Archives win $67m in urgent funding

Original article by Troy Bramston
The Australian – Page: 3 : 1-Jul-21

The federal government has approved a $67.7m increase in funding for the National Archives of Australia to preserve and digitise its most at-risk records, including documents, photos, maps and film recordings. This had been recommended by former senior public servant David Tune, although the government will provide the additional funding over four years rather than seven. A group of prominent Australians recently signed an open letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison urging the government to increase the National Archives’ funding.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL ARCHIVES OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Less than $20m for lockdown payments

Original article by Patrick Commins
The Australian – Page: 5 : 17-Jun-21

Data from Services Australia shows that 42,784 in Victoria received the federal government’s Temporary COVID Disaster Payment during the second week of the state’s latest lockdown. The temporary scheme, which provides a grant of up $500 for people who lose income due to a lockdown of at least seven days, has cost $19,684,000 since Melbourne entered the second week of the lockdown that ended on 10 June. This is significantly less than Treasurer Josh Frydenberg had forecast when the scheme was announced. Melbourne residents must submit applications for the grant by 2 July.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. SERVICES AUSTRALIA

Refinery rescue will cost $2.35bn

Original article by Ben Packham
The Australian – Page: 4 : 17-May-21

The federal government’s rescue package for the nation’s oil refineries was designed in consultation with Ampol and Viva Energy. The two companies will receive up to $2bn in direct taxpayer funding over the next decade. The variable payments system means that Ampol and Viva will receive greater taxpayer support during periods when their refineries’ margins are low. The government will also provide $302m for the refineries to shift to higher standards three years ahead of schedule. Australia’s two remaining oil refineries employ more than 1,200 people.

CORPORATES
AMPOL LIMITED – ALD, VIVA ENERGY GROUP LIMITED – ASX VEA

PM’s global tech fix for emissions

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 22-Apr-21

The federal government has committed to spending $566m over eight years on the development of low-emission technologies in partnership with other countries. This follows the government’s previous announcement that it will spend $540m on hydrogen and carbon capture and storage projects. Prime Minister Scott Morrison contends that international collaboration is the most effective way to address the issue of carbon emissions, a point he will emphasise during the upcoming virtual climate change summit that will be hosted by US President Joe Biden.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, UNITED STATES. EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT

PM pushes jobs on road to net zero

Original article by Geoff Chambers, Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 21-Apr-21

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the federal government will adopt a ‘technology-first’ approach to reducing carbon emissions. He will reveal plans for the government to invest in four clean hydrogen hubs in regional Australia, as well as carbon capture and storage technology. These initiatives will cost some $540m, while Morrison says they will create 2,500 jobs. Morrison has also committed to ensuring that the government’s climate policies will not penalise industries that have high carbon emissions, such as mining and agriculture.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Aged care tax killed off

Original article by Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 5-Mar-21

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has acknowledged that funding for the aged-care sector needs to be increased, but he says that growing the economy is the best way to do this. The final report of the aged-care royal commission has recommended increasing funding for the sector via the tax system; however, Tony Negline from Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand says this is not appropriate, given that the bulk of aged-care funding already comes from taxpayers. Negline has proposed options such as requiring nursing home residents to use the equity in their family home and a reduction in the capital gains tax discount.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO AGED CARE QUALITY AND SAFETY, CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

National cost of pandemic response to reach $327bn over five years

Original article by Patrick Commins
The Australian – Page: 4 : 5-Mar-21

The Parliamentary Budget Office estimates that the combined net debt of Australia’s three levels of government will blow out to almost $1.3tn in the five years to 2024. Federal, state and local governments are forecast to collectively spend some $327bn on COVID-19 measures over the five-year period. The independent budget watchdog now expects the national net operating balance across all levels of government in 2020-21 to be a deficit of 11.1 per cent of GDP; it had previously forecast a surplus of 1.7 per cent of GDP for the current financial year.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. PARLIAMENTARY BUDGET OFFICE

Don’t cut support too quickly: Judo

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Weekend Australian – Page: 19 & 24 : 9-Jan-21

Judo Bank’s joint CEO Joseph Healy has warned of the potential for a surge in small business insolvencies in the June quarter. Healy notes that insolvencies are currently about 35 per cent lower than comparable periods due to factors such as COVID-19 support measures, and he has cautioned the federal government against phasing out support packages for the small business sector too quickly. Meanwhile, Healy is upbeat about the outlook for the small business-focused ‘challenger’ bank, despite the recent decision of rival Xinja to withdraw from the banking sector.

CORPORATES
JUDO BANK PTY LTD, XINJA BANK LIMITED

Refinery rescue deal to safeguard fuel stocks

Original article by Ben Packham
The Australian – Page: 5 : 14-Dec-20

The federal government is set to announce a rescue package for the Lytton, Geelong and Altona oil refineries to ensure that they remain operational until mid-2021. The refineries will receive a payment of at least $0.01 per litre for their petrol, diesel and jet fuel production over the six months from 1 January. Energy Minister Angus Taylor says the government is finalising a long-term market mechanism for the production payment, which is slated to take effect from 1 July. The future of Australia’s three remaining refineries has come under scrutiny following BP’s recent decision to close its Kwinana plant.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INDUSTRY, SCIENCE, ENERGY AND RESOURCES, AMPOL LIMITED – ALD, EXXONMOBIL AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, VIVA ENERGY GROUP LIMITED – ASX VEA, BP AUSTRALIA LIMITED

CSL signs deal to make two Covid vaccines

Original article by Jared Lynch
The Australian – Page: 15 : 8-Sep-20

Biopharmaceutical giant CSL has secured a $1.7bn deal with the federal government to produce 80 million doses of two coronavirus vaccine candidates. This comprises 30 million doses of the vaccine that is being developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, and 50 million doses of the vaccine that CSL is developing with the University of Queensland. Phase three clinical trials have commenced on the Oxford vaccine, while the home-grown vaccine is in phase one trials. The government will contribute $300m to the cost of upgrading CSL’s advanced manufacturing facility in Melbourne to produce the vaccines.

CORPORATES
CSL LIMITED – ASX CSL, OXFORD UNIVERSITY, ASTRAZENECA PLC