More big firms to get capex break

Original article by Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 11 : 23-Nov-20

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is to expand the federal government’s business expense tax break so that more large companies can access it, with legislation to enact the changes to be introduced. Large companies that will now be able to access the scheme will include Coca-Cola Amatil and Boral, while large companies that will remain excluded include Wesfarmers, BHP, Telstra and Rio Tinto. Frydenberg says around 50 companies employing over 150,000 people are expected to benefit from the scheme’s expansion

CORPORATES
COCA-COLA AMATIL LIMITED – ASX CCL, BORAL LIMITED – ASX BLD, WESFARMERS LIMITED – ASX WES, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, TELSTRA CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX TLS, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, INSURANCE AUSTRALIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX IAG

News firms in stand for fairer future

Original article by James Madden
The Australian – Page: 19 : 23-Nov-20

Some of Australia’s top media industry executives have jointly signed an ‘open letter’ to the federal government expressing support for its proposed media bargaining code. The letter also outlines the features that must be included in the code to ensure a level playing field between traditional media companies and digital platforms such as Facebook and Google. Seven West Media CEO James Warburton, News Corp Australia executive chairman Michael Miller and Free TV CEO Bridget Fair are amongst those who signed the letter, which will be published in all major metropolitan newspapers on 23 November.

CORPORATES
SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, FREE TV AUSTRALIA LIMITED, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, GOOGLE INCORPORATED

Consumer groups savage responsible lending plan

Original article by Paul Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 19 : 23-Nov-20

The federal government’s proposed changes to responsible lending laws have been attacked by a consortium of consumer rights advocacy groups. In a submission to the government’s inquiry into the proposed changes, the groups have labelled them as "fundamentally defective". They note that the changes represent a direct contradiction of the banking royal commission’s first recommendation, namely that the National Consumer Credit Protection Act should not be revised to alter the "obligation to assess unsuitability".

CORPORATES
CONSUMER CREDIT LEGAL SERVICE, CONSUMER ACTION LAW CENTRE, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY

Labor bans all MPs from sexual relationships with their staff

Original article by Latika Bourke
The Age – Page: Online : 12-Nov-20

The conduct of federal MPs has come under renewed scrutiny in the wake of an ABC report on the extramarital activities of cabinet ministers Christian Porter and Alan Tudge. Labor leader Anthony Albanese has announced that all of his party’s MPs will be prohibited from having intimate relations with members of their staff. The federal government’s so-called ‘bonk ban’ applies only to ministers rather than backbenchers. It was introduced by former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull following a series of indiscretions by Coalition MPs.

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AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

ALP cries JobTaker as wage subsidy gets over the line

Original article by Rosie Lewis
The Australian – Page: 1 & 5 : 12-Nov-20

The Senate has voted 30-28 to pass the federal government’s JobMaker bill without any amendments, after One Nation and Centre Alliance agreed to back the legislation. One Nation had previously indicated that it would support an amendment proposed by Labor that was designed to prevent employers from sacking existing staff and hiring younger workers in order to qualify for the subsidy. One Nation has rejected suggestions that it made a ‘side deal’ with the government.

CORPORATES
ONE NATION PARTY, CENTRE ALLIANCE, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

March target to vaccinate five million

Original article by Natasha Robinson
The Australian – Page: 5 : 12-Nov-20

Health Minister Greg Hunt says the federal government aims to begin distributing COVID-19 vaccines in March. The government has agreed to purchase 10 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine, which would enable five million Australians to be inoculated. The Therapeutic Goods Administration has granted a provisional determination for both the Pfizer vaccine candidate and one being developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University. The TGA hopes to approve the vaccines for use in Australia in January.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HEALTH, PFIZER INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIA. THERAPEUTIC GOODS ADMINISTRATION, ASTRAZENECA PLC, OXFORD UNIVERSITY

Union roasting for Labor: you are out of step

Original article by Greg Brown
The Australian – Page: 4 : 12-Nov-20

The fallout from Joel Fitzgibbon’s resignation from federal Labor’s frontbench over the party’s stance on climate change is continuing. Labor MP Mark Dreyfus has accused Fitzgibbon of being "out of step" with regional Australians on environmental policy; however, former ACTU president Jennie George contends that the only people who are out of step are Labor MPs who have failed to note the outcome of the 2019 election, which saw voters reject Labor’s climate policies. Peter Jordan of the construction union says Fitzgibbon has merely been trying to get Labor back in touch with its traditional supporter base.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ACTU, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA

Labor looks to amend JobMaker subsidy over concerns older workers could be sacked

Original article by Katharine Murphy
The Guardian Australia – Page: Online : 9-Nov-20

Labor has yet to decide whether to support the federal government’s JobMaker hiring credit scheme, which will be debated in the Senate on 9 November. However, senior Labor sources have indicated that the Opposition will seek amendments to the draft legislation to ensure that employers cannot sack older staff and replace them with workers under the age of 35 in order to qualify for the subsidy. The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union has called for labour hire firms to be excluded from the scheme, arguing that they could exploit loopholes in the draft legislation.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN MANUFACTURING WORKERS’ UNION

Australia warned it could be isolated over climate inaction after Joe Biden victory

Original article by Adam Morton
The Guardian – Page: Online : 9-Nov-20

President-elect Joe Biden has set a net zero emissions for the US of no later than 2050, while he has committed to rejoining the Paris climate agreement. Howard Bamsey, Australia’s former special envoy on climate change, suspects the topic will come up in Biden’s first or second conversation with Prime Minister Scott Morrison, while former Australian diplomat to the UN Dean Bialek says Australia risks being further isolated as a "climate laggard" if it adheres to its current inaction.

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UNITED STATES. EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Scott Morrison congratulates Joe Biden on US election win and flags Australian visit in 2021

Original article by Katharine Murphy
The Guardian Australia – Page: Online : 9-Nov-20

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison says his government looks forward to working with president-elect Joe Biden and his administration in addressing issues such as COVID-19 and climate change. Morrison adds that his government will continue to work with the Trump administration until Biden’s inauguration on 20 January, noting that the Australia-US alliance has become stronger under Trump. Morrison also says that he will invite Biden to visit Australia to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the ANZUS treaty in 2021.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, UNITED STATES. EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT