THE NEWS WRAP: “Last hurrah” for Australia’s mining boom still possible

The number of mining projects under consideration or possible fell by 14.3% during the June quarter, representing $68.3 billion worth of projects, according to Deloitte Access Economics Investment Monitor June-quarter report.


However, the value of projects under construction or committed to grew by 3.7% to $468.1 billion, a new record high, prompting the possibility of a “last hurrah” for the mining boom.


“The profile of work in the Investment Monitor database suggests a peak in activity through 2013-14 is likely,” Deloitte Access Economics partner Stephen Smith said.


“Still, the value of work in the pipeline remains remarkable. At almost $200 billion, there is scope for a further lift – a last hurrah – before the peak.”


ACCC chairman attacks Coles and Woolworths over fuel discounts


Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims has publicly attacked Coles and Woolworths over their fuel discount offers during a speech to the Australian Institute of Company Directors, suggesting the discounts could potentially harm competing fuel retailers.


“If these shopper dockets continue at these levels it’s going to be very hard for other players to compete, and we may just end up with two players in the country selling petrol, which is not going to be in your interest,” Sims said.


“While large shopper-docket discounts provide short-term benefits to some consumers, the likely harm to other fuel retailers, and therefore to competition and the competitive process for petrol retailing, could well be substantial.


“If Coles and Woolworths wish to offer their customers a discount, it should be off supermarket products, not petrol. The ACCC believes this activity is likely to have a negative effect on competition in the petrol industry. Over time, higher petrol prices could be the result.”


Fairfax chief rules out early digital-only switchover


Fairfax Media chief executive Greg Hywood has ruled out an early switchover to all-digital publishing, after an article in The Australian by Darren Davidson claimed the media giant was considering an early closure of its print editions.


“Why would we be expanding our print facilities in North Richmond and Ballarat if we were considering such a move,” Hywood reportedly said in an internal email to staff.


“When I heard (Darren) Davidson was considering writing the article, I personally called him. I told him what I have stated above.”




The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 0.24% to 15521.97. The Aussie dollar is up to US92.1 cents.


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