Hundreds of jobs facing the axe, competition heating up in the gas market

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Australian postal workers may return from the holiday weekend to some bad news... tough times ahead for the export of gas to Japan... and why the renewable industry needs some renewed vigor...

No sale of Australia Post – but jobs axed
According to reports, hundreds of Australia Post workers are set for bad news when they return to work after the holiday weekend. Many postal services worldwide are facing the same issues; they are usually state run and employ large numbers, but people just aren’t mailing as much as they used to. Australia Post needs to reform a business that’s losing millions of dollars a year and reports suggest part of the change will mean a loss of around 900 jobs. The Finance Minister has ruled out privatisation for now, but raising the price of stamps and streamlining the workforce is just the start of the postal service’s fight for survival in the digital world. Read the full story.
 
Australia faces tough competition for Japanese gas market
Australia’s gas exports to Japan are set to face increased competition from Russia and the US. With US prices low, helped by the growth of shale gas, many countries, including Japan, are keen to look there for import projects. Japan is also set to hold talks with Russia, despite the current restrictions as a result of the Ukraine situation. With relatively high costs of imports from Australia, and Japanese utilities under pressure to keep costs low and supply options open, this could mean a battle for business for Australian exporters. Read the full story.
 
Uncertainty over Abbott’s diary
Australian Prime Minster Tony Abbott may not meet three important economic figures this week, during his trip to the US. Reports suggest that the PM may have cancelled meetings with the US Treasury Chief, the Managing Director of the IMF and the President of the World Bank. The PM will of course still be meeting President Obama at the White House on Wednesday, although the two have differing views on some key issues including climate change, an essential economic issue for the President, less so for Mr Abbott. Read the full story.
 
Renewable targets need… renewing
Australia is part of the global consensus that investing in renewable energy sources is vital. However, the newly published Renewables Global Status Reports shows that Australia could start to flag way behind other nations if the industry doesn’t start to pick up. China, the US, UK and Japan are some of the nations that are increasing their renewable energy commitments, output and investment and with Australia well placed for resources such as wave power and solar energy, it would seem a missed opportunity to not benefit from the country’s natural resources. Read the full story.
 
Mixed news for China
Figures released on Sunday by the Chinese General Administration of Customs showed mixed fortunes for the economy. Export figures grew rapidly in May after a recent slump, but imports fell. The country is trying to rebalance its economy and create more domestic consumption. China’s economy overall is set to be slower this quarter, something that is seen by the IMF and World Bank as being necessary to create a more stable picture. Read the full story

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