Unions demand detail of Australia’s free trade deal with UK citing concerns for workers

Original article by Katharine Murphy
The Guardian Australia – Page: Online : 17-Jun-21

ACTU president Michele O’Neil has urged the federal government to begin consultations with the union movement regarding the details of its ‘in-principle’ free-trade agreement with the UK. She says both governments have been secretive throughout the negotiations, and the proposed trade deal has not be subject to independent, union or public scrutiny. O’Neil is concerned that labour market testing rules will be watered down; she notes that a fact sheet released by the UK government suggests that Australian companies will no longer be required to prioritise hiring local workers.

CORPORATES
ACTU

Less than $20m for lockdown payments

Original article by Patrick Commins
The Australian – Page: 5 : 17-Jun-21

Data from Services Australia shows that 42,784 in Victoria received the federal government’s Temporary COVID Disaster Payment during the second week of the state’s latest lockdown. The temporary scheme, which provides a grant of up $500 for people who lose income due to a lockdown of at least seven days, has cost $19,684,000 since Melbourne entered the second week of the lockdown that ended on 10 June. This is significantly less than Treasurer Josh Frydenberg had forecast when the scheme was announced. Melbourne residents must submit applications for the grant by 2 July.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. SERVICES AUSTRALIA

Vic Liberal leadership rumblings resurface as Coalition closes gap on Labor

Original article by Annika Smethurst, Paul Sakkal, Michael Fowler
The Age – Page: Online : 17-Jun-21

Victoria’s Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien survived a leadership spill in March, but there is believed to be a renewed push to oust him. Sources have indicated that state and federal Liberal Party MPs had discussed seeking a leadership spill on 22 June, but there had been insufficient numbers to move against O’Brien. The Victorian Liberals’ partyroom is said to be divided, with some MPs supporting either O’Brien or former party leader Matthew Guy, while others do not support either of them. A number of Victorian federal MPs are also pushing for Guy to replace O’Brien ahead of the state election in 2022.

CORPORATES
LIBERAL PARTY OF VICTORIA, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA

Australia’s minimum wage rises 2.5% but increase delayed for pandemic-hit industries

Original article by Sarah Martin
The Guardian Australia – Page: Online : 17-Jun-21

The Fair Work Commission has rejected the ACTU’s push for the minimum wage to be increased by 3.5 per cent, or $26.38 per week. The nation’s lowest-paid workers will instead receive an extra $18.80 a week, lifting the minimum wage to $20.33 an hour or $772.60 a week. The minimum wage rose by 1.75 per cent ($13 a week) in 2020, and FWC president Iain Ross says the larger increase in 2021 is warranted given the economic rebound. The above-inflation wage rise will generally take effect on 1 July, but the FWC has again delayed the increase for workers in sectors that have been hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The wage rise will be delayed until September for employees covered by the general retail award and November for workers in sectors such as aviation and tourism.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, ACTU

‘Victoria is a powder keg’: Experts fear virus still circulating as testing rate drops

Original article by Melissa Cunningham
The Age – Page: Online : 17-Jun-21

Victoria has reported five new locally-acquired COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, although two had previously been disclosed and they are all linked to existing clusters. Meanwhile, infectious diseases experts believe that there are undetected cases of COVID-19 in the community and the risk of such transmission will increase as COVID-19 restrictions are eased. The state government has confirmed that some restrictions will be relaxed from 11.59pm on 17 June. Amongst other things, Melburnians will be permitted to visit regional areas and face masks will no longer be compulsory outdoors unless social distancing is not possible.

CORPORATES

‘Slightly sanctimonious’: Media baron John B. Fairfax urges publishers to look beyond profits

Original article by Zoe Samios
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: Online : 17-Jun-21

Australian businessman John B. Fairfax has criticised media companies that responded to the pandemic-induced downturn in advertising revenue by sacking staff and discontinuing the print editions of some newspapers. He notes that News Corp and Australian Community Media in particular adopted a "pretty harsh attitude", with the closure of many regional newspapers and some printing plants. Fairfax argues that media companies should not focus solely on profits, and they must recognise their responsibility to provide quality journalism to the communities they serve.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY MEDIA PTY LTD

Two Covid cases in Sydney, as authorities investigate possible hotel leak

Original article by Mary Ward, Pallavi Singhal
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: Online : 17-Jun-21

New South Wales has recorded two locally-transmitted COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, ending a 40-day run with no cases outside of hotel quarantine. A man in his 60s has tested positive, as has a close contact who lives with him. The man works as a driver, and his passengers have included international flight crew. Health authorities are undertaking genomic sequencing and contact-tracing to determine the source of the infection, and have identified a number of exposure sites in Sydney’s east. NSW Health is also seeking to determine how a returned traveller in hotel quarantine contracted the Alpha strain; the person was on the same flight from Doha as a couple who stayed in the adjacent hotel room and subsequently were diagnosed with this strain.

CORPORATES
NEW SOUTH WALES. MINISTRY OF HEALTH

Insurers hit with flood of storm claims

Original article by Lachlan Moffet Gray
The Australian – Page: 18 : 17-Jun-21

Insurance Australia Group is the latest insurer to advise that its natural hazard allowance for 2020-21 is set to be exceeded as a result of the recent storms in Victoria. IAG says it has received about 4,300 claims arising from the storms to date, which will result in its net natural peril claim costs rising to at least $720m for the financial year. IAG had previously advised that its peril claims costs for the year would be within the range of $660m to $700m, following storms on the east coast earlier in 2021; it has a perils allowance of just $658m for the financial year.

CORPORATES
INSURANCE AUSTRALIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX IAG

Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction Awards 2020: Australia’s winning retailers announced

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 17-Jun-21

The annual Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction Awards were awarded in locked down Melbourne in early June. As usual, the awards in the retail category went to a mix of first timers and veterans. Among those enjoying their moment in the customer satisfaction spotlight for the first time were Schnitz as the Quick Service Restaurant of the Year with six monthly customer satisfaction awards and Chemist Warehouse as Chemist/Pharmacy of the Year. There were seven repeat winners led by Myer as Department Store of the Year for a sixth straight year, Bunnings Warehouse as Hardware Store of the Year for a fourth year in a row, Rebel as Sports Store of the Year for the sixth consecutive year and perhaps most impressively of all The Reject Shop confirming its dominance in the field as the Discount Variety Store of the Year for the ninth year running (2012-2020). First Choice Liquor (Liquor Store of the Year), The Athlete’s Foot (Shoe Store of the Year) and Subway (Major Quick Service Restaurant of the Year) all built on their victories in 2019 to complete back-to-back victories in their respective categories for the first time.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED

ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence up 0.3pts to 111.0 after Melbourne’s two-week lockdown ends but restrictions remain

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 17-Jun-21

ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence rose 0.3pts to 111.0 on June 12/13, after Melbourne’s two-week lockdown ended, although restrictions remain including a 25km travel limit. Consumer Confidence is just below the 2021 weekly average of 111.3, but it is 13.5pts higher than the same week a year ago (97.5). Now 27% (down 2ppts) of Australians say their families are ‘better off’ financially than this time last year, while 28% (up 2ppts) say their families are ‘worse off’ financially. In addition, 39% (down 1ppt) of Australians expect their family to be ‘better off’ financially this time next year, and 15% (up 1ppt) expect to be ‘worse off’ financially. Some 18% (down 2ppts) of Australians expect ‘good times’ for the Australian economy over the next 12 months, while 15% (down 3ppts) expect ‘bad times’. Meanwhile, 45% (up 4ppts) of Australians say now is a ‘good time to buy’ major household items, while 25% (unchanged) say now is a ‘bad time to buy’.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ