Fightback on penalty rates

Original article by Ben Packham, Dennis Shanahan, Alice Workman
The Australian – Page: 1 & 5 : 22-Apr-19

Labor plans to reconvene federal parliament before 30 June if it wins the election, in order to capitalise on a Senate that may be more amenable to its proposed industrial relations reforms. Amongst other things, Labor intends to reverse cuts to penalty rates within its first 100 days in office. However, Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox has written to Senate crossbenchers warning that Labor’s workplace reforms would require more extensive consultation than would be possible by the end of June.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN GREENS, CENTRE ALLIANCE

Coalition to fast-track post-election tax cuts

Original article by Michael Roddan, Rosie Lewis
The Australian – Page: 6 : 9-Apr-19

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the timing of the election will not affect the federal government’s plans to provide tax relief via the low- and middle-income tax offset. He says that if the government wins the election, it will reconvene parliament in June to vote on its tax cuts so they can take effect from the start of the new financial year. A spokesman for the Australian Taxation Office stresses that the tax offset will only be available to taxpayers lodging their 2018-19 tax returns if the legislation is passed by 30 June.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Move to block raids on worker funds

Original article by Brad Norington
The Australian – Page: 16 : 3-Apr-19

The federal government is hoping to persuade the Senate to pass legislation to prevent unions from taking profits from workers’ entitlement funds before parliament rises for the election. One such fund called Protect is currently at the centre of an industrial dispute between the Maritime Union of Australia and stevedoring firm DP World; the latter wants to end its participation in the fund as part of a new enterprise bargaining agreement. With Labor unlikely to support the legislation, Industrial Relations Minister Kelly O’Dwyer will try to lobby crossbenchers for their backing.

CORPORATES
PROTECT, MARITIME UNION OF AUSTRALIA, DP WORLD, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ELECTRICAL TRADES UNION, UNITED FIREFIGHTERS’ UNION OF AUSTRALIA, THE NATIONAL ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS’ ASSOCIATION

Poor timing for media laws: Labor

Original article by Andrew Tillett
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 2-Apr-19

Attorney-General Christian Porter has rejected Labor’s claims that the federal government has refused to show it a draft of proposed social media legislation. A spokesperson for Porter says the bill has been sent to Labor. Under the legislation, social media executives could go to jail for up to three years if they fail to remove terrorist-related content from their platforms sufficiently quickly. The government wants the legislation passed in the three sitting days before the federal election is called, with shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus accusing the government of setting a "ridiculous timetable" for getting the legislation through parliament.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Follow-up to bank probe

Original article by John Kehoe, Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 14-Feb-19

Labor’s push to recall parliament for an additional two weeks in March seems unlikely to succeed after three crossbenchers signalled that they will oppose the motion. Meanwhile, the federal government has told banks and industry regulators that it will hold another inquiry in three years’ time to make sure that the misconduct exposed by the financial services royal commission is not being repeated. Labor in turn has proposed harsher penalties for misconduct in the sector.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, AUSTRALIAN BANKING ASSOCIATION, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC

Katter hands PM a temporary reprieve

Original article by Rosie Lewis, Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 5 : 13-Feb-19

Financial Services Council CEO Sally Loane has cautioned against rushing legislation through parliament in response to the final report of the financial services royal commission. Meanwhile, independent MP Bob Katter has signalled that he will not support Labor’s push to recall parliament for an additional two weeks in March to implement some of the inquiry’s recommendations. He argues that the federal government should take action immediately. Katter has also described the royal commission’s recommendations as "worthless".

CORPORATES
FINANCIAL SERVICES COUNCIL, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA

Prime Minister Scott Morrison talks down threat to Coalition after loss in Parliament vote

Original article by Brett Worthington
abc.net.au – Page: Online : 13-Feb-19

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has ruled out calling an early election after the House of Representatives narrowly passed a bill to allow doctors to approve the transfer of asylum-seekers to Australia for medical treatment. The amendments to a federal government migration bill were passed 75-74 after being backed by Labor and the majority of crossbenchers. The government had released legal advice from Solicitor-General Stephen Donaghue which suggested that the so-called medivac bill could be in breach of the ­Constitution.

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

Banks’ election risks rise

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 12-Feb-19

Labor requires 76 votes in the lower house to force parliament to sit for an additional two weeks to legislate some of the Hayne royal commission’s recommendations. The support of crossbenchers may be crucial, and independent MP Bob Katter says he may be prepared to back Labor’s motion. This could potentially see the government abandon a deal struck with Katter regarding supply and confidence following the Wentworth by-election. Prime Minister Scott Morrison argues that there is insufficient time before the election to enact all of Hayne’s recommendations that will require legislation.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY

PM’s big stick to be stuck in Senate

Original article by Greg Bright
The Australian – Page: 6 : 7-Dec-18

The Senate’s standing committee on economics will examine the federal government’s bill to force electricity retailers to divest assets after Labor referred it to the upper house. The lower house debated the bill on 6 December, before parliament rose for the year, but further debate will not be possible until early April as the committee is not slated to report on the bill until 18 March. Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen has accused the government of trying to push the bill through the lower house with no scrutiny and minimal debate.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. SENATE STANDING COMMITTEE ON ECONOMICS

Divestment powers put on fast track

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 6-Dec-18

Australia Energy Council CEO Sarah McNamara has flagged a possible legal challenge to the federal government’s legislation to force the divestment of energy assets. McNamara says there is still uncertainty regarding the constitutional validity of the bill, despite a compromise which will require the Federal Court to approve any application for asset sales. The bill is expected to be passed by the lower house after four crossbenchers backed a motion for it to be debated and voted upon before parliament rises for the year.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN ENERGY COUNCIL, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, ORIGIN ENERGY LIMITED – ASX ORG, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY