Jobs clawback sees 250,000 return to work

Original article by Patrick Commins
The Australian – Page: 5 : 1-Jul-20

New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that the number of employees on companies’ payrolls has increased by 2.7 per cent since mid-April. This equates to about 250,000 workers, and follows an 8.8 per cent fall in payrolled jobs in the four weeks from 14 March. However, there are still 670,000 fewer workers on companies’ payrolls than prior to the coronavirus pandemic. The figures are based on payrolls data from the Australian Taxation Office.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS, AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE

ACM brings back bulk of print titles

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 30 : 29-Jun-20

Regional newspaper group Australian Community Media will shortly resume publishing at least 50 of the print mastheads that were suspended in April due to the coronavirus pandemic. The move affected about 80 non-daily titles, and sources have indicated that a decision has yet to be made as to when the remaining mastheads will resume publication. ACM CEO Allen Williams has urged regional communities to support their local newspapers to ensure that they are financially sustainable.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY MEDIA

Twenty years on, burning platform is here for GST reform: Ken Henry

Original article by John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 36 : 29-Jun-20

Former Treasury secretary Ken Henry has called for an overhaul of Australia’s tax system in response to the coronavirus-induced recession. Henry was a top tax adviser to the Howard government when it introduced the goods and services tax. Former federal treasurer Peter Costello says Australia’s tax system has become increasingly complex since the GST was introduced two decades ago, arguing that it needs to be simplified. He concedes that the GST base should have been broader with fewer exemptions; however, he is cautious about expanding it now, arguing that ‘populist politics’ in the Senate could result in even more exemptions than at present.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

Reform to offset slump in mine jobs

Original article by Joe Kelly
The Australian – Page: 6 : 29-Jun-20

The Australian Mines & Metals Association has warned that the coronavirus pandemic could result in the loss of between 24,000 and 48,000 jobs in the resources and energy sector in the absence of any new projects. AMMA CEO Steve Knott argues that this would be offset by $250bn worth of proposed projects in the sector that would create 100,000 jobs by 2026. However, he says the federal government’s industrial relations working group on greenfields agreements must secure backing for a proposal to allow new workplace deals to cover the entire construction phase of new projects. Members of the working group met for the first time on 26 June.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN MINES AND METALS ASSOCIATION (INCORPORATED)

Australian Defence Force on coronavirus war footing

Original article by Rebecca Urban
The Australian – Page: 1 & 5 : 29-Jun-20

Victoria reported a total of 90 new coronavirus cases on the weekend of 27-28 June, and there are now 231 active cases in the state. Premier Daniel Andrews has flagged the possibility of imposing a ‘stay-at-home’ order on residents in suburbs that have been identified as coronavirus hotspots. Australian Defence Force personnel assisted in carrying out more than 40,000 coronavirus tests in these suburbs on the weekend. Meanwhile, the state government has advised that people who have returned from overseas will now face a 10-day extension of their two-week quarantine period if they refuse to be tested for the virus.

CORPORATES
VICTORIA. DEPT OF PREMIER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE

Hard landing for Qantas workers

Original article by Robyn Ironside, Damon Kitney
The Australian – Page: 13 & 16 : 26-Jun-20

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce will remain at the helm for another three years to oversee the national carrier’s coronavirus recovery plan. This will include reducing costs by $15bn over three years and shedding 6,000 employees across its operations. The job cuts will include more than 1,000 cabin crew, some 1,500 ground crew and 630 engineers. The redundancies will cost about $600m in total, while the 15,000 employees who were stood down earlier in 2020 will not return to work in the near-term. ACTU president Michele O’Neil has criticised the job cuts, accusing Qantas of abandoning its workers at "their time of greatest need". Meanwhile, Qantas will increase its liquidity via a $1.9bn capital raising.

CORPORATES
QANTAS AIRWAYS LIMITED – ASX QAN, ACTU

Qantas job shock sparks airline help

Original article by Phillip Coorey, Lucas Baird
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 8 : 26-Jun-20

The federal government is set to provide a coronavirus assistance package for the nation’s airlines in the wake of plans by Qantas to retrench 6,000 employees. Prime Minister Scott Morrison says it is clear that the sector will continue to require government assistance when the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme ends in late September. He has flagged the possibility of extending JobKeeper or providing an industry-specific support package. Morrison has previously rejected a request from Virgin Australia to extend the JobKeeper scheme.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, QANTAS AIRWAYS LIMITED – ASX QAN, VIRGIN AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX VAH

Supermarkets bring back grocery limits

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 5 : 25-Jun-20

Grocery giants Coles and Woolworths have responded to signs of renewed panic buying in some Melbourne suburbs by reintroducing temporary purchasing limits on high-demand products. Coles will impose limits on items such as toilet paper, paper towels and rice at all of its supermarkets in Victoria, as well as some towns in New South Wales. Woolworths’ purchasing limits apply only to its stores in Victoria at present.

CORPORATES
COLES GROUP LIMITED – ASX COL, WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW

Chronic illnesses behind most virus-linked deaths

Original article by Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 25-Jun-20

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that some 33,066 doctor-certified deaths were recorded nationwide during the first three months of 2020. The figures also show that 68.5 per cent of people whose deaths were attributed to the coronavirus already had a chronic health problem, such as cancer or diabetes. The highest number of deaths were recorded in the final week of March, which coincided with the highest numbers of deaths from respiratory diseases, diabetes and dementia.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS

Tanking arts and entertainment sector to get $250m support package

Original article by Phillip Coorey, Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 25-Jun-20

The federal government will announce details of a $250m coronavirus rescue package for the arts and entertainment sector on 25 June. The package will provide grants and low-interest loans to businesses and cultural institutions in a sector that has been hard-hit by the coronavirus lockdown. Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the package will provide financial assistance for all people in the sector, including those who build stage sets and develop computer-generated special effects, rather than just actors and performers.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET