Territory Stories

The Northern Territory news Sat 31 Jul 2021



The Northern Territory news Sat 31 Jul 2021

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NT news


The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT






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

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News Corp Australia

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Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.

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News Corp Australia



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40 BUSINESS SATURDAY JULY 31 2021 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 Matthew Halliday AMPOL has won a major share of federal funding for the nations electric vehicle fastcharging station rollout. The funding comes as the company positions to expand our role in electricity ahead of a looming battle over who will supply the energy needs of future drivers. The fuel retailer, Trevor St Bakers Evie Networks and French energy company Engie won the lions share of funding announced by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) on Friday to roll out 403 fast-charging stations, each able to charge two vehicles, across the nation. Ampol will deliver 121 stations, Evie 158 and Engie 103. Chargefox will build 16 and Electric Highways Tasmania another five. The foray into fast-charging stations by Ampol, and Evies stated strategy to take on the fuel retailers head on when it comes to vehicle charging, is a forerunner of what appears to be a looming seismic shift in Australias fuel sector. Ampol, which has just five pilot charging sites, told the ASX that its ambition was to expand its energy delivery reach beyond the traditional service station forecourt. E-mobility infrastructure is a central pillar to capturing our existing customer base through the energy transition, as we look to expand our role in electricity to make the ease of the current liquid fuels era translate into the future battery electric vehicle environment, managing director Matthew Halliday said. This includes exploring atforecourt, at-home and atdestination solutions. Ampol said it expects that electric vehicles ... will play a Ampol charged up for energy sector battle key role in decarbonising the transport sector and gradually displace internal combustion engines, particularly in the light passenger fleet, accelerating rapidly after 2030 to become the primary mobility energy source by 2050. But the vertically integrated Evie is not about to stand by and let the traditional fuel retailers stake their claim on the emerging sector. CEO Chris Mills said Evie would build a $30m EV fastcharging network over the next three years, and use data harvested from a fleet of EVs that it leased out to Uber drivers to identify the best sites to locate charging stations. We will be taking on traditional fuel retailers head-on when it comes to convenience, he said. By locating chargers at these points, drivers can top up their EVs while buying groceries, collecting the dry cleaning or enjoying a ... coffee with family and friends. Mr Mills said it was expected that EV drivers would do most of their recharging at home, with the fast-chargers primarily used for top-ups. Ampol shares closed 0.5 per cent lower at $28.32 on Friday. E L EC T R I C V E H I C L E S CAMERON ENGLAND GLEN NORRIS THE Australian sharemarket backtracked on the last trading day of the month, mainly due to a slump in Fortescue Metals shares. The index closed 0.33 per cent lower at 7392.6 after a choppy session, while the All Ordinaries Index dipped 0.4 per cent to 7664.2. CommSec market analyst James Tao said the S&P/ ASX200 had gained more than one per cent in July, the tenth straight month of improvements. Thats the longest winning streak since the 2007 mining boom. So far this calendar year, the ASX has risen more than 12 per cent. Fortescue was the biggest weight on the local bourse, slumped 5.29 per cent to $24.91 after Goldman Sachs issued a sell recommendation for the iron ore miner, pointing to higher than expected capital expenditure this financial year. The Fortescue share slide shaved more than 13 points off the ASX200 index. Elsewhere in the mining sector, BHP shares appreciated 0.3 per cent to $53.49 while Rio Tinto declined 0.56 per cent to $133.42. Fortescue fall drags ASX lower M A R K E T S REBECCA LE MAY NOMADS and Base backpacker hostels along the east coast have been saved from closure after creditors voted in favour of a rescue plan. At a meeting on Friday creditors including landlords, employees, suppliers and St George Bank voted in favour of a deed of company arrangement (DOCA) proposal, in which control of Tourism Adventure Group will return to its four directors, and the companys Nomads and Base hostels will continue to trade. Administrator Quentin Olde said creditors voted strongly to support the proposal, with the only dissenting vote cast by the landlord of the United Backpackers and St Kilda Coffee Palace venues in Melbourne. The administrators had previously closed the two venues after failing to reach a new agreement with the landlord. All other properties owned by the group are continuing to trade including TO U R I S M GIUSEPPE TAURIELLO Hostels to keep their doors open those in Noosa, Airlie Beach, Sydney, St Kilda, Brisbane and Magnetic Island, as well as a related property in Queenstown, New Zealand, Mr Olde said. The successful group has been hit hard as a result of the impacts of border closures and lockdowns resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. The DOCA sees the restructured group able to continue to trade free of debt and rental arrears, whilst trading conditions normalise over the next six to 18 months. Close to 140 unsecured creditors, each owed less than $2000, are expected to recoup their debts in full, while a dividend in the range of 0.3c to 1.5c in the dollar is expected for those owed more than $2000. More than 130 employees will be paid their entitlements in full. In the short term the companys directors are planning to exit unprofitable leases and run the business with a reduced footprint. But Daniel Bunning, the groups chief executive, said they were seeking additional capital from a long-term investment partner as part of a longer-term plan to become the dominant player in the market again. We think that when borders open the youth will be the first to travel, and they will be keen to make up for the gap years they have missed, and to spend the money they have saved under lockdown in their home countries, he said. They will be looking for safe but exciting places to visit, and will be prepared to pay for the best quality experiences. We are expecting a strong rebound in the post-Covid environment. At its peak in 2019, Tourism Adventure Group operated 25 venues across Australia and NZ, employing more than 600 full-time equivalent staff and turning over $150m. It called in administrators in June in the midst of ongoing international border closures and another spike in local Covid-19 cases. Creditors approve rescue plan ATLASSIANS quarterly results have bolstered the wealth of founders Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar, who are each now worth an eye-watering $25bn. The software developers shares soared by 13 per cent after hours to $US302 on Thursday US time, after the company posted stronger than-expected projections for the fiscal first quarter. It also reported ripper fiscal fourth-quarter results, with revenue of $US560m ($758m), an increase of 30 per cent year-over-year. The company, which has surged on the back of bumper Covid-related demand for their cloud collaboration software, is now worth about $90bn. That valuation gives Mr Farquhar and Mr Cannon Brookes who have held on to a majority stake of the company they founded an on-paper wealth of $25bn each. The pair were ranked as Australias third and fourth richest people in The List: Australias Richest 250 in February 2021. Our (fourth quarter) was a ripper of a quarter as we Aussies say as we added over 23,000 new customers, grew subscription revenue 50 per cent year-over-year, and continued to see cloud momentum build, Mr Cannon-Brookes said of the results. We are incredibly proud of our resilience and execution during fiscal 2021. We continued to innovate with five new products built on top of our cloud platform, surpassed 200,000 customers and $US2bn in revenue, and added over 1500 new Atlassians to the team. For the first quarter of the current financial year, Atlassian expects revenue of $US575m to $US590m, up from the $US459.5m it reported for the same time last year. Atlassian was listed on the NASDAQ exchange in the US in 2015. Its software is used by more than 230,000 companies globally. T EC H N O LO GY DAVID SWAN ATLASSIAN DUO HIT NEW HIGH ON RIPPER RESULT Mike Cannon-Brookes (left) and fellow Atlassian founder Scott Farquhar are ranked as Australias third and fourth richest people. THE Australian Prudential Regulation Authority has eased rules to allow lenders to give breaks to borrowers caught up in lockdowns. Sydneys prolonged lockdown and the national embrace of snap moves to quell outbreaks have left exposed sectors, like retail and small business, under pressure, with landlords also out of pocket. A move announced on Friday by the p r u d e n t i a l regulator gives relief to banks so they are not required to hold additional capital against loans where they have provided deferrals and other benefits to borrowers. APRA, whose chairman is Wayne Byres (inset), made similar moves last year during the depth of the pandemic when national lockdowns applied but lenders expect to make fewer concessions this year as only NSW is in extended lockdown. But the volatile nature of the delta variant has made its impacts hard to manage for business and could see more financially stressed businesses apply for relief if supply chains are interrupted APRA said that to assist lenders in supporting small business, home loan and other retail customers, it would provide a temporary regulatory treatment for loans. This prudential treatment will apply to loans that are granted a repayment deferral of up to three months on or before the end of August. Pandemic relief for borrowers L E N D I N G BEN WILMOT $90bn Valuation of softw are developer Atlassi an, which listed on th e NASDAQ in 2015 $25bn What founders Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar are each worth $758m Atlassians revenu e for the fourth quarte r, a 30 per cent increase on the same time last year IN THE MONEY NAB share buyback shows a solid return NAB has shrugged off the impact of extended Covid-19 lockdowns to announce a wave of capital return to shareholders, with a $2.5bn buyback of ordinary on-market shares set for August. The buyback, which follows a similar move by ANZ earlier this month, equates to about 2.9 per cent of NABs market capitalisation and will help build capital levels towards its target range. With NAB shares closing up 0.6 per cent at $25.93, the buyback represents a premium to the $14.15 a share of NABs $3bn capital raise from institutional investors in July last year. But Citi analysts said the timing of the move was opportunistic, with NABs share price likely to rise above its buyback limit when it provides a quarterly update on August 12. NAB chief executive Ross McEwan said the buyback was made possible by NABs strong performance over the last financial year. (This) has created an opportunity for NAB to reduce our surplus capital while retaining a strong balance sheet during these uncertain times, he said. Significant headwinds warning rattles investors ORIGIN Energy shares slumped almost 8 per cent after it revealed it would take a $2.25bn hit to the value of its business in its annual financial results as wholesale electricity prices tumble. And the energy giant warned it faces significant headwinds going forward. The company also slashed its earnings guidance for the current financial year. The negative news sent its shares sliding 7.9 per cent to $4.11. Origin, whose CEO is Frank Calabria (inset) said it expects to meet revised full-year energy markets earnings guidance of $940m to $1.2bn before interest, tax, depreciation amortisation, when it delivers its 2021 financial year results in August. But it expects earnings to fall to a range of $450m to $600m in the current 2022 financial year as lower wholesale prices bite into profits. Origin said it will book $2.25bn in non-cash charges at its August annual accounts. ASIC sues AMP over fees for no service ASIC has launched civil action against AMP in the Federal Court, alleging the financial services group charged fees for no service to more than 1500 superannuation customers. The corporate watchdog alleges six former or current AMP companies were involved in the latest fees for no service claim, receiving more than $600,000 in advice fees from affected customer accounts. ASIC alleges that between July 2015 and April 2019 the AMP companies deducted fees from 1540 customers superannuation accounts despite knowing they had left their employer-sponsored superannuation account. Further, it says the group failed to ensure a system that did not charge customers who had left their employer-sponsored account, and contravened their obligations as Australian financial services licensees to act efficiently, honestly and fairly. AMP said it self-reported the issue to ASIC and commenced a remediation process. Approximately 2500 customers were remediated a total $900,000. F I N A N C I A L S E R V I C E S GIUSEPPE TAURIELLO B A N K I N G LACHLAN MOFFET GRAY E N E R GY NICK EVANS