‘Incredibly traumatised’: Small businesses facing bushfire insurance maze

Original article by Emma Koehn
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: Online : 23-Jan-20

David Keane of Solve My Claim says some small businesses are likely to find that their insurance policy has limited coverage for some bushfire-related losses. He notes that many business owners do not know exactly what adverse events their policy covers, noting that many policies only cover profits rather than loss of revenue. Meanwhile, Australian Small Business & Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell says insurers should be "reasonable" when assessing claims from customers who were not directly affected by the fires.

CORPORATES
SOLVE MY CLAIM, AUSTRALIA. OFFICE OF THE AUSTRALIAN SMALL BUSINESS AND FAMILY ENTERPRISE OMBUDSMAN, AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL COMPLAINTS AUTHORITY

Retail invasion over as Kaufland beats a retreat from the Australian market

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 15 & 23 : 23-Jan-20

Shares in grocery retailers Coles and Woolworths rallied on 22 January, after German supermarket group Kaufland announced that it has abandoned plans to expand into the Australian market. Kaufland has advised that its 200 employees in Australia will receive their full entitlements; the majority had previously been employed by Coles or Woolworths. Schwarz Group is believed to have invested about $500m in Kaufland’s Australian operations, with plans to open at least 20 stores across the country.

CORPORATES
KAUFLAND STIFTUNG & CO KG, SCHWARZ GROUP, COLES GROUP LIMITED – ASX COL, WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW

PM orders probe into McKenzie

Original article by Rosie Lewis, Olivia Caisley
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 23-Jan-20

The so-called ‘sports rorts’ scandal that has embroiled Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie has been referred to Philip Gaetjens, the secretary of the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet. He will investigate whether McKenzie breached ministerial standards with regard to the allocation of sports grants in her previous role as sports minister. McKenzie has also been accused of a conflict of interests in giving a $35,000 grant to a clay target club of which she was a member. Labor contends that she may be in contempt of the Senate.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF AGRICULTURE AND WATER RESOURCES, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

ABCC defends focus on pursuing unions

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 23-Jan-20

Labor senator Tony Sheldon has accused the Australian Building & Construction Commission of unfairly targeting unions, while failing to give sufficient attention to the unlawful conduct of employers. Data from the ABCC shows that it has spent $3.179m on legal proceedings against unions, officials and employees since 2016, and just $164,336 on legal action against employers. The ABCC has successfully prosecuted the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy some 86 times over this period.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION COMMISSION, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Industry group wants climate policy on agenda in wake of bushfires

Original article by Mike Foley
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: Online : 23-Jan-20

Energy Minister Angus Taylor will hold a roundtable meeting with representatives of the nation’s power companies on 23 January. They will discuss the industry’s response to the bushfires crisis. Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox says the meeting should also address the issue of climate change. Craig Memery of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre says the agenda should include strategies to make the energy grid more resilient while avoiding a significant impost on consumers.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, PUBLIC INTEREST ADVOCACY CENTRE

Veteran banker to chair Westpac

Original article by John Durie, Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 15 & 16 : 23-Jan-20

Former ANZ Bank CEO John McFarlane is set to succeed Lindsay Maxsted as Westpac’s chairman. Maxsted will step down ahead of schedule in response to the bank’s breach of anti-money laundering laws. Sources have indicated that McFarlane was chosen due to factors such as his knowledge of the retail banking sector, his reputation as a ‘change agent’ and the fact that he has no prior links to Westpac. The major bank has yet to appoint a permanent successor to former CEO Brian Hartzer.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT. AUSTRALIAN TRANSACTION REPORTS AND ANALYSIS CENTRE

Malcolm Turnbull slams PM’s response to climate change and bushfires

Original article by Bevan Shields
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: Online : 23-Jan-20

Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has used a BBC interview to criticise his successor Scott Morrison over his handling of the bushfires crisis. Amongst other things, Turnbull has accused Morrison of misleading the public by downplaying the impact of climate change on the bushfires. He has also questioned why Morrison had ignored warnings from fire experts about the likely severity of the bushfire season. Turnbull has also called US President Donald Trump the world’s "leading climate denier" and doubled down on his criticism of News Corp’s stance on climate change.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, BRITISH BROADCASTING CORPORATION

It’s not just Forrest making a killing from Fortescue

Original article by Julie-anne Sprague, Robert Guy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 16 : 23-Jan-20

Fortescue Metals Group’s share price rose to a new record high of $12.69 on 22 January, extending the stock’s gain in the year-to-date to 18.7 per cent. The rally has seen the stake of founder and chairman Andrew Forrest rise to around $13.9bn; when his other investments are taken into account, Forrest’s estimated wealth is now about $15.9bn. Other Fortescue executives with an equity interest in the pure-play iron ore miner have also benefited from the stock’s rise, including CEO Elizabeth Gaines and deputy CEO Julie Shuttleworth.

CORPORATES
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG

Tourism’s $6.5bn pain: our worst summer ever

Original article by Emily Ritchie, Lisa Allen
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 23-Jan-20

Tourism Australia will launch a new domestic marketing campaign to bolster the local tourism industry in the wake of the bushfires crisis. Industry executives have estimated that the bushfires have cost the sector about $2bn to date; this takes into account factors such as lost revenue, cancelled bookings, and facilities that have been damaged or destroyed. It is also forecast that the impact of cancelled bookings by international tourists could potentially cost the economy an additional $4.5bn over the next 12 months.

CORPORATES
TOURISM AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN TOURISM INDUSTRY COUNCIL

Mercury gives up on Bauer buyout

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich, Leo Shanahan
The Australian – Page: 17 : 23-Jan-20

Bauer Media Australia CEO Brendon Hill has confirmed that private equity firm Mercury Capital has withdrawn its offer to acquire the magazine publisher. Hill added that Bauer is open to another approach from the private equity sector if the company’s proposed merger with Pacific Magazines goes ahead. The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission recently expressed concern about the potential impact of the merger on competition in the magazine sector.

CORPORATES
BAUER MEDIA AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, PACIFIC MAGAZINES PTY LTD, MERCURY CAPITAL PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM