Queensland defends mining tax challenge: Midday roundup

The Queensland Government has defended its decision to enter a High Court battle against the mining tax, saying it won’t be a waste of money.

The $300,000 fee to join the case – which was initiated by Fortescue Metals last week – has been questioned as a waste of taxpayers’ money if the case were to be lost.

But Queensland attorney-general Jarrod Bleijie denied this was the case.

“Although I’d love to see that assumption (of a Coalition win) come true, that’s an assumption no one in politics ever makes,” he told ABC Radio.

“We’ve got to do whatever we can to make sure we’re sticking up for Queensland jobs and industry.”

Eurozone ready to offer Spain 30 billion euros

The eurozone will offer Spain an additional 30 billion euros in order to help fund its distressed banks, the head of the region’s financial ministers’ group said last night.

Following a nine-hour session of talks, the ministers reached an understanding that will be signed during the second half of the month.

Some ministers will still need to seek approval from their respective parliaments, but will meet later this month again.

Spain’s banks have struggled under a collapsed property sector, while the Spanish government has also been working to keep its deficit under control.

Shares higher despite weak offshore leads

The Australian share market has opened higher this morning, despite weak offshore leads as investors continued to fret over interest rates in both Spain and Italy.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 6.1 points or 0.2% to 4124.4 at 12.00 AEST, while the Australian dollar remained flat at $US1.02.

In the United States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 36 points or 0.3% to 4123.9.

Insurance Australia Group confident of Asia growth

Insurance Australia Group has confirmed it believes growth is strong in Asia, and intends to generate 10% of its business there within the next four years.

Chief executive Mike Wilkins has told analysts, according to AAP, that the “Asian opportunity is here and now”.

“Over the past couple of years, we’ve quietly gone about our Asian strategy and are now getting real traction.

“We are entering an exciting phase of our Asian ambitions as we shift from a market entry focus to one of driving operational performance from our enlarged regional presence.”




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