THE NEWS WRAP: Milne calls on progressive businesses to form alliance

Newly-elected leader of the Australian Greens, Christine Milne, has declared that the Business Council of Australia and other industry groups are stuck in the last century, and ­progressive businesses must form an alliance to challenge their views on climate.

 

She has also vowed to be a stronger advocate than her predecessor, Bob Brown, of the Greens’ “economic vision” for Australia, and believes the ­Federal Government should not be locked in to its promise to return the budget to surplus in 2012-13.

 

“What we badly need is a new organisation for progressive business that stands up clearly and says, the big challenge for this century is ­climate change and decarbonising the economy, and we need to see this as an opportunity to diversify the Australian economy’,” she told the Australian Financial Review yesterday.

 

Smaller lenders warn rates could rise

 

Smaller lenders have warned they might have to follow ANZ’s lead and lift interest rates because their funding costs remain elevated.

 

The warning comes after the Federal Government suggested a return to surplus will give the Reserve Bank the “flexibility” to cut official interest rates.

 

The Government’s renewed commitment comes after ANZ lifted its variable mortgage rate by 0.06% last Friday due to continued funding cost pressures.

 

It’s now feared the other big banks will follow suit. However, analysts believe it’s the smaller players that will suffer the most pressure to lift rates.

 

Extra security for sacked Toyota staff

 

Extra security guards will be on hand when Toyota gives the marching orders to 350 of its staff at its Altona plant today.

 

The company hasn’t identified who’ll be sacked since it made the announcement 13 weeks ago, despite repeated pleas from workers.

 

It’s understood Toyota has told workers the sackings could come any time between 7am and 10pm, with security to follow them as they clean out their lockers and leave.

 

Overnight

 

The Australian dollar is trading lower after a weak performance on Wall Street at the end of last week.

 

At 6.30am AEST, the Australian dollar was trading at 103.76 US cents, down from Friday’s local close of 103.85 cents.

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