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ScoMo shelves vaccination targets | Recovery on track | Census system rebuilt | Chinese still buying | Israel behind cyberattack on Iran nuclear facility | $A, Gold & Oil Down, Dow Up

Source : PortMac.News | Independent :

Source : PortMac.News | Independent | News Story:

12-04-21 | ScoMo Dumps Jab Targets | Upper-Hunter | Iran
ScoMo shelves vaccination targets | Recovery on track | Census system rebuilt | Chinese still buying | Israel behind cyberattack on Iran nuclear facility | $A, Gold & Oil Down, Dow Up

News Story Summary:

Latest updates on Key Economic Indicators

Australian Dollar: $0.7612 USD (down $0.0040 USD)

Iron Ore May Spot Price (SGX): $165.25 USD (down $0.35 USD)

Oil Price (WTI): $59.32 USD (down $0.47 USD)

Gold Price (9 Apr): $1,744.02 (down $13.94 USD)

Gold Price (12 Apr): $1,744.20 (up $0.18 USD)

Bitcoin: $59,795.04 USD (up 0.27 % in last 24 hours)

Dow Jones: 33,800.60 (up 297.03 points on Thursday's close)

All changes compared to 7am Friday, except gold.

'Terrorist act' at Iran underground facility

A nuclear facility in Iran was hit by a "terrorist act" a day after it unveiled new advanced uranium centrifuges, a top nuclear official says.

He did not say who was to blame but urged the international community to deal with nuclear terrorism.

Israeli media suggest the incident was a result of an Israeli cyber attack.

Last year, a fire broke out at the Natanz underground facility, which the authorities alleged was the result of cyber sabotage.

The latest incident comes as diplomatic efforts to revive a 2015 nuclear deal - abandoned by the US under the Trump administration in 2018 - have resumed.

(See full story on PortMac.News today)

PM shelves vaccination targets

The Australian - Page 4 : 12 April 2021 - Original article by Remy Varga - PortMac.News Summary

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has advised that the federal government will not set a revised target for all Australians who want to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to receive their first dose.

Morrison said there are too many uncertainties regarding the vaccine rollout to set a new target, although he stated that the preference is still for all first doses to be administered by the end of 2021.

The government has ordered an additional 20 million doses of Pfizer's vaccine following a recommendation that people under the age of 50 should not be given the AstraZeneca vaccine due to concerns about blood clotting.

Recovery on track despite slow vax rollout: economists

The Australian - Page 4 : 12 April 2021 - Original article by Patrick Commins, Tom Dusevic - PortMac.News Summary

Chris Richardson of Deloitte Access Economics still expects the Australian economy to grow by 4.9% in 2021, despite the decision to restrict AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine to people aged 50+.

However, he acknowledges that this has increased the risk of the growth forecast not being achieved, and he warns that Australia is now unlikely to return to 'Covid normal' until early 2022.

Jo Masters of Ernst & Young in turn says Australians can expect more snap lockdowns and state border closures following the decision regarding the AstraZeneca vaccine, while it will take longer to re-open the nation's international borders.

Secret NSW COVID-19 death toll

The Sydney Morning Herald - Page Online : 12 April 2021 - Original article by Alexandra Smith - PortMac.News Summary

New South Wales Health Minister Brad Hazzard has revealed that the state government had been presented with forecasts regarding the potential number of COVID-19 deaths on 25 March 2020.

Senior ministers were told that in a worst-case scenario, some 24,768 people in the state could die from COVID-19 in the first year of the pandemic unless the government imposed measures such as lockdowns and social distancing.

The government had introduced a lockdown on 22 March. NSW accounts for six new of the nine new COVID-19 cases in hotel quarantine nationwide in the last 24 hours, although there have been no new locally-acquired cases.

Firms urge Covid pay delay

The Australian - Page 1 & 4 : 12 April 2021 - Original article by Ewin Hannan - PortMac.News Summary

Employers have urged the Fair Work Commission to again delay a minimum wage increase for workers in sectors that have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Workers in sectors such as hospitality and retailing did not receive the 2020 increase until February 2021.

Restaurant & Catering CEO Wes Lambert has called for a similar approach in the latest minimum wage decision, arguing that employers should not have to fund two wage rises within five months.

However, the ACTU contends that all workers on the minimum wage should receive any increase on 1 July; it is pushing for an increase of 3.5%, or $26.38 per week.

WFH may mean trouble for struggling unions

The Weekend Australian - Page 19 : 10 April 2021 - Original article by Katrina Grace Kelly - PortMac.News Summary

In November 2020, the ACTU released the results of an online survey of over 10,000 workers which found that 81% of workers wanted to work permanently from home, provided that there was appropriate employer support.

However, the increased desire for people to work from home is going to make it very hard for unions in terms of gaining access to potential members.

Unions can get permits to access workplaces to have talks with staff who are eligible to be a union member, but getting access to a person's home which is their workplace is a different matter altogether.

As regards the Labor Party, unions in sectors where working from home is difficult will become more powerful.

Bank tax break enrages Europe and OECD

The Australian Financial Review - Page 4 : 12 April 2021 - Original article by John Kehoe - PortMac.News Summary

The federal government and the European Union have been involved in a dispute over Australia's offshore banking unit regime.

The mechanism taxes the offshore profits of Australian financial institutions at a concessional rate of 10%, as opposed to the normal company tax rate of 30%.

The EU views the mechanism as a potentially harmful tax regime, and has given the government a deadline of 31 December to end it.

The EU has threatened to block its institutional investors from buying securitised debt from Australian financial institutions if the government does not comply.

Census system rebuilt and ready to go

The Australian Financial Review - Page 9 : 12 April 2021 - Original article by Tom McIlroy - PortMac.News Summary

The Australian Bureau of Statistics is hoping for 95% participation in the 2021 census, which will take place on 10 August.

The ABS has engaged Amazon Web Services, the Australian Cyber Security Centre and PwC to redesign and bolster the systems that operate and protect the census as it seeks to avoid the major failures that hit the 2016 one.

Around 63% of Australian households completed the 2016 census online, and the ABS is hoping to increase that figure to 75% in 2021, while around 38,000 temporary jobs will be created as part of the 2021 census.

Laming defies PM by seeking preselection

The Australian - Page 1 & 2 : 12 April 2021 - Original article by Sarah Elks - PortMac.News Summary

Liberal National Party MP Andrew Laming has not withdrawn his nomination for preselection at the next federal election, despite Prime Minister Scott Morrison insisting that Laming should not stand again.

Should Laming not pass the LNP's vetting committee and find himself disendorsed, he could be eligible for a one-off payment of $105,000 under parliament rules.

The controversial MP has been accused of harassing women constituents and political rivals on the internet, which he has denied, while he has also denied taking an inappropriate photograph of a young woman when she was bending over.

AI Group: slam brakes on EV tax

The Australian Financial Review - Page 4 : 12 April 2021 - Original article by Michael Pelly - PortMac.News Summary

The Australian Industry Group does not believe that taxes on electric cars should be adopted until 'clean vehicles' have a stronger presence in the market.

The employers' group was commenting on a distance-based road tax being considered by the Victorian parliament.

New South Wales and South Australia have indicated that they are considering similar taxes. The Ai Group also believes that governments need to offer consumers more incentives to buy electric vehicles.

Katter's big power line a family affair

The Australian Financial Review - Page 1 & 8 : 12 April 2021 - Original article by Aaron Patrick - PortMac.News Summary

Independent MP Bob Katter wants the federal government to provide subsidised finance for CopperString 2.0, which is a $1.7 billion transmission line that would connect the Queensland mining town of Mt Isa to the national electricity grid near Townsville.

CIMIC is due to begin construction of the line during 2021, while CopperString MD Joseph O'Brien is confident that the $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility will provide the project with a loan of at least $630 million.

O'Brien and Katter are related, with Katter being O'Brien's uncle, while critics of the line say it is not needed and will not be viable without subsidies.

Consolidation looms for local lenders

The Australian - Page 13 & 16 : 12 April 2021 - Original article by Joyce Moullakis - PortMac.News Summary

Global payments and financial services technology group Fiserv processes about one out of every eight payment transactions in Australia.

Kees Kwakernaak, the CEO of Fiserv's Australian arm, expects further consolidation in the local banking sector in coming years.

Kwakernaak anticipates mergers at the smaller end of the market in particular.

However, he says consolidation in the sector is unlikely to deter non-bank financial services providers from entering the domestic market.

Kwakernaak also anticipates greater collaboration among banks, which will be facilitated by initiatives such as the open banking regime.

Delorean's $14m IPO built on waste

The Australian Financial Review - Page 18 : 12 April 2021 - Original article by Elouise Fowler - PortMac.News Summary

Bioenergy infrastructure company and energy retailer Delorean will make its Australian sharemarket debut on 12 April, after raising $14 million via an IPO.

DeLorean specialises in converting waste into energy, and it operates a biogas facility in Perth.

It has similar plants under construction in South Australia and New Zealand, and a further two awaiting final investment decisions.

DeLorean aims to use the funds raised from its IPO to transform itself from a biogas infrastructure developer into a biogas generator.

Spanish billionaire gains on Macquarie in Italian road race

The Australian Financial Review - Page 15 : 12 April 2021 - Original article by Hans van Leeuwen - PortMac.News Summary

Macquarie Group is part of a consortium that has submitted a EUR9.1 billion ($14.2 billion) binding bid for Autostrade per l'Italia (ASPI), which is the largest tollway network in Italy.

ASPI is 88% owned by infrastructure company Atlantia, which has been under pressure from the Italian government to sell its stake since the collapse of the Morandi bridge in 2018, which killed 43 people.

The Atlantia board was due to consider the bid from the Macquarie consortium's bid late in the week ending 9 April when Spanish billionaire and Real Madrid soccer club owner Florentino Perez submitted a last-minute bid, believed to be worth between EUR9 billion and EUR10 billion.

Chinese still buying, says Aumake

The Australian - Page 15 : 12 April 2021 - Original article by Glenda Korporaal - PortMac.News Summary

E-commerce platform Aumake chairman Keong Chan contends that the "Australian brand in China is still really strong".

Aumake sells around 150 Australian brands to Chinese consumers via its platform, targeting mainly women aged between the age of 18 to 35, and covering brands in product areas such as cosmetics and health supplements.

Chan says younger Chinese consumers tend to buy products while watching streaming videos on their phones, and that Australian brands need to find ways of 'connecting' to this demographic.

He also says influencers such as film stars and singers are playing a growing role when it comes to setting trends and promoting brands.

Freeview's new service puts all Australian TV in one place

The Australian Financial Review - Page 29 : 12 April 2021 - Original article by Miranda Ward - PortMac.News Summary

Freeview Australia has launched its updated HbbTV (Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV) service.

It allows consumers to view linear free-to-air channels, as well as providing a more simplified gateway to the various on-demand and catch-up services offered by the free-to-air networks.

Freeview first launched HbbTV in 2014, while the upgraded version aims to stop viewers from switching to streaming services such as Netflix and Disney+.

Murdochs mafia preparing to unleash Fox News on Australia?

The Sydney Morning Herald - Page Online : 12 April 2021 - Original article by Zoe Samios - PortMac.News Summary

Revelations that Fox Media LLC has sought to register the Fox News International trademark in Australia has prompted speculation that the Murdoch family will add content from US cable channel Fox News to its local streaming services.

The Fox News International streaming app is now available in 30 countries, following its launch in Mexico in August.

Fox News is currently broadcast on Foxtel, but making it available via streaming would increase its local reach.

News Corp is said to be planning to launch a news-focused streaming service called NewsFlash later in 2021.

Journalists kickstart local publishing

The Australian - Page 19 : 12 April 2021 - Original article by Sophie Elsworth - PortMac.News Summary

News Corp Australia has had considerable success with the launch of 'hyperlocal' news websites over the last nine months.

The strategy has seen the media giant establish 11 digital mastheads in cities and regions where it previously had no presence, including Ballarat, Bendigo, Dubbo and Mount Gambier.

News Corp plans to launch an additional 15 digital mastheads over the next year. National community masthead network editor John McGourty says News Corp aims to have a strong editorial presence in every community.

RBA sounds warning on housing

The Weekend Australian - Page 21 & 22 : 10 April 2021 - Original article by David Rogers - PortMac.News Summary

The Reserve Bank has warned in its semi-annual Financial Stability Review that low interest rates and rising house prices could lead to a risk of excessive borrowing.

The warning from the RBA comes as CoreLogic reported that its national house price index rose 2.8%t in March, the fastest rate of growth since 1988.

The RBA has stated on a number of occasions that it will not use monetary policy in an attempt to contain the property market, but it has other tools available to it if it wishes to curtail unnecessary risk taking in the sector.

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