10 Things You Need To Know This Morning In Australia

Lachlan MurdochCaledonia has been building a stake in Lachlan Murdoch’s Ten Network. Getty / Ian Waldie

Good morning! 10 Things You Need To Know is a Business Insider speciality, with Tech and Finance editions each day from New York. This is the Australian news edition from Sydney which you’ll find each morning on Business Insider Australia.

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. There’s fallout from the escalating tensions between the federal government and the ABC, after Tony Abbott’s suggestion the national broadcaster had been acting against the national interest with recent stories on spying allegations and claims of ill-treatment of asylum seekers by the Navy. The Australian reports ABC Asia TV network could be axed in the federal budget in May, and Malcolm Turnbull has taken a different view from the PM, saying the alternative would be for the Prime Minister to be the broadcaster’s editor-in-chief.
  2. It was Ben Bernanke’s last FOMC decision early this morning Australian time (shalom!), and true to form it went exactly to script: another $US10 billion off the program. As a result there’s been little movement in markets off the decision. The huge spike in the value of the Turkish lira that followed the gigantic rate hike by the Turkish central bank yesterday morning, started melting away. But the markets have copped on that the Turkish economy can’t really cope with 12% interest rates. So Europe came under pressure with the FTSE down, which fed into a weak US open with the three main indices all down more than 1% this morning.
  3. Cyclone Dylan is on track to make landfall just north of Townsville in Queensland tomorrow. Preparations are continuing in the state’s far north but locals aren’t too worried as it’s predicted to be just a Category 1. They’ve seen worse.
  4. Sydney conviction investor vehicle Caledonia Investments has been quietly building a stake in Ten Network. The company chaired by Lachlan Murdoch is one of the more interesting stocks to watch at the moment – it has had a tumultuous couple of years with management and programming changes in the face of struggling ratings. There have been some improvements lately, especially with Big Bash cricket. More broadly, the sector is in flux and Ten’s medium-term future – and Lachlan’s – are the subject of persistent speculation. The Australian reports Caledonia thinks the stock is oversold and has accumulated some 10 million shares in the company, and is looking for more.
  5. The construction industry isn’t all that hot on the idea of a royal commission into corruption and criminal activity on building sites, the AFR reports.
  6. There are divisions in cabinet over the request from fruit processor SPC Ardmona’s for $25 million in government grants to help consolidate its operations. Treasurer Joe Hockey points out that the canner’s parent company, Coca-Cola Amatil, is profitable. “I’ll advise my colleagues tomorrow of my position, as I’ve done in the past, but if we’re asking the Australian people to help the Government to live within its means, then corporate Australia must also follow,” he told Leigh Sales last night. Without the help the company is likely to go to the wall.
  7. The woman who was trapped under a bus in a horrible accident around 4pm yesterday in the Sydney CBD died overnight.
  8. Today Tonight has claimed to know where the body of murdered British backpacker Peter Falconio is buried. It appears they don’t, really, but you should find time to read this highly entertaining piece by News Corp’s Paul Toohey on his recent expedition to find the body with the help of a psychic.
  9. Australian Property Monitors says house price growth could halve in Sydney and Melbourne this year.
  10. ASIC has decided there was insufficient evidence for taking any action against two David Jones directors, Steve Vamos and Leigh Clapham, who were investigated after buying shares ahead of the release of sales data last year.

Bonus item: These Turkish special operations police trying to use a battering ram to break down a door. They can’t. They give up and ask the person on the other side to let them in. Enjoy:

Have a good day. I’m on Twitter: @colgo

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