Leaders say fiscal stimulus is the answer

Original article by James Thomson, Tony Boyd
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 27 : 10-Dec-19

Tax cuts and increased spending on infrastructure are among the suggestions from business leaders to help stimulate the Australian economy. Rio Tinto CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques has urged the federal government to revive its push for corporate tax relief, while Woodside Petroleum CEO Peter Coleman has called for the introduction of an investment allowance to boost business confidence. Meanwhile, Telstra CEO Andy Penn has stressed the importance of innovation to Australia’s future economic growth.

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RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LIMITED – ASX WPL, TELSTRA CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX TLS, COCA-COLA AMATIL LIMITED – ASX CCL, BENDIGO AND ADELAIDE BANK LIMITED – ASX BEN, ENERGYAUSTRALIA PTY LTD, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, SEEK LIMITED – ASX SEK, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

Investment strike keeps growth low

Original article by Glenda Korporaal
The Australian – Page: 17 & 27 : 5-Dec-19

Commonwealth Bank economist Michael Blythe says the latest GDP data shows that Australia has a two-speed economy, with private sector spending down 0.1 per cent in the September quarter and 0.3 per cent year-on-year, while public sector spending increased by 1.1 per cent and 4.8 per cent respectively. Master Builders Australia has urged the federal government to fast-track smaller infrastructure projects, with chief economist Shane Garrett noting that businesses and consumers lack the confidence to spend at present.

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COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, MASTER BUILDERS AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, WAGNERS HOLDING COMPANY LIMITED – ASX WGN

Tax breaks to fast-track big projects

Original article by Simon Benson
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 14-Nov-19

The federal government will provide a concessional tax rate of 15 per cent for foreign investments in qualifying infrastructure projects that are worth more than $500m. This will include ­energy, transport, water and communications projects. Meanwhile, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will use the Sir John Downer Oration in Adelaide on 14 November to urge greater co-operation between the federal and state governments to address inefficiencies in the economy. He will also stress the need for responsible fiscal management.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

Indigenous-owned iron ore venture gets $12m NAIF loan

Original article by Mark Ludlow
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 7 : 20-Sep-19

The federal government’s $5 billion Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility has made a $12.5 million loan to the $45 million First Iron mining project in Western Australia’s Pilbara region. The project, which is being developed by the Australian Aboriginal Mining Corporation, will use the loan to construct new supporting infrastructure for the First Iron mine, which is to supply ore for Fortescue Mining’s Cloudbreak operations. The NAIF has now awarded $1.4 billion in concessional loans to 13 projects in Australia’s north, with the NAIF stating the loans will help create over 4,000 jobs and generate $3 billion in public benefit.

CORPORATES
NORTHERN AUSTRALIA INFRASTRUCTURE FACILITY, AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINAL MINING CORPORATION

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

Hydro project wins $610m federal loan

Original article by Mark Ludlow
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 12-Jul-19

Genex Power will receive a $610m loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility for its proposed pumped hydro project in Queensland. NAIF CEO Laurie Walker notes that the project will provide northern Queensland with an additional 250 megawatts of power, with EnergyAustralia in the process of concluding a deal to receive electricity from the project. The concessional loan is the largest allocation made by the $5 billion NAIF to date.

CORPORATES
GENEX POWER LIMITED – ASX GNX, NORTHERN AUSTRALIA INFRASTRUCTURE FACILITY, ENERGYAUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, J-POWER AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, QUEENSLAND. DEPT OF ENERGY AND WATER SUPPLY

Big super ready to fund infrastructure

Original article by Joanna Mather
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 7 : 9-Jul-19

IFM Investors CEO Brett Himbury has argued the case for industry superannuation funds to invest in public infrastructure, saying they are prepared to buy into both new and existing assets. Himbury concedes that there is still some concern about the partial sale of public assets; however, he stresses that unlike some private investors, super funds are focused on long-term returns rather than short-term profits. Former ACTU secretary Bill Kelty has proposed the creation of a new government-backed asset class that is focused on infrastructure.

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IFM INVESTORS PTY LTD, ACTU, INFRADEBT PTY LTD

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.

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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

PM rolls out rail, migrant strategy

Original article by Simon Benson
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 20-Mar-19

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the federal government’s revised migrant intake is aimed at easing congestion in major cities. The nation’s permanent migrant intake will be capped at 160,000 a year, although some cabinet ministers had favoured reducing it to 155,000. Some 23,000 skilled migrants will also be required to live in regional areas for three years before qualifying for permanent residency. Meanwhile, the April 2019 Budget is expected to include funding for three proposed fast-rail projects in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HOME AFFAIRS, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, MIGRATION COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA

Call for infrastructure boost, without tricks

Original article by Mark Ludlow
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 1-May-18

Infrastructure Partnerships Australia CEO Adrian Dwyer has urged the Federal Government to increase its spending on infrastructure in the May 2018 Budget. He argues that infrastructure spending should be increased by $A7.5bn over four years to offset a decline in such expenditure over the last decade. Dwyer has also questioned the policy of funding infrastructure projects via financing vehicles such as the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility rather than the Budget. The Coalition and Labor both recently announced funding for major infrastructure projects.

CORPORATES
INFRASTRUCTURE PARTNERSHIPS AUSTRALIA, NORTHERN AUSTRALIA INFRASTRUCTURE FACILITY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY