13/03/2013 - 06:52

Today's Business Headlines

13/03/2013 - 06:52

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News slams media rules – The Fin; Gillard takes aim at Lib states in 457 row – The Aus; Son tried to cut a deal with Rinehart – The West; Palmer, Citic rift blows out to $400m – The Aus; Apex to sell mine to China – The West

Today's Business Headlines

News slams media rules

Australian media bosses have slammed the Gillard government's wide-ranging changes to media rules, saying a new regulator to oversee print and online news content and a public interest test for mergers are unnecessary and a threat to free speech. The Fin

Gillard takes aim at Lib states in 457 row

Julia Gillard has picked a fight with the states about her proposed overhaul of the 457 visa regime, accusing conservative premiers of undermining training and apprenticeship opportunities for Australians. The Aus

Son tried to cut a deal with Rinehart

Days before launching legal action against his billionaire mother Gina Rinehart, John Hancock attempted to come to a “financial arrangement” with her without telling her sisters, who he said had “always been treated better anyway”, court documents show. The West

Palmer, Citic rift blows out to $400m

Up to $400 million in royalty and purchase payments due to Queensland mining magnate Clive Palmer are in dispute and have not been paid, as a rift widens between him and China’s Citic Pacific, the builder of the troubled billion ($7.8bn) Sino Iron project in Western Australia. The Aus

Apex to sell mine to China

Ed Eshuys has called time on his year-long battle to turn a profit from Apex Minerals' Wiluna operation, announcing that an agreement had been reached to sell the struggling gold mine to Chinese investors for $50 million. The West

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN

Page 1: Newspapers could have critical protections from privacy laws ripped away by a government appointed official under new media laws mooted by the federal government.

Page 6: Days before launching legal action against his billionaire mother Gina Rinehart, John Hancock attempted to come to a “financial arrangement” with her without telling her sisters, who he said had “always been treated better anyway”, court documents show.

Page 10: Labor unionists-turned-MPs defended their positions yesterday amid stinging party criticism that it should stop preselecting “union hacks”.

The Liberal Party claimed victory in Eric Ripper's old seat of Belmont yesterday as former local mayor Glenys Godfrey pulled away from Labor's Cassie Rowe.

Page 13: The WA cattle industry is facing another crippling blow after tests confirmed the presence of a wasting disease that has the potential to shut down major export markets.

Page 17: After almost 12 years as the head of the DEC and its predecessor, CALM, the state's longest-serving public service chief, Keiran McNamara, revealed yesterday he was standing down because of a terminal illness.

Page 21: A plan to build a luxury hotel at Elizabeth Quay, one of the first building applications formally lodged as part of the waterfront project, has been knocked back by the City of Perth.

Page 30: Tony Abbott has used the 20th anniversary of John Hewson losing the “unlosable” election to warn his colleagues about getting cocky despite the coalition's healthy lead in the polls.

Page 31: A retired Perth couple face paying more than $900 a year more for health cover because of the Gillard government's latest assault on the private health insurance rebate.

Business: Ed Eshuys has called time on his year-long battle to turn a profit from Apex Minerals' Wiluna operation, announcing that an agreement had been reached to sell the struggling gold mine to Chinese investors for $50 million.

Wesfarmers hopes its groundbreaking $5 million gift to the University of WA's arts faculty will encourage other companies to broaden their philanthropy.

Amid big cuts to its exploration budget and a global focus on reduced operating and non-core expenditure, Rio Tinto has kicked off the environmental approvals process to allow the search for minerals in the Kimberley.

Aviva Corp shares soared as much as 37 per cent yesterday on news that corporate heavyweight Ian Middlemas had agreed to take control of the cashed-up company.

Unions have savaged a senior Gillard government minister's call for Woodside's $40 billion Browse gas project to be developed via massive floating vessels, saying it would threaten thousands of jobs and local manufacturing workshops.

Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke has moved to significantly expand his powers, announcing future onshore gas and coal mining proposals likely to affect water supplies will need Commonwealth approval.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW

Page 1: Australian media bosses have slammed the Gillard government's wide-ranging changes to media rules, saying a new regulator to oversee print and online news content and a public interest test for mergers are unnecessary and a threat to free speech.

BHP Billiton is under a joint US-Australian investigation for possible bribery over alleged inducements, hospitality or gifts given to foreign officials, including Chinese dignitaries wooed as part of a multi million-dollar hospitality and sponsorship program for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Page 3: Business leaders and lobbyists have mostly given up on the government's ability to change policy and are increasing efforts to obtain more favourable treatment over tax, workplace laws and green tape from the Coalition.

Page 6: Proposed wage subsidies for childcare workers and a boost to the unemployment benefit are being rejected as Treasurer Wayne Swan and Finance Minister Penny Wong resist internal pressure to increase the budget deficit to fund expensive vote-buying policies ahead of the federal election.

An upbeat Julia Gillard has counselled her MPs to stay focused on policy and not naval gaze over the West Australian election result.

Page 8: Big coal projects by BHP Billiton, Santos and China Shenhua Energy are expected to face an extra layer of environmental review under a plan to override state approvals if water resources are at risk.

Manufacturers plan to intensify their campaign to free up gas supplies for domestic business users in meetings next week between federal politicians and new Manufacturing Australia chairwoman Sue Morphet.

Page 9: The opposition has called on the Gillard government to confront Beijing over cyber attacks if it has evidence that hacking activity is linked to the Chinese government.

Page 11: John Hancock offered his mother, Gina Rinehart, a secret deal which would see him rake in millions every year and allow her to continue to control a $4 billion trust, just days after the bitter family feud erupted into the courts.

Page 13: A Labor-dominated Senate committee has called for sweeping changes to enterprise migration agreements warning that there is alarming evidence some companies in the resources sector are turning away qualified Australian workers and hiring overseas labour.

Page 15: Lawyers for the liquidators of one of Nathan Tinkler's private companies plan to reveal his 2011 taxable income was just $9000 as they pursue him for failure to stump up $28.4 million for a share placement in Blackwood Corp.

Page 17: Rio Tinto chief executive Sam Walsh has warned the government of Guinea that work on the ground could be scaled back severely if more progress isn't made on an investment agreement and financing of its billion-plus Simandou iron ore project.

Page 22: The NSW government's handling of approvals for Newcrest Mining's giant Cadia Valley operations near Orange has been slammed by a junior explorer fighting the gold giant in court.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN

Page 1: Labor has infuriated publishers by proposing a new federal regulator to oversee press standards and rule on mergers, as part of a wider overhaul to be rushed through parliament, despite fears it could trigger a $4 billion television takeover.

Business groups have lashed out at proposed federal laws to protect the Great Artesian Basin from coal and coal-seam gas development, claiming the extra green tape could delay billions of dollars’ worth of investment.

Fairfax Media’s largest shareholder Gina Rinehart has taken legal action against a senior journalist with the company, Adele Ferguson, in a bid to force her to hand over notes relating to conversations she had with Mrs Rinehart’s son, John Hancock.

Page 2: Julia Gillard has picked a fight with the states about her proposed overhaul of the 457 visa regime, accusing conservative premiers of undermining training and apprenticeship opportunities for Australians.

Tony Abbott is on the verge of winning enough Senate votes to abolish the carbon tax and potentially the mining tax, and implement a royal commission into the unions.

Page 3: The failure of four of Australia’s top cricketers to complete a written assignment was the latest in a series of ill-disciplined acts over the past year, prompting team management to take the extraordinary step of ruling the quartet out of this week’s Test against India.

Labor will boost funding for young artists, overhaul the Australia Council and launch an ‘‘excellence pool’’, in a long-awaited cultural policy that aims to set the nation’s creativity agenda for the next decade.

Page 4: Labor appears close to securing the votes it needs to pass new laws to oversee media ownership and press standards despite growing differences over other parts of its contentious reform package.

Page 6: The Gillard government will keep the controversial age cut-off of 65 for people to be covered by the national disability insurance scheme, but will today unveil changes to allow those already in the system to stay past that age, and offer early intervention help if their illnesses are not fully realised.

Page 7: After four years and more than $1 billion spent in about a quarter of the nation’s schools, at least 9000 primary schoolchildren specifically targeted for improvement are still unable to read or perform maths at the minimum standard for their age.

Nathan Tinkler has failed in his latest attempt to avoid fronting public examinations into his finances and faces possible arrest if he fails to appear before a court tomorrow.

Page 8: The Rudd government’s home insulation scheme was rolled out so quickly that new installation companies used potentially dangerous foil insulation to meet demand, an inquest has heard.

Business: Up to $400 million in royalty and purchase payments due to Queensland mining magnate Clive Palmer are in dispute and have not been paid, as a rift widens between him and China’s Citic Pacific, the builder of the troubled billion ($7.8bn) Sino Iron project in Western Australia.

A possible $4 billion merger between Nine Entertainment and Southern Cross Media still hangs in the balance, resting on the outcome of a quick-fire parliamentary inquiry likely within a week and still hostage to a febrile political scene in Canberra.

Rio Tinto has threatened to freeze work on the billion ($9.7bn) Simandou project in Guinea if the government there does not quickly sign an investment agreement and secure its share of funding for the project.

The need for resources leaders BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto to reduce their combined debt of more than billion ($58.6bn) by slashing costs and paying down debt with the proceeds of asset sales has been underscored in the latest ratings bulletin on BHP from Standard & Poor’s.

Manufacturers are gearing up for a renewed push to make domestic supplies of gas available to industry at competitive prices in a move that puts them on a collision course with the government’s policy of letting the market rule.

Treasury has established a joint venture with China’s key economic body, the National Development and Reform Commission, to improve the forecasting of commodity prices.

Australians are unlikely to see any dramatic changes to their broadband bills despite the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission ordering Telstra to trim the price it charges its internet rivals.

The outlook for hiring intentions in the resources sector has slumped, with project deferrals and uncertainty over the federal election affecting future jobs.

 

THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

Page 1: Media reform laws proposed by the federal government appear destined to fail as key promises have been deferred, negotiation has been refused and only two weeks remain for it to pass parliament.

Page 2: A 15-year-old boy who died in a fight in 2011 had asthma and a family history of heart defects, the Glebe Coroner's Court has heard.

Page 3: An Auburn function centre that opened without authority and flouted fire safety regulations had been allowed to operate despite warnings from council staff.

World: Laws banning the sale of large sized sugary drinks in New York have been invalidated just days before they were due to kick in.

Business: Communications minister Stephen Conroy has announced reform to media regulations, opening the door to several mergers in the broadcast sector despite opposition from Channel Ten and Seven West Media.

Sport: The failure of four Australian cricket players to complete a feedback task set by their coach was just one of many lapses in discipline.

 

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH

Page 1: Communications minister Stephen Conroy announced plans for a powerful statutory public interest media advocate and says he won't barter with key independents Rob Oakshott and Andrew Wilke who have expressed concerns about the proposal.

Page 2: Labor MP Daryl Melham has slammed the investigation into allegations of doping in the NRL, likening the affair to the 2007 arrest of Indian doctor Mohamed Haneef on false accusations of terrorism.

Page 3: Authorities are searching for a 30-year-old Korean woman who abandoned her son at Canterbury Hospital hours after giving birth to him.

World: 115 cardinals have gathered at the Vatican to elect the 266th pope.

Business: The incoming channel Ten chief has attacked the government's proposed media reforms.

Sport: Three players from the Manly Sea Eagles NRL club have been targeted in an anti-doping investigation and could face bans of up to two years.

THE HERALD SUN

Page 1: Jill Meagher's parents and husband face down her accused murderer in court hearing.

Page 2: CCTV footage follows Jill's last steps in Brunswick.

Page 3: Jill Meagher's last moments before she is grabbed off the street.

World: Cardinals' conclave gathers to elect a new pope.

Business: Incoming TEN boss Hamish McLennan slams proposed media reforms that would let the group's regional affiliate merge with rival Nine.

Sport: Essendon players were injected up to 40 times each last season as part of the club's supplements program.

 

THE AGE

Page 1: Adrian Bayley, the man accused of murdering Jill Meagher, says he got angry when she "flipped me off". BHP Billiton being investigated for bribing foreign officials.

Page 2: Bayley tells police he hopes the death penalty will be introduced for people like him.

Page 3: Gina Rinehart's son John Hancock lobbied for a $15 million "sorry payment" from his billionaire mother in exchange for partly accepting her terms regarding the family's $4.0 billion trust. Rinehart subpoenas Fairfax journalist Adele Ferguson to force her to reveal her sources.

World: New York court rejects the city mayor's ban on large sugary drinks.

Finance: Media reforms will pave the way for mergers in the broadcast sector.

Sport: Tensions laid bare between Test captain Michael Clarke and his deputy Shane Watson who has flown home from India with his future under a cloud after receiving a match suspension.

 

THE ADELAIDE ADVERTISER

Page 1: A controversial "public interest" media test that the government will try to ram through parliament by the end of next week has been condemned as vague, unnecessary, heavy-handed and a threat to press freedom.

Page 3: More than $170 million in funding provided to disadvantaged South Australian schools to raise literacy and numeracy results has failed to substantially close the gap in achievement, data shows.

World: North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has issued a detailed threat to "wipe out" a small South Korean island in a further escalation of already elevated military tension on the Korean peninsula.

Business: Coal seam gas or large mining projects which could significantly affect water resources would need federal approval under changes proposed by the government.

Sport: Crows chairman Rob Chapman last night delivered the vision of a new Adelaide Football Club expecting independence from the SANFL this week.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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