25/03/2013 - 06:57

Today's Business Headlines

25/03/2013 - 06:57

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Green tape 'risks choking $200bn in export projects' – The Aus; Price war as Wesfarmers enters the gas market – The West; Union loyalty to steer Labor – The Aus; Scarborough floats JV boat – The West; Drought, frost hit WA wheat farmers hard – The Fin

Today's Business Headlines

Green tape 'risks choking $200bn in export projects'

Export projects worth $200 billion are being shackled by overlapping state and federal laws, according to a new report, which challenges both major parties to remove ‘‘green tape’’ that discourages huge investments. The Aus

Price war as Wesfarmers enters the gas market

Households in Perth and the South West can for the first time choose where to buy their gas after Wesfarmers yesterday went head to head with Alinta for a share of the market. The West

Union loyalty to steer Labor

Union loyalties are helping to shape the next stage of Julia Gillard’s political strategy as she embarks on a cabinet reshuffle that will promote key allies while sparing some of those who plotted against her last week. The Aus

Scarborough floats JV boat

ExxonMobil and BHP Billiton are planning the world's biggest floating LNG operation, targeting annual output of as much as seven million tonnes of the liquefied fuel from the Scarborough field off WA. The West

Drought, frost hit WA wheat farmers hard

A collapse in confidence among Western Australia's drought-plagued wheat farmers has driven property transactions to a standstill in the region, pushing valuers back to fundamentals. The Fin

 

Top Resources Headlines

Price war as Wesfarmers enters the gas market

Households in Perth and the South West can for the first time choose where to buy their gas after Wesfarmers yesterday went head to head with Alinta for a share of the market. The West

Scarborough floats JV boat

ExxonMobil and BHP Billiton are planning the world's biggest floating LNG operation, targeting annual output of as much as seven million tonnes of the liquefied fuel from the Scarborough field off WA. The West

Murder claims hit Sundance takeover

Sundance Resources is expected to trigger an option tomorrow that allows it to terminate its $1.3 billion deal with China’s Hanlong, amid new reports that Hanlong’s chairman was detained for helping hide his brother, who is a murder suspect. The Aus

CITIC, Palmer spat grows

The abolition of the benchmark iron ore price contract has sparked legal action, with Clive Palmer and CITIC Pacific headed to the courts yet again to work out a formula for calculating royalties from the billion Sino Iron magnetite project in the Pilbara. The West

Green tape 'risks choking $200bn in export projects'

Export projects worth $200 billion are being shackled by overlapping state and federal laws, according to a new report, which challenges both major parties to remove ‘‘green tape’’ that discourages huge investments. The Aus

 

Top Politics Headlines

Union loyalty to steer Labor

Union loyalties are helping to shape the next stage of Julia Gillard’s political strategy as she embarks on a cabinet reshuffle that will promote key allies while sparing some of those who plotted against her last week. The Aus

Funding guarantee for independent schools

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has taken a leaf out of John Howard's book by giving independent schools a funding model that ensures none will be worse off. The Fin

Gray tipped to get key resources ministry

Special Minister of State and key WA MP Gary Gray is likely to be promoted into Cabinet as Julia Gillard seeks to rebuild her battered government in the run-up to the election in September. The West

Don't fall for Hawke myth: Carr

Foreign Minister Bob Carr has warned his Labor colleagues not to ‘‘romanticise’’ the Hawke-Keating era of government, saying it was a ‘‘turbulent’’ episode in Australian history marked by arguments over policy and division between its two most senior members. The Aus

 

Top Property Headlines

Drought, frost hit WA wheat farmers hard

A collapse in confidence among Western Australia's drought-plagued wheat farmers has driven property transactions to a standstill in the region, pushing valuers back to fundamentals. The Fin

Humphris named as Leighton chair as Hochtief hits back on independence

Long-serving Leighton director Robert Humphris has been appointed as the new chairman of the Australian construction giant ahead of what will be a wider board revamp following the shock resignation of chairman Stephen Johns and two other directors on Friday. The Aus

CFMEU heavy gets top job

One of Australia's most controversial union leaders, Joe McDonald, has become national president of the main construction union, in a move that will fan debate over the role of militancy in the labour movement. The Fin

Federation tightens purse strings

Steven Sewell, chief executive of Federation Centres, the rebadged real estate investment trust formerly known as Centro, has signalled a cautious approach to spending as he focuses on a ‘‘back to the future’’ strategy to win back investors. The Aus

City Link hits the spot – on time and budget

The $360 million City Link project to sink underground the rail line between the CBD and Northbridge passed a key milestone last week with its biggest concrete pour – placing the joint venture ahead of schedule to begin testing the first trains through the 600m tunnel. The West

 

The West Australian

Page 1: Households in Perth and the South West can for the first time choose where to buy their gas after Wesfarmers yesterday went head to head with Alinta for a share of the market.

Page 2: The rapid growth of amateur sports is being hampered by a shortage of playing fields, with WA's peak soccer body forced to turn down applications for new clubs.

Page 3: Special Minister of State and key WA MP Gary Gray is likely to be promoted into Cabinet as Julia Gillard seeks to rebuild her battered government in the run-up to the election in September.

The boss of the national broadband network's builder says changing the design would make it cheaper now but more costly in the long-run because it would have to be replaced.

More jobs are being created in the transport and postal sector than in mining, figures reveal.

Page 8: A worsening doctor shortage in the Goldfields has left thousands of people at breaking point as they are forced to wait for several weeks or drive hundreds of kilometres for a medical appointment.

Page 15: The number of West Australians travelling around their home state has jumped beyond 5 million for the first time since the 2007 global financial crisis.

The Kimberley has the highest concentration of homelessness in WA as lack of affordable housing forces people into overcrowded conditions or on to the street.

Business: ExxonMobil and BHP Billiton are planning the world's biggest floating LNG operation, targeting annual output of as much as seven million tonnes of the liquefied fuel from the Scarborough field off WA.

The $360 million City Link project to sink underground the rail line between the CBD and Northbridge passed a key milestone last week with its biggest concrete pour – placing the joint venture ahead of schedule to begin testing the first trains through the 600m tunnel.

The abolition of the benchmark iron ore price contract has sparked legal action, with Clive Palmer and CITIC Pacific headed to the courts yet again to work out a formula for calculating royalties from the billion Sino Iron magnetite project in the Pilbara.

Long-serving director Bob Humphris has been appointed chairman of Leighton Holdings as Australia's biggest contractor sets about trying to convince investors its biggest shareholder is not wielding undue influence.

Coles has lashed out at Australia's peak farming body for pulling out of talks on a voluntary code of conduct for supermarkets.

 

The Australian Financial Review

Page 1: Telstra chief executive David Thodey has reassured his 1.4 million retail shareholders that delays in building the national broadband network will not undermine the telco's ability to raise its dividend, and has pledged to “help in any way we can” to speed up the faltering rollout.

Union leaders have rounded on outgoing minister and former ACTU president Martin Ferguson, criticising his views as out of date and highlighting that the Hawke-Keating era reforms coincided with a massive fall in union membership.

Page 3: Prime Minister Julia Gillard has taken a leaf out of John Howard's book by giving independent schools a funding model that ensures none will be worse off.

Page 4: Prime Minister Julia Gillard is expected to reward key backers in the ministerial reshuffle, her fourth since 2010 and second in the three months since she announced the election, after working on the revamped lune-up over the weekend with Treasurer Wayne Swan.

Page 5: A pick-up in revenue in the last months of the financial year could help pull the budget back from a predicted $20 billion deficit but a surplus is well beyond reach, economists say.

One of Australia's most controversial union leaders, Joe McDonald, has become national president of the main construction union, in a move that will fan debate over the role of militancy in the labour movement.

The Gillard government is under pressure from both business and unions over its second round of amendments to Labor's Fair Work Act, despite delaying changes to the role of arbitration.

Page 6: Leading telecommunications economists have questioned NBN Co's claims that it will deliver a 7.1 per cent return for the government by 2040, as it faces a decision from the competition watchdog on its pricing methods.

Delays in the rollout of the national broadband network are not linked to the price paid to major construction firms, NBN Co chief executive officer Mike Quigley says.

Page 8: Coles boss Ian McLeod has vowed to personally investigate supplier complaints, implying that any misuse of market power, if proved, was the work of rogue buyers, not senior management.

Page 13: Wealthy Cypriots are facing an emergency bank deposit of about 20 per cent as the country's leaders negotiate a last-ditch financial bailout with the European Union.

Page 15: Leighton Holdings' controlling shareholder, Hochtief, has warned it will retain the right to hire and fire independent directors as the contractor's board appointed Robert Humphris as its new chairman.

Qantas Airways and Emirates are set to receive final approval for their landmark alliance after appeasing the concerns of Australian and international competition regulators with commitments to maintain, and potentially increase, the number of seats for sale on certain routes.

Page 18: Woolworths is joining the ranks of challenger insurers looking to claw market share from Suncorp and Insurance Australia Group, notching up sales of 40,000 general insurance policies to its customers in less than two years.

Page 40: A collapse in confidence among Western Australia's drought-plagued wheat farmers has driven property transactions to a standstill in the region, pushing valuers back to fundamentals.

Page 42: Seven West Media has moved to pre-empt an open bidding process for tennis broadcast rights by offering Tennis Australia an extension to its $21 million annual contract, which expires after the 2014 tournament.

 

The Australian

Page 1: Union loyalties are helping to shape the next stage of Julia Gillard’s political strategy as she embarks on a cabinet reshuffle that will promote key allies while sparing some of those who plotted against her last week.

Export projects worth $200 billion are being shackled by overlapping state and federal laws, according to a new report, which challenges both major parties to remove ‘‘green tape’’ that discourages huge investments.

Tens of millions of dollars are being wasted training teachers who do not enter a classroom, with federal and state governments spending at least $16,500 on each student teacher every year despite up to 90 per cent in some states failing to find a job.

Page 2: Foreign Minister Bob Carr has warned his Labor colleagues not to ‘‘romanticise’’ the Hawke-Keating era of government, saying it was a ‘‘turbulent’’ episode in Australian history marked by arguments over policy and division between its two most senior members.

The opposition is set to formally give notice on budget day that it will move a motion of no confidence in the Gillard government.

Page 3: Almost one house a day will need to be built between now and the end of June if the Northern Territory government is to avoid financial penalties for missing federal targets, amid allegations it is bungling its contribution to the nation’s premier indigenous housing scheme.

Page 4: One of the nation’s most senior union leaders has criticised the Gillard government’s decision to delay a proposed change to the federal workplace laws, demanding the minister take legislative action to allow for arbitration of intractable workplace disputes.

Left-wing Labor senator Doug Cameron will put pressure on Wayne Swan to help single mothers and the unemployed in the budget, in a speech calling for the party to deliver on its core values.

Business: US Securities and Exchange Commisssion chairman Elisse Walter has urged more international co-operation between securities regulators as they deal with increasingly borderless global capital markets thanks to the rise of the internet and related issues such as cyber attacks.

Long-serving Leighton director Robert Humphris has been appointed as the new chairman of the Australian construction giant ahead of what will be a wider board revamp following the shock resignation of chairman Stephen Johns and two other directors on Friday.

Sundance Resources is expected to trigger an option tomorrow that allows it to terminate its $1.3 billion deal with China’s Hanlong, amid new reports that Hanlong’s chairman was detained for helping hide his brother, who is a murder suspect.

The improved productivity performance revealed in the national accounts still leaves Australia trailing the US and making inefficient use of its capital investment.

After a dearth of new investment opportunities since the global financial crisis, bankers hope to bring more initial public offerings to market as the recent success of so-called block trades gives vendors confidence they can sell out over time.

Business borrowing intentions have risen to the highest level since the global financial crisis, signalling a potential revenue boost for the banks as corporate Australia looks to address five years of underinvestment.

China's Citic Pacific claims that it may not owe a cent of a million ($194.3m) royalty payment wealthy Queenslander Clive Palmer is suing it for, as disputes between the pair over the delayed and over-budget billion Sino Iron project in Western Australia’s Pilbara region continue to spread.

Steven Sewell, chief executive of Federation Centres, the rebadged real estate investment trust formerly known as Centro, has signalled a cautious approach to spending as he focuses on a ‘‘back to the future’’ strategy to win back investors.

UBS is in settlement talks with US securities regulators stemming from an investigation into a mortgage bond deal that soured during the financial crisis, sources say.

 

The Herald Sun

Page 1: The de facto and mother of Antonio "Mad Dog" Loguancio, the man who shot himself ending a siege in Melbourne in early March where the house burned down, are arguing over who has the rights to his remains. 35,000 run to raise money for sick children.

Page 2: MPs jostle for a place in cabinet reshuffle after four ministers quit or were sacked last week after failed spill.

Page 3: Neighbours theme songwriters Jackie Trent and Tony Hatch in legal tussle over who wrote what during their their 30-year marriage. Australian Idol graduate Rob Mills lands lead role in stage play Grease. A female fugitive is still on the run after failing to return to prison while on unescorted leave last Friday.

World: Cyprus on the brink with no final agreement on a bailout deal to save its economy from bankruptcy.

Business: Strong investor resilience will tough out short-term shockwaves from Cyprus economic gloom.

Sport: Saints key defender Sam Fisher in doubt with sore back for Gold Coast game.

The Age

Page 1: Melbourne-born former Mossad agent Ben Zygier, who hanged himself in an Israeli jail cell, tried to turn a Hezbollah representative into a double agent but was outfoxed and gave up the name of two Mossad agents in Beirut. Questions raised if Zygier used his Australian passport to spy.

Page 2: Up to half of Victorian jail inmates have an acquired brain injury, says a consultant psychiatrist. Two popes share a lunch in an historic afternoon.

Page 3: More Australians believe they are paying too much tax. Melbourne Rebels in turmoil after big loss and revelations of an off-field fight between Kurtley Beale and Cooper Vuna.

World: Financial crisis in Cyprus down to the wire as its government meets to decide if it will levy a tax on large back accounts in order to get $10 billion loan.

Business: Qantas could reap $1 billion from relinquishing the long-term leases on passenger terminals at four major airports.

Sport: New Carlton captain Marc Murphy has a strong belief that 2013 will be a good year for the Blues.

The Adelaide Advertiser

Page 1: Football greats have pleaded for parts of AAMI Stadium to be retained so it can be used as a boutique sports venue when AFL moves to Adelaide Oval.

Page 3: Nearly six times as many South Australians are buying bin liners compared to four years ago when a ban on check-out style plastic bags was introduced, new research shows.

World: Cyprus had yesterday failed to reach a final agreement on the terms of a bailout deal to save its eurozone economy from imminent bankruptcy, as its leaders brace for make-or-break talks in Brussels.

Finance: The boss of the national broadband network's builder says changing the design would make it cheaper now, but more costly in the long run because it would have to be replaced.,

Sport: Central Coast's 2-0 win over Adelaide United at Hindmarsh last night refuelled the Mariners' hopes of pinching the premier's plate from the clutches of Western Sydney Wanderers.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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