Sunday, December 16, 2012

A post on imbecilic old white men

An interesting twitter exchange yesterday twixt Rupert Murdoch and Malcolm Turnbull related to more shootins in the good ole US of A!
Rupert Murdoch @rupertmurdoch
Terrible news today. When will politicians find courage to ban automatic weapons? As in Oz after similar tragedy.

Malcolm Turnbull @TurnbullMalcolm
@rupertmurdoch I suspect they will find the courage when Fox News enthusiastically campaigns for it.
Rupert did not reply, however in an economic context this yesterday from Rupert was also interesting:
Rupert Murdoch @rupertmurdoch
Cheaper and cheaper US$ causing world inflation and currency wars as many industries become uncompetitive & layoff workers.
Oh dear, an imbecilic old white man who really deserve no respect or serious attention. If only we could get Paul Krugman to make a response on that one!

Meanwhile back in the real world, far far away from Fox News ....... or even the Wall St Journal for that matter!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Queensland: The Dump State?

Back in July Loose Change queried the wisdom of the fast action by the then new State Gummint to deliver on its election promise to axe the waste levy: Queensland wasted: doing the sums for Trouty

This left Queensland lagging other states with similar levies to encourage recycling and more efficient landfill practices. There were some hyperbolic claims by the member for Barron River that the levy had been responsible for the death of the construction industry. Queensland has a poor record compared to other states when it comes to landfill and waste.

Concerns about cross border trade in waste were dismissed despite a hike in the NSW waste levy by the Liberal Gummint there. So it was interesting to this report today at the Sydney Morning Herald: More Sydney trash to be dumped in Queensland:

Drivers heading north on the Pacific Highway will be jostling a rising number of B-double trucks following a decision by the Queensland government earlier this year to remove a levy on waste going to landfill.
As a result, an increasing number of trucks are taking Sydney's trash up the Pacific Highway to dump it across the northern border, with the waste industry estimating 1,000 tonnes of waste a week, or around 25 B-doubles, is now on the highway.
Queensland's Liberal National Party undertook to remove the levy if it won its state elections in March, with the election promise implemented on July 1, when the levy was removed. At the same time, the waste levy in NSW rose a further 10 per cent to $95.20 a tonne.
"When the NSW levy was around $70 a tonne, there was no talk of shipping waste to Queensland, but that changed when the levy topped $80 a tonne," one senior industry figure said. "Now that the levy has topped $95 a tonne, trucks are on the road.
"The top end of town is now talking of establishing transfer stations to send waste north."
Geoff Gerard, business development manager at waste processor Sita Australia, said: "Queensland is now the dumping ground for NSW waste."
Not only general waste is being put on the road, but a rising volume of contaminated waste is also being shipped north, including an estimated 3,000 tonnes of waste from Barangaroo, the redevelopment site on the western side of Sydney's central business district.
Beware the laws of unintended consequences!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

De-amalgamation Dumb

Local Government Minister Crisafulli has announced that referendums will proceed for de-amalgamations of Noosa, Livingstone, Mareeba and Douglas Shires. Problem is that the Boundaries Commissioner has recommended against all but Noosa.

There are reports from the Commissioner and QTC on all four with the following QTC assessment for Douglas:

In the first year, each rateable property in the Proponent Council area will on average need to contribute an extra $701 in rates to cover the costs of de-amalgamation. In the second year, the extra contribution will drop to $462 and is then expected to increase each year based on inflation.
QTC has rated the Proponent Council as very weak. The very weak rating is supported by the following: forecast very high and sustained operating deficits, and the significant liquidity support (overdraft) required to fund operations in all of the five forecast years.
The Ministers own media statement rates the chance of long term viability for Douglas as "highly unlikely". Long term viability for Mareeba is assessed as "unlikely". Yet the referendums will proceed.

Loose Change can think of another D-word for Crisafulli related to the shape of his cranium. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Everage Cairns

Noted this week was a report in the Cairns Post  with a negative comparison of Cairns wages relative to Australia  ....... and Townsville *sigh*:
THE average Cairns worker is taking home $44,813 in yearly salary, about $3000 less than the national average, the Australian Bureau of Statistics says.
Now doesn't that make Cairns look poor? However in terms of regional variation after downloading the data, Cairns looks quite everage to me? This is consistent with a theme I will return to that Cairns is more everage than thought by many.

This report was based on small area data released by ABS this week. It is average personal income data. There are some problems with this: The data is for 2009/2010 which is now two years ago; That was the period of highest unemployment in FNQ, which was also most particular to higher income males; The data is personal income and not household data; The data is exclusive of  Government transfers such as dole and  pensions.

Care should also be taken with average components such as the wage and salary data referenced by the Post as most individuals will have multiple sources of income from different components which such as superannuation and invvestment. Consequently the average wage for a region can be higher than the total average income. The Post appear to have taken their $44,813 number by incorrectly averaging unweighted SA3 wage and salary data for North and South Cairns? Close enough perhaps!

Average incomes in the more productive larger capitals are almost always above regional areas, except for some mining centres. Greater Sydney leads the way with total income average of $55,010. This is well above Greater Melbourne at $50,413.  Greater Brisbane comes in at $48,895. Because these are the largest populations centres they have a significant impact on that national average.

The wage and salary average for the Rest of Queensland is $44,835 which is almost exactly the same as the Post have used for Cairns! Average total personal income from all sources for Rest of Queensland is $42,981 while the equivalent for Cairns is almost $45,000. So Cairns is above the regional Queensland average on that measure.

Total average income, as well as average wages & salaries, are higher in Cairns than both the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast. Total average income in regional Victoria is just $38,995 so perhaps the Post should use that as a headline comparison?