Top Stories

  • Energy corporation does deal with Origin AAP - 6 minutes ago
    Energy corporation does deal with Origin

    The Clean Energy Finance Corporation has agreed to help energy company Origin drive an increase in the use of solar. The finance will assist Origin in owning, installing and maintaining solar systems on household and business customers' roofs, the corporation's CEO Oliver Yates said in a statement. Origin general manager for solar and emerging businesses Phil Mackey said the service is already proving attractive to customers.

  • Where Greece, creditors are adrift AAP - 7 minutes ago

    Greece has missed its repayments deadline to the International Monetary Fund and its bailout program has expired - leaving Athens to seek a third support package as its banks and stock market remain closed. The country's left-wing government hopes to continue talks on a proposed new package, picking up from where the negotiations left off last week - before an impasse prompted Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to call a referendum. PENSIONS: They were the major sticking point in the late stages of negotiations - and take up 16 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in annual government expenditure.

  • Building approvals rise in May AAP - 16 minutes ago
    Building approvals rise in May

    Total building approvals were up 17.6 per cent over the 12 months to May, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday. Approvals for private sector houses fell 8.4 per cent in the month, and the 'other dwellings' category, which includes apartment blocks and townhouses, was up 16.6 per cent.

  • Woodside pushes ahead with Browse AAP - 32 minutes ago

    Woodside Petroleum says it's on track to make a final decision on its key Browse gas project at the end of 2016 as it pushes ahead with engineering and design work. The energy giant says it's reached an agreement to enter the front-end engineering and design (FEED) phase for the proposed development, estimated to cost more than $80 billion. Woodside, which is targeting $680 million of savings, says it is still targeting a final investment decision on the proposed development in the second half of 2016.

  • Browse pushes ahead with Browse AAP - 38 minutes ago

    Woodside Petroleum says it's on track to make a final decision on its key Browse gas project at the end of 2016 as it pushes ahead with engineering and design work. The energy giant says it's reached an agreement to enter the front-end engineering and design (FEED) phase for the proposed development, estimated to cost more than $80 billion. Woodside, which is targeting $680 million of savings, says it is still targeting a final investment decision on the proposed development in the second half of 2016.

  • Asciano receives $8.8b takeover offer AAP - 39 minutes ago

    Ports and rail operator Asciano is in talks about a $8.8 billion takeover offer from a Canadian-based infrastructure group. Asciano says it received a confidential, indicative, non-binding and conditional offer from Brookfield Infrastructure Group on June 26. Asciano says discussions are at an early stage and there is no certainty that a deal will be done.

  • Tasmania launches gender equity plan AAP - 47 minutes ago

    Tasmania will launch a recruitment drive for women as the state government moves to balance the gender scales in positions of authority. The membership of government boards and committees should have female representation of at least 50 per cent by 2020, Minister for Women Jacquie Petrusma said on Wednesday. "In addition to women being denied opportunities, there is also an unconscious gender bias in the community where leadership is seen as the domain of men," she said of the current environment.

  • Puerto Rico in dire economic straits AAP - 47 minutes ago
    Puerto Rico in dire economic straits

    Puerto Rico's financial future hangs in limbo as economists and officials warn that the US territory could head down Greece's path if it is not allowed to declare bankruptcy as it struggles with $US72 billion ($A93.43 billion) in public debt. Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla has said that the overall debt is unpayable and that he will seek a moratorium on payments, although it is still unknown whether bondholders will agree to that or opt to resolve the issue in court. "The bombshells that have come down from Puerto Rico in the last two days have not been particularly well orchestrated," said David Tawil, co-founder and portfolio manager of New York-based Maglan Capital.

  • Govt to appoint agriculture umpire AAP - 51 minutes ago

    The Abbott government will appoint an umpire to help settle disputes between farmers, processors and supermarkets. Having a commissioner, who will work under the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, ...

  • Aust shares open higher AAP - 52 minutes ago
    Aust shares open higher

    The Australian sharemarket has begun trading in the new financial year with gains with investors appearing happy to take a break from the recent sell-offs. The Greek debt crisis is not yet resolved but hope remains of a resolution with talks with Eurozone finance ministers ongoing. "The broad macro theme for the market is still Greece but we may have reached a settling point where the market is going to wait it out," CMC Markets chief market analyst Ric Spooner said.

  • Battle over giant emerald continues AAP - 53 minutes ago

    A federal court in Washington DC has issued a restraining order that prevents anyone from transferring, selling or otherwise disposing of the so-called "Bahia Emerald" until a Brazilian criminal case involving it is settled. Brazil contends the gem cluster - which has been appraised at $US372 million - was illegally mined and smuggled out of the country. The restraining order stands until the Brazilian case ends and any forfeiture judgment is presented to the US court.

  • Home rentals surpass hotels in Spain AAP - 1 hour 23 minutes ago

    The number of beds listed by online home rental services like Airbnb in Spain surpassed the number on offer by hotels last year, a study shows. Airbnb and other similar sites listed a total of 2.7 million beds in Spain at the end of 2014, compared to 2.4 million beds available at hotels and other traditional regulated lodgings, according to the study carried out for Spanish tourism sector body Exceltur. Sites like Airbnb, which lets homeowners rent out their homes for a fee by marketing them online, list around 278,000 properties in Spain.

  • Takeover speculation swirls around Asciano AAP - 1 hour 31 minutes ago

    Asciano has placed its shares in a trading halt amid speculation about a possible takeover. Canada's Brookfield Asset Management has approached Asciano about taking a stake in its Patrick container ports ...

  • Property prices climb 10% in 2014/15 AAP - 1 hour 48 minutes ago

    Home values across Australia's capital cities climbed almost 10 per cent during the 2014/15 financial year, fuelled by the booming Sydney and Melbourne markets. A rebound in values during June helped lift ...

  • There's an app to get cash from friends AAP - 1 hour 53 minutes ago

    On a trip to Maine with four friends, Alexander Culbertson racked up $US1,300 on gas, hotel rooms, food and drinks. Cynthia Larose, chair of the privacy and security practice at the law firm Mintz Levin in Boston, said users should be cautious.

  • Greece defaults on loans AAP - 1 hour 55 minutes ago
    Greece defaults on loans

    Cash-strapped Greece missed a 1.5 billion euros ($A2.17 billion) payment to the International Monetary Fund as last-ditch efforts to find a compromise with official EU lenders came to naught. The future of efforts to restore its finances and meet creditor demands for reforms were in question, with fresh proposals from Athens spurned on Tuesday as the country moved toward a referendum Sunday on EU bailout offers.

  • Browse unveils Browse FLNG plans AAP - 2 hours 3 minutes ago

    Woodside Petroleum's Browse gas project is a step closer after it announced plans to begin designing the floating liquefied natural gas technology it will use. Woodside said agreement had been reached ...

  • One in two households at risk of shock AAP - 2 hours 23 minutes ago

    Many households are dangerously exposed to financial shocks despite record low interest rates. Half would face difficulties covering their living costs if the main income earner lost his or her job, ING Direct's household financial fitness test shows. ING's financial fitness test is based on how well households would cope without their main source of income and how quickly they could pay off an unexpected bill of $10,000.

  • Google's self driving cars hit streets AAP - 2 hours 23 minutes ago

    The latest models of Google's self driving cars are now cruising the streets near the internet company's Silicon Valley headquarters as an ambitious project to transform the way people get around shifts into its next phase. This marks the first time that the pod-like, two seat vehicles have been allowed on public roads since Google unveiled the next generation of its self driving fleet more than a year ago. Google announced a month ago that it would begin testing the curious looking cars, but hadn't specified the timing until recently when it disclosed the vehicles are driving up to 25 miles per hour on the roads around its Mountain View, California, office.

  • Greece's bailout expires, country defaults AAP - 2 hours 28 minutes ago
    Greece's bailout expires, country defaults

    Greece has slipped deeper into its financial abyss after the bailout program it has relied on for five years expired and the country failed to repay a loan due to the International Monetary Fund. After Greece made a last-ditch effort to extend its bailout, eurozone finance ministers decided in a teleconference late on Tuesday night that there was no way they could reach a deal before the deadline. "It would be crazy to extend the program," said Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who heads the eurozone finance ministers' body known as the eurogroup.

  • Tassal finalises De Costi deal AAP - 2 hours 30 minutes ago

    Salmon farmer Tassal has finalised a deal to buy NSW seafood business De Costi. After striking an in-principle deal in June, Tassal has now agreed to pay $50 million up front to acquire De Costi, with ...

  • Treasury had doubts about Carmichael mine AAP - 2 hours 33 minutes ago

    Queensland's treasury deemed the nation's biggest proposed coal mine economically unviable, documents reveal. Documents released under freedom of information laws show senior treasury officials expressed serious concerns about approving the $16.5 billion Carmichael mine in central Queensland because of Indian mining company Adani's high level of debt and unclear corporate structure, Fairfax Media reports. The documents reveal Queensland Treasury was worried the project was being pushed through by the Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning, led by Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney, while no proper due diligence had been conducted on Adani's financial capacity to properly establish the mine.

  • Aust bonds weaker amid Greek debt crisis AAP - 2 hours 39 minutes ago

    Australian 10-year bond prices are weaker, tracking moves in US Treasuries as the Greek debt crisis deepens, and after comments from the US Federal Reserve. Westpac strategist Imre Speizer said the US ...

  • Fewer soft drinks sold with Happy Meals AAP - 2 hours 53 minutes ago

    McDonald's says fewer people are picking soft drinks for Happy Meals after it stopped listing them as an option on its menu boards. The world's biggest hamburger chain said 48 per cent of Happy Meals orders chose soft drink as a beverage in the US after it was scrubbed from menus and marketing materials between July of last year and May. That's down from 56 per cent in the year-ago period. "I would expect that this would continue to go down," said Julia Braun, director of nutrition at McDonald's.

  • Tribunal considers consumer NSW power case AAP - 3 hours ago

    The Australian Energy Regulator is fighting a legal challenge on two fronts, with a recent bill-slashing power determination up for appeal. The Australian Competition Tribunal will on Wednesday be asked to allow the first-ever legal challenge on behalf of consumers against the energy regulator. The Public Interest Advocacy Centre is contesting an April Australian Energy Regulator (AER) decision that would cut the amount "poles and wires" companies can charge customers.