Greens call for government energy retailer

Original article by Andrew Tillett
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 9 : 26-Sep-18

The Australian Greens will propose increased government intervention in the electricity market to put downward pressure on prices, including the creation of a publicly-owned electricity retailer. Greens leader Richard Di Natale estimates that a taxpayer-funded electricity retailer could be established at cost of just $85m, while using it could save consumers around $200 a year on power costs. Di Natale will also advocate greater government intervention in other sectors in a National Press Club speech on 26 September.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN GREENS, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, NATIONAL PRESS CLUB (AUSTRALIA), SNOWY HYDRO LIMITED, RED ENERGY PTY LTD, LUMO ENERGY AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION

ACCC suggests breaking up NBN

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 6-Apr-18

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has called on the Federal Government to break the NBN up prior to selling it. The ACCC noted that it had held this view since the 2014 Vertigan review, which had called for the NBN to be broken up. ACCC chairman Rod Sims says the government should try to expose the NBN to as much competition as possible, and that this should be at the forefront of its thinking when it comes to privatising the NBN, rather than how much profit it can make.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, NBN CO LIMITED

Taxpayers to ‘lose billions on NBN’

Original article by Adam Creighton
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 18-Oct-17

Infrastructure bodies such as Infrastructure Australia need more power and greater budgets to scrutinise the costs and feasibility of major government projects. This is the collective view of Gary Banks, Fred Hilmer and Brendan Lyons. Lyons is about to leave his role as head of Infrastructure Partnerships Australia, Banks was the first chairman of the Productivity Commission, and Hilmer was an adviser to the Keating government. Banks and Hilmer both predict that the $A49 billion National Broadband Network will be sold at a loss, while they both suggest there was no evidence of any cost analysis before the Federal Government announced its Snowy Hydro expansion plan.

CORPORATES
INFRASTRUCTURE AUSTRALIA, INFRASTRUCTURE PARTNERSHIPS AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION, NBN CO LIMITED

New chief postie to get half the pay of her predecessor

Original article by Glenda Korporaal
The Australian – Page: 4 : 28-Jun-17

Australia Post’s incoming CEO Christine Holgate will receive a base salary of $A1.375m when she takes the helm in October. She will also be entitled to performance bonuses, although her remuneration will be well below that of current CEO Ahmed Fahour. Holgate’s salary as CEO of Blackmores is around $A3m, and she says the issue of pay had not been raised in her discussions with Australia Post’s board. Chairman John Stanhope says Holgate was the "outstanding candidate" among those considered for the role.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA POST, BLACKMORES LIMITED – ASX BKL, TELSTRA CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX TLS, COLLINGWOOD FOOTBALL CLUB, AUSTRALIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE

Australia Post workers compo ‘rort’

Original article by Aaron Patrick
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 8 : 30-Nov-16

A former Australian Post workers’ compensation manager has alleged that some 38 per cent of its 36,743 employees have claimed such compensation. The ex-manager says workers’ compensation fraud is rife within the postal service, and that the company would be profitable if it cracked down on such practices. The former manager also claims that Communications, Electrical & Plumbing Union official Jim Metcher was responsible for Australia Post abandoning a proposed push to reduce the cost of its workers’ compensation scheme.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA POST, COMMUNICATIONS, ELECTRICAL, ELECTRONIC, ENERGY, INFORMATION, POSTAL, PLUMBING AND ALLIED SERVICES UNION OF AUSTRALIA, COMCARE AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. SAFETY, REHABILITATION AND COMPENSATION COMMISSION, CARROLL AND O’DEA

PM plots possible sale of naval shipbuilder

Original article by Laura Tingle
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 28-Apr-16

The value of Adelaide-based ASC has risen significantly since the Federal Government announced that its shipyards will be used to build the nation’s new $A50bn submarine fleet. There is renewed speculation that the Government may consider privatising ASC, whose shipyards will also be used to build new naval frigates and patrol boats. Meanwhile, some estimates have suggested that building the submarines in Australia will increase the final cost by 30-40 per cent, although the Government believes that the cost can be reduced significantly by the time construction commences.

CORPORATES
ASC PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF DEFENCE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE

Australia Post hopes $1-a-letter strategy can avoid loss

Original article by Patrick Durkin, Tony Boyd
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 24-Feb-15

Australia Post has reported a 2014-15 interim profit of $A98m, which is 56 per cent lower than previously. Its letters division made a loss of $A151m for the half-year, and Australia Post has forecast a group loss for the full year, which would be its first since 1982. CEO Ahmed Fahour has stressed the need for regulatory reform to ensure that its letters division is viable. Australia Post wants to adopt a two-tiered pricing structure for mail deliveries

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA POST, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF COMMUNICATIONS, JAPAN POST, TOLL HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX TOL, SINGAPORE POST PTE LTD, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, COURIERS PLEASE, DHL CORPORATION, DEUTSCHE POST AG, UNITED PARCEL SERVICE INCORPORATED, FEDERAL EXPRESS CORPORATION, TNT

Hard times loom for Future Fund

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 21 : 16-Oct-14

David Neal, MD of the Future Fund, has unveiled a 2013-14 rate of return of 14.3% for the Australian Government’s civil service superannuation liabilities manager. This is up from the previous estimate of 13.9%, and follows a result of 15%-plus in 2012-13. However despite further growth of 2.9% in the first quarter of 2014-15, Neal warns that the performance will now level off due to the tapering of quantitative easing and rising interest rates in the US. This was backed by investment strategy and risk head Stephen Gilmore, while chief investment officer Raphael Arndt said the Future Fund may invest in infrastructure assets privatised by state governments

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FUTURE FUND MANAGEMENT AGENCY, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, UNITED STATES. FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD, AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY

Medibank flags cost cuts after float

Original article by Jessica Gardner, Georgia Wilkins
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 29-Sep-14

Retail investors can pre-register for the upcoming sharemarket float of Medibank Private, which is expected to be Australia’s largest IPO since QR National in 2010. The Federal Government has indicated that Medibank customers who pre-register will be given priority when shares are allocated in the IPO, although they will not be given any free shares in the health insurer. Meanwhile, Medibank CEO George Savvides says the health fund will seek to reduce costs following the IPO

CORPORATES
MEDIBANK PRIVATE LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, NIB HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NHF, NRMA LIMITED, INSURANCE AUSTRALIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX IAG, AURIZON HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX AZJ, TELSTRA CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX TLS, MORNINGSTAR PTY LTD, COMMUNITY AND PUBLIC SECTOR UNION

Mail losses widen

Original article by Joanna Heath
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 7 : 5-Sep-14

Australia Post has reported a 2013-14 profit of $A116.2m, including a profit of $A337.5m for its parcels business. However, its letters business posted a loss of $A328.4m, which is 15 per cent higher than previously. CEO Ahmed Fahour is seeking Federal Government approval to offer a two-tiered mail delivery service, with customers paying more for deliveries every weekday

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA POST, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF COMMUNICATIONS