The Northern Territory news Sat 12 Dec 2009
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www.ntnews.com.au Northern Territory News, Saturday, December 12, 2009 47 P U B : N T N E W S D A T E : 1 2 -D E C -2 0 0 9 P A G E : 4 7 C O L O R : C M Y K BUSINESS Delta deal with Virgin OK ATLANTA: Australian regulators have approved a joint venture betweenDelta Air and Virgin Blue Airlines, giving the carriers greater flexibility in co-ordinating flights between the US andAustralia. US regulatory approval is pending, Delta said. Delta already has immunity from antitrust laws to cooperate closely with Air France-KLM across the Atlantic. A joint venture allows airlines to share cost and revenue on certain flights regardless of which airline owns or flies the aircraft. First Toyota Hybrid rolls MELBOURNE: The first Toyota hybrid has rolled off the production line inMelbourne. PrimeMinister Kevin Rudd andVictorian Premier JohnBrumby joined Toyota bosses at the car giants Altona plant for the hybrid launch yesterday. TheHybrid Camry (pictured) contains a petrol engine and electric drive motor and is touted as Australiasmost fuelefficient locally built car. Toyota expects it to use 35 per cent less fuel than other locally built six-cylinder vehicles and produce less than 150g of greenhouse gases per kilometre. Westpac exit proves costly WESTPAC customers who followedKevin Rudds call for them to take theirmortgages elsewhere could be slugged $1750 in fees that would take up to three years to recoup through savings from lower interest repayments. Westpac lifted its standard variable rate by 45 basis points last week, hours after the Reserve Bank raised the cash rate by only 25 points. Thosewith a $300,000 mortgagewho switched to NABwould save $50.88 a month on repayments. But to exit amortgage held for less than four years, incurs a $900 exit fee, a $250 discharge fee and then a $600 application fee for a NABhome loan. Wego picks top 10 SYDNEY: As the Aussie dollar trades at record highs, and different destinations offer discounted holidays, travel comparison site www.wego.com.au has released the top 10 overseas destinations for travellers to visit and take advantage of the great exchange rate. Wego said the best overseas destinations for thrifty Australians wanting to take advantage of a strong Aussie dollar as well as fantastic airfare and hotel rates currently available are: Fiji (1), Bali, Bangkok, Shanghai, Singapore, New Zealand, United States, Phuket, Canada and Tokyo (10). Wheat growers benefit CANBERRA: Farmers say a growercontrolled wheat export marketing company together with a national wheat pool will allow them to borrow money easily from banks. The NSW Farmers Association has called for the establishment of a grower-controlled not-for-profit entity to control the export of Australian wheat. Multiple exporters would be involved and a national pool would be established to enable growers to improve their marketing to overseas buyers, the associations grains committee chairman Mark Hoskinson says. Atlas ore topsmillion SYDNEY: Atlas Iron Ltd has shipped over one million tonnes of ore during 2009 as the miner achieves all of its key production and operating targets. The miner shipped 1.02m tonnes of iron ore during calendar 2009 from its Pardoo direct shipping ore project in Western Australias Pilbara region and 1.08m tonnes since it started shipments in December 2008, Perth-based Atlas said in a statement yesterday. Chemist shares deal SYDNEY: Chemist wholesaler and retail chain owner Australian Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (API) has completed a $150 million new share sale which will allow the company to reduce debt. The new capital will also allow Sydney-based API to invest in its Priceline retail chain and provide flexibility for future growth, Mr Robinson said. The company also said it was paying a fully-franked dividend of two cents per share, because of stronger than expected results for the year to August 31. Kiwi picture clearer WELLINGTON: Listed Australian IT services company CSG Ltd is to buy Konica Minolta New Zealand and its associated leasing business for $NZ132 million ($A104.6m). CSG planned to partly fund the deal through a $A65m share placement, the New Zealand Herald reported yesterday. The acquisition is subject to New Zealand Overseas Investment Office and CSG shareholder approval, and is expected to be completed by the end of next month. FIRED UP: Firepower boss Tim Johnston arrives at the Federal Court in Perth for the hearing into the collapse of his fuel pill company Firepower boss complains of assault, intimidation PERTH: Firepower boss Tim Johnston says he has been assaulted and his daughter has been intimidated since he began giving evidence to a Perth court hearing into the collapse of his fuel pill company. Mr Johnston told a liquidators examination of Firepower that he had been hit over the back of the head on the first day he gave evidence, while cars have been driving around my daughters house. He named his attacker as Shane Drew and said he wanted the name added to those of two other men who had threatened him whose identities have so far been suppressed by the court. Mr Johnston said Mr Drew was known to associate with the two other men, who had allegedly been with Warren Anderson when the Perth-based property developer made implied threats against him in 2006 and 2007. The man behind Firepower, whose collapse in 2008 cost investors an estimated $100 million, was giving evidence on the fourth day of the Federal Court hearing. Mr Johnston has claimed that he gave $11m to Mr Andersons com pany Owston Nominees during the time he was under threat. Mr Anderson has said the money given to Owston Nominees was for share transactions and the claims of threats were ridiculous. Mr Johnston has told the court he received a series of threats from Mr Anderson since April 2006 until recently. The hearing continues. Joyce cops flak for extremist comments Govt coy about further rate rises CANBERRA: Senior federal gove r n m e n t m i n i s t e r s h a v e unsurprisingly shied away from speculating about the next move in interest rates following Thursdays strong jobs numbers. The same cannot be said when it comes to attacking new Opposition finance spokesman Barnaby Joyce after his latest comments on potential debt problems, here and abroad. Thursdays labour force data showed an unexpected drop in the jobless rate to 5.7 per cent in November as more than 30,000 people gained employment in the month, making a total of nearly 100,000 new jobs in three months. Economists say this raises the prospect of another interest rate rise in February when the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) board returns from its summer break. Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard refused to speculate on what the central bank may or may not do with monetary policy. The Reserve Bank governor (Glenn Stevens) has also been clear that interest rates wont stay at emergency lows forever Australians understood that, Ms Gillard told ABC Television yesterday. Money markets are now pricing in more than a 70 per cent chance of a rise in the cash rate to 4.0 per cent from 3.75 per cent in February. The Opposition has used the strength of the labour market to attack the Governments continued stimulus spending. Financial Services Minister Chris Bowen said those calling for an end to the stimulus to stop rates raising were missing one important point. The stimulus package has already peaked, he said. It will ... actually be reducing the rate of economic growth as the stimulus winds down. He refused to speculate where rates might be in a years time. But ministers were less reserved when it came to Senator Joyce. The Senator said rising interest rates were affecting the capacity of the states to make repayments on their $170 billion of debt. He also warned if the US defaulted on its debt there would be a global financial meltdown and demand for Australias resources would go through the floor. Thats just irresponsible, shooting from the lip, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd told Fairfax Radio. Mr Bowen said the comments were extremist.
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