Top Stories

  • Vatican slams Trump on climate change AAP - 5 hours ago

    The Vatican has urged US President Donald Trump to listen to "dissenting voices" and reconsider his position on climate change, saying the United States risked being supplanted by China as leader in environmental protection. Pope Francis has made defence of the environment a key plank of his papacy, strongly backing scientific opinion that global warming is caused mostly by human activity. "This is a challenge for us," said Cardinal Peter Turkson, the pope's point man for the environmental, immigration and development.

  • Small firms worry about 'Amazon effect' AAP - 5 hours ago

    More than two in five smaller businesses are worried about a loss of customers and revenue with the entrance of multinationals like Amazon into the Australian market. While many Australians already use the online US retailing giant, Amazon will set up shop in Australia by late 2018 with the promise of even faster shipments of products from clothing to electronics. A survey by MYOB found 43 per cent of owners of small and medium-sized businesses fear additional overseas operators will mean a loss of customers or revenue.

  • Lloyd's confirms Brussels subsidiary AAP - 10 hours ago

    Insurance market Lloyd's of London will establish a subsidiary in Brussels to maintain a presence in Europe once Britain divorces from the European Union. Lloyd's, the world's largest insurance and reinsurance market, released a statement just a day after UK Prime Minister Theresa May formally set Brexit in motion under Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon. "It is important that we are able to provide the market and customers with an effective solution that means business can carry on without interruption when the UK leaves the EU," Lloyd's chief executive Inga Beale said.

  • Internet trolling a 'national sport' AAP - 10 hours ago
    Internet trolling a 'national sport'

    One morning near the end of her long-shot congressional campaign, 25-year-old Erin Schrode rolled over in bed, reflexively checked her phone and burst into tears. Schrode, a Democrat and activist who would come third in the June primary in her Northern California district, had become the latest target of The Daily Stormer, a popular neo-Nazi website known for orchestrating internet trolling campaigns. After the site published a post about the "jewess" and her candidacy, a reader posted Schrode's contact information in the comments section.

  • Ministers play down Brexit security row AAP - 10 hours ago
    Ministers play down Brexit security row

    British ministers have tried to play down a row with key players in Brussels over an apparent threat to pull security co-operation unless the European Union agrees to a trade deal. Brexit Secretary David Davis insists his counterparts on the continent had praised the "positive" letter the Prime Minister Theresa May sent to invoke Article 50, and it was simply stating that a replacement for current crime and security measures would need to be negotiated. Critics accused the May of trying to make a trade-off between security and commerce by mentioning the crime-fighting measures alongside a trade deal in her letter.

  • WA Libs' Freight Link legacy angers Labor AAP - 10 hours ago

    The Barnett government's decision to not only just push ahead with the Perth Freight Link as their election loss loomed but also pick a controversial starting point was a "scorched earth policy", WA's new Labor government says. One option minimised costs and delayed clearing at the Beeliar Wetlands, but the former government opted instead to cut a path through the environmentally-sensitive area, which carried the financial risk of $50 million in sunk costs for contract cancellation. Sunk costs for the other option, which involved starting near Fiona Stanley Hospital in Murdoch, were half that figure.

  • Dirty old Hazelwood's final day AAP - 11 hours ago
    Dirty old Hazelwood's final day

    Workers at Victoria's Hazelwood power station are preparing for their final shifts, as a 52-year era draws to a close. The generators have been shut down with crews to clock off for the last time at 0700 on Saturday. The station's 450 staff and about 300 contractors face an uncertain future in the Latrobe Valley.

  • Toyotas recalls 2.9m vehicles over airbags AAP - 11 hours ago
    Toyotas recalls 2.9m vehicles over airbags

    Toyota is recalling an additional 2.9 million vehicles worldwide over potentially faulty airbag inflators made by Japanese supplier Takata. Toyota's latest recall includes 750,000 vehicles in Japan, 650,000 in China, 350,000 in Europe and 1.16 million in other areas including Oceania, and Central and South America, Japan's largest car maker said in an email on Thursday. The recall covers such models as the Auris, the RAV4, the Corolla Axio, the Corolla Fielder and the Noah or Voxy.

  • BOQ focused on credit quality over profit AAP - 12 hours ago
    BOQ focused on credit quality over profit

    Bank of Queensland's refusal to match the size of loans offered by the big banks in the housing hot spots of Sydney and Melbourne contributed to a two per cent drop in first half profit for the regional lender. BOQ's loan book contracted by $168 million over the six months to February 28 - compared to growth of $1.95 billion for the prior corresponding period - as the bank prioritised margins and credit quality over growth.

  • Share market rally stretches to third day AAP - 12 hours ago

    A third straight day of gains is taking the All Ordinaries index closer to a nine year high of 6,000 points, as investors continue to react to the failure of US President Donald Trump's healthcare reforms. ...

  • Stocks to watch AAP - 12 hours ago

    Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange: AZJ - AURIZON - down 1 cent, or 0.2 per cent, at $5.35 NHC - NEW HOPE - up 2.5 cents, or 1.4 per cent, at $1.805 BHP - BHP BILLITON - up 10 cents, or 0.4 ...

  • SA to get huge solar farm, battery in 2017 AAP - 12 hours ago
    SA to get huge solar farm, battery in 2017

    A huge $1 billion solar farm and battery project will be built and ready to operate in South Australia's Riverland region by the end of the year. Battery storage developer Lyon Group says the system will be the biggest of its kind in the world, boasting 3.4 million solar panels and 1.1 million batteries. The company says construction will start in months and the project will be built whatever the outcome of the SA government's tender for a large battery to store renewable energy.

  • SA's Riverland to get $1bln solar project AAP - 12 hours ago
    SA's Riverland to get $1bln solar project

    A huge $1 billion solar farm and battery will be built and ready to operate in South Australia's Riverland region by the end of the year. Large-scale battery storage developer Lyon Group says it will start building the system, made up of 3.4 million solar panels and 1.1 million batteries, in the coming months.

  • Qld coal industry halted by Cyclone Debbie AAP - 13 hours ago
    Qld coal industry halted by Cyclone Debbie

    Closed ports and railways have halted all Queensland coal shipments as heavy downpours from ex-tropical cyclone Debbie threaten to flood some mines. The storm is now moving over the state's southeast, and parts of the Bowen Basin coalfields are subject to flood warnings after heavy rain in the past 48 hours. Queensland Resource Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane says the majority of mines have halted operations to keep workers safe.

  • Senate set for lengthy debate on tax cuts AAP - 13 hours ago
    Senate set for lengthy debate on tax cuts

    There are growing signs the Turnbull government will reach a compromise deal on corporate tax cuts as the Senate argy-bargy over the 10-year plan looks set to continue late into the night. "I would say that getting a tax cut for businesses up to $10 million is a good thing in itself. The $50 billion tax plan aims to incrementally reduce the corporate tax rate to 25 per cent in a decade's time, starting with a reduction to 27.5 per cent for businesses with a $10 million turnover this financial year.

  • Govt on mission to lift wages: Morrison AAP - 13 hours ago

    Scott Treasurer has promised the 2017 budget will continue the task of positioning the nation for future prosperity, with a mission to support Australians to earn more. The treasurer used the last parliamentary question time before budget day on May 9 to spruik the Turnbull government's achievements in the past year.

  • Palmer fails in CITIC port battle appeal AAP - 13 hours ago

    Clive Palmer's Mineralogy has again failed in its long-running court battle with its estranged Chinese joint-venture partner over the Cape Preston port in Western Australia. Mineralogy and CITIC agreed in March 2010 to make the state-owned enterprise the operator of the facility, which it built, while Mr Palmer's company would be the harbour master. Six months later, after CITIC had spent $6 billion on the Sino Iron project, Mineralogy confirmed it did "not plan to get involved in ... operations".

  • Lenders expect house price growth to slow AAP - 13 hours ago

    Regulatory pressure on mortgage lending and soaring house prices in Sydney and Melbourne are likely to dampen property transaction volumes in 2017. Regulatory pressures, such as APRA's cap of 10 per cent annual growth in new loans to investors and more selective lending is already impacting the market, and could further moderate price growth, Deloitte's annual Australian Mortgage report found.

  • Web gambling progress 'slow': SA minister AAP - 14 hours ago

    A proposed national plan to prevent online gambling causing harm does not go far enough, South Australia's consumer minister says. John Rau says the framework being developed by state and federal ministers is "cosmetic and inadequate". The SA government is suggesting a range of steps, including pushing for an end to online gambling advertisements in connection with sporting events, which Mr Rau says helps normalise the behaviour.

  • Freight Link revelation angers McGowan AAP - 14 hours ago

    New WA Premier Mark McGowan says he's furious the Barnett government chose the more expensive and environmentally destructive option to start the contentious Perth Freight Link project, knowing an election loss was likely. Meanwhile, Liberal MP Dean Nalder - who was transport minister until September when he went to the back bench after a failed bid to oust Colin Barnett as party leader - admits it was "inappropriate" to start construction of the first stage, Roe 8, during the election campaign. A leaked document shows Main Roads set out two options for the then Liberal government, addressing the possibility of Labor winning the election and stopping construction.

  • Prices watched after Hazelwood shutdown AAP - 15 hours ago

    Victorians shouldn't expect to see their power bills drastically rise after the closure of the coal-fired Hazelwood power station. Premier Daniel Andrews says independent advice to his government suggests prices will rise four to eight per cent over the next few years, before dropping. "If they do feel like they are being gouged or we are getting evidence at that wholesale level, we'll take whatever action we can," he told reporters on Thursday.

  • Job vacancy growth slows AAP - 15 hours ago

    Growth in job vacancies slowed for the third consecutive quarter in the three-months to February. The number of positions employers were seeking to fill rose 1.8 per cent to 185,600 in the quarter, according ...

  • Vic watching power prices after Hazelwood AAP - 15 hours ago

    Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has warned he will deal with power companies that raise prices in an attempt to profit off the closure of Hazelwood. The Australian Energy Market Operator says there are ...

  • China registration delay hurts Bellamy's AAP - 16 hours ago

    Shares in Bellamy's have plunged more than seven per cent after the baby food and infant formula supplier said it faces delays in getting its infant formula registered for sale in China. Under new rules that come into force on January 1, 2018, infant formula products for sale in China will have to be registered with the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA). Each manufacturing site will be limited to registering three brands with the CFDA, in order to increase the quality and safety of infant formula products sold in China and reduce the number of brands in the market.

  • Diesel probe asked to look at Renault loan AAP - 16 hours ago

    The European Investment Bank has asked French investigators to find out whether 800 million euros ($A1.1 billion) of EU-backed loans to Renault could have been used to develop test-cheating diesel engines, according to documents seen by Reuters. The European Union lending arm wrote to judges leading a fraud investigation into preliminary findings that Renault diesel engines - like Volkswagen's - had been configured to manipulate nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions tests. Renault, which has consistently denied breaking any laws or emissions rules, had no immediate comment in response.

  • Audit back to haunt budget preparations AAP - 16 hours ago

    Back in late 2013, a fresh-faced coalition government led by Tony Abbott ordered a commission of audit to help put together his treasurer Joe Hockey's first budget. The budget was in "crisis" after the deficit blowout under Labor during the 2008-2009 Global Financial Crisis, and people needed to know the depth of the problem. Prominent businessman Tony Shepherd was appointed to head the audit panel, saying everything was on the table to combat potentially years of deficit and growing debt.

  • Share market higher for third straight day AAP - 17 hours ago

    The share market is gaining ground for a third straight day as investors continue to buy energy, resources and banking stocks. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 0.4 per cent at 1200 AEDT, following ...

  • Ex-WA minister admits Roe 8 work wrong AAP - 17 hours ago

    Former West Australian transport minister Dean Nalder admits it was "inappropriate" to start work on the contentious Perth Freight Link during the state election campaign. The West Australian ...

  • Thorn confirms Radio Rentals class action AAP - 17 hours ago

    Thorn Group says a $50 million class action involving past lending practices of its subsidiary Radio Rentals could drag on for years. Maurice Blackburn Lawyers announced the action against Radio Rentals on Wednesday on behalf of customer and lead plaintiff Casey Simpson. Thorn Group on Thursday morning confirmed it had been served with a statement of claim but warned the case could drag on.

  • Fears for WA island mine seawall integrity AAP - 17 hours ago

    Water is being pumped out of a disused iron ore mine on a West Australian island after pit walls slumped, sparking fears it could collapse and contaminate the ocean on the other side. BHP began mining at Cockatoo Island off the Kimberley coast in 1950 and the project was closed decades later when the ore body had been mined to sea level. HWE Mining and Portman Mining later reopened the mine and constructed a sea wall to prevent tidal water from flowing into the pit, allowing mining to continue below sea level.

  • No evidence tax cut supports jobs: ACTU AAP - 17 hours ago

    Charity and union representatives have made a last-ditch attempt to stop the passage of the Turnbull government's $50 billion company tax cut as the Senate looks set to sit into the night to get a resolution. The 10-year plan to get the company tax rate incrementally down to 25 per cent in the next decade is the cornerstone of the government's 'jobs and growth' agenda. "That's what these company tax cuts, coupled with cuts to social expenditure, will do," he told reporters.

  • Coal shipments from central Qld halted AAP - 17 hours ago
    Coal shipments from central Qld halted

    Coal shipments out of central Queensland have ground to a complete halt after heavy rain from ex-tropical cyclone Debbie caused the closure of the Port of Gladstone. Several mines in central Queensland have been left unable to deliver contracted coal shipments with most railways and all ports now closed due to the impacts the huge storm. Every one of the region's major coal terminals was closed and railway operator Aurizon was operating only a single coal railway on Thursday morning as some parts of the area were being inspected for damage and others remained bunkered down under torrential rain.

  • Aust share market edges higher AAP - 18 hours ago

    Australian stocks have edged higher in early trade on the back of a mixed finish in Wall Street, where energy stocks rose, and after rallying to a near two-year high in the previous session. At 1010 AEDT ...

  • Brexit security row - a misunderstanding AAP - 18 hours ago
    Brexit security row - a misunderstanding

    A growing row over Theresa May's apparent threat to pull security co-operation unless Brussels agrees to a trade deal is a "misunderstanding", a UK cabinet minister has insisted. In her letter to European Council president Donald Tusk triggering Article 50, the British prime minister warned that failure to reach a comprehensive settlement would lead to a weakening in collaboration in the fight against crime and terrorism. "It's not a threat, I think that's the misunderstanding," he told BBC Two's Newsnight.

  • Trump offers coal to well-supplied miners AAP - 18 hours ago

    US president Donald Trump's administration has billed his move to reopen federal lands to new coal leases as a win for miners seeking to expand production. Trump signed a decree on Tuesday (US time) to reverse then president Barack Obama's 2016 ban on new federal coal leases, part of a wide-ranging executive order to sweep away green regulations his administration says have hobbled the drilling and mining industries. "You know, our nation can't run on pixie dust and hope, and the last eight years showed that," Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said before Trump signed the executive order on a stage at the Environmental Protection Agency lined with coal miners.