Shorten slaps down union super bosses

Original article by Joanna Mather
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 2 : 20-Mar-19

The union movement continues to attract scrutiny for using industry superannuation funds to promote its industrial relations agenda. Labor leader Bill Shorten says the legal requirement of super fund trustees to act in the best interests of members overrides any other allegiances they may have. ACTU president Michele O’Neil recently urged super funds to use their influence as investors to ensure that companies offer secure and well-paid jobs. O’Neil is an alternate director on the board of AustralianSuper, which is partly owned by the ACTU.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ACTU, AUSTRALIANSUPER PTY LTD, TRANSPORT WORKERS’ UNION, TWUSUPER, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, EQUIPSUPER PTY LTD, SUNSUPER PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION

Treasurer’s super war on activists

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 4-Mar-19

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg wants to ensure that union-appointed trustees of industry superannuation funds do not seek to pursue political objectives at the expense of members’ interests. Industry funds currently manage $631 billion worth of assets, with this figure tipped to increase to over $1 trillion by 2024; boards of industry funds are equally represented by trustees from employers and unions. Frydenberg’s concerns have been sparked by union calls for funds to pressure BHP and BlueScope Steel to reverse a decision not to renew a contract for Australian-crewed ships that carry iron ore.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, BLUESCOPE STEEL LIMITED – ASX BSL, ACTU, MARITIME UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIANSUPER PTY LTD, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW, QANTAS AIRWAYS LIMITED – ASX QAN, WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LIMITED – ASX WPL, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, UNITED VOICE, AUSTRALIAN SERVICES UNION

Super fund targets dirty dozen firms

Original article by Joanna Mather, Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 22-Feb-19

The Climate Action 100+ investor group has more resources companies in its sights after its lobbying compelled Glencore to restrict its annual coal production to current levels. Australian companies in the sector that it will target include BHP, Rio Tinto, South32 and Woodside Petroleum, as well as other listed companies such as Woolworths, Qantas and Adelaide Brighton. Andrew Gray of industry fund AustralianSuper is a member of the Climate Action 100+ group’s global steering committee.

CORPORATES
CLIMATE ACTION 100+, GLENCORE PLC, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, SOUTH32 LIMITED – ASX S32, WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LIMITED – ASX WPL, SANTOS LIMITED – ASX STO, WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW, QANTAS AIRWAYS LIMITED – ASX QAN, ADELAIDE BRIGHTON LIMITED – ASX ABC, BORAL LIMITED – ASX BLD, AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, ORIGIN ENERGY LIMITED – ASX ORG, BLUESCOPE STEEL LIMITED – ASX BSL, AUSTRALIANSUPER PTY LTD, WASHINGTON H SOUL PATTINSON AND COMPANY LIMITED – ASX SOL, NEW HOPE CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX NHC, WOOD MACKENZIE, DALIAN PORTS GROUP, TRIBECA INVESTMENT PARTNERS PTY LTD, TERRA CAPITAL PTY LTD, ADANI MINING PTY LTD, QUEENSLAND RESOURCES COUNCIL LIMITED, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, QUEENSLAND. DEPT OF THE PREMIER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INDUSTRY, INNOVATION AND SCIENCE, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, INVESTOR GROUP ON CLIMATE CHANGE AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND, MINERALS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, CALIFORNIA PUBLIC EMPLOYEES’ RETIREMENT SYSTEM, HSBC GLOBAL ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED, IRCANTEC, MANULIFE ASSET MANAGEMENT, HEALTH EMPLOYEES’ SUPERANNUATION TRUST AUSTRALIA LIMITED, CONSTRUCTION AND BUILDING UNIONS’ SUPERANNUATION FUND, AMP CAPITAL INVESTORS LIMITED, BT FINANCIAL GROUP PTY LTD, COLONIAL FIRST STATE GLOBAL ASSET MANAGEMENT

Super loopholes cost retirees billions

Original article by Anthony Klan, Olivia Caisley
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 3-Dec-18

Professor Thomas Clarke says lobbyists from the financial sector have done a good job in persuading governments to go easy on the regulation of superannuation over recent decades. The University of Technology, Sydney academic says this has come at the expense of workers and retirees, who he claims are losing billions each year because of exemptions in various pieces of superannuation legislation. The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees, which funded Clarke’s research, states that both sides of politics have been guilty of watering down legislation.

CORPORATES
UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, SYDNEY, AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF SUPERANNUATION TRUSTEES, RICE WARNER ACTUARIES PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, SUPERRATINGS PTY LTD

Mitchell gets ready to return ASIC tennis deal serve

Original article by Ben Butler, John Stensholt
The Australian – Page: 2 : 22-Nov-18

Free TV Australia chairman Harold Mitchell has stepped down in the wake of legal action arising from his former role as a director of Tennis Australia. He has described the Australian Securities & Investments Commission’s allegations as false and has vowed to "vigorously defend" the legal action. ASIC alleges that Mitchell withheld information from TA’s board about potential bids for tennis broadcasting rights. The rights were awarded to the Seven Network, which has disputed ASIC’s claim that it had received confidential information from Mitchell about rival bids.

CORPORATES
FREE TV AUSTRALIA LIMITED, TENNIS AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, SEVEN NETWORK LIMITED, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, TEN NETWORK HOLDINGS LIMITED, IMG AUSTRALIA, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

Mitchell under pressure to quit Free TV after ASIC court action

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 18 : 21-Nov-18

Free TV Australia has declined to comment on the future of chairman Harold Mitchell, amid speculation that he may be forced to step down after the Australian Securities & Investments Commission launched legal action against him. ASIC’s civil action concerns Mitchell’s role as a former director of Tennis Australia, where he is alleged to have failed to advise the board that it was likely to secure more money if its TV broadcasting rights were put out to a competitive tender. Sources have suggested that Mitchell’s position at the TV industry lobby group may be untenable.

CORPORATES
FREE TV AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, TENNIS AUSTRALIA, SEVEN NETWORK LIMITED, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, TEN NETWORK HOLDINGS LIMITED, NINE NETWORK AUSTRALIA LIMITED, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, FAIRFAX MEDIA LIMITED – ASX FXJ, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

The Saltbush Club: skilled and thinking Australians concerned at the huge costs and unproven benefits of the climate, energy and infrastructure policies on both sides of Federal Parliament

Original article by Viv Forbes
pickeringpost.com – Page: Online : 16-Nov-18

A newly formed lobby group called the Saltbush Club is calling for Australia to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. Jerry Ellis, founding chairman of the Club and a former chairman of BHP, contends that Australia’s efforts to reach its Paris targets have led to higher electricity prices and unreliable power supply. Hugh Morgan, a former CEO of Western Mining and director of the Saltbush Club, states that the Climate Agreement is really about the transfer of wealth to less developed nations. Saltbush organiser Viv Forbes claims that the United Nations is seeking to cripple western industry with high and unreliable electricity in a “futile attempt to control global climate”.

To learn more about the Saltbush Club please contact:
Viv Forbes (forbes@carbon-sense.com).

Also read a more detailed article in regards to the Saltbush Club available here: http://pickeringpost.com/story/the-saltbush-club/8689

CORPORATES
THE SALTBUSH CLUB, BHP BILLITON LIMITED – ASX BHP, WESTERN MINING CORPORATION, UNITED NATIONS

Union funds call a truce

Original article by Joanna Mather
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 24-Sep-18

Industry Super Australia CEO Bernie Dean says the lobby group has "shelved indefinitely" its anti-bank "fox and henhouse" advertisements. Dean, who has succeeded David Whiteley, was responsible for creating the commercials, which were launched in March 2017. AustralianSuper CEO Ian Silk had been queried by the banking royal commission as to why it had helped to finance what the commission described as political advertising. Silk stated that it was in the best interest of AustralianSuper’s members. Dean says this was a reasonable comment.

CORPORATES
INDUSTRY SUPER AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIANSUPER PTY LTD, HOST-PLUS, ACTU, VICTORIAN WORKCOVER AUTHORITY, AUSTRALIA. PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION

Militant to strike tough line for ACTU

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 18-Jul-18

Michele O’Neil has called for changes to Australia’s laws on the right to strike in her first speech as the newly-elected president of the ACTU. She has told the peak union body’s congress that the right to strike is a basic human right that is now highly regulated and restricted. O’Neil also favours changes to workplace laws to allow enterprise bargaining to occur at industry-wide level. O’Neil was the only contender to succeed Ged Kearney. Meanwhile, ACTU secretary Sally McManus has urged the union movement to step up its campaign for industrial relations reform.

CORPORATES
ACTU, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, TEXTILE, CLOTHING AND FOOTWEAR UNION OF AUSTRALIA, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP

Rio Tinto climate policy resolution expected to fall short

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 1-May-18

A motion calling for Rio Tinto to review its relationship with industry groups will be put it shareholders at its AGM on 2 May. The motion has been filed by the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility and has the support of investors such as HESTA and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System. However, other Rio Tinto investors are expected to vote against it, and the motion is not expected to secure a majority. Nonetheless, ACCR executive director Brynn O’Brien will deem the motion to have been a success if 10 per cent of Rio Tinto’s shareholders vote for it.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, AUSTRALASIAN CENTRE FOR CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY, HEALTH EMPLOYEES’ SUPERANNUATION TRUST AUSTRALIA LIMITED, CALIFORNIA PUBLIC EMPLOYEES’ RETIREMENT SYSTEM, LGIM, AEGON ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED, BHP BILLITON LIMITED – ASX BHP, MINERALS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIANSUPER PTY LTD