Business and Finance

  • Native Title

    Native Title Compensation in Australia – Time to Pay

    The High Court of Australia has handed down its first decision on compensation payable under the federal Native Title Act 1993 (Act). The case is Northern Territory v Mr A. Griffiths (deceased) and Lorraine Jon... more
  • election

    NSW election: New incentives for investment in renewables

    The New South Wales 2019 election campaign saw a focus on small and medium enterprises, as well as new incentives for private sector investment in renewables. Additional funding has been announced for large-... more
  • Australian businesses can win in US-China trade war

    Australian businesses can win in the US-China trade war with careful planning and execution of their trade strategy according to research by PwC Australia. PwC’s modelling finds Australian technology busin... more
  • share

    Research uncovers why we share or hide knowledge from co-workers

    Employees who enjoy their jobs and gain meaning from their roles are more likely to share information with their colleagues, new research led by Curtin University has found. The research, published in the Jo... more

SMEs delay business decisions until after the Federal Election

Australian small businesses are concerned about the impact of the impending Federal Election and are delaying critical business decisions, which could impact job growth and investment, according to new survey results in the Westpac Small Business Report in collaboration with Deloitte. The report reveals 50 per cent of small businesses are worried or uncertain about the impact election policies will have on their operations, and they are choosing to delay decisions such as staffing and investment. An estimated 40 per cent of new jobs in the economy are created by small businesses each year, which is equiva... more

​Serious worker exploitation becomes criminalised

The Federal Government has confirmed that it has accepted in principle all 22 recommendations of the Migrant Workers’ Taskforce Report, including criminalisation of serious worker exploitation and establishing a National Labour Hire Registration Scheme. The aim is to protect vulnerable workers, and Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations Kelly O’Dwyer said the exploitation of workers in Australian workplaces is not only illegal, it harms individuals, undercuts law-abiding employers and reflects poorly on Australia’s international reputation. “For the very first time we will introduce criminal sa... more

Greenhouse gas emissions and climate change contribute to coal mine refusal

In an Australian first, development consent for a new coal mine was refused by the Land and Environment Court of NSW (the Court) for reasons that included its material greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and contribution to climate change. This decision is the latest in a long line of climate change litigation cases, and part of an increasing trend in NSW and Victoria, and internationally, for proceedings to be brought opposing development on the basis of climate change. This represents an additional approval risk of which companies need to be aware and which they need to adequately address in the application and ... more

Seven deadly sins of joint ventures under competition law in the resources sector

This article identifies seven competition law pitfalls in joint ventures in energy and resources sectors. It is very common for businesses to seek to coordinate or collaborate for the purposes of exploration, study, bidding, development, production or supply in the energy and resources sectors. Often that collaboration comprises one or more of the following: arrangements between entities with similar interests in the exploration, development or acquisition of a resource or product; arrangements between entities with similar capabilities to: jointly develop, produce, supply and market; jointly de... more

Further exploration land released in Queensland

While announcing the recent round of successful tenders for the exploration of coal and minerals in Queensland, Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, Dr Anthony Lynham, declared more land open for exploration across the State. The move to unlock further land for exploration follows a recent geological report commissioned by the Queensland Government that substantially upgraded coal reserve estimates across the State’s coal provinces. Coal reserves upgrade  The announcements were said by Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive, Ian Macfarlane, to evidence the opportunities for investm... more

SA Royal Commission finds Murray-Darling Basin Plan partly unlawful

On 29 January 2019 the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission (Royal Commission), constituted by Bret Walker SC as Commissioner, delivered its almost 800 page report to the South Australian Government. The Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission Report (Report) was promptly released to the public. Climate change The Commissioner's findings in relation to climate change were that climate change had not been considered by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) in relation to the setting of the Sustainable Diversion Limits (SDLs) under the Basin Plan. This was a fundamental problem from a le... more

Critical infrastucture: Reporting starts now

From 11 January 2019, owners and operators of Australia's critical infrastructure (ports, electricity, water and gas infrastructure) will have their assets more closely scrutinised by the Commonwealth Government. Entities will be required to disclose information about their corporate structure and asset operations, and may be subject to direction by the Minister. The Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018 (Cth) (Act) seeks to improve the Commonwealth's understanding of the ownership and operational control of critical infrastructure in Australia. The Act complements the Critical Infrastructure Centre... more

Australian CEOs say trade war is a threat to business growth

One in three Australian CEOs are projecting a decline in global GDP growth this year, up from just 7 per cent a year ago, according to PwC’s 22nd Annual Global CEO Survey. The survey, which interviewed approximately 3,200 CEOs from 91 countries, including 131 respondents from Australia, also shows a dip in the confidence of Australian CEOs when looking at their own organisation’s revenue growth for 2019 and over the next three years, with 61 percent pointing to trade conflicts as a threat. Australian CEOs are also looking inward for growth, with 71 per cent relying on operational efficiencies and 80 pe... more

OECD report highlights low taxes are key to competitiveness

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)'s recently released Corporate Tax Statistics report details that Australia’s marginal effective corporate tax rate is on the upper end in comparison to other OECD countries and that lower taxes are important for competitiveness. The report follows the OECD’s Economic Survey in Australia, released in December 2018, which states that Australia’s economy is ‘projected to continue at a robust pace’ and that the country's debt-to-GDP ratio ‘remains relatively low’, providing ‘sufficient room to support activity… in the event of a... more

Expanding opportunities for New Energy Minerals in Australia

The era of electric vehicles (EVs) and other battery-powered technology has also ushered in the age of 'new energy minerals'. The International Energy Agency's 2018 World Energy Outlook, in its core scenario, suggests that one-in-five cars sold in the world will be electric by 2040 (but in China it could be and one-in–three cars). This shift to EVs presents an exciting opportunity for mineral resource exploration companies as we observe a recent spike in demand across the mineral industry. While Australia is a top global producer and exporter of minerals such as copper, nickel and zinc; this article explore... more

Report shows non-compliant employers continue to offend

The Fair Work Ombudsman's October 2018 Report (Report) into National compliance reinforces one or two truisms that are unfortunately part of the baggage that continues to burden our industrial relations system. In addition to shining a light on those areas of our economy where non-compliance remains a huge problem, the Report tells us that almost 40 per cent of previously non-compliant employers continue to offend. Methodology The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) via the National Compliance Monitoring program (NCM), re-audits previously non-compliant employers, the aim being to: assess the status of previous... more