.

Page 16: A leading water expert has backed plans for an ocean rock pool next to the groyne at Cottesloe Beach.

Conservationists are alarmed at a plan for one of the world's biggest fishing trawlers to take thousands of tonnes of fish from waters off WA.

Page 19: The protected status of great white sharks could be lifted as early as summer if it is found their numbers have increased, according to federal Environment Minister Tony Burke.

Business: Big miner's cutbacks to expansion projects are thought to be behind Calibre Group sacking about 50 white-collar staff two days ahead of the engineer's disappointing stockmarket debut yesterday.

Sirius Resources has capped off a stellar trading week with yet another share price spike amid talk of a looming capital raising.

News Corp has cleared a regulatory hurdle in its attempt to double its Foxtel stake – by buying the James Packer-controlled Consolidated Media – but the market is waiting for a signal from Kerry Stokes on whether he will support the move.

A South West dairy has begun selling “exclusive” milk in old fashioned glass bottles – at four times the price of supermarket milk – to set its product apart in a tough market.

Noble Minerals Resources has placed its shares in a halt amid speculation the Africa-focused gold miner has to secure a white knight financier to avoid collapse.

Northern Star Resources has declared its maiden dividend to shareholders only two years after acquiring its flagship Paulsens gold mine.

First Quantum Minerals' resurrection of the Ravensthorpe nickel mine is well on track, according to the Canadian company's latest quarterly report, which said the operation in WA's south east was running at a profit despite the crash in global nickel prices this year.

Mines Minister Norman Moore has ruled out strengthening a ban on coal mining in Margaret River, despite calls from some in the industry to clarify the government's new regime.

More doubts have been cast over Fortescue Metals Group expansion plans after Goldman Sachs analysts issued a downbeat note saying the company may need to raise significantly more debt than forecast if flagging iron ore prices do not recover.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: Business groups dismissed the first review of the Gillard government's industrial relations system as tinkering that would make minor changes to the Fair Work Act and strengthen the power of the industrial tribunal.

James Packer's Crown Ltd is poised to raise as much as $500 million through a hybrid issue after the billionaire gaming mogul clinched exclusive rights to build a $1 billion luxury hotel and casino complex at Sydney Harbour's Barangaroo development.

Resources companies could be forced to renegotiate deals with potential Chinese backers after the government in Beijing ordered a more cautious approach to investments.

Page 3: Opposition Leader Tony Abbott will today propose tightening Australia's foreign investment regime in a concession to the Nationals.

Page 4: Retail sales had the biggest two-month surge in 2½ years in June, as more than $2 billion in government stimulus payments and interest rate cuts fuelled a spending spree at department stores, restaurants and clothing shops.

Page 5: Some of the largest resource projects may not proceed without agreements to bring foreign workers into the country, Federal Immigration Minister Chris Bowen says.

Page 8: Industry leaders say the government's review of the Fair Work Act missed an opportunity to fix up big problems with the industrial relations system.

Page 9: A leading economist has questioned the review panel's conclusion that workplace laws were not damaging productivity, saying it was far too early to tell.

Page 15: Australian miners could be forced to renegotiate deals with potential Chinese backers because Beijing has demanded a more cautious approach to valuations as commodity prices fall.

Page 19: Dulux Group's $200 million takeover bid for Alesco has erupted into a war of words with the paints group applying to the Takeovers Panel to force the garage doors group to clarify the value of its revised offer.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: The former union official and alleged bagman for a financial scandal linked to the then-boyfriend of Julia Gillard wants to give evidence for the first time to police and prosecutors about his role and the conduct of others.

Foreign investors would be forced to reveal any state influence in their affairs under a Coalition plan to be unveiled today as Tony Abbott seeks to calm a row with the Nationals on offshore ownership.

Unions would no longer be able to strike before bargaining, or hold billion-dollar resource projects to ransom under proposed changes to workplace laws which employers condemned as a ‘‘missed opportunity’’ to advance the national interest.

Page 3: James Packer has raised the stakes in the battle for control of Sydney casino operator Echo Entertainment, declaring a new $1 billion hotel at Barangaroo in partnership with Lend Lease will not be built without a VIP gaming facility at the site.

Page 4: Proposals to improve and streamline the negotiation of workplace agreements on major resource projects risk making Australia a less attractive investment destination by turning the industrial umpire into a de facto project manager.

The Fair Work Act review panel has proposed changes to empower the industrial tribunal and allow it to take on a more muscular role in dealing with disputes and resolving those that have become intractable.

Page 6: Government handouts and Reserve Bank rate cuts have boosted retail sales, amid hopes Australia’s slower-speed economy is shifting up a gear.

Discount retailers are leading the sector’s recovery, attracting both upmarket shoppers looking for savings and low-income families with cash from the carbon tax compensation.

Business: James Packer has welcomed the competition watchdog’s decision to approve News Limited’s $2 billion bid to buy Consolidated Media Holdings, as a wait-andsee game unfolds on whether Kerry Stokes will oppose the bid.

Retailers may have to wait a little longer for a sustained recovery, with industry leaders warning the June spike in retail sales has not been maintained and shoppers continuing to demand rock-bottom prices.

Australian miner Sundance Resources and China’s Hanlong Group are locked in talks over a revised takeover offer after Beijing’s top economic planner approved the bid, subject to a ‘‘reasonable acquisition’’ price.

BHP Billiton says it does not intend to give an update on its development plans for at least three weeks, despite telling employees expansion projects could be delayed.

The nation’s biggest mortgage insurer, Genworth Financial, has claimed it was instrumental in forcing banks and other lenders to tighten up sloppy lending practices of the last property boom as it faces a flood of new claims.

Dulux's bid for Alesco is growing increasingly hostile as the paint-maker tries to gag the construction group.

 

THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD:

Page 1: The increasing pressure on international athletes to perform is distorting expectations. Tony Abbott is planning to toughen up foreign investment rules for Aussie farms. Criminals have stolen thousands of guns from private homes in recent years, a new study has found. It's still unclear exactly where a hotel for Barangaroo could go.

Page 2: The suburb of Gordon in Sydney's northern suburbs is set to bear the brunt of a plan to develop 10,000 new dwellings. James Packer wants to build a six-star hotel, but the rating system only goes to five.

Page 3: A national education framework set to be approved will mean every teacher will face an annual performance review. Women live longer than men partly because of genetics. A NSW couple subjected two young boarders in their home to constant abuse, a court has heard. An Adelaide businessman spent 15 hours on hold to Qantas on his mobile phone.

World: Rebels in Syria have bombarded a facility that was apparently being used as an air base by the regime.

Business: James Packer has stitched up an exclusive deal with Lend Lease to develop a luxury hotel at Barangaroo.

Sport: Dragons star Jamie Soward has been dropped to reserve grade. The Waratahs are in trouble with the coach, team manager and chairman all leaving recently.

 

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH:

Page 1: Gold has slipped through James Magnussen's fingertips at the London Olympics. Cautions could replace jail for young offenders who commit major crimes under reforms flagged by NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith.

Page 2: Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is floating tougher rules for foreign investors seeking to snap up Aussie farms. The 10th asylum boat since Saturday was intercepted by the navy on Thursday.

Page 3: Hugh Jackman's made his first appearance on the set of Wolverine in Sydney. ACP Magazines could change hands within days, with a possible buyer named as Bauer Media Group.

World: An online video appears to show Syrian rebels in Aleppo executing loyalist prisoners.

Sport: Kim Crow has cruised into the final of the single sculls in London. Dragons five-eighth Jamie Soward has demanded to play reserve grade this weekend.

 

THE AGE:

Page 1: Adelaide businessman has waited on hold on his mobile for Qantas for 15 hours, 40 minutes and one second, and his call was never answered. Foreign buyers intent on locking up large chunks of prime Australian farm land would face a tougher road under a federal government led by Tony Abbott.

Page 2: Thousands of asylum seekers are struggling to live on as little as $31 a day less than the dole camped in hostels and boarding houses across the country with no access to government language training or official job schemes. Swinburne University will not be allowed to convert its Prahran campus into apartments to fund a new building at another site, a local MP has warned.

Page 3: The political pressure on Premier Ted Baillieu to intervene in the stalled $400 million redevelopment of Ararat prison has increased dramatically with federal Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten set to weigh in on behalf of unpaid subcontractors and workers. The reason women live roughly four years longer than men in Australia may be down to genetics. Give me a break, was the pithy reaction from the office of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to comments from Treasurer Wayne Swan about the woes of the US state.

World: The toll of dead and injured continues to mount as the Syrian army kept up its relentless assault on villages in the north, pounding them with rocket-fire as the battle for the country's second city of Aleppo grinds on.

Business: James Packer has upped the stakes in his cat-and-mouse game with rival casino operator Echo Entertainment, stitching up an exclusive agreement with Lend Lease to develop a luxury hotel at Sydney's harbour showpiece, Barangaroo.

Sport: Despite winning four of its past five games, it's still hard to get a read on where Geelong is at.

 

THE HERALD SUN:

Page 1: Victoria's major events chiefs have a high-thrills air race over Albert Park in their sights.

Page 2: Police have asked for public help to identify the man who murdered a taxi driver, then crashed the cab and incinerated himself. Simply trying to persuade scared children their nightmares aren't real will not banish the bogey man. Childcare fees in Melbourne are increasing at 10 times the rate of inflation.

Page 3: A woman who stabbed her son with a kitchen knife and admits to frequent drug use has been given the right to work with children in a move that has stunned child protection advocates. She was named for swimmer Leisel Jones because she had the same fighting spirit and fierce determination.

World: Reports have surfaced that the US has sent CIA forces into Syria to operate alongside rebels, as the battle for Aleppo descends into savagery.

Business: The Reserve Bank will leave interest rates on hold for months to come if eurozone leaders succeed in conjuring a solution to their debt crisis, economists believe.

Sport: AFL boss Andrew Demetriou has promised severe punishment for any side found guilty of tanking.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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