‘Time to pounce’: Investors rush to beat change

Original article by Ingrid Fuary-Wagner
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 9 : 18-Feb-19

Real estate investors are preparing to acquire established properties in the event that Labor wins the upcoming federal election. Labor intends to abolish negative gearing on established properties, although it will still allow it for newly-built homes. However, any such changes would be unlikely to take effect until 1 July 2020. Victor Kumar of Right Property Group says he would expect to see a big increase in sales of established properties in the period between the election and when any legislation takes effect.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, RIGHT PROPERTY GROUP

South32 warns of strike risk if ALP wins poll

Original article by Brad Thompson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 18 : 18-Feb-19

South32 CEO Graham Kerr is concerned that Labor’s workplace reform agenda could lead to increased industrial action, particularly in the resources sector. He says the outcome of the upcoming federal election could affect business confidence for at least 12 months. Kerr notes that stability of supply is a major priority for buyers of Australia’s metallurgical coal buyers. He adds that if supply is disrupted they will source coal elsewhere, and it is very hard to regain a customer’s trust once it has been lost. Employers’ groups are also concerned about any move to reinstate industry-wide bargaining.

CORPORATES
SOUTH32 LIMITED – ASX S32, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIA. REGISTERED ORGANISATIONS COMMISSION, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, TAHMOOR COAL PTY LTD, CENTENNIAL COAL COMPANY LIMITED, WOLLONGONG COAL LIMITED – ASX WLC, PEABODY ENERGY AUSTRALIA COAL PTY LTD, PORT KEMBLA COAL TERMINAL LIMITED

Small business faces $8bn holiday pay hit

Original article by Dennis Shanahan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 15-Feb-19

Labor’s motion to disallow the Fair Work Amendment (Casual Loading Offset) Regulations is expected to be debated by the Senate on 2 April. The Coalition moved to clarify the status of casual workers via regulation in late 2018 in response to the WorkPac case, in which the Federal Court ruled that casual workers are entitled to annual leave in addition to a casual loading. Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox has urged parliament to reject the disallowance motion, warning that it would threaten the viability of many small businesses.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, WORKPAC PTY LTD, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS, ACTU, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA

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

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

Shorten in backdown on borders

Original article by Simon Benson, Greg Brown, Joe Kelly
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 12-Feb-19

Labor’s caucus has approved key amendments to legislation initiated by independent MP Kerryn Phelps regarding the medical transfer of asylum-seekers from offshore processing centres to Australia. The amendments seek to give more ministerial control over doctor-directed transfers. However, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has ruled out any prospect of the Coalition supporting the amended legislation, claiming that it will compromise the ability of the government to control who comes to Australia. Greens MP Adam Bandt claims that Labor is again "caving in" on the issue of refugees.

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

Morrison faces recall push over proposals

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 10 : 7-Feb-19

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says the federal government must begin implementing the recommendations of the financial services royal commission’s final report prior to the upcoming election. Labor will seek the support of lower house crossbenchers for a motion to recall parliament for an additional two weeks in March, with a view to legislating some of commissioner Kenneth Hayne’s recommendations. Shorten says that unless action is seen to be taken quickly, the general public will believe that the misconduct exposed by the inquiry will be allowed to continue.

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, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA

Labor says PM squibbed on Hayne

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 6-Feb-19

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has called for federal parliament to sit for an additional two weeks in March to allow some of the financial services royal commission’s recommendations to be enacted before the election. Meanwhile, Labor claims that the government has not fully committed to implementing 14 of the 76 recommendations outlined in the inquiry’s final report. Both Prime Minister Scott Morrison and predecessor Malcolm Turnbull have conceded that the inquiry should have begun much earlier.

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 CONSUMERS’ ASSOCIATION

LNG import plans pushed back to 2020

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 11 & 14 : 5-Feb-19

AGL Energy’s proposed import terminal at Crib Point in Victoria and Australian Industrial Energy’s planned LNG import terminal at Port Kembla in New South Wales are among five LNG import terminals flagged for Australia. However, Saul Kavonic of Credit Suisse says none of the five may be approved by the end of 2019. Labor’s energy spokesman Mark Butler says it has not ruled out LNG import terminals if it wins the upcoming election, while Australian Workers’ Union national secretary Daniel Walton has spoken out against importing LNG.

CORPORATES
AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRIAL ENERGY PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN WORKERS’ UNION-FEDERATION OF INDUSTRIAL, MANUFACTURING AND ENGINEERING EMPLOYEES, CREDIT SUISSE (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED

Franking plan violates fair go tax principles: retirees

Original article by Tim Boyd
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 5-Feb-19

Retiree Bernard Shea has told a parliamentary committee that Labor’s proposal to abolish cash refunds for excess dividend imputation credits is in violation of "the pillars and basic principles of taxation". The inquiry was being held at the Merimbula RSL on the New South Wales south coast, with most submissions coming from retirees who are against the changes. Retiree Jon Gaul claimed that he would lose $6,000 a year if Labor’s policy is enacted, while Shea said the policy discriminates against self-managed superannuation funds.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS LIMITED