Saturday, February 28, 2015

Internet job ads for F&NQ

The Department of Employment internet job ads series has been updated for January. The DoE provide this info as a 3 month average and also indexed to 100 from 2010 to enable better comparisons between regions which is what I have used here:

Unfortunately the regions in this series don't correlate with the ABS labour force survey. The 'Far North Queensland' region here also annexes Townsville into FNQ. Pete Faulkner has recently commented on some divergence in the ABS labour stats at Conus: Trend Unemployment rates improve but Cairns and Townsville is a “Tale of Two Cities”

The data does also provide a breakdown into employment classifications indexed here for F&NQ:

Data may require further analysis and manipulation for useful commentary.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Insurance: The case of the TIO revisited

Ever since NQ insurance premiums became in issue with a failure in the strata insurance market in 2011 the pet shop parrots have been spruiking the virtues of the TIO in Darwin.

This led to the somewhat embarrassing incident at the parliamentary inquiry in Cairns where it turned out neither the Insurance Council or the politicians had any idea that the TIO was not regulated by APRA and that the Australian Government was effectively the underwriter of last resort if anything went wrong.

The TIO always claimed an objective to comply with APRA standards anyway but that probably shouldn't be taken for granted given the standard of governance in the NT. Despite some economic prosperity in recent years the NT is effectively a basket case failed state propped up by Canberra. This was noted today on the recent TIO privatisation:
Former TIO CEO Richard Harding told the meeting TIO had $30 billion of insured assets, of which 80% were in greater Darwin. It could not diversify its risk because of government ownership and was competing against national insurers with access to global markets.
TIO had to spend about 30% of its premium dollars on $700 million of reinsurance that would cover a one-in-250-year event. Cyclone Tracy, which devastated Darwin in 1974, was a one-in-600 or 700-year event, so another storm of that size would mean costs falling onto the Government.
Cyclone Tracy often pops up by people trying to equate risk between the NT and NQ. You only have to go to the Bureau of Meteorology to find the NT northern region does indeed have lower cyclone risk relative to the eastern region. The insurance cost of Cyclone Tracy in 2011 dollars was $4 billion.

There were good reasons why state governments abandoned exposure to private insurance risks concentrated within their state as the concentration and value of privately insured property grew. I continue to be perplexed by the number of people confidently spruiking unsubstantiated anecdotal 'evidence' and simple solutions to something complex and poorly understood.

The role particularly of reinsurance, capital and prudential standards were totally lost on the parliamentary committee which simply didn't have the expertise or support to properly address the issue in their inquiry. Information on costs submitted by the Insurance Council to the parliamentary inquiry was that reinsurance comprised about 6% of the premium on a national basis which is way less than the TIO at 30%.

Anyway, Bill Shorten was in town last week and proclaimed that NQ property insurance was a market failure. Never mind that it was he who was actually the responsible minister at the time in 2012 who responded thus when the first inquiry by the Australian Government Actuary instigated by Bill himself found there was no market failure: Australian Government Actuary Report Investigation into Strata Title Insurance Price Rises in North Queensland

Note: At the time insurance premiums were increasing rapidly between 2010 and 2012 APRA was reviewing and implementing revised standards around insurance concentration risk capital at a time when global reinsurance markets were stressed. This was the Suncorp experience in the 2011 reinsurance market: Suncorp burnt by reinsurers.

Previous post: Reinsurance and FNQ

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Does Cairns Airport pay tax?

While in company reporting season mode it is noted that the results for NQ Airports can be found embedded in the results of Auckland International Airport which holds a 24.5% stake. The assets of NQ Airports are the Cairns Airport and the smaller Mackay Airport.

This the extract from the half year to December 31 2014 released by AIA this week:

The last column is percentage change from the previous corresponding half. While the profit after tax bottom line has jumped by 20.8% that is based on a revenue increase of a more modest 3.2% which was mostly attributed to domestic growth at Cairns.
The bottom line profit is also a relatively small percentage of the EBITDAFI so we need to go back to the more detailed 2014 annual report for a look at the components in here:

I wasn't sure what EBITDAFI was. It sounded more like a former Libyan finance minister. However the confusing FI relates to fair value adjustments and investments in associates. Depreciation, Amortisation and Interest then take a big whack out of EBITDA to get to the bottom line profit E.
The tax expense here in FY2014 for NQ Airports is actually a benefit. That doesn't necessarily mean NQA wont effectively pay tax as it distributes the profit as dividends which may then be taxable in the hands of the holders. 
Some background reading here may be a post from Michael West back in 2013 related to Sydney Airport with some mention of Auckland and NQ Airports:  Sydney Airport and the magical mystery tour.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Reef bleached by Aquis

Reef Casino has released its full year results for 2014. Distributable profit for the year down 13.4% on revenue down 5.9%. At the time of the distribution announcement in November I posted a chart of recent years profit history with 2014 estimated and adjusted for the Aquis takeover costs of $600k: Reef Casino treads water

The result was still short on 2013 even after allowing for the Aquis costs but more interesting were such as this in today's results commentary:

“The Aquis takeover bid implementation agreement requirements resulted in the management team devoting significant resources for most of the year to assist Aquis in “integration and planning” which otherwise would have been devoted wholly to the day to day operations of the Reef Hotel Casino.”

Commentary that follows then includes some very poor outcomes on casino visitation and table games:

Overall, the Reef Hotel Casino achieved a commendable outcome given the interruptions to day to day operations because of the Aquis takeover bid proposal.

Casino visitations were down 16.1% on last year. Contributing factors included a soft and flat local economy, a competitive local market and the cessation of year round direct flights from China into Cairns.

Electronic gaming machine turnover was up 10.8% on last year and revenues were up 12.5% on last year. Patron support from local, domestic and international markets was strong throughout the year. The Reef Casino achieved a record level of electronic gaming machine turnover and revenue in 2014. Electronic gaming’s strong performance was underpinned by the introduction of new games and machines and a full program of promotions and entertainment.

Table games: Total revenues were down 25.7% on last year mainly due to cessation of year round direct flights from China and a change in the mix of the Chinese tourist market (with a bias towards the lower end of the market). Compared to 2013, premium play revenues were lower in 2014 due to a lower win rate and less activity.

Rooms revenues were 6.2% higher compared to last year, due to good yield management.

Overall, food and beverage revenues held up well and were down just 1.1% on last year reflecting lower casino visitations.

The RCT valuation range in the independent experts report for the Aquis takeover was based on relative EBITDA multiples. An updated comparison based on further analysis of this result relative to other listed casinos (Crown, Echo, Sky City) could be interesting.

Nothing in this result deters my suspicion that the shenanigans around the probity dispute with OLGR last year could well have been a deliberate exit strategy by the Friendly Fung Family (FFF) to back out of the deal and defeat the implementation agreement.

Meanwhile down in Canberra the FFF have called in the painters, extended opening hours to 4am, and hired a rugby team to promote the casino.

Lunar new year phases Airport

Cairns Airport turned in a negative month in January with Domestic + International (ex transits) passengers down 3.4% on the previous year. However the Chinese lunar new year may play some role falling last year at the end of January and this year I think almost as late in the lunar cycle as it can fall in February. So we will have to wait for next month to really assess any impact here.

There is a comment that closure of Skytrans also marginally impacted domestic traffic.
Meanwhile there appears to have been some problem with the monthly overseas arrivals and departures data from the ABS. Apparently these have been delayed by "passenger card processing issues" at Dep't of Immigration. There is a release today for last September and contingency plans to catch up over coming months.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Tax Review in South Australia

South Australia has started a review of state taxation with a discussion paper which covers tax issues relevant to most states including Queensland: Tax Review in South Australia

Debate and discussion on state tax reform and revenue has been squibbed by both sides in Queensland. Revenue measures got a run in the initial interim Costello audit report for the ex- government then was put back in its box and was seen nowhere in the final report or since. Perhaps this is an approach the new government could look at?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Master Builders Gapwatch

I always have fun with the Queensland Master Builders state of industry conditions report. Most particularly the forecasting capability of members and whether they will ever close the gap between their forecast for the coming quarter and the subsequent actual outcome in the residential building conditions index. The gap converged the previous quarter but has now widened again slightly.

More interesting was that the forecast for the coming quarter declined to the lowest index level since the September 2013 quarter forecast. Quite possibly a state election during the month may have had some influence on survey results.

This is not the way QMB do their graphs but I prefer my method given the poor historical correlation between the actual and forecasts. Perhaps the two lines could converge and cross over yet?


The survey results for the Queensland economy and outlook have also been trending down since the September quarter 2013. There is some variation between the regions and in FNQ it was noted that trading conditions had finally resurfaced into positive territory on the index although the outlook for the coming March quarter was more subdued.


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Building Approvals for December

Building approvals recovery in CRC appears to have lost some momentum towards the end of last year with December data released last week Regional building approvals dip

An encouraging sign has been increased although patchy activity in the smaller unit sector with 14 dwelling unit approvals in Woree. This actually makes Woree the unit hotspot this year! I'm not sure when and how final approvals for the Aspial project will come through in the data which may make a mess of any attempted analysis.

The SA2 region split between Cairns North and Cairns South:

However also noted with those unit approvals at Woree was that they also dominated Cairns South so when stripped out it was the house sector in the southern corridor which was particularly weak. The most recent CairnsWatch report had noted increasing land prices was related to activity at the Northern Beaches.

As previously noted with house building activity dominated by the North this will also likely skew the median to that area and away from the cheaper land to the South.

Cairns SA4 broken down by SA3 region data:

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Katter makes sense! Opposes populism! World stops!

An interesting opinion piece in the Townsville Bulletin today: LNP doesn't have the goods for government
Labor’s four pages of election costings and its plan to pay down debt were dubious, but the party at least presented some kind of plan of paying for its promises – without leasing assets – prior to the election. This means Labor’s $100 million pledge over four years to fund Townsville’s super stadium can be met.
Mr Katter yesterday called on Labor to abandon its commitment for the stadium, saying the money should be spent on “productive infrastructure”, not “populist infrastructure”. He said he was concerned about the ongoing liability for taxpayers.
Some of these concerns may be valid: Stadiums Queensland – which manages the State’s biggest stadiums including Suncorp and 1300 SMILES – records multi-million-dollar losses every year, which are underwritten by the government. However, as the Townsville’s stadium’s feasibility study made clear, the flow-on effects to the community are significant: the project is estimated to generate more than 570 new jobs and $81 million in value added activity in construction, and an incremental annual contribution of 31 new jobs and $2.6 million in value added activity.
No matter how valid Mr Katter’s points are about the need for infrastructure in north-west Queensland vis-à-vis a stadium, he shouldn’t force Labor to abandon its biggest infrastructure commitment.

The "significant" annual flow-on effect of 31 new jobs and $2.6 million in value added activity sounds rather trivial to me for a feasibility study based on a $150 million stadium. Could it be that down in Townsville some are now a bit worried about the future of their "super stadium"?

It isn't clear how $100 million over four years will fund a $150 million stadium anyway? In a list of infrastructure funding priorities for any incoming state government this 'promise' should be somewhere closer to the bottom and on the endangered list to be taken out the back and shot.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Great moments in local democracy

Cairns Post:
The member for Cairns has officially resigned from council, leaving his Division 3 seat vacant.
Council is now calling for nominations for the position.
Mr Pyne suspects council will avoid the expense of a by-election by choosing to appoint an applicant.
“A man named Ian Hodge polled second (to Mr Pyne in 2012) and he ran on the Mayor’s unity ticket,” said Mr Pyne.
“But what happens will be a call for all the councillors to make.”

However his Facebook page appears to indicate that Ian is currently resident in Port Moresby:


Ian is also understood to be involved in the Cairns Game Fishing Club which is believed to have received a generous donation from the Friendly Fung Family.

What was that I said in a previous post about electoral reform again? The Local Government Act could well do with some substantial reform.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Where did you vote in Cairns?

ECQ booth details seem to indicate that 45% of votes cast in Cairns (ex absentee and postal etc) were at the showground pre-poll centre. Barron River 25%. Is that right or have I misunderstood something? Nope that's correct. Cairns topped the state and possibly an all time state record I would guess.

Cairns; Barron River

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Time for electoral reform: reposted from 2012

Sunday, July 8, 2012

FNQ surrounded by unicameral majoritarian tyranny

At Club Troppo, Nicholas Gruen has posted the unexpergated version of an opinion by Mike Pepperday in last weeks AFR. This provides a perspective on the problematic instability of PNG politics. There is also some interesting background to the history of the political structure:
In 1975 the Whitlam government set up PNG with a single chamber of parliament (a “unicameral” system) to which MPs were elected from single-member electorates (so-called “majoritarian” representation). This design—a single chamber composed of electorates each represented by a single member—has never worked for any country.
Where did Australian officials get the idea? In 1975 the only Australian instance was Queensland. World-wide, there were only two democratic examples. One was New Zealand, at that time unicameral for 25 years and regretting it even more than they had regretted the bicameral parliament they had had for a century. The other was Northern Ireland, at that time in flames. In short, they had no model; they experimented. Other majoritarian, unicameral countries were Mauritius, then under a state of emergency, and some catastrophic African states.
Perhaps it had something to do with Gough's regard for the Senate as it couldn't possibly have been influenced by his respect for Joh Bjelke-Petersen (Note: I think the term was "bible bashing bastard")? It does however also place Queensland in an intersting position given the history and current lopsided parliament, with NZ and Northern Ireland having both since replaced the unicameral majoritarian structure. The NT was also established by Whitlam as a unicameral majoritarian structure, which means FNQ is surrounded!

Pepperday's comments on PNG also deserve at least some contemplation in context of the recent post here at Loose Change on PNG and political stability:
Australia and New Zealand have propped up Pacific countries since their independence. They can go on propping up the micro-states indefinitely but PNG, with its six million people and its resource wealth, is becoming independent of our handouts. Private security companies are moving in and guns are flooding in. A showdown looms. The prospect is for civil strife and take over by the colonels. They will bring order, Torrens title, ethnic cleansing, and refugee camps on Cape York.
Quite colourful and perhaps hyperbole, but we do appear to be quite sanguine and perhaps complacent about the possibility and consequences of  political dysfunction in PNG for the Far North?

Update: Failed statehood. Is it time for an(other) NT intervention?

Queensland unhinged: Polls, pundits and the odds (updated)

As the Queensland polls draw closer to closure may I reflect on my post of the first weekend of the campaign: Polls, pundits and the odds.
There was an excellent post yesterday at the Oz by Jack the Insider with an allegedly unique combination of polls and betting odds but who am I to doubt such an esteemed psephologist: Gambling on Queensland's Future
That leaves us with LNP 44, Labor 41, KAP 3, Independent 1 and a hung parliament. Minority government. Delicious chaos.
Don’t forget, this method comes with a five seat differential. It’s entirely possible the LNP can scramble to 45 seats or perhaps one or two more and govern in its own right but Labor most certainly cannot.

Jack came to a baseline 38 for the ALP with a further 9 vulnerable based on the odds: Springwood, Albert, Mirani, Pine Rivers, Everton, Pumicestone, Broadwater and Barron River and one held by an independent (the seat of Gaven). Jack has an excellent analysis of the oddball Queenslander seats such as Gaven and the ghosts of Pauline Hansen which may play a role in any hung outcome with potential for surprises. I will ignore these seats prone to insanity.
I only looked at the Sportsbet odds and managed to get the key seat odds there this morning before they closed the book. I did a quick tally of individual seats on Sportsbet yesterday which had LNP 48, ALP 37, Others 4. I compiled a Sportsbet list today where the odds were close enough for the outsider to be less than $5. I have Burleigh also in my vulnerable LNP list but now wondering if I got the odds the wrong way around on that? 
Anyway to go back to the first week of the campaign when I compiled the initial data the spread of seats now regarded as critical looked like this with odds translated to probabilities:

That was first weekend of the campaign. Red are the ones where odds currently favour ALP. The pattern there is exactly what you would expect. Now look at this for these electorates with the probability v the current margin derived from Antony Green at ABC:
Again what should be expected at an early stage with odds correlated with margin. The one most divergent there is Ashgrove again should be expected. So how has this changed between the first weekend and today for these critical electorates:
No longer an even curve and a distinct split with whoever is favourite opening a lead. What does the XY scatter look like:
Same again with a split between the two. No idea what it means but will be curious as to how the results and odds work out.
To get to a hung parliament the ALP need to get at least three of those nine or so most contested where the odds currently favour LNP. To get to an absolute majority would be something of a stretch.  This doesn't come out much different from Jack the Insider although there are several more caveats and uncertainties this time than may usually be so which could bring any scenario or analysis unstuck. 
Barron River and possibly Mundingburra are the ones in NQ that come into play here and where the odds have actually moved towards the LNP since the campaign started. Again, in FNQ Barron River and Cairns are also very different demographics and should be expected to diverge from a previously similar outcome.
However, what would I know. I gamble about once a decade and back in 2004 the odds and polls didn't seem to match so I was the mug who punted for Latham on Sportsbet! The odds turned out to be better than the polls then so I did my money but not always so. Who knows this time around o_O
Update: Queensland the unhinged state! Well I guess an outsider win in a stretch is probably good for the bookies? Bastards! Someone has done their money in Barron River anyway! Meanwhile down in NSW Coalition $1.01 Labor $17.00 *slap* No! No!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Well I guess they can't both be right?

"Labor has the only track record of delivery for the Bruce. The ALP was spending $116 million a year on the Bruce. Now the LNP have bundled it up nicely as $1 billion over 10 years but break that down and it’s around $100 million a year, $16 million a year less." ROB PYNE (ALP), Candidate for Cairns, Cairns Post

“The Bruce Highway funding includes $188 million of state funding in 2014-15, as we deliver our election promise to deliver an additional $1 billion over 10 years.” SCOTT EMERSON (LNP), Transport & Main Roads Minister, Media Statement 2014-15 budget.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Cairns cargo cult turns cannibal

Media and tourism industry response was almost universally positive to the announcement on Friday of increased airline capacity from China: Australian, Chinese governments make landmark air services agreement
A landmark air services agreement between the Australian and Chinese governments will open the way for new routes. The cap on seats from China's largest cities to the Australian gateway cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth will triple to almost 67,000 seats each week by 2016. Routes to smaller cities, like Adelaide and Cairns, will have no limits.
Well almost universal with the Cairns Post reporting it this way: New capital city China flights blasted by Cairns business leaders
AVIATION and tourism leaders have blasted a federal government decision to add extra China flights to capital city airports at the expense of Cairns. 
How can additional capacity above current constraints at the major gateways be described as being at the expense of Cairns. There is nothing at all favouring those gateways over Cairns and no limitations if the economics of direct services to Cairns stack up. In fact provisions continue for the airlines to operate an additional 2,500 seats per week each way above the new major gateway cap if they stopover at Cairns en route.

There is no preferential access at all to the major gateways at the expense of Cairns. In fact what Kevin Brown (Cairns Airport) and Alex de Waal (TTNQ) are effectively demanding is that growth of the entire Australian tourism market be restrained to try and force airlines to fly to Cairns regardless of viability. The Cairns Cargo Cult has turned cannibal on the rest of the Australian tourism industry with a zero sum mentality.

This could never stack up as economically optimal for Australia. While not denying the benefit to TNQ and Cairns from direct international flights it was only last year that Brown was telling us:        
"We had direct China Eastern flights from Shanghai in place for most of 2013 and even without direct flights the Chinese visitor market shows strong growth trends with people willing to reach our destination via domestic services from other parts of Australia."
Growth in the entire Chinese market may increase the viability of direct flights longer term. Veteran aviation journalist Ben Sandilands doesn't seem so pessimistic at the Crikey Plane Talking blog:
It can expect to see a range of regionally focused carriers coming from parts of China outside of Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai, and given the capacity constraints at Sydney, some of them are likely to fly 787 or A330 sized jets to Canberra, or even Newcastle, if the access limitations of civil movements at a military airport can ever be fully addressed.
Australian can expect to see such second tier China carriers fly to Hobart, Cairns, and maybe in ten years time, even to Wellcamp (Brisbane’s far far far west airport). Gold Coast airport will be full before we know it, and Maroochydore could see regular flights by 250-350 passenger jets.
The influx will grow not just the hotel industry, including the construction side, but domestic air travel.
The response here from Cairns Airport and TTNQ only demonstrates everything that can go wrong with any Northern Australia policy as the rent-seekers subjugate the broader and national interest for their own self-interest. Alex de Waal continues to underwhelm at TTNQ.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Regional employment a drag on Queensland

Conus has updated the trend series for todays ABS regional labour force data with some local analysis: Regional jobs data is poor for Cairns

There are some interesting things happening around some of those numbers in Cairns and Townsville particularly the participation rates. However I thought I would stick to a broader state and regional perspective with a few graphs. This from last weeks national data showing the Queensland share of total Australian employment:

The Queensland share hit its highest level at 20.54% back in February 2009 and has since edged lower to 20.02%.
I recently posted a comparison of annual employment growth between SEQ and the Regions. This is compiled from the Conus Trend data amalgamating Greater Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast from the ABS regions to form SEQ. This has been updated and annual employment growth for the Regions remains negative at the lowest levels for the series. Gold Coast has been the biggest contributor to employment growth in Queensland over the past year.
Similar to the first graph this is then the Regional (ex SEQ) share of total Queensland employment derived from the Conus Trend data:
I think this last graph can also be added to the list of reasons why the population target in the Queensland Plan for 50% to live outside SEQ is *stupid*.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

No turbulence at airport in December

Despite an exuberant, lengthy and number laden report at the Cairns Post the traffic numbers at Cairns Airport in December were so boring I almost wasn't going to post anything this month. There is not much different to last month, or the month before that, with consistent but somewhat slower growth from domestic routes than in recent years.

This is Y-o-Y monthly passenger growth over the last few years, domestic + international (ex transits), with a 12 month rolling average:

  Source: Cairns Airport

There is commentary this month that domestic passengers increased 4.2% despite slower capacity growth. This is consistent with reports elsewhere with Sydney also reporting improved load factors as the domestic airlines return to commercial sense and profitability.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Houses lead rents higher

Latest quarterly data from the Residential Tenancy Authority consolidates Cairns position at the top of the NQ rental costs table based on new rental bonds lodged. Median house rents in Cairns pushed higher in the December quarter while Townsville remains soft and Mackay continues to decline.

Not so much in the unit sector where the median rent in the December quarter was flat on the previous year in Cairns.

Mackay investors must be particularly disillusioned after their successful legal challenge was legislatively overturned by Crisafulli last year leaving them also with a highly unfavourable council rates structure.

Another example of significant demographic variation between the local state electorates with the proportion of rental households based on 2011 census:

Cairns            48.1%
Barron River  33.5%
Mulgrave       36.4%
Queensland    33.2%

Note: Cairns will also be far more heavily weighted to units. Previous post: Cairns rents fit for a King

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Drover's dog set to win Cairns

There is no shortage of material however I have found attempting to post anything during the election period a mentally difficult strain.

However HT to Conus with an update on the Small Areas Labour Market data. I posted on this previously with some concerns and had a good response from the DoE who compile the data. DoE have now compiled the series back beyond the 2011 census. I will post on this subsequently.

An overlay with state electorates and the SA2 data could also be interesting. This is the latest SA2 data for Cairns:

If I were to overlay this with the state electoral divisions and consider the demographics I could quite easily come to the conclusion that the win by the LNP in Cairns in 2012 was something of an anomaly. I would also suggest that someone in the ALP should be deeply embarrassed that the electorate was ever lost or even became marginal before 2012.

The proverbial drover's dog should be able to reclaim Cairns for the ALP!

Meanwhile some links on last weeks labour force data:

Qld Govt benefits from volatile jobs data – still vulnerable over bulk of jobs growth being part-time over first term

Very strong labour force data; QLD too good to be true?

The economy is not out of the woods yet

Australia's record jobs growth is a game-changer

Monday, January 12, 2015

Election 2015: We are all stupid now #1

The Newman employment announcement yesterday included a target of 209,000 over the six years to 2021. Queensland Economy Watch beat me to an intended graph of historical six year employment growth: Qld Govt’s new jobs target much more achievable than previous 4% unemployment rate target

This indicates that the target based on Treasury advice is conservative by historical standards and particularly when population and labour force growth are considered. I'm surprised this hasn't attracted more attention given that Treasurer Tim was still spruiking the 4% target until quite recently as the two are fundamentally inconsistent.

Conus has parsed a few parameters based on historical assumptions which could still hypothetically see an unemployment rate increase to 7.7%:  What does the LNP pledge for 209,000 extra jobs actually mean?

Another way to look at it I had a very quick preliminary look at the Queensland population forecasts by age group. These are supplied with medium / low / high projections. It would appear to require something close to the low forecast to stabilise employment to relevant population ratios around recent levels, even allowing for aging, if only 209,000 jobs are created over the period. Weak interstate migration has been particularly noted in recent years.

Pete again asks the question at Conus of why politicians persist with such specific targets and perceived promises over something where they have limited influence anyway. Sportsbet is still backing an LNP Premier Tim after January 31 so maybe the focus will then return to the more stupid 4% target.