Closure threat over union agreement OK: Fair Work

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 23-Aug-19

The Electrical Trades Union has indicated that it may launch coercion proceedings in the Federal Court regarding an enterprise agreement at New South Wales-based DDP Electrical Services, which excluded the ETU. The Fair Work Commission approved the agreement despite a letter from DDP to its staff which claimed that it would be out of business within six months if the ETU was successful in negotiating a new agreement. The FWC found that the warning was not a breach of ‘good faith bargaining’, as workers were still given a choice between a union and non-union agreement.

CORPORATES
DDP ELECTRICAL SERVICES, ELECTRICAL TRADES UNION, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION

Top lawyers warn ASIC against hasty moves

Original article by Hannah Wootton
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 33 : 23-Aug-19

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg recently indicated that the federal government aims to pass 40 pieces of legislation in response to the Hayne royal commission’s recommendations by the end of 2020. It wants 90 per cent of relevant legislation to be implemented by mid-2020. However, corporate lawyers have stated that problems could arise if the government and the Australian Securities & Investments Commission persist with their "ambitious deadlines" for implementing the commission’s recommendations.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB

Band-Aid plans to push up power bills

Original article by Mark Ludlow, Angela Macdonald-Smith, Natasha Gillezeau
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 7 : 23-Aug-19

Claims that Australia could suffer from power blackouts during the 2019-20 summer reflect the need for a co-ordinated national energy policy, according to Energy Users Association of Australia CEO Andrew Richards. He says asking big power users to again take part in voluntary load shedding to help prevent blackouts represents a "Band-Aid on top of another Band-Aid". His comments regarding the need for a co-ordinated energy plan have been echoed by ERM Power CEO executive Jon Stretch.

CORPORATES
ENERGY USERS ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA, ERM POWER LIMITED – ASX EPW, AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL

Discrimination rise feeds gender pay gap

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 5 : 22-Aug-19

Research by KPMG has concluded that discrimination against women accounts for 39 per cent of the gender pay gap. The research also found that although women are just as likely as their male colleagues to ask for a pay rise, women are much less likely to actually receive an increase. Workplace Gender Equality Agency director Libby Lyons says addressing the gender pay gap requires action on the issue of "ingrained" gender stereotypes.

CORPORATES
KPMG AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. WORKPLACE GENDER EQUALITY AGENCY, GLASSDOOR INCORPORATED

Victoria risk of blackouts as grid wilts

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith, Mark Ludlow
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 22-Aug-19

The Australian Energy Market Operator has warned that there is a significant risk that Victoria will face electricity blackouts during the 2019-20 summer. It has released a report which notes that the state will not meet the required standard for electricity supply reliability during the coming summer months, citing factors such as unplanned outages at AGL Energy’s Loy Yang power station and Origin Energy’s Mortlake gas plant. AEMO also says there is a high risk of blackouts in Victoria over the next decade unless there is increased power generation.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN ENERGY MARKET OPERATOR LIMITED, AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, ORIGIN ENERGY LIMITED – ASX ORG, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, ENERGYAUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY

PM expects Pell to be stripped of his honours

Original article by Liz Main, Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 22-Aug-19

Cardinal George Pell may seek special leave to appeal to the High Court after Victoria’s Court of Appeal rejected his bid to have his conviction on historical child abuse charges overturned. The court ruled 2-1 against Pell’s appeal, and legal experts say the dissenting judgment by Justice Mark Weinberg may increase the chances of special leave being granted. Justice Weinberg ruled that Pell’s conviction should have been overturned. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Pell could be stripped of his Order of Australia. Pell was jailed for a minimum of three years and eight months in March.

CORPORATES
COURT OF APPEAL (VICTORIA), HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR-GENERAL

Chinese trade pullback could cost $25bn

Original article by David Rogers
The Australian – Page: 17 & 27 : 22-Aug-19

Andrew Boak of Goldman Sachs warns that the fallout from the US-China trade war could eventually hit Australia. He says growing tensions between Australia and China could potentially result in a sharp fall in Chinese demand for key Australian exports, including education and commodities such as iron ore and coal. Goldman Sachs suggests that in a worst-case scenario, lower Chinese demand could reduce Australia’s GDP growth rate by 130 basis points in 2020.

CORPORATES
GOLDMAN SACHS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, HUAWEI TECHNOLOGIES COMPANY LIMITED, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG

Shorten’s union faces probe over inflated figures

Original article by Brad Norington
The Australian – Page: 4 : 22-Aug-19

The Australian Worker’s Union is under scrutiny over its membership data, with the issue being the subject of long-running correspondence between the union and the Registered Organisations Commission. The ROC asked the AWU to undertake an internal audit of its membership numbers in 2018, amid concerns that the numbers may have been overstated. A preliminary analysis shows that the AWU had 69,786 members in 2017, compared with 139,329 in 2012. Former Labor leader Bill Shorten headed the AWU prior to entering parliament in 2007.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN WORKERS’ UNION-FEDERATION OF INDUSTRIAL, MANUFACTURING AND ENGINEERING EMPLOYEES, AUSTRALIA. REGISTERED ORGANISATIONS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, GETUP LIMITED

PM commits warship, planes to Gulf mission

Original article by Geoff Chambers, Simon Benson, Ben Packham
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 22-Aug-19

The federal government will join a US-led coalition that aims to protect oil tankers when passing through the Strait of Hormuz. The national security committee approved Australia’s participation on 19 August; the nation’s contribution to the coalition will include a frigate, a surveillance aircraft and 187 personnel. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has stressed the need to safeguard the nation’s oil supplies and to protect global sea lanes. He notes that 30 per cent of Australia’s refined oil passes through the Strait of Hormuz.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE, UNITED STATES. DEPT OF STATE, UNITED STATES. EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT, GROUP OF SEVEN (G-7), AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Dramatic fall in enterprise agreement delays

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 21-Aug-19

Data from the Fair Work Commission shows that it took an average of 35 days to approve enterprise bargaining agreements in the last six months, and an average of just 30 days in the 2018-19 financial year. The FWC has previously attracted criticism from the Australian Mines & Metals Association, which claimed that the average time it takes to approve an EBA had blown out to 76 days. AMMA CEO Steve Knott says delays in approving EBAs are being exacerbated by the way the FWC applies the ‘better-off-overall test’.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN MINES AND METALS ASSOCIATION (INCORPORATED), AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EMPLOYMENT, SKILLS, SMALL AND FAMILY BUSINESS