Sydney rally as Greens oppose NorthConnex

Sydney rally as Greens oppose NorthConnex

The Greens will outline their opposition to the proposed NorthConnex project at a rally in Sydney's north. Greens NSW MP John Kaye will attend the community rally on Saturday in Wahroonga and explain the ...

  • Aussies splash out at Harvey Norman AAP - 7 hours ago
    Aussies splash out at Harvey Norman

    Australians are splurging at Harvey Norman as their houses and share portfolios increase in value. The retailer is forecasting sales growth in its homemaker products this year thanks to improved consumer confidence following a 27.4 per cent boost to half year net profit. The robust result prompted the company to lift its interim dividend to nine cents and issue a special dividend of 14 cents per share. A strong housing market in Australia, record low interest rates, major infrastructure investment in NSW and stable consumer sentiment were pointing to positive trends, chairman Gerry Harvey said.

  • Council talking up investment in half-year results Newstalk ZB - 11 hours ago

    Auckland Council's talking up its investments, in half-year results to December.

  • GrainCorp expects profit to halve AAP - 19 hours ago
    GrainCorp expects profit to halve

    GrainCorp has warned its full year profit could dive more than 50 per cent due to smaller crops and weaker exports. Chief executive Mark Palmquist blamed the weaker outlook on a smaller winter crop and reduced exports.

  • RBA expected to cut rates again AAP - 20 hours ago
    RBA expected to cut rates again

    A growing band of top economists expect the Reserve Bank to take a razor to interest rates again next week, amid further signs the economy is deteriorating. All 17 economists surveyed by AAP expect the RBA will deliver at least one more rate cut in 2015, taking the cash rate to a new record low of two per cent. Commonwealth Bank, ANZ, Westpac and AMP Capital are among those forecasting a March cut, with the general consensus being the RBA tends to deliver cuts in pairs. It's normally two," Commonwealth Bank senior economist Michael Workman said.

  • Glencore slashes coal production AAP - 20 hours ago
    Glencore slashes coal production

    Global mining giant Glencore is cutting its Australian coal production by 15 million tonnes due to weak demand. Glencore currently employs 8,600 workers. It said it would make changes at several sites, including underground roster changes, scaling back of some open pit mining and revisions to its product portfolio, to better match its volume and coal quality to current market demand. "We will continue to review all our coal operations in the prevailing economic climate," Glencore said.

  • More WA public sector 'efficiencies' ahead AAP - 20 hours ago

    Facing three straight deficits, West Australian Treasurer Mike Nahan says there's "great scope" for more belt tightening in the public sector. Dr Nahan told a business briefing on Friday the state budget was still heading for the red after about a 50 per cent plunge in the iron ore price during the past 12 months. "I think the time is right ... and I've got good feedback from the Commonwealth government, but I haven't banked it yet and it's yet to be achieved," Dr Nahan later told reporters. "For the last two years, the treasurer - first Wayne Swan and then Joe Hockey - overrode the Grants Commission on the system for iron ore fines.

  • High-income welfare set debt trap: Fraser AAP - 22 hours ago
    High-income welfare set debt trap: Fraser

    The new head of Australia's Treasury department has blamed years of spending on "middle and higher-income welfare" for creating costs the nation won't be able to afford in the future without serious reform. In his first public address as Treasury Secretary, John Fraser flagged superannuation and middle-class welfare as areas that must be reassessed if Australia is to be able to meet its future health and ageing costs. Mr Fraser also criticised the level of political debate in Australia about the economy, saying both sides of politics were guilty of taking too much joy in knocking ideas instead of serious discussion. A former investment banker, Mr Fraser told a business lunch in Sydney that in the six weeks since his return to Australia from London he had been disappointed by the level of public debate.

  • ACCC OKs Fairfax-Macquarie radio merger AAP - 23 hours ago
    ACCC OKs Fairfax-Macquarie radio merger

    The merger of Macquarie Radio Network and Fairfax Media's radio business is one step closer after the national competition regulator gave the green light to the proposed venture. The ACCC said on Friday that it wouldn't oppose the merger as the combined business would "continue to face strong competition from other commercial radio stations". "The ACCC considered the effect of the proposed transaction on the price of radio advertising, as well as the quality of news and other content provided to audiences," ACCC chairman Rod Sims said. Fairfax owns Sydney's 2UE, Melbourne's 3AW, Brisbane's 4BC and Perth's 6PR, while John Singleton's Macquarie Radio owns 2GB, home to Alan Jones, and easy listening 2CH.

  • $A under pressure after US inflation data AAP - Fri, Feb 27, 2015 7:35 PM NZDT

    The Australian dollar is struggling to hold above 78 US cents after strong core inflation figures from the US strengthened the greenback. At 1700 AEDT on Friday, the local currency was trading at 78.03 US cents, down from 78.47 cents on Thursday.

  • PaperlinX falls to $91m half year loss AAP - Fri, Feb 27, 2015 7:10 PM NZDT

    Packaging group PaperlinX has announced an even deeper half year loss stemming from problems in Europe, a week after its chief executive was sacked and replaced. The company behind industrial packaging, fine paper and signs blamed surprisingly poor market demand and unsustainably low prices in the UK and midwestern Europe for a loss of $90.8 million in the six months to December 31. The bad news comes nine days after the company sacked and replaced chief executive Andrew Price after just over a year in the top job. Chairman Robert Kaye said its poor performance in Europe had overshadowed its healthier operations in Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

  • Rate cut talk pushes share market higher AAP - Fri, Feb 27, 2015 7:08 PM NZDT

    Speculation about a rate cut next week has buoyed the big banks and lifted the share market, securing a sixth consecutive week of gains. Disappointing December quarter capital expenditure data has boosted ...

  • Woolies promises cheaper food prices AAP - Fri, Feb 27, 2015 7:07 PM NZDT
    Woolies promises cheaper food prices

    Woolworths will funnel more than $500 million into improving sales as it lags further behind supermarket rival Coles. Woolworths has downgraded its full year profit guidance and its director of supermarkets and petrol, Tjeerd Jegen, has resigned. Chief executive Grant O'Brien says the profit forecast has been downgraded so it can invest more into reducing its food and grocery prices. "All our efforts will be on restoring sales' momentum and continuing to deliver profit growth," he said.

  • Cabcharge profit falls AAP - Fri, Feb 27, 2015 7:06 PM NZDT

    Payment and transport business Cabcharge is searching for new income beyond taxis and considering a name change after a 13 per cent fall in half year profit. "The enduring solution to our challenges will come from new revenue streams and we are determined to leverage our payments expertise outside the taxi industry," chief executive Andrew Skelton said. The company blamed a fall in half year profit to $31 million on lower income due to price caps on taxi service fees in Victoria and NSW, a move the Western Australian government has also now made. Cabcharge said it has achieved annualised savings of $7 million, including reducing taxi driver bonus schemes.

  • Aust bond futures mixed on US inflation AAP - Fri, Feb 27, 2015 7:02 PM NZDT

    Australian bond futures prices are mixed after US core inflation figures came in better than expected. Official US figures showed plunging petrol prices had pulled inflation down sharply in January. At 1630 AEDT on Friday, the March 2015 10-year bond futures contract was trading at 97.575 (implying a yield of 2.425 per cent), down from 97.615 (2.385 per cent) on Thursday. The March 2015 three-year bond futures contract was at 98.230 (1.770 per cent), up from 98.210 (1.790 per cent).

  • Treasury looks beyond Penfolds for growth AAP - Fri, Feb 27, 2015 6:55 PM NZDT

    Treasury Wine Estates is looking to cultivate demand for its top shelf labels - and not just Penfolds. The maker of wines, including Wolf Blass, Lindeman's and Pepperjack, says the first half of the financial year was "all about Penfolds", with the 2014 release of the Bin Series and Icon and Luxury Collection moved from March and May to October, significantly lifting earnings. Treasury Wine made a net profit of $42.6 million in the period, down 60 per cent from a year earlier when it benefited from a large tax offset. "We're now addressing the under investment in our other brands beyond Penfolds," chief executive Michael Clarke said.

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  • Coca-Cola bottle as art? Atlanta's High Museum takes a look Associated Press - Fri, Feb 27, 2015 8:24 AM NZDT
    Coca-Cola bottle as art? Atlanta's High Museum takes a look

    The curvy Coca-Cola bottle is celebrating its 100th birthday, and an art museum is exploring the origins and influence of a bottle design that's so recognizable, you'd know the brand if you held it in ...

  • Fruits and vegetables get a star-studded marketing push Associated Press - Fri, Feb 27, 2015 7:53 AM NZDT
    Fruits and vegetables get a star-studded marketing push

    What if cauliflower got the same type of marketing firepower as candy bars and potato chips? A campaign being launched Thursday plans to put that premise to the test by enlisting celebrities including ...

  • Psychology on order: How restaurants get you to spend more Associated Press - Fri, Feb 27, 2015 6:17 AM NZDT
    Psychology on order: How restaurants get you to spend more

    You may think you're immune to transparent sales pitches like "Do you want fries with that?" But the tactics restaurants use to nudge you into spending a little extra may be subtler than you ...

  • Ag secretary: Smartphones could tell buyers what's in food Associated Press - Fri, Feb 27, 2015 6:00 AM NZDT
    Ag secretary: Smartphones could tell buyers what's in food

    In the ever-complicated debate over labeling of genetically modified foods, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack offers this idea: Use your smartphone. Vilsack told members of Congress on Wednesday that consumers ...

  • Vilsack: Smartphones could tell consumers what's in food Associated Press - Fri, Feb 27, 2015 2:29 AM NZDT
    Vilsack: Smartphones could tell consumers what's in food

    In the ever-complicated debate over labeling of genetically modified foods, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says he has an idea: use your smartphone. Vilsack told members of Congress on Wednesday that ...

  • Book review: Kim Gordon is more than just a 'Girl in a Band' Associated Press - Fri, Feb 27, 2015 1:48 AM NZDT
    Book review: Kim Gordon is more than just a 'Girl in a Band'

    "Girl in a Band" (Dey Street Books), by Kim Gordon As the front woman for influential indie band Sonic Youth for three decades, Kim Gordon had a ringside seat as experimental music left the grimy ...

  • Nissan's Z sport coupe remains an affordable performer Associated Press - Thu, Feb 26, 2015 6:04 AM NZDT
    Nissan's Z sport coupe remains an affordable performer

    Thank you, Yutaka Katayama. Katayama, who died last week at age 105, was the executive who renamed the sports car Nissan exported to the United States in the late 1960s. It had been called the Fairlady, ...

  • Train car design reduced impact in Southern California crash Associated Press - Thu, Feb 26, 2015 1:13 AM NZDT
    Train car design reduced impact in Southern California crash

    After a horrific crash a decade ago that killed 11 people and injured 180 more, Southern California's commuter train network began investing heavily in passenger cars designed to protect passengers from ...

  • Expanding food group lifts profit forecast AAP - Wed, Feb 25, 2015 11:07 PM NZDT
    Expanding food group lifts profit forecast

    The owner of Gloria Jean's and Michel's Patisserie expects earnings to continue to rise despite sluggish consumer confidence. Retail Food Group, which also owns the Crust pizza chain and Brumby's bakeries, achieved a 24 per cent rise in half year net profit to $21.5 million. The profit growth was driven by its purchase of new businesses, including Gloria Jean's and Cafe2U. Retail Food Group's coffee roasting operations have more than tripled in size, taking annual production to 5.9 million kilograms.

  • California's plastic bag ban suspended by ballot referendum Associated Press - Wed, Feb 25, 2015 1:45 PM NZDT
    California's plastic bag ban suspended by ballot referendum

    California's first-in-the-nation statewide ban on plastic shopping bags was put on hold Tuesday when state election officials confirmed a trade group had turned in enough signatures to place the issue ...