Building approvals rise in May

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 - 28 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 - 34 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 - 35 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 - 43 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 - 43 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 - 47 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 - 48 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 - 49 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 19 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 27 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 ...

  • MIDDAY UPDATE: Brierly returns to NZX with Mercantile … BusinessDesk - 1 hour 32 minutes ago

    Veteran corporate raider Ron Brierley is bringing his latest investment vehicle, Mercantile Investment, to the NZX, with a listing scheduled for next week. The Sydney-based investment firm has been approved by stock market operator NZX for a compliance listing on July 6, it said in a statement to the ASX yesterday. The move makes it easier for New Zealand investors to buy shares in the firm, which had 3,570 shareholders as at Aug. 14, 2014.

  • Property prices climb 10% in 2014/15 AAP - 1 hour 44 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 49 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 51 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.

  • 2 Cheap Cars to challenge Japanese new car dealerships … BusinessDesk - 1 hour 53 minutes ago

    July 1 (BusinessDesk) - 2 Cheap Cars, which has built a nationwide chain of auto yards selling used imports since starting four years ago, said it plans to enter the market for new cars by parallel importing of Toyota, Honda and Mazda vehicles. Chief executive and 50 percent shareholder Eugene Williams claims his company will be able to undercut the official dealerships by as much as $10,000 on the price of a new car and he is targeting 10 percent of the new car Japanese market in New Zealand within three years. It plans to open its first new car showroom in Greenlane, Auckland, in the next two months.

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  • To Improve Productivity Tell Your Team to Go Take a Hike Entrepreneur - Sat, Jun 27, 2015 1:15 AM NZST
    To Improve Productivity Tell Your Team to Go Take a Hike

    Giving employees exercise breaks benefits their wellbeing and your bottom line.

  • Group gets green light for Vic wind farm AAP - Fri, Jun 26, 2015 2:05 PM NZST
    Group gets green light for Vic wind farm

    A deal has been struck to construct a $450 million wind farm in Victoria, just days after the renewable energy target finally passed parliament. A consortium of five companies, including America's GE and Australian contractor Downer EDI, has agreed to finance and build the 75-turbine Ararat wind farm in southwest Victoria. Project leader Renewable Energy Systems says the wind farm will be the country's third largest when construction is completed in 2017.

  • California court says 'sweepstakes' games are illegal Associated Press - Fri, Jun 26, 2015 11:15 AM NZST
    California court says 'sweepstakes' games are illegal

    Computerized "sweepstakes" games offered at special Internet cafes are the equivalent of slot machines that are illegal under state law, the California Supreme Court ruled Thursday. The court ...

  • McDonald's: Fewer Happy Meal orders opting for soda Associated Press - Fri, Jun 26, 2015 3:09 AM NZST
    McDonald's: Fewer Happy Meal orders opting for soda

    McDonald's says fewer people are picking soda for Happy Meals after it stopped listing the drinks as an option on its menu boards. The world's biggest hamburger chain said Thursday 48 percent of Happy ...

  • Takata CEO: Air bag defect still under investigation Associated Press - Thu, Jun 25, 2015 10:46 PM NZST
    Takata CEO: Air bag defect still under investigation

    The CEO of Takata Corp., the Japanese air bag maker at the center of a defect scandal that has resulted in recalls of more than 33.8 million vehicles, appeared at a news conference Thursday for the first ...

  • How This Light Bulb Makes It Easier for You to Stream Music Entrepreneur - Thu, Jun 25, 2015 4:05 AM NZST
    How This Light Bulb Makes It Easier for You to Stream Music

    Astro, a New York City home automation startup, just put a bright, new musical Twist on 'smart' bulb tech.

  • Whole Foods overcharging for prepackaged goods: NYC CNBC - Thu, Jun 25, 2015 3:08 AM NZST
    Whole Foods overcharging for prepackaged goods: NYC

    A New York City government agency said an ongoing investigation of Whole Foods stores has found systemic overcharging of its customers for prepackaged food.

  • 2015 Kia Sedona provides first-class lounge seats, more room Associated Press - Thu, Jun 25, 2015 2:33 AM NZST
    2015 Kia Sedona provides first-class lounge seats, more room

    Kia's new, first-class lounge seats might just be the way to make a minivan more appealing. Offered on the redesigned 2015 Sedona minivan, the comfortable, Nappa leather-swathed seats have pop-out foot ...

  • Ford Motor recalls vans, SUVs over panel, seat belt issues Associated Press - Thu, Jun 25, 2015 1:22 AM NZST
    Ford Motor recalls vans, SUVs over panel, seat belt issues

    Ford Motor Co. is recalling more than 200,000 Transit Connect vans and Escape sport-utility vehicles because of instrument panel and seatbelt issues. There are have been no injuries or accidents attributed ...

  • Ford jumps into car-share business CNBC - Wed, Jun 24, 2015 3:00 PM NZST
    Ford jumps into car-share business

    In a sign automakers are increasingly aware they'll have to try new approaches to reach customers, Ford is launching a car-share program.