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.

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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.

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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.

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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

JobKeeper could be expanded to deal with further coronavirus outbreaks

Original article by Jennifer Duke
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: Online : 10-Aug-20

The JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme is now expected to cost $101bn in total, after the federal government agreed to extend it beyond September at a lower rate. Finance Minister Mathias Cormann has emphasised the need to gradually phase out government support, although he has not ruled out further extending the scheme beyond March if the pandemic worsens. Labor contends that the government needs a plan to boost employment rather than focusing on the JobKeeper and JobSeeker schemes.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

‘A national security scandal’: Kevin Rudd names three gaps in defence strategy

Original article by Anthony Galloway
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: Online : 3-Jul-20

The federal government’s new defence strategy includes expenditure of $270 billion over the next 10 years on boosting the Australian Defence Force. However, former prime minister Kevin Rudd contends there are three major gaps in the strategy: failing to build up Australia’s cyber defences with sufficient speed; insufficient spending in the Pacific region, and delays in the delivery of new submarines. Rudd noted his government’s 2009 Defence White Policy had called for a doubling of Australia’s submarine fleet, and he claims the submarine project has been "comprehensively botched".

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AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE

Australia to spend $270bn building larger military to prepare for poorer, more dangerous world

Original article by Jade Macmillan, Andrew Greene
abc.net.au – Page: Online : 1-Jul-20

The federal government will shift the focus of its defence policy to the Indo-Pacific, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison warning of a heightened risk of conflict in the region in the post-coronavirus environment. The government will increase its defence budget by $270bn over the next 10 years. Amongst other things, it is expected to spent about $800m on long-range anti-ship missiles from the US which have a much larger range than Australia’s current generation of missiles. About 800 additional Australian Defence Force members are expected to be recruited over the next decade, while the defence R&D budget will include research into hypersonic weapons.

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AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET