NAB faces legal hit over pay shortfall

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 13 & 19 : 26-May-21

National Australia Bank included a pre-tax provision of $128m for wage underpayments in its financial accounts for the second half of 2020. NAB’s remediation program has resulted in current and former part-time employees receiving a combined $55m in compensation to date. However, the Finance Sector Union believes that NAB’s wages underpayment bill may be much higher, given that many of the affected employees work full-time. The union is preparing to take Federal Court action on behalf of NAB’s full-time workers.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, FINANCE SECTOR UNION, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

$834m in blowouts spur Fortescue exits

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 15 & 18 : 17-Feb-21

Fortescue Metals Group has advised that chief operating officer Greg Lilleyman has left the pure-play iron ore miner in the wake of a sharp rise in the cost of its Iron Bridge magnetite project. Fortescue’s director of projects Don Hyma and Iron Bridge project manager Manie McDonald also recently stepped down. The Iron Bridge project was initially slated to cost $US2.6bn, but this is believed to have blown out by about $US650m. CEO Elizabeth Gaines and CFO Ian Wells will forgo their annual bonuses for 2020-21 due to the cost blowout.

CORPORATES
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG

Australia Post chair to front Senate inquiry

Original article by Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 27-Oct-20

Australia Post chairman Lucio Di Bartolomeo has been asked to appear before a special Senate estimates hearing on 13 November. The call for Di Bartolomeo to appear at the special hearing came as the terms of reference for an inquiry into the purchase of expensive watches for senior Australia Post executives were released by the federal government. Australia Post CEO Christine Holgate, who purchased the watches, has stood aside during the investigation, while John Stanhope, who was chairman of Australia Post at the time Holgate bought the watches, says he will co-operate with the inquiry.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA POST

Shipton likely to follow Crennan in ASIC exit ‘by year’s end’

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 13 & 17 : 27-Oct-20

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission’s deputy chairman Daniel Crennan maintains that he had received advice that his expense claims had been line with the corporate regulator’s policy. Crennan formally resigned on 26 October in the wake of the expenses scandal that has embroiled himself and chairman James Shipton; Crennan indicated that he had intended to retire from ASIC in mid-2021 anyway. Meanwhile, former Australian Competition & Consumer Commission chairman Allan Fels expects Shipton to resign before the end of 2020. Fels says ASIC has had a "very poor record over many years".

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION

ASIC overhaul as chair faces exit

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 13 & 16 : 26-Oct-20

An independent review into the expenses of Australian Securities & Investments Commission chairman James Shipton is expected to be completed before the end of 2020. Shipton has stepped aside pending the outcome of the review, but sources have suggested that he is unlikely to remain in the role. ASIC’s acting chair Karen Chester is tipped to succeed Shipton, who has agreed to repay the expenses he incurred in relocating from the US to Australia. ASIC’s deputy chair Daniel Crennan will also repay expenses associated with moving from Melbourne to Sydney.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION

Directors take pay cut as ABC jobs axed

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 7 : 24-Jun-20

The ABC will release its five-year plan on 24 June, which will include up to 250 redundancies across its operations. Meanwhile, an ABC spokesman has advised that the Remuneration Tribunal has approved the public broadcaster’s proposal to temporarily reduce the salaries of its nine-member board by 10 per cent during the second half of 2020. The ABC’s five-year plan was originally slated to be released in March, but it was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIA. REMUNERATION TRIBUNAL

Big miners back a greener future

Original article by Geoff Chambers
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 22-Jun-20

The Minerals Council of Australia will release details of a three-year climate action plan on 22 June, as well as endorsing the Paris agreement. The MCA’s climate plan includes the use of renewable energy and electric vehicles at mine sites, and it has been put together in response to a climate change backlash from fund managers and shareholders of MCA member companies. As to the issue of zero net emissions targets, MCA CEO Tania Constable says there is no set sector-wide deadline, with member companies having their own timeframes.

CORPORATES
MINERALS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO

Qantas worker underpay hit $7.1m

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Weekend Australian – Page: 10 : 14-Mar-20

National carrier Qantas has become embroiled in the wage underpayments scandal, after admitting that it had been in breach of the Fair Work Act for several years. Qantas has agreed to an enforceable undertaking with the Fair Work Ombudsman following revelations that 638 employees were underpaid a total of $7.1m over an eight-year period. The scandal will cost Qantas around $9m when back-pay and interest is taken into account. It will also made a contrition payment of $390,000, which the Australian Services Union says is inadequate.

CORPORATES
QANTAS AIRWAYS LIMITED – ASX QAN, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN SERVICES UNION

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.

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

Greens want coal levy to fund more paid firefighters

Original article by Judith Ireland
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: Online : 6-Feb-20

Greens leader Adam Bandt has proposed the introduction of a levy on coal, gas and oil producers. The levy would be priced at $1 per tonne of carbon dioxide and would raise about $1.5bn a year. Most of the proceeds would be used to hire nearly 16,000 additional paid firefighters in metropolitan and rural areas. Bandt says the nation’s firefighters are exhausted by the intensity and duration of the bushfire season. The Australia Institute also called for a levy on fossil fuel producers in late 2019, as part of its proposal for a National Climate Disaster Fund.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN GREENS, THE AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE LIMITED