The Northern Territory news Wed 20 Jun 2012
The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin
Nationwide News Pty. Limited
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Nationwide News Pty. Limited
www.ntnews.com.au Wednesday, June 20, 2012. NT NEWS. 31 P U B : NTNE-WS-DA-TE:20-JGE:31 CO-LO-R: C-M Y-K 32 NTworkers earning less 34 Midweek real estate 39 Professional development Mining royalties under spotlight By ALISON BEVEGE TREASURER Delia Lawrie has been grilled on falling mining royalties during Senate Estimates. Independent MLA for Nelson Gerry Wood asked how much Territory miners were paying the NT Government for the right to dig up publicly-owned minerals. I would like to know . . . why we cannot see who is paying the tax, Mr Wood said. It would be nice, I think, for people in the Territory to know whether McArthur River pays any royalties or whether Alcan is paying any royalties. Why arent we allowed to know that? Ms Lawrie directed the commissioner for taxation Grant Parsons to explain the secrecy, who said it was due to statutory commercial-inconfidence provisions. The information is kept secret thanks to legal provisions in the Mineral Royalties Act, he said. Mr Wood also pointed to falling revenue from royalties which dropped from $144.7 million in 2009-10 to an estimated $117.7 million in 2012-13. Budget papers say this is due to lower commodity prices and the Australian dollar exchange rate causing miners to report lower profits. Mining companies in the Territory only have to pay royalties on the profits they make, unlike Western Australia where they have to pay on the value of the ore they extract. Despite making up 17.4 per cent of Territory gross state product in 2010-11, mining royalties only contributed 3.2 per cent of Territory revenue. By contrast, royalties made up 21.8 per cent of Western Australias revenue in that same year. Some companies have paid nothing for Territory minerals such as Swiss mining giant Xstrata which paid no royalties from the McArthur River Mine from when it opened in 1995 until 2007 when it wanted to move the McArthur River to expand its operations. How are we to know that they (miners) are not managing their finances in such a way as not to make a profit, therefore to avoid royalty? Mr Wood asked. Mr Parsons said the Territory Revenue Office audits mining companies rigorously, conducts site visits and checks company books to make sure miners do not avoid their obligations. Mark Ewins with the gravity training system he has at his fitness studio Picture: JUSTIN SANSON Let old Isaac do the hard yakka ONE Territory entrepreneur is harnessing gravity to drive his new sports training business. Personal trainer Mark Ewins, 47, has moved north to start his first enterprise, Mach 1 Fitness Studio, and he has kitted it out with four gravity training machines. The exercise contraptions use Newtonian principles to provide specifically targeted strength training for users. A rolling incline surface enables the body to become the weight which is free to move in any plane. A person unable to do a chin-up can practise them on one of the easy settings while a very fit person can also challenge themselves. Mr Ewins of Ludmilla has also furnished his Coconut Grove studio with spin bikes so he can conduct sessions for eight people at a time. Its my first stand-alone business, he said. Ive been a fitness instructor for 17 years but Ive been involved in health and fitness all my life. His studio will target both strength and cardio fitness. It will also focus on pilates to build core strength. Mr Ewins says he is the first person to introduce the gravity training system to Darwin. The personal training industry has boomed in the past 10 years from boot camps to personal instructors and further growth is forecast as more of the population switch to personalised training. MARKET SNAPSHOT CURRENCY WhatyourAussieDollarwas worthyesterday: BUY SELL USdollar 1.0456 0.9688 Canadian 1.0729 0.9696 UKSterling 0.6695 0.6108 Euro 0.8394 0.7619 NZDollar 1.3207 1.2160 HKDollar 8.1746 7.4324 Singapore 1.3449 1.1987 Yen 85.68 75.02 PNGKina 2.4181 1.6600 SARand 8.7436 7.8023 IndonRph Onapp 8412.73 SwissFr 1.0245 0.9153 Fijian 1.9026 1.6851 Philippine Onapp 37.72 Malaysian Onapp 2.8358 ThaiBaht 33.21 27.80 Ratesare for travellerschequesonly.Suppliedbythe CommonwealthBankasacommunityservice.Rates aresubject tochange. INTERESTRATES 30-Daybankbills 3.59% 60-Daybankbills 3.54% 90-Daybankbills 3.48% 180-Daybankbills 3.40% Unofficial cashrates: (11am) 3.50% INDICES LAST CHG AllOrds 4167.40 -16.50 S&P/ASX200 4123.30 -13.60 S&P/ASXSmallOrds 2189.50 -18.20 DowJones 12741.82 -25.35 Nasdaq 2895.33 +22.53 HangSeng 19427.81 +193.87 Nikkei 8721.02 +157.7 FTSE-100 5491.09 +12.28 RESOURCES $US last CHG Gold 1628.29 -0.12 Silver 28.69 +0.05 Oil 83.19 -0.41 Copper 7498.25 -0.50 Zinc 1885.0 -28.75 Lead 1881.5 -29.75 Aluminium 1890.0 -5.0 Uranium 51.0 +0.5 ONTHEMONEY WAYNESWAN Treasurer Wevecomea longwaybut its pretty clearwevegot tokeep our sleeves rolledupbecause there ismore todo STOCKTOWATCH ECHOENTERTAINMENT AsiangaminggiantGentingGroup increasing its stake in theownerof Sydneysonlycasino.Genting last weektooka4.9percentstake in Echo,ownerofTheStar inSydney. Afurther2.8percentstake in EchowasacquiredwhenGenting HongKong,asubsidiarycruiseand resortoperator, confirmedon Tuesday ithadpaid$82.6million for19.26millionEchoshares. Another13.8millionEchoshares, a2.0percentstake,weresold in one$60.1million transactionon yesterday, fuellingspeculation Gentinghadagain increased its stake inEcho,potentially toa total of9.7per cent.