IR reforms could save billions in back pay

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 2-Dec-20

The federal government’s industrial relations omnibus bill will be put before parliament before it rises for the year. The bill is expected to be discussed at a cabinet meeting on 2 December, along with a proposed legislative response to the Workpac v Rossato case. The Federal Court ruled that casual staff who work "regular and predictable" hours are entitled to benefits such as paid annual leave in addition to a casual loading. The government is believed to be considering reforms that would allow employers to use a casual worker’s 25 per cent loading to help offset any retrospective leave liability.

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FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

Bright future ahead: OECD forecasts great things for Australia

Original article by Patrick Commins
The Australian – Page: 1 & 5 : 2-Dec-20

The OECD is upbeat about the outlook for the Australian economy, forecasting that it will grow by 3.2 per cent in 2021. This compares with its previous forecast of 2.5 per cent. The domestic economy is now expected to contract by just 3.8 per cent in 2020, rather than 4.1 per cent as forecast by the OECD in September. The Paris-based organisation has also cautioned against withdrawing fiscal and monetary policy support prematurely. Meanwhile, economists have forecast that the economy grew by between 2.8 per cent and four per cent in the September quarter, ahead of the release of national accounts data on 2 December.

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ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT

States on $500bn debt binge

Original article by Adam Creighton
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 2-Dec-20

Centre for Independent Studies research fellow Robert Carling says that rising state government debt means that some states could have their credit ratings downgraded in coming years. Analysis of state governments’ Budget papers show that their combined debt will top $491bn by mid-2024, compared with just $200bn in June 2020. Carling contends that while some of the increase in debt is inevitable, some states are taking on more debt than necessary. Chris Richardson of Deloitte Access Economics in turn says rising debt is better than the alternative of lower debt and an unemployment rate that is higher for longer.

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THE CENTRE FOR INDEPENDENT STUDIES LIMITED, DELOITTE ACCESS ECONOMICS PTY LTD

CBA faces penalty over rates slug

Original article by Joyce Moullakis, David Ross
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 16 : 2-Dec-20

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission has launched legal action against the Commonwealth Bank of Australia over allegations that it breached financial services laws. ASIC contends that customers with business overdraft accounts were charged incorrect interest rates between December 2014 and March 2018. CBA has advised that 2,269 customers who were overcharged during this period have been reimbursed $3.74m in total. ASIC is seeking pecuniary penalties and other orders.

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COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA

House prices on track for record high by February

Original article by Ingrid Fuary-Wagner
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 31 : 2-Dec-20

Data from CoreLogic shows that residential property prices rose by 0.8 per cent nationwide in November. House prices increased by 0.4 per cent month-on-month in Sydney, while Melbourne’s housing market recorded 0.7 per cent growth following a decline in October. Tim Lawless of CoreLogic says the housing market could be on track to recover from the coronavirus-induced downturn by January or February, assuming the current growth momentum is sustained.

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CORELOGIC AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Rio head’s trip to heal Juukan Gorge wounds

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 2-Dec-20

A Rio Tinto spokesman has confirmed that chairman Simon Thompson has met with members of the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura people in Western Australia. Thompson was forced to quarantine for 14 days on arrival from the UK, before visiting the site where ancient indigenous rock shelters at Juukan Gorge were destroyed by Rio Tinto’s blasting program. The federal government is undertaking a parliamentary inquiry into the incident, which resulted in the departure of three senior Rio Tinto executives, including CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques.

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RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO

Seven aims to make cricket pay

Original article by Ben Horne, Peter Lalor
The Australian – Page: 24 & 22 : 2-Dec-20

The Seven Network alleges that it has suffered significant commercial damage due to Cricket Australia’s changes to its match schedule for the 2020-21 summer. Australia was originally slated to play three Tests against India before Christmas, but CA has delayed two of these matches until the new year, while the revised schedule saw the cricket season begin with a six-match One-Day International series that is exclusive to Fox Sports. CA has cited the coronavirus pandemic as the key reason for changes to the schedule, but Seven contends that the Board of Control for Cricket in India exerted pressure to make the changes.

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SEVEN NETWORK LIMITED, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, CRICKET AUSTRALIA, BOARD OF CONTROL FOR CRICKET IN INDIA

Santos sticks to gas, earmarking $1bn for Narrabri development

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 16 : 2-Dec-20

Santos CEO Kevin Gallagher says the oil and gas producer will not diversify into renewable energy or electricity generation. He contends that global demand for fuels will remain strong for a long time, while gas will play a major role in reducing carbon emissions over coming decades. Meanwhile, Santos expects to make a final investment decision on its Narrabri gas project in the first half of 2023, with the first phase of its development slated to cost $US650m. Santos has also advised that its Barossa LNG project will cost significantly less to develop than initially forecast.

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SANTOS LIMITED – ASX STO

Sandfire bets on new Botswana mine

Original article by Brad Thompson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 19 : 2-Dec-20

Sandfire Resources will proceed with the development its T3 copper mine in Botswana, with production slated to commence in early 2023. Sandfire will initially produce about 30,000 ounces of a gold a year at T3, which could increase to at least 50,000 tonnes annually via the nearby A4 deposit. The T3 project will offset the looming loss of copper production from Sandfire’s ageing DeGrussa mine in Western Australia, which is nearing the end of its mine life. However, Sandfire plans to begin gold production at DeGrussa.

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SANDFIRE RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX SFR

ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence up 3pts to 107.5 as confidence grows about Australia’s economic performance over the next year

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 2-Dec-20

ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence rose 3pts to 107.5 on November 28/29. It is now 12.3pts above the 2020 weekly average of 95.2 and only 0.6pts lower than a year ago (108.1). Now 24% (up 1ppt) of Australians say their families are ‘better off’ financially than this time last year, while 31% (down 1ppt) say their families are ‘worse off’ financially. In addition, 38% (down 1ppt) of Australians expect their family to be ‘better off’ financially this time next year, and 15% (down 1ppt) expect to be ‘worse off’ financially. Some 17% (up 3ppts) of Australians expect ‘good times’ for the Australian economy over the next 12 months, while 23% (down 4ppts) expect ‘bad times’ (the lowest figure for this indicator since April 2019). Meanwhile, 41% (up 1ppt) of Australians say now is a ‘good time to buy’ major household items, while 25% (down 4ppts) say now is a ‘bad time to buy’.

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