Tasmanian Times


The Budget …

At a glance …
Read more here
The Oz wrap here

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  1. Don Davey

    May 9, 2007 at 8:22 am

    The old “crawl before you walk” scenario applies in whatever we do and Costello at this time is but treasurer, not P.M. yet ! and HE is on the right track ‘
    As with any business (and running the country should be approached in exactly the same way) a profit or a debt free environment must first be realised before spending huge sums and Costello has achieved what i believe to be a good budget (not perfect) but much, much, more than any govt in the past has been capable of ,all of this in an environment of a hundred year worst drought, Iraq, Indonesian tsunami, etc,etc, and yet an excellent SURPLUS in spite of it,and dare one mention a clearance of the huge debt left by Labour ,and all this in 10 years or so !
    Costello, i believe has at this time (sadly enough ) much more to concern him in getting best outcomes for all Australians rather than the cessation of the Tassie pulp mill, which the repercussions of which he should he be COMPLETELY aware ! however i doubt that he does as
    it falls under Malcolm Turnbulls portfolio .
    Apart from our own ( PULP MILL) problem i have great faith in COSTELLO’s ability to put and keep this country on the right track, lets hope he gets the opportunity ,as if this other Howard clone or (clown), ascends the throne we are in deep, deep, shit !

  2. Charles and Claire Gilmour

    May 9, 2007 at 1:05 am

    Mr John Howard, Peter Costello, Malcolm Turnbull, can you please explain to us the point of us having solar panels when the smoke from Forestry fires shuts out the sun, to the extent it reduces our power input?

    Please forward our reimbursement for the fuel for our toxic generator, because of your desire to prop up, and allow the Forestry industry to cut, poison, burn and pulp the rare and unique rainforest and the habitat of the so called federally protected endangered species around us.

    Because otherwise we can’t see or hear what you are telling us.

  3. Gerry Mander

    May 8, 2007 at 9:40 pm

    Senator Arbetz has entered the debate and it appears that now MIS companies from July 1st will be able to trade in futures.

    After possessing plantations for 4 years, they will now be allowed to trade with them, thus putting a new face on the industry. By being allowed to trade with their interests before the trees have matured, this will enable them to raise more money and invest even more in plantations.

    ‘But’, says Senator Arbetz, ‘this will encourage more saw-log plantations that take longer to grow’. The government is of the belief that better pricing information will be available to the shareholders and with the added incentive of new ‘carbon sink funding’, investors will be able to depreciate their investments, get tax breaks and thus promote new plantations and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Who needs Kyoto when we’ve got Tasmania?

    That’s the plan, anyway.

    Hands up all those that can see the odd flaw in this argument?

    Firstly you’ve got to find some land to grow them on. Well, there’s lots of it that still has some worthless old trees on it, so if we can get rid of those, we are then eligible for a nice subsidy to replant the vacant lot with millions of little ones. It doesn’t necessarily say that they HAVE to be the longer growing species, but there are obviously going to be some, because this will allow the MIS companies to trade with their assets for longer on the stock exchange. The subsidy can be viewed as a carbon trading credit, which will make everybody happy.

    In one way or another this will obviously boost the industry, and give them some excellent fodder for spin. As this is being done under the ‘horticultural plant provision’, eventually these trees will probably be presented as a big bouquet of flowers to John Gay.

    I didn’t see though, anything about paying this credit back when the trees (or flowers) are harvested. I didn’t see any value put on existing ‘carbon sinks,’ which might be a rather nice way of describing our Old Growth forests. I didn’t see anything about the cost of the depreciation of land quality and the additional cost for water, or the necessity to further deplete our wildlife and tourism industry, etc. Rosy tinted specs!

    No, this is a happy story with huge potential, and I am sure, in the final income…. (sorry) outcome, they will all be able to live happily ever after.

  4. Don Davey

    May 8, 2007 at 5:32 pm

    I have always maintained that Costello will be a good prime minister and after watching his address to the national press club today ,i will go further in stating that in my opinion, should he get the opportunity (which is well deserved) he will go on to be a “great” Prime Minister , perhaps the greatest ever, and why ? because he makes down to earth common sense ! good things can come only from doing the “ground work towards a solid economy” .
    If this nation is to continue to prosper ,we cannot afford for him to not ascend the throne, and also keep an input into the treasury portfolio.
    Don Davey

  5. Watts steam kettle

    May 8, 2007 at 1:56 pm

    Oh great! An $8000 rebate for solar panels. That means that after I pay for the installation of a basic 5.4kW grid feeding system on my roof to save 96 bucks a year, the payback period on my investment will only be about 35 years! You really have to wonder about the mental capacity of our leaders and the gullible public if you think this initiative is really going to save the planet.

  6. Phill Pullinger

    May 8, 2007 at 1:43 pm


    Tasmania’s conservation council is concerned that the Federal budget’s environment spending may prop up the logging of old growth forests. The budget proposed $24 million in tax deductions for “carbon sink forest establishment”. Environment Tasmania fears this will act as an incentive to big woodchip companies to clear native forests in order to establish tree plantations.

    “Our concern is that the proposed $24 million outlined in the Federal budget for ‘carbon sink forest’ establishment will actually be a direct subsidy for woodchip companies like Gunns to clear Old-growth forests and Native forests and establish plantations on the cleared land,” he continued, “If that were the case, then this measure will actually worsen rather than help to solve Climate Change,” he continued.

    “Landclearing produces over 10% of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions, and annual logging activities in Tasmania alone contributes the equivalent greenhouse pollution of putting an extra 4.6 million cars on the road,” said Dr Phill Pullinger, Convenor of Environment Tasmania, “Tackling logging and land-clearing is going to be one of the key steps required in our response to climate change,”

    “Whilst there is some tinkering around the edges of the issue of Climate Change in this Federal budget with welcome subsidies for solar panels and energy efficiency initiatives, there has been an utter failure to address the key policy challenges of global warming, such as a 2020 CO2 reduction target, tackling logging and landclearing in Australia, and increasing the MRET,” Dr Pullinger concluded.

    Environment Tasmania is Tasmania’s representative conservation council. It represents more than 20 member conservation groups from across the state, collectively representing more than 5000 Tasmanians.

    Dr Phill Pullinger: Convenor, Environment Tasmania

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