Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Monday, May 23, 2016

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Catching up with land valuations

Some info and graphs on the most recent 2016 Cairns land valuations from the Valuer-General have been posted at CairnsEconomy.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

February Building Approvals

February building approvals data from ABS was out this week. Commentary graphs and links have been posted over here at CairnsEconomy.

A project in progress as much to organise information for myself as others and hopefully will make more sense in a few weeks time .........

Monday, April 4, 2016

4 Corners: British Virgin Islands revisited, again

Following tonight's 4 Corners on tax havens perhaps timely to repost a link from more than two years ago now: The Man from the British Virgin Islands

Sun Hung Kai Properties featured prominently tonight on 4 Corners. Childhood playmates of Tony Fung and the same source of inherited wealth.

There is no insinuation of anything improper from Tony Fung or Aquis in that connection. However perhaps it is about time for the Queensland Government to clarify whether they regard any significant investment or control from any BVI entity as the ultimate beneficial owner in a Queensland casino as acceptable or even a problem?

Friday, April 1, 2016

CairnsWatch Watch

The latest monthly HTW CairnsWatch for March was out yesterday. Through the first half of last year I had some problems with the airport trend analysis: Say what?. I have the same problem again although perhaps not as extreme.
"...passenger numbers at the domestic terminal (which also include international tourists arriving on domestic flights) have increased in trend terms by 8.3%. Overall passenger numbers at Cairns Airport have grown in trend terms by 10.1% over the period from February 2015 to February 2016."
Recent growth has been robust but I can't see how a trend quite that high can be derived. There has been a single month (January) with domestic growth above that in the last year.

Source: Cairns Airport

The trend line there is a simple 12 month moving average currently just below 5%. A 3 month average is 7.0%. Similarly the overall trend growth at CairnsWatch just looks a bit high to reconcile on current numbers.

Apart from that the most significant item of interest in this CairnsWatch is probably a move down in rental vacancy rate trends.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Right said Fred

Cairns Post: Fitzroy Island tour operator dismisses coral bleaching reports
Raging Thunder owner Fred Ariel, who operates day­trips to the island, said the only bleaching his staff had spotted at the fringing reef was very minor, covering a small car-sized area.
“Reading about it and hearing about it on the news that there’s bleaching on Lizard ­Island, and now Fitzroy Island – it’s bulls**t,’’ Mr Ariel said.

Would that be the same Fred Ariel who enthused a few years ago in 2010 about building a water pipeline from the PNG highlands: Businessman defends PNG water pipeline
An Australian businessman on Friday defended his ambitious plan to build a $US27 billion ($A29.97 billion) pipeline to transport fresh water from Papua New Guinea to the Australian state of Queensland as feasible.
Fred Ariel said his Might and Power company had signed a deal with the PNG government to complete a feasibility study into the construction of a 3000km pipeline to supply farming and drinking water.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Monkeys and airport data

Cairns Airport backed up after a strong performance in December with even better numbers in January. Again this wasn't just restricted to Cairns with other airports also reporting big numbers above previous growth trends:

JanuaryDomesticInternational  Total
Gold Coast9.1%11.9%9.5%

However we also need to remember that this is the time of year when the Chinese lunar new year can distort trend analysis. January last year had been a rare negative month for Cairns because of this with a late new year. Year of the monkey still fell in February this year but a few weeks earlier towards January.

Source: Cairns Airport

Cairns Post:  Spike in Chinese travellers at Cairns Airport over New Year celebrations

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Cairns Unhinged: Bob responsible for lower $AUD and growth of China

Cairns Council Election 2016.
Lies, distortions and exaggerations. Not necessarily in that order.

Perhaps the Unity link headline should really be "Bob claims credit for lower $AUD and growth of China" 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Rating the rates benchmarks

I have managed to avoid most of the council election brouhaha until this week but that is always especially difficult for me when it come to council rates. The Cairns Unity team and Mayor are running aggressively on their performance re finances and rates. They have presented this graph as part of their social media campaign: Residential Rates Benchmarking

How to assess and rate this graph? The first thing that stands out is that truncated y-axis which is listed #1 at How to Lie with Data Visualisation. There may be circumstances where a y-axis scale needs to be adjusted for relevance. This is not one of them.

While it does state that what is presented is a median residential rate it doesn't reference any source or more detailed clarification. Trying to compare council rates is time consuming and complex with different rates structures. I know that because I have done it, or tried to do it.

Does the comparison include payment and owner-occupier discounts offered by some councils? Does this represent both houses and strata units where there will be a different mix and rates structure for each council? It appears to represent rates inclusive of utility charges. Comparison of water charges can have its own problems particularly with SEQ where there are different arrangements. A single graph to provide a comprehensive comparison is probably impossible to achieve.

If I was scoring this graph out of 10 for me not providing a source reference is the equivalent of not giving Manu any sauce on #MKR. A huge negative. Similarly the y-scale is the equivalent of undercooked chicken, or in this case they have overcooked the graph. While I have always agreed that Cairns rates are generally competitive and comparatively low, which is not new or just a consequence of the current council, I would score this graph only 3 2 out of 10 as a reliable and valid presentation of that.

So how to score this response from Connect Cairns via Twitter ?

I think my response to that Tweet on Twitter was a succinct and probably adequate expression of my contempt. Connect also lose points for degrading Twitter to the standard of Facebook. I score this a negative. Minus 5 (-5). Take it away, it stinks.

Further links: Local Government Comparative Reports;  Benchmarking council rates