Territory Stories

The Northern Territory news Wed 22 Feb 2012



The Northern Territory news Wed 22 Feb 2012

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NT news


The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT




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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin

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Nationwide News Pty. Limited

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Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.

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Nationwide News Pty. Limited



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24 NT NEWS. Wednesday, February 22, 2012. www.ntnews.com.au P U B : N T N E W S D A T E : 2 2 -F E B -2 0 1 2 P A G E : 2 4 C O L O R : C M Y K Its your view on Thursday all wrapped up. YOUR VOICE IN THE TERRITORY. BUSINESS WEEK l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l ntnews.com.au Greek bailout sealed EUROPE: Eurozone finance ministers have sealed a deal for a massive new bailout of Greece, including a major writedown of privatelyheld Greek sovereign debt, an EU official said. We have the essentials of the deal, the source said, referring to both the write-down of Greek debt held by private creditors and the contribution of eurozone governments. The euro immediately jumped against the dollar in Asian trading after finance ministers gave their green light to a $284 billion financial lifeline, in exchange for strict surveillance of the Athens government. The deal came after 12 hours of talks in Brussels, that saw Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos act as go-between for ministers with negotiators for private creditors. The deal will bring government debt in Athens down to 120.5 per cent of gross domestic product by 2020, a eurozone governmental source said. This is just a fraction above the 120 per cent target set by the European Union and International Monetary Fund, and means a 5.5 billion gap in funding was reached to bring it down from an estimated 129 per cent. Banks were readying to up their write-down by several percentage points, from the 50 per cent haircut initially agreed by eurozone leaders. Mining tax support Mitch Hooke, CEO of the Minerals Council of Australia, at an Economics Legislation Committee into the MRRT Bill CANBERRA: The national body representing Australias minerals industry believes the Federal Governments planned mining tax is workable and should be made law. The controversial minerals resource rent tax (MRRT) was passed by the House of Representatives late last year, but still has to be given the tick of approval by the Upper House. Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) chief Mitch Hooke told a Senate inquiry in Canberra yesterday the 30 per cent tax on the profits of big coal and iron producers was workable. We have done the best we can with the hand of cards that we were dealt with, he told the Senate economic legislation committee, he said. We still have work to do in mitigating the adverse consequences and the unnecessary complexities to the compliance costs. But this is a much better designed tax, notwithstanding that it was not necessary in the first place. Asked if the tax should be passed into law in its current state, he said: Yep. Prime Minister Julia Gillard negotiated a heads of agreement for the MRRT with three major miners BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Xstrata after the original idea of a resource super profits tax (RSPT) caused a bitter row between the former Kevin Rudd-led government and the mining industry. Mr Hooke said that heads of agreement would not have been supported by the council and its members had it not been consistent with its policy position. He said the consultation process for the RSPT was abysmal, particularly as it did not include the states and territories in the discussion about royalty reform. In contrast, he said con sultations with the MRRTs policy transition group that was led by former BHP chairman Don Argus and Resources Minister Martin Ferguson were outstanding, and a pretty good model in setting up the design of a new tax with business. While the federal opposition says the design of the tax that credits state royalties into the future leaves the budget exposed to increases in royalties by the states, Mr Hooke said it would have been a deal breaker without that clause. It goes to the fundamental principle of putting an effective cap on this tax liability, otherwise we just have an escalator all the way through Mount Everest which would put us back in the camp of compromising international competitiveness, he said. Europe crisis hampering small business Greg Evans CANBERRA: Uncertainty about the European debt crisis and the introduction of a carbon tax in Australia is hampering the confidence of small businesses, according to a survey. The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) survey found small business expectations for the performance of the economy over the next 12 months fell to 39.7 index points in the December quarter, from 40.9 points in the previous period. The index, released yesterday, is now at its lowest level since March 2009, around the peak of the global financial crisis, after recording its eighth consecutive fall in a row. Instability in Europe is certainly playing out in overall confidence levels, while the prospect of new taxes is also having a negative impact, ACCIs director of economics, Greg Evans, said in Canberra. He said small businesses were also reporting very poor trading and demand conditions. Clearly, from this survey and other statistics, small business on the whole is not borrowing, small business is not investing and small business is not hiring. Coffee war brewing BRISBANE: A boutique coffee supplier has accused Australias largest coffee company of engaging in anticompetitive conduct. Di Bella Coffee has gone to the competition watchdog over what it says is an aggressive incentive campaign by coffee giant Vittoria. In a complaint to the Aust ralian Competition and Consumer Commission, Di Bella says Vittoria is offering its customers huge incentives, including up to a year of free coffee, to switch suppliers. Di Bella argues customers may then be locked into damaging long-term contracts. Comment was being sought from Vittoria.

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