Agriculture Minister Joel Fitzgibbon has strongly suggested the federal government will approve a proposed takeover of GrainCorp by American-based food processing company Archer Daniels Midland, during a speech at the Australian Grains Industry Conference.
“I am a believer in competition, in the market, and that we should embrace foreign investment,” Fitzgibbon said.
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“That might give you some hint of my initial views on this issue; be discerning and choosy but do not fear foreign investment – it represents an enormous opportunity for us and we cannot hope to be the main provider of food for the growing middle classes of Asia without it.”
BCA backs infrastructure investment
Business Council of Australia president Tony Shepherd has backed the federal government borrowing money to help close Australia’s $750 billion infrastructure shortfall, so long as the nation’s AAA credit rating is not put in jeopardy.
“There is such a thing as good debt, and there is such a thing as bad debt. Bad debt is borrowing money to meet recurring expenditure – a bad habit for a government,” Shepherd said.
“Good debt is borrowing for a needed piece of economic infrastructure which has a high cost-benefit that will add to the productivity and the growth of the country.
“We’re saying … there is a case to make for the Commonwealth and for the states to look at leveraging private sector investment to get those sorts of projects going.”
Super win for women in financial planning sector
Consulting firm Rice Warner Actuaries has announced it will pay female employees a higher rate of superannuation than their male colleagues in a bid to reduce the gender divide in retirement savings.
The move, approved by the Australian Human Rights Commission, will also see the firm grant employees 18 weeks’ parental leave at full pay and up to one year of full-rate superannuation contributions during parental leave, even if it’s unpaid.
“Rice Warner does a lot of research in this area. The numbers are quite frightening. It just made sense to take some action to help our own female employees,” says Rice Warner deputy chief executive Melissa Fuller.
“This is right for our business. We are not saying that everyone should go out and do this, but if we can increase awareness we think that would be a positive.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 0.01% to 15520.59. The Aussie dollar is up to US90.7 cents.