Territory Stories

The Northern Territory news Tue 5 Jan 2010



The Northern Territory news Tue 5 Jan 2010

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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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www.ntnews.com.au Northern Territory News, Tuesday, January 5, 2010 25 P U B : NTNE-WS-DA-TE:5-JAGE:25 CO-LO-R: C-M Y-K Executive pay punch-up By JULIANDRAPE in Canberra THE federal government made the Productivity Commission water down a plan to give shareholders greater powers to limit the salaries of executives, the Opposition says. The commissions final report, released yesterday, contains 17 recommendations aimed at reducing conflicts of interest, improving disclosure and boosting the role of shareholders. But it stops short of calling for a cap on fat cats pay, and the so-called two strikes rule contained in last years draft report has been softened. The commission initially suggested two no votes by 25 per cent of shareholders to a companys remuneration report should lead to a spill of the board. Now, it says two minority votes should trigger a third vote requiring the support of a majority of shareholders. Commission chairman Gary Banks denies that change weakens the reform package. Having a separate re-election resolution would allow sharehold ers to express their true view about the companys remuneration practices, he said. (Shareholders) can vote without fear that that no vote will trigger a re-election of the board that they dont want, Mr Banks said, adding that the new approach still allowed shareholders to bring the whole board to account. We think, actually, weve strengthened that recommendation. But that view is not shared by Opposition finance spokesman Barnaby Joyce. He says he believes Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is play ing Ruddster politics and alleges the commission was leaned on. What I say to Mr Rudd is: If you want to get your ego going with this chest-beating exercise about how evil corporate executives are I thought youd come out with a document slightly stronger, Senator Joyce said. They (Labor) garner the public support by saying evil rich people ... then in a mealy-mouthed fashion they get in behind and make sure the Productivity Commission comes forward with a document that basically says do nothing. Opposition Leader Tony Abbott was more circumspect when asked. Im not in favour of salary caps, but if Mr Rudd is fair dinkum about reining in executive salaries hes got to show it, Mr Abbott said. We should have proper shareholder control over companies and that means a shareholder vote on directors and other senior executives remuneration. The report recommends companies remuneration committees which determine pay should contain a majority of independent non-executive directors. BUSINESS AMBITION: Dubai prepares to inaugurate the worlds tallest tower, a symbol of its unbridled ambitions of recent years, amid continuing fears over cash problems facing the emirate, which narrowly escaped a financial catastrophe last month Dubai tower opens on shaky ground DUBAI: Dubai is set to open the worlds tallest building amid tight security today, celebrating the tower as a bold feat on the world stage despite the city states shaky financial footing. But the final height of the Burj Dubai Arabic for Dubai Tower remained a closely guarded secret on the eve of its opening. At a reported height of 818m, it long ago vanquished its nearest rival, the Taipei 101 in Taiwan. The Burjs record-seeking developers didnt stop there. The building boasts the most storeys and highest occupied floor of any building in the world, and ranks as the worlds tallest structure, beating out a TV mast in North Dakota. Its observation deck on floor 124 also sets a record. We werent sure how high we could go, said Bill Baker, the buildings structural engineer, who is in Dubai for the inauguration. It was kind of an exploration ... a learning experience. Baker, of Chicago-based architecture and engineering firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, said early designs for the Burj had it edging out the worlds previous record-holder, the Taipei 101, by about 10m. The Taiwan tower rises 508m. The Burjs developer, Emaar Properties, kept pushing the design higher even after construction began, eventually putting it about 300m taller than its nearest competitor, Baker said. He is keeping quiet about the exact height. Dubais ruler will open the tapering metal-and-glass spire with a fireworks display. Security is expected to be tight. Newspapers quoted Major General Mohammed Eid al-Mansouri, head of the protective security and emergency unit for Dubai Police, saying more than 1000 security personnel, including plainclothes police and sharpshooters, will be deployed to secure the site for the opening. Work on the Burj Dubai began in 2004 and continued rapidly. At times, new floors were being added almost every three days, reflecting Dubais raging push to reshape itself over a few years from a small-time desert outpost into a cosmopolitan urban giant packed with skyscrapers. By January 2007, thousands of labourers, many of them brought in on temporary contracts from India, had completed 100 storeys. At their peak, apartments in the Burj were selling for more than $A2128 per square foot, though they now can go for less than half that. All fair in work and ... SYDNEY: New FairWork regulations have simplified working practices and offer greater protection to employees, Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard said yesterday. Starting from January 1, the federal governments FairWork policy has stripped away regulation and unified working practices across the states and territories. Ms Gillard said transport companies moving goods interstate are among those to benefit. Gunns get the nod MELBOURNE: Growers who invested in the 2006 forestry project of failed agricultural projects manager Great Southern group have voted in favour of making Gunns Plantations a subsidiary of woodchipper Gunns the responsible entity for the scheme. Gunns said yesterday an application in the Victorian Supreme Court for orders in relation to the 2006 scheme was expected to be heard today. High-speed players gear up CANBERRA: A leading global player in providing high-speed internet systems has backed the Rudd governments plan for an open-access national broadband network. The company that will build and operate the $43 billion network NBN Co is expected to announce early next month a short list of prospective partners to join the project. Huawei Technologies, which has been involved in the rollout of similar networks in the UK, Singapore and Malaysia, is seen as one of the frontrunners to make the list. The companys regional chief technology officer, Paul Scanlan, said the model proposed by the government would deliver a major boost to competition in the telecommunications sector and productivity in Australia across the board. Ironclads eye on globe ADELAIDE: Ironclad Mining says it plans to fast-track production of iron ore at Wilcherry Hill on SAs northern Eyre Peninsula to take advantage of strong global markets. The Australian company says tests of high-grade ore from the Weednanna Prospect drilling site show it could begin production of direct shipping ore late this year using a dry, low-cost processing method. It plans production of two million tonnes of premium iron ore a year. PMI slips 2.8 in December SYDNEY: Manufacturing activity contracted in December for the first time in five months, as the sector felt the pressure of a high Australian dollar, successive interest rate rises and a weak global economy, a survey shows. The Australian Industry Group/ PricewaterhouseCoopers performance of manufacturing index (PMI) slipped by a seasonally adjusted 2.8 points in December to 48.5, after a drop off in production, new orders and input deliveries. The index was below the 50 point level that separates expansion from contraction for the first time since July 2009. Sugar, organic farming, construction tipped for big 2010 ON THE UP: Organic farming is set to flourish in 2010, analysts say SYDNEY: Industries banking on a sweet tooth, a social conscience and the federal governments building program are among those tipped for a big year in 2010, a report published yesterday said. By contrast, firms which deal in image processing, fixed-line phones and video hire are expected to struggle as digital cameras, wireless communications and online media grow. The findings are in a report from business information analysts IBISWorld. Heading the list of the top 10 growth industries for 2010 was sugar manufacturing. IBISWorld projects that industrys revenues to rise 15.9 per cent to $3.11 billion in 2010. Second on the list is organic farming, which IBISWorld Australian general manager Robert Bryant says has lifted in demand over recent years. Mr Bryant said people were drawn towards organic produce despite it being more expensive, on average, than non-organic al ternatives. Higher disposable incomes coupled with increasing awareness of environmental sustainability and an increase in the range of organic produce available, will see continued growth in this industry, Mr Bryant said. Organic farming revenues were expected to grow by 14.8 per cent to $450 million. Also expected to perform well in 2010 due to the federal governments 2009 stimulus measures were building construction and insulation services. TOP 10GROWTH INDUSTRIES: 1. SugarManufacturing 2. Organic Farming 3. Oil, Gas Production 4. Institutional Building Construction 5. Insulation Services 6. Health Insurance 7. Alternative Health 8. Online Shopping 9.Weight Loss Services 10. Baby Products BOTTOMFIVEGROWTH INDUSTRIES: 1. Image Processing and Printing 2.Multi Unit Apartment and Townhouse Construction 3.Wired TelecomsCarriers 4. VideoHire Outlets 5. Travel Agency Services Source: IBISWorld

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