A STRONG ECONOMY …. IT’s GREAT NEWS FOR INVESTORS …. ISN’T THAT AWFUL?

 

A stock market board shows prices going up

PHOTO: The lower interest rates go, the better the stock market performs. (AAP)

 

 

ANALYSIS

The economy is awful and that’s great news for investors

24 JUNE 2019

 

 

Bad news suddenly has become good again. No matter where you look, there are signs of a global slowdown while wars are brewing at a trade, currency and even military level.

Here at home, the economy is sputtering. Growth is slowing, inflation is on the mat, unemployment is ticking higher.

The situation has deteriorated to such an extent that it’s even jolted the Reserve Bank into action after three years of nothing.

It cut rates three weeks ago and now the betting is on that we could see another cut as early as next week.

Many economists are tipping three cuts this year. And yet, at every turn, investors appear to be overjoyed, clamouring over one another to pile into the stock market.

After taking a thumping late last year, when the global outlook appeared relatively benign, optimistic even, the local market this year has been on a tear, notching up one of the strongest performances in the world with an 18 per cent gain.

And things will only get better as the news gets worse.

Growth slowdown fires up stocks

Last week, our stock market galloped to an 11-year high and finally is within striking distance of cracking the record, from October 2007 just before the global economy tanked.

Compare that with Wall Street. Before the crash a decade ago, the Dow Jones Industrial Average peaked at around 14,000 points. On Friday, it closed at 26,719 points, more than double its pre-crash peak.

 

 

For most of the past decade, Australia has outpaced America’s economy. The resources boom saw us power through the worst of the global financial crisis as almost every major developed economy plunged into recession.

Why then, the relatively poor stock market performance? Shouldn’t the market reflect what’s happening in the economy?

In days past, stock investors positioned themselves for where they saw the economy six, or even 12 months, ahead.

Not any longer.

These days, traders and investors pretty much care about just one thing; interest rates. The lower they go, the better the market performs. And generally speaking, rates only fall in times of trouble, when the economy needs a boost.

One reason for this apparent mismatch is that there is so much investment cash out there looking for a home, when interest rates fall, it quickly migrates to stocks.

There’s another factor at work too. The global economy now is so overloaded with debt that, were interest rates ever to rise, there would be a massive spate of defaults that once again could threaten the banking system.

 

 

That’s why Wall Street tanked late last year as the US Federal Reserve persisted with its plan to “normalise” interest rates, to push them higher. December was its worst month since the Great Depression in the 1930s.

Global debt now stands at more than $US250 trillion ($360 trillion), more than three times its level 20 years ago, much of it backed by property.

Having painted themselves into a corner by issuing so much debt and printing so much cash, central banks, including our own Reserve Bank, are now so frightened about the potentially catastrophic impact of a downturn in either stock or property markets, that they are prepared to do almost anything to avoid it.

Market values must be maintained.

It’s a great strategy for anyone who owns a home or has a share portfolio. For those who don’t, it’s a recipe for disaster — or at the very least a widening of inequality and the wealth gap.

Why the RBA will cut again… and again

Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe won’t have a bar of it. There’s nothing wrong with the economy, really. The RBA isn’t cutting rates because things are deteriorating. Not at all.

It’s cutting rates because the Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment has slipped. Ah, of course.

 

 

Where we once imagined the NAIRU at 5 per cent unemployment — the point considered “full employment” because anything under that saw labour shortages, wage breakouts and rampant inflation — it’s now closer to 4.5 per cent, maybe even lower.

That’s an oblique way of saying we’re in uncharted waters and the only way to navigate through is to throw caution to the wind.

The real reason for the RBA rate cuts is the dramatic fall in housing prices and the prospect that unemployment may spike, particularly if the escalating trade dispute between the US and China further crimps Chinese economic growth.

Should more people end up out of work, as the graph below from investment bank UBS indicates, there would be a rise in mortgage delinquencies and an acceleration of the housing price slump.

 

 

If there are two more cuts in coming months, that will take the official cash rate to 0.75 per cent. And at that point, we officially will have joined the race to the bottom.

Of course, quite a few countries already have reached the bottom and gone even further.

America spent years at zero per cent. Germany and other parts of Europe have seen interest rates at well below zero. Japan, however, is the world leader in negative rates, as this chart below shows.

 

 

All up, there’s around $US10 trillion worth of debt priced at an interest rate below zero.

 

Why would anyone lend money, deposit cash or buy a bond that guaranteed you’d lose money? Primarily because they think rates could go even lower. And many banks are forced to hold government-issued bonds, even ones that lose money, for liquidity reasons.

Once considered radical policy, it’s now becoming the norm and involves various strategies such as quantitative easing (printing money), ZIRP (zero interest rate policy) and NIRP (negative interest rate policy).

Our monetary mandarins, having explicitly raised the possibility of exploring such actions late last year, this week ruled them out, instead wisely urging governments to start spending big on infrastructure.

Rate cut goes nowhere — what now?

The disappointment must be palpable. When the RBA cut rates three weeks ago, its primary goal was to sink the Aussie dollar, to make our exports more competitive and to give a leg up to local industry.

It worked… for a while. But by the end of last week, the local currency had climbed back above US69c.

That’s the problem with rate cuts and currency manipulation — it only works when you go it alone or you’re in the minority. When everyone is doing it, it has no effect at all.

Shortly after our rate cut, US President Donald Trump’s demands for one at home grew louder as he openly discussed sacking Fed chair Jerome Powell if he doesn’t get his way.

European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi also has abandoned any plans to push rates higher, eliciting an attack from Mr Trump who, bizarrely for a leader engaged in the same strategy, accused him of trying to manipulate the Euro.

Mr Trump is threatening retaliation, possibly through trade sanctions. None of this bodes well for the global economy.

Perhaps it’s time to get into the stock market. It’s a great strategy, until it isn’t.

 

SOURCE:  https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-06-24/ian-verrender-analysis-awful-economy-great-news-for-investors/11239398

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EXPOSED: A SECOND-RATE COUNTRY UNWILLING TO DEFEND PRESS FREEDOM

‘Parliament should make free speech a reality, not a “mere implication”, by enacting a proper shield law to protect journalistic sources and ending the secret rubber-stamping of national security warrants.  

Better still, of course, would be a CHARTER OF RIGHTS of the kind that protects journalism in the US, Britain and Europe.

Murdoch newspapers, which have long opposed it, should think again.’

OPINION

Exposed: a second-rate country unwilling to defend press freedom

Geoffrey Robertson
Geoffrey Robertson

Human rights barrister and author

 

 

What an irony. As the free world celebrates D-day and the heroes who kept it free from the Gestapo’s “knock on the door”, the international news on the BBC leads with the spectacle of the police raid on the ABC offices.

This could not happen in other advanced democracies, which all have constitutional protections for journalists and their sources of information, although of course it does go on in Istanbul and Rangoon – and now in Sydney.

How did we become so out of sync on press freedom, invasions of which are the sign of a second-rate country?

Protestors at the ABC in Sydney during the Australian Federal Police raid on Wednesday.
Protestors at the ABC in Sydney during the Australian Federal Police raid on Wednesday. CREDIT:DOMINIC LORRIMER

The government can only say that police are independent. So they may be, but independence is no protection against police incompetence, illegality or plain stupidity (see, for example, the Victorian Police and “lawyer X”).

The safeguard against overzealous policemen is meant to be the courts – that is,  the judges – but this warrant was granted by “a Queanbeyan court registrar”.

The warrant that allowed police to ransack News Limited journalist Annika Smethurst’s home on Tuesday was said to have been signed in secret by an “ACT magistrate”.

This could never happen in Britain where any police application for “journalistic material” must be approved by the Director of Public Prosecutions and then put before a judge, with the media represented, and on no account can it seek to identify journalistic sources.

How come we allow inconsequential officials to authorise police to intimidate news-gatherers?

Scott Morrison says “no-one is above the law” so why should journalists have any special right? For one simple reason, Mr Morrison – democracy depends on it.

It depends on an informed public, which means that journalists must be free to cultivate and to protect sources of important information about government agencies and businesses, otherwise news will diminish to what is fed to them by public relations departments, press releases and ministerial statements.

The public has a right to know about such matters as the alleged murder of women and children by Australian soldiers and plans for secret surveillance of Australian citizens: to ensure that information of this importance sees the light of day, some special protection must be provided to news organisations.

This is now accepted in the US – the first amendment, backed by “shield laws” that protect  journalists from police inquiries into their sources. It is accepted by the UK and by the 48 other countries that adopt the free speech guarantee in the European Human Rights Convention as a result of Goodwin v UK back in 1996.

My client, a young journalist, had been ordered to disclose his source but the European Court ruled that protection of journalistic sources was essential to democracy, otherwise “the vital public watchdog role of the press” would be mooted and it’s duty to provide accurate and reliable information would be adversely effected.

Australia, unlike all other advanced nations, has no constitutional charter of rights protecting press freedom.

However, the High Court, some years ago, discovered an “implication” in favour of free speech from the fact that the constitution establishes a democracy for which free speech is essential.

This implication has evidently not been noticed by those who pursued the warrant.

*This week’s raids have diminished Australia’s international standing, so Parliament must at least make amendments requiring police to obtain the DPP’s approval before any future attack on the media and requiring them to make an application to a real judge which the media can contest before any action is taken.

The behaviour of the AFP should be put under intense scrutiny by Parliament. Did it take legal advice before it applied for a warrant and from whom? Did it consider that the ABC had an obvious public interest defence?

Does the AFP not consider the alleged murder of civilians by the Australian army is a matter of public interest?

The ABC program went out in 2017. Why the long delay if national security were really at stake? What if anything did police tell the court registrar? The source of the leaks, former military lawyer David William McBride,  identified himself in March when he said he would defend charges on the grounds he had a duty to report the information. The leaker identified, were not the raids on the ABC entirely unnecessary?

And why did the AFP consider it necessary to ransack Smethurst’s home? If these and many other questions are not answered satisfactorily, then heads should roll.

This spectacle of AFP’s heavies looking over an editor’s shoulder should serve as a reminder that police raids on media officers, other than in times of emergency, are anti-pathetic to our law and our traditions.

Captain Arthur Phillip brought with him the laws of England, including the famous precedent of John Wilkes awarded heavy damages for a general warrant allowing raids on his home and printing presses for criticising King George III.

Our first notable court decisions, following this precedent, were those of Chief Justice Frances Forbes, striking down Governor Darling’s ill-tempered attempts to close down early versions of The Sydney Morning Herald.

All judges, law enforcers and even Queanbeyan court registrars should be aware of this proud history and Parliament should make free speech a reality, not a “mere implication”, by enacting a proper shield law to protect journalistic sources and ending the secret rubber-stamping of national security warrants.

Better still, of course, would be a Charter of Rights of the kind that protects journalism in the US, Britain and Europe.

Murdoch newspapers, which have long opposed it, should think again.

Geoffrey Robertson, QC, is a London-based Australian human rights barrister. He is the author of Rather His Own Man: In Court with Tyrants, Tarts and Troublemakers. 

 

Geoffrey Robertson

 

Geoffrey Robertson is a London-based Australian human rights barrister and author of Rather His Own Man: In Court with Tyrants, Tarts and Troublemarkers.

DATA DUMPED: IT’s ALL BAD NEWS FOR THE ECONOMY …

NOW FOR THE TRUTH!

THE current LNP administration is not only the ‘worst economic manager’ in Australia’s post war history, if not all its history, but one of the two or three worst in the developed world. 

-all critical indicators of economic health deteriorated since 2013 Election

.and accelerated since the 2016 election

-few, if any, of the outcomes have been reported accurately by mainstream economic reporters

-through most of the Labor years, Australia’s growth in GDP ranked in the top seven (7) in the OECD

.in 2009 it was the highest; in Labor’s last year, 2013, it ranked 6th

 

 

 

Data Dumped: it’s all bad news for the Australian economy

Data Dumped: it’s all bad news for the Australian economy
Things you’ll hear as the economy tumbles (Image courtesy https://www.activistpost.com)

 

If Prime Minister Scott Morrison went to the election in May to beat potentially bad economic news, it was an extremely well-judged decisionAlan Austin reports.

THE LATEST data dumps confirm the current administration is not only the worst economic manager in Australia’s post war history, if not all its history, but one of the two or three worst in the developed world.

If Prime Minister Scott Morrison went to the election in May to beat potentially bad economic news, it was an extremely well-judged decision.

*Virtually all critical indicators of economic health have deteriorated substantially since the 2013 election. That decline appears to have accelerated since the 2016 election.

*Few, if any, of these outcomes have been reported accurately by mainstream economics reporters.

Economic growth ranking plummets

*Yesterday’s release of the quarterly national accounts confirms Australia is sliding further down the global economic growth rankings. Through most of the Labor years, Australia’s growth in gross domestic product (GDP) ranked in the top seven in the 36-member Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

*In 2009, it was actually the highest. In Labor’s last year, 2013, the first quarter number was 2.15 per cent, ranking sixth.

In stark contrast to that, Australia’s annual GDP growth over the year to March 2019 is down to 1.8 per cent, the lowest level since 2009, at the depths of the worst recession in eighty years. Australia now ranks 17th in the OECD.

Interest rates indictment

Monday’s cut to interest rates by the Reserve Bank underscores the deterioration of the economy since 2013. Throughout the global financial crisis from 2008 to 2013, Australia and Mexico were the two developed countries to keep interest rates in the sweet spot between 2.8 and 4.8 per cent.

Most of Europe plus the USA and Canada endured interest rates below 1.5 per cent. Obviously this is disastrous for those relying on income from interest. Rates rose above ten per cent elsewhere, including Iceland, Argentina, Brazil and Vietnam. This is terrible for borrowers who must pay that interest.

It is also a major blow for the government as this is, to quote The Guardian’s detailed analysis, “a pretty sad indictment of how the economy has been handled”.

From Monday, Australia has now joined the failing economies with the nominal cash rate below 1.5 per cent and negative real interest rates. Meanwhile, about fifty countries have now returned to the optimum range including OECD members Iceland, Chile and the USA.

Housing at an all-time low

*Housing access and affordability has declined disastrously across Australia since the change of government in 2013, and collapsed further since the 2016 election.

According to the Housing Industry Association, sales of Australian new homes plunged 11.8 per cent in April 2019 over the dismal March number to just 4,036 houses sold. The April fall was the greatest since 2005, and the lowest number recorded since the series began in 1999. The previous all-time low was 4,769 in August last year.

Gross debt second worst in the OECD

We now have debt levels for nearly all OECD countries to the end of 2018, so can update Australia’s standing.

Australia had the OECD’s third lowest level of federal government debt to GDP at the time of the 2007 election. Only Estonia and Chile were lower. Australia’s Labor Government then contended with the devastating global financial crisis (GFC) by spending extensively on infrastructure and other stimulus, most of it with borrowed money. So it would have been reasonable to expect Australia’s debt position to have worsened relative to the rest of the developed world.

In fact, it didn’t. All developed countries except Norway borrowed heavily and by the end of the GFC in 2013 Australia still had the third lowest debt to GDP.

Through the strong global boom which followed the GFC, most countries have managed to offload much of that debt. A clear majority of 22 of the OECD member countries reduced their debt to GDP by the end of last year, with only 14 having debt higher than in 2013.

Of these, only two have increased the debt since 2013 by more than ten per cent. Chile and Australia.

Unemployment lagging

Australia’s jobless ranking tumbled from ninth in 2013 [World Bank figures], to 13th in 2016 and now to a lowly 18th on the latest numbers.

Only five OECD member countries had higher jobless rates in April this year than in April 2011 and April 2012. Two of these, South Korea and Norway, have their jobless rates below 4.0 per cent, so are faring exceedingly well.

But three countries have high unemployment and are still above where they were in 2011 and 2012, despite the phenomenal global boom in investment, jobs and profits. They are Austria, Turkey and Australia.

Retail sales slide worsens

Last Tuesday’s retail sales numbers from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the slump is getting worst, not better. Total retail turnover January to April 2019 was up just 3.06 per cent on the first four months of last year. With population up 1.8 per cent and inflation at 1.3 per cent, that is a real decrease in actual volumes sold.

Sectors to have suffered most severely since our report on the retail retreat in February include electrical and electronic goods, down 1.0 per cent in actual dollars, furniture, houseware and textiles, down 3.3 per cent, recreational goods down 5.4 per cent, and books and print products down a staggering 7.4 per cent.

For two years, the retail collapse has been tracked accurately by the alternative media here and elsewhere, denied by the industry press and virtually ignored by the mainstream media.

Finally, on Tuesday this week, the ABC caught up with the story. Well after the election.

Such is Australia’s fate.

——————–

Alan Austin is a freelance journalist with interests in news media, religious affairs and economic and social issues.

You can follow Alan on Twitter @alanaustin001.

 

 

 

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IT MAY YET TURN OUT THAT THIS WAS A GOOD ELECTION TO HAVE LOST

 

YEP …

‘AFTER six years in office, the Coalition cannot reasonably blame its predecessor for …

tepid wages growth

 weak productivity gains

spiralling household debt

a doubling of net government debt

and a depreciation of the Australian dollar by about 30 per cent since a Tony Abbott-led government took office in 2013.

Interest rate cuts may further weaken the dollar.  This would be good for commodities exporters, bad for consumers

A BOOMING PROPERTY SECTOR fuelled by easy credit and LAX FOREIGN INVESTMENT REVIEW BOARD (FIRB) Strictures on Chinese money   flooding the market contributed to an illusion of wellbeing, the so-called wealth effect: or, perhaps, better described as the ‘wealth illusion’.

AS A WHOLE COHORT OF AUSTRALIANS WERE LOCKED OUT OF THEIR OWN DOMESTIC HOUSING MARKET …

THIS TIME AROUND THE NASTY PARTY WON’T BE ABLE TO BLAME LABOR …

 

OPINION

It may yet turn out that this was a good election to have lost

Tony Walker
Tony Walker

Columnist and award-winning foreign correspondent

 

 

Scott Morrison may believe in miracles. He may go along with Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack’s statement that the Coalition has the “wind at our backs’’.

Morrison may be urging colleagues to “burn’’ for voters, whatever that means.

 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison with his new-look ministry after the swearing-in ceremony.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison with his new-look ministry after the swearing-in ceremony.CREDIT:ALEX ELLINGHAUSEN

But in the real world, miraculous outcomes, biblical allusions and meteorological metaphors don’t necessarily correspond with reality.

As the Reserve Bank of Australia meets on Tuesday to consider lowering interest rates to stimulate a faltering economy, what is clear is that a Coalition government has been re-elected at an awkward moment for the country economically.

 

 

If a shell-shocked Labor can draw encouragement from a disastrous outcome it is that the bloom may come off the Morrison government sooner rather than later.

 

Former opposition leader Bill Shorten: may have dodged a bullet.
Former opposition leader Bill Shorten: may have dodged a bullet.CREDIT:ALEX ELLINGHAUSEN

 

It is one thing for the marketer-in-chief to have fought a copybook scare campaign against a vulnerable opponent, made more vulnerable by electorally suicidal tax policies; it is quite another to deal with a slowing economy in a global environment that is dangerous, if not mad.

John Daley, head of Melbourne’s Grattan Institute, puts the government’s dilemma quite well when he asks the pertinent question: “How far is the economy going to slow?’’

We don’t know how far or fast the economy will slow, but the signs are not encouraging.

What is clear is that rather than having the “wind at our backs’’, the Australian economy is facing headwinds. These are threatening to become stronger, not weaker.

Downside risks, as World Bank forecasters say, have become “more acute’’.

This invites the obvious question: was this an election that will prove a good one to have lost?

While readers contemplate the answer to that question – with the caveat no absence from the Treasury benches is necessarily desirable – these are the headwinds.

Bowen drops out of leadership race

Looming Reserve Bank interest rate decision

Play video

0:34

Looming Reserve Bank interest rate decision

9News’ Finance Editor Ross Greenwood breaks down the effects of a possible interest rate cut from the Reserve Bank of Australia.

 

On the basis of the December quarter numbers Australia is already in a recession on a per capita basis.

It has been there before in its record-setting period of economic expansion, but there is a sense this time that it will be lucky to avoid a contraction.

Slowing economic trends are unlikely to have reversed in the first quarter of 2019. We haven’t seen those March quarter numbers yet, but they are unlikely to be good, and may be bad. Political uncertainties will not have helped.

What is in prospect is the sort of outcome that will compound the concerning result in the second half of 2018 when GDP slowed dramatically to 1 percent year-on-year.

If that slowdown becomes entrenched, Australia will tip into a recession for the first time in a generation with all the consequences that will follow.

This includes an indelible political context.

After six years in office, the Coalition cannot reasonably blame its predecessor for tepid wages growth, weak productivity gains, spiralling household debt, a doubling of net government debt, and a depreciation of the Australian dollar by about 30 per cent since a Tony Abbott-led government took office in 2013.

Interest rate cuts may further weaken the dollar. This would be good for commodities exporters, bad for consumers.

 

*A booming property sector fuelled by easy credit and lax Foreign Investment Review Board strictures on Chinese money flooding the market contributed to an illusion of wellbeing, the so-called wealth effect: or, perhaps, better described as the “wealth illusion’’.

 

Cuts to interest rates may give the economy a bump. The removal of the spectre of a Labor government, at odds with aspirational Australia, may encourage investment.

*However, what should be concerning the government, as it prepares for the first session of the 46th parliament in early July, is that unemployment in April ticked up to 5.2 per cent from 5 per cent, and underemployment jumped to 8.5 per cent.

*Finally, this brings us to Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s pledge to bring the budget back into surplus in 2020-21 and begin paying down debt.

*If a recession bites that undertaking will not be worth the budget papers on which it is written.

Illustration: Jim Pavlidis
Illustration: Jim PavlidisCREDIT:

 

The question will then become whether – and how quickly – the Morrison government can bring itself to admit its budgetary projections, reaffirmed by a docile Treasury in its pre-election economic and fiscal outlook (PEFO), misfired.

Rather than surpluses as far the eye can see and tax cuts on the horizon it would be dealing with an entirely different scenario.

*What would be needed in that case is real stimulus for capital works projects rather than short-term fixes in the form of tax cuts that might be good for the sale of Harvey Norman flat-screen televisions, but will do little for wages growth or the economy overall.

In a year’s time, if it has put the stench of one of the most inept campaigns in Australian political history behind it, Labor may be empowered to ask some pointed questions – and possibly dream of a reversal in its fortunes.

It may even be in a position to “burn’’ Morrison politically, if not biblically.

Tony Walker is a vice-chancellor’s fellow at La Trobe University and a regular columnist.

 

Tony Walker writes on politics, North America and the Middle East. He was formerly the Australian Financial Review’s international editor.

 

 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

 

THE FIX IS IN: ADANI HOOKS INDIA’s POOR AND AUSTRALIA’s TAXPAYERS

 

 

MW:  “It is highly likely that a $1 billion, 30-year, 3 per cent annual interest rate loan will emerge from EFIC to entice Adani,” @TimBuckleyIEEFA on the pending Adani disaster 

 

The Fix Is In: Adani hooks India’s poor and Australia’s taxpayers

Government approves Adani’s water rights last month. Photo of former environment minister Melissa Price by SBS

 

Defying all odds, prospects for Adani’s coal mine in the Galilee Basin have never looked better. This is a risk for Australia, and the world. Energy expert Tim Buckley reports on the world’s most controversial mining project, Carmichael.

This is not just about Adani. Coal projects totalling 320 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) could be set off by this first move, the move to approve Adani’s Carmichael coal mine in Queensland, especially as Clive Palmer has been so quick to jump on the subsidised export thermal coal bandwagon this week.

Despite the commercial viability of this mine being severely challenged, and with straight bank finance no longer an option, the Adani group could still finance the first stage itself. That would mean it would sell its expensive, dirty coal through newly-upgraded government contracts, and thereby lock in imported energy poverty for the poor people of Gujarat and Bangladesh, for decades to come.

Putting mythical accounting conventions aside, and spurious claims that Australia’s exported carbon emissions are irrelevant to one side, this is a global climate disaster in the making. Adani’s Carmichael mine is merely the stalking horse. A string of other fossil fuel projects are lined up behind it, coal and gas fracking.

Low reward, high risk

Even without these, the economic rationale is sketchy at best. The Galilee is the largest thermal coal basin proposed for development in the world. Adding up to 320mtpa of new high-ash, low-energy “HALE” coal would flood the seaborne thermal coal market with another 30 per cent of global capacity.

Such a massive injection of new coal supply would not just exhaust a big share of the remaining global carbon budget, but also likely slowly crush the thermal coal price in the process. It would crush the price of Australia’s largest export (well, neck and neck with iron ore).

It would do major damage to Australia’s existing thermal coal mines and result in the loss of thousands of existing Australian coal industry jobs over the coming decade.

With the re-election of the Coalition government, the last major Federal legal and approval barriers to opening up the Galilee Basin are largely resolved. The Queensland Government is being leant on by coal lobbyists, Adani and the Federal Government to ignore all credible scientific review of the facts surrounding this project and its affect on the world’s climate.

This, not withstanding that Adani has failed to answer the CSIRO’s questions on water  impacts. As to the endangered Black Throated Finch and the Great Barrier Reef, coal lobbyists and Murdoch media alike keep crying that both are irrelevant. It’s time to dig up all the coal Australia can, while we still can.

Drug pusher argument

The drug-pusher argument has rung loud, repeatedly and clearly over the airwaves. If it’s not our coal, the world will just buy coal from somebody else. Someone else will make the money.

Meanwhile, China’s MacMines has formally notified the Queensland Government this month that it has closed its Australian office and abandoned (but not relinquished) its $6.7 billion China Stone coal project, strongly underlining the dramatic advances which China has made to permanently reduce its addiction to thermal coal, reduce its chronic air pollution and drive global leadership in zero emissions technologies of the future.

Chinese investments are increasingly being directed to industries like rare earth and lithium mining, batteries, solar, wind, electric vehicles and smart grids – rapidly growing global industries – not to prop up dying industries of the past, which are increasingly uncompetitive against lower cost, zero emission alternatives.

China’s NDRC has also this month announced a $US25 billion tender for 21 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy, the largest ever in world history.

What makes this all the more telling is that this tender marks a critical milestone – the tender is for zero subsidy renewables. So by 2020, China will see wind and solar both reach grid parity with domestic thermal power.

India and America reached grid parity back in 2017, and Indian renewable tenders have repeatedly been completed every month since at 10-20 per cent below existing domestic coal-fired power costs.

Renewable energy is cheaper than new coal, so why Adani?

Indian renewable costs are 20-50 per cent below the cost of new imported coal-fired power plant proposals. So the technology, finance and economics all show thermal coal has entered a slow terminal decline. Against this backdrop, the obvious question is, why would the Adani Group ignore the new economic reality and proceed with this long stranded proposal?

Firstly, having sunk $1.5 billion in this project to date, the Adani Group does not want to admit they made a bet at the start of this decade, a bet which failed – irrespective of the inevitable rising dominance of technology change in Indian renewables so clearly evident in Adani’s home state of Gujarat.

Secondly, it is clear, where a project is unviable and un-bankable on normal commercial grounds, a well connected billionaire thinks not of moving on, but of changing the rules.

As The Australia Institute’s Richard Dennis put it – any project is viable if you throw enough subsidies at it. The Carmichael coal proposal has long been underpinned by a raft of subsidies. Adani’s ratepayer gift of a $30-40 million new airport might have fallen over, and the heavily-fought-over $1 billion-30 year subsidised loan from the North Australia Infrastructure Fund (NAIF) has likewise been blocked.

But other taxpayer gifts remain in the offing. Adani will be able to use huge quantities of ground water for its coal mining and extensive washing of its HALE raw coal, no cost attached. The diesel fuel subsidy is worth hundreds of millions of dollars each and every year to Adani (aside from our deserving farmers, all Australian industry and all Australian voters paying fuel taxes, but not the mostly foreign owned, Australian operating coal industry).

Rehabilitation, the long game

The Government has done a great job updating Queensland’s mine rehabilitation legislation over last two years, but it did sneak in a final exemption just for Adani, such that they are entitled to leave a huge final toxic void in perpetuity. A void is a hole in the ground, in this case, a very big hole.

Adani is yet to provide the required financial assurance to garner its seven-year royalty holiday – a capital subsidy of $600 million to $700 million – but it is still on offer, which means precisely zero coal royalties are likely to flow into Queensland schools or hospitals from Carmichael this coming decade.

And expect to hear a lot more about the legislative change rushed through pre-election that dramatically expanded the fossil fuel funding capacity and scope of the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC).

It is highly likely that a $1 billion, 30-year, 3 per cent annual interest rate loan will emerge from EFIC to entice Adani to actually start construction of its nine year odyssey to build a railway line to no-where (assuming thermal coal becomes obsolete sometime in the coming few decades).

But again, fence-sitting members of Parliament contend that – if one is convinced of this inevitable technology driven disruption being well underway already – then why not leave the collapse of this mine to market forces?

It will fail anyway, they say, not our problem.

Except for the fact that there is a global climate emergency right now. And the fact that the best time to start to prepare for an inevitable transition is now, not next decade.

IEEFA did point out a year ago that Adani put India’s largest coal fired power plant up for sale for a token Rs1. A $US5 billion investment made at the start of this decade for sale at 2 cents. Still there were no buyers.

Fast forward a year and everything has changed. All it took was for the Gujarat government to re-write the power purchase agreement to include a 30 per cent tariff uplift for the Mundra power plants for the next 30 years. So the poor people of Gujarat will pay Adani 30 per cent more for their imported coal electricity for the next 30 years.

Privatise the profits, socialise the losses

One cant expect a billionaire, after all, to wear the costs of unexpected events like currency declines and having to pay a market price for his coal … when he can foist the cost onto poor people.

And the poor people of Bangladesh have likewise agreed to underwrite Adani’s Godda import coal fired power plant at export tariffs close to double the wholesale price of electricity in India for the next 25 years.

But Adani Power was having trouble convincing thousands of land owners to vacate their ancestral homes, and private bankers were thinking this $US2 billion proposal was unviable.

So the fix went in. The Government of India gifted Adani Power a Special Economic Zone tax exemption for a decade or so, and the State Bank of India threw in a $US1.5 billion loan to a company which had been unable to avoid reporting losses for the last decade.

So, with long term expensive power purchase agreements providing a ready in-house market for the Carmichael mine, the market price of seaborne coal becomes less material.

Having been unable to secure one single global financial institution to invest in its Carmichael proposal, Adani has turned to self-financing the project because it has guaranteed returns from the poor people of India thanks to these government deals.

A deal looks close

Notwithstanding the Adani Group has significant financial leverage and numerous other multi-billion dollar projects in train already, Carmichael looks increasingly feasible.

An insightful report came out this week in India highlighting the myriad ways the Adani Group’s complex corporate structure is funded through inter-company loans, asset finance, equity margin lending and the sale of unlisted equity stakes in subsidiary entities.$

And this week the Adani Ports business has announced a $US1 billion global private debt placement with its full-year 2018/19 results. Secured against nine key ports across India, underpinned by India’s excellent long-term economic growth prospects, this debt raising should be completed in no time at all.

So self-financing looks likely. Multi-decade off-take agreements with sister companies within the Adani Group now provide a secure end market for the Carmichael coal at heavily subsidised prices locked in by government contracts. Add in Australian fuel, water, rehabilitation and financing subsidies.

All of which puts the Carmichael climate bomb on track to start work once those pesky First Australians get rolled (and bankrupted) by the Australian justice system and the Queensland government gives in to Federal demands to ignore intergenerational equity and precautionary principles.


Tim Buckley has written a number of reports for IEEFA on the Adani project. He is Australia’s foremost expert in Indian energy. It is worth following Tim on Twitter @TimBuckleyIEEFA if you would like to keep up with the latest in Adani, global energy markets and the remarkable revolution in renewables. 

————

 

 

 

Adani shown the door by traditional owners

How Adani stacked the landowner meetings before it sought court orders to bankrupt traditional landowner, Adrian Burragubba, who tried to stop its coal mine.

FRANKING CREDITS: HOW GOOD IS FREE MONEY!

LABOR’s policy was not to impact pensioners, part pensioners or self-managed Super funds … because it is the wealthiest who benefit the most!

NOW the AFR has found there were $16 BILLION in Franking Credits generated in the recent earnings season on the ASX!

RELATED ARTICLE:  Howard’s Junket …

https://caanhousinginequalitywithaussieslockedout.wordpress.com/2019/05/09/howards-junket/

DESPITE the Facts … Tim Wilson continued to misinform again on Q & A last Monday evening 27 May 2019 that Labor was after Pensioners …. with its reform of Franking Credits … 

THIS Disinformation Campaign has really done some damage to Our Nation!  That is such a shame!  Middle Class Welfare at its Worse!  If you spread a policy matter that is plainly untrue should you not be subject to the Trade Practices Act and treated accordingly?

 

Franking Credits: how good is free money!

Franking Credits: how good is free money!
Tim Wilson (Image courtesy http://featurettes9.rssing.com)

 

 

The cat is out of the bag. Bank shares have shot up since the surprise election result as new investors pile onto the great franking credits bandwagon. Sandi Keane reports.

“Hey, you got any of these franking credits,” older bloke asks mate. It’s two days post-election. I’m on my regular break from my home desk with my dog, Mackie, in Kew’s affogato central.

Leafy Kew was at the heart of Kooyong’s electoral battleground. The two men are at an adjoining table at the cafe. They’re talking about the “franking credits” campaign — the pitched battle to win the retiree vote. “No,” is the reply, “but I’m gonna look into them.”

That night, I’m on my way to Hamer Hall to an ACO concert with old pal, Rex. “I’ve transferred all my money into bank shares,” he announces, awaiting my reaction.

Then to press home the point, he jabs me in the ribs “I not only get all that free money but the share price has gone up!” He laughs. And he voted Greens!

Fast forward to the end of the week and I’m back in Kew cafe-land with the four-legged one, getting my coffee fix again. It’s a different cafe. We’re seated outside. A couple of elders go past. My ears prick up….they’re talking about “franking credits”. But they’re not congratulating themselves for keeping Bill Shorten’s hands off their “free money”. No, they’re wondering how they can get their hands on some! Jeez…

Seriously, how good is Tim Wilson and cousin Kevin, or is it Geoff?

Few of us silly old duffers had a bloody clue about “franking credits” until Tim and cousin Geoff started jumping up and down championing the unique advantage of owning shares with “franking credits”. And how good is Australia … the only country in the world to offer a cash reward!

Tim took care of the Parliamentary Inquiry and the town hall meetings focussing on the high retiree states of Tassie and Queensland.

Geoff harnessed his travelling roadshow, Wilson Asset Management, and headed up north to spread the word. Between them, they sparked ire in the hearts of Queenslanders and Tasmanians. Not only would they lose all that free money, but the world as they knew it would end. Worked a charm.

Post-election, Geoff was itching to congratulate himself for alerting the voters about franking credits. And avoiding Armageddon. Claimed his campaign helped deliver a fatal blow to Labor’s hopes of election. But he’s too modest by half. Thanks to the Wilson boys, not one of the nearly four million over 65s would be now be unaware of the “free money”gig when they retire. What a legacy, boys!

So, now we oldies have been enlightened, have we shown our gratitude, especially to Tim?  Such a formidable force for good should surely have been promoted to cabinet! 

What’s wrong with ScoMo? This reporter still remembers saluting Tim for duking it out (single-handedly, mind) against the Labor Government’s “plain packaging” proposals for ciggie packets.

Wilson the Younger stormed the airwaves on behalf of Big Tobacco, clocking up 13 radio interviews in one day, a robust opinion piece in The Australian, and managed to pop up, fresh as a daisy, on prime time 7.30 Report that night. Be afraid, he warned. Be very afraid. This outrageous plan would cost the public $3 billion in compensation!

If our government took away a company’s logo, it could be seen as stealing! Good to see Tim working with the government and on our side now!

So, on 22 May, I put out a Tweet to gauge the level of gratitude to Tim. It’s had over 10,000 impressions as of today:

 

and again the next day, over 10,000 for the first Tweet then jumping to over 20,000 for the 2nd:

 

 

I was inundated with responses. Was a spot worried I’d be seen as a self-serving, greedy oldie, you know, one of those “solipsistic slackers” that journos like Bernard Keane like to target. There was the expected bit of unfriendly fire —  but, by and large, I could tell the Tweeps were genuinely grateful to Tim.

Does anyone in Australia now NOT KNOW they can get #FreeMoney for investing in things like banks if they’ve retired and want to set up their own fund?

And the more of you who buy shares, the more the shares will go up! Double whammy! Win, Win! Whoohoo! As I said, “how good is Tim Wilson?” Get into it, guys. Follow me!

If you still want the nitty gritty on those franking credits, check out our Kitchen Table series by the redoubtable Westy who has translated complicated financial bafflegab into simple words that even I can understand (I call it “Franking Credits for Dummies”). Start with the one below:

The Kitchen Table: a Franking Credits Revelation

Editor’s Note: Treasury found up to 230,000 pensioners would have been affected by Labor’s original policy.

“The value of franking credits refunded has increased from $1.9 billion in 2005-06 to $5.9  billion in 2014-15,” Treasury found.

It is now projected to increase to $8 billion a year although the AFR found there were $16 billion in franking credits generated in the recent earnings season on the ASX.

——————

Sandi Keane is MW editor-in-chief and was formerly editor and environment editor at Independent Australia.

She has also conducted corporate investigations, principally into the energy and media sectors. Her investigation into the anti-wind lobby and Waubra Foundation was used to support Labor’s Clean Energy Bill, thus, making it into Hansard.

Sandi holds a Masters degree in Journalism from the University of Melbourne.

Describing herself as a “Twitter tragic”, Sandi has tweeted for ABC’s Lateline as well as the Melbourne Writers’ Festival. You can follow her on Twitter @jarrapin.

She has a quantity of franking credits in her SMSF and, until recently, never knew how they got there.

Is Howard’s Kyoto con trick about to be played out again?

 

 

SOURCE:  https://www.michaelwest.com.au/franking-credits-how-good-is-free-money/?fbclid=IwAR1rAgm0tY5MJ55m2De3tDttriUAmcfaljKNyr2399SuK1NgLOiCozEue34

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SBS: Liberals slammed for ‘misleading’ Chinese-Australians with posters 

KEY POINTS …

-the AEC says the Liberal how-to-vote Chinese posters had not broken any laws; and would not be removed

-the posters had the same font & colours as official information from the AEC

-and read ‘the correct way to vote is to put a number 1 next to the Liberals … ‘

-Labor has lodged an official complaint with the AEC

 

 

Australia

Liberals slammed for ‘misleading’ Chinese-Australians with posters

Chinese-language election signs in Melbourne, which are claimed to “trick” Chinese-Australian people to vote Liberal, have been criticised as a “massive rort”.

The Australian Electoral Commission says Liberal how-to-vote posters in Chinese at polling booths in Melbourne have not broken any laws and won’t be removed.

But the Labor party is not convinced the posters are fair play – and has lodged a complaint over what it says is “a pathetic and dirty attempt to deceive voters”.

Luke Hilakari, the Victorian Trades Hall Council secretary, tweeted an image of the posters in the electorate of Chisholm, claiming the posters had the same font and colours as official voting information from the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).

He described them as a “massive rort” and an attempt to “trick” Chinese-Australian voters.

Mr Hilakari said the posters read “the correct way to vote is to put a number 1 next to the Liberals and number every other box”, and appear to be written like an official AEC instruction to voters.

“This is a rort. The Libs are trying to trick Chinese voters. Morrison’s Libs should never have approved these signs,” he tweeted on Saturday.

*AEC spokesman Evan Ekin-Smyth said the posters did not need to be taken down as they were properly authorised and no laws had been breached.

 

*”We don’t own the colour purple, and it’s not possible to do that. They just need to be appropriately authorised, which they are,” he told AAP.

*”While clearly the AEC would prefer no-one uses purple and (makes posters) to look like an AEC (poster), people can make posters so long as they are authorised appropriately.

“My understanding is that it meets the requirements of the Act. No law has been breached.”

 

Bill Shorten said he had not heard about the incident.

“Always look at who benefits from the dirty tricks and that generally is the culprit, isn’t it?”, he told reporters.

A Labor spokesperson said the party had lodged an official complaint with the AEC.

“This is a new low – a pathetic and dirty attempt to deceive voters because the Liberals have no policy to talk about,” they said.

 

 

SOURCE:  https://www.sbs.com.au/news/liberals-slammed-for-misleading-chinese-australians-with-posters?fbclid=IwAR28y3jIFnrTZBeEHm0VwWe0pxLf2XP9MWD0g45Z7A3DdawYhwIXY3GUFlA

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GAS EXPORTS BLAMED FOR SOARING ELECTRICITY PRICES AND JOB LOSSES

ISN’t THE MARKET JUST WONDERFUL?

Do we deserve it in all its grandeur?

Are we a clever country?

Fancy buying our own gas back for less than we pay for it here?

And to make things better we seem to be increasing demand for energy at all levels, is this clever?

Gas exports blamed for soaring electricity prices and job losses

17 MAY 2019

 

 

Australians are reeling from electricity prices that have soared more than 130 per cent since 2015. Among the reasons for the rocket-rise: profiteering by wholesalers and the so-called ‘gold-plating’ of the electricity distribution network. But the real culprit? Gas.

Key points:

  • Analysts say gas prices determine the marginal cost of electricity on the east coast, meaning it is responsible for recent price rises
  • Gas prices in Australia were $4 a gigajoule in 2015 before spiking to nearly $20 two years ago, and $10 now
  • Asian gas prices for imports are now cheaper than Australian domestic prices, leading to the idea of importing Australian LNG

“It’s the gas price that determines electricity price on the east coast, but neither [political] party wants to own up to that because they’ve both been culpable in allowing this situation to develop,” MacroBusiness economist David Llewellyn-Smith said.

Gas is a vital part of the electricity generation market.

But the “situation” Mr Llewellyn-Smith is referring to is that Australia is on track to overtake Qatar this year and become the world’s largest gas exporter.

Australia is now exporting so much gas there is not enough available at a reasonable cost to create electricity domestically or for it to be used by industry. That is causing huge problems for anyone who pays a power bill, as well as local manufacturers.

Electricity price ‘set by gas’

As ageing coal power stations have closed and renewables been subsidised to help them grow in strength, gas-fired power plants have played a vital role in what is called “smoothing” demand for energy, and meeting the fluctuating daily needs of the national electricity market.

But massive projects begun a decade ago to export liquefied natural gas, or LNG, have meant domestic prices have risen to meet global ones, so the price of producing power using gas has soared.

“Since 2014, 2015 all the price rises we’ve seen in both gas and electricity have resulted from this crazy situation where we’re exporting gas,” Mr Llewellyn-Smith said.

“Gas sets the marginal cost of electricity in the east coast power market. So when you switch on your light you’re paying a price that’s set by gas. If the gas price goes up, your power price goes up.”

It has. Gas that was $4 a gigajoule in 2015 spiked to nearly $20 two years ago. A flooded market in Asia means gas sells for $7.50 in Japan but $10 here.

Manufacturers lay off staff because of power price surge

Exacerbating the problem, locked-in contracts to ship gas to Asia have meant scant supply here and steep price rises for companies such as petrochemical manufacturer Qenos.

Chief executive Stephen Bell said the power bill at just one of its plants, at Port Botany in New South Wales, provided a sense of the problem.

“In 2016 we paid $8 million dollars for electricity and in 2018 we paid $18 million dollars,” he said.

“That’s just for the commodity; that doesn’t include network charges and other costs.

“We’ve taken more than $60 million of cost increases over that time. We can’t pass a dollar of that on to our customers because our competition, who all come from overseas, don’t have any of those increased costs.”

The gas shortage is a long way past being a theoretical problem. Qenos has let go of 15 per cent of its workforce in just the past year-and-a-half.

“If we don’t address the issue we’re going to see a lot of jobs and a lot of industrial manufacturing disappear off the east coast of Australia,” he said.

“It’s a consequence of a failure of government policy at all levels — state and federal, Liberal and Labor — over a long period of time.

“We have plenty of gas in this country, we have an abundance of hydrocarbon, we’re blessed and there’s more than enough of those domestic and export customers.”

 

The Australian Workers’ Union said it was dealing daily with companies looking to cut employee numbers, pay or conditions because they could not secure gas.

“They can’t get decent long-term prices and decent long-term contracts and, as a consequence, they’re making some dire sacrifices which ultimately destroy Australian jobs and put further pressure on households,” national secretary Daniel Walton told The Business.

“Australia has now become one of large largest exporters of gas in the world. But we’re the only nation in the world that does not have a mechanism in place to keep a proportion of our gas here.”

Gas reservation working for WA

The gas shortage is not an issue in Western Australia. Its state government reserved 15 per cent of the output from its new gas projects for domestic use.

It is now wooing companies on the eastern seaboard to set up their manufacturing bases in the west.

Economists, unions and manufacturers are demanding the Federal Government reserve gas for the rest of the nation.

 

In April 2017, then-prime minister Malcolm Turnbull imposed restrictions on exports, but the companies which export are ignoring the price they are meant to sell at.

Asked about policies on gas reservation, the Government said its restrictions had worked, and new gas projects would help further.

It is investing $8.4 million to fast-track fracking in the Northern Territory’s Beetaloo Basin.

Labor said it would assess new gas projects on the basis of their contribution to domestic supply, and introduce a price trigger to stem exports if prices rose too high.

‘Insane’, ‘mad’, ‘crazy’ plans to import local LNG to Australia

The situation has become so dire there are now proposals for LNG import terminals in both New South Wales and Victoria. If they are built, a mind-boggling situation might occur.

Gas drilled offshore in Bass Strait or onshore in Queensland would be refined and piped to Gladstone. There it would be frozen to -162 degrees Celsius, transforming it from a gas to a liquid for export.

Loaded on to a ship, it would exit Australian through the Great Barrier Reef and travel to Japan, where it would be taken onshore and turned back into gas.

Then it would be frozen again, shipped back to the new import terminals in Australia, turned back into a gas and re-inserted back into the national gas grid. Gas from WA and the USA may also use the import terminals.

“It’s absolutely insane,” Mr Llewellyn-Smith said, exasperated by the situation.

“The proposition is mad,” Mr Walton added.

Like the others, Qenos boss Mr Bell has been warning about the issue for a decade, to no avail.

“Well it seems crazy a country like Australia, with so much hydrocarbon, is in a situation where we’ve got boats going out of Gladstone loaded up with LNG and they’re passing boats coming into Australia loaded up with LNG to meet our domestic market requirements,” he said.

 

SOURCE:  https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-17/gas-exports-blamed-for-electricity-price-rises-job-losses/11121120

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FEDERAL ELECTION SEES SUPPORTERS FOR LIBERAL GLADYS LIU SPREAD SCARE CAMPAIGNS IN HIDDEN CHATROOMS!

FACTS … 2.2 Million Visa Holders in Australia reported midway 2018

-including 1.6 Million Visa Workers

-some 16,000 refugees

-160,000 migrants p.a.

DID Ms Liu’s campaign overlook this?

 

 

 

Federal election sees supporters for Liberal Gladys Liu spread scare campaigns in hidden chatrooms

17 MAY 2019

 

 

Liberal Party candidate Gladys Liu’s supporters have been spreading scare campaigns on Labor’s policies to the Chinese-Australian community via closed social media groups.

Key points:

  • The ABC has been shown a closed WeChat group of Gladys Liu’s supporters
  • Misinformation shared in Ms Liu’s supporter group was also repeated in at least 12 other closed chat groups
  • One of the posts that has been widely shared has been taken down by WeChat administrators for containing “vulgar, misleading and inflammatory words”

The scare campaigns are targeting voters in key marginal seats, by sharing misinformation on refugee intake numbers and the Safe Schools policy.

Ms Liu is standing as the Liberal candidate in the Melbourne electorate of Chisholm where nearly 12 per cent of eligible voters have Chinese ancestry.

She is a member and participant of a closed WeChat group of around 450 supporters, set up by close associate and Liberal supporter Mary You for Ms Liu’s campaign.

The ABC does not have access to the closed group and was shown the posts by an insider.

‘Share like crazy’

 

A series of posts in Ms Liu’s supporter group show Belinda Liang, the owner of a beauty salon, encouraging the members to share a fake Australian Financial Review article with other WeChat closed groups.

The article calls for a reduction “in the input of refugees … and zero tolerance for refugees with specific beliefs” and warns “calls for the next Hitler will only become louder and louder”.

Two weeks ago, ABC identified this article as part of a scare campaign spreading on WeChat accounts.

Do you know more about this story? Email investigations@abc.net.au

Despite the exposure, Ms Liang shared it widely on Monday.

“It is now the final week, everyone, we need to work hard, this article is worth sharing like crazy,” Liang wrote in the closed group.

 

She then posted screenshots showing she had already reposted the article in dozens of closed groups she belongs to.

“I will do it again tonight,” she added.

In the last 48 hours, the post was taken down by WeChat, replaced by a warning saying it contained “vulgar, misleading and inflammatory words”.

“After I read the article, I thought refugee issues are what everybody cares about so I asked people to share,” she told the ABC.

“I didn’t think about whether the article is true. But no-one wants more refugees to come in. We as taxpayers need to pay so much money for them. Why can’t we spend the money raising our children and taking care of our parents?”

 

After this series of posts, Ms Liang also wrote she would be using her 90-year-old father’s ballot paper to vote for Ms Liu.

Ms You, who set up the closed group, posted a thumbs up emoji in support of Ms Liang’s posts.

Translation:

  1. Belinda: I have shared it to dozens of groups. I will do it again tonight.
  2. Belinda: @GladiusLiu Elderly people who are more than 80 years old, usually don’t need to vote. My father is almost 90 and he doesn’t want to vote. Can I replace him to vote?
  3. Mary: *thumbs up*

Ms You is close to Ms Liu and helped her organise a December fundraising event.

 

Ms Liu, Ms You and Ms Liang all visited Parliament House together in May last year, posing for photos with prominent Liberal members including Tony Abbott and Kevin Andrews.

Ms Liu also openly praised Ms You on Facebook as being “the best WeChat group manager”.

Inside the room, Ms Liu did not respond to Ms Liang’s post, nor did she intervene to stop the fake article being spread.

Consequently, in 12 closed groups the ABC has monitored, the same article was repeatedly shared by different WeChat accounts of other Liberal supporters.

Ms Liang also encouraged Ms Liu’s closed supporter group to widely share another article attacking Labor’s Safe Schools program.

WeChat group rules

Translation:

Mary You: This is the WeChat group set up to help Gladys Liu, Liberal candidate for Chisholm, to run her federal election campaign.

In an email to the ABC, Ms Liu said: “This WeChat group IS NOT set up to help run my campaign.”

 

“I do have many supporters in the Chinese and broader community as do my opponents and I don’t think it’s either fair or reasonable to expect me or anybody else to monitor or sanction the activities on social media, including WeChat.

“No candidate can be accountable for what other people do as individuals or in their name.

“My Liberal Party Campaign Team for Chisholm, our HQ and our federal secretariat observe all the laws under which elections are conducted.”

The ABC asked Ms Liu to clarify Ms Liang and Ms You’s roles in her campaign, but she did not respond to questions about them.

A Liberal Party Victoria spokesman told the ABC they were not willing to confirm if Ms You was a member of the Liberal Party.

Ms Liang said she was not part of Ms Liu’s campaign team, but is a Liberal supporter.

Additional reporting and research by Cheng Liu.

The hidden campaign: How are you being targeted this election?

This federal election, the ABC is digging into how political messages are being crafted to influence your votes.

We’re collecting texts, emails, robocalls, social media posts, memes, pamphlets, billboards, letters or even posters and graffiti you have spotted in your neighbourhood.

Please submit any material you’ve spotted in the form below.

 *

Name *
Email *
Phone number

Mobile or landline – please include area code
Postcode *

Electorate *

       Choose an option     
       Adelaide     
       Aston     
       Ballarat     
       Banks     
       Barker     
       Barton     
       Bass     
       Bean     
       Bendigo     
       Bennelong     
       Berowra     
       Blair     
       Blaxland     
       Bonner     
       Boothby     
       Bowman     
       Braddon     
       Bradfield     
       Brand     
       Brisbane     
       Bruce     
       Burt     
       Calare     
       Calwell     
       Canberra     
       Canning     
       Capricornia     
       Casey     
       Chifley     
       Chisholm     
       Clark     
       Cook     
       Cooper     
       Corangamite     
       Corio     
       Cowan     
       Cowper     
       Cunningham     
       Curtin     
       Dawson     
       Deakin     
       Dickson     
       Dobell     
       Dunkley     
       Durack     
       Eden-Monaro     
       Fadden     
       Fairfax     
       Farrer     
       Fenner     
       Fisher     
       Flinders     
       Flynn     
       Forde     
       Forrest     
       Fowler     
       Franklin     
       Fraser     
       Fremantle     
       Gellibrand     
       Gilmore     
       Gippsland     
       Goldstein     
       Gorton     
       Grayndler     
       Greenway     
       Grey     
       Griffith     
       Groom     
       Hasluck     
       Herbert     
       Higgins     
       Hindmarsh     
       Hinkler     
       Holt     
       Hotham     
       Hughes     
       Hume     
       Hunter     
       Indi     
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WAGES WENT UP 2.3 PER CENT? REALLY? DON’T BE FOOLED BY THE FIGURES

 

 

Australia’s annual wage growth of 4 per cent …

IN 2013 Australia was the No. 1 Economy in the World … but then the Abbott Coalition Government won government

-since 2013 wage growth has slowed to 2 per cent

-in 2017 wage growth slumped to 1.7 per cent

AUSTRALIA is now teetering on the edge of falling into deflation … we need more job creation and higher wages for Australians …

SUGGESTION …the construction consortia build for Australian First Home Buyers, and Public (social) Housing … and maintain its workforce with Australian Workers

 

Wages went up 2.3 per cent? Really? Don’t be fooled by the figures

 

wages growth december
ABS figures show Australia’s wage-earners are still seeing little growth in their weekly pay packets. Photo: AAP

 

Further confirmation of Australia’s wages growth crisis has fuelled the likelihood of at least one, but probably two, interest rate cuts in 2019.

And, more worryingly, the latest figures may be even worse than they first appear.

Wage growth data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Wednesday showed wages grew by 0.5 per cent in the March quarter, and an unspectacular 2.3 per cent in the year to March.

The 0.5 per cent figure was identical to that from December, was the third consecutive quarter of stagnant growth, and was below the widely expected figure of 0.6 per cent.

The figures have come soon after data showing 0 per cent inflation in the March quarter, and a disconcerting 1.3 per cent for the year to March – virtually half the inflation band of 2 to 3 per cent that the Reserve Bank is aiming for.

The release comes on the eve of jobs data that appears central to whether the Reserve Bank (RBA) will cut the cash rate for the first time since August 2016 to jump-start stagnant economic growth.

The consensus among economists appeared to be that while the figures did not herald any kind of economic disaster, they certainly added fuel to the fire for the RBA to cut rates twice in 2019, to an all-time low of 1 per cent.

*But one economist said Wednesday’s figures were camouflaging far worse news for Australian workers.

Dr Jim Stanford, from the Centre for Future Work, said without the hefty boost from the 3.5 per cent increase to the minimum wage last July, the 2.3 per cent figure would be significantly worse. (And that 3.5 per cent came after a 3.3 per cent hike in July 2017.)

“It’s [the 2.3 per cent increase] a bit of an uptick from the very low levels of a couple of years ago [just below 2 per cent], but still very low and below the target rate of inflation [of 2.5 per cent] and well below the 3.5 per cent which the Reserve Bank wants to see,” Dr Stamford said.

“Whatever growth we have seen over the past year, it’s pretty much due to the 3.5 per cent increase in the minimum wage, which is gradually working its way through the system.

“Without that minimum wage increase, wages would still be very low indeed. We’d be seeing a wage growth figure of more like 2 per cent.”

But that figure needs to be about 3.5 per cent, Dr Stamford said.

*Australia’s traditional annual growth of about 4 per cent a year, but since 2013 that has slowed to about 2 per cent a year, and in 2017 it slumped to 1.7 per cent, according to research by the Centre for Future Work using tax data as the basis of its analysis.

“We are teetering on the edge of falling into deflation, which is a disaster for any economy. To correct that, we need more job creation and higher wages, and neither of those is happening.”

Wage growth – our biggest challenge: Michael Pascoe

Dr Stamford said the prospect for future wage growth will depend heavily on what the Fair Work Commission determines as the increase to minimum wages this year.

While some business groups want a zero increase, and the Australian Chamber of Commerce is calling for just 1.8 per cent, the Australian Council of Trade Unions is demanding a 6 per cent hike.

Embedded video

Unions NSW@unionsnsw

The ACTU have made a submission to the Fair Work Commission asking for a 6% raise to the minimum wage.We should not have workers living in poverty in this country!

Australia needs a pay rise. Australia needs a living wage. @unionsaustralia @MicheleONeilAU @sallymcmanus

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All eyes on employment figures

AMP Capital senior economist Diana Mousina told The New Daily the latest figures and the prospect of a spike in unemployment firm up AMP’s expectation of a rates cut in June and one in the second half of 2019.

With pressure on the housing and construction sectors, AMP has forecast unemployment to peak at 5.5 per cent in the third or fourth quarter of 2019 – well up from the current 5 per cent.

That equates to the loss of 55,000 to 60,000 jobs, she said.

“That’s not that dire for the Australian economy, but it will see employment growth slow to about 2 per cent over the next 12 months, which is down from the 3.4 per cent in 2017 and 2.2 per cent in 2018,” Ms Mousina said.

AAP reported that economists expect the jobless rate to rise to 5.1 per cent, and about 15,000 new jobs created in the month of April, when labour force data is released on Thursday (May 16).

 

SOURCE:  https://thenewdaily.com.au/money/work/2019/05/15/wage-growth-results-march/?utm_source=Adestra&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Morning%20News%20-%2020190516

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