24/10/2012 - 06:55

Today's Business Headlines

24/10/2012 - 06:55

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Tax shuffle will cause grief: employers – The Aus; Gillard to demand deeper integration with Asia – The Fin; Grim outlook for Caterpillar – The Aus; Norilsk in strife over power bill – The West; Gold Fields to cut jobs as costs bite – The West

Today's Business Headlines

Tax shuffle will cause grief: employers

An angry business community has rounded on the Gillard government’s strategy of slugging business to fill the budget shortfall, warning the move threatens to shackle growth, increase perceptions of sovereign risk and add to the woes of the struggling manufacturing sector. The Aus

Gillard to demand deeper integration with Asia

The government's much-delayed policy on the Asian century, to be released on Sunday, will set benchmarks for integration with Asia over the next two decades. The Fin

Grim outlook for Caterpillar

Mining equipment giant Caterpillar has spelled out an increasingly bleak diagnosis for the global mining industry, raising fresh questions about the outlook for billionaire Kerry Stokes’s WesTrac earthmoving business. The Aus

Norilsk in strife over power bill

Power retailer Synergy has launched a multi million-dollar lawsuit against a local subsidiary of Russian resources giant Norilsk Nickel, accusing the company of failing to honour a power contract at its mothballed Black Swan nickel mine near Kalgoorlie. The West

Gold Fields to cut jobs as costs bite

The world's fourth-biggest gold producer, South Africa's Gold Fields, yesterday announced 170 jobs would be cut at its WA operations by the end of the year. The West

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 3: The state government is considering a proposal for a pedestrian bridge that would link Perth's new children's hospital in Nedlands directly with King's Park.

Page 6: With the TV debates over, the US presidential race is neck and neck and could boil down to the “ground game” effort to capture a few swing states, experts say.

Page 7: Shack owners at Wedge and Grey islands have had a significant boost in their long fight to save their homes, with a report declaring the shacks historically and culturally significant to WA.

Page 8: Liberal MPs say Tony Abbott is in danger of making the next referendum about him unless he stops taking Labor's bait and indulging in personal politics.

Big business and backpackers have rounded on Wayne Swan's budget update, warning that a string of measures will end up costing the economy.

Page 9: A state parliament committee investigating the management of Peel Health Campus has described as “extraordinary” a threatening letter from the law firm acting for the hospital's private operator.

Page 12: An eight-part drama about one of the world's greatest marine tragedies – the 1629 Batavia shipwreck, mutiny and massacre off the WA coast – is one of the new local programs the embattled Ten Network hopes will steer it to bigger audiences next year.

Page 14: The days of state government ministers directly buying and selling company shares could be numbered after Premier Colin Barnett told parliament a ban on share trading had merit.

Page 17: The future of Ruth Tarvydas' fashion empire hangs on the WA designer's ability to clear more than $1 million owed to her bank and King Street landlord.

The Greens say they will support Labor's wheat deregulation bill but only if the Gillard government sets up a new body to oversee grain quality and publish grain stock information.

Page 20: Construction of a major stadium on the Burswood Peninsula could lead to the contamination of the Swan River and groundwater from toxins and acid sulphate soils, an environmental report has warned.

Page 28: WA's discrimination laws have fallen behind the rest of the country because both sides of politics have failed to act on a five-year-old review, according to the state's Equal Opportunity Commissioner.

Page 31: WA's forestry agency has complained about how much time it is spending fighting bushfires ahead of what is tipped to be a long and dangerous firefighting season this summer.

Business: Power retailer Synergy has launched a multi million-dollar lawsuit against a local subsidiary of Russian resources giant Norilsk Nickel, accusing the company of failing to honour a power contract at its mothballed Black Swan nickel mine near Kalgoorlie.

The Fire and Emergency Services Superannuation Board has applied heat to a $81 million bid for LinQ Resources Fund by raising concerns with the Takeovers Panel.

Woodside Petroleum chief executive Peter Coleman has met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu en route to Burma for similarly high-powered talks as his strategy for the Perth oil and gas giant takes shape.

Clough is eyeing the hard-pressed mining sector as it looks to widen its capabilities in project management and engineering.

The federal government is set to dictate how the Crux field in the Browse Basin is developed in what is shaping as the most closely watched retention lease application in almost three years.

The world's fourth-biggest gold producer, South Africa's Gold Fields, yesterday announced 170 jobs would be cut at its WA operations by the end of the year.

The local head of oil and gas giant BP has accused the federal government of failing to address the problem of rising operating costs in the country, and warned that Australia was at increased risk of losing foreign investment.

Apex Minerals is even deeper in the mire, missing its September quarter production guidance figures and announcing a new blowout in its cash operating costs.

The Property Council of Australia will today launch a campaign harnessing the voting power of the 200,000 people employed in WA's property sector that will direct their votes to the political party that agrees to best meet long-awaited industry reforms in the state election on March 9.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: Independent forecasters have warned the Labor government's mid-year review won't deliver a surplus because it is overly optimistic about economic growth and export income.

The government's much-delayed policy on the Asian century, to be released on Sunday, will set benchmarks for integration with Asia over the next two decades.

Page 2: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims criticised state premiers for blaming regulators for rising power prices, arguing that they are distracting attention from crucial reforms.

Page 4: An Australian lawyer working for a Rio Tinto-controlled company has been banned from leaving Mongolia, as authorities claim she can assist in a corruption investigation.

Page 5: Building watchdog chief Leigh Johns plans to blast his critics and continue fighting the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union's “culture of coercion”.

Page 8: Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says the Coalition's first priority is getting the budget back into strong surplus, despite its criticisms of government measures, as indications strengthened it may oppose cuts announced in Monday's mid-year budget review.

Page 12: Recovery in manufacturing is dependent on a fall in the dollar but the sector won't return to its previous strength, Reserve Bank of Australia board member Heather Ridout says.

Former Treasury Secretary Ken Henry has stepped up his call for superannuation funds to reduce their investments in shares, which he believes are too risky for many Australians approaching retirement.

Page 13: Australia's reliance on the resources boom to drive the economy has made it neglect technological innovation that can create wealth too, according to the authors of a research project which highlights how difficult it is to commercialise new technology.

Page 17: Whitehaven chairman Mark Vaile and his board are considering how to respond to a threat from Nathan Tinkler to vote against the election of five directors at the coal miner's annual meeting next week.

Page 19: Woodside Petroleum is bidding for a stake in the Leviathan gas field in offshore Israel in a potential multi-billion dollar deal that would open up a new liquefied gas play in the eastern Mediterranean.

Page 43: The West Australian government's billion-dollar investment in the Pilbara is aimed at “destroying equity” in the housing market, says the head of state agency Landcorp.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Only elite, research-intensive universities with global brands will exist in their current form in 15 years, while the rest will be forced to rethink their business models as decreasing government funding, increased competition and online technologies reshape the higher education landscape.

An angry business community has rounded on the Gillard government’s strategy of slugging business to fill the budget shortfall, warning the move threatens to shackle growth, increase perceptions of sovereign risk and add to the woes of the struggling manufacturing sector.

Rio Tinto is embroiled in another potential Asian corruption scandal with Australian mining lawyer Sarah Armstrong being held in booming, resource-rich Mongolia.

Page 2: Prominent labour lawyer Josh Bornstein has launched an extraordinary attack on the quality of the industrial relations debate, saying it is dominated by vested interests and devoid of facts, logic and integrity.

Page 6: The fate of Wayne Swan’s surplus will rest with Tony Abbott after the Greens and key independents Andrew Wilkie and Rob Oakeshott questioned the need to return to surplus this year and attacked the proposed cuts to higher education, research and training.

The government will get a clear idea in the next six weeks whether its return to budget surplus this year is feasible.

Page 7: The federal government will establish a national farm foreign ownership register in a bid to defuse the furore over the sale of prime Australian land to overseas companies and governments.

Electricity prices have risen by more than they should have and for ‘‘unnecessary and inappropriate reasons’’, competition tsar Rod Sims will warn today.

Energy Minister Martin Ferguson says nuclear power, the only alternative energy source that is not part of Australia’s plans, is a proven clean energy source that will get cheaper.

Page 8: The Gillard government began working on a strategy to ensure Australia benefited directly from having a seat on the UN Security Council at least seven months before the vote.

Business: Australia's biggest retailers will now be looking to the Reserve Bank for a lift in sentiment through interest rate cuts on Melbourne Cup day as they united to criticise the Gillard government’s surprise move to change corporate tax collection to a monthly basis.

Washington H Soul Pattinson executive chairman Rob Millner is no fan of the Gillard administration, saying he struggles to recall a federal government that has been more hostile to the business sector.

Fairfax chief executive Greg Hywood will face down frustrated shareholders today, having yesterday ruled out a break-up of the company despite its venerable newspaper mastheads and radio assets being valued by the market at just $210 million.

Nathan Tinkler has threatened to roll the board of his former takeover target, Whitehaven Coal, if the miner does not respond to a list of demands before its annual general meeting next week.

Mining equipment giant Caterpillar has spelled out an increasingly bleak diagnosis for the global mining industry, raising fresh questions about the outlook for billionaire Kerry Stokes’s WesTrac earthmoving business.

Australia could become the default natural supplier of uranium to Western utilities if it demonstrates consistent policy at every level, according to the head of a Canadian company that has local uranium assets.

Asia has become the new hot spot for expatriates, with an increasing number of Australians opting to move to Hong Kong, Singapore, China and Vietnam for work, according to a survey released yesterday by HSBC.

 

THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD:

Page 1: Police misuse Tasers one in every seven times the controversial weapon is deployed, a highly critical report by the NSW Ombudsman has found.

Page 2: Families in Sydney's wealthiest suburbs give away much less of their income than those with much lower incomes in towns and suburbs elsewhere.

Page 3: Officials at the scandal-plagued Health Services Union oversaw a $7 million collapse in the union's assets in just two years, before it was placed in administration in June.

World: Barack Obama dominated the third and final presidential debate in Florida, aggressively deploying detail and sarcasm to portray Mitt Romney as inconsistent on foreign policy.

Business: Japanese banks are stepping into the funding gap left by crippled European lenders pulling their capital from Australia, as Asian financiers play a growing role bankrolling the expansion of mining.

Sport: Ray Godkin, once Australia's top-ranking cycling official, says that in hindsight the International Cycling Union could have pursued suspicions over Lance Armstrong earlier.

 

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH:

Page 1: They are the biggest names in racing and lifelong friends but owner John Singleton and trainer Gai Waterhouse are at loggerheads over one of Sydney's champion racehorses.

Page 2: The deputy chairman of Labor's special committee investigating migrant worker visas in the mining industry quit in protest last night after a dispute over its findings.

Page 3: Either someone is out to annoy Harry's Cafe de Wheels or they have misplaced a perfectly good BMW.

World: Mitt Romney turned up sounding like some sort of peacenik.

Business: A two-speed retail sector is emerging as the gap between successes and stragglers widens, analysts say.

Sport: Mitchell Pearce already leads the Roosters on the field - now the club's new coach Trent Robinson has declared it`s his job to teach the NSW halfback how to be a leader off the field as well.

THE AGE:

Page 1: Police raid offices of Melbourne council election candidate Azeezur Rahaman as part of an investigation into vote-rigging. Dirty tricks muddy the water at council elections with one candidate's letterhead hijacked to wrongly tell residents he supported building new mosques. Tony Abbott offers a qualified apology to Julia Gillard for a comment allegedly linked to her childlessness. South-east Asian diplomat says Tony Abbott's policy to tow back asylum seeker boats could jeopardise ties.

Page 2: Union brawl over Queensland-funded secret polling which said Labor would be boosted with a return to leadership of Kevin Rudd. Launch of white paper on the Asian century on Sunday by Julia Gillard timed to dilute impact of Maxine McKew's book on her stint in government appearing in Fairfax press on the weekend.
Page 3: Melbourne's Middle Park is the most generous suburb in Australia while the people of Lakes Entrance in the state's east are the most charitable, according to new report. Tertiary Education Minister Chris Evans says criticism by university research teams of the $499 million cut in research funding was baseless and elitist. Motorcycle groups say riders heading for this motorcycle grand prix at Phillip Island will have to sidestep plenty of potholes on the Bass Highway.

World: Barack Obama wins the third and final presidential debate using sarcasm to portray Mitt Romney as inconsistent on foreign policy.

Business: Japanese banks filling the funding gap left by crippled European lenders pulling out of Australia.

Sport: Adelaide could face draft tampering issues after revealing it forged a secret deal to let Kurt Tippett go to the club of his choice when it last resigned him.

THE CANBERRA TIMES:

Page 1: Funding found for 1300 extra public service recruits in Swan's revision.

Page 2: Diplomat rejects tow-back policy

Page 3: Camilla gets main role, Charles supporting one at the Cup.

World: Ethnic violence erupts in Burma.

Business: ASIC favours stuff-up theory over skullduggery from flash spike

Sport: Special agent at centre of Armstrong case.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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