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THE NEWS WRAP: Italian construction firm attacks infrastructure “duopoly”

Tuesday, 26 November 2013 | By Andrew Sadauskas

Italian construction firm Salini has attacked the dominance of Leighton Holdings and Lend Lease on major infrastructure projects in a submission to an Abbott government inquiry on barriers to major projects.


“This all gives rise to a situation whereby the procurement process seems almost designed to protect the Australian duopoly, and the significant potential value provided by strong and reliable major international contractors ready to participate in competitive tenders is 'thrown away' in order to protect the local established players," Salini’s submission says.


"As it stands, the Australian market is not a real open market despite claims to the contrary; while anyone can establish a subsidiary or branch office in Australia, get prequalified and participate in expressions of interest, this is as far as it goes in most of the cases, regardless of the capability and experience of the company."


Axing superannuation rebate will hurt working women, industry funds say


Industry superannuation funds have warned a Coalition proposal to scrap the $500 Low Income Super Contribution for people earning less than $37,000 a year will harm low income earners, especially women.


We would be very keen to see that this committee recommends to the Parliament that every option is exhausted to make sure that all Australians are getting access to tax concessions on their super," ISA chief executive David Whiteley says.


Saputo bumps up its Warrnambool bid by $10 million


Canadian food giant Saputo has increased its bid for Warrnambool Cheese and Butter by $10 million in an attempt to hold off rival bidders Bega and Murray Goulburn.


Under the revised bid, Saputo is offering WCB shareholders $9 per share, with an extra 20 cents per share to be paid out if it gains a 50.1% stake in the company.


However, it is likely to be difficult for Saputo to reach its target, with Bega and Murray Goulburn holding 35% of the company, with Japanese food giant Kirin holding a further 10%.




The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.05% to 16073.53. The Aussie dollar is down to US91.65 cents.