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

Trash to treasure: Waste to energy opportunities abound

A perfect storm of factors has culminated in a tipping point for the waste to energy (WtE) sector in Australia giving it a chance to emerge as a key part of the country's energy and waste management future. These factors include the significant ongoing growth of the Australian population, the long-term absence of a cohesive Federal energy policy, the dramatic shift in the global recycling sector following China's 'ban' on importing foreign recyclables, as well as the increased economic and social cost of landfill reliance in Australia. As challenges associated with waste collection and landfill increase, i... more

ALP alternative renewables policies to the National Energy Guarantee

The Australian Labor Party (ALP) recently confirmed that, should it win the 2019 Federal election, the ALP will adopt the National Electricity Guarantee (NEG) and increase the NEG's emissions reduction target to 45 per cent by 2030. With the Coalition no longer officially pursuing the NEG, bipartisan agreement to the NEG with an increased emissions reduction target appears doubtful. Accordingly the ALP announced last week a series of alternative renewables policies to sit beside the NEG, including: injecting a further $10 billion in capital over five years into the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (estab... more

Sale campaign for assets of Mirabela Nickel is successful

The receivers and managers (the Receivers) of Mirabela Nickel Ltd (In Liquidation) (Receivers and Managers Appointed) (MBN) provide an overview and update of the sale process that they have conducted in relation to the assets of MBN. In late 2015, the Receivers commenced an extensive international sale process for the assets of MBN including MBN's shareholding in Mirabela Mineração do Brasil Ltda (MMB) and its related assets, The sale campaign did not result in any offers for the Assets that were capable of acceptance. Following this, the Receivers engaged in extensive negotiations with an ad hoc group of n... more

The National Electricity Guarantee – dead or deadish?

The last few months have been a tumultuous time for the renewables sector. The federal government has recently moved away from the proposed National Electricity Guarantee (NEG) and it is not clear what will replace it in the near future. What was the NEG? The Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) is intended to incentivise the development of renewable energy though the creation and sale of large-scale generation certificates (LGCs). Recent predictions indicate that, at the current rate of investment, a sufficient number of LGCs will exist to meet the requirements of the LRET by around 2020. The NEG wa... more

Navigating unlawful interview questions

An interview provides an employer with an opportunity to get to know prospective employees and assess their suitability for employment. Often, there are many questions an employer wants to ask a prospective employee – however care should be taken to avoid questions which can later be relied on by the interviewee to mount legal claims. Under both federal and state legislation, it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a prospective employee based on a protected characteristic. A protected characteristic includes race, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, marital status, family responsibilit... more

Whistleblower protections to go ahead

South Australians who blow the whistle on corruption or maladministration in the public sector will have greater protections under reforms which have now passed State Parliament. The laws enable people to pass on confidential information to Members of Parliament, and importantly journalists, where it is in the public interest, relates to environmental or public health or involves public administration. Attorney General, Vickie Chapman said the new whistleblower protection laws would strengthen transparency and accountability in government. “If a public servant identifies an issue that should be invest... more

Significant mine worker safety and health changes passed – and more to come

The Mines Legislation (Resources Safety) Amendment Bill 2018 (Bill) was passed by the Queensland Parliament on 31 October 2018. The Bill was supported by both the Government and the Opposition. As a result, significant changes to the Coal Mining Safety and Health Act 1999 (Qld) (CMSHA) and the Mining and Quarrying Safety and Health Act 1999 (Qld) (MQSHA) will be made that will affect, among other things, duties of officers, reporting requirements for mine worker diseases, reporting defects and hazards affecting plant and substances, incorporating contractor and service provider plans and increasing penalties ... more

FIFO worker engaged as a casual entitled to annual leave

A FIFO worker who was purportedly engaged as a ‘casual’ under an enterprise agreement has successfully claimed an entitlement to annual leave under both the National Employment Standards (NES) and the terms of the enterprise agreement. The full Federal Court decision in WorkPac Pty Ltd v Skene [2018] FCAFC 131 opens the way for further claims by employees who are engaged as casuals but work regular and consistent hours.  Designation as a "casual" and payment of a casual loading are not determinative  In this case, the employee: was engaged by labour-hire company WorkPac as a ‘casual’ in t... more

The cost of coming back: a better deal for working mothers

More than 125,000 returning-to-work Australian mums are actually financially worse off by increasing their working days above three days a week, a new report from KPMG Australia, The cost of coming back: achieving a better deal for working mothers, has found. Others – particularly at the lower end of the income scale - gain hardly at all by working more days. KPMG Australia Chairman Alison Kitchen said the report has found that for a couple earning the minimum wage, the mother is effectively working for just $2.50 an hour on the additional days if she increases her working days beyond three a week. "This... more

Large opportunities to come from Australia-India trade

Strong economic growth in India and increased demand for Australian mineral resources and mining equipment, technology and services (METS) are forecast to generate big opportunities for both countries while presenting significant challenges for doing business. The latest report in the Minerals Council of Australia's (MCA) New Frontiers project based on research by Trading Nation Consulting outlines good prospects for resources trade and solid engagement between Australia and India on mining-related investment - mostly based on METS. Within a decade, India will be the world’s most populous country and by ... more

Investment in Australian startups continues to hit new highs

Australia’s startup sector has yet again enjoyed a quarter of growth in venture capital, according to KPMG’s Venture Pulse Q3 2018. Q3 2018 totalled US$317 million across 27 deals, exceeding every other quarter in the dataset excepting Q2 2014. Key Australian deals involved Judo Capital, Airwallex, Culture Amp, Flare, Gilmour Space Technologies, Simple, AgriWebb and GO1. Software dominated investor interest, with five out of the top eight deals being business productivity, financial or educational software. "Most importantly, that rate of growth, despite sliding volume in terms of total deals closed, i... more