Regional outlets plead for government help

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 19 : 6-Apr-20

Free TV Australia CEO Bridget Fair has warned that the coronavirus pandemic is likely to reduce revenue across the media sector by 40-50 per cent. Regional broadcasters are holding talks with the federal government regarding financial assistance; they are believed to have cited factors such as the complexity of their operations, their large broadcast areas and the fact that metropolitan affiliates receive a significant proportion of their revenue. The print media is also struggling, with publication of some regional and community newspapers having been suspended due to the pandemic.

CORPORATES
FREE TV AUSTRALIA LIMITED, WIN CORPORATION PTY LTD, SOUTHERN CROSS MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX SXL, PRIME MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX PRT, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY MEDIA, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, BAUER MEDIA AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, PACIFIC MAGAZINES PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORT, REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND COMMUNICATIONS

Big super warns of cash-in risk

Original article by Joanna Mather, Tony Boyd, Aleks Vickovich
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 8 : 3-Apr-20

Treasury has forecast that about $27bn in total will be withdrawn from superannuation funds after the federal government relaxed the rules governing early access for people who have been impacted by the pandemic. AustralianSuper CEO Ian Silk notes that industry estimates suggest that withdrawals could top $50bn. He adds that some super funds may struggle to cope with a big increase in withdrawals, but stresses that it will not be an issue for AustralianSuper. Silk also warns that a surge in withdrawals will affect the super industry’s capacity to invest in and recapitalise businesses when the crisis abates.

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AUSTRALIANSUPER PTY LTD

Qantas monopoly risk if Virgin is allowed to fail, warns boss

Original article by Lucas Baird, Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 & 18 : 3-Apr-20

Virgin Australia CEO Paul Scurrah has dismissed suggestions that the struggling airline is seeking a federal government bailout. He argues that the $1.4bn loan facility that Virgin is seeking would have to be repaid eventually. Scurrah also warns that Qantas could emerge with a long-term monopoly in the domestic market if Virgin collapses. The government would allow a new entrant to the market, but CAPA Centre for Aviation chairman Peter Harbison says regulatory approvals would take some time, which would further entrench Qantas’s market dominance.

CORPORATES
VIRGIN AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX VAH, QANTAS AIRWAYS LIMITED – ASX QAN, CAPA – CENTRE FOR AVIATION

Business loan relief in bailout expansion

Original article by Geoff Chambers, Simon Benson
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 30-Mar-20

The major banks will announce on 30 March that companies with loans totalling up to $10 million will be able to defer payments for six months in order to help save jobs during the coronavirus crisis. It is understood that the federal government will expand its 50 per cent loan guarantee for to small and medium enterprises to big business, while the Australian Banking Association will build on its previously announced small business support package with additional assistance measures.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BANKING ASSOCIATION

Politics is killing productivity, says McKibbin

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 12-Mar-20

Professor Warwick McKibbin of the Australian National University warns that productivity reform will not be achieved without support from both sides of politics. The former Reserve Bank board member has told a business summit that the political system is the biggest hurdle to achieving such reform. Meanwhile, Business Council of Australia CEO Jennifer Westacott has called for an overhaul of the enterprise bargaining regime, arguing that it is no longer working.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA

Fair Work in grip of ALP influence

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 6 : 20-Feb-20

The Australian Mines & Metals Association has expressed concern that Labor appointees have dominated the rulings made by the Fair Work Commission in recent years. AMMA says that 94 per cent of cases heard by the full bench of the FWC between 2017 and 2019 were presided over by Labor appointees. AMMA CEO Steve Knott adds that four members of the FWC – all appointed by Labor – heard 87 per cent of the cases during this period. He says AMMA has raised the issue with Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN MINES AND METALS ASSOCIATION (INCORPORATED), AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Bank concerns don’t apply to us: super funds

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 16 : 6-Feb-20

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia has questioned the need to expand the Banking Executive Accountability Regime to include super funds and insurers. ASFA CEO Martin Fahy describes the proposal as an ‘overkill’, and he argues that the super industry is already subject to tough regulation. He adds that the proposal will discourage product innovation and affect funds’ returns. Australian Banking Association CEO Anna Bligh has expressed support for extending the regime beyond the bank sector.

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THE ASSOCIATION OF SUPERANNUATION FUNDS OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN BANKING ASSOCIATION, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY

Employers push for Fair Work review

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 9 : 3-Feb-20

The Australian Mines & Metals Association has called for a review of the Fair Work Commission, as well as the appointment of seven new commissioners over the next year. AMMA CEO Steve Knott has outlined a number of concerns about the FWC in a letter to Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter. They include the lengthy delays in approving workplace agreements and claims that the allocation of full bench cases tends to favour Labor appointees.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN MINES AND METALS ASSOCIATION (INCORPORATED), AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EMPLOYMENT, SKILLS, SMALL AND FAMILY BUSINESS, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT

Industry group wants climate policy on agenda in wake of bushfires

Original article by Mike Foley
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: Online : 23-Jan-20

Energy Minister Angus Taylor will hold a roundtable meeting with representatives of the nation’s power companies on 23 January. They will discuss the industry’s response to the bushfires crisis. Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox says the meeting should also address the issue of climate change. Craig Memery of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre says the agenda should include strategies to make the energy grid more resilient while avoiding a significant impost on consumers.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, PUBLIC INTEREST ADVOCACY CENTRE

Big business, blazes put heat on surplus

Original article by Geoff Chambers
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 21-Jan-20

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has stressed that it is too soon to estimate the likely impact of the bushfires crisis on the economy and the federal government’s projected Budget surplus for 2019-20. He is believed to be considering whether to include new tax incentives for the business sector in the May Budget. However, Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox says the government should introduce an investment allowance immediately in order to stimulate the economy. The Business Council of Australia also recently called for a new investment allowance.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA