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Monday, 19 February

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Sunday, 18 February

08:06

Follow the money - it won't make you communist "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

Anyone would think I'd gone communist. Along with John Howard.

As soon as the Treasury released its tax expenditures statement last week, I and others who reported it were accused of wanting to ape Eastern Europe, of going "Peak Orwellian".

"The author has raised an interesting concept, everything belongs to the government and one has no individual rights or assets," wrote one of my kinder correspondents.

"The left regards tax not gouged as government spending," wrote another. "Since when has retaining your earnings been a government handout?"

The short answer is: since at least 1998. That's when Howard made it mandatory for the Treasury to report tax expenditures as if they were cash expenditures.

On taking over as Coalition prime minister after 13 years of Labor government, he set up a Commission of Audit to tell him what to cut.

It told him that government programs were delivered in two ways: as direct payments which hurt the budget, and as tax breaks which also hurt the budget.

Although often functionally identical (parents don't care whether they get the family tax benefit as a payment or a rebate, patients don't mind how they get the private health insurance rebate, and most wouldn't know whether the baby bonus was a payment or a tax break) the two get treated quite differently.

Payments get put in the budget of individual ministers as a line item to be scrutinised and reviewed in the lead-up to every budget.

Tax breaks go on no one's budget and become part of the furniture. As the Henry tax review reported later, they can be "difficult to contain".

Accounting for them once a year, in the same way as direct payments are accounted for twice a year in each budget and budget update, lets us know what they are and what they are worth.

It doesn't mean (necessarily) that they are at risk, any more than accounting for the annual cost of the pension means i...

08:00

February 18 On This Day in Australian History "IndyWatch Feed National"

1793 - The first school in the new colony began thumping learnin' into young heads in an unfinished church building in Sydney with the first teacher being one Mr Stephen Barnes.

1796 - One of the Scottish martyrs, Thomas Muir, did a bunk and successfully escaped on an American ship Otter.

1804 - The first Russian to become an Aussie resident - before we were known as Aussies - was John Potocki who was given the Grande Tour of Tassie as a transported convict.

1815 - George Wood and others were lost en route from Illawarra to Shoalhaven to pick up cedar.

1844 - The foundation stone of the monument to Surveyor-General Colonel William Light, over his grave in Light Square, was laid on this day.

1856 - A bovine lad by the name of King Oscar was pupped on this day; being of a lowly state his fate was in the hands of others and, thus, he was sold to Mr Broadie and travelled to Oz where he spent the remainder of his days.

1858 - The HMS Sappho may have been armed with sixteen cannon but she still managed to disappear on her voyage from England ; she was last sighted a few miles off Cape Otway, Vic, on this day and then not seen again. Despite an extensive search in Bass Strait and a report that the masts of a ship were seen protruding from the sea near Wilsons Promontory, no definite trace was ever discovered.

1862 - Margaret Coghlan was Hanged at Campbell Street Gaol, Tassie, for the murder of her husband.

1865 - John McDonald was another Melbournian who chose to chance it aboard the CSS Shenandoah; he popped out of his hiding place after the ship had sailed, becoming another of the OZ & NZ veterans of the American Civil War.

1869 - A transported Fenian, JB O'Reilly, took his unlawful leave from Fremantle in the American whaling ship Gazelle and sailed off into the sunset for USA.

1874 - Little Nell was a steam launch whose boiler exploded during a race with the tug Tamar, off Coulson, Tasmania.  In an attempt to beat the powerful tug, the safety valve of the launchs boiler was clamped down and more fuel thrown on the fire. Eleven on board; the river cutter Margaret rescued three passengers, one dying a few days later, the other two badly scalded.

1874 -  I say, What!
That earnest explorer chappy Ernest Giles was nearly killed by one of his horses when he was thrown and dragged along, only narrowly escaping being killed.

1883 - Jessie Litchfield, a fantastically inspirational woman, was found in the tulip patch. She was an author, poet, Aussie and international journalist and editor of a NT newspaper, who helped push tourism in the Top End.

1893 - The Marlborough Express succinctly stated how both Tamworth and Toowoomba were out of railway and telegraph communicat...

07:56

A tick from the IMF but company tax cuts no sure thing "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

When the International Monetary Fund boosted its forecasts of world economic growth on the back of better prospects in the US this week, Australia's Treasurer Scott Morrison was quick to claim it as an endorsement of company tax cuts.

"These new global growth forecasts demonstrate yet again that the move that's been taken in the United States, but also in other countries, the United Kingdom and France and other parts of the world, to drive their economies and to see their businesses grow, is going to generate growth and jobs," he said.

"Labor is stopping us."

The Fund lifted its forecasts of global growth for this year and the next from 3.7 to 3.9 per cent. It said half of the jump was due to the Trump tax cuts. Its US 2018 US growth forecast climbed from 2.3 to 2.7 per cent and its 2019 forecast from 1.9 to 2.5 per cent.

But much of that boost wasn't due to the most impressive and expensive ($US1.3 trillion) part of the cut; the slicing of the rate from 35 to 21 per cent. It was due to another, cheaper measure: a temporary instant asset write-off. Firms that install new buildings and equipment will be able to deduct the full cost straight away without depreciating it over years. It is similar to, but larger than, capped schemes introduced in Australia by both Labor and the Coalition to boost investment after the global financial crisis and the demise of the mining boom.

Like those schemes, it will be temporary, lasting for five years. Like those schemes, much of it will bring forward investment that most likely would have happened anyway, but later, meaning that when it ends US growth will slump, which is what the IMF expects and one of the reasons it is forecasting weaker US growth down the track.

Australia isn't proposing such a scheme. What the Turnbull government is proposing is a cut in the headline company tax rate from 30 per cent to 25 per cent for all companies, not just those with turnovers of up to $50 million, whose cuts to 25 per cent have already been approved by the Senate.

Will the US cut to 21 per cent, and other cuts including Brtiain's cut to 18 per cent, leave Australia uncompetitive?

It depends on how you calculate competitiveness.

These days John Fraser heads the Commonwealth Treasury. Until 2013 he was head of UBS Global Asset Management and responsible for its worldwide investments. He told a budget forum in Australia in 2015 that while he understood the argument for cutting company tax, his own experience told him that the tax was a "second or third order issue" for would-be investors.

"Generally the internal rates of return that are required the hurdle rates are so high it would be false to say the taxation rate,...

06:58

Gina Rineharts son petitions for Barnaby Joyce to stop wearing Akubra "IndyWatch Feed National"

The writer of this blog-site Donald Elley of Bellingen

Akubra hats are fantastic hats the best you can buy in Australia, and possibly the best in the world. These rough tough Aussie hats, which you can crunch up in a bag and theyll bounce back (better not to), go through a rainstorm and theyll dry out (theyll shrink a fraction) and keep the blazing sun off your fair Anglo-Saxon skin, are great hats.

I see people wandering around Bondi with trendy caps, straw hats, Panama hats and floppy hats, but nothing beats the Akubra.

As for Barnaby Joyce I hope he stays on as Australian Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Nationals. Barnaby is a goof-ball, thick as a brick, self-serving and possibly corrupt. But hes O so entertaining please stay on Barnaby Joyce purely for your unique highly entertaining out-there personality, and nothing else please stay

As for cheating on his wife and getting his much younger female staff member pregnant only Barnaby Joyce could do itgo Barnaby.

...

Saturday, 17 February

17:30

To 18th February the week that has been , in Australian nuclear news Antinuclear

A thaw in North Koreas attitude, with the Winter Olympics. Cynics dismiss this as propaganda, but it has obviously brought some calm to the situation in the two Koreas, and perhaps even changed the equation North Korea v USA.

17:01

Despite local opposition, Australian government still planning for nuclear waste dump in rural South Australia Antinuclear

Planning is continuing for a nuclear waste disposal site in the South Australian outback, despite opposition from local residents. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-17/barndioota-nuclear-waste-site-planning-outrages-locals/9456052

  ABC North and West By Gary-Jon Lysaght 17 Feb 18  The Federal Government has shortlisted two sitesat Kimba on the Eyre Peninsula and one at Barndioota, south of Lake Torrens, near Hawker. The site that is chosen will become a permanent facility for low-level nuclear waste, and will temporarily hold intermediate-level waste.

The intermediate-level waste is currently being held at Lucas Heights, in Sydneys south.

Barndioota is a gazetted area, and was a town between 1883 and 1929. Locals from Quorn and Hawker, the two communities closest to the Barndioota site, have been vocally opposing the site since planning began in 2015.

We can see no reason why youd bring stuff thats temporarily stored somewhere else to a completely new site that hasnt even been built, resident Greg Bannon said.

Mr Bannon is chairman of the Flinders...

15:43

Update on Submissions to the Australian Senate Inquiry on Nuclear Waste Dump Site Selection Antinuclear

The National Radioactive Waste Management Facility Project seems hellbent on keeping this matter in the family the family being itself and a small group of local supporters in the sites already volunteering.

So, it could be a bit of a spanner in the works, for the Australian Senate to be having a Committee of Inquiry into the process. That seems to be inviting outsiders to have a say on the subject of transporting radioactive trash, particularly spent nuclear fuel rod trash 2000 km across Australia, to sit in above ground canisters temporarily near Kimba, South Australia.

Who are the Committee members?  We dont know.  When will it report back?  Thats on August 14th, which might be too late the site selection might have been made by then.

Anyway, people can send in Submissions by April 3rd, and I urge you to do so.

Four pro nuclear submissions are already published on the Senate Committee site.

These submissions come from:

  • Denise Carpenter   member of the Barndioota Consultative Committee. This Committees role is to help determine which is the best site for a National Radioactive Waste Dump.
  • Ian Carpenter is an enthusiastic member of  the Hawker Economic Working Group set up t0 investigate how local people at Barndioota, near Hawker and Quorn, 330km north of Adelaide could benefit if radioactive waste is stored there.
  • Chelsea Haywood
  •  Janice Alex McInnis

    I have skimmed through the...

12:22

New blog "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

This blog is defunct.

Im now blogging on policy, politics, and data viz at mattcowgill.com and on Australian football at thearcfooty.com.

Thanks for reading.

11:00

2017 2018 the the trends in nuclear construction Antinuclear

A year in review: the trends in nuclear construction http://www.constructionglobal.com/infrastructure/year-review-trends-nuclear-construction By DAN BRIGHTMORE Feb 12, 2018 

10:59

Disadvantages of thorium reactors Antinuclear

High start-up costs: Huge investments are needed for thorium nuclear power reactor, as it requires significant amount of testing, analysis and licensing work. Also, there is uncertainty over returns on the investments in these reactors. For utilities, this factor can weigh on the decisions to go ahead with plans to deploy the reactors. The reactors also involve high fuel fabrication and reprocessing costs.

High melting point of thorium oxide: As melting point of thorium oxide is much higher compared to that of uranium oxide, high temperatures are needed to make high density ThO2 and ThO2based mixed oxide fuels. The fuel in nuclear fission reactors is usually based on the metal oxide.

Emission of gamma rays: Presence of Uranium-232 in irradiated thorium or thorium based fuels in large amounts is one of the major disadvantages of thorium nuclear power reactors. It can result in significant emissions of gamma rays.  http://nuclear.energy-business-review.com/news/major-pros-and-cons-of-thorium-nuclear-power-reactor-6058445

10:58

Britains nuclear test veterans to be DNA tested Antinuclear

DNA tests for UKs nuclear bomb veterans http://www.bbc.com/news/health-43075718 16 February 201...

10:52

Shameless: Cheap energy option for consumers still being buried RenewEconomy Antinuclear

AEMC blasted for not providing robust signals for demand response technologies clearly the smartest, cleanest and cheapest option to solve many energy issues, but not one favoured by generators.

via Shameless: Cheap energy option for consumers still being buried RenewEconomy

10:51

Labor MP calls for climate change action #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani #TorresStrait jpratt27 Antinuclear

Queensland Labor MP Cynthia Lui has called for action on climate change during her maiden speech. Queensland Labor MP Cynthia Lui has called for more to be done about climate change in an emotional maiden speech to Queensland parliament. Ms Lui is the first Torres Strait Islander to sit as an MP in any Australian []

via Labor MP calls for climate change action #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani #TorresStrait jpratt27

10:47

Tropical Cyclone 10S (Kelvin) to make landfall over Western Australia "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Tropical Cyclone 10S has formed just off the coast of northern Western Australia on February 16, 2018. The cyclone, still named Tropical Low 1 (17U) by BOM and soon to be internationally known as Kelvin, is expected to reach hurricane strength before making landfall...... Read more

08:00

February 17 On This Day in Australian History "IndyWatch Feed National"

Today is the Fornacalia in Ancient Rome; the festival of ovens, bread and the oven goddess, Fornax, who taught us how to bake that yummy goodness that is bread.

1788 -  Rev. Johnson celebrated the first Communion in the colony. The service was held in Lieutenant Ralph Clark's tent, borrowed for the occasion. The event was recorded by Clark in his journal.
'I will keep this Table also as long as I live for it is the first Table that ever the Lords Supper was eat of in this country'

1788 - Lord Howe Island was innocently sitting in the ocean, soaking up the sun when Lieutenant Henry Ball (wonder what his mates called him? Ballsy Hal? Hank le Billiard? Crystal Ball Gypsy Harry?) tripped over it whilst commanding the ship HMAS Supply en route to that popular holiday resort Norfolk Island and promptly named it after some bloke.

1802 - Matthew Flinders was a busy chap, flinging names for all the features willy nilly on this day.
Pt Whidbey / Whidbey Isles were named after a friend of Flinders, the Master-Attendant at Sheerness, England.

1802 - French Explorer Nicholas Baudin was an equally busy bloke tossing titles all over the shop on this day.

1802 - Fortescue Bay was named Dolomieu Bay by Baudin after Deodat Guy Silvain Tancrede Gratet de Dolomieu (1750-1801), French mineralogist.

1802 - Cape Hauy was named after Ren Just Hay (1743-1822). French mineralogist, born at St. Just, in the department of Oise, educated at the colleges of Navarre and Lemoine, became a teacher at the latter and turned to natural history. He founded the science of crystallography.

1802 - Waterfall Bay was named Monge Bay by Baudin, 17.2.1802, after Gaspar Comte de Peluse Monge (1746-1818), French mathematician.

1802 - Forestier Peninsula named after Henry Verdean Forestier (1755-1806), French Minister for the Navy and administration.

1802 - Cape Surville was named after Louis Charles de Hautefort, Marquis de Surville (1658-1721), French Admiral.

1802 - Greenly Island was named by Flinders after Elizabeth Greenly of Titley Court, the lady to whom Sir Isaac Coffin was engaged. They were married in 1811 and Sir Isaac Coffin assumed the name and arms of Greenly as his wife didn't like the idea of being known as Lady Coffin.

1802 - Avoid Bay was thus dubbed by Flinders from its being exposed to the dangerous southern winds and there are rocks and breakers on each side of the entrance."

1803 - Cape Wilberforce was titled by Matthew Flinders on this day who named it after the Reformer, William Wilberforce.

1803 - The Bromby Islands were named by explorer Flinders on this day after Rev John Bromby of Hull who officiated in the marriage of Flinders to Anne Chappell.

...

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