Business and Finance

  • 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 co... more
  • battery

    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, s... more
  • compliance

    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.... more
  • Waste

    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. ... more

Trade war and global protectionism could risk recession

The escalating Trade War between the USA and China is already hurting Australian companies through restrictions in availability of key components, higher landed costs for Australian exports out of China and the USA, damage to business confidence, and delayed investment decisions, according to Ai Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox. "The complexity of international supply chains means that the impact of either US or Chinese tariffs will be felt by all kinds of businesses and as expected Australia is becoming collateral damage. Trying to stay ahead of any changes will be a bit like playing whack-a-mole, but agile companies with good relationships with customers and suppliers are best placed to survive this trade conflict,” Mr Willox said. He said 10 years on from the Global Financial Crisis, it seems that protectionist-leaning governments are determined to snatch recession from the... more

Alternative energy M&A’s ramp up in the Asia-Pacific

A recently released report by Mergermarket, focusing on the Asia-Pacific’s mergers and acquisitions (M&A) market for alternative energy has found that 2017 showed a decline in total deal value for alternative energy deals, although the total number of deals remained flat. In the Asia-Pacific region (from the 2015-2018 reporting period), China completed the most alternative energy deals of all countries within the region and gained the most value (US$M 36,873) from their mergers and acquisitions over the reporting period. China finalised a total of 165 deals, with Solar (US$ 14,563M) and Hydro Energy (US$ 15,917M) being their most active sectors. Australia came in second on the list of top Asia-Pacific countries completing high-value alternative energy M&As. The total value came in at (US$ 10,671M) and was counted as having 36 deals, with the most active sectors being Wind... more

How to minimise risk in mining mergers and acquisitions

There’s been a flurry of merger and acquisition activity in the Australian mining sector recently. Notable examples include OZ Minerals’ proposed buyout of Avanco Resources and Hancock Prospecting’s bid for Atlas Iron. The acquisition strategies pursued by mining companies support strategic objectives such as diversifying into new commodities, winning a bigger share of an existing market or entering new geographic locations. While such strategies are an essential part of fuelling future growth, the risk implications are often extensive. The acquiring business must address these throughout the transaction and subsequent integration process. Investing in risk management  FM Global partners with mining businesses that want to improve the quality of risk management, often helping them undertake due diligence on potential acquisitions. As an example, our engineers will visi... more

Securing our energy future

As climate policy claims yet another Prime Minister, Corrs sat down with Kane Thornton, Chief Executive of the Clean Energy Council, the peak industry body for the renewable energy and storage sectors. Kane tells us where he sees the policy debate heading, the hybrid technologies he can see appearing and why keeping a measured sense of humour comes with the job description for his role. Corrs: A tumultuous past few days, Kane, one Prime Minister gone and a new one arrives. It has been suggested that NEG might even continue but without an emissions guarantee. How likely is that and how could this possible scenario work? Kane: Yes, a brutal couple of weeks in Australian politics again. I think for those of us who have been in this game - and particularly from an energy and climate policy perspective - we've been here before, we've seen this movie before, we were hoping that this one ... more

The end of peer comparison disclosures?

Over the last couple of months, we've seen a number of ASX-listed junior mining companies being forced to retract promotional materials containing 'peer comparison information'. This rapidly evolving issue further complicates what junior mining companies can and can't say about their projects as they attempt the transition from explorer, to developer, to producer. For some time, regulators have sought to prevent mining companies from making particular statements about potential future production or financial forecasts of their projects at a time when there is limited geological knowledge about the orebody. This is because those statements imply certainty of economic recoverability of that orebody at, in the regulators view, too early a stage in the project development lifecycle. With that issue being largely put to bed, the focus now seems to have shifted onto the practice of 'peer co... more

What is next for the National Energy Guarantee (NEG)?

Speaking at a press conference on 23 August, former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that the introduction of the much anticipated Commonwealth Bill containing the emissions reduction target for the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) has been put on hold. As originally proposed, key elements of the NEG which were to be within the remit of Commonwealth legislation included: what the emissions reduction target will be and how/when it will be reviewed; exemptions for emissions-intensive trade-exposed (EITE) activities; and the use of Australian Carbon Credits Units (ACCUs) to offset liable entities' emissions reduction obligations. While the future of the NEG now appears uncertain, former Prime Minister Turnbull appears to have ruled out the possibility of putting the emissions reduction target in regulations, rather than Commonwealth legislation as was originally pro... more

New staff appointments to advance company’s offerings

thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions (Australia) Pty Ltd recently appointed two new staff members to further advance the company’s products and services offerings and project delivery. New Head of Sales in Australia Ben Suda has been appointed as the new Head of Sales in Australia. In his new role Ben is responsible for developing and delivering the tkIS-AU National Sales Strategy that supports the Company’s direction and objectives, and ensures a strong pipeline of projects across all products and services. He is tasked with leading all strategic and systematic sales operations to ensure a targeted approach to sales opportunities that utilises resources and maximises sales efforts. “Ben brings with him extensive knowledge of our customers and competito... more

Changes to come for heavy vehicle chain of responsibility law in 2018

Amendments to the Chain of Responsibility (CoR) laws will be implemented from 1 October 2018. These amendments will affect the operations of up to 165,000 Australian businesses that make up the heavy vehicle supply chain. Even if you have been operating under the COR laws for some time, businesses should reassess their responsibilities in light of these impending amendments. This should involve seeking legal advice, reviewing business practices, reviewing policies and procedures, and communicating with/training staff. New Primary Duty The amendments make it clear that every party in the heavy vehicle supply chain has a duty to ensure their transport activities are carried out safely. This new primary duty represents a legal obligation to eliminate or minimise potential harm and risk by doing all that is reasonably practical to ensure safety. Reasonably practicable means somethin... more

Founder stress risks holding back Australia’s startup economy

With long hours, high stress and low pay the norm for most Australia startup leaders, new findings from KPMG Australia reveals a link between founder wellbeing and business performance. The first-of-kind research polled founders of 70 Australian venture-backed startups. It found that, on average, startup founders work 64 hours a week, with 40 per cent working seven days a week. Two-thirds of founders (66 per cent) are very or extremely stressed, and 57 per cent said that their stress has a large impact on the ability of their startup to succeed. A significant majority of founders (70 per cent) draw less salary than in their previous role, and some reported that personal financial worries were affecting their family relationships. Amanda Price, Head of KPMG Australia High Growth Ventures commented said founders play a key role in driving innovation, taking massive risks, both person... more

Battery metals the standout as global M&A activity slows

Global mining and metals deal value fell by 9.5 per cent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2018 according to the findings of the latest EY quarterly Mergers, acquisitions and capital raising in mining and metals. Paul Murphy, Oceania Transactions Markets Leader, EY said that while global deal volumes have declined year-on-year, the Australian market has been buoyed by the strong global appetite for strategic metals. “Lithium has been a hot topic, but where it is really getting interesting is in the potential applications for energy storage and 3D printing such as cobalt, nickel, graphite and vanadium. There is a broader realisation of the massive market potential which is already evident in the price performance of these commodities over the past two years,” he said. “Despite sluggish M&A activity overall, strategic metal prices and deals are accelerating,” Mr M... more

Northern Territory implementation plan for hydraulic fracturing

On 17 July 2018, the Northern Territory (NT) Government released its plan to implement the 135 recommendations of the Independent Scientific Inquiry into unconventional hydraulic fracturing. The plan details how each of the recommendations will be implemented and is grouped under six key themes: Strengthening Regulation, Ensuring Accountable Industry Practise, Safeguarding Water and the Environment, Respecting Community and Culture, Maximising Regional Benefits and Local opportunities, and Planning for Industry. The NT Government has outlined the following Implementation Stages: Stage Action Completion Date Stage 1: Planning Establishing an Onshore Shale Gas Community and Business Reference Group. By July 2018 Stage 2: Preparing for exploration Implementing 30 priority recommendations from the Report, to allow hydraulic fracturing to commence. By the end of 2... more