Census system rebuilt and ready to go

Original article by Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 9 : 12-Apr-21

The Australian Bureau of Statistics is hoping for 95 per cent participation in the 2021 census, which will take place on 10 August. The ABS has engaged Amazon Web Services, the Australian Cyber Security Centre and PwC to redesign and bolster the systems that operate and protect the census as it seeks to avoid the major failures that hit the 2016 one. Around 63 per cent of Australian households completed the 2016 census online, and the ABS is hoping to increase that figure to 75 per cent in 2021, while around 38,000 temporary jobs will be created as part of the 2021 census.

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AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS, AMAZON WEB SERVICES LLC, AUSTRALIAN CYBER SECURITY CENTRE, PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS

New Zealand Labour/Greens lead by over 20% points in March with women’s support for Labour underpinning the big lead

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 12-Apr-21

The latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll on voting intention shows that support for the Labour/Greens government was down 1% point to 57.5% in March. However, support for the Labour Party was up 0.5% points to 45.5% in March, while support for the Greens dropped 1.5% points to 12%. Support for the National Party dropped 6% points to 23% in March. The National Party is now 22.5% points behind Labour – the largest gap since last year’s election when National trailed Labour by 24.4% points. Meanwhile, Act NZ now has the support of 11% of electors, up by 3.5% points from February. This is a record high level of support for Act NZ, beating the previous record of 10.5% set in November 2020 following the election. Support for the Maori Party is unchanged at 1% in March. This latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll on voting intention was conducted by telephone – both landline and mobile – with a New Zealand-wide cross-section of 924 electors during March

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ROY MORGAN LIMITED, MORGAN POLL, LABOUR PARTY (NEW ZEALAND), GREEN PARTY OF AOTEAROA NEW ZEALAND, NATIONAL PARTY OF NEW ZEALAND, ACT NEW ZEALAND, THE MAORI PARTY

Rio was legally cramped to go harder on execs

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 16 : 12-Apr-21

Rio Tinto has attracted much criticism over its generous severance packages in the wake of the Juukan Gorge scandal. However, the head of Rio Tinto’s remuneration committee has told the annual general meeting in London that the board had decided that it was not legally able to cancel the termination payouts of former CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques and two other senior executives. The issue of Juukan Gorge was not raised by British shareholders, although it is likely to receive attention at the Australian leg of Rio Tinto’s annual general meeting on 6 May.

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RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO

PM shelves vaccination targets

Original article by Remy Varga
The Australian – Page: 4 : 12-Apr-21

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has advised that the federal government will not set a revised target for all Australians who want to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to receive their first dose. Morrison said there are too many uncertainties regarding the vaccine rollout to set a new target, although he stated that the preference is still for all first doses to be administered by the end of 2021. The government has ordered an additional 20 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine following a recommendation that people under the age of 50 should not be given the AstraZeneca vaccine due to concerns about blood clotting.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, ASTRAZENECA PLC, PFIZER INCORPORATED

Are the Murdochs preparing to unleash Fox News on Australia?

Original article by Zoe Samios
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: Online : 12-Apr-21

Revelations that Fox Media LLC has sought to register the Fox News International trademark in Australia has prompted speculation that the Murdoch family will add content from US cable channel Fox News to its local streaming services. The Fox News International streaming app is now available in 30 countries, following its launch in Mexico in August. Fox News is currently broadcast on Foxtel, but making it available via streaming would increase its local reach. News Corp is said to be planning to launch a news-focused streaming service called NewsFlash later in 2021.

CORPORATES
FOX CORPORATION, FOX MEDIA LLC, FOX NEWS INTERNATIONAL, FOX NEWS CHANNEL, FOXTEL MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS

Australians still set to take the vaccine: but opinion is divided on PM Scott Morrison’s handling of all COVID-19 related issues

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 12-Apr-21

Now 83% of Australians have either already been vaccinated (7%), are willing to be vaccinated (69%) or would be willing to be vaccinated once the Pfizer vaccine becomes available (7%) – a total of 83% and an increase of 3% points since February, according to a special Roy Morgan Snap SMS survey conducted on Friday April 9 and Saturday April 10, 2021. Although the vast majority of Australians across all ages, genders, States and political party allegiances are willing to take the vaccine or have already done so, there is a political divide. Only 13% of L-NP voters say they will not be vaccinated, while more than 1-in-5 Labor and Green voters and those who vote for Independents and other parties express unwillingness to be vaccinated. The nation is evenly split on Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s handling of all COVID-19 related issues with 51% disapproving of Morrison’s handling of the pandemic and 49% approving. Clear majority support for Morrison’s handling of all COVID-19 related issues is recorded among Australians aged 65+, people in country areas, NSW, Queensland, WA and Tasmania, as well as L-NP supporters. In contrast a majority of younger Australians, women, people in capital cities and Victoria as well as supporters of the ALP and Greens disapprove.

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ROY MORGAN LIMITED, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN GREENS, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Consolidation looms for local lenders

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 13 & 16 : 12-Apr-21

Global payments and financial services technology group Fiserv processes about one out of every eight payment transactions in Australia. Kees Kwakernaak, the CEO of Fiserv’s Australian arm, expects further consolidation in the local banking sector in coming years. Kwakernaak anticipates mergers at the smaller end of the market in particular. However, he says consolidation in the sector is unlikely to deter non-bank financial services providers from entering the domestic market. Kwakernaak also anticipates greater collaboration among banks, which will be facilitated by initiatives such as the open banking regime.

CORPORATES
FISERV INCORPORATED

Coalition rebuffed over need for coal-fired power stations

Original article by Greg Brown
The Australian – Page: 4 : 12-Apr-21

A report from the Grattan Institute has concluded that gas will play a key as Australia transitions to a net-zero emissions electricity grid. The report also cautions against shifting to complete reliance on renewables; it contends that the electricity grid can shift to 70-90 per cent renewables in the 2040s with no major impact on the affordability or reliability of the electricity system. Grattan Institute director Tony Wood adds that there is no need to build new coal-fired power stations or to refurbish existing ones to extend their operational life.

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GRATTAN INSTITUTE

Banks grilled on plans for Suncorp

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 13 & 16 : 12-Apr-21

The CEOs of Australia’s four major banks will appear before a parliamentary committee on 15 and 16 April. Shadow assistant treasurer Andrew Leigh says he will seek a commitment from the CEOs that they will not seek to acquire Suncorp’s banking division should it be put on the market. He also wants to them to rule out any further acquisitions in the financial technology sector. The housing market, cyber security, lending standards and the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic are also likely to be among the issues raised by the economics committee.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES STANDING COMMITTEE ON ECONOMICS, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Nine ads hit in cyber fallout

Original article by James Madden
The Australian – Page: 19 : 12-Apr-21

A Nine Entertainment Company spokesman has declined to comment on media industry claims that the recent cyber attack has cost it several hundred thousand dollars in lost radio advertising revenue. The spokesman says there has been "minimal impact" on ad bookings; however, Nine is believed to still be having problems with the ad booking and placement system for its radio stations, and some of Nine’s clients are said to have placed ads with rival radio broadcasters since the cyber attack occured in late March.

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NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC