News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: NSW CSG deal drives wedge into Minerals Council; Palmer pursued over $36 million bill; and union tug of war threatens port exports.

Lou Caruana

NSW CSG deal drives wedge into Minerals Council

A controversial deal blessed by the New South Wales government that gives farmers a veto over drilling for coal seam gas in NSW has split the powerful Minerals Council of Australia from its NSW affiliate, according to the Australian Financial Review.

MCA chief executive Brendan Pearson slammed the deal, saying it “would leave the development of Australia’s natural resources hostage to the noisy few at the expense of the collective interest of the many” if embraced by more state governments.

“It would be a significant concern if state governments began to embrace an alternative approach that surrendered their control over their natural resource endowment,” Pearson said.

But NSW Minerals Council chief executive Steve Galilee said he was confident the NSW government did not plan to extend the deal struck by Santos and AGL with NSW landowner groups to other resources projects and infrastructure.

Palmer pursued over $36 million bill

Clive Palmer’s prized asset is under threat of being closed down by federal authorities seeking to recover looming debts of $36 million, according to The Australian.

Government agencies are moving to force the company, Queensland Nickel, into insolvency if it cannot pay a carbon tax bill that will triple over the year ahead as penalties apply.

Union tug of war threatens port exports

Tugboat workers and a North American shipping company are no closer to resolving a dispute that could halt some of Australia's biggest mining companies from exporting iron ore, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Despite a three-hour meeting at the Fair Work Commission on Monday, the Maritime Workers Union is yet to reach a workplace deal for the deckhands that work the tugboats in Port Hedland, about 1600km north of Perth in Western Australia.

The tugs are crucial to the operation of the port through which companies like BHP Billiton, Fortescue Metals Group and Atlas Iron ship the majority of Australia's most lucrative export commodity.

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