Passing of Labor's Carbon Tax - Talking Business 2011 Ep 37c

A review of the week in business, with expert analysis and commentary.

Leon and Garry discuss how Julia Gillard's carbon tax is passed by the House of Representatives. Australia will begin talks next month with other countries to link Labor's carbon pricing regime to global carbon markets and the Opposition vows the first thing it will do when it gets into government is get rid of the tax. Meanwhile, a new Australian manufacturing industry group launches a fresh attack on the carbon tax with warnings that one in six of Australia's black coal mines could close prematurely. A survey shows most chief financial officers believe Australia will avoid a recession even though the general climate of uncertainty will hurt confidence. A 2.1 per cent fall in job ads in the latest ANZ jobs ads survey but the federal government's leading employment index rises in October. A survey shows building activity and profits will fall. Economists say the housing sector is stabilising as talk of an interest rate rise wanes and Australians are encouraged to borrow more. Australian business conditions and confidence perk up in September as markets buzz with talk that interest rates will be cut and the Australian dollar retreats below parity. Westpac Bank's index of consumer sentiment shows that consumer sentiment rose unexpectedly again in October, despite market instability. Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Darwin are expected to have the strongest house price growth of all major cities in the next three years, with capital gains of more than 15 per cent predicted. The Business Council of Australia says Australia risks losing thousands of jobs and enduring decades of mediocre growth unless it confronts a productivity slump. Former BHP Billiton chairman Don Argus warns that Europe's grinding sovereign debt crisis will leave a legacy of higher borrowing costs for big businesses for years to come. The rollout of the national broadband network is behind schedule because of delays in striking a deal with Telstra and issuing construction contracts. Australia Post increases its annual pre-tax profit by 31 per cent, thanks to continued growth in online shopping. Despite a lower profit, discount retailer the Reject Shop plans to almost double its outlets to 400. Consumer electronics chain JB Hi-Fi says trading conditions have been challenging in the three months to September, but that the launch of the iPhone 4S and other new releases will boost sales. Tabcorp Holdings Ltd's first quarter revenue rises by 2.7 per cent compared to the same period last year. Crane operator Boom Logistics Ltd sells Victorian assets for $7.5 million and reports improved first quarter earnings. Gina Rinehart loses her battle to have a dispute with her children mediated behind closed doors. Research shows Asia is the world's top target for companies looking to grow, and many Australian businesses have the financial strength to spread into the region. The ACCC calls for tougher regulation of airports and the new head of Australia's competition watchdog also has major supermarket chains and the telecommunications sector in his sights. Statistics show the proceeds of tourism were worth $72 billion, or about five per cent of GDP, in 2009-10.

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Garry Barker and Leon Gettler