Com­pany plug­ging Cop­per String mk II

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - TONY RAGGATT

THE Com­mon­wealth Bank has sug­gested 53,000 al­leged breaches of money laun­der­ing laws listed in a case brought against it by reg­u­la­tors could be treated as a sin­gle mat­ter be­cause they all stemmed from the same IT er­ror. Fol­low­ing the launch of civil pro­ceed­ings against CBA by the Fed­eral Govern­ment’s fi­nan­cial in­tel­li­gence unit AUS­TRAC last Thurs­day, the bank yes­ter­day out­lined a soft­ware prob­lem it said was the cause of more than 53,000 trans­ac­tions not be­ing flagged to au­thor­i­ties as re­quired. As CBA boss Ian Narev gave me­dia in­ter­views on Sun­day and yes­ter­day warned against jump­ing to con­clu­sions about the breaches, the bank’s share price rose al­most 1 per cent to $ 81.52 as it re­cov­ered some of the heavy falls suf­fered on Fri­day. JOB ads have lifted for five months in a row as labour mar­ket con­di­tions im­prove but the pace of im­prove­ment is ex­pected to ease. ANZ’s lat­est jobs ads sur­vey shows that the num­ber of ads rose by 1.5 per cent in July, adding to June’s 2.7 per cent in­crease in sea­son­ally ad­justed terms. The sur­vey also shows that since the start of the year, job ad num­bers are up 6.5 per cent, while July’s read­ing is 12.8 per cent bet­ter than a year ago. ANZ’s head of Australian eco­nomics, David Plank, says re­cent data has shown that the labour mar­ket has im­proved, which is con­sis­tent with im­proved busi­ness con­di­tions, prof­itabil­ity and ca­pac­ity util­i­sa­tion. The strength in full­time em­ploy­ment and a lift in hours worked have helped lift con­sumer con­fi­dence. THE de­vel­op­ment com­pany which pro­posed the $ 1.5 bil­lion Cop­per String trans­mis­sion line project be­tween Townsville and Clon­curry is back as­sess­ing an­other sim­i­lar project.

A di­rec­tor of CuString Pty Ltd, John O’Brien, con­firmed the com­pany was re­vis­it­ing the con­cept for the 700km line, al­though on a smaller scale, and was en­gag­ing with stake­hold­ers who could ben­e­fit or be im­pacted by the project.

Mr O’Brien said the cir­cum­stances in the na­tional elec­tric­ity mar­ket, and par­tic­u­larly the chang­ing mix of gener- ation, were cre­at­ing an op­por­tu­nity to re­visit the project.

“The orig­i­nal pro­po­nent of the Cop­per String project is pro­gress­ing what could be called Cop­per String mark II,” Mr O’Brien said.

He said it was sim­i­lar to the orig­i­nal scheme but too early to pro­vide de­tails on what was planned.

“The in­vest­ment ve­hi­cle for the project, CuString, is still in place,” Mr O’Brien said.

“We spent $ 30 mil­lion on Cop­per String ver­sion 1. Our ca­pac­ity to lever­age off that to quickly iden­tify the fea­si­bil­ity of Cop­per String mark II is re­ally A FORMER Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cial and World Bank boss has warned that US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s ap­proach to in­ter­na­tional trade holds greater risks than cur­rent con­cerns about global se­cu­rity al­liances.

Robert Zoel­lick, the pres­i­dent of the World Bank from 2007 to 2012 and a former of­fi­cial in both Bush ad­min­is­tra­tions, says US pro­tec­tion­ist in­stincts could di­rectly im­pact strong. We have that process.”

Mr O’Brien said the orig­i­nal project mostly was about ben­e­fit­ing en­ergy users in north­west Queens­land by con­nect­ing the re­gion to the na­tional elec­tric­ity mar­ket.

“Be­cause of the changes in the gen­er­a­tion mix on the east coast, there’s an op­por­tu­nity for value to flow both ways. Cop­per String mark II will po­ten­tially de­liver value to the east and west,” Mr O’Brien said.

Mount Isa to Townsville Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Zone CEO Glen Gra­ham said they be­lieved in the con­cept. some coun­tries’ growth prospects and ca­pac­ity to over­come poverty.

Speak­ing at the Dig­gers and Deal­ers min­ing con­fer­ence in Kal­go­or­lie, Western Aus­tralia, Mr Zoel­lick said the US had been the leader in world trade for around 70 years.

“If it moves away from that or worse starts to take pro­tec­tion­ist ac­tions, it will have a trig­ger ef­fect,” he told the con­fer­ence yes­ter­day. Since tak­ing started work­ing on

“Like any con­cept to de­velop north­west Queens­land, it is worth putting on the ta­ble and ex­am­in­ing,” Mr Gra­ham said.

CuString was in­volved in a joint ven­ture with Leighton Con­trac­tors to de­velop the $ 1.5 bil­lion trans­mis­sion line project in 2010. But with­out the sup­port of ma­jor con­sumers Er­gon En­ergy and then Mount Isa Mines op­er­a­tor Xs­trata, the project stalled.

The project had the po­ten­tial to pro­vide the life­line for a host of wind, so­lar and bio­gas projects along its route where more than 700MW of ca­pac­ity had been pro­posed. IN­CREASED pur­chases of honey by more health- con­scious con­sumers has boosted de­mand in Aus­tralia by nearly 4 per cent over the last fi­nan­cial year, says pro­ducer Capi­lano.

That has helped Capi­lano Honey lift net profit 9 per cent to $ 10.3 mil­lion for 2016- 17 as the com­pany in­creases its sup­plier base and fo­cuses on pro­duc­ing more pre­mium prod­ucts – such as manuka honey and flo­ral va­ri­eties from Western Aus­tralia.

Man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Ben McKee says in­creased de­mand – 3.9 per cent growth, in vol­ume terms, in the gro­cery chan­nel over the last fi­nan­cial year – re­flects the greater con­sumer in­ter­est in nat­u­ral, healthy foods.

“It is pleas­ing to see that growth in the honey cat­e­gory is be­ing driven by an in­crease in pur­chase fre­quency,” Mr McKee said.

He said re­cent rain­fall in pro­duc­tion ar­eas had boosted win­ter honey sup­plies and the com­pany was op­ti­mistic about in­creased pro­duc­tion.

At the close of the 2017 fi­nan­cial year Capi­lano’s honey stocks were 5953 tonnes up from 4960 tonnes a year ear­lier. charge in Jan­uary, Pres­i­dent Trump has pulled his coun­try out of the Trans- Pa­cific Part­ner­ship ( TPP) trade group as well as the Paris ac­cord on cli­mate change, and has threat­ened puni­tive trade ac­tions against Mex­ico, Ger­many, China and Ja­pan.

Mr Zoel­lick said it would be in­struc­tive to see how the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion treats coun­tries that have a trade deficit with the US.

“Econ­o­mists don’t be­lieve bi­lat­eral trade deficits are im­por­tant, but for Trump and Wil­bur Ross ( US commerce sec­re­tary) a trade deficit is like neg­a­tive net in­come, its like los­ing,” he said.

Mr Zoel­lick said he was less con­cerned on the is­sue of US se­cu­rity al­liances. “I am a bit more wor­ried about the trade area, or ar­eas like cli­mate change, where the in­sti­tu­tions are un­de­vel­oped,” he said.

SWEET SUC­CESS: Capi­lano CEO Ben McKee on the honey fill­ing line.

Robert Zoel­lick.

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