THE NEWS WRAP: Mining tax passes lower house after deal with Greens

The Federal Government’s Mining Resources Rent Tax has passed the Lower House of Federal Parliament after Labor struck a deal with the Greens to find the $100 million in revenue lost when it made a separate agreement it made to secure the support of the key independent MPs.


While the Government is yet to outline how it how the revenue shortfall will be made up, the agreement with the Greens all but ensures the MMRT will pass the Upper House.


The MMRT package also includes a number of measures that will impact small businesses, including the abolition of the Entrepreneurs Tax Offset and a 1% cut to company tax rates.


Unions to push for changes to Fair Work regime


The Australian Council of Trade Unions will launch a push for changes to the Fair Work industrial relations regime at the Labor national conference next week with the aim of preventing “militant employers” from using contractors and outsourced labour.


The push comes after the union movement’s bitter dispute with Qantas, which has now headed to arbitration.


Qantas chief Alan Joyce was quick to condemn the push, saying he would lobby both sides of politics to prevent such changes to the Fair Work regime.


Former Gunns boss charged with insider trading


John Gay, the former chairman of controversial Tasmanian timber products company Gunns, has been charged with two counts of insider trading.


Gay sold 3.4 million shares in December 2009, three months before the company revealed that its profit for the first half of that financial year had slumped 98%.


Gunns shares fell 20% in February after the profit slump was revealed.


Gay is expected to appear in the Launceston Magistrates Court next month.




US stocks slid lower again overnight as concerns about the European debt crisis continue to dominate global markets. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 64.79 points, or 0.56%, to 11,482.52 points while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lost 5.77 points, or 0.48%, to 1,187.21 points.


The Australian dollar remains under parity at US98.5c.



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