Upgraded NBN a more attractive takeover target

Original article by Sally Patten
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 2 : 28-Sep-20

Telstra chairman John Mullen has welcomed the federal government’s decision to upgrade the national broadband network by rolling out fibre-to-the-premises to more households and businesses. He says the NBN will be easier to maintain than the current hybrid system, which includes fibre-to-the-node and the existing copper network. Amid speculation that the NBN will eventually be sold, Mullen says the upgraded network will be more attractive to potential investors, including Telstra’s own infrastructure division. However, InfraCo would need to be demerged in order to buy the NBN.

CORPORATES
TELSTRA CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX TLS,INFRACO,NBN CO LIMITED

Stimulus sparks 15pc surge in company profits

Original article by Patrick Commins
The Australian – Page: 4 : 1-Sep-20

Government stimulus measures such as the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme contributed to a sharp rise in gross operating profits in the corporate sector during the June quarter. Seasonally adjusted figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that operating profits rose by 15 per cent overall. However, sectors whose sales have been hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic recorded much bigger growth in profits; these include hospitality (86 per cent higher than the March quarter), arts and recreation (up 84 per cent) and retailing (up 31 per cent). Economists had expected a six per cent fall in profits.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS

Migration, tax reform key to revival

Original article by Geoff Chambers
The Australian – Page: 4 : 24-Aug-20

The Australian Industry Group has urged the federal government to pursue major changes to the nation’s tax system. The employers’ group says long-term tax reform measures should include an overhaul of the goods and services tax, the abolition of mining royalties and replacing fuel excise with road-user charges. It has also called for scheduled personal income tax cuts to be brought forward and business income tax relief to be extended. The AiGroup also wants the migrant cap to be increased, with priority given to skilled migrants.

CORPORATES
THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP

Business groups push to open international borders for economic boost

Original article by Jennifer Duke
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: Online : 20-Aug-20

Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry CEO James Pearson is among the business leaders who have urged the federal government to re-open the nation’s international borders as soon as possible. He describes it as a "critically important step" in the Australian economy’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and he argues that domestic markets cannot sustain high employment and living standards. Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox and Business Council of Australia CEO Jennifer Westacott have also called for international travel restrictions to be eased as soon as possible.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA

Thatcher claim fighting words to Labor, ACTU

Original article by Joe Kelly
The Australian – Page: 4 : 27-Jul-20

Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry CEO James Pearson has backed a push to extend temporary changes to the Fair Work Act for employers that will not be eligible for the JobKeeper scheme after September. He has urged Labor and the ACTU to support extending the emergency measures, which allow bosses to vary the hours an employee works and the duties they perform. Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers has expressed concern that the federal government wants to adopt an industrial relation policy similar to that of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ACTU

Business in push to fast-track tax cuts

Original article by Rosie Lewis, Joe Kelly
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 15-Jul-20

The Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry has used its pre-budget submission to call for comprehensive tax reform, including bringing forward legislated personal income tax cuts. The ACCI also advocates a gradual reduction in the JobSeeker allowance to pre-coronavirus levels, while it says the domestic economy will be vulnerable to further shocks for several years due to the impact of COVID-19. Meanwhile, a Menzies Research Centre paper argues that all of the national cabinet’s decisions on coronavirus lockdowns measures should be subject to a cost-benefit analysis. The report by economists Henry Ergas and Joe Branigan was written before the new virus outbreaks in Melbourne and Sydney.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, THE MENZIES RESEARCH CENTRE LIMITED

JobKeeper could send firms broke

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 14-Jul-20

The federal government will announce details of its revised JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme on 23 July, when it will also release an economic update. Council of Small Business Organisations Australia CEO Peter Strong says JobKeeper has enabled employers to retain staff. However, he warns that many businesses will need to think carefully about signing up for the revised scheme, as employees on JobKeeper are accruing entitlements such as annual leave that will have to be paid out if they are laid off. These will have to be paid from cash reserves if the company is not making a profit.

CORPORATES
COUNCIL OF SMALL BUSINESS ORGANISATIONS OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Covid strategy clarion call

Original article by Greg Brown, Rachel Baxendale
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 13-Jul-20

Business Council of Australia CEO Jennifer Westacott says the nation cannot afford to maintain a ‘stop-start’ approach to re-opening the economy. She stresses that Australia needs to learn to live with the coronavirus, as it may be two years before a vaccine is available. Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox has expressed similar sentiments, arguing that the nation’s response to the pandemic must be "proportionate and logical", rather than "hysterical and irrational". Flight Centre CEO Graham Turner has called for a nationally consistent strategy in dealing with the pandemic.

CORPORATES
BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, FLIGHT CENTRE TRAVEL GROUP LIMITED – ASX FLT

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)

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.

CORPORATES