Archive for the 'The Economy' Category

Mining tax slug back on the agenda

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

The Greens are already deciding how they can upset things after the election, when they are expected to hold the balance of power in the Senate. Andrew Bolt reports that the Greens have said they will insist the mining industry pay much higher taxes going forward, scuttling Julia Gillards compromise deal struck before the election was called.

Now we look to the Labor party to tell us what their plan B. is, in case the Greens manage to get the balance of power and refuse to support plan A.

Ipswich Mayor admits poor financial management

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

Check out this snippet from Mayor Paul Pisasale this week on the upcoming Ipswich Council budget;

…but we are fortunate that Ipswich is experiencing significant residential growth which will help keep rises in general rates at or near to inflation

So let me get this straight; The council gets windfall gains presumably from selling off land and a variety of taxes and fees associated with new developments, however it is going to spend so much more delivering the same services that all that surplus money is going to be gobbled up?

Is this for real? It’s time the Mayor came clean and explained exactly why rates need to go up so much. Unless the council is rolling out NEW services, then the existing rates should be enough to cover the bills this year, just as they did last year.

I think most councils are guilty of wasting our money; Gold Coast Council recently crowed that they had got their rate rise this year down to 4.2% from a projected 10%. That’s not to be applauded, it is to be expected, and honestly, they should have got it lower.

The problem in Ipswich is that the council is elected virtually unopposed. Until the rate payers of Ipswich wake up to themselves and stop voting for these high taxing councils, these rises will continue to be rolled out.

Hydrogen leadership needed at the top

Friday, May 16th, 2008

I was flipping through my "Road Ahead" the other day, and game across a smaller article on page 58 by Jon Dee, the founder and chairman of Planet Ark. In it he talks about the prospects for moving to hydrogen to power our cars and other transport options.

He restates what everyone knows; That to get there we need someone to push out hydrogen refuelling infrastructure, and we need a clean source of hydrogen. He goes on to point out that the University of NSW has developed a solar powered system for generating hydrogen from sea water.

In fact, the University has been saying this for a while, I found a press release from 2004 about it.

We also have the team over at Hydrexia, who are working to improve on our storage techniques for hydrogen.

It could be a technology that not only free’s us from the shackles of the oil industry, but if we get there first, could be a big winner for Australia’s economy. It could be, if we would fund it properly.

Sadly, nobody at the top is listening, which is why today I am writing to the Federal Environment minister to get his excuses for why there has been no announcement on developing hydrogen as a fuel since he got the job. You never know, we might get lucky.

Nothing of substance in the Budget this year

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

Currency Lad put it nicely when he described this budget as a shuffling of deck chairs. Many punters will see the glossy spin and get excited, safe in the knowledge that their union mates are sticking it to the man.

Those of us who open the cover and look at the cheap newsprint containted within, however, will see something different. I’m no analyst, so lets just take a quick look at a couple of key points;

Wayne Swan’s big issue was cutting government spending. Did he do that? No. How do I know? Well, look at the budget papers for last years budget, and then this years.  Down on page 6-3, you will see the total government spending estimate. Last years budget was estimated at 235.6 Billion. This years budget is 292.5 Billion. The current budget revises the actual spending from last year to 280 billion, so even taking that figure, the new government is upping spending by 12.5 billion dollars.

The other thing that irks me is the fact that Labor was all about the environment before the election, and is now nowhere to be seen on the issue. The Australian gives us a roundup of the environmental initiatives in this budget,and they are pretty woeful.

Where are the new solar power stations? The Hydrogen development? Why are we wasting money on "clean coal"?  Time for more letters I think, but first I’ll do some more reading to see what other clean energy options are already on the table.

Would love to hear your comments on these two issues, let me know what you think.