Financial News from AAP

  • CFMEU fines over Perth blockade increased AAP - 6 minutes ago

    The construction union and some of its key leaders have been fined $242,000 for blocking work on the $80 million Perth International Airport expansion. The Federal Court heard the CFMEU undertook the three-and-a-half hour blockade in 2013 over the reasonable belief that Concealed Interiors and Exteriors had failed to pay some of its staff and sub-contractors for certain work at the site. The CFMEU and six of its officials, including WA state secretary Mick Buchan and former national president Joe McDonald, were previously fined in the Federal Court a total of $21,225 for the unlawful conduct.

  • Fears drivers missing from submerged cars AAP - 15 minutes ago
    Fears drivers missing from submerged cars

    Queensland police are searching for the owners and possible passengers of two vehicles found submerged in floodwaters in the cyclone-hit Whitsunday region. At least one of the cars went under on the Bruce ...

  • Sydney Airport boss Mather to depart AAP - 25 minutes ago
    Sydney Airport boss Mather to depart

    Sydney Airport boss Kerrie Mather is leaving after 15 years with Australia's biggest airport as the clock ticks on a decision on whether it will develop Sydney's long-awaited Badgerys Creek airport. Ms Mather - who has been on the company's board since 2002 and chief executive since 2011 - says it is the "right time" to transition to new leadership. "Sydney Airport is very well positioned for the future," Ms Mather said on Wednesday in a statement.

  • Engie to run SA power plant at capacity AAP - 53 minutes ago

    Power company Engie will return its Pelican Point power station in Adelaide to full capacity from July in a major boost to South Australia's energy network. The company says it has secured gas supplies from Origin and has signed contracts to deliver 479 megawatts of electricity to the market from July 1, including 240 mw back to Origin for its SA retail customers. Premier Jay Weatherill has hailed the decision for increasing local power generation, reducing the state's reliance on power from Victoria.

  • Teaching your kids money matters AAP - 1 hour 0 minutes ago

    Although she's 30-something and earning a six-figure salary, your daughter can't get a loan because her credit rating was ruined by an old, unpaid sharehouse bill for a phone she didn't use. ASIC's senior executive leader in financial capability Miles Larbey says it's important for parents to teach children the value of money, and the difference between needs and wants. Opinions differ about whether to pay pocket money, and how much parents should give.

  • Thousands of poor lured into rental deals AAP - 1 hour 38 minutes ago

    Retail giant Radio Rentals isn't the only company exploiting low-income earners by luring them into paying exorbitant fees and charges on leases for basic household goods, says a consumer law expert. It comes as a nationwide class action was filed against Radio Rentals on Wednesday accusing it of "unfair and unconscionable practices". Legal Aid NSW says it will be keeping a close eye on this class action, but says the issue "is much bigger than just one company".

  • Approach China with optimism, Labor urges AAP - 1 hour 38 minutes ago

    Australia needs to approach China with confidence and optimism, not from a risk management perspective, Labor has urged the nation's diplomats. Opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong commended the Asian Century white paper, commissioned by the previous Labor government, to Australia's ambassadors, who are gathered in Canberra for a two-day summit as part of the process of drafting a new foreign policy white paper. While the Asian Century document had all but disappeared from public discussions, it remained relevant, Senator Wong said.

  • '$1 Buy' rent deals spark class action AAP - 1 hour 47 minutes ago

    Struggling Wagga Wagga mother of five Casey Simpson paid Radio Rentals $3320 for a used bed worth $480 and she still doesn't own it. Ms Simpson, who is leading a $50 million class action launched by Maurice Blackburn lawyers against Radio Rentals on Wednesday, says its "Rent, Try, $1 Buy" contract misled her. Radio Rentals is owned by ASX-listed Thorn Group, which suffered heavy slide in its share price on Wednesday after news of the class action broke.

  • ACTU wants $45 per week minimum wage rise AAP - 1 hour 49 minutes ago
    ACTU wants $45 per week minimum wage rise

    Australia's peak trade union body will push for a $45 a week rise in the minimum wage. New ACTU secretary Sally McManus told the National Press Club the country's workplace laws were "broken" and the minimum wage had fallen to a "dangerously low level". "That is why today the ACTU will be making a claim to increase the minimum wage significantly," Ms McManus said on Wednesday.

  • Downpour shuts Qld mines, floods railways AAP - 1 hour 49 minutes ago

    Most central Queensland mines and railways are at a standstill as driving rain from Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie threatens to halt coal production for some time. The enormous storm is forecast to dump up to 250 millimetres of rain over much of the coal-rich Bowen Basin on Wednesday, with significantly higher rainfall totals possible, with a high risk of flash flooding. Glencore, BHP Billiton, AngloAmerican, Peabody Energy, Wesfarmers Resources, QCoal, Stanmore Coal, Evolution Mining and Resolute Mining have completely or partially shutdown many of their coal and gold mines in the area.

  • 'Sad day' for Vic as Hazelwood shuts down AAP - 2 hours 44 minutes ago
    'Sad day' for Vic as Hazelwood shuts down

    As workers at Victoria's Hazelwood power station prepare to hang up their hard hats for the final time, promises of future jobs are, so far, nothing more than words on a page. The final two generators at the station will go offline on Wednesday, marking the end of 50 years of power generation at the site. The government announced earlier this month that about 150 workers at AGL's Loy Yang A coal mine will be made redundant and their jobs given to retrenched staff from Hazelwood.

  • Push to streamline super default accounts AAP - 2 hours 59 minutes ago

    It is probably the last thing a young person is thinking about when they start their first job, but the Productivity Commission wants to encourage a greater understanding about which superannuation they should choose on first entering the workforce. The commission is recommending a shake-up to the way workers are placed in funds with the aim of streamlining the super default system to reduce the chance of acquiring multiple accounts during the course a working life. Revenue and Financial Services Minister Kelly O'Dwyer said under the present default system people could end up with multiple funds and multiple sets of administrative fees.

  • Origin Energy boosts SA power supplies AAP - 3 hours ago

    Origin Energy has struck two agreements with French energy major Engie that could help stabilise South Australia's volatile energy market. Origin will supply gas to Engie's Pelican Point power station in Adelaide for three years to June 2020, allowing the plant to return to full capacity. Origin will then source up to 240 mega watts of electricity from the power plant to supply its South Australian customers.

  • Investors urge suppliers deforestation cut AAP - 3 hours ago

    Dozens of global investors representing more than $617 billion ($A805 billion) in assets under management are demanding that companies adopt "zero deforestation" policies in Latin America to combat the effects of climate change, a firm advising the investors says. Thirty-nine investors have joined forces to urge companies to adopt a similar policy to the region's soy moratorium, which has helped reduce deforestation rates in the Amazon by two thirds, Green Century Capital Management says. Kate Kroll, who co-ordinates the Boston-based firm's forest protection campaign, said corporations that source food from areas where large tracts of land have been cleared of forests to make way for agriculture, face reputational risks.

  • Insurance cost of Debbie's damage unknown AAP - 3 hours ago

    Two thousand claims have already been lodged but cyclone Debbie's damage bill will take weeks to calculate especially with more flooding expected as the now-low pressure system heads south. The clean-up from Cyclone Yasi cost insurers about $1.4 billion but it is "much too early" to estimate how much destruction Cyclone Debbie has caused, the Insurance Council of Australia says. "The storm's impact is still being felt across wide parts of Queensland," ICA spokesman Campbell Fuller told the ABC on Wednesday.

  • Aust shares trading near two-year high AAP - 3 hours ago

    Australian stocks are trading around a near two-year high, with the energy, industrial and healthcare sectors all up more than one per cent amid renewed investor confidence. At 1200 AEDT, the benchmark ...

  • Stocks to watch AAP - 4 hours ago

    Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange: COE - COOPER ENERGY - in a trading halt, last traded at 38.5 cents Oil and gas developer Cooper Energy will proceed with its Sole offshore gas project ...

  • Class action brought against Radio Rentals AAP - 4 hours ago

    Home appliance rental giant Radio Rentals is facing a class action accused of "unfair and unconscionable practices" that has hurt up to 200,000 customers to the tune of up to $50 million. Maurice Blackburn Lawyers principal Ben Slade claims the Thorn Group-owned company's "Rent, Try $1 Buy" scheme is misleading and has led to customers paying up to seven times the true retail cost of home appliances they have rented. "Here we have a national company that deals with vulnerable people promising them one thing but signing them up to another, at a much higher price than is reasonable," he said in a statement on Wednesday.

  • British PM May fires Brexit starting gun AAP - 4 hours ago

    Prime Minister Theresa May files formal Brexit divorce papers on Wednesday, pitching the United Kingdom into the unknown and triggering years of uncertain negotiations that will test the endurance of the European Union. Nine months after Britons voted to leave, May will notify EU Council President Donald Tusk in a letter that the UK really is quitting the bloc it joined in 1973. The prime minister, an initial opponent of Brexit who won the top job in the political turmoil that followed the referendum vote, will then have two years to settle the terms of the divorce before it comes into effect in late March 2019.

  • Shock flows and Debbie's not finished yet AAP - 4 hours ago
    Shock flows and Debbie's not finished yet

    Queensland's premier is flying north into cyclone-ravaged areas where the devastating effects of Cyclone Debbie are becoming clearer with each passing hour. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said everything possible was being done to help cyclone victims.

  • Flooding threatens flattened $1b cane crop AAP - 4 hours ago

    Cyclone Debbie has flattened mature cane crops in north Queensland, and anxious farmers are now waiting to see whether further damage will be caused by flooding. More than 1000 cane growers live in the area, and are responsible for supplying around half of Australia's $2 billion sugar industry. "We do know that hundreds of hectares of sugarcane has been flattened by cyclone Debbie's winds with the Mackay and Proserpine districts the worst affected," Canegrowers CEO Dan Galligan said.

  • Oroton seeks younger faces than Rose Byrne AAP - 4 hours ago

    Troubled luxury handbag retailer Oroton will replace Rose Byrne with "younger influencers" who cost less than the Australian Hollywood actress as the face of the brand. Oroton announced alongside its disappointing half-year earnings results on Tuesday that it will "transition away from Rose Byrne to younger influencers - lower cost". A spokeswoman from Oroton told AAP the company was not renewing Ms Byrne's three-year contract which has come to an end.

  • Take big firm tax cuts to poll: Ai Group AAP - 4 hours ago

    A major industry group has put forward an 11th-hour proposal to try and end the political impasse over the Turnbull government's 10-year tax plan as the Senate starts to debate the legislation. In its 2017/18 budget submission, the Australian Industry Group wants the parliament to support the initial stages of the tax reduction schedule so that by 2019/20 all companies with turnovers below $100 million pay a corporate tax rate of 27.5 per cent. "We have also suggested that the case to extend the 27.5 per cent rate to larger companies and to reduce the company tax rate to 25 per cent be re-prosecuted by the government and others ahead of the next election," Ai Group chief executive Innes Willox says.

  • Final two Hazelwood generators shut down AAP - 4 hours ago
    Final two Hazelwood generators shut down

    Workers at Victoria's Hazelwood power station say they've been left in the dark as management prepares to flick the final switch to shut it down. The final two generators at the station will go offline on Wednesday, marking the end of 50 years of power generation at the site. The government announced earlier this month that about 150 workers at AGL's Loy Yang A coal mine will be made redundant and their jobs given to retrenched staff from Hazelwood.

  • UK to begin 'momentus journey' outside EU AAP - 5 hours ago
    UK to begin 'momentus journey' outside EU

    Britain will take the first step on its "momentous journey" to a future outside the European Union when Theresa May launches divorce proceedings that will bring to an end a relationship of more than 40 years. It will mark the start of complex and contentious negotiations that put the UK on course to break its ties with Brussels by the end of March 2019. Mrs May will urge the country to "come together" as she looks to the heal the deep wounds caused by a referendum campaign that left the UK mired in division.

  • Brexit draws US, Russian, Chinese interest AAP - 5 hours ago

    China, Russia and the United States are taking an interest in Brexit, a World Trade Organization source says, after a question about a tricky but vital reform required by Britain arose at the Geneva-based trade body. The question, posed at the WTO's agriculture committee by Indonesia, was about how Britain would handle its agricultural tariff system and preferential trade scheme for poorer countries after Britain leaves the European Union. The US, Argentina, China and Russia all registered their interest in the matter, the WTO source said.

  • Gulf states want post-Brexit FTA with UK AAP - 5 hours ago

    Gulf Arab states are pressing for an early deal on free trade with Britain to secure preferential arrangements after Brexit, and could have a draft agreement ready within months, Gulf officials say. Britain cannot formally sign trade agreements while it remains a member of the European Union, but the British government has said it is keen to start preparatory work so deals can be reached quickly after it leaves. One of the first agreements could be with the six-nation Gulf Co-operation Council, which includes Qatar and the two biggest Arab economies, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman, according to the officials.

  • Aust shares continue to climb AAP - 5 hours ago

    The Australian share market has continued higher in early trade, with local investors taking cues from overnight gains on Wall Street. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 0.5 per cent after the first ...

  • Push to end costly multiple super accounts AAP - 5 hours ago

    It is probably the last thing a young person is thinking about when they start their first job, but the Productivity Commission wants to encourage a greater understanding about which superannuation they should choose on entering the workforce. The commission is recommending a shake-up to the way workers are placed in funds with the aim of reducing the cost of acquiring multiple accounts during the course their working life. Commission chairman Peter Harris says after 25 years structural faults are evident in default superannuation, notwithstanding a history of reasonable returns.

  • Australian shares rise on open AAP - 6 hours ago

    The Australian share market has started higher following overnight gains on Wall Street after US consumer confidence soared to a more-than-16-year high. At 1010 AEDT on Wednesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 ...

  • SA opposition slams rejected power offer AAP - 6 hours ago

    South Australia would not have needed a $550 million energy plan if the state government had accepted an offer from Alinta Energy to pay $24 million to keep a power station running for another three years, the state opposition says. The SA Liberals say a letter from the energy company to the state government in May 2015 reveals it offered to keep the Northern Power Station at Port Augusta running until mid-2018 for a subsidy of about $24 million. Opposition Leader Steven Marshall says the government's decision to refuse the offer, followed by the power station's closure in May 2016, was "economically damaging" and boosted SA power bills by 10 per cent.

  • Final two Hazelwood generators go offline AAP - 6 hours ago
    Final two Hazelwood generators go offline

    The last of Hazelwood brown-coal power station's generators will be shutting down, marking the end of a three-day switch off. The final two generators will go offline on Wednesday. Local member Russell Northe says the mood in the Latrobe Valley has been "sombre" this week.

  • Amazon tests grocery pickup service in US AAP - 6 hours ago
    Amazon tests grocery pickup service in US

    Amazon is testing a grocery pickup service in the United States city of Seattle. The AmazonFresh Pickup service is currently open only to Amazon employees. Amazon says orders will be ready in as little as 15 minutes after being placed.

  • Origin signs deal to supply gas to Engie AAP - 6 hours ago

    Origin Energy has signed a three-year agreement to supply gas to French energy major Engie's Pelican Point power plant in South Australia. The energy producer and retailer will also source 240 mega watts of electricity from the plant for a fixed charge to supply its SA customers. Origin has also separately agreed to supply eight peta-joules of natural gas to Engie over the 2018 and 2019 calendar years to help it meet the needs of its local customers.

  • Cane growers wake to flattened crops AAP - 6 hours ago

    Cane growers in the path of Cyclone Debbie are emerging from their homes to a sea of flattened crops. Farmer Bill Atkinson, who lives around 25km inland from Airlie Beach, described his property as looking like a "warzone", with roofs off sheds, trees down and the cane partially destroyed. Mr Atkinson said he estimates the category four cyclone could have wiped out 35 per cent of the 20,000 tonne crop at a cost of more than $100,000 to his family.