Skills crisis at critical level: CEOs

Original article by Ewin Hannan, Sascha O’Sullivan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 8-Aug-19

Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox has urged the federal government to take action to address the nation’s skilled labour shortage. Willox says the situation is particularly urgent given the number of major infrastructure projects that will be undertaken in coming years. He has written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison arguing the need for a national approach to the issue, noting that the number of people undertaking apprenticeship and traineeship programs fell to 259,385 in 2018, compared with 446,000 in 2012.

CORPORATES
THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENTS

Home Affairs fights to restrict media

Original article by Mark Schliebs
The Australian – Page: 6 : 7-Aug-19

The Department of Home Affairs has used its submission to a parliamentary inquiry into press freedom to argue that the existing rules governing police search warrants are adequate. The Right to Know Coalition recently told the inquiry that the media industry should have the right to challenge warrants that are used to gather evidence against journalists. Home Affairs has contended that there is the potential for material evidence to be destroyed if there is advance notice that a warrant is to be issued. The ABC has rejected this suggestion, arguing that the destruction of ­evidence is a criminal offence under existing laws.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HOME AFFAIRS, AUSTRALIA. PARLIAMENTARY JOINT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY, AUSTRALIA’S RIGHT TO KNOW COALITION OF MEDIA COMPANIES, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC

Media coalition seeks right to fight warrants

Original article by Leo Shanahan
The Weekend Australian – Page: 8 : 3-Aug-19

The Right to Know Coalition has used its submission to a parliamentary inquiry into freedom of the press to call for changes to the rules governing the issuance of police warrants. The coalition, which comprises 14 media companies and organisations, argued amongst other things that the media industry should have the right to challenge warrants that are used to gather evidence against journalists, and that all such applications should be put to an independent judge in open court. The inquiry was commissioned in response to the recent media raids.

CORPORATES
RIGHT TO KNOW COALITION, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HOME AFFAIRS

Adani-style red tape tops Canberra’s hit-list

Original article by Andrew Tillett
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 5-Aug-19

The federal government will announce on 5 August that the Productivity Commission will be asked to examine the approvals process for resource projects. This coincides with the announcement by Ben Morton, the Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister, of his intention to adopt a sector-by-sector approach to abolishing unnecessary regulation. Morton says he expects businesses to pass on any benefits that result from this review to the broader economy.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, ADANI MINING PTY LTD

Super, insurance chiefs to face MPs

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 7 : 26-Jul-19

The CEOs of insurance companies and superannuation funds will be required to appear before federal parliament’s Standing Committee on Economics at least once a year. Bank CEOs have had to front the committee regularly since 2016, and the heads of industry groups such as the Australian Banking Association will now also be asked to do so. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has defended the government’s slow response to implementing the Hayne royal commission’s recommendations, stressing the need to proceed with caution to avoid any unintended consequences.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES STANDING COMMITTEE ON ECONOMICS, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN BANKING ASSOCIATION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Energy policy, IR changes urgent

Original article by Richard Ferguson
The Australian – Page: 7 : 26-Jul-19

Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox has backed comments by top bureaucrat Martin Parkinson on the nation’s declining productivity rate. Willox says that uncertainty regarding energy and carbon emissions policy has contributed to Australia’s underperformance in terms of productivity growth, and he has urged action on these issues. Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry CEO James Pearson has in turn stressed the need for industrial relations reforms in order to lift productivity. Parkinson will shortly retire as the head of the Department of the Prime Minister & Cabinet.

CORPORATES
THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ACTU

Browse project delays trigger lease warning

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 20 : 19-Jul-19

The retention lease for the Browse gas field expires in mid-2020, but Woodside Petroleum does not expect to make a final investment decision on the project until the end of that year. Resources Minister Matt Canavan has held meetings with executives from Woodside and Browse partner Shell, and he is said to have sought an update on progress regarding the project. Canavan and the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator have previously flagged the potential for the Browse partners to forfeit their leases under ‘use it or lose it’ provisions.

CORPORATES
WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LIMITED – ASX WPL, ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INDUSTRY, INNOVATION AND SCIENCE, AUSTRALIA. NATIONAL OFFSHORE PETROLEUM TITLES ADMINISTRATOR, CREDIT SUISSE (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS

Bill will scare off vendors: Telstra

Original article by Supratim Adhikari
The Australian – Page: 27 : 19-Jul-19

The federal government’s encryption laws have attracted criticism from a range of sectors, including the technology industry and civil liberties groups. In its submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence & Security, Telstra claimed that the legislation will make international vendors reluctant to share new devices and technology with Australian telcos. Telstra also contends that the legislation has the potential to disrupt network services.

CORPORATES
TELSTRA CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX TLS, AUSTRALIA. PARLIAMENTARY JOINT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY

Hydro project wins $610m federal loan

Original article by Mark Ludlow
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 12-Jul-19

Genex Power will receive a $610m loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility for its proposed pumped hydro project in Queensland. NAIF CEO Laurie Walker notes that the project will provide northern Queensland with an additional 250 megawatts of power, with EnergyAustralia in the process of concluding a deal to receive electricity from the project. The concessional loan is the largest allocation made by the $5 billion NAIF to date.

CORPORATES
GENEX POWER LIMITED – ASX GNX, NORTHERN AUSTRALIA INFRASTRUCTURE FACILITY, ENERGYAUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, J-POWER AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, QUEENSLAND. DEPT OF ENERGY AND WATER SUPPLY

Labor urged to speed up dud policy review

Original article by Greg Brown, Rachel Baxendale
The Australian – Page: 2 : 11-Jul-19

Labor has come under scrutiny for delaying a decision on key policies – including changes to the negative gearing and franking credits regimes – until a review of its 2019 federal election campaign is completed. Property Council of Australia CEO Ken Morrison argues that Labor should ditch these policies, as voters have rejected them at two elections. Wilson Asset Management chairman Geoff Wilson says the franking credits policy is flawed and inequitable, and was a key factor in Labor’s election defeat.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, PROPERTY COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED, WILSON ASSET MANAGEMENT, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY