Palmer to resist Qantas change; Building approvals up: Midday Roundup

Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer has released a statement saying his party will oppose the government’s proposed changes to the Qantas Sale Act, The Age reports.

”We can’t just sell off assets when we’re in trouble and Australia needs to keep sovereign assets for Australian people,” Palmer said.

The news comes as Qantas wants the federal government to act without delay to offer it assistance, while Labor and the Greens have confirmed a political stalemate in the Senate that could also block proposed changes to the law. 

The Abbott government is proposing to remove the foreign ownership provisions clamped on Qantas, as well as clauses that prevent maintenance jobs from going overseas.

Qantas also wants a debt guarantee from the government, but Treasurer Joe Hockey has told media “we are not writing out blank cheques”.

Building approvals up

Building approvals soared higher than expectations in January, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

New figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics for January show that seasonally adjusted, the total number of dwelling units approved was 17,514, up 6.8% on the previous month.

In private sector houses, the figure was 9,472, up 8.3%, while for private sector dwellings excluding houses it was 7812, up 4.6%.

The trend estimate of the value of total building approved rose 1.4% in January, and has risen for 24 months.

The statistics show the value of residential building rose 1.1% and has risen for 11 months, while the value of non-residential building rose 1.7% and has risen for six months.

Seasonally adjusted, the estimate of the value of total building approved fell 3.8% for the month, following a rise of 5.5% in December.

The ABS reports the value of residential building fell 1.4% following a rise of 3.1% in December, while the value of non-residential building fell 7.2%, following a rise of 9% in the previous month.

Shares up on open

Aussie shares have opened higher this morning, despite global markets falling overnight following the conflict in Ukraine.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was up 6.4 points to 5390.7 at 12:17pm AEDT. Overnight the Dow Jones dropped almost 1%, down 153.68 points to 16,168.03.

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