Saturday, May 29, 2010

50% dropin commodities in next 12 months?

better than a month ago??
Europe debt fears lessen
Broadcast: 30/05/2010
ALAN KOHLER, PRESENTER: If it wasn’t so serious the tussle between bulls and bears might be entertaining.

This week was another great contest with fortunes swinging wildly. To get a sense of where the European debt crisis may be heading I turned to man who saw it coming, co-founder of the Magellan Financial Group, Hamish Douglass.

Well Hamish, when you were on the program in December you said that there'd be no free lunch for all the policies, the stimulus, that was introduced to save the world from the GFC (Global Financial Crisis) in 2008 and you predicted that there'd be a price to pay in eighteen months to two years. So is it just happening earlier than you thought or is there still another one to come?

HAMISH DOUGLASS, CEO, MAGELLAN FINANCIAL GROUP: Well, in Europe it's certainly happening probably a bit earlier than we thought, with the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, and I think that's really highlighted the fiscal positions the Governments got themselves into. So it just wasn't consumer indebtedness; it's now Government indebtedness around the world. So Europe has brought that to the forefront.

Not that we're concerned that Europe's about to collapse, a systemic collapse. We may have been four weeks ago as this was playing itself out, but they're now having to respond to that risk. America is probably going to go through still a recovery and we're still probably about twelve months away from some of the issues we were talking about in America.

So it's arrived earlier in Europe. I think we're probably still twelve months away from that scenario in America. I think we're going to have quite ...

ALAN KOHLER: But what's the risk of contagion from Europe to America and Japan? I mean, when you were here in December you were talking about Europe, America and Japan and the debt problems in those places.

HAMISH DOUGLASS: Well, ultimately the risk of contagion is very high when you have an event like this that's going on in Europe at the moment. And a lot of people were commentating, you know, Greece is a very small country, what this is all about. And I sort of say, what short memories people have. You know, Lehmann Brothers was a relatively small investment bank that nearly brought down the entire world's financial system. And should Greece been allowed to have gone bankrupt last Wednesday, without a rescue package, I think we were in a very, very similar situation to what we were with Lehmann Brothers and of course that spread globally. So the contagion risk is very high.

ALAN KOHLER: But now everyone's attention is turning to Spain and possibly Portugal and even the UK. I mean, OK, Greece is looked after. What about the rest?

HAMISH DOUGLASS: That's why they needed a very large response program and they've announced a 750 billion euro program to effectively provide liquidity to those other nations. The problem we have is it's not actually in place at the moment. It's just a proposal. It's been approved by the German parliament last Friday, very importantly, but ultimately this has to be put in place.

It's our estimate that about a trillion euros is about large enough to meet the funding requirements of the most-at-risk sovereign nations in Europe over the next three years. So we think they've got that package size about right. That's why we're sort of more optimistic than we were three weeks ago. But it's not in place at the moment and let's see the detail and there may well, I think, we're going to have jittery markets over the next month or so as we actually see the details of this sort of package get put in place. If it's not put in place then I think we really have to hold onto our chairs.

ALAN KOHLER: Well in fact the markets are very volatile. They soared at the end of this week. So how do you see ... is the volatility a sign of vulnerability?

HAMISH DOUGLASS: I think it's a sign of a few things. I think four weeks ago, most people didn't even really see this as a risk and suddenly when you announce programs of this scale and you have the Federal Reserve stepping in and you have Germany banning short selling again, suddenly people are going, 'oh my goodness there must be something really wrong here'. And I think that has really spooked people and now people are starting to focus on the policy actions and they're actually starting to look at the data of some of these countries and it's not a pretty picture.

ALAN KOHLER: So to clarify, where do you stand? I mean, are you saying that the risk has passed or are we still hostage to events?

HAMISH DOUGLASS: Four weeks ago we started cashing in on our portfolios and taking action to really protect ourselves because we saw this moving in a very ugly direction in Europe and we were very concerned about the contagion risk you spoke about and we could have had a full-blown banking crisis on our hands, not just a sovereign debt crisis, but a banking crisis in Europe that could have rapidly spread around the world.

Today we are more relaxed on that issue because we think that the German, the French government and the US government has got the totality of this problem and they've announced a package and the ECB (European Central Bank) and the Federal Reserve has come in with sufficient force that we think if it gets put in place, which we think it will, will actually put a firewall around the issue. That doesn't mean Europe's a wonderfully happy place to be. I think they've got some very tough issues over the next three to five years. But the risk of the whole banking system collapsing in Europe, which was our primary concern, I think that risk is dissipating and we were on red alert four weeks ago on that issue.

ALAN KOHLER: Commodity prices fell 15 per cent in May, not only because of Europe, but also because of the sense that there was going to be a slowdown in China. So what's your view about the outlook for commodities?

HAMISH DOUGLASS: Well, my view on the outlook for commodities when you add China which I think unless the authorities in China are going to keep going on with the policy of expanding credit and investing ahead of the curve in fixed assets, I think it's inevitable in the next 18 months you're going to have a slowdown. Plus Europe is, they've got austerity measures, it's going to further slow the European economy.

It's very hard to gauge, but I wouldn't be surprised that in the next 12 or so months to actually see commodity prices fall very dramatically. And I would say maybe a 50 per cent fall in commodity prices wouldn't be unrealistic in that scenario, which I think is pretty likely, not assured, but I think it's pretty likely. Look, out two or three years I'm not nervous about commodities. I just think we're in a confluence of events of China having to invoke policies to stop a big problem occurring and Europe slowing down.

ALAN KOHLER: Thanks for joining us, Hamish.


Remember we are not financial advisors.. Sampson management Services (SMS) educate and inform only...We are Asset Management Consultants- we teach you about risk and how to measure that risk according to the international standards on Quality, Environment, OHS, and Risk management in an integrated approach. Ref standards:AS/NZS/ISO 9001, AS/NZS/ISO 14001, AS/NZS/ISO 4804, AS/NZS/ISO 4360.

Over the next 12 months expect to see drop

"Over the next 12 months expect to see up to a 50% drop in commodities".
Google Hamish Douglas of Magellan Financial group or for full text see abc inside business.
Is He right?

if so ASK:FMG Fortecue Metals Group Limited,
had better get ready to batten down the hatches.. Its called risk.

There's dark clouds forming on the global economy..and in the political arena.

Remember we are not financial advisors.. Sampson management Services (SMS) educate and inform only...We are Asset Management Consultants- we teach you about risk and how to measure that risk according to the international standards on Quality, Environment, OHS, and Risk management in an integrated approach. Ref standards:AS/NZS/ISO 9001, AS/NZS/ISO 14001, AS/NZS/ISO 4804, AS/NZS/ISO 4360.

Friday, May 28, 2010

About the mining resource supertax

Date/Time: 2010:05:27 02:04:58 Source: The Australian

THE Rudd government is moving towards a major backdown on its $12 billion tax on resources, redefining its proposed super-profits levy, but the big mining companies have declared the changes do not stop the risk to investment in Australia.

Only three weeks after unveiling the new resource super-profits tax, the government is preparing to lift the threshold definition of a super profit from 6 per cent to 11 or 12 per cent following a ferocious campaign by the mining companies.

To offset the lost revenue in raising the threshold to the same level as the existing petroleum resources rent tax, which applies to offshore gasfields, the government intends to withdraw the 40 per cent taxpayer-funded compensation originally offered for mining projects that fail.

But all the major mining companies have rejected the new proposals as "tinkering at the edges" and not addressing the main risk to mining investment in Australia. The mining companies are demanding more negotiation with the government on the issues of the retrospective application of the new tax, different rates for different minerals and the 40 per cent tax rate.

Start of sidebar. Skip to end of sidebar.

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VIDEO: Resources tax minefield
IN DEPTH: Henry Tax Review
Mining tax won't raise prices - Henry Daily Telegraph, 11 hours ago
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Treasury boss defends mine tax Herald Sun, 1 day ago
Good policy the winner as Labor rethinks its tax The Australian, 1 day ago
Miners paid extra in boom time Perth Now, 2 days ago
End of sidebar. Return to start of sidebar.

BHP Billiton chief executive Marius Kloppers declared last night that any thought the petroleum tax would work for minerals was "naive" and demonstrated "a lack of knowledge as to how investments are made".

"Most importantly, we must understand that for each mineral we are competing against other investment destinations, and each set of minerals has a different set of competitors and those competitors set the price," Mr Kloppers told The Australian.

And Xstrata chief executive Mick Davis said from South Africa: "The government needs to do what it should have done all along and enter into full and open consultations with the industry where every aspect of the super tax is open for debate. Tinkering at the margins will not avoid the significant long-term damage this tax could do to mining investment in Australia.

"The government should stop negotiating with itself and start consulting with the industry."

Rio Tinto chairman Jan du Plessis told the company's shareholders that Australia's reputation had already been damaged by the super-profits tax proposal.

"We are concerned that the proposed resources super tax will erode Australia's competitiveness, severely curtail investment and limit jobs growth," Mr du Plessis said yesterday. He said that some of the government's arguments for the tax and some of the statistics that had been produced to support them "could only be described as scandalous, totally scandalous".

Wayne Swan continued his criticisms of the mining companies yesterday, telling parliament they were still paying only 17c in the dollar in tax compared with the "headline rate" of 30 per cent. The Treasurer vowed to keep the 40 per cent rate for the new RSPT.

"What we have to do is extract the maximum value for the Australian people as we go forward to reform our economy, to invest in our economy and to ensure our prosperity as we go forward," Mr Swan said.

Earlier, he said the government was "interested and fair dinkum about consultation".

"The government is involved in consultation," Mr Swan said. "First of all, we have our consultation panel. Over 80 companies have been through that panel process and are talking to that panel. In addition to that, the government is continuing to talk to many mining companies about their views.

"What we are going to get for the Australian people is a fair share of the resources they own 100 per cent, a fair share - a tax which encourages investment and growth in the industry."

The government's consultation panel, headed by Treasury deputy secretary David Parker, will give its first report to the government tomorrow. It is expected to go beyond its strict limits for discussion and recommend the raising of the threshold for the super-profits tax to be lifted from 6 per cent, the long-term government bond rate, to about 11 or 12 per cent, the bond rate plus five or six percentage points.

As reported in The Australian on Monday, the lost revenue would be covered by the withdrawal of the 40 per cent compensation for failed projects to enable the government to keep its budget projections, including a $1bn surplus in 2012-13, intact.

Mr Parker said yesterday the proposed RSPT as a result of the Henry tax review was "the architecture of reform, not the engineering drawings".

"With such reforms, there will always be winners and losers, with some groups more vocal than others," Mr Parker said. "The challenge is to work together to address the issues that will inevitably arise."

Government sources confirmed that the panel was expected to recommend major changes to the proposed RSPT, including raising the threshold, but others warned it was unlikely there would be an early settlement of the negotiations with the mining companies.

In Adelaide, Mr Kloppers said a 40 per cent tax rate may have been considered appropriate when it was devised for the petroleum industry in the 1980s after two years of consultation but it was "a giant, naive extrapolation to think miraculously the same one is the appropriate rate for every mineral in 2010".

"BHP Billiton, being in the oil and gas industry and in the minerals industry, has experience on both sides and, more than other players, we understand the difference between the products themselves and between minerals more broadly," he said.

"Retrospectivity on this tax is the key determinant for Australia as a destination for investment.

"It goes against the core offering that Australia has, which is being a stable place for investment."

67 comments on this story

Remember we are not financial advisors.. Sampson management Services (SMS) educate and inform only...We are Asset Management Consultants- we teach you about risk and how to measure that risk according to the international standards on Quality, Environment, OHS, and Risk management in an integrated approach. Ref standards:AS/NZS/ISO 9001, AS/NZS/ISO 14001, AS/NZS/ISO 4804, AS/NZS/ISO 4360.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Australia shares set to jump on string of good news - Yahoo! Australia & NZ Finance

Megan McSampson ( has sent you a message
Personal message:

Australia shares set to jump on string of good news

Yahoo! Australia & NZ Finance -

Growing RSPT turmoil: miners speak out

Growing RSPT turmoil: miners speak out
25-May-10 by Emily Morgan and AAP

Minara Resources and Gindalbie Metals today joined the growing list of
miners, including FMG and Rio Tinto, speaking out over the turmoil created
by the RSPT proposal.

Small and large miners alike has expressed concern that the proposed
Resources Super Profits Tax will affect their future projects as well as the
competitveness of the Australian mining industry.

Rio Tinto weighed in this morning, making comment that the federal
government's proposed resources super profits tax has already damaged
Australia's reputation as an investment destination.

Iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group became vocal again today, saying its
share price may fall due to the federal government's proposed RSPT and
describes the proposed tax as "socialist style funding".

Fortescue shares have already lost ground since the RSPT was revealed as
part of the Henry Review on May 2.

Smaller WA miners Windimurra Vanadium and Atlantic have claimed the RSPT
will not affect the success of their current projects, while Gindalbie has
said it supports reform to the current mining tax system but hopes the new
system will only apply to future projects.

"Gindalbie supports well thought out reform to our tax system. As a
principle, however, any reform proposal should apply only to new
investments, not to existing projects or projects such as Karara which are
under construction and were committed to under the expectations of the
existing system."

Minara said it will look offshore to more desirable tax jurisdictions while
the RSPT continues to threaten miner's earnings; under the RSPT rate, Minara
said it would be taxed at an even higher rate than BHP Billiton.

BHP entered the RSPT ring yesterday, albeit fighting a different battle.

The company denied federal government accusations that multinational miners
paid as little as 13 per cent tax, releasing figures which showed its
effective tax rate was 43 per cent.

Meanwhile, Minara chief executive Peter Johnstone said the company would
continue to seek to diversify from nickel laterites into nickel sulphides
and other base metals, however it will focus on favourable tax environments
such as Canada.

"Under the new proposed tax, if the rules come in, it would be much more
favourable to look at investments offshore," Mr Johnstone told AAP.

"In the world of nickel, there's no shortage of resources, particularly
laterites ... in Indonesia, The Philippines, New Caledonia, Brazil and

Mr Johnstone's comments follow statements earlier this month by Canadian MP
Brad Trost, who said the Rudd government's planned RSPT would give a huge
competitive advantage to the mining-savvy North American nation, where
corporate tax rates are being reduced.

"We will be the highest taxed (mining sector) in the world," Mr Johnstone

"We've given our competitors a free hit."

Mr Johnstone said Minara had been on the hunt for attractive acquisitions
for 12 months but would continue to be patient for the right opportunity.

Funding would be more readily available for overseas projects, he said.

Mr Johnstone also said Minara expected to pay a total tax rate of 58 per
cent if the RSPT goes through, eclipsing BHP Billiton's predicted 57 per
cent tax bill, which has been disputed by the federal government as being
much lower.

He said the commonwealth was simply ignoring other non-RSPT taxes that BHP
Billiton had factored in such as payroll tax.

"We think BHP's numbers are dead right," he said.

"Our tax will be about 58 per cent and at some point in time, depending on
which royalty regime we're operating under, could go above 60 per cent.

Mr Johnstone echoed criticism from Fortescue Metals Group Ltd chairman Herb
Elliott on Tuesday for the RSPT's big carrot to the mining sector - a 40 per
cent rebate on losses.

Such a rebate would reward companies for pursuing marginal projects, Mr
Johnstone said.

"I think it is absurd the government is going to try to pick up 40 per cent
of the risks."

Mr Johnstone said the rebate would have seen BHP Billiton receive $A1.2
billion for last year mothballing its $US2.1 billion ($A2.56 billion)
Ravensthorpe nickel laterite mine in Western Australia, which was sold to a
Canadian copper miner early this year.

"Can anybody imagine that happening? I personally couldn't.

"It is just bad policy. Nobody wants the government to become a partner in
second class developments."

He said Minara, along with the rest of the mining sector, was trying to
engage with the Rudd government about the tax.

It was unacceptable that talks thus far had been bound by non-negotiable
parameters, namely the threshold by which the tax kicks in and its 40 per
cent rate.

"Everything should be on the table," he said.

"It has to be overturned."

Shares in Minara declined 4.5 cents, or 6.34 per cent, to 66.5 cents by 1456


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

change or no change?

SYDNEY, May 27 (Reuters) - Australia's government may be considering changes
to its controversial new mining tax, which critics argue will hit economic
growth and supporters say will ensure miners pay a fair price for limited
national resources.

Treasurer Wayne Swan, after weeks of public and private debate, has so far
said he will proceed with the original "tax framework" to take effect in
2012, but details of the tax are subject to negotiation and could be


Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has said the 40 percent tax rate is set in stone
and will not give ground here for fear of damaging his authority in the
lead-up to elections later this year. But The Australian and The Sydney
Morning Herald newspapers reported on Thursday that Rudd's Labor party is
moving to soften the blow by redefining a windfall or "super" profit to
returns on assets exceeding 12 percent, up from 5.3 percent now.

The 5.3 percent threshold-- linked to the the 10-year government bond yield
AU10YT=RR -- is a key gripe among the miners, who think it is
unrealistically low.

A Treasury-sanctioned tax consultation panel is due to deliver its first
report to the government on Friday after meeting over the last week with
mining companies. The panel's report is expected to focus on the definition
of a super profit.

The tax is not due to be introduced until 2012, after the next general
election, so there is even a chance the government will be voted out before
it can implement it. [ID:nSGE64J02A]


The least likely point of compromise seems to be the headline rate of 40
percent. But even here, Rudd has some wiggle room, describing the headline
rate as "about right".

Beyond that, there are aspects of the complex tax which, if changed, could
dramatically lower its impact.

* EXISTING VS FUTURE PROJECTS: Australia's two largest miners, Rio Tinto
RIO.AX <RIO.L and BHP Billiton (BHP.AX) (BLT.L), have called on the
government to exclude existing mining operations and apply the tax only to
projects beginning after 2012. The government says such exclusions would
forfeit too much revenue and discourage miners from expanding.

Miners can still look to offsetting tax credits for exploration and
development costs, resulting in a lower effective tax rate than 40 percent.
But what about all the hundreds of billions of dollars already sunk into
existing projects? Will the government award retrospective tax credits for

The architect of the tax, Treasury chief Ken Henry, has argued against this.
But miners have support from some economists who suggest a credit for 40
percent of original investments. However, a group of 20 prominent academic
and business economists has publicly backed the tax, saying the sector
should fork over more of its profits. The group, including the former
chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Allan Fels,
issued a statement supporting the tax.

* FINANCING COSTS: Iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group Chief Executive
Andrew Forrest (FMG.AX) says unlike company tax, the new mining tax will hit
firms higher up the profit statement, before deducting interest on
borrowings. This means banks will not fund new projects unless businesses
stump up more equity.

Playing the nationalist card, Forrest says this opens the door to
deep-pocketed foreign firms, especially state-owned Chinese ones, to buy up
stakes in new Australian projects. A compromise could involve financing
costs being excluded from calculations.


Rudd will not reverse course on the tax, despite conservative opposition
threats to overturn it if they secure an unexpected victory. But with Rudd's
support in opinion polls slipping dangerously and the tax causing unease
among voters, fuelled in part by a multi-million-dollar advertising campaign
by miners, a compromise to cool the issue politically seems certain.

It is a matter of finding a face-saving solution for Rudd that keeps the
resource giants on side.

Even if negotiations break down, there is one last hope for the miners: a
legal challenge. The largest mining state, Western Australia, is consulting
its lawyers over whether the tax exceeds Canberra's powers under the
national constitution, which forbids the centre from taxing the property of
state governments. Two constitutional experts cast doubt, however, on
whether there would be grounds for a legal challenge. [ID:nSYU009974]
(Additional reporting by Rob Taylor in CANBERRA; Editing by Ed Davies)

FMG Battles the proposed super profit tax

on the ASX yesterday, 26.05.2010

PERTH ( - ASX-listed Fortescue Metals on Tuesday reiterated
its call on the Federal government to scrap the proposed super profits tax
(SPT), saying that the tax would harm the mining industry.

"It harms the mining industry and especially Fortescue, and we are urging
the government to drop this proposal and to open a new forum for dialogue
with all industries to discuss tax reform," Fortescue chairperson Herb
Elliott said.

In an open letter to shareholders, Elliott also called on shareholders to
raise their voices against the proposed SPT.

"Please tell them how flawed this tax is and how it will continue to harm
the Australian economy. Demand that they remove this deeply troubling impost
on Australia's position as a globally respected destination for investment,
and on Australia's ability to create jobs, to keep its people employed, and
its overall economic strength," he added.

Elliott added that while Fortescue acknowledged that Australia needed a tax
reform, the company was "bewildered" by the government's inability to
consult on this "poorly thought out" proposal.

"They introduced the tax with no consultation before they took it into their
budget and no real consultation since."

But he added that while Fortescue was pleased to be working with the
Treasury consultation panel to consider and make an input into a new and
fairer tax system, the consultative process did not allow for any
negotiations or discussions on the key parameters of the government's

Elliot added that the panel had its "hands tied" behind its back by the
government, before consultation had started.

"Hence, previously healthy projects become unfinanceable. We now have a huge
new tax on the mining industry that will ultimately decimate future
investments in new projects and have a negative impact on the value of your
investment in our company," Elliott told shareholders.

The iron-ore miner has recently placed $15-billion worth of expansion
projects in the Pilbara region on hold as a direct result of the SPT.
Elliott said on Tuesday that the affected projects, the Solomon and Western
Hub projects, were of "national significance" and if developed, would
produce as much iron-ore as the equity owned in existing iron-ore projects
in the Pilbara by Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton.

"To delay, or worse still, possibly cancel two of the world's greatest
undeveloped resource projects will impact the Australian economy for

Edited by: Mariaan Webb

FNT rose but the market will stay volatile

There were quite a few modest rises today including ASX:FMG, ASX:FNT, AND MANY OF THE TOP LEADERS. But the global market will remain volatile. Many countries owe trillions of dollars... almost unimagineable amounts, including UK owing approx 1.25 Trillion. Don't expect a miracle recovery.

Remember we are not financial advisors.. Sampson management Services (SMS) educate and inform only...We are Asset Management Consultants- we teach you about risk and how to measure that risk according to the international standards on Quality, Environment, OHS, and Risk management in an integrated approach. Ref standards:AS/NZS/ISO 9001, AS/NZS/ISO 14001, AS/NZS/ISO 4804, AS/NZS/ISO 4360

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


yesterday AUZ Australian mines had a good PSA - Price sensitive announcement and it went up 25%.. you can see the volume risers on the price/market stats.

Remember we are not financial advisors.. Sampson management Services (SMS) educate and inform only...We are Asset Management Consultants- we teach you about risk and how to measure that risk according to the international standards on Quality, Environment, OHS, and Risk management in an integrated approach. Ref standards:AS/NZS/ISO 9001, AS/NZS/ISO 14001, AS/NZS/ISO 4804, AS/NZS/ISO 4360.

Monday, May 24, 2010

May 21 2010 all global indices fell- and FNT

If you watch the financial news you'll hear that on Monday 24 May 2010, everything was rising again and tv newsreaders will say that the market rose by ..4% for example.BUT IT ROSE from its worst low since july 2009!
at 4330 it's still nowhere near its most recent high ..over 7000 points in Nov 2007.
Its like facing a set of stairs. there is still a long way to the top and it might take 18 months to 2 years IF there are no more taxes, wars, drought, political unrest, volcanoes, major disease etc...
There will always be some companies rising when others fail but you need to do a lot of research, and then have some luck.
you could help yourself by watching the Price sensitive announcements (PSA)on the home page of the asx. and then chart them to see if you think they might attract predator buyers who will push the price up.. and remember this quote,
The Best of Times -- the Worst of Times

In 1859, Charles Dickens wrote in 'A Tale of Two Cities':

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom; it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair ..."

be cautious, be careful and judge wisely.

FNT Frontier resources is a gold miner in New Guinea, therefore not concerned about the Aussie Govt's proposed 40% resource tax. They claim they have had some good results. Yesterday they had a Price sensitive announcement and were at .075 when I bought some. Worth buying a small parcel,under ten cents and promising..

Remember we are not financial advisors.. Sampson management Services (SMS) educate and inform only...We are Risk Asset Management Consultants- we teach you about risk and how to measure that risk according to the international standards on Quality, Environment, OHS, and Risk management in an integrated approach. Ref standards:AS/NZS/ISO 9001, AS/NZS/ISO 14001, AS/NZS/ISO 4804, AS/NZS/ISO 4360.