Call to include clean coal in PM power push

Original article by Olivia Caisley, Joe Kelly
The Australian – Page: 5 : 31-Oct-19

Shine Energy CEO Ashley Dodd says the Clean Energy Finance Corporation’s mandate should be expanded to include replacing Australia’s existing coal-fired power plants with high-efficiency, low-emissions plants. The federal government will inject an additional $1bn into the CEFC, but it has specifically ruled out using the extra funding to invest in new coal-fired plants or to upgrade existing plants. National Party MP Keith Pitt supports expanding the CEFC’s mandate to embrace all energy sources.

CORPORATES
SHINE ENERGY, AUSTRALIA. CLEAN ENERGY FINANCE CORPORATION, NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN CONSERVATION FOUNDATION INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

PM’s $1bn clean energy bet

Original article by Geoff Chambers
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 30-Oct-19

The federal government will establish a Grid Reliability Fund, which will be administered by the Clean Energy Finance ­Corporation. The new fund will invest in projects that increase the reliability of energy supplies and transmission infrastructure, and help to reduce electricity prices. Such projects include the ones that are on the short-list for the Underwriting New Generation Investments scheme. The government will also inject an additional $1bn into the CEFC.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, AUSTRALIA. CLEAN ENERGY FINANCE CORPORATION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, TRANSGRID, AUSTRALIAN ENERGY REGULATOR, AUSTRALIAN ENERGY MARKET COMMISSION

Content on ice as ABC still frozen

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 2 : 23-Oct-19

The ABC’s MD David Anderson has told a Senate estimates committee hearing that the public broadcaster will have to find annual cost savings of about $40m from fiscal 2022 due to its funding freeze. He added that the cost of producing quality Australian content is rising, while the ABC is facing growing competition for audiences from international streaming video providers. Anderson also said a controversial documentary about One Nation was reviewed by editorial managers and lawyers before it was broadcast by the ABC in March.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, ONE NATION PARTY, AL JAZEERA, NETFLIX INCORPORATED, WALT DISNEY COMPANY

Uni funding: job success gets more weight

Original article by Robert Bolton
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 2-Oct-19

Education Minister Dan Tehan has advised that the federal government will give more weighting to graduate employment outcomes when allocating additional money to the nation’s universities under a new performance-based funding model. The increased focus on ensuring that university graduates are equipped with the skills to obtain employment quickly follows the government’s move to provide an extra $80m in performance-based funding in 2020. Meanwhile, the Australian Learning Lecture Project has questions the relevance of ATAR entry scores for admission to university courses.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING, AUSTRALIAN LEARNING LECTURE PROJECT, UNIVERSITY OF WOLLONGONG, VICTORIA UNIVERSITY, SWINBURNE UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY

Costs balloon in NDIS surge

Original article by Geoff Chambers
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 30-Sep-19

Annual expenditure on the National Disability Insurance Scheme blew out to $11.9bn in 2018-19, with more than 117,000 new participants joining the NDIS during the financial year. Data from the National Disability Insurance Agency also shows that there has been a sharp rise in costs associated with external consultants and service providers, including recruitment firms, call centres and law firms. An NDIA spokeswoman says that spending on contractors and consultants is expected to account for 1.6 per cent of the NDIS’s total costs in 2019-20, compared with 2.6 per cent in 2017-18.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. NATIONAL DISABILITY INSURANCE AGENCY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF SOCIAL SERVICES, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Morrison spruiks infrastructure as key

Original article by Richard Ferguson
The Australian – Page: 4 : 6-Sep-19

Prime Minister Scott Morrison hopes the federal government’s massive infrastructure investment program will help stimulate the economy. The government will spend some $100bn on infrastructure projects over the next decade, including $48.2bn over the next four years. However, shadow infrastructure minister Catherine King contends that the government failed to meet its infrastructure spending commitments in its first five Budgets.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Electric car transition unstoppable: Labor

Original article by Richard Ferguson
The Australian – Page: 2 : 28-Aug-19

The federal government will contribute $15m to the cost of building 48 electric vehicle charging stations in the eastern states. Meanwhile, shadow energy minister Mark Butler has doubled down on his recent comments regarding Labor’s election policy on electric vehicles, stating that the transition to electric cars is "unstoppable". Butler has maintained that Labor’s target for electric vehicles to account for 50 per cent of new car sales by 2030 was ambitious but "very sensible".

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ABMARC

Federal debt boss: why borrowing isn’t easy

Original article by Adam Creighton
The Australian – Page: 4 : 26-Aug-19

Australian Office of Financial Management CEO Rob Nicholl has rejected suggestions that the federal government’s capacity to increase its borrowings has been boosted by the downturn in bond yields. The yield on 10-year government bonds fell below the cash rate of one per cent earlier in August, and Nicholls argues that demand for government debt has not risen despite a global downturn in bond yields. The federal government is resisting pressure to ramp up its infrastructure spending instead of prioritising a return to a Budget surplus.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY. OFFICE OF FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

Tax cuts necessary if Shorten won: PBO

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 20-Jun-19

The Parliamentary Budget Office’s review of federal election commitments shows that Labor’s policies would have cost about $17.3bn. In contrast, the Coalition’s election promises would have cost just $100m, as most of its spending commitments were outlined in the Budget prior to the election. The review also suggests that a Labor government would have had to cut income taxes by about $210bn over the next decade to avoid breaching its target of maintaining a tax-to-GDP ratio of 24.3 per cent.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. PARLIAMENTARY BUDGET OFFICE, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, CENTRE ALLIANCE, MORGANS FINANCIAL LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN GREENS, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

States climb $180bn debt mountain

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 19-Jun-19

The combined net debt of Australia’s state and territory governments is set to exceed $184bn over the next four years, compared with just $81bn in 2018-19. Increased investment in infrastructure will be a key contributor to the debt blowout, and Robert Carling of the Centre for Independent Studies stresses the need for such projects to be subject to a cost-benefit analysis. He adds that New South Wales and Victoria could potentially be at risk of losing their AAA credit ratings if their net debt continues to rise, although he says this is unlikely in the near-term.

CORPORATES
THE CENTRE FOR INDEPENDENT STUDIES LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, MOODY’S INVESTORS SERVICE INCORPORATED, DELOITTE ACCESS ECONOMICS PTY LTD, NEW SOUTH WALES. THE TREASURY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF TREASURY AND FINANCE