Finch trade-off breaks Adani mine stalemate

Original article by Sarah Elks, Michael McKenna, Charlie Peel
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 24-May-19

The Queensland government is set to reveal a timeframe for approving the environmental plans for Adani’s proposed Carmichael coal mine. Adani Mining CEO Lucas Dow has welcomed the government’s commitment to set a timetable for approving the plans, after meeting with the state’s Co-ordinator-General and Department of Mining officials on 23 May. The department is expected to approve Adani’s management plan for the black-throated finch within weeks, having rejected it earlier in May.

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ADANI MINING PTY LTD, QUEENSLAND. DEPT OF THE PREMIER AND CABINET, QUEENSLAND. OFFICE OF THE CO-ORDINATOR GENERAL, QUEENSLAND. DEPT OF ENVIRONMENT AND HERITAGE PROTECTION, QUEENSLAND RESOURCES COUNCIL LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA

Coal being phased out faster than expected, BHP warns investors

Original article by Killian Plastow
The New Daily – Page: Online : 24-May-19

BHP has indicated that it has no plans to increase its thermal coal portfolio. CFO Peter Beaven says it expects the thermal coal market to plateau over time, before declining. Jason Aravanis of IBISWorld says demand for black coal is expected to fall by around six per cent a year by 2024, with most of that fall coming from thermal coal. Demand for coking coal, which is used to make steel, is expected to remain sound. The Department of Industry, Innovation & Science’s Resources and Energy Quarterly report for March had forecast that thermal coal export earnings are likely to hit a record $27 billion in 2018-19, before falling to $20 billion by 2023-24.

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BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, IBISWORLD PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INDUSTRY, INNOVATION AND SCIENCE, GLENCORE PLC, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, MINERAL COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA

Band of Nats’ women MPs defies blokey image

Original article by Rosie Lewis
The Australian – Page: 5 : 24-May-19

The National Party is on track to have up to six female representatives in the new parliament, compared with two previously. Senator Bridget McKenzie says the Nationals have exploded the myth that only women from the left of politics want to be in parliament. Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals leader Michael McCormack says its female MPs have gotten into parliament on their merits and without the need for quotas.

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NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA

Anthony Albanese to be Labor leader, as Chalmers quits race

Original article by Samantha Maiden
The New Daily – Page: Online : 24-May-19

Labor’s finance spokesman Jim Chalmers has withdrawn from the party’s leadership ballot, paving the way for Anthony Albanese to succeed Bill Shorten unopposed. Chalmers has cited factors such as his young family as reasons for his decision not to seek the leadership, although he is seen as a frontrunner to become deputy leader. Clare O’Neil and Richard Marles are also believed to considering a tilt at the deputy leadership.

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AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Treasurer’s tariff plea to Trump

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 2 : 24-May-19

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has urged US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to "amicably" bring an end to the trade war with China. Frydenberg made his plea after Mnuchin rang to congratulate him on the re-election of the Coalition government. Council of Small Businesses of Australia CEO Peter Strong says that up to 15 per cent of Australian small businesses trade globally, so the current trade tensions are causing them great concern.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, UNITED STATES. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, COUNCIL OF SMALL BUSINESS ORGANISATIONS OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED, ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA

Industry seeks action on energy

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith, Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 9 : 24-May-19

Coca-Cola Amatil CEO Alison Watkins has urged the Coalition government to target energy reform during its current term of office, while Alumina CEO Mike Ferraro says electricity prices need to fall if the Portland aluminium smelter is to remain viable. Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox says there needs to be more reward for energy users who reduce their consumption at times when the electricity grid is under stress, while Energy Users Association of Australia head Andrew Richards says the government needs to make the ongoing transition to cleaner energy more efficient.

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COCA-COLA AMATIL LIMITED – ASX CCL, ALUMINA LIMITED – ASX AWC, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, ENERGY USERS ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA, INCITEC PIVOT LIMITED – ASX IPL, BRICKWORKS LIMITED – ASX BKW, CSR LIMITED – ASX CSR, BLUESCOPE STEEL LIMITED – ASX BSL

Geoffrey Rush awarded almost $2.9 million after defamation win

Original article by Jamie McKinnell
abc.net au – Page: Online : 24-May-19

Nationwide News has been ordered to pay nearly $2.9 million in damages to Hollywood actor Geoffrey Rush. He was found to have been defamed by ‘The Daily Telegraph’ over allegations that he had behaved inappropriately towards actress Eryn Jean Norvill during a Sydney Theatre Company production of ‘King Lear’. Rush’s payment includes $850,000 for general and aggravated damages, $919,678 for future economic loss and $42,000 in interest. Rush’s barrister Sue Chrystanthou noted there had been an offer to settle for $50,000, but Nationwide News had instead chosen to mount a truth defence.

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SYDNEY THEATRE COMPANY, NATIONWIDE NEWS PTY LTD

Agents feel post-election pick-up

Original article by Michael Bleby, Tim Boyd
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 24-May-19

AMP Capital’s chief economist Shane Oliver is predicting that Sydney and Melbourne house prices will not fall as far as previously expected, and that prices will bottom out by the end of 2019, rather than during 2020. Oliver cites the federal election result, which put an end to uncertainty regarding negative gearing and capital gains tax, as one reason for his change of forecast. Other factors that suggest a pickup in housing sentiment include expectations that the Reserve Bank will cut interest rates soon and the Coalition government’s plan to assist first-home buyers.

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AMP CAPITAL INVESTORS LIMITED, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

No-win, no-fee prevails in AMP class action face-off

Original article by Michael Pelly
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 24-May-19

Five law firms filed class actions against AMP in the wake of ‘the fee for no service’ scandal that was unearthed by the banking royal commission. However, NSW Supreme Court Justice Julie Ward ruled on 23 May that only one action, which is a combined effort between Slater & Gordon and Maurice Blackburn, can proceed. Ward said Maurice Blackburn will have to put up $5 million as security for AMP’s expenses, while AMP advised in a statement that it intend to vigorously defend the class action.

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AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, SUPREME COURT OF NEW SOUTH WALES, SLATER AND GORDON LIMITED – ASX SGH, MAURICE BLACKBURN PTY LTD, QUINN EMANUEL URQUHART AND SULLIVAN LP, SHINE LAWYERS, PHI FINNEY McDONALD PTY LTD

Banks bluffing on NZ lending threats: former PM

Original article by James Eyers
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 & 20 : 24-May-19

Former New Zealand prime minister Bill English has concerns about the Reserve Bank of NZ’s plans to require the local subsidiaries of Australia’s big four banks to increase their capital levels. S&P Global Ratings has estimated that the banks would need to raise an additional $8.1 billion, given that Australia’s four major banks have an 86 per cent share of the NZ lending market. English is worried that the move will make the banks more complacent about risk management, although he doubts that they will go ahead with threats to reduce lending in New Zealand.

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RESERVE BANK OF NEW ZEALAND, S&P GLOBAL RATINGS, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, STOCKBROKERS AND FINANCIAL ADVISERS ASSOCIATION LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY