Infrastructure spending set to take a dive

Original article by Adam Creighton
The Australian – Page: 6 : 28-Nov-19

The Parliamentary Budget Office has forecast that Australia’s net infrastructure investment will peak at $38bn in 2019-20, before falling over the next three years. This is primarily due to expectations that the net debt of the state governments will blow out to around $156bn by 2022. This would constitute the states’ highest share of public debt in two decades.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. PARLIAMENTARY BUDGET OFFICE

‘QE will do nothing’: fundies back infrastructure spending

Original article by Robert Guy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 28 : 27-Nov-19

Quay Global Investors portfolio manager Chris Bedingfield contends that the Reserve Bank of Australia should not implement quantitative easing. He argues that the federal government should instead prioritise increased spending on infrastructure, noting that this will create jobs in the short-term and boost productivity in the long-term. Sarah Shaw of 4D Infrastructure also advocates investing in infrastructure to stimulate the economy.

CORPORATES
QUAY GLOBAL INVESTORS PTY LTD, 4D INFRASTRUCTURE PTY LTD, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, BENNELONG FUNDS MANAGEMENT PTY LTD

Forget tax and spend, go for productivity: Albanese

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 22-Nov-19

Labor leader Anthony Albanese will emphasise the need to prioritise increased productivity in a speech on 22 November. He will identify microeconomic reform, fiscal management, infrastructure, and investment in people through skills and training as the key policy initiatives to lift productivity. He will also argue that the legislated increase in the superannuation guarantee must proceed, as it will encourage super funds to invest in productivity-boosting infrastructure.

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

Big projects to get strike protection

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 22-Oct-19

Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter has urged Labor to support legislation to allow workplace agreements to apply for the entire construction phase of greenfields projects. The move is aimed at preventing unions and workers from disrupting a resources, energy or infrastructure project by seeking improved wages and conditions if an enterprise agreement expires in the middle of the construction phase. The Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union’s Dave Noonan contends that it is unfair to lock in terms and conditions that could last for 5-10 years.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EMPLOYMENT, SKILLS, SMALL AND FAMILY BUSINESS, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, MINERALS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, CHEVRON CORPORATION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Cyber threat to transport, power

Original article by Ben Packham
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 6-Sep-19

Home Affairs­ Minister Peter Dutton will release a cyber security consultation paper on 6 September. It warns of the growing threat to Australia’s critical infrastructure, including energy, tele­communications and transport networks. The paper will note that industrial plants are also vulnerable to targeted attacks from state-sponsored hackers and cyber criminals. Dutton will also call for greater co-operation between governments and business, warning of the heightened risk since the Coalition released its cyber security strategy in 2016.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HOME AFFAIRS, AUSTRALIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE ORGANISATION, MAERSK, AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, AUSTRALIAN STRATEGIC POLICY INSTITUTE LIMITED

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

Billions for big projects must roll on

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 13-Aug-19

Infrastructure Australia’s latest audit has stated that the current boom in infrastructure spending needs to be maintained over the next 15 years if living standards are to be maintained. Infrastructure Australia states the annual cost of road congestion is tipped to grow by $18.9 billion to $38.8 billion in just over a decade without additional investment, while it states energy prices have risen 50 per cent since its last audit, which was undertaken in 2015. Australia’s population is expected to increase to 31.4 million over the next 15 years, but Infrastructure Australia says spending in major cities like Sydney and Brisbane is not keeping pace with population growth, particularly in outer suburbs.

CORPORATES
INFRASTRUCTURE AUSTRALIA

Pull your weight: Feds tell states

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 16-Jul-19

Urban Infrastructure Minister Alan Tudge has called on the states to accelerate new infrastructure projects where possible to help stimulate the Australian economy. While noting that capacity constraints in the construction sector are at their highest level since the resources boom, Tudge has suggested three areas where new infrastructure can be fast-tracked, including the 166 small urban congestion projects that the federal government announced in the lead-up to the 18 May election.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INFRASTRUCTURE AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, INFRASTRUCTURE AUSTRALIA

States urged to sell $220b in public assets rather than increase debt

Original article by Mark Ludlow
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 20-Jun-19

The net debt of Australia’s state governments is set to rise sharply in coming years to finance infrastructure projects, but analysis shows that they have almost $220bn worth of assets that could be privatised. This includes $67.4bn worth of public assets in Queensland and $59.bn in New South Wales. IFM Investors CEO Brett Himbury says the nation’s superannuation funds would be keen to invest in state government assets. The NSW government may be open to further asset sales, but Queensland and Western Australia have ruled out this option.

CORPORATES
IFM INVESTORS PTY LTD, INFRASTRUCTURE PARTNERSHIPS AUSTRALIA, S&P GLOBAL RATINGS, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSGRID PTY LTD, ENDEAVOUR ENERGY LIMITED

Coalition’s $1bn drive to get regions moving

Original article by Joe Kelly
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 1-Apr-19

The federal government’s April 2019 Budget will include an additional $1bn for the Roads of Strategic Importance program. The extra funding will be used to upgrade regional and interstate road infrastructure. The Budget will also include one-off payments to assist people such as pensioners, veterans and the disabled with the rising cost of energy. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the Budget will focus on responsible and targeted spending, while shadow treasurer Chris Bowen says it will be a "highly political" document that will in reality be an election campaign launch for the Coalition.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, SHOOTERS, FISHERS AND FARMERS PARTY