Australia to spend $270bn building larger military to prepare for poorer, more dangerous world

Original article by Jade Macmillan, Andrew Greene
abc.net.au – Page: Online : 1-Jul-20

The federal government will shift the focus of its defence policy to the Indo-Pacific, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison warning of a heightened risk of conflict in the region in the post-coronavirus environment. The government will increase its defence budget by $270bn over the next 10 years. Amongst other things, it is expected to spent about $800m on long-range anti-ship missiles from the US which have a much larger range than Australia’s current generation of missiles. About 800 additional Australian Defence Force members are expected to be recruited over the next decade, while the defence R&D budget will include research into hypersonic weapons.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Fair Work backs penalty rates waiver

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 1-Jul-20

The Australian Services Union has failed in its bid to end flexible working arrangements for administrative employees who are covered by the clerks award. The ordinary hours of work for clerical employees while telecommuting were extended beyond traditional working hours in response to the coronavirus. The deal regarding overtime and penalty rates was initially slated to end on 30 June, but the full bench of the Fair Work Commission has agreed to extend it until the end of September.

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AUSTRALIAN SERVICES UNION, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION

Jobs clawback sees 250,000 return to work

Original article by Patrick Commins
The Australian – Page: 5 : 1-Jul-20

New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that the number of employees on companies’ payrolls has increased by 2.7 per cent since mid-April. This equates to about 250,000 workers, and follows an 8.8 per cent fall in payrolled jobs in the four weeks from 14 March. However, there are still 670,000 fewer workers on companies’ payrolls than prior to the coronavirus pandemic. The figures are based on payrolls data from the Australian Taxation Office.

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AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS, AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE

Victoria reimposes drastic lockdowns in 10 hard-hit COVID hotspots across Melbourne

Original article by
The New Daily – Page: Online : 1-Jul-20

Victoria reported a total of 64 new coronavirus cases on 30 June, prompting the state government to reimpose stage three lockdowns in 36 suburbs in Melbourne’s north and west for four weeks from 11.59pm on 1 July. Residents in the postcodes of 3012, 3021, 3032, 3038, 3042, 3046, 3047, 3055, 3060 and 3064 will only be allowed to leave their homes to go to work or school, for care or care giving, for daily exercise or to buy food and other essential items until at least 29 July. Police will be deployed to enforce the lockdown in the coronavirus hotspot suburbs.

CORPORATES

ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence drops 4.5 pts to 93.0 after COVID-19 cases surge in Melbourne

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 1-Jul-20

ANZ-Roy Morgan Australian Consumer Confidence fell 4.5pts to 93.0 in the week to 27/28 June, and is now at its lowest since May 23/24 (92.7). Consumer Confidence is 25.9pts lower than a year ago (118.9) and 2.1pts below the 2020 weekly average of 95.1. Now 21% (down 2ppts) of Australians say their families are ‘better off’ financially than this time last year (the lowest figure for this indicator since May 9/10), while 35% (down 1ppt) say their families are ‘worse off’ financially. Meanwhile, 34% (down 1ppt) of Australians expect their family to be ‘better off’ financially this time next year (the lowest figure for this indicator since April 25/26), and 19% (up 1ppt) expect to be ‘worse off’ financially. Just 7% (down 3ppts) expect ‘good times’ for the Australian economy over the next 12 months, while 45% (up 5ppts) expect ‘bad times’. In addition, 36% (down 2ppts) of Australians say now is a ‘good time to buy’ major household items, while 34% (up 3ppts) say now is a ‘bad time to buy’. The four-week moving average for ‘inflation expectations’ was stable at 3.2%.

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

JobKeeper too costly to keep

Original article by Sarah Turner
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 24 : 29-Jun-20

A quarterly survey of economists shows that there is general consensus that while the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme has been effective, it needs to have an end date. JobKeeper is slated to end in late September, and Warren Hogan from the University of Technology, Sydney says the increase in the JobSeeker payment could be extended by six months to accommodate JobKeeper recipients who have not returned to work when the scheme ends. The survey has also found that economists expect the Australian economy to contract by four per cent in 2020, while the unemployment rate will peak at eight per cent by the end of the year.

CORPORATES
UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, SYDNEY

Twenty years on, burning platform is here for GST reform: Ken Henry

Original article by John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 36 : 29-Jun-20

Former Treasury secretary Ken Henry has called for an overhaul of Australia’s tax system in response to the coronavirus-induced recession. Henry was a top tax adviser to the Howard government when it introduced the goods and services tax. Former federal treasurer Peter Costello says Australia’s tax system has become increasingly complex since the GST was introduced two decades ago, arguing that it needs to be simplified. He concedes that the GST base should have been broader with fewer exemptions; however, he is cautious about expanding it now, arguing that ‘populist politics’ in the Senate could result in even more exemptions than at present.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

ANZ-Roy Morgan New Zealand Consumer Confidence up 7.2pts to 104.5 in June

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 29-Jun-20

ANZ-Roy Morgan New Zealand Consumer Confidence rose 7.2 points to 104.5 in June, but is still well under its historical average. Consumers’ perceptions of their current financial situation lifted 4 points to +4; the wage subsidy scheme and lower interest rates have countered job losses, but this remains a subdued level. A net 32% of consumers expect to be better off financially this time next year, up 9 points. Meanwhile, a net 5% of consumers think it is a good time to buy a major household item, back in the black after a big bounce but unfortunately still recessionary. Perceptions regarding the next year’s economic outlook lifted another 9 points but remains very low at -37%. The five-year outlook broke with the pack, falling 5 points to 19%.

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

Reform to offset slump in mine jobs

Original article by Joe Kelly
The Australian – Page: 6 : 29-Jun-20

The Australian Mines & Metals Association has warned that the coronavirus pandemic could result in the loss of between 24,000 and 48,000 jobs in the resources and energy sector in the absence of any new projects. AMMA CEO Steve Knott argues that this would be offset by $250bn worth of proposed projects in the sector that would create 100,000 jobs by 2026. However, he says the federal government’s industrial relations working group on greenfields agreements must secure backing for a proposal to allow new workplace deals to cover the entire construction phase of new projects. Members of the working group met for the first time on 26 June.

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AUSTRALIAN MINES AND METALS ASSOCIATION (INCORPORATED)

Australian Defence Force on coronavirus war footing

Original article by Rebecca Urban
The Australian – Page: 1 & 5 : 29-Jun-20

Victoria reported a total of 90 new coronavirus cases on the weekend of 27-28 June, and there are now 231 active cases in the state. Premier Daniel Andrews has flagged the possibility of imposing a ‘stay-at-home’ order on residents in suburbs that have been identified as coronavirus hotspots. Australian Defence Force personnel assisted in carrying out more than 40,000 coronavirus tests in these suburbs on the weekend. Meanwhile, the state government has advised that people who have returned from overseas will now face a 10-day extension of their two-week quarantine period if they refuse to be tested for the virus.

CORPORATES
VICTORIA. DEPT OF PREMIER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE