Perenti rocked by terror attack in Africa

Original article by Brad Thompson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 27 : 8-Nov-19

Mining services company Perenti Global has been caught up in a deadly terrorist attack on a convoy of buses in the West African nation of Burkina Faso. The attack happened around 40 kilometres from Semafo’s Bongou gold mine, with people on the buses including employees of Semafo, Perenti Global’s Africa Mining Services, and other contractors. The attack has left at least 37 dead and 60 wounded, with the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade saying at this stage it is not aware that any Australians were killed or wounded in the attack. Perenti has not disclosed how many AMS staff were on the buses in the convoy, which was being escorted by military police.

CORPORATES
PERENTI GLOBAL LIMITED – ASX PRN, SEMAFO INCORPORATED

Independent contractors a major issue for Fair Work Ombudsman

Original article by Cara Waters
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: Online : 5-Sep-18

Sandra Parker supports comments by Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan that there are two grey areas regarding the distinction between employee and contractor that need clarification. One area that Jordan has identified is whether workers are paid to deliver a result or are paid for services provided; the other is if a worker gets 80 per cent of their income from one source, it is deemed to be income, even if they are a contractor. Parker, who was recently appointed as the new Fair Work Ombudsman, was speaking at a recent business summit. She also told the summit that she intended to continue the focus of her predecessor Natalie James on small business.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK OMBUDSMAN, FOODORA AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, VODAFONE AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Spotless accused of scam to underpay cleaners

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 7 : 26-Jul-18

United Voice alleges that Spotless Group was part of a conspiracy to cheat cleaning staff at Myer stores out of wages and entitlements. The union has launched legal action against Spotless, claiming that 58 cleaners had been required to register as independent contractors rather than employees. They were therefore not entitled to superannuation or penalty rates, and were paid a flat hourly wage that was below the award rate. Spotless has denied that it had engaged in sham contracting. United Voice is seeking penalties of at least $A1m.

CORPORATES
SPOTLESS GROUP HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX SPO, UNITED VOICE, MYER HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX MYR, INCI CORP PTY LTD, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, MAURICE BLACKBURN PTY LTD

Consultancy spend alarms union, MPs

Original article by Edmund Tadros, Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 7 : 22-Jan-18

MPs are concerned about the level of money that federal government departments are spending on consultants and contractors. Almost 5,000 consultants are employed across government agencies, and the Community & Public Sector Union estimates that $A380 million could be saved each year by replacing them with permanent public servants. Accenture and the four major accounting firms are estimated to have made more than $A3 billion over a five-year period from federal government contracts.

CORPORATES
COMMUNITY AND PUBLIC SECTOR UNION, ACCENTURE AUSTRALIA LIMITED, KPMG AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS AUSTRALIA (INTERNATIONAL) PTY LTD, ERNST AND YOUNG, DELOITTE TOUCHE TOHMATSU LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL AUDIT OFFICE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF DEFENCE, AUSTRALIA. JOINT COMMITTEE OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS AND AUDIT, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HUMAN SERVICES, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, AUSTRALIA. NATIONAL DISABILITY INSURANCE AGENCY, VICTORIA. DEPT OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, JOBS, TRANSPORT AND RESOURCES

No-case sacking violates a basic freedom: Cash

Original article by Joe Kelly, Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 21-Sep-17

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says workers should not be sacked due to their views on same-sex marriage, while Employment Minister Michaelia Cash has urged employers to respect Australians’ right to freedom of expression. Capital Kids Parties’ owner Madlin Sims has caused a furore after retrenching a contractor who opposed marriage equality. The Fair Work Ombudsman would have no jurisdiction over the termination of a contractor’s employment, although lawyers say the sacking may breach anti-discrimination laws in the Australian Capital Territory.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EMPLOYMENT, CAPITAL KIDS PARTIES, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK OMBUDSMAN, BRADLEY ALLEN LOVE, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT

Ichthys key to CIMIC bid for UGL

Original article by James Thomson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15/20 : 11-Oct-16

Shares in listed engineering contractor UGL closed 48.6 per cent higher at $A3.18 on 10 October 2016, in response to a takeover bid from CIMIC Group. The cash offer of $A3.15 per share values the bid at $A524m, but Allan Gray Australia MD Simon Mawhinney argues that it will be difficult to assess the bid until UGL updates investors on its Ichthys LNG contracts. UGL’s 2015-16 financial accounts included a provision of $US200m associated with its Ichthys construction contracts.

CORPORATES
UGL LIMITED – ASX UGL, CIMIC GROUP LIMITED – ASX CIM, ALLAN GRAY AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, CITIGROUP PTY LTD, HOCHTIEF AG, GRUPO ACS, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, BT INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT LIMITED – ASX BTT, UBIQUE ASSET MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, DEVINE LIMITED – ASX DVN, SEDGMAN LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. FOREIGN INVESTMENT REVIEW BOARD, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION

Rio’s pay delay gambit may fail

Original article by Paul Garvey
The Australian – Page: 20 : 12-Apr-16

Mining industry sources doubt that Rio Tinto will be able to enforce its revised payment terms for contractors and suppliers. The resources giant recently advised that it will pay invoices 90 days after receipt, compared with 45 days at present, and up from 30 days in 2015. Some industry watchers have suggested that the new payment schedule is more likely to apply to Rio’s future contracts, as suppliers will need to agree to any changes to existing arrangements.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, MONADELPHOUS GROUP LIMITED – ASX MND, WORLEYPARSONS LIMITED – ASX WOR, MACMAHON HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX MAH, AUSDRILL LIMITED – ASX ASL, NRW HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NWH, BRIERTY LIMITED – ASX BYL, BHP BILLITON LIMITED – ASX BHP

Fortescue keeps contract in-house to cuts costs

Original article by Paul Garvey
The Australian – Page: 20 : 5-Apr-16

Downer EDI’s contract to provide mining services at Fortescue Metals Group’s Christmas Creek iron ore mine will not be renewed when it expires in September 2016. Fortescue has already dispensed with mining contractors at its other iron ore mines, and CEO Nev Power says the move will result in further cost reductions. Downer EDI has previously estimated that the contract was worth $A720m, but says its financial results for fiscal 2016 are unlikely to be affected.

CORPORATES
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, DOWNER EDI LIMITED – ASX DOW, MACMAHON HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX MAH

CIMIC in $256m hostile bid for Sedgman

Original article by Jenny Wiggins
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 : 14-Jan-16

Australian-listed CIMIC Group is seeking full ownership of engineering firm Sedgman, in which it holds a 37 per cent stake. Sedgman’s shares closed at $A0.79 on 13 January 2016, compared with CIMIC’s cash offer of $A1.07 per share. Sedgman will commission an independent expert’s report before making a recommendation to shareholders regarding the bid. CIMIC launched the bid after Sedgman rejected a number of requests, which included a second board representative.

CORPORATES
CIMIC GROUP LIMITED – ASX CIM, SEDGMAN LIMITED – ASX SDM, GRUPO ACS, HOCHTIEF AG, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, BARMINCO PTY LTD, AUSDRILL LIMITED – ASX ASL, MORGANS FINANCIAL LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. FOREIGN INVESTMENT REVIEW BOARD, DEVINE LIMITED – ASX DVN

FIRB clears China Communications acquisition of John Holland

Original article by Jenny Wiggins
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 20 : 9-Apr-15

Leighton Holdings’ sale of defence contractor John Holland to China Communications Construction Company has been cleared by the Foreign Investment Review Board. Federal Treasury Joe Hockey says the $A1bn deal does not raise any national interest concerns. John Holland is estimated to have undertaken some $A470m worth of construction contracts for the Department of Defence in 2014

CORPORATES
LEIGHTON HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX LEI, JOHN HOLLAND PTY LTD, CHINA COMMUNICATIONS CONSTRUCTION GROUP LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. FOREIGN INVESTMENT REVIEW BOARD, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF DEFENCE, THE STOCK EXCHANGE OF HONG KONG LIMITED, WORLD BANK, CHINA ROAD AND BRIDGE CORPORATION, AUSTRALIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE ORGANISATION