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News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s wrap: Rinehart to pay millions in royalty dispute; GE takes an optimistic view of local market; QRC disputes Great Barrier Reef shipping figures; and infrastructure expert calls for red-tape reform.

Lou Caruana
News Wrap

Rinehart to pay millions in royalty dispute

Gina Rinehart, Australia’s richest person, will cede tens of millions of dollars in iron ore royalty income to Perth billionaire Stan Perron after settling an extraordinary dispute days before a Supreme Court trial was due to start, The Australian Financial Review reports.

The outcome relied on a deal between Perron and the heirs of mining pioneers Lang Hancock (Rinehart) and Peter Wright (Michael Wright and Angela Bennett).

The dispute has its origins in 1959, when Perron backed the then-struggling Hancock and Wright prospecting partnership with a 500 pound investment.

GE takes an optimistic view of local market

The chief of General Electric's global energy business, John Krenicki, has a far more optimistic view of doing business in Australia than resources giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, The Australian reports.

The US-based GE Energy boss said Australia was "as dynamic a market as there is in the world today".

Asked about the concerns expressed in recent weeks from BHP and Rio on the rising costs of doing business in Australia, he replied: "No place is perfect and our prime focus here is on our customers."

GE rates Australia as one of its top 10 markets and predicts $30 billion in opportunities in the gas market in the next few years.

Great Barrier Reef shipping figures disputed by QRC

Queensland’s peak mining body has disputed claims by the environmental movement that more than 10,000 ships a year will pass through the Great Barrier Reef by 2020, The Australian reports.

The Queensland Resources Council said that by the end of the decade, annual movements by large commercial vessels were forecast to reach 7800, with coal ships accounting for 4000-4500. It accused Greenpeace and other environmental groups of misleading the public with claims of more than 10,000 movements a year.

Infrastructure expert calls for red-tape reform

Infrastructure Australia chairman Sir Rod Eddington says senior business leaders in Australia believe the costs of doing business are rising and industrial relations uncertainty is holding them back, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Sir Rod said regulatory reform was essential to boost Australia's short to medium-term productivity.

''If you listen to people like chief executives, this is people like Jac Nasser, the chairman of BHP … they're pretty clear: it's more expensive to get things done, the industrial relations uncertainty is real,'' Sir Rod said.

''If you talk to people in the space … they'll tell you the things that worry them are duplication of the environmental assessment process between the federal and the state government … higher bid costs and disproportionately complicated bidding processes.

''They'll talk about some of the challenges they feel in industrial relations … and the way they believe that's a step backwards rather than forwards.”

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