Top Stories

  • SMEs back penalty rates cut proposal AAP - 45 minutes ago

    Small business has backed a Productivity Commission recommendation calling for more flexible workplace arrangements. A survey by business software provider MYOB found 40 per cent of retail and hospitality businesses believed a reduction in weekend penalty rates, as sought by the commission in its recently released interim workplace relations study, will bring down costs. MYOB boss Tim Reed said while the majority of the 400 small and medium-sized enterprises surveyed may not be directly affected by a reduction in weekend penalty rates, they fully support the proposal.

  • Top CEOs earn even more than reported AAP - 45 minutes ago

    Current company reporting practices may only reveal "the tip of the iceberg" when it comes to senior executive pay in Australia. The collective pay packet of the ASX100's 10 highest paid chief ...

  • Asia doing pretty well despite China woes AAP - 1 hour 54 minutes ago
    Asia doing pretty well despite China woes

    International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde says Asian economies are doing "pretty well" despite the volatility created by China's slowdown and unease on global financial markets. A fresh round of volatility shook Asian and European stocks on Wednesday, as further evidence of slowing growth in China's economy overshadowed global markets. Financial markets have gyrated recently on the China concerns, with emerging economies and their currencies taking a beating.

  • IMF head: Global growth likely to be weak AAP - 2 hours 2 minutes ago
    IMF head: Global growth likely to be weak

    Global economic growth is likely to be weaker than earlier expected and will remain at moderate levels, the head of the International Monetary Fund says. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said on Tuesday that Asia was still expected to lead global growth, but the pace was slowing and could sag further because of recent financial market volatility. Speaking in a lecture at the University of Indonesia, Lagarde said the global economic situation would have a significant impact on developing countries, including Indonesia.

  • Barnett blames boom for poor WA tourism AAP - 5 hours ago
    Barnett blames boom for poor WA tourism

    West Australian Premier Colin Barnett has blamed poor tourism figures on the state's geographical isolation and the mining boom muscling visitors out of hotels. Mr Barnett said an influx of mining workers paired with the state's relative isolation were the main factors for WA having the lowest tourist spending growth in Australia. "When mining activity was at its peak two to three years ago, you could barely get a hotel room in Perth," Mr Barnett said.

  • Growth won't get jobless rate down: Bowen AAP - 6 hours ago
    Growth won't get jobless rate down: Bowen

    Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen has warned that two per cent annual economic growth is not enough to get the jobless rate down. Mr Bowen was commentating after the latest national accounts showed the economy grew by just 0.2 per cent in the June quarter, compared to a 0.9 per cent rise in the March quarter. "Last quarter the treasurer ... said anyone who warned of weakening growth was a clown, well Joe Hockey is a ringmaster in economic decline," he told reporters in Sydney on Wednesday.

  • $A dips below 70 US cents - twice AAP - 7 hours ago

    The Australian dollar also hit two week lows against the Japanese yen and the euro. ThinkForex senior markets analyst Matt Simpson said the local economic growth figures made a major impact on financial markets on Wednesday. "When GDP came in below expectations today the Australian dollar wasted no time selling off across the board," he said.

  • Australian market closes slightly higher AAP - 7 hours ago

    The Australian share market has finished in positive territory following a rally in China, but uncertainty on global markets continues. OptionsXPress analyst Ben LeBrun said Chinese government funds appeared to be propping up equities ahead of a national remembrance day in China on Thursday.

  • Aust bonds weaker in directionless trade AAP - 7 hours ago

    The Australian bond market is weaker despite the local equities market spending most of the day in negative territory. National Australia Bank head of interest rate strategy Skye Masters said bond futures ...

  • Hilton shares 'sharing economy' with Uber AAP - 7 hours ago
    Hilton shares 'sharing economy' with Uber

    Hilton is hailing the ride sharing service Uber to help guests reach its hotels and then explore the city where they are staying. The companies on Tuesday said Hilton guests will be able to set up automatic notifications to request Uber rides to and from the chain's hotels worldwide. Members of the company's HHonors program also will be able to use a digital guide of restaurants and nightlife spots most frequented by Uber riders.

  • Rupert Murdoch takes a pay cut AAP - 7 hours ago
    Rupert Murdoch takes a pay cut

    Rupert Murdoch and the head of his global media group News Corp have had millions of dollars trimmed from their annual pay packets. Mr Murdoch's remuneration package for his role as executive chairman fell by almost $US3.7 million ($A5.27 million) to $US5 million ($A7.12 million) in the 2014/15 financial year. News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson's pay was cut by $US2 million ($A2.85 million) to $US10.3 million ($A14.66 million).

  • Google refines logo AAP - 7 hours ago
    Google refines logo

    Google is refining its famous logo as it prepares to become a part of a new holding company called Alphabet. The revised design, unveiled Tuesday, features the same mix of blue, red, yellow and green that Google has been using throughout its nearly 17-year history, though the hues are slightly different shades. Google also invented a new typeface, called Product Sans, that is meant to resemble the simple printing in a grade-school book.

  • Kathmandu takeover off will not be raised AAP - 8 hours ago
    Kathmandu takeover off will not be raised

    New Zealand retailer Briscoe's bid for outdoor equipment and clothing chain Kathmandu appears doomed after it said its takeover offer will not be improved. Kathmandu's directors have advised shareholders to reject Briscoe's cash-and-scrip offer of about $318 million, on the grounds it undervalues the company. "Briscoe Group considers that its offer price is attractive, and sees no reason to increase it," the homewares and sporting goods retailer said.

  • Weak growth sends $A below 70 US cents AAP - 8 hours ago
    Weak growth sends $A below 70 US cents

    The Australian dollar twice dipped to new six year lows below 70 US cents on Wednesday, rocked by weaker than expected economic growth and a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing. The local currency dropped to 69.89 US cents at 1130 AEST as official data showed economic growth of 0.2 per cent in the June quarter and 2.0 per cent in the year to June. Economists had expected a quarterly growth rate of 0.5 per cent and an annual rate of 2.2 per cent.

  • Harvey Norman's dairy stake "odd" AAP - 8 hours ago
    Harvey Norman's dairy stake "odd"

    Harvey Norman's acquisition of a stake in a dairy farm may be mystifying for some, but not for executive chairman Gerry Harvey. The business includes dairy farm operations, along with a pedigree breeding and genetics division. Harvey Norman gave no explanation for its interest in Coomboona in its ASX notice.

  • Economic growth weakest in two years AAP - 8 hours ago

    Plummeting prices for Australia's mining exports have dragged economic growth down to its slowest pace in more than two years. Australia's economy grew by a weaker-than-expected 0.2 per cent in the June quarter, down from 0.9 per cent in the previous three months. Annual growth came in at two per cent, or about two thirds of Australia's long-run average of 3.0 to 3.25 per cent.

  • Stocks to watch on Wednesday AAP - 8 hours ago

    Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange on Wednesday, Sept 2: BHP - BHP BILLITON - down two cents, or 0.08 per cent, at $24.63 ORG - ORIGIN ENERGY - down 37 cents, or 4.52 per cent, at $7.81 OSH ...

  • Aust shares close higher AAP - 8 hours ago
    Aust shares close higher

    The Australian share market has closed slightly higher, dipping sharply after figures showed an economic slowdown, but picking up further into the session. At the close on Wednesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 5.1 points, or 0.1 per cent, higher at 5,101.5, while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 2.3 points, or 0.04 per cent, at 5,119.4.

  • Barnett calls end of mining downturn AAP - 8 hours ago
    Barnett calls end of mining downturn

    Australia's mining downturn has bottomed out despite ongoing global markets volatility, West Australian Premier Colin Barnett says. Mr Barnett said the Australian mining industry had successfully cut construction and operation costs in the face of lower commodities prices and added that the industry was at its lowest point in terms of world competitiveness. "I'm either brave enough or silly enough to suggest that we've hit the bottom," Mr Barnett told the Africa Downunder mining conference in Perth on Wednesday.

  • Chile on track for 4m tourists this year AAP - 8 hours ago

    Chile expects to receive some four million foreign tourists this year, up from 3.6 million in 2014, Tourism Undersecretary Javiera Montes says. "In the past 10 years, we've increased tourist arrivals by almost 100 per cent," Montes said in her speech at the close of the annual conference of the Chilean Association of Tourism Companies in Copiapo, 800km north of Santiago. Latin America accounts for 77.4 per cent of all foreign arrivals, he said, acknowledging that it's a challenge for Chile to attract tourists from other parts of the world, especially the United States and Europe.

  • 24 years of growth end in a whimper AAP - 8 hours ago

    Australia has completed 24 years of sustained economic growth, but only just. Treasurer Joe Hockey - coming from a government that has been promoting a renewed focus on "jobs and growth" - talked up the result, saying Australia is still doing better than many other commodity-based countries. "Despite having the biggest fall in our terms of trade in 50 years ... the diversity and flexibility of the modern Australian economy is continuing to get us through the recent massive falls in commodity prices," Mr Hockey told reporters in Sydney.

  • Hoteliers blame poor tourism on WA govt AAP - 9 hours ago

    The Australian Hotels Association has blamed Western Australia's poor tourist spending levels on east coast favouritism and unsatisfactory state government funding. WA is missing out on significant growth ...

  • Resolute eyes acquisitions and exploration AAP - 9 hours ago

    Resolute Mining is looking at acquisition opportunities as it expands its key African and Australian gold assets. Chief executive John Welborn said the company was confident of establishing an underground gold mine over the long-term at its ex-BHP operations in Mali. The company is focused on exploration around its Syama operations in Mali and Ravenswood in Queensland but it is keeping an eye on merger and acquisition opportunities.

  • Millionaire's wife jailed in WA over fraud AAP - 10 hours ago

    Julie Bohannan, 42, used a false name and repeatedly lied to Centrelink over eight years about her marital status, where she lived and how much money she had, even after she married former chief executive of Braemore Resources and Bathurst Resources, Hamish Bohannan, in 2006. In sentencing, Judge Andrew Stavrianou said the mother-of-two had engaged in deliberate and sustained deception between November 2001 and July 2009. Bohannan repaid the money in 2010 and then moved to New Zealand, but was arrested at Perth Airport during one of her visits to WA last year.

  • Hundreds expected at WA Freight Link forum AAP - 10 hours ago

    Several hundred people are expected to attend a community forum in East Fremantle on the controversial Perth Freight Link and its impact on the local area. The forum is supported by the Town of East Fremantle, with Mayor Jim O'Neill expected to make a presentation on why the local council voted to reject the roadworks. Event organiser Maureen Flynn criticised the state government over a lack of consultation and information to the community on the $1.6 billion project.

  • WA mine raids net one cannabis stash AAP - 10 hours ago

    A police raid on Gina Rinehart's Roy Hill iron ore project in Western Australia's Pilbara has resulted in just one drug seizure. Police said a drug detection dog was used to search 695 workers and their ...

  • Aust completes 24 years of growth ... just AAP - 10 hours ago
    Aust completes 24 years of growth ... just

    Australia has completed 24 years of sustained economic growth, but only just. Thankfully for Treasurer Joe Hockey - coming from a government that has been promoting a renewed focus on "jobs and growth" - Australia is still doing better than many other commodity-based countries. "The diversity and flexibility of the modern Australian economy is continuing to get us through the recent massive falls in commodity prices," he told reporters in Sydney on Wednesday.

  • Fund faces difficult times ahead: Costello AAP - 11 hours ago

    Future Fund chair Peter Costello says "prudent, patient" investing has seen the fund almost double in nine years, but warns more difficult times are ahead. The mandate of the fund, set up in 2006 by Mr Costello when he was Liberal treasurer, is to make returns of CPI plus 4.5 per cent. "It's in excess of that objective as of the moment, which is good because we are going into more difficult conditions," Mr Costello told a briefing presenting the fund's latest portfolio update on Wednesday.

  • G20 must stick to growth plan: Hockey AAP - 11 hours ago
    G20 must stick to growth plan: Hockey

    Treasurer Joe Hockey will urge his G20 counterparts to stick to the promise of raising world growth by an additional two per cent over the next four years. Mr Hockey is heading to Turkey on Wednesday for ...

  • WA millionaire's wife jailed for fraud AAP - 11 hours ago

    The wife of a West Australian millionaire has been jailed for 18 months after pleading guilty to using a false name and information to fraudulently claim more than $60,000 in benefits. Julie Bohannan, ...

  • Barnett calls bottom of mining downturn AAP - 11 hours ago
    Barnett calls bottom of mining downturn

    The mining industry's downturn will not get worse, West Australian Premier Colin Barnett says. "I'm either brave enough or silly enough to suggest that we've hit the bottom," Mr Barnett told ...

  • Communal tourism unites visitors AAP - 11 hours ago

    Communal tourism as practiced by several Indian groups in Ecuador offers foreigner visitors a chance to experience a simple life in touch with nature along with millennial wisdom about the Sun's cosmic energy. Saraguro, a village in the southern Andean province of Loja, is an example of how daily life can appeal to tourists seeking to harmonise with Nature's elements. Located in a small valley, Saraguro is home to the Indian community of the same name and an enterprising spirit that saw in tourism a chance to showcase for the world the natural and cultural treasures of the area.

  • Assets remain for sale despite WA optimism AAP - 11 hours ago

    The West Australian government will continue to sell off assets to stabilise debt despite the premier predicting an upturn in commodity prices after the next 12 months. Speaking at the Africa Down Under ...

  • Growth in line with budget: Hockey AAP - 11 hours ago
    Growth in line with budget: Hockey

    Treasurer Joe Hockey insists the latest growth figures are in line with his budget forecasts and come at a time when other commodity-based countries are in recession. The latest national accounts showed the economy grew by just 0.2 per cent in the June quarter, half the rate expected by economists and for an annual growth rate of two per cent. "The diversity and flexibility of the modern Australian economy is continuing to get us through the recent massive falls in commodity prices," Mr Hockey told reporters in Sydney on Wednesday.

  • GDP growth weakest in two years AAP - 12 hours ago

    Economic growth has slowed to its weakest pace in more than two years, dragged down by the sluggish mining and resources sector. Australia's economy grew by a weaker-than-expected 0.2 per cent in the June quarter, down from 0.9 per cent in the previous three months. On an annual basis, growth came in at 2.0 per cent for the year to June 30, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said on Wednesday.