News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: boom defies PM's gloom; Rinehart calls for action against wind power; and mining services mergers on the horizon.

Staff Reporter

Boom defies PM's gloom

Kevin Rudd's warnings about the end of the resources boom must come as a continuing surprise to Australia's miners, whose iron ore and coal exports to China and Japan have set new records, according to The Australian.

Australia's trade balance sank from a $240 million surplus in June to a $765 million deficit in July – the second biggest deficit this year – but iron ore and coal exports, Australia's biggest by value, rose and the annual trade surplus with China exceeded $35 billion for the first time.

Rinehart calls for action against wind power

Australia’s richest woman Gina Rinehart has urged people to speak out against wind power and for the country to address its debt by getting non-violent prisoners to pay to avoid jail and for governments to sell their art and décor, according to The Australian.

Rinehart, in her latest article in Australian Resources and Investment magazine, used a conversation she had with a Dutch cab driver to lead her argument about concerns around the use of renewable energy.

“He (cab driver) advised that most people now don't like the higher taxes due to building such new power and especially don't like the increased power costs out of their own pockets, and also the consequences to industry, with industries closing down in Holland and moving elsewhere,” she said.

“He said people in Holland now wished they hadn't incurred these cleaner power burdens.”

Mining services mergers on the horizon

The imminent $1 billion-plus merger between Australian firm Sinclair Knight Merz and US-based Jacobs Engineering is expected to spark a string of other deals in the mining services and engineering space, with WorleyParsons tipped to be the next mover, according to The Australian.

A deal between Australian-based Worley and London-based engineering giant Amec has been mooted for some time, but an agreement between SKM and Jacobs Engineering could mean rivals such as WorleyParsons would have to become larger to compete and may become more focused on consolidation.