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IndyWatch Victorian News Feed was generated at Melbourne VIC IndyWatch.

Friday, 16 November

20:25

A little bit of sun "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

Queensland turns the corner

To look at the latest employment and unemployment figures you might things haven't been so bright for Queensland, but these are lagging indicators. 

But the latest state accounts for financial year 2018 released today showed gross state product up by 3.4 per cent - behind only Victoria of all the states - for the strongest result since 2011-12, while final demand in the Sunshine State was also up by 3 per cent. 


Source: ABS

Better still, business investment in Queensland recorded double digit growth at 10.6 per cent after a lean five years. 

Provided China keeps importing Australian coal in 2019, the next few years should be better for profits and wages.

Gross income per capita grew in Queensland by 2.3 per cent after an awfully sluggish few years (nothing compared to the Canberra bubble, mind you!).


Finally, 2018 was characterised for the housing market by switching to lower mortgage rates, but with more principal being repaid.

...

18:09

Election 2018: our scorecard Public Transport Users Association (Victoria, Australia)

2014-2018 has seen significant public transport investment under Labor, and they have delivered on their major promises. But as Melbourne continues to grow, and demand for regional travel increases, the challenge ahead is to build a public transport network not only copes with patronage growth, but also provides usable services into areas which currently dont have them.

So how do the parties rank?

1. Greens in some ways the Greens have the least ambitious transport plan. But its full of affordable, commonsense policies. They are the only party to commit to the Metro 2 tunnel, and to frequency upgrades across the train, tram and bus networks essential for making the public transport network vastly more usable in the short term. Accelerating the rollout of low-floor trams and implementing on-road priority, extending metro services to outer suburbs with high capacity signalling are also important initiatives. The Greens also oppose the major road projects proposed by the other parties, rightly recognising that they will simply generate more traffic.

2. Labor some ambitious plans in starting the huge Suburban Rail Loop project, alongside continuing the successful Level Crossing Removal Program, and extensive upgrades planned elsewhere around the metro and regional rail networks. They lose points for construction of three major tollways/freeways, a lack of progress on bus and tram upgrades, and for lagging on the rollout of more frequent all-day metro train services essential for a big city such as Melbourne.

3. Coalition theyve backed away from what is probably their best policy, of metro trains every 10 minutes all day, leaving commitments to build three major tollways plus other freeways, and the messy grade separation of road intersections. More positive is commitments to extend metro trains to Clyde and Baxter. Their regional high speed rail plan is ambitious, but would only speed up trains moderately, and there are doubts over whether it could really be delivered in the timeframes promised.

For more details, including a summary of minor parties, read the full report (PDF)

Keep watching www.ptua.org.au/election2018 for updates

16:01

Real Estate Taxes Currency "IndyWatch Feed National"

COMMENT: Dear Martin,

I bought The World Real Estate Report at the end of 2016. It stated that Australian real estate was going to fall after the first quarter (March) in 2016. The property prices in Melbourne (where I live) continued to rise in April 2016 so I sent an email to Socrates Support asking them when real estate should peak. I received the reply below, which stated that the peak was either in for global real estate or the latest by the end of the first quarter 2017.

Anyway, since I owned a tiny house in Melbourne, I was facing a difficult decision if I should sell or not since it would be impossible to buy back in if the prices continued to go up.

I have been reading your blog daily since 2012, and I have read all of your forecasts being correct (eg. the Dow continuing to go up, US Index going up, Brexit, Trump winning). I also bought your Gold report in 2014 and watched gold bottom (Dec 2015) correctly for the date and price on the first benchmark, truly an unbelievable forecast.

Based on your track record I decided to sell my property at the end of the first quarter (March 2017), for which I received a fantastic price.

Im happy to inform you that prices have been falling since the 3rd quarter of 2017.

I just wanted to congratulate you on another correct forecast.

REPLY: We all need a place to live. Governments are attacking real estate thinking it is too high and they need to make it more affordable for others to buy. They fail to understand that when they do that, the wipe out the savings dor retirement for others. Raising taxes to support government pensions is morally wrong and economically a disaster. There really should be some qualification to be a politician who them plays with peoples lives.

08:41

Will robots bring us utopia? An end-of-year debate! "IndyWatch Feed National"

6 pm Friday 7 December The Toff in Town, 252 Swanston Street, Melbourne Overland and the National Union of Workers are hosting a lively end-of-year debate on the topic of automation and what it will mean for workers and labour.

06:21

Blessed relief "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

Relief as jobs fire

With the new articles getting more shrill by the day on tighter credit, it's becoming more important than ever to watch the facts closely with a clear head! 

Following on from yesterday's wage price index, there was a tremendously upbeat employment report today, with full-time jobs leaping by +42,300 in October 2018, described variously as a  'jobs boom' and 'beautiful set of data'.

Stepping away from the monthly noise, this takes annual employment growth back up to 2 per cent, or +308,100 (there are six charts to expand below). 


New South Wales again drove the gains in October, with quarterly employment growth for the state booming by +63,100, and annual growth soaring off the charts at +151,000, for a staggering +3.9 per cent annual gain. Wow.


There were also very solid gains for Victoria over the year at +93,100, while at the other end of the scale things have been looking rather messy for the Northern Territory over the past 18 months, with total employment trending ever lower. 

Unemployment rate lowest since 2011

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held firm at 5 per cent, confirming that last month's surp...

01:23

Australia: Muslim leader says Islam cannot be connected with any form of violent acts "IndyWatch Feed National"

The religion of Islam cannot be connected with any form of violent acts. Unfortunately, Islamic jihadists around the world keep connecting them. ISIS may draw some of their justification from the religion of Islam. That does not make it a form of Islam. Odd statement. Who within Islam has the authority to determine what is []

Thursday, 15 November

16:52

Vestas wins largest project in Victorias Renewable Energy Auction with the first V150-4.2MW turbines in Australia RenewEconomy "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

The project is the largest of six successful bids underVictorias928 MW Renewable Energy Auction Scheme, and the second winning project backed by Vestas customised solutions. The post Vestas wins largest project in Victorias Renewable Energy Auction with the first V150-4.2MW turbines in Australia appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Vestas wins largest project in Victorias Renewable Energy Auction with the first V150-4.2MW turbines in Australia RenewEconomy

14:06

People See A Scared Little Animal Stuck At The Bottom Of A Mineshaft "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Manfred Zabinskas, cofounder of Five Freedoms Animal Rescue (FFAR), is rather accustomed to rescuing animals from strange situations

Just recently, Zabinskas went down into a mineshaft because a little face was peering up out of it. He managed to sedate and carry a kangaroo back onto solid ground.

Credit: FFAR

And so when another call came in earlier this month about an animal stuck at the bottom of another mineshaft, Zabinskas expected he would have to go it alone.

Thankfully, this time was a bit different. 

Credit: FFAR

When Zabinskas arrived at the mineshaft in Invermay, Victoria, Australia, he had help. And the small wallaby stuck down at the bottom needed all the help he could get. 

Six firemen and emergency services workers were there to help the little guy, who came to be named Louie.

Credit: FFAR

"A host of personnel from Creswick and Ballarat took charge of the incident and conducted the rescue of the animal with military precision," Zabinskas wrote on the FFAR...

11:14

The false economy of Melbourne's real estate market "IndyWatch Feed National"

Melbourne's property prices have gone through the roof, as a result of many factors, where one of the most important ones which stands out is caused by the massive influx of migrants allowed to enter the country.

This post is not going to be of book size proportion or megabytes of text, explaining or touching the various other aspects that effect the good people of Australia with regards to something that is deliberately erroneously referred to as population 'growth' by the mainstream media, but rather migration influx or the indiscriminate dumping of humans into another country, as a result of corrupt governments screwing over the 'good' people of other countries that leads to people fleeing their native land.

At a current rate of 2,500 imports per week into Melbourne alone, the current infrastructure and tax enslaved general population is struggling to support the newcomers, despite what the 'authorities' will tell you.

For the purpose of this post, we'll just look at one very small problem created by the authorities with regards to the 'supply and demand' in the current rental market in Melbourne.

Let's have a look at the following gem of a house in a very dodgy Melbourne suburb, that is on the market for $350 per week.


As you can see from the above photo it seems that the renter must supply their own kitchen, for this is a room that looks like it had a kitchen in it, once upon a time.

When a house is built in Victoria before it can be inhabited by humans it must come with a certificate of occupancy which guarantees the premises contains facilities conducive to sustaining life, like heating, water, toilet, tiles to wet areas and also, you guessed it, a kitchen.

It seems that this place is not fit to sustain humans.

...

10:37

Australia becoming more corrupt warns former judge "IndyWatch Feed National"

Nick OMalley writes in the Sydney Morning Herald (14 November 2018), about the support of former judge, David Harper, for the creation of a national commission against corruption. In OMalleys considered view,  Australia is becoming more corrupt. In the wake of the rising number of publicly known incidences of corruption, the call for such a comission has widespread  support across Australia.

Australia is becoming more corrupt because successive federal governments have failed to create an effective national anti-corruption body similar to the NSW Independent Commission against Corruption, a leading jurist has argued.

Writing in support of a national anti-corruption body, David Harper, a former Court of Appeals justice at the Supreme Court of Victoria, noted that in 2012 Australia ranked seventh in Transparency Internationals global corruption index, but that today we were ranked 13th.

The lack of a federal anti-corruption agency remains a reason why we have never come close to being corruption-free, he has written in an opinion piece for the Herald.

Mr Harper writes that the lack of an effective federal anti-corruption watchdog had allowed corruption to flourish undetected and, in turn, allowed federal politicians to hide behind the myth that the federal sphere is free of corruption.

In NSW, Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland, extraordinarily serious instances of corruption have been unearthed by royal commissions or broad-based anti-corruption authorities, he writes.

A survey by the Victorian Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) found that 40 per cent of past, present and prospective suppliers to government agencies believed corruption in public sector procurement to be either a major or moderate problem.

Corruption in the states is certain to be replicated federally and if procurement in the states is a problem, federal procurement is necessarily fraught. In 2009, the Defence Department alone sought tenders for more than $45 billion. When money of this magnitude meets power and greed, as inevitably it will, corruption or attempts to corrupt are the result.

Mr Harpers piece was written in support of a briefing paper prepared by the Australia Institute, which is lobbying for a similar federal body, for federal crossbenchers, who last month announced their support for a federal anti-corruption body. Labor also supports the proposal. So far the government has opposed such a body, or discussed one with far more limited powers.

The paper finds that the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption remai...

07:53

Report shows the scale of government handouts to the rich "IndyWatch Feed National"

Contributed by Joe Montero

A report commissioned by Anglicare from Per Capita brings out some of the details to what most people already know, that is, that the richest part of Australian society receives much more government support than the poorest.

When the study, using Treasury data, ABS figures and the University of Melbournes HILDA survey, shows that major tax concessions to the top end cost taxpayers $135 billion a year, it comes as no surprise to anyone. It amounts to far more than the combined cost of Newstart, the age pension, family assistance payments and disability payments.

And governments have continually insisted that welfare payments are a burden on society and remained tight lipped on handouts to the best off.

It is even more telling when more than half of these handouts go to the richest fifth of Australian society. They get $68.5 billion a year.  Every person on a wage has to pay $37 a week to fund this.

This generosity comes through tax concessions. Compare this to the bottom 20 percent who get $6 billion.

The report however, only looks at benefits paid out in terms of households. While it does factor in, the ability of wealthier households engaged in business to use discounts existing in the taxation system to offset expenditures, by claiming them as household expenditures, it does not consider benefits going to corporations. If this is included, the benefit going to the top would show to be much bigger.

For example, Foxtel pocketed a $30 million handout last year and avoided paying $8.3 billion in tax for three years.  This is only one case. According to the Tax Office, 354 companies operating in Australia avoided paying income on $911 billion, and last year, said said that 36 percent of  companies pay no tax. This is not the complete picture either. WikiLeaks Paradise Papers disclosures, gave a good idea of the scale of the tax avoidance industry through transferring funds to tax free havens, and this includes Australia.

In the 2015-16 financial year,...

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