Government Rejects SPC Ardmona’s Bid For $25 Million Rescue

The Federal government has rejected a bid by SPC Ardmona for a $25 million rescue package.

The decision was announced at a press conference this afternoon by Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane.

Abbott

SPC Ardmona is owned by Coca-Cola Amatil. It was seeking $25 million from the federal government and $25 million from the Victorian government. It was prepared to contribute $90 million to the rescue package.

Abbott said it was important that SPC Ardmona has the support of its parent company, one of the most profitable companies. “This is a business which well and truly has the resources to ensure SPC Ardmona is in a position to restructure,” Abbott said. [Read more…]


Pipeline Or Pipe Dream: Business Council Report Warns Of Risks To Investment

The Business Council of Australia has issued a report that says high costs and low productivity put at risk Australia’s pipeline of investment.

Text of news release from the Business Council of Australia.

Pipeline or Pipe Dream? New Research Uncovers What’s at Stake If We Don’t Get It Right on Major Projects

High costs and low productivity are risking Australia’s unprecedented $921 billion pipeline of investment in resources, energy and economic infrastructure, new research for the Business Council of Australia has found.

In a landmark study released ahead of next week’s economic forum in Brisbane, the BCA has for the first time provided a total picture of how capital investment is driving the economy. [Read more…]


“Fellow Punters, Fellow Capitalists”: Bill Shorten in Hong Kong

Bill Shorten, Assistant Treasurer

Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten

Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten has addressed Australian and Hong Kong business-people at an Australian Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Kong Kong.

Addressing his audience as “fellow punters, fellow capitalists,” Shorten praised the contribution of Chinese-Australians, arguing that bilingualism and Chinese family structures contribute to the educational achievements of Chinese children.

He said: “The ability of a child to master not just two languages but two alphabets, two sorts of reading, perhaps puts in more brain connections, surely, more inter-linkages of the mind, than a monolingual education. On top of that, though, I suggest is a stability of family life. A respect for the old, a capacity for familial feasting, a love of children, a love of scholarship, a readiness for the testing task, that puts Australian Chinese among our premier citizens.” [Read more…]


Gillard Forms Business Taskforce to Assist Qld Flood Recovery

The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has announced the formation of a Business Taskforce to support Queenslanders in the immediate aftermath of the Queensland floods.

Gillard announced the taskforce at a press conference this morning with Lindsay Fox, the chairman of Linfox, the transport and logistics business.

Julia Gillard and Lindsay Fox

Members of the taskforce include former Queensland Premier Wayne Goss, now the chairman of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. There will be representatives from business associations, including Heather Ridout, Graham Bradley and David Michaelis. The National Farmers Federation is represented by its president Jock Laurie.

Answering questions at the press conference, Gillard refused to be drawn on the effects of the floods on the federal budget. She said the cost of the flood damage is not yet known but the government faces difficult budgetary choices. She would not comment on speculation about introducing a levy to fund recovery programs or on dipping into the Future Fund.

  • Listen to Gillard and Fox at their press conference.

This is the text of a joint media release from Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Treasurer Wayne Swan.

As everyday Australians show their compassion and determination by pulling together to help Queenslanders affected by the devastating floods, Australian businesses have answered the call as well.

The Prime Minister today announced the Australian Government will immediately establish a Business Taskforce to support Queenslanders in the immediate recovery effort. [Read more…]


Business Council Calls For New Commonwealth-States Contract

The Business Council of Australia has released a report proposing reforms to the Australian federal system.

The BCA says in the report: “In the past, the debate has been mainly framed around political and constitutional reasons for change. The extent of the problems and dysfunctions of the current system of federal–state relations – marked by a lack of consensus on national goals and consistent forward planning – is such that it has become a major barrier to future prosperity. The challenge of reforming federalism has now become an economic imperative. Currently, Australia has a system where the lines of responsibilities between the Commonwealth and the states have become chronically blurred and confused. We have a system in which, because of a growing lack of transparency and accountability, the quantity of government has taken precedence over quality.

“As the world becomes more complex and increasingly requires decision making that anticipates rather than reacts to 21st-century challenges, Australia needs a system of government that can manage issues critical to the future of the nation through collaboration and cooperation. It is time for a new contract between the Commonwealth and the States.”

The Business Council of Australia represents the Chief Executives of 100 of Australia’s largest companies.


BCA Booklet: Reshaping Australia’s Federation

The Business Council of Australia has issued a study of Australia’s Federation and proposed a 12-point plan of action.

The BCA represents the Chief Executives of 100 of Australia’s “leading”, or largest, companies. [Read more…]


Rodney Adler Sentenced To Four And A Half Years Jail

Rodney Adler was today sentenced to jail for four years and six months for his role in the HIH insurance collapse, with a non-parole period of two and a half years.

Rodney AdlerHIH collapsed in March 2001 with liabilities of $5.3 billion.

Adler, 45, pleaded guilty to four criminal charges of making false statements about a purchase of HIH shares and lying to obtain money from HIH for a company in which he had an interest.

Justice John Dunford said Adler’s offences displayed “an appalling lack of commercial morality”. [Read more…]