Australia to spend $270bn building larger military to prepare for poorer, more dangerous world

Original article by Jade Macmillan, Andrew Greene
abc.net.au – Page: Online : 1-Jul-20

The federal government will shift the focus of its defence policy to the Indo-Pacific, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison warning of a heightened risk of conflict in the region in the post-coronavirus environment. The government will increase its defence budget by $270bn over the next 10 years. Amongst other things, it is expected to spent about $800m on long-range anti-ship missiles from the US which have a much larger range than Australia’s current generation of missiles. About 800 additional Australian Defence Force members are expected to be recruited over the next decade, while the defence R&D budget will include research into hypersonic weapons.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

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.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

L-NP (50.5%) holds narrow lead over ALP (49.5%) a week before the Eden-Monaro by-election

Original article by Michele Levine
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 26-Jun-20

Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine says "The L-NP Government (50.5%) has a narrow two-party preferred lead over the ALP (49.5%) ahead of next week’s Eden-Monaro by-election. Playing on the minds of local electors will be the response of PM Scott Morrison and the L-NP to the twin crises of 2020 – devastating bushfires in the summer and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Both have had a huge impact on Eden-Monaro with the destruction of forests and property and also halting tourism to the region for months. Morrison was widely criticised for his handling of the bushfires but has redeemed himself and the Government in response to the pandemic shown by the surge in the Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating which has recovered from a record low of 80 during the bushfires and is now at a very high 124 in mid-June."

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ROY MORGAN LIMITED, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Qantas job shock sparks airline help

Original article by Phillip Coorey, Lucas Baird
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 8 : 26-Jun-20

The federal government is set to provide a coronavirus assistance package for the nation’s airlines in the wake of plans by Qantas to retrench 6,000 employees. Prime Minister Scott Morrison says it is clear that the sector will continue to require government assistance when the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme ends in late September. He has flagged the possibility of extending JobKeeper or providing an industry-specific support package. Morrison has previously rejected a request from Virgin Australia to extend the JobKeeper scheme.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, QANTAS AIRWAYS LIMITED – ASX QAN, VIRGIN AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX VAH

Cash warns banks to reduce tap and go fees

Original article by James Eyers
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 12 : 26-Jun-20

The Minister for Small and Family Business, Michaelia Cash, says retailers have complained that banks are not offering to send ‘tap and go’ payments down the cheapest payment network. Previous research has indicated that retailers could be paying up to $550 million in extra transaction fees a year because banks are sending payments through the more expensive networks operated by Visa and Mastercard than via the cheaper Eftpos network. Cash has called on the banks to offer ‘least cost routing’ to retailers, whereby transactions are automatically processed through the network that charges the lowest fee.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EMPLOYMENT, SKILLS, SMALL AND FAMILY BUSINESS

Anthony Albanese vows to set new medium-term emissions reduction target

Original article by Katharine Murphy, Adam Morton
The Guardian Australia – Page: Online : 25-Jun-20

Labor leader Anthony Albanese has used a National Press Club speech to call for a bipartisan approach to energy policy. He has also indicated that Labor will set a new medium-term carbon emissions reduction target prior to the next federal election. Labor has a long-term target of achieving net zero emissions by 2050, and Albanese says the medium-term target will be based on scientific advice. Employers’ groups such as the Business Council of Australia have expressed support for Labor’s stance.

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AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA

Late payers put on notice

Original article by Robert Gottliebsen
The Australian – Page: 21 : 25-Jun-20

The federal government proposes to introduce a new supplier payments disclosure regime for businesses with turnover of $100m or more. They will be required to submit regular reports on how quickly they pay the invoices of small business suppliers. The disclosure regime takes effect at the start of 2021, but the 3,000 or so large enterprises that will be affected need to start preparing for it immediately. The proposed Payment Times Reporting Regulator will be responsible for enforcing the legislation and determining whether a supplier is a small business for the purposes of the disclosure regime.

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Moody’s sticks to AAA rating

Original article by John Kehoe, Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 24-Jun-20

Moody’s Investors Service expects the Australian economy to contract by five per cent in 2020 due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Moody’s notes that the fall in GDP growth will be lower than many other developed nations, and it expects Australia to return to positive growth in 2021. Moody’s has also affirmed Australia’s AAA credit rating; rivals S&P Global Ratings and Fitch have previously placed the nation’s credit rating on negative outlook, but Australia is only one of 10 nations that have an AAA rating from all three agencies. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has described this as an "expression of confidence" in the federal government’s handling of the health crisis.

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MOODY’S INVESTORS SERVICE INCORPORATED, S&P GLOBAL RATINGS, FITCH RATINGS LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

Third media report in a year

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 29 : 22-Jun-20

The federal government has issued a tender for an independent report on the media industry. The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development & Communication will pay up $220,000 for the report, which will examine both the existing business models for the media sector and the regulatory regimes in other countries. The government previously received two separate reports on the regional broadcasting sector in late 2019 and early 2020, although this will not be a specific focus of the new report.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORT, REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND COMMUNICATIONS

Australia very unlikely to allow foreign tourists this year

Original article by Hans van Leeuwen
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 18-Jun-20

Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham has conceded that Australia’s borders are likely to remain closed to international visitors for the rest of 2020. He says the nation’s strict border controls have contributed to its success in containing the coronavirus’s spread. Recent data shows that there was a 99.7 per cent downturn in international arrivals in April as lockdown restrictions took effect. The federal government hopes travel between Australia and New Zealand can resume before the end of the year.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORT, REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND COMMUNICATIONS