10 Things You Need To Know This Morning In Australia

Mitchell Johnson Allan Border MedalMitchell Johnson with the Allan Border Medal. Getty / Brendon Thorne

Good morning! Here’s what you need to know this morning.

  1. This didn’t take long: Shell has sold out of the Wheatstone LNG project in Western Australia for $1.3 billion. It follows a profit warning last Friday for the company and a signal that it would look at selling off assets. The CEO said overnight that the company remained committed to the energy industry in Australia; the big question now is whether it might put its 23.1% stake in Woodside on the block.
  2. Mitchell Johnson pipped Michael Clarke to the Allan Border Medal last night. Pup took out Test Player of the Year for a record fourth time, and the third year in a row.
  3. All lanes on Melbourne’s West Gate Bridge were re-opened around 6.30am this morning following closures prompted by big cracks opening up in the road surface yesterday afternoon. The cause: last week’s record-breaking heatwave expanding and contracting the bridge. VicRoads says there’s no structural impact.
  4. The Master Builders Association says the current industrial relations setup is discouraging some companies from hiring. Job creation in the construction sector is critical to the rebalancing of the economy as the mining boom fades, with some 300,000 workers required over the next decade.
  5. Australian stock market legend Richard “Coppo” Coppleson will leave Goldman Sachs at the end of this week. The Australian reports he told the firm about his decision after returning from a holiday to Vietnam. His closing-bell “Coppo report” has been required reading in the market for almost 20 years. The 50-year-old will have three months enforced leave and there’s some speculation he might get back in the game after that.
  6. The NSW Government is expected to announced the introduction of mandatory minimum eight-year sentences for so-called “coward punch” attacks where alcohol or drugs are involved. The Daily Telegraph reports there’ll be no limitations on operating hours for venues, however.
  7. Telstra has acquired O2 networks, continuing its capability expansion in the cloud sector. The Fin reports the deal was worth around $60 million.
  8. Struggling Australia Post, mentioned repeatedly in relation to a potential upcoming privatisation, has been conducting research asking people if they’d pay an annual $30 fee for daily delivery of mail.
  9. The cost of sending a kid through the private school system in Melbourne: $500,000, plus change.
  10. Roger Federer schooled his mate Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Melbourne last night, beating him in straight sets to advance to the quarter finals of the Australian Open. Nadal and Murray are through too. Tonight’s game sees Novak Djokovic face Stanislas Wawrinka.

Bonus item: Awkward WAGs’ matching dresses at the Allan Border Medal bash.

Have a cracking day.

I’m on Twitter: @colgo

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