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THE NEWS WRAP: Australian dollar hits a record breaking high of US99.18 cents overnight

By Oliver Milman
Friday, 08 October 2010

The Australian dollar is on the verge of parity with the US dollar after surging to its highest level since it was floated in 1983.


The dollar hit a high of US99.18 cents overnight, breaking the previous record of US98.5 cents in 2008.


Strong economic data, the latest being positive unemployment figures released yesterday, have buoyed the Australian dollar, although there have been warnings that the strength of the currency could hit Australia’s return to surplus if it continues.


The taxman is everywhere


Project Wickenby, the Tax Office initiative to identify tax evasion, has raised more than $900 million in more than 1,500 audits, Fairfax reports.


Lawyers have warned that the Tax Office can now access a large amount of information on those suspected of dodging payments.  

Water plan could ‘devastate’ rural businesses


Rural small firms could suffer if the government makes large cuts in the water for irrigation via the Murray-Darling basin, according to business groups.


The Australian Financial Review reports that proposed cuts in water used for irrigation could “devastate” the bush, with farmers expected to be among the worst hit.


Gail Kelly makes top 10


A report earlier this week showed that women are making little headway in the boardroom, but that hasn’t prevented Gail Kelly from breaking into the top 10 of Forbes magazine’s list of the world’s most powerful women.


Westpac CEO Kelly has been ranked eighth, up from 18 last year. Kelly is ranked above singer Beyonce and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres in the top 10. 

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