ACM brings back bulk of print titles

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 30 : 29-Jun-20

Regional newspaper group Australian Community Media will shortly resume publishing at least 50 of the print mastheads that were suspended in April due to the coronavirus pandemic. The move affected about 80 non-daily titles, and sources have indicated that a decision has yet to be made as to when the remaining mastheads will resume publication. ACM CEO Allen Williams has urged regional communities to support their local newspapers to ensure that they are financially sustainable.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY MEDIA

Regional media to get $50 million lifeline

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 29-Jun-20

News publishers account for 92 of the 107 regional media companies that will receive a combined $50m in emergency relief funding under the federal government’s Public Interest News Gathering program. Some $20m has been allocated to TV broadcasters, publishers will receive $18m in total and radio broadcasters have been allocated $12m. The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a sharp fall in advertising revenue for the media sector.

CORPORATES

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

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.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

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

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.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN MINES AND METALS ASSOCIATION (INCORPORATED)

Elizabeth Gaines – the driving force behind Fortescue Metals Group

Original article by Rachel Pupazzoni
abc.net.au – Page: Online : 29-Jun-20

Pure-play iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group is seeking to diversify its operations under current CEO Elizabeth Gaines, who took the helm in 2018. This could include exploring for minerals such as copper and gold in South America and hydrogen in Western Australia. Gaines grew up in Halls Creek in the Kimberley region of WA, which has a large indigenous population. Her father was a local school headmaster, who actively sought to ensure that indigenous people were integrated into the broader community. Fortescue founder Andrew Forrest adopted a similar policy of full integration at the world’s fourth-biggest iron ore miner, where indigenous people account for 15 per cent of its Pilbara workforce.

CORPORATES
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG

News Corp spurns Google news deal

Original article by Natasha Gillezeau, Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 2 : 27-Jun-20

Google has struck deals with a number of Australian news publishers to pay for content, while it is talks with a number of others, including Australian Community Media. Google Australia MD Mel Silva says it will have to "wait and see" whether its new product offering will be impacted by the code of conduct that the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission is putting together to govern how technology companies deal with news publishers. News Corp Australasia executive chairman Michael Miller has accused Google of not being genuine, and of trying to take advantage of certain publishers when they are at their most vulnerable.

CORPORATES
GOOGLE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY MEDIA, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS

Resources exports to turn south

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 13 & 16 : 29-Jun-20

The federal government expects Australia’s mining and energy export earnings to fall 10 per cent to $263bn in 2020-21, after rising to a record $293bn in the 2019-20 financial year. The Department of Industry, Science, Energy & Resources has advised that iron ore export earnings are likely to have met its forecast of $100bn in 2019-20, given the resilience of the steel input’s price during the coronavirus pandemic. The department expects gold export earnings to reach a record $32bn in 2020-21, although revenue from LNG and coal exports is forecast to fall.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INDUSTRY, SCIENCE, ENERGY AND RESOURCES

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