Top Stories

  • Trump pins hopes on 'revved up economy' AAP - 58 minutes ago
    Trump pins hopes on 'revved up economy'

    President Donald Trump says the extra $US54 billion ($A70 billion) he has proposed spending on the US military will be offset by a stronger economy as well as cuts in other areas. "I think the money is going to come from a revved up economy," Trump said in a Fox News interview broadcast on Tuesday, hours before he was to address a joint session of Congress. On Monday Trump outlined what he called a "historic" increase in defence spending which has run into opposition from Republicans in Congress who say it is not enough to meet the military's needs.

  • Samsung chief to face bribery charge AAP - 2 hours 30 minutes ago

    South Korean prosecutors say they will charge Samsung chief Jay Y. Lee with bribery and embezzlement. Jay Y. Lee, 48, was arrested on February 17 over his alleged role in the corruption scandal involving impeached President Park Geun-hye, dealing a fresh blow to the standard-bearer for Asia's fourth-largest economy. The special prosecutor's office said on Tuesday, the last day of its investigation, that it would charge Lee, third-generation leader of the tech giant, and four other executives with bribery and embezzlement.

  • Politics 'hardened' banker Baird: NAB boss AAP - 3 hours ago
    Politics 'hardened' banker Baird: NAB boss

    National Australia Bank chief executive Andrew Thorburn knows two former state premiers - and has been instrumental in finding jobs for both. Two weeks after Mr Thorburn, who is also chairman of the Australian Bankers' Association, announced former Queensland premier Anna Bligh as ABA chief executive, he unveiled recently departed NSW premier Mike Baird as NAB's head of corporate and institutional banking. "I've only really known two premiers and it just so happens in the past two weeks I've been involved in appointments for them" Mr Thorburn said.

  • 'Catastrophic year' for Obamacare: Trump AAP - 4 hours ago
    'Catastrophic year' for Obamacare: Trump

    President Donald Trump has told several chief executives of large insurance companies that 2017 will be a "catastrophic" year for the Affordable Care Act as he seeks to make good on a campaign promise to repeal the measure. The Republican president on Monday told the insurers they must all work together to save Americans from the law known as Obamacare and try to bring down health care prices.

  • More cash for Vic solar homes grid feed-in AAP - 4 hours ago

    Victorian solar households will get an increase in the money they receive for the electricity they put back into the grid. A new, minimum feed-in tariff of 11.3 cents per kilowatt hour will start from ...

  • Takata pleads guilty to fraud over airbags AAP - 5 hours ago
    Takata pleads guilty to fraud over airbags

    Japanese auto parts maker Takata has pleaded guilty to fraud and agreed to pay a $US1 billion ($A1.3 billion) penalty for concealing a deadly defect in millions of its airbags. Takata admitted hiding evidence its airbag inflators can explode with too much force, hurling shrapnel into drivers and passengers. The inflators are blamed for at least 16 deaths worldwide - 11 of them in the US - and more than 180 injuries.

  • Samsung chief, four execs to be charged AAP - 5 hours ago

    South Korea's special prosecutor's office says it will charge Samsung Group scion Jay Y. Lee and four other executives with bribery, embezzlement and other offences. Lee was arrested on February 17 over his alleged role in the corruption scandal involving President Park Geun-hye, dealing a fresh blow to the technology giant and standard-bearer for Asia's fourth-largest economy. Samsung has denied wrongdoing.

  • Turnaround focus after Bellamy's rebellion AAP - 6 hours ago

    Infant formula supplier Bellamy's is in uncharted territory after a shareholder protest vote removed most of its board to leave it with just three directors and no chairman, as a new challenge in its key China market emerged. Investors have shown support for the embattled company, however, lifting shares in the wake of Tuesday's extraordinary general meeting where shareholders put a broom through the boardroom. Rebel shareholder Jan Cameron, who led the protest against Bellamy's ahead of Tuesday's extraordinary general meeting, missed in her bid for a board seat but two of her aligned director candidates succeeded.

  • Shares fall for fourth straight day AAP - 6 hours ago

    A late plunge on the share market has sent it to a fourth straight day of falls. The market was trading in positive territory for most of Tuesday's session, but ultimately losses across the resources, ...

  • Stocks to watch AAP - 6 hours ago

    Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange: BAL - BELLAMY'S AUSTRALIA - up 18 cents, or 4.2 per cent, at $4.45 Entrepreneur and Kathmandu founder Jan Cameron failed to win a seat on the board of ...

  • Straw could replace coal: energy expert AAP - 6 hours ago

    Straw and woodchips could replace coal in firing up Australia's energy storages says the man who spearheaded an entire Danish island becoming 100 per cent renewable-dependent. Samso Energy chief executive Soren Hermansen helped get Denmark's Samso Island fully energy independent and he is in Melbourne for the two-day Community Energy Congress. You can replace coal with hay," Mr Hermansen told AAP.

  • Trade czar Ross wins Senate confirmation AAP - 6 hours ago
    Trade czar Ross wins Senate confirmation

    Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross has easily won confirmation as US commerce secretary, clearing President Donald Trump's top trade official to start work on renegotiating trade relationships with China and Mexico. The US Senate voted 72-27 to confirm the 79-year-old corporate turnaround expert's nomination, with strong support from Democrats. Ross is set to become an influential voice in Trump's economic team after helping shape the president's opposition to multilateral free trade deals such as the now-scrapped Trans-Pacific Partnership.

  • Economy expected to return to growth AAP - 7 hours ago

    Stronger commodity prices and government spending in the final months of 2016 are expected to have helped the economy bounce back from the preceding quarter's contraction. Gross domestic product (GDP) is forecast to have risen 0.8 per cent in the December quarter, taking it to 2.1 per cent for the 12 months to December, according to an AAP survey of 14 economists. Figures already released from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show private investment fell 2.1 per cent and wages and salaries slipped 0.5 per cent in the December quarter, and economists expect household consumption was moderate.

  • Home loans grow as auctions hit record AAP - 7 hours ago

    Auction clearance rates in Australia's major capital cities may not subside anytime soon, given the strong growth in housing loans that continues to fuel investor demand. According to data released by ...

  • Ex-judge to mediate Qld's sugar dispute AAP - 7 hours ago

    A former Supreme Court judge will hold mediation talks with Queensland Sugar Limited and mill owner Wilmar on Thursday in a bid to end their ongoing dispute. QSL chief executive officer Greg Beashel said the warring parties had again failed to make a new supply agreement during negotiations on Tuesday. Mr Beashel said QSL had accepted the Queensland government's offer to hold talks with Wilmar in the presence of former Supreme Court judge Richard Chesterman.

  • Turnbull, unions at war over penalty rates AAP - 7 hours ago
    Turnbull, unions at war over penalty rates

    Malcolm Turnbull has sought to sheet home a cut to penalty rates to Bill Shorten, as unions vowed a massive campaign to fight the decision. Trade union officials were in Canberra on Tuesday to protest a decision by the Fair Work Commission to align Sunday penalty rates with Saturday's rates in the hospitality, retail, fast food and pharmacy sectors. "There has been a concerted attack on working people and now the icing on the cake is the penalty rates cut," ACTU president Ged Kearney told reporters at Parliament House.

  • Wellard cuts its first-half loss by 25% AAP - 8 hours ago

    Livestock agribusiness Wellard has slashed its first-half loss and expects to post a profit in the 2017/18 financial year. Cost-cutting and restructuring helped Wellard cut its first-half loss by 25 per cent to $18 million, while revenue rose 2.3 per cent to $281.9 million in the six months to December 31, the company said on Tuesday. Wellard boss Mauro Balzarini said trading conditions remained tough, with high cattle prices and weak margins, but expected them to improve in the final quarter as cattle supplies returned to normal.

  • Housing boom lifts Harvey Norman's profit AAP - 8 hours ago
    Housing boom lifts Harvey Norman's profit

    Spending on furniture and electrical goods amid a buoyant housing market has helped drive Harvey Norman's half year underlying profit to a record high. Harvey Norman's underlying profit before tax, which excludes changes in the value of its property assets, jumped 21 per cent to $290.5 million in the six months to December 31, the best first-half trading result in the group's 34-year history. Co-founder and executive chairman Gerry Harvey said solid sales growth reflected a rise in retail spending, particularly in NSW and Victoria, to above decade averages.

  • Aust headed for Q1 current account surplus AAP - 8 hours ago

    Booming coal and iron ore prices are highly likely to lift Australia to its first current account surplus since the 1970s in the current quarter, economists say. The current account deficit narrowed by 63 per cent to $3.85 billion in the December quarter, to its lowest level in 16 years, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The main driver was soaring commodity prices - mainly coal and iron ore - that boosted the prices of exports compared to the price of imports by 9.1 per cent.

  • Vic property developer in administration AAP - 8 hours ago

    Home owners in three states have been left in the lurch after construction company Watersun Homes entered administration. External administrators were appointed on Tuesday to run the Melbourne-based developer ...

  • Economy set to rebound, recession avoided AAP - 8 hours ago

    It's been a long wait, but economists are confident last year's shock economic growth contraction was a one-off, and the quarter of a century of expansion will continue on. This is despite a variety of disappointing wage growth figures in the past week and the Fair Work Commission's decision to cut Sunday penalty rates. "It is important that we continue to provide that confidence in the economy and key to that is returning the budget to balance," Treasurer Scott Morrison told parliament on Tuesday.

  • Reform enables more SA power bill control AAP - 8 hours ago

    South Australians could soon have greater control over their power bills, the Australian Energy Regulator says. The regulator has approved a revised set of tariffs for electricity distributor SA Power Networks, which will allow retailers to develop offers for SA power customers that let them choose how and when they use electricity. The AER says such offers would allow customers to take advantage of peak and off-peak network pricing and have greater control over their bills.

  • Takeover of Specialty Fashion in limbo AAP - 9 hours ago

    A former Qatari ruler's death has thrown a $135 million takeover bid for Millers and Rivers owner Speciality Fashion Group into doubt. Despite the company reporting a 37 per cent rise in half year profit, shares in Specialty Fashion tumbled after it said it was unclear if investment company Al Alfia, which is controlled by the Qatari royal family, can now fund its planned acquisition. "Due to the unforeseen circumstances relating to the death of the father of the sole shareholder of Al Alfia, the funding has been temporarily restricted in probate," Specialty Fashion said in a statement.

  • Unions go to war on penalty rates cut AAP - 9 hours ago
    Unions go to war on penalty rates cut

    Hundreds of thousands of lower paid workers will experience the worst pay cut since the Great Depression because of a "terrible" decision by the industrial umpire, a senior trade union official is warning. Trade union officials are in Canberra on Tuesday to protest a decision by the Fair Work Commission to align Sunday penalty rates with Saturday's rates in the hospitality, retail, fast food and pharmacy sectors. "There has been a concerted attack on working people and now the icing on the cake is the penalty rates cut," ACTU president Ged Kearney told reporters at Parliament House.

  • Jan Cameron not upset by failed board bid AAP - 9 hours ago

    Entrepreneur and Kathmandu founder Jan Cameron says she is not disappointed by her failure to win a seat on the board of troubled infant formula supplier Bellamy's. Two other rebels, Rodd Peters and Chan Wai-Chan, were voted onto the board at Tuesday's extraordinary shareholder meeting, which was preceded by the resignation of chairman Rob Woolley and director Launa Inman. Directors Michael Wadley and Charles Sitch were dumped at the meeting in Melbourne, but director Patria Mann survived a move to unseat her.