Deloitte Queensland Index
Gala edition – August 2013
A review of Queensland listed companies on the Australian Securities Exchange
1. Executive summary 1
2. The Queensland economy: Current conditions and outlook 3
3. Deloitte Queensland Index: The year in review 5
• Suncorp Group Limited
• Flight Centre Limited
• Super Retail Group Limited
• Cromwell Group Limited
• Bank of Queensland Group Limited
• Tatts Group Limited
4. Deloitte Queensland Index League Table – FY13 10
5. Australian coal, where to now? 15
6. India and Australia: Driving growth with the Asian Tiger 18
7. The reality of ‘hacking’: What is your response? 21
8. Property and the gas boom: Challenges and opportunities 23
9. Tax structuring: Will you be in the firing line? 25
10. The dichotomy of Australian Agribusiness 28
11. Life sciences in Queensland: An attractive proposition 31
Deloitte Queensland Index | 1
This special edition of the Index showcases the top
five performing Queensland listed companies by market
capitalisation over the past year. The Gala Edition also
includes feature articles that discuss key issues facing
As the growth impetus of the mining boom declines,
the Queensland economy faces a transition period.
Ian Harper and Claire Lyster discuss the current
conditions and outlook for the Sunshine State.
Whilst the transition from the investment to export
phase of the state’s mining boom and growth in
non-resource related sectors is not free of risk,
the outlook for the Queensland economy is bright
as Queensland is anticipated to capture a growing
share of the national economy over time.
This transition is nowhere more pronounced than in the
coal industry where the intense development phase we
have experienced has pulled back. Robin Polson and
Andrew Wells look at where to now for coal? Whereas
constrained infrastructure, in particular below rail and
terminal capacity, has had much of the coal industry
headlines over the past decade; with the shift in the
outlook for commodities, we have observed a shift from
a scramble to secure capacity to an active secondary
market for capacity. There has been a change in agenda
from growth and more growth to productivity and cost
improvement; we are in a fight to retain market share
in export coal. The coal story is however by no means
over with 1,199 new base load coal generators being
proposed globally. It is clearly all still to play for; provided
we can achieve and embed a better level of productivity
and stay cost competitive.
One of the potential opportunities to underpin future
growth is trade with India. Reuben Saayman, Harsh
Shah and Hitesh Mehta look at driving growth with
the Asian Tiger. Over the next few years, Deloitte
Access Economics predicts that India’s growth rate will
outperform the rest of the world, including China.
India is already the third largest export destination
for Queensland, which not only underlines the growing
importance of India but speaks volumes for the potential
of partnering with the Asian Tiger. Further, India is now
the largest source of permanent migrants to Australia,
overtaking Chinese arrivals. Our connections to India are
growing and this will have an increasing impact on
the Australian, and more particularly the Queensland
business environment. The initial forays by the Asian
Tiger into Australia have however not been without
challenges and capitalising on the India opportunity
is not pre-ordained; we will have to lift our game in
competitiveness to be there when it counts.
Hacking and cybercrime are growing realities facing
corporations worldwide. Queensland companies
operating offshore are at an increased risk of being
targeted by cybercrime. Chris Noble and Craig Mitchell
consider this risk in light of the legislation currently being
debated in Parliament that will require companies to
publically disclose data breaches each time they occur
to the Privacy Commissioner.
Residential and commercial properties in regional and
urban areas of Queensland have been great beneficiaries
of significant spending on coal seam gas and liquefied
natural gas projects in recent years. However, with
predictions of a peak in capital investment as the projects
move into their operational phases, Philip Windus and
Damian Winterburn consider how these assets will
be impacted going forward.
1. Executive summary
Welcome to the 2013 Deloitte Queensland Index –
Gala Edition, an annual review of Queensland stocks
2 | 2013 Gala Edition
Multinational corporations are under increased
public scrutiny for structuring to avoid paying their ‘fair
share’ of tax. John Bland, Steve Healey and Evan Last
discuss the response from the Organisation for Economic
Cooperation and Development, specifically the Base
Erosion and Profit Shifting report presented to the G20
as a global tax action plan aimed at tax avoidance.
Favourable demographic changes are behind the
emerging potential of the Queensland agribusiness
industry. However, a large number of farming
operations across the nation are facing financial distress.
Rob McConnel, Tim Heenan and Jackie White explore
what is driving this dichotomy, suggesting solutions
for Australia to improve productivity and best reap the
benefits of the Asian Century.
Tony Belfield and Ryan Parlett discuss the growth of the
life sciences industry in Australia that continues to gain
momentum with Australia becoming an increasingly
attractive location for conducting clinical trials. Despite
attractive regulatory ease of undertaking clinical trials
the industry is restricted by the limited availability of
venture capital funding.
Queensland business is currently facing a significant
transition period – moving from the intense development
of the resources boom to an export phase where we
must fight to hold on to and grow market share. This is
providing a new landscape of challenges. At Deloitte,
we believe this also presents great opportunities for our
clients where they can be nimble to embrace this change.
We are embracing this changing environment and are
committed to taking our clients on this journey with us.
Tel: +61 7 3308 7108
Tel: +61 7 3308 7282
Deloitte Queensland Index | 3
2. The Queensland economy:
Current conditions and outlook
The Queensland economy, like the Australian economy as a whole, is in transition. As the growth impetus from the
investment phase of the mining boom fades, greater reliance will be placed on mining exports and stronger activity
in non-resource-related sectors (see Figure 2.1 below). In the short-term, this transition could be bumpy; the non-resource
sectors are struggling to throw off the shackles of a high exchange rate, pockets of residential over-building, cautious
households unwilling to loosen their purse strings and deep cutbacks to government spending.
Figure 2.1: The Australian economy is changing gears
However, in the medium term and beyond, many of the
foundations for prosperity that have served Queensland
well in the past appear to be intact–the natural
endowments that attract people to the State to live and
work, or as tourists, and that provide raw materials for
exports; proximity to the global economy’s engine room in
Asia; and macroeconomic trends, including lower interest
rates and a lower exchange rate, are also favourable.
Growth in Queensland has been strong over the past
decade, as the Sunshine State has vied with Western
Australia for the title of ‘Australia’s fastest growing state’.
Indeed, State Final Demand rose by 3.5% in the year to
March 2013, the fastest growth rate of the major States.
Expenditure on resource development in Queensland
has been, and will continue to be, significant. For the
immediate future at least, the resource and resource-
related sectors will continue to lead the way in exports
and engineering construction.
However, the two-speed economy continues to be
evident in Queensland (see Figure 2.2). While growth
in the resources and resource-related sectors is strong,
other sectors have been weak. Construction is
concentrated in resource-related sectors. In comparison
to other States, residential construction has been weak,
despite the demand created by natural-disaster-related
In addition, tourism continues to contend with the
strength of the Australian dollar, and exports of
education services have declined over the past year.
Overall, these effects have seen unemployment in
Queensland rise above the national average (but still
remain below unemployment levels in Victoria, South
Australia and Tasmania) and job gains have been modest.
While recent cutbacks in government spending in
Queensland have been significant – 14,000 public service
jobs were eliminated last financial year – the State
budget is expected to remain in deficit in the current
financial year before returning to surplus in 2014–15.
In addition, in the most recent State budget, the
Government flagged a further $100m in public sector
savings over the next four years.
In recent years, business investment in Queensland
has been supported by massive engineering construction
in LNG projects. Investment in these projects is expected
to peak this year. Future investment in more marginal
resource projects, including coal, is unlikely to occur.
The failure of some engineering construction projects to
eventuate and recent developments in commodity prices
have raised concerns about the future for oil and gas
20122011 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Consumption Housing Engineering construction Exports Other GDP
Article 2 - Chart 2.1
4 | 2013 Gala Edition
Figure 2.2: Queensland industry growth, year to June 2012
While the construction phase of major LNG projects
draws to a close, a significant increase in production
and exports should follow, which will help to sustain the
State’s rate of economic growth. It will still be necessary,
however, for investment in other parts of the economy
to take up the slack left by sharply lower levels of
Queensland’s proximity to the large, dynamic Asian
economies is a long-term positive for the economy.
In addition to the large export markets, there is huge
scope to forge closer ties with the region’s businesses
and burgeoning middle-class to create economic links that
will be robust at both the peak and trough of the cycle.
In all, the outlook for Queensland’s economy is positive.
The impact of State budget cutbacks appears to have
plateaued and Queensland’s population growth rate has
been rising. Recent 457 Visa developments at the Federal
level, however, may compromise the outlook for population
growth given the State’s reliance on migrant labour.
Notwithstanding the high value of the Australian dollar,
tourism in Queensland has been growing strongly over the
last year, a trend that is expected to continue and perhaps
strengthen if the long-anticipated depreciation continues.
Combined with the lower interest rates and forecast
stronger income growth over the next few years,
these developments should support household
consumption and housing construction. The trend
in dwelling approvals is rising, and although monthly
approvals are still well shy of ‘average’ levels, the sector
should contribute to growth going forward. This will have
a positive impact on jobs growth, which should in turn
improve the outlook for the State’s unemployment rate.
While these positive developments do not completely
eliminate the risk of a short-term slowdown during the
transition from the investment to the export phase of the
State’s mining boom and while the non-resource-related
sectors pick up the pace, the most likely prospect is that
the Sunshine State will continue to carve out a growing
share of the national economy over time.
Transport, postal and storage
Other household services
Wholesale and retail trade
Finance and insurance
Health and social assistance
Agriculture, forestry and ﬁshing
Information, media and technology
-6% -4% -2% 0% 2% 4% 6% 8% 10% 12%
Article 2 - Chart 1.2
Partner, Deloitte Access
Tel: +61 3 9671 7536
Analyst, Deloitte Access
Tel: +61 2 9322 7069
Deloitte Queensland Index | 5
During the 2013 financial year (FY13), the Deloitte Queensland Index (the Index)
increased by 6.8% to 2,240 points. However, the Index was outperformed by the SP/ASX
All Ordinaries, which increased 15.5% to 4,775 points over the same period. Out of
the 188 companies currently listed on the Index, 72 companies posted an increase,
110 companies lost ground, while the remainder were steady.
The performance of the Index against relevant indices and commodities can be seen
in Table 3.1 below.
Table 3.1: Performance of the Deloitte Queensland Index compared to relevant
3. Deloitte Queensland Index:
The year in review
Index Name Last 12
Deloitte Queensland Index 6.8% (1.5%) (5.0%) (8.3%) (6.4%) (7.7%) (5.7%) 124.0%
Deloitte Queensland ER Index (27.6%) (26.9%) (10.6%) (10.2%) (16.1%) (24.3%) (27.2%) 407.0%
SP/ASX All Ordinaries 15.5% 2.4% (2.8%) (7.6%) (4.1%) (6.7%) (2.6%) 63.1%
SP/ASX 200 Energy 5.1% 0.8% (5.8%) (3.4%) (4.5%) (8.0%) (4.4%) 211.3%
SP/ASX 200 Materials (10.2%) (20.0%) (10.3%) (8.2%) (11.8%) (21.0%) (21.2%) 112.5%
Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index (3.0%) (6.6%) (2.2%) (4.3%) (7.0%) (5.9%) (9.3%) 21.7%
Baltic Dry Index 14.6% 64.7% 42.3% 32.1% 26.5% 52.0% 51.4% (15.8%)
Major international indices
Dow Jones IA 15.8% 13.8% (1.4%) 0.5% 2.3% 6.1% 7.6% 96.4%
Nikkei 225 51.9% 31.6% (0.7%) (1.3%) 10.3% 18.3% 22.8% 45.8%
FTSE 100 11.6% 5.4% (5.6%) (3.3%) (3.1%) (2.3%) (1.0%) 67.0%
Hang Seng 7.0% (8.2%) (7.1%) (8.5%) (6.7%) (9.6%) (12.3%) 129.3%
Spot Gold (23.7%) (27.0%) (12.2%) (16.9%) (23.3%) (22.5%) (26.4%) 278.3%
LME Nickel (17.0%) (21.5%) (6.5%) (10.0%) (17.3%) (18.1%) (25.6%) 115.0%
LME Aluminium (5.7%) (17.3%) (6.8%) (6.3%) (8.0%) (12.2%) (16.5%) 33.6%
LME Copper (11.2%) (16.5%) (6.8%) (4.6%) (11.0%) (13.8%) (17.4%) 362.6%
NYMEX WTI Crude Oil 13.7% 5.2% 5.0% 3.3% (0.7%) 4.9% (1.0%) 217.1%
Source: Capital IQ, ASX
The Index increased
by 6.8% to 2,240
points during the 2013
6 | 2013 Gala Edition
The following graph depicts the progress of the Index against major international indices since inception in September 2002.
Figure 3.1: Performance of the Deloitte Queensland Index compared to major international indices (relative to one)
Source: Capital IQ, ASX
Article 3 - Figue 1
Dow Jones IA Nikkei 225 FTSE 100 Hang Seng SP/ASX All Ordinaries Deloitte Qld Index
Table 3.2: Largest increases and decreases in market capitalisation (FY13)
Largest Increases $m % Largest decreases $m %
1 Suncorp Group Limited 4,928 47.3% 1 Discovery Metals Limited -555 -89.4%
2 Flight Centre Limited 2,056 108.5% 2 PanAust Limited -529 -32.3%
3 Super Retail Group Limited 941 66.8% 3 Echo Entertainment Group Limited -418 -14.2%
4 Cromwell Group Limited 870 108.5% 4 ALS Limited -371 -10.1%
5 Bank Of Queensland Limited 731 35.9% 5 Billabong International Limited -368 -83.7%
6 Aurizon Holdings Limited 595 7.2% 6 New Hope Corporation Limited -365 -11.0%
7 G8 Education Limited 472 238.7% 7 Maverick Drilling Exploration Limited -328 -66.8%
8 Energy Developments Limited 345 85.3% 8 Cardno Limited -300 -28.7%
9 Virgin Australia Limited 234 27.4% 9 Brisconnections-Unit Trusts -203 -56.5%
10 Retail Food Group Limited 227 79.1% 10 Ausenco Limited -195 -44.1%
Deloitte Queensland Index | 7
Suncorp Group Limited
Figure 3.2: Suncorp Group’s share price
Source: Capital IQ
Suncorp Group posted the largest increase in market
capitalisation on the Index in FY13, increasing by $4,928m,
or 47.3%. Suncorp Group provides general insurance,
banking, life insurance, superannuation and investment
products to retail and commercial clients.
At the beginning of FY13, the company reported strong
results for FY12, including an increase in net profit after
tax (NPAT) of 59.8% to $724m. The result was also
highlighted by the continuing improvement in the quality
of the company’s capital position.
Throughout the period, Suncorp Group has benefitted
from positive industry tailwinds including higher equity
In June, Suncorp Group announced the resolution of
the non-core banking portfolio with the sale of a $1.6b
portfolio of corporate and property assets at a weighted
realisation of 60 cents in the dollar. The sale was a
significant positive in terms of risk reduction for the bank.
Suncorp Group ended the year at number one on
Article 3 - Suncorp
Flight Centre Limited
Figure 3.3: Flight Centre’s share price
Source: Capital IQ
Flight Centre’s market capitalisation increased by
$2,056m, or 108.5%, during FY13. Flight Centre is a
travel agency service providing a complete travel service
for leisure and business travellers.
Despite mixed consumer and business confidence,
Flight Centre grew strongly, expanding its sales
network with sales staff and store numbers growing
5% respectively. The company reported positive half
year results, with profit after tax of $91.8m, an increase
of 13% on the preceding period.
In February, Flight Centre announced plans to expand
in Asia and the Middle East as part of the company’s
ongoing plan to expand its global footprint by 6–8%
annually. The company views the region as a solid
growth opportunity and are developing a network
of leisure travel shops that will operate alongside its
more established corporate travel businesses.
The company also recently upgraded its FY13 market
guidance on underlying profit before tax (PBT)
expectation to between $325–340m, representing a
12–17% growth on PBT achieved in FY12.
Flight Centre ended FY13 at number three on the Index.
Article 3 - Flight Centre
Of the 72 companies that posted an increase during FY13, we review the performance of the five largest dollar
increases in market capitalisation below. We have also included a company profile on Tatts Group Limited that does
not fit the criteria to be included in the FY13 Index, however has recently relocated to Queensland and will be included
in the Index going forward.
8 | 2013 Gala Edition
Super Retail Group Limited
Figure 3.4: Super Retail Group’s share price
Source: Capital IQ
Super Retail Group had a considerable increase in market
capitalisation, with an increase of $941m, or 66.8% during
FY13. Comprising of a number of individual businesses,
Super Retail Group operates as a retailer of automotive
and leisure products.
Super Retail Group started FY13 reporting strong results
for FY12 with sales and NPAT increasing by 51% and
50% respectively. The strong result demonstrated the
resilience of the company’s business model, delivering
earnings growth despite subdued retail conditions.
The company’s strong performance continued throughout
the year with stellar mid-year results reporting a 74%
increase in NPAT on the preceding period.
In May, the company announced that comparable sales
for its auto, sports and leisure divisions had increased
5.1%, 7.8% and 3.0% respectively for the 43 week
period to 27 April.
Super Retail Group ended FY13 at number nine on
Cromwell Group Limited
Figure 3.5: Cromwell Group’s share price
Source: Capital IQ
The market capitalisation of Cromwell Group increased by
$870m, or 108.5%, during FY13. Cromwell Group is an
Australian Real Estate Investment Trust and Property Fund
Manager with over $2.7b assets under management,
managing commercial properties throughout Australia.
Cromwell Group proceeded with its strategy of providing
secure, steady growing distributions to investors through
the management of a portfolio of high quality assets to
great effect throughout FY13.
In May, the company announced the purchase of a
portfolio of seven office assets from the New South Wales
State Government. The Portfolio comprised of three Sydney
CBD assets and four regional NSW assets, valued at $316m
and $89m respectively. The company also announced the
acquisition of two Brisbane office buildings for a combined
purchase price of $65m.
During the year, Cromwell Group announced a $250m
equity raising to partly fund the acquisition of the portfolio
assets from the NSW State Government and to repay
existing debt. The raising consisted of a $128m institutional
placement and a $122m one for 12 non-renounceable pro-
rata entitlement offer to existing eligible security holders.
Cromwell Group ended FY13 at number ten on the Index.
Article 3 - Cromwell Property Group
Article 3 - Super Retail Group
Deloitte Queensland Index | 9
Bank of Queensland Group Limited
Figure 3.6: Bank of Queensland’s share price
Source: Capital IQ
Bank of Queensland recorded a $731m, or 35.9%,
increase in market capitalisation during FY13. Bank of
Queensland is a financial institution offering core banking
services, equipment finance, wealth management and
Performance in early FY13 was hindered by the company’s
legacy asset quality and funding profile which continued to
inhibit net interest margins. However, Bank of Queensland
half year results showed a strong improvement with margin
growth and an increased dividend.
In April, Bank of Queensland acquired Virgin Money
Australia for $40m. The acquisition will allow the
company to expand its distribution footprint extending
its reach to currently untapped, complementary customer
and market segments.
Going forward, Bank of Queensland’s performance will
depend on the funding market and its BBB+ credit rating.
Bank of Queensland ended FY13 at number six on
Tatts Group Limited
Figure 3.7: Tatts Group’s share price
Source: Capital IQ
Tatts Group Limited recorded an $876 million, or 24.5%,
increase in market capitalisation during FY13. Tatts Group
has a portfolio of gambling businesses providing leisure and
entertainment products in lotteries, wagering and gaming
in Australia and the United Kingdom.
In November, Tatts Group won the right to manage the
South Australian Lotteries business. Under the agreement
with the South Australian government Tatts Group was
exclusively appointed to manage the state owned Lotteries
Commission of South Australia for a period of 40 years.
During FY13, Tatts Group announced the appointment
of Robbie Cooke as Chief Executive and Managing Director,
taking effect in January 2013. Mr Cooke succeeded
Tatts Group has been excluded from the Queensland Index
on the basis that the company relocated to Queensland late
in the financial year. The company will be included in the
index in FY14. At its current market capitalisation of $4.4b
it will enter at number three on the Index.
Article 3 - Bank of Qld Group
Article 3 - Tatts Group
For more information on the Deloitte Queensland
Index, please contact:
Tel: +61 7 3308 7282
14 | 2013 Gala Edition
161 132 Alligator Energy Limited 4.0 16.3 (12) (75.2%) 0.03 0.13 0.03 (0.01) –
162 166 Renaissance Uranium Limited 4.0 5.9 (2) (32.2%) 0.04 0.09 0.03 (0.00) –
163 149 Gold Anomaly Limited 3.9 9.8 (6) (60.3%) 0.00 0.01 0.00 (0.00) –
164 207 Navaho Gold Limited 3.5 1.4 2 151.7% 0.02 0.06 0.01 (0.02) –
165 193 Reverse Corp Limited 3.4 2.9 1 19.4% 0.04 0.05 0.01 (0.01) –
166 185 Trustees Australia Limited 3.3 3.5 (0) (4.8%) 0.10 0.11 0.08 (0.05) –
167 184 AusNiCo Limited 3.1 3.5 (0) (12.1%) 0.01 0.02 0.01 (0.01) –
168 190 BioProspect Limited 2.9 3.2 (0) (10.9%) 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 –
169 159 Hot Rock Limited 2.8 7.7 (5) (63.9%) 0.01 0.04 0.01 (0.01) –
170 120 Frontier Resources Limited 2.7 21.4 (19) (87.2%) 0.01 0.09 0.01 (0.02) –
171 208 Medigard Limited 2.7 1.4 1 100.0% 0.03 0.04 0.01 (0.00) –
172 206 Leaf Energy Limited 2.7 1.4 1 92.2% 0.06 0.07 0.03 (0.06) –
173 169 Platina Resources Limited 2.7 5.4 (3) (51.2%) 0.02 0.08 0.02 0.01 –
174 170 Superior Resources Limited 2.5 5.4 (3) (53.7%) 0.03 0.08 0.03 (0.02) –
175 165 Elementos Limited 2.3 6.5 (4) (64.4%) 0.02 0.09 0.01 (0.07) –
176 197 Gulf Mines Limited 2.3 2.4 (0) (4.3%) 0.01 0.01 0.00 (0.00) –
177 191 Agenix Limited 2.1 3.1 (1) (34.1%) 0.02 0.13 0.01 (0.08) –
178 199 Monteray Mining Group Limited 1.8 1.9 (0) (4.7%) 0.03 0.13 0.03 (0.01) –
179 174 Planet Metals Limited 1.6 4.7 (3) (66.1%) 0.02 0.09 0.02 (0.01) –
180 188 Republic Gold Limited 1.5 3.3 (2) (54.0%) 0.01 0.04 0.00 (0.09) –
181 122 Laneway Resources Limited 1.5 20.6 (19) (92.7%) 0.02 0.30 0.01 (0.07) –
182 202 Excela Limited 1.3 1.7 (0) (23.9%) 0.04 0.10 0.01 (0.24) –
183 187 Global Resources Corporation Limited 1.1 3.4 (2) (67.8%) 0.03 0.09 0.03 (0.09) –
184 204 Lake Resouces NL 1.1 1.6 (1) (34.8%) 0.02 0.03 0.02 (0.00) –
185 196 Metals Finance Corporation 0.7 2.6 (2) (71.4%) 0.01 0.05 0.01 (0.03) –
186 200 Drummond Gold Limited 0.7 1.9 (1) (62.5%) 0.00 0.01 0.00 0.00 –
187 195 Mnet Group Limited 0.4 2.7 (2) (84.6%) 0.00 0.03 0.00 (0.00) –
188 134 Intelligent Solar Limited 0.1 14.4 (14) (99.1%) 0.01 – – 0.01 –
Source: Australian Securities Exchange and Capital IQ
Companies listed in the Deloitte Queensland Index are determined on the basis of various selection criteria, including their principal place of business for the relevant period.
Earnings per Share (EPS) – The portion of a company’s profit allocated to each outstanding share of common stock. EPS is an indicator of the profitability of a company.
Calculated as: Net Income – Dividends on Preferred Stock/Average Outstanding Shares
Price-Earnings (PE) Ratio – A valuation ratio of a company’s current share price compared to its per-share earnings. In general, a high P/E means high projected earnings in the future.
It is mainly used to compare the P/E ratios of companies in the same industry, or to the market in general, or against the company’s own historical P/E. Calculated as: Market Value
per Share/Earnings per Share (EPS).
Deloitte Queensland Index | 15
5. Australian Coal, where to now?
According to an April 2013 Bureau of Resource and
Energy Economics (BREE) report, in Australia, there
has been a slowing in the rate of progression of projects
to the Committed Stage. There is also an emerging
trend for ‘mega’ and large projects at the Feasibility
Stage to be either cancelled or revert back to the
Publicly Announced Stage. BREE estimates that around
$150b of projects at the Feasibility Stage have been
delayed, cancelled or have had re-assessed development
plans in the past twelve months. Furthermore, there
have been a number of mining companies, including
the majors, that have announced plans to reduce their
capital expenditure programs and/or sell assets.
Looking at coal, the changes to projects ‘in the pipeline’
stack up as follows:
• Publicly announced deferrals: include Xstrata’s
Wandoan mine, Rio Tinto’s Mount Pleasant project
and Peabody Energy’s Wilkie Creek expansion; all
thermal coal and subject to the keenest price pressure
and international competition. Two projects, BHP
Billiton’s Saraji East and the Monto coal mine, were
removed from the major projects list
• Feasibility stage: There are 57 projects worth a
combined total of $57b, back from 63 projects
worth $76b in 2012. The large coal projects
located in Queensland’s Galilee Basin remain the
largest contributors (59 per cent) to the value of
coal projects at the Feasibility Stage: including Adani’s
Carmichael Coal Project ($6.8b), GVK-Hancock’s Alpha
and Kevin’s Corner coal mines ($10b and $4.2b,
respectively), Waratah Coal’s China First Coal Project
($8b) and AMCI/Bandanna Energy’s South Galilee Coal
• Committed stage: The 16 coal projects remaining
at the Committed Stage have a combined value
of $14.2b, of these, 12 projects worth around $12b
are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014.
These include BHP Billiton’s Caval Ridge ($1.9b) and
Daunia ($1.6b) metallurgical coal mines in Queensland
and Anglo American’s Grosvenor Underground hard
coking coal project ($1.6b). Caval Ridge will be built
with unutilised coal processing capacity.
essential to defending
16 | 2013 Gala Edition
Clearly, the intense development phase we have
experienced has pulled back.
In Queensland, constrained infrastructure, in particular
below rail and terminal capacity, has had much of the
coal industry headlines over the past decade. This drive
has resulted in an increase in terminal capacity of
25% with the expansion of Abbot Point through T1
and GAP rail and the commitment to WICET Stage 1.
Material additional expansion capacity remains at the
three current major export hubs. Current activity level
is mixed with the recent shortlisting of Anglo American
and NorthHub (Aurizon and Lend Lease) as potential
developers at APCT (AP-X) offset by a general slowing
of activity on other port projects.
A feature of new ‘greenfield’ rail and port capacity is
the risk and cost of development. WICET Stage 1 is
understood to cost $90 per tonne of committed capacity
resulting in a Take or Pay charge well in excess of $10
per tonne. The risk to coal miners and developers is also
material with capacity secured through binding Take or
Pay contracts and the cost of feasibility and associated
studies likely to be in the order of $200M to $300M before
a decision is made or a tonne is loaded. With the shift
in the outlook for commodities, we have observed the
scramble to secure capacity disappear and be replaced
by an active secondary market for capacity.
Australian labour and capital efficiency have
materially declined in the last decade, creating cost
and competitive pressures for mine developers and
operators (see Figure 5.2). The last decade has seen
labour productivity levels halve driven by the pursuit of
the incremental tonne, the scramble for assets and the
dilution of capability. However, steps are being taken
to address cost pressures, increase productivity levels
and recover operating margins. Producers have reduced
output, retrenched workers, cut contractors and
reduced overtime shifts.
This shift in agenda is clearly demonstrated in the BHP
Billiton May 2013 Investor Coal Briefing where they
demonstrated a 30 plus percentage drop in unit cash
costs index from Q1FY13 to Q3FY13 achieved through
‘temporary closure of high cost metallurgical mines and
$0.8b (annualised) controllable cash cost savings.’
Figure 5.1: Queensland Coal Terminals
Source: Enable database and various industry sources
It is interesting to note that the New South Wales
based Illawarra coal business has not seen the same
level of fluctuation both up and down as seen by
the Queensland based Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance
(BMA) and BHP Billiton Metallurgical Coal. BMA see
substantial opportunity to further reduce the cost of
inputs via contractors and suppliers, reduction of business
development and exploration and the implementation
of their productivity agenda.
A challenge for the industry moving back into this cost
focussed world is finding people who were around
last time. The duration of the recent up phase and the
associated dilution of resources means that many of the
current mine management teams have not lived through
‘squeezing the lemon’.
Deloitte Queensland Index | 17
Figure 5.2: Labour productivity in the Queensland coal industry
Source: Department of Natural Resource and Mines, Coal Industry Review 2011-2012 statistical tables, Queensland coal industry 5 year summary
In addition to the short term impact of putting the
brakes on outgoings, we believe continual material cost
improvement can be realised through:
• Focussing on systematic productivity improvement
over cost cutting which incorporates initiatives like:
better mine planning, budgetary and risk management,
strategic workforce planning and system enabled
transformation. Simply, the re-concentration of
capability to ensure trucks are available and utilised
at previously achieved levels, equipment and labour
deliver their full potential
• Expanding low cost production where the
• Closing loss making operations. BHP Billiton has
already closed the 1Mtpa Gregory open cut mine
and the 4Mtpa Norwich Park open cut mine
• Re-setting portfolios of assets to owners best suited
to optimising the productivity of coal measures
through opportunities from operational experience,
efficiencies of scale, logistical rationalisation.
This can also be aided by a more moderate AUD/USD
exchange rate which is unfolding at the moment and
some ‘fair wind’ on the labour relations and weather
front. The strong Australian dollar, wet weather and
industrial action were significant players in the loss
of competitive advantage over recent years.
The competition most relevant for Queensland, and the
optimisation of our resources, is ultimately the Australian
versus Indonesian, Mongolian, African etc. coal story rather
than the competition between local owners and producers.
This picture of slowing new development and the
necessary drive to improved productivity in Queensland
does not mean that our coal story is over. A November
2012 World Resources Institute report estimates 1,199
new coal fired power generation plants (1,401 Gigawatts)
are being proposed globally, spread across 59 countries.
China and India together account for 76 percent of this
capacity, two major new investors in Australian and
Queensland coal. There are also a further 10 developing
countries with limited if any domestic coal production
proposing new coal fired plants; suggesting further future
demand for export thermal coal.
We may be in a challenging period at the moment,
but it is clearly all still to play for; provided we can plan
for, achieve and embed a better level of productivity
and stay cost competitive.
Article 6 - Labour productivity in Qld Coal
11.6 11.0 11.4
Open-cut Underground Overall
Partner, Corporate Finance
Tel: +61 7 3308 7282
Partner, Enable Advisory
Tel: +61 7 3229 4000
18 | 2013 Gala Edition
A consistently high rate of growth in India’s GDP since the introduction of the economic reforms in the 1990s
has made India one of the fastest growing economies of the world.
Figure 6.1: Share of population living in urban areas
Source: United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
India is the largest democracy in the world and has a burgeoning middle class and large working age population,
which has resulted in unprecedented urbanisation and fuelled a spurt of growth in domestic consumption,
making it a strong economic and political force in the global arena.
Figure 6.2: Projected average annual GDP growth 2014 – 2018
Source: International Monetary Fund
6. India and Australia:
Driving growth with the Asian Tiger
1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 2030 2040 2050
United StatesAustralia India
0% 2% 4% 5%3%1% 6% 7% 8% 9%
Deloitte Queensland Index | 19
Despite the recent slowdown in India’s growth rate to
5.0%, from 9.3% a couple of years back, the International
Monetary Fund still predicts that India’s growth rates
will remain comparable to China’s over the next five
years. Deloitte Access Economics predicts that there
is still plenty of growth left in the tank and over time
India’s growth rate will outperform the rest of the world,
including China. India needs to continue to drive its fiscal
policies to keep feeding the ever growing demand for
energy, good quality infrastructure, aged care, education
and tourism from the ever growing middle class of India.
Basic elements required to support this growth are
‘Energy’ and ‘Infrastructure’.
Energy is one of the most important catalysts for the
development and growth of the Indian economy.
According to International Energy Agency, the per capita
consumption of power in countries like the United
States and China stands at 11,919 KwH and 2,559 KwH.
However, in India with a population of 1.2b people, 300m
are without power. Of the 900m people with power,
the per capita consumption stands at 778.71 KwH, with
a majority of this power generated through coal fired
power stations. As outlined in India’s Central Electricity
Authority’s estimates for Coal Demand for the power
sector in India, while India is increasingly exploring more
innovative ways, in addition to conventional methods,
to meet the growing energy demand and energy
security needs of India, coal is expected to continue
its dominant position as the primary source of energy
for India in the near future.
In terms of infrastructure, India is struggling to keep
pace and needs the support of developed nations to
achieve the ambitious goals it has set for itself.
Table 6.1: Coal demand for power sector
Source: Central Electricity Authority
Australia, and in particular Queensland, is beginning to
see the impact as the Asian Tiger starts looking towards
our great continent to help achieve its ambitious growth
targets. Recent years have seen Indian businesses investing
significantly in Australia to secure the supply of thermal
and coking coal for their power and steel plants. Foreign
investment in Australia by Indian companies grew from NIL
in 2001 to $11b in 2011. In addition, Australian exports to
India were approximately $13b in 2011.
India is already the third largest export destination
for Queensland, which not only underlines the growing
importance of India but speaks volumes for the potential
of partnering with the Asian Tiger. This has received
a significant boost with multi-billion dollar investments
committed by India’s Adani Group and GVK (in
partnership with Hancock Coal) over the last couple
of years, which will also have a significant impact on
Queensland communities, as the conglomerates look
to set up some of the largest projects in the world,
right here in our State.
The opportunities for Queensland exporters include
a broad range of products and services, including
gas, bio-fuels, mining equipment, technology and
services, building and construction, health and medical,
clean technologies including water and waste water
management, transport infrastructure (road, rail
and ports), sustainable tourism, tropical rainforest
management, and niche food and beverages.
In addition, while India has large coal deposits of their
own, it has faced significant issues in trying to develop
these reserves. These challenges include lack of political
willpower and lack of adequate infrastructure. However,
as India looks to step-up development of these deposits,
there may be significant opportunities for Australian
companies in and around the coal industry.
Year In Mt
20 | 2013 Gala Edition
Further, India is now the largest source of permanent
migrants to Australia, overtaking Chinese arrivals.
Our connections to India are growing and this will have an
increasing impact on the Australian, and more particularly,
the Queensland business environment.
While Australia has started to take notice of the Asian
Tiger, capitalising on the opportunities it presents is not
pre-ordained. We need to set the competitiveness of
our assets and our economy against a number of other
economies which can compete in the areas of India’s
growing demand and we also need to be persistent in
driving to understand the Indian market better.
The initial forays by the Asian Tiger into Australia have
not been without challenges. While the procedures for
environmental and other approvals is well laid out and
transparent, it is still very slow, resulting in significant delays
in federal and state approval for projects. Besides, high
costs of labour and low productivity of Australian mines,
the high Australian dollar and a changing labour relations
environment are some of the other factors that make
it more difficult for Australia to compete with other
destinations like Indonesia and Mozambique. And while
the Australian business case stands out when the
comparison is made in terms of the quality of its reserves,
the technological advancement, a stable political climate,
availability of skilled labour and matured industry practices;
it is questionable whether this is sufficient in and of itself.
The tiger is crouching, ready to pounce – where will
Australia be when it counts?
Partner, Assurance Advisory
Tel: +61 3308 7147
Director, Assurance Advisory
Tel: +61 7 3308 7374
Manager, Financial Advisory Services
Tel: +61 7 3308 7107
Deloitte Queensland Index | 21
7. The reality of ‘hacking’:
What is your response?
It’s not a matter of ‘if’ you’ll be hacked, but ‘when’
or for ‘how long’ you have been hacked and ‘what’
you have already lost:
• Iran: Nuclear program hacked and critical
• Japan: Yahoo was hacked; usernames and passwords
of email accounts stolen
• South Africa: Police whistle-blower hotline hacked;
names, email addresses and phone numbers of
• USA: Recent survey shows energy and resources
companies are under daily attack. In 2012, the US
Department of Homeland Security reported that a US
power plant was impacted for three weeks following
a malware introduction
• Saudi Arabia: Saudi Aramco was impacted by
a malware in 2012 that affected 30,000 computers
• Australia: There are claims that Codan (Australian
provider of military communications equipment
technology), Bluescope Steel and ASIO are amongst
Australian organisations to be the recent victims
of cyber-espionage, supposedly from China
• The list goes on and increases every day.
There are no borders in cyberspace. An investigation by
ABC’s Four Corners program revealed that one of ASIO’s
contractors had been hacked, leaking the blueprints to
the building that hosts some of Australia’s most sensitive
information. The nature of cyber-espionage is such that
if an attacker can’t get into your network, they will
try to obtain access through something close to you:
your own personal computer/s, your suppliers that you
share commercially sensitive information with, the law
firm you outsource your legal work to, etc.
It’s not just government agencies under attack;
corporations are increasingly being targeted. Data relating
to your customers, intellectual property, future expansion
plans, supplier agreements, and merger and acquisition
proposals are all highly sought after ‘commodities’
in the global market.
Queensland companies operating offshore are at
an increased risk of being targeted by cybercrime.
Deloitte consults to organisations on the subject in many
sectors, including energy and resources, construction and
law firms. Brisbane will be hosting the G20 summit at the
end of 2014 which could see an increase in cyber probing
by hacktivists from around the world.
22 | 2013 Gala Edition
• How prepared are you to withstand an attack?
• How secure is your data that is currently kept by
• Are you currently collecting the right type of
information to allow you to respond to and
investigate an attack?
• Are you only stopping people getting into your
network, or are you also preventing information
from getting out?
There is legislation currently being debated in Parliament
that will require companies to publically disclose
data breaches each time they occur to the Privacy
Commissioner, any customers impacted and the media.
Now, more than ever, it’s important to be able to answer
questions such as the above, with confidence.
Deloitte has a team of cyber security and cyber forensic
specialists available around the clock and adopts a fully
collaborative methodology supporting clients impacted
• Prepare: Anticipate, assess and plan for
• Aware: Interpret and monitor real-time,
tailored cyber threat intelligence
• Defend: Execute a step-change in the structure,
governance and approach to cyber security
• Respond: Prevent, investigate and limit damage
from a cyber-attack.
With the ability to draw upon an international team
of specialists across industries, Deloitte is consistently
recognised as a world leader in relation to information
security, privacy and risk controls.
National Forensic Lead
Tel: +61 7 3308 7065
Partner, Risk Services
Tel: +61 3308 7400
Deloitte Queensland Index | 23
Some $65b is being spent between the Surat Basin and
Curtis Island across the three approved coal seam gas
(CSG) to liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects in Queensland,
with billions also spent or earmarked on additional
infrastructure required to support these projects. Residential
and commercial properties in regional and urban areas of
Queensland have been great beneficiaries in recent years;
but, with predictions of a peak in capital investment as the
projects move into their operational phases, how will these
assets be impacted going forward? How will metropolitan
areas respond in the office sector? If we do see growth in
infrastructure investment over the next few years, predicted
potentially in the support of production predominantly in
the gas and coal space, how will Queensland’s property
market be impacted?
In the country
The sheer scale of the CSG to LNG projects requires
an enormous construction workforce and the projects,
as well as all related contractors and subcontractors,
have had to supplement their domestic personnel with
thousands of interstate and international workers to cater
for the construction requirements. From 2009, residential
and commercial rents in regional towns impacted by
these projects have been driven up as a tsunami of
inbound workers have scrambled for housing and office
accommodation from the Surat Basin to Gladstone.
Over the last few years, available residential, office and
retail space in Gladstone has been absorbed as soon as
accessible. As project teams and contractors moved into
Gladstone, residential accommodation was predominantly
provided via existing housing and hotels/motels –
local retailers, cafes and restaurants boomed as a result.
Speculative investment surged with news that thousands
of workers would be coming to these areas, and house
and land prices responded accordingly as competing
dollars chased limited supply.
Bidding wars between occupiers and speculative
investors meant office, retail and industrial rents for
existing properties increased dramatically. As available
space became increasingly scarce, prices offered for vacant
land rose to accommodate an expanding economy.
Many tenants undertook significant capital expenditure
projects within leased properties to ensure the power,
cooling and electrical services were capable of handling
advanced IT and communication requirement to report
back to head office in Brisbane and beyond.
As the projects have advanced, massive, temporary
accommodation camps have been completed further
out of town or on Curtis Island, and the resultant
demand for housing, food and services in town has
reduced dramatically. In addition, office and industrial
requirements are now being met by new purpose-built
facilities owned by the CSG companies and associated
contractors in both Gladstone and Curtis Island.
Although a retail presence will be required for public
interaction, larger office requirements will be relocated
from the spine of downtown Gladstone, being Goondoon,
Tank and Toolooa Streets. It is expected that effective rents
for office and retail will remain stagnant or reduce in the
medium term as demand in town softens and vacancies
rise. In addition, new commercial developments in town
may stall as developers fail to attract pre-commitments
due to the timeframe within which construction works
need to be completed.
The impact to the residential market has already been
felt, with additional supply continuing to enter the market,
whilst demand retracts. Recent stock releases within active
land estates demonstrate evidence of price discounting
across all product offerings, as developers seek to meet
falling buyer demand in the region and maintain moderate
volumes of sale.
8. Property and the gas boom:
Challenges and opportunities
24 | 2013 Gala Edition
Director, Deloitte Capland
Real Estate Advisory
Tel: +61 7 3308 7345
Partner, Deloitte Capland
Real Estate Advisory
Tel: +61 3034 0401
The sales volume for residential land has decreased by
approximately 51% from the third to the fourth quarter
of 2012. This appears to have continued from the quarter
previous where sale volumes have fallen by approximately
59%. Agents are also reporting increasing instances of
contract fall-overs for new residential stock (house/land/
units) as a result of a lack of valuation support for current
contract pricing levels. Although median pricing has yet
to reflect the dramatic fall demonstrated in sales volumes,
we anticipate the reduction in sales volumes will place
further downward pressure on median pricing. In addition,
new housing estates are experiencing minimal local buyer
demand, with most enquiries via investors from southern
states that are late to the party. As prices reduce, local
buyers may re-enter the market and create a floor in
pricing again as they did after the last mining pull back.
Over 500 kilometres west of Gladstone, the Surat Basin
covers 27,000 square kilometres and extends from
northern New South Wales to central Queensland.
The majority of resource-related activity lies within Western
Downs Regional Council, which encompasses the towns
of Dalby, Chinchilla, Roma, Miles, Jandowae, Wandoan
and Tara. While many of these towns had grown in early
to mid–2000 due to resource exploration and energy
generation, most are now seeing unprecedented fiscal
and population growth over the last few years which bucks
the trend of rural Australia as a whole.
The residential housing market in the Surat Basin is
continuing to remain fairly strong, underpinned by
limited new supply versus the increased demand from
the region. Although sale volumes and median pricing
for vacant land and housing contracted from the end of
2012, local agents are generally reporting solid enquiry
for residential accommodation underpinned by the mining
and energy activity in the region. Although sale volumes
and median pricing for existing housing have contracted
from the September to the December quarter, vacant
land transactions continue to grow in both number and
median price. Due to the constricted nature of developable
residential land in both Miles and Wandoan, there is
insufficient data to report any shifts in those particular
property markets. Despite contractions in housing market
indicators, median weekly rental records for three and four
bed housing continue to demonstrate strong quarterly
growth as mining-based businesses continue to seek
additional accommodation to house their workforce.
While we expect this to stabilise, we don’t expect the
same level of residential downturn in pricing compared
to Gladstone, due to the lower level of speculative
development of new accommodation in the Surat.
For many of the CSG companies and their contractors,
the logistics required to immediately accommodate
workers in office space had not been fully considered.
As a result, aging office and retail space in Chinchilla,
Dalby, Miles, and Wandoan was swept up, with little
concern for the rental terms agreed to. Our outlook for
office and retail space in towns occupied by the three
projects is generally positive in the short to medium term,
particularly given that operators of the projects will require
an office to accommodate public reception as well as back
office support, although careful monitoring is required.
In the city
Closer to the Brisbane CBD, the optimistic leasing activity
experienced over the last four years has slowly begun
to unravel. Subleasing space has entered the market as
contractors that expanded rapidly to meet immediate
contracting requirements are reducing staff as projects
wind down or outlooks for extensions become uncertain.
As office space is released to the market, prospective
sub lessors and landlords are reducing effective rents
to entice incoming tenants and to reduce holding costs.
The majority of subleased space being offered is fitted
out to a high standard, reducing the amount of total
occupancy costs required for an incoming sublessee
and offering some attractive opportunities. This will be
magnified as refurbished stock is released to the market
from 2014, and vacant space within 1 William Street,
480 Queen Street, and 180 Brisbane comprising over
150,000 square metres reaches completion in 2016.
Now more than ever, active participants in the office
market require objective due diligence to understand
how their business can identify trends and their associated
opportunities, whilst reducing costs and exposure
to uncertain times. For companies with leases expiring
within the next 24 months, it is an opportune time
to start exploring future office needs and potentially
reduce occupancy costs due to the counter-cyclical timing.
Deloitte Queensland Index | 25
9. Tax structuring:
Will you be in the firing line?
We find ourselves living in a world where multinational
corporations are regularly being lambasted for not
paying their ‘fair share’ of tax and being accused of
deliberately structuring to shift profits to lower taxing
jurisdictions with the object of minimising their tax liability.
This issue is receiving ever increasing public scrutiny,
with recent government statements around the world
and the global media consistently placing multinational
corporations, and their tax affairs, in the spotlight.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and
Development (OECD) released its first report on Base
Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) on 12 February 2013,
in response to a growing perception that governments
of OECD countries lose substantial corporate tax revenue
because profits are shifted to favourable tax locations.
The report concludes that BEPS is a significant global
problem as international rules have not kept pace with
the changing business environment and the evolution
of the digital economy. The BEPS report was presented
to the G20 in February 2013. Following a request by
the G20, the OECD is developing a global tax action
plan to target transfer pricing aimed at tax avoidance.
This plan was due to be completed by July 2013.
In the current economic environment it is not surprising
that the Australian Government has similarly turned its
attention to the global debate around profit shifting
and the threat to the Australian tax base, with the
Federal Treasury (Treasury) releasing an issues paper,
‘Implications of the Modern Global Economy for the
Taxation of Multinational Enterprises’ on 3 May 2013.
The paper discusses the broad issue of BEPS in the
context of the Australian economy and considers the tax
challenges posed by a changing and very rapidly evolving
global economy. Subsequent to the release of this
paper, Treasury called for comments from stakeholders,
including the wider business community to ensure
that the key issues concerning BEPS are addressed.
The outcomes of the consultation process formed
the basis of a Scoping Paper, released mid–2013,
which examines the risks to the sustainability of
Australia’s corporate tax base from the way current
international tax rules are capable of being legitimately
applied to minimise or escape the impost of taxation.
In relation to the practical management of the tax
base, Australia has recently reformed its transfer pricing
legislation to modernise the transfer pricing regime,
aligning the domestic law with international best
practice (including the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines).
Combined with the new extended International Dealings
Schedule, and the additional disclosures required by
taxpayers, the Australian Government expects that these
measures will improve the integrity and efficiency of the
tax system and assist in protecting the Australian tax base.
Additional control measures are also being introduced to
limit the far reaching effect of BEPS. For example, on 24
April 2013, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) released
a controversial draft tax determination which expresses
the ATO’s preliminary view that support payments made
by a parent to its subsidiary are capital in nature and
not deductible. Further, in the 2013–14 Federal Budget,
the Treasurer announced that the Government will
provide $109.1m over four years to the ATO to increase
compliance activity targeted at business restructuring
that facilitates international profit shifting. In addition,
Mr Swan (then Treasurer) announced in June that the
Government would use its leadership of the G20 next
year to drive a crackdown on tax loopholes and evasion
by multinational companies.
It is clear that both the Australian Government and
foreign governments have recognised BEPS to be an
increasing concern which requires urgent and global
attention. Government discussions, through platforms
such as the OECD and G20, conclude that a global plan
is necessary to deal with BEPS going forward.
26 | 2013 Gala Edition
The OECD regards the application of Controlled Foreign
Company (CFC) rules as an integral part of tackling global
BEPS. Broadly, such rules seek to tax profits sheltered in
offshore holding structures on an attribution rather than
realisation basis. Australia currently has a comprehensive
and many would say, highly complex, CFC regime. In the
2009–2010 Federal Budget, the Treasurer announced a
long awaited and welcome review of the Australian CFC
regime. The reasons behind this review, on modernising
the existing provisions, are based on the Board of
Taxation’s September 2008 ‘Review of the foreign
source income anti-tax-deferral regimes’ report, which
concluded the existing rules were unable to effectively
target modern business transactions.
Four years on and we now have a deferral of those
reforms being announced in the 2013–14 Federal
Budget. Specifically, the Treasurer announced that the
CFC reforms would be put on hold by the Government
pending the completion of the OECD’s review of BEPS
by multinationals. It is worth remembering that the
proposed CFC reforms were endorsed by the Board
of Taxation and were expected to enhance the global
competitiveness of Australian multinationals operating
in foreign markets. The subsequent BEPS debate has
clearly shifted the focus and it is now unclear whether
the reforms will proceed in their current (proposed) form
or whether any aspects will be changed in light of the
OECD BEPS project. This creates significant uncertainty
for Queensland listed companies currently operating
in or planning to operate in foreign jurisdictions.
In addition to these measures, the 2013–14 Federal
Budget contained other measures described as
‘protect(ing) the corporate tax base from erosion
and loopholes’. These measures include:
• The reduction of the thin capitalisation safe harbour
debt amount from 75% to 60% debt funding for
general entities (non bank financial entities reduced
from 95.24% to 93.75% and the safe harbour capital
limit for banks being increased from 4% to 6% of risk
weighted Australian assets)
• The removal of section 25–90 of the Income Tax
Assessment Act 1997 which allows deductions for
interest expense on debt used to fund investments
in foreign subsidiaries and other non-portfolio
• The amendment of the foreign non-portfolio dividend
exemption to align with the debt-equity rules with
the objective of counteracting the use of certain
hybrid instruments that are treated as in substance
debt for thin capitalisation and interest deductibility
purposes, but qualify for the dividend exemption as
they are equity in legal form.
An interesting observation is that the policy intent of
the above measures when introduced was to encourage
foreign investment into Australia and to position Australia
as a favourable investment holding jurisdiction. Following
this, it is worth asking the question – Do these changes
signify a genuine attempt by the Australian Government
to play its part in the global fight by governments to tackle
BEPS or are they more accurately described as short term
revenue raising measures? In any event, does the increased
short term corporate tax revenue from these changes really
outweigh the foregone longer term economic benefits of
encouraging foreign investment and the associated tax
revenues (and other benefits) that are generated for the
The BEPS agenda will no doubt have a very significant
impact on Queensland listed companies, as they increase
their involvement in international trade and investment.
Due to the nature of its economy and its geographic
location, Queensland has been able to derive substantial
benefits from the increasing wealth of Asia. Queensland
is also increasing trade with developed countries, including
the US and the UK. As the Queensland economy relies
so heavily on exports and overseas investment to sustain
growth in its major sectors, the risks associated with the
BEPS agenda are emerging as more relevant than ever
for our economy.
According to the Queensland Government’s
‘Strengthening the Queensland economy through global
markets – Queensland trade and investment strategy
2011–2016’ report, India and China have emerged
as Queensland’s main trading partners. The Indian and
Chinese Governments have also turned their attention
to BEPS by supporting the OECD’s work on addressing
the issue of BEPS by multinational corporations.
Deloitte Queensland Index | 27
Brisbane Lead Tax Partner
Tel: +61 7 3308 7226
Global Transfer Pricing
Tel: +61 7 3308 7275
Tax Partner – Energy
Tel: +61 7 3308 7161
India has undertaken significant amendments to
its transfer pricing legislation with respect to stricter
transfer pricing standards and overall tax compliance.
Likewise, China is committed to developing its transfer
pricing regime. Interestingly, the OECD’s ‘Addressing
Base Erosion and Profit Shifting’ report revealed that the
British Virgin Islands was the second largest investor into
China (14%) after Hong Kong (45%) in 2010.
Queensland companies need to weigh up the
consequences of their international tax structures.
A ‘tug-of-war’ has emerged between legitimately achieving
a lower global tax rate and providing shareholders with
franked dividends. Foreign profits may be subject to lower
tax rates with the result that profits may be higher than
had those profits been derived in Australia. However,
earning Australian income will allow companies to provide
their shareholders with desired franked dividends.
Queensland multinational corporations should have
international tax structures that best reflect their global
operations. The allocation of profit should be in line
with the functions, assets and risks of each entity of
the global group. Consideration should be given to the
current media attention given to BEPS and the potential
impact on their brand. The tax affairs of multinational
corporations continue to be exposed and scrutinised
in the media and with the current global debate raging
around BEPS this level of scrutiny is expected to increase
even further. Public perception of a corporate’s tax affairs
can potentially decrease the credibility of the business
in the community and for shareholders.
A recent example, which clearly demonstrates the effect
of public opinion on BEPS, is Starbucks in the UK. It has
been reported widely in the UK press that Starbucks has
decided to voluntarily pay £20m in taxes in an attempt
to win back customers following revelations that no
corporations tax has been paid in the UK in the past
three years even though it appears that Starbucks was
compliant with the UK tax laws.
The perceived issue around transparency has also
been a focus of the Australian government. Legislation
has recently been introduced that will require the ATO
to publish the reported total income, taxable income
and income tax paid by corporate Australia where total
income exceeds $100m or the company pays MRRT/PRRT.
Deloitte understands that businesses need to maximise
profits in order to fulfil the responsibility they have towards
their shareholders. Given the current economic climate,
the ability to derive profit has become harder. Businesses
are required to take additional measures to reduce costs
in an effort to increase profitability. This has been achieved,
in part, through legitimately reducing the taxes businesses
are required to pay on a global scale. Multinational
corporations have not breached the law in order to reduce
costs in this way. A reduction in taxes is possible because
inconsistent tax rules exist between different jurisdictions
and because the traditional international tax framework
was designed around the old ‘bricks and mortar’ economy
and does not easily accommodate the new digital
economy. By reducing the impost of global tax rates,
or providing tax holidays, countries are seeking to increase
However this competition for investment also leads
to tax arbitrage opportunities that produce BEPS
particularly where the application of ‘source’ and
‘residency’ rules are not easy to apply in a ‘digital global
economy’ where a business doesn’t always require
a physical presence in a country to operate. Unilateral
action by any country to stop this is doomed to failure
and the G20 and other governments must act together
if they hope to reduce opportunities for BEPS. To say
the very least, the next few years are going to be an
interesting time for all multinational corporations as
this issue evolves across the world.
For further information,
to receive any of the
or our media releases
please contact the below:
28 | 2013 Gala Edition
10. The dichotomy of Australian Agribusiness
A lot has been said and written about the prospects
for Queensland Agribusiness in light of a growing global
population and changing dietary habits of the emerging
Asian middle class, both of which are on our doorstep.
We have what the world needs now and will need more
of in the future, so it is no wonder it is seen as an attractive
proposition. This is already being played out in the
market with $7.7bn of the total $10.2bn in Agribusiness
transactions in the period since 1 Jul 2010 being acquired
by foreign parties.1
However, this brings to light an interesting dichotomy
in one of Queensland’s most important industries. Why,
when the global community sees so much opportunity in
the sector they see fit to invest $7.7bn nationally, is there
so much financial distress in the sector? A recent survey
of the nation’s top seven major insolvency specialists
undertaken by the Australian Financial Review showed
more than 80 farming operations worth more than $1m
each across the nation are either in receivership or some
kind of financial distress.2
Agriculture accounted for 23%
of all receiver/mortgagee property listings across Australia
in the March quarter.3
There are a number of forces at work here, most
• International groups recognise the importance of
securing food supply on one hand, but also as a financial
hedge on the other. For example, as the price of protein
commodities such as beef increases, investors will be
able to use the return on Australian acquisitions to fund
the purchase of these commodities elsewhere
• Existing local farmers are under pressure through
decreasing profit margins, volatile commodity prices,
seasonal conditions, political intervention (e.g. the
ban on Indonesian live export), a strong Australian
dollar and, most critically, unsustainable debt levels.
These are linked. Aside from the unsustainable debt
levels, any international entrant will be subject to the same
pressures as the local farmer. However, international groups
bring with them advantages such as different investment
return requirements, access to markets and capacity to
invest to increase efficiencies and improve productivity
to make the sector more cost competitive.
The drivers of foreign interest in our agricultural land are
well documented. Food supply is projected to be one of
the most significant issues facing the global economy in
the coming decades. First, there’s the question of simply
producing enough food to satisfy demand. The United
Nations forecasts that the world’s population will increase
by a third by 2050.4
To meet demand food production
will need to increase by 70%. Food demand in Asia alone
is forecast to double by 2050 due to population growth,
changing diets and increasing affluence. Australia is ideally
placed to supply the food required by a changing Asian
Despite there being significant public sentiment against
foreign investment, there is not a great deal of appetite
from Australian investors to offer an alternative.
Agribusiness is generally capital intensive, susceptible
to seasonal conditions and has not recently generated
the returns of other investment classes in the short term.
Further, it does not favour the short term return expectations
of many local investors and requires a longer term outlook
that foreign parties seem more naturally comfortable with
matching their investment horizons.
1 Source: Merger Market, Capital IQ and Australian Financial Review.
2 Source: Australian Financial Review, Farmers nationwide in serious
trouble, 29 April 2013.
3 Source: Landmark White research.
4 Source: United Nations, World Population Prospects: the 2012 Revision.
Deloitte Queensland Index | 29
With demand increasing, why the distress?
Land prices have been increasing since 2002 and have only come off the peak in recent years. Much of this capital
invested has been debt. In contrast, farm receipts have remained flat as input costs have continued to increase as
farmers have had to compete with the burgeoning resource sector for logistics and labour resources, as well as meet
rising fuel and other costs. Profit margins have continued to be eroded to the point where, in many cases, the farming
enterprises are not viable.
Figure 10.1: Land prices and receipts – broadacre farms and total Australian rural debt
Source: ABARES, Australian farm survey results, 2010–11 to 2012–13, Australian Bureau of Statistics Table D9
As a result of these pressures, a large number of Queensland farms did not generate positive cash income during
the period from FY10 to FY12, and an even larger number failed to generate a positive business profit. The stress
on farmers is increasing as land values fall and leverage covenants with banks are being tested.
Figure 10.2: Queensland – Share of farms generating positive business profit/cash flow
Source: ABARES, Australian farm survey results, 2010–11 to 2012–13, Deloitte analysis
Article 5 - Land Prices
Land value per hectacre Total Australian rural debt Receipts per hectare
1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012
Article 5 - Share of farm
Positive Cash Income Positive Business Proﬁt
Average for FY 10/11 – 12/13 by industry
Wheat and other crops Mixed livestock – crops Sheep – beef Beef Dairy
30 | 2013 Gala Edition
The news does not improve in the longer term outlook
either. With the prospects of escalating food demand out
of Asia, you would expect prices to increase accordingly.
Not so, according to ABARES forecasting.
ABARES project world food demand to increase by over
75% between 2007 and 2050 and world food prices
are, on average, projected to be around 11.5% higher
by 2050 in real terms compared with 2007. 10.8% of this
increase had already occurred by 2012, which used as a
guide indicates world food prices are projected to be just
slightly higher than their average in 2012.5
While this may
seem conservative, there are good reasons for this.
If we take beef as an example, over the past decade
there has been strong export growth from nations
such as Brazil. While they do not presently compete
in many of our key markets, in the future this can
change and production is expected to increase to meet
this demand, keeping prices stable. This is a dampener
on hopes that escalating demand will improve the top
line performance of Queensland farms, offsetting the
escalating cost pressures.
However, it should be noted that other economic
modelling paints a much rosier picture on the future
price front. The key for Australian producers, however,
is not to take this for granted with the cost side of the
equation, as always, critical in the mix with top line
There are some good signs, with recent data suggesting
debt levels are beginning to decline as farmers recognise
the need to deleverage their businesses, although there
is a long way to go.
Where to next?
Farmers generally need to deleverage their businesses in
order to survive. This may mean more pain as refinancing
is often simply shifting the debt burden from one bank
to the other, and cash flow does not appear as though
it will improve enough in the short term to enable rapid
debt reduction. Most farms are not of a scale to attract
the attention of foreign investors, therefore expect
more distressed sales in the market over the coming
12 months. This is not an appetising prospect; however
this does enable a return to a more appropriate capital
The need to improve productivity and manage an
increasing cost base is paramount for Queensland farmers
to remain globally competitive and take advantage of
the coming food boom. If we fail to do this, lower cost
international competitors will pass us by. Our farmers
have, however, proven in the past an ability to increase
productivity through innovation and investment.
However, help is required and Government has a part to
play. Innovative solutions to improve productivity require
investment, and aside from a spike in in 2001, Australia
has had little growth in real RD investment since the
and it takes some time for investment to
improve productivity. This, together with improving
international trade relations, industrial relations regulation,
balancing environmental and business viability concerns
and meaningful incentives to attract people to the sector
are all areas where Government has a critical role to play.
Failing this, Australian Agribusiness may fall behind in the
race to reap the rewards of the Asian Century.
National Industry Leader,
Tel: +61 7 3308 7300
Tel: +61 7 3308 7281
Tel: +61 7 3308 7151
5 Source: Jammie Penm, ABARES, Outlook 2013 Conference. 6 Source: Sheng, Mullen Zhao, 2011.
“I think agriculture has been appallingly treated by governments over
a period of time. There is a presumption that there is always going
to be someone out there willing and able to grow the food, without
looking to see whether government policies can assist or hinder that.”
Don Taylor, Chairman, Graincorp, Australian Financial Review, 6 May 2013
Deloitte Queensland Index | 31
11. Life sciences in Queensland:
An attractive proposition
The growth of the life sciences industry in Australia
continues to gain momentum with Australia becoming
an increasingly attractive location for conducting clinical
trials. The comparative regulatory ease of undertaking
clinical trials within Australia, coupled with its diverse
population group, educated workforce and proximity
to Asia, has created an appealing environment in which
to undertake RD.
Queensland has the third largest life sciences business
community in Australia, following New South Wales
and Victoria, with numerous research centres and industry
associations supporting its growth. The life sciences
industry in Queensland employs over 14,000 people,
invests $650m in research and development, and has
an estimated combined income of $4.4b.
Queensland’s capabilities in the life sciences are
further evidenced by the opening of Australia’s largest
mammalian biopharmaceutical contract manufacturing
facility located in Brisbane later this year, which will be
operated by DSM Biologics. This will coincide with the
start of the AusBiotech National Conference also located
in Brisbane, to be held from 29 October to 1 November
2013. DSM Biologics’ facilities also complement
PharmaSynth’s existing capabilities in Brisbane providing
bacterial biopharmaceutical contract manufacturing.
These two facilities are the only dedicated contract
manufacturing facilities located in Australia which can
produce large scale GMP biopharmaceuticals for clinical
trials and other market demands.
There are a number of important considerations in
establishing any life sciences business, including:
• The industry sector landscape, be it agribiotech,
animal health, environmental biotechnology,
human health (including biotechnology,
pharmaceutical, medical devices and diagnostics),
industrial or marine biotechnology, and the need to
consider both the product lifecycle from pre-clinical
development and clinical trials to product design,
manufacturing and distribution. In the human
health sector, this extends to consideration of the
disease lifecycle, and the current requirement for
a continuity of treatment encompassing prevention,
identification, and treatment
• Emerging trends within the market place, such as
the need to consider targeted patient populations,
differentiating products, streamlining operations
to target inefficiencies, and the need to respond
to the ever increasing demands of the more
• The regulatory framework and ease of doing business
• Funding mechanisms to support the undertaking
of RD activities.
Queensland does well in respect of the regulatory
framework with increasing State Government and industry
association support (including AusBiotech and Life Sciences
Queensland Ltd), there are many facilities available to aid
the development of a life science business. In addition,
there are advantageous funding mechanisms to support
RD which we discuss briefly below.
This has the ability to sway the establishment or
continuance of a life sciences organisation. Access to
capital to build these businesses has been challenging.
With limited venture capital funding available, life sciences
organisations have continued to search for alternative
sources of funding to support their research and
The RD Tax Incentive, introduced in 2011 is a key
program which is providing significant financial support
for life sciences companies.
The program provides support for locally established
corporations and in addition, opportunities for foreign
companies to undertake government assisted RD
activities within Australia. The new provisions represent
a reshaping of tax-based support for eligible RD
activities and have specifically broadened the definition
of eligible entities to include foreign companies in certain
Eligibility for a 45% refundable tax credit for corporations
with an aggregate annual turnover of $20m,
or a 40% non-refundable tax credit for larger businesses,
can build cash flow and allow for greater cumulative
investment in a business, stimulating the potential for
further RD expenditure and growth.
32 | 2013 Gala Edition
To illustrate this, where an Australian incorporated life
sciences company with an aggregate turnover of $20m
undertakes eligible RD activities within Australia to the
value of $1m, the 45% refundable tax credit will provide
a cash refund of $450,000 in those circumstances where
the company is not in a tax paying position. This refund
can be further invested in RD in a subsequent year
creating additional refunds on this subsequent investment.
Over a three year period by reinvesting the refund from
year to year, the original $1m may lead to aggregate
refunds of over $700,000 which can be applied to the
RD activities of the business, aiding with cash flow and
Although a larger life science corporation is unable to
access cash refunds, it still has the benefit of obtaining
tax credits at the rate of 40% of eligible RD spend.
This can have a dramatic impact on cash flow, allowing
for the release of immediate cash flow resources which
can be directed back into RD or other activities.
Where the company is in a tax loss position, it presents
a deferred cash flow benefit through the carrying
forward of the tax credit to the year/s ahead.
There is no cap on the amount of eligible RD
expenditure which can be incurred and claimed under
the RD Tax Incentive program, which means that the
value of the related tax offset or credit can be significant
and can provide further funding to sponsor your ongoing
RD activities within Australia.
Who can make a claim?
The key corporate structures eligible for the program
in their own right include a body corporate:
• Incorporated under an Australian law
• Incorporated under foreign law, but an Australian
resident for income tax purpose
• Incorporated under foreign law:
– A tax resident of a country with which Australia has
a double tax agreement (DTA) including a definition
of ‘permanent establishment’ (PE)
– Carrying on business in Australia through a PE
as defined in the DTA.
In addition, a foreign-owned subsidiary company or an
Australian PE can undertake RD activities in Australia
on behalf of the foreign parent or foreign body corporate
where certain conditions are satisfied.
It is also possible for the foreign entity to own the
resulting IP as well as reimburse the RD entity for its
expenditure subject to the RD Tax Incentive, making
this an attractive proposition for foreign companies.
Overall, this program provides greater accessibility to
the Australian RD Tax Incentive by foreign-owned RD
entities, which faced greater legislative restrictions under
the former RD provisions.
In pursuing these opportunities, claimants need to
be mindful of the compliance requirements, including
the completion of a written evidence or a binding
agreement between the RD entity and the foreign
resident (where done on behalf of a foreign entity)
in relation to the RD activities, as well as the
registration of an RD claim each year.
What can be claimed?
All activities undertaken by eligible RD entities will need
to be assessed for eligibility as either core or supporting
RD activities. Eligible projects must have at least one
core RD activity.
A core RD activity is defined as an experimental activity
whose outcome cannot be known or determined in
advance based on current knowledge, information and
experience and is conducted for the purpose of generating
new knowledge. The outcome can only be determined by:
applying a systematic progression of work that is based on
established principles of science; proceeds from hypothesis
to experiment, observation and evaluation; and leads to
The new knowledge generated can be in the form of
new or improved products, processes, devices, materials
Typically a life sciences claimant may be able to include its
costs associated with contract manufacturing, clinical trials
and aspects of regulatory affairs within its RD claims.
RD and Government
Incentives Tax Director
Tel: +61 7 3308 7037
RD and Government
Incentives Tax Manager
Tel: +61 7 3308 7358
Details of the categories
of activities and expenditure
that can be claimed,
as well as further program
information can be
obtained via the following
Deloitte RD contacts: