Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Economy

There’s certainly some good news in this year’s Tasmania Report …

image
Ted Mead graphic

First published December 11

Tasmania’s economy is about $4¼bn (or 8¼%) larger than previously reckoned, because of revisions to the ABS estimates of gross state product which were included in their most recent State Accounts published last month. These revisions stem largely from the fact that the ABS now thinks the Tasmanian economy grew faster than previously reckoned between 2003-04 and 2012-13.

 Among other things, these revisions mean that the ‘gap’ between Tasmania’s economic performance and the rest of Australia’s isn’t quite as large as it previously seemed – our per capita GSP is now estimated ‘only’ about 22% below the national average, instead of nearly 27%, which previous estimates suggested. (That is still a very large gap, however, and much of this Report is about how it could be reduced).

 Some parts of the Tasmanian economy are doing really well – in particular, agriculture, tourism, health & aged care and IT & telecommunications. Business confidence remains high; and Tasmanian businesses are more supportive of state government policies than anywhere else in Australia. Business investment has been rising in Tasmania at a time when it has been falling on the mainland. Some areas of non-residential construction – in particular, hotels and offices – are experiencing record-high levels of activity. Tasmania’s exports are recovering strongly after a slump last year.

 Tasmania’s property market is doing very well. Residential property prices in Hobart are now rising more rapidly than in any other capital city (albeit from a much lower base) and selling more quickly than for a very long time. Property prices are also rising, although not as rapidly as in Hobart.

 Employment grew strongly during 2016-17 – and is now, finally, above the previous peak just before the global financial crisis. Tasmania’s unemployment rate is down to around 6%, still above the national average, but that’s partly because the participation rate has picked up: the proportion of the 15-64 year-old population who are working is at its highest level since the financial crisis.

 Population growth is picking up again, because more people are moving to Tasmania from the mainland than the other way round for the first time in 6 years.

 Tasmania’s state public sector is (except in one respect) in good financial shape, with spending growing at a consistently slower rate than revenue. Non-financial public sector net debt is lower, relative to the size of Tasmania’s economy, than it is in any other state or territory except New South Wales.

However there are also some areas of Tasmania’s economy that are not doing so well:

 Household spending remains soft, probably reflecting the same factors as in the rest of Australia (in particular weak household income growth).

 Housing activity has been surprisingly weak, given the strength in property prices), and despite a strong rise in building approvals since winter last year. The level of housing activity in 2016-17 was the lowest in 16 years. Extensions to the First Home Owners’ Grant haven’t worked.

 Most of the growth in employment has been in part-time jobs (even more so than on the mainland). The level of full-time employment is still 9% below its pre-financial crisis peak. Under-employment and long-term unemployment remain much higher in Tasmania than elsewhere in Australia.

 The manufacturing and mining sectors are still experiencing very difficult conditions.

 Rents are under significant upward pressure in Hobart, with the vacancy rate falling to its lowest level in at least seven years. Rental affordability for low-income households in Hobart is now worse than in any other capital city except Sydney.

 Despite its very strong position with regard to public sector net debt, Tasmania’s unfunded public sector superannuation liability is by a wide margin the largest in Australia, and represents a major impediment to Tasmania’s capacity to take advantage of near-record low long-term interest rates in order to fund much-needed infrastructure investment.

Some other aspects of Tasmania’s recent economic performance are also troubling:

 Tasmania’s overall economic growth rate has not improved over the past three years. Long-term real per capita GSP growth remains about half of what it was prior to the financial crisis.

 Economic growth remains disproportionately dependent on public sector spending, with public consumption and investment expenditure accounting for more than 80% of the recorded growth in real GSP over the past three years.

And Tasmania faces a significant risk from the possibility that the GST revenue-sharing arrangements will be changed, in order to placate Western Australia, in ways that would have a very negative impact on Tasmania’s public finances, forcing some combination of large tax increases and spending cuts.

Notwithstanding the ‘good news’ presented in this year’s Tasmania Report, the long-term challenges identified and analysed in the two previous Tasmania Reports remain:

 Tasmanians are still the oldest, sickest, least well-educated, least employed and poorest population of any Australian state.

 (As mentioned above) notwithstanding the upward revisions in the most recent ABS State Accounts, Tasmania’s per capita gross product is $15,500 or 22% below the national average.

 This gap reflects below-average participation in employment, fewer-than-average hours worked, and below-average labour productivity.

Given Tasmania’s demographic profile, and its inability (for reasons which it cannot control) to attract a significant presence of the highest-productivity forms of economic activity, there is a significant risk that the Tasmanian living standards will continue to decline relative to those of the rest of Australia if nothing is done to address the causes of Tasmania’s inertia.

The single biggest factor underlying each of these factors is Tasmania’s below-average levels of educational attainment, which in turn are the result of long-standing below-average levels of educational participation.

 Contrary to what is often asserted, Tasmania’s below-average levels of educational participation and attainment are not the result of an above-average proportion of the population living in rural or regional areas, nor are the result of a higher-than average representation of low socio-economic status households.

 Nor are they the result of insufficient spending on education – on the contrary, Tasmania spends more per student, and a higher percentage of its income, on education than the national average, yet gets worse results.

 The thing which stands out as being different about Tasmania’s education system is its separate senior secondary college system – which no other state has seen fit to copy (even for its regional areas) in the past six decades, despite its alleged superiority as a way of delivering Year 11 and 12 courses.

There is some evidence that the Government’s extension of Year 11 & 12 courses to rural and regional high schools is resulting in higher retention and attainment rates.

 The Government’s plan to replicate this in the four major population centres deserves widespread support – although ultimately it is likely to, and should, mean the abandonment of the college system. The colleges could be converted into, or merged with, comprehensive high schools.

The Report doesn’t pretend to offer a comprehensive list of recommendations for whoever forms Government after next year’s election. However it does suggest:

 Setting a target for Tasmania’s economic performance – a suggested goal is lifting Tasmania’s per capita gross product to the proportion of the national average to where South Australia is today – ie from 78½% to 83½%. This could be achieved within a decade if Tasmania’s per capita GSP were to grow by ¾ pc point pa above the national average, as it did between 2001-02 and 2008-09.

 Make big changes to the structure of Tasmanian education – by ‘biting the bullet’ on the college system and providing every Tasmanian student with the opportunity to complete Year 12 where she or he starts Year 7 – the same opportunity as every student in every other state.

 Spend more on health and community services – two areas where Tasmania is clearly spending less than it needs to in order to provide services comparable to those in other states. But also pursue reforms in the way health care is managed and provided as recommended by the Productivity Commission.

 Undertake wide-ranging state tax reform, in particular, lower the rate and broaden the base of payroll tax (with all employers paying less than 4%, which would be the lowest in Australia), and preference new businesses rather than small businesses; and be the first state to gradually replace stamp duties with a broadly-based land tax.

 Consider selling or leasing one or more of TasNetworks, Aurora Energy, TasPorts or the MAIB, depositing the proceeds with the Australian Government’s Future Fund in order to offset some of Tasmania’s (massive) unfunded superannuation liability, and thereby providing some ‘headroom’ to borrow in order to fund higher levels of investment on (rigorously selected) infrastructure.

This amounts to a plea for boldness and imagination on the part of those seeking to be the next Tasmanian Government. To quote the last two paragraphs of the Report:

The economic and social challenges facing Tasmania, over the next four years and well beyond, cannot be addressed by a government which has sought a mandate for doing nothing more than ‘minding the store’, however competently they promise to do that.

Tasmania has made some genuine and tangible progress in recent years. There is a greater sense of optimism about what may be possible. This is a moment in Tasmania’s history where those who seek to shape its future should be imaginative and bold, rather than cautious or timid. It is a time, to paraphrase Robert Kennedy, to think of what could be, and ask “why not?”

Download Tasmania Report …
Tasmania_Report_2017.pdf

• Download Presentation Slides …
Tasmania_Report_2017_Presentation_slides.pdf

*Saul Eslake is an independent economist and Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Tasmania. His previous roles were as Chief Economist at ANZ Bank (1995-2009), Program Director at the Grattan Institute, a ‘think-tank’ (2009-2011) and Chief Economist Australia for Bank of America Merrill Lynch (2011-2015).

Cassy O’Connor: Greens the only party with vision The social and economic challenges laid out in the Tasmania Report reinforce the need for courage and vision from all political parties contesting the 2018 State election …

Labor: Tasmania Report forces Government to confront reality on colleges

Will Hodgman: Response to the Tasmania Report

Examiner: Saul Eslake’s Tasmania Report critique sparks debate on future of colleges in Tasmania

Examiner: Saul Eslake says Tasmanian Government should sell off some of its companies

25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. john hayward

    December 10, 2017 at 10:27 am

    To the question of “why not?” we can simply consider both the objectives and the quality of the LibLab/Tas Inc culture. Is there any evidence that its adherents have any understanding of, or interest in, the public interest?

    John Hayward

  2. Tony Stone

    December 10, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    How can you judge an economy as good because prices and profits are rising unless you are a supporter of destroying the living standards of the majority and further feathering he nests of the corporate and academic elites.

    However when you look at the track record of economists’ predictions, compared to the real outcomes, you soon realise Disneyland thinking is alive and well.

    Yes, let’s sell off more of our profit making enterprises so the big end of town can take over, rip us off and destroy a viable future.

    We already are fully aware of what privatisation does to our economy and the people’s living standards – disaster on all fronts.

    The only ones doing well are the corporate elites and monopolies. The people are going backwards in every aspect of life. All the suggestions in this thread are what we hear constantly from politicians and academics, and never have they got it right.

    How about we increase corporate tax to a flat 30% of gross profit and no executive deductions? They get paid more than enough.

    We could also turn things around by increasing personal income tax to 35% for wages over $50,000, 55% for those earning over $100,000, 65% for wages over $200,000 and 85% wages over $500, 000 and 95% for executive bonuses, share offerings and perks.

    The way our economy is run now is certainly not working except for the overpaid over-educated elites who provide nothing but disaster after disaster for the people and future.

  3. TV Resident

    December 10, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    In my opinion it is a ridiculous suggestion that the gov’t of the day should sell off publicly owned GBEs for short term gain. This only leads to price rises in our commodities because they have to keep shareholders happy with constantly rising profits. Saul Eslake, I used to think you spoke a lot of sense, but this is a stupid suggestion from you, are you now trying to appease wealthy mates just like the liberals try or what???.

  4. mike seabrook

    December 10, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    where is the logic

    tell me what price is est. 60% of tassies electricity generated sold at – is it 4c per kwh

    tell me what is paid to non tasmanians for wind generated electricity- is it 8c per kwh

    what is the cost of using the bass strait electricity cable – is it 5c per kwh for electrcity transferred

    why charge me c 30c per kwh

  5. Ted Mead

    December 10, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    I am totally opposed to selling off public assets, or profitable GBEs if there is such a thing.

    I’ll tell you what though – I’m willing to give the Hodgman government and the people of Tasmania $1 for STT. That’s far more than any savvy business man would ever contemplate considerate carries with it the kiss of economic profitable death.

    After the said transfer to my name I would instantly stand on the podium and announce its shut down. This would be the in best interest of everyone on the planet, not to mention the Tasmanian taxpayer, full stop.

    Just think of the kudos one would receive by removing one of the most wasteful, destructive and insidious business that has ever existed in the modern developing world.

    This business deal will be a must for all and sundry who carry a conscience.

  6. O'Brien

    December 10, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    “Fella in business got to lie an’ cheat, but he calls it somepin else. That’s what’s important. You go steal that tire an’ you’re a thief, but he tried to steal your four dollars for a busted tire. They call that sound business.”
    (John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath)

    What Saul Eslake is trying to say is government should steal public property and give it to the rich, as if it were the natural order of things. Although he would call it “sound business”.

  7. Ted Mead

    December 10, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    A couple of pertinent quotes –

    1 – “The purpose of studying economics is not to acquire a set of ready-made answers to economic questions, but to learn how to avoid being deceived by economists”. – Joan Robinson.

    2 – “Today, the top one-tenth of 1% owns nearly as much wealth as the bottom 90%. The economic game is rigged, and this level of inequality is unsustainable. We need an economy that works for all, not just the powerful.” – Bernie Sanders

  8. O'Brien

    December 11, 2017 at 2:43 am

    “When I was a kid my ol’ man give me a haltered heifer an’ says take her down an git her serviced. An’ the fella says, I done it, an’ ever’ time since then when I hear a business man talkin’ about service, I wonder who’s gettin’ screwed.”
    (John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath)

  9. O'Brien

    December 11, 2017 at 5:55 am

    “In their lapels the insignia of lodges and service clubs, places where they can go and, by a weight of numbers of little worried men, reassure themselves that business is noble and not the curious ritualized thievery they know it is; that business men are intelligent in spite of the records of their stupidity; that they are kind and charitable in spite of the principles of sound business; that their lives are rich instead of the thin tiresome routines they know; and that a time is coming when they will not be afraid any more.”
    (John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath)

  10. Gordon Bradbury

    December 11, 2017 at 9:55 am

    Isn’t it curious how so many people jump to criticise. As if tearing something down, and stopping the conversation will help Tasmania!!

    Do people know how to have a supporting creative conversation that supports and builds, or is negativity now the only thing Tasmania has to offer?

    I don’t agree with everything Saul has to say, and I have a few ideas of my own, but I do not want to shut the conversation down with overwhelming negativity.

  11. Ted Mead

    December 11, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    #11, Gordon … Economic criticism is well warranted in this state if you judge it on the manner our political buffoons are running the show here!

    Our way of modern life is almost completely based on economics, and a majority of it is fundamentally flawed and imbalanced as to benefit the rich and influential at the cost of the simplistic life that many others wish to pursue.

    An egalitarian society should be based on equitable distribution of wealth and natural assets giving access to the same basic essential needs for everyone. On that note you have to admit that the current system is not structured around such an ideology and it’s therefore open or designed for the rich to dominate, which ultimately means exploiting the poor and the natural environment we are totally dependent upon.

    Most economists are analysts who look at the present data of a social/economical operations and trends. Their predictions and recommendation do little to actually reform anything, in my view, because it’s beyond the scope of most people’s reception. Some switched-on economists clearly identify where and why fiscal problems exist, but unfortunately biased politics restricts most forms of amelioration.

    I think your perception and view on Forestry in Tasmania is a clear example of economic irrationalism that is not being addressed by governments, yet the follies continue unabated.

    As far as economists go I think Saul has a fair understanding of what’s going on within Tasmania, though I wouldn’t like to see him in treasury dictating what public assets we need to sell off to balance the books. There are few cases I think, where privatisation of public assets and utilities actually benefit the masses. History shows us that once we have lost control of our public utilities then we are subjected to the operator’s terms.

    In my view GBEs should not necessarily be designed to make a notable profit. If they provide an essential service that cannot be undertaken by a private operator then a respectable financial loss would be acceptable to most taxpayers. Public transport and freighting are pertinent examples. Metro Tasmania and TT- line do provide such services.

    Unfortunately for many reasons the losses of some GBEs seems to be way out of kilter with any such ideology.

    Saul never mentioned anything about dissolving STT and Tas Racing, which everyone knows are hellish financial burdens to this state. Saul’s failure to do so is indicative of his political position as not to rock the boat on any such sensitive issues!

    We don’t all need to be broadly savvy to understand that global economics in its current form, through natural resource plundering and third world worker exploitation, doesn’t augur good for the future of society and the planet for that matter!

    Global natural resources are finite, and no manner of highly educated economic analysis is going to change that fact!

  12. Robin Charles Halton

    December 11, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    What good news, what is Saul talking about, selling off public assets is criminal, just look at the mess SA and Vic are in with too early a closure of their older coal fired power stations.

    Both states are on edge and now rely on dirty filthy diesel generators to make up for their mistakes of not having future electricity planning in place having been dependent on a circus of privateers to run the show!

    Although Tasmania has renewable electricity, there is no reason what so ever to make it global trading toy just to make it someones else’s business to play with and not ours.

    The nation interest comes first, trading important infrastructure off to foreigners is not the way to make capital.

    A more prudent business model for the Hydro with less confidants, consultants, surplus hangers on and more efficient use of staff, employees and equipment.

    Forget all of the Carbon trading rubbish, its all imaginary nonsense an unnecessary distraction to the hard line reality of providing reliable electricity 24/7.

    Good long term planning and cost control measures with regular maintenance of existing infrastructure is essential, anything could happen when under foreign owned or leased control.

  13. Chris

    December 11, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    How much of the hydro can I buy, and like Telstra get it at a bargain price courtesy of the invader of Iraq. Look after me mates, eh?
    How much won’t the price of power rise as a result, just like Kennet – sack em, sell em and then support their depression.
    Saul I’m very disappointed as thought you would have thought it out.

  14. max

    December 11, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    #13 Robin … When you say dirty filthy diesel generators are you referring to CO2 emissions? Wood is the the worst followed by coal and then diesel.

    King Island has reduced its diesel generation to nearly zero with renewables, and when the wave generator is up and running diesel power generation will possibly be a thing of the past.

    Renewables can now supply base load power, all that is required is the will.

    I know that you doubt global warming but the proof is out there for all to see, and if we continue down the present path the world as as we know it will be over for future generations.

  15. Ted Mead

    December 11, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    #13 … Robin, you continue to display like your dark-age ideology riddled with hypocrisy.

    Privatising public assets has predominantly being espoused and undertaken by conservative governments throughout the western world, particularly the right-wingers. These (ie Tas Liberals) are exactly the people you claim to vote for, so why?

    Privatisation swung into action back in UK in the early 1980’s, and I have no doubt that if Thatcher was in Australian politics today you’d be voting for her !

    Kennett (Liberal, Vic) flogged off Heazelwood PS remember? – That didn’t economically turn out well in the end.

    I think the Tas rails buy-back sent caution into the wind in this state.

    Even if the Liberals here announced that they would privatise Hydro Tas, I doubt it would deter your vote for them.

    Where would you run to then – Jackie Lambie?

    By the way, the newly leased diesel 276 MW generators in South Australia will also run off gas. In general they will be on stand-by in case there is an overload demand under extreme heat-wave conditions.

    The government has pulled out all stops with a 500 MW energy supply program to avoid another power supply failure, but these leased generators will soon be unnecessary once all the solar farms come online in the near future. Victoria is also going to lease a 100 MW generator.

    The incompatible frequency blackout start-up issue will be resolved through the installation of the Tesla battery bank. Elon Musk has sorted out Puerto Rico’s power issues after the Hurricane there 3 months ago: https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2017/10/19/16431312/elon-musk-richard-branson-clean-energy-puerto-rico-solar-batteries-microgrid

    Nobody can immediately respond to power crisis supply with instant coal-fired generation.

    Elon Musk and the renewable revolution is where all the answers lie. The problem is for the biased conservatives to get up to speed with the technology which is now cheaper and quicker to construct.

    The future for coal is moribund !!

  16. Robin Charles Halton

    December 12, 2017 at 8:19 am

    #16 Ted, I co-exist with reality.
    The Elon Musk 0ne hour emergency battery supply technology is expected to be put to the stress test shortly as the summer warms which will test levels of electricity supply that can cope with weather patterns that can severely test the reliability of South Australia’s over dependence on Renewables.

    We’ll wait and see if their grid can cope without the diesel back in their panic to avert power shortages and outages!

    Politically, I am already well aware of Kennett’s grand mistake by privatising the Victoria’s electricity grid, a remarkable mistake for “Beyond Blue”

    Why would I not vote for the State Liberals, the will of the people is not to sell the Hydro, Hodgeman has already expressed the public’s view and not that of Paul Eslake.

    Yes, Jackie Lambie will produce decent advocates in what will be a hung Parliament being able to work alongside with either Labor or the Liberals, unlike the Greens who mainly stir up trouble and make Parliament unworkable.

  17. max

    December 12, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    The Tasmanian government is selling one of our utility assets, not by stealth, openly. The hydro is selling the wind farms to the Chinese.

    We will never know what deal was offered to the Chinese but you can guarantee it was profitable or they wouldn’t have been interested. Why would any government in its right mind sell a profitable utility to a foreign power and lose the profits that could have come back to the people as cheaper power?

    It doesn’t have to be a foreign power, even home grown buyers shouldn’t be given deals on utilities.

  18. Duncan Mills

    December 12, 2017 at 9:50 pm

    Any author, no matter how credentialed, is going to be unconsciously framed by existential interests. The uncomfortable fact of life is we are not naturally rational beings, we are firstly instinctive, emotional creatures of habit. Only in fact capable rational ethical action after sustained constructively critical blind review.

    Labor, Liberal, Green or even individuals such as Saul Eslake have their communities with which they identify with and value.

    Few of us are strong enough to be objective enough to rise above their clan to have a clear view on long term human needs, or the limitations of their largely unconsciously received view of the world,through peer group enculturation.

    Every report should be prefaced by a personal declaration of possible influences.

    Well said all.

  19. Robin Charles Halton

    December 14, 2017 at 8:41 am

    Australian newspaper Thursday December 14th
    THE NATION page 6

    “Energy use soars as states seek relief from heatwave”energy usage in Victoria soared to 4x the daily average Wednesday 13th, with temperatures above 40 degree C.
    A major power station fired up another turbine but was unable to name which one!
    According to NEM Victoria peaked at about 9000MW, 4x the daily average.

    “Heavy industry fears summers of blackouts”
    NSW concerns about closure of Heazlewood in Victoria.

    “Climate -friendly” investors, banks pour billions into coal, countries where coal fired power is expanding, CHINA,INDIA,TURKEY,INDONESIA,VIETNAM,JAPAN,
    EGYPT,BANGLADESH,PAKISTAN and S KOREA

    SE Australia can look out, as it is only early in summer yet, my good Green friends Ted and Max!

  20. max

    December 14, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    #20 Robin … “Energy use soars as states seek relief from heatwave.” Still banging the same drum without accepting the fact that the unseasonable heatwaves are caused by climate change.

    Fixing the problem of CO2 must be a priority or it will not be a heat wave, it will be an unlivable temperature that no air conditioning will fix.

    Why do you assume that I am a greenie? Is there something wrong with the Greens? Are they the only ones who want to save the world? Is it wrong to want to leave the world a better place than the one we inherited?

  21. john hayward

    December 14, 2017 at 11:16 pm

    Critics of the sale of Tasmanian public assets should put themselves in the shoes of those cronies who are buying them for 10% of their market value, soon to be realised on resale.

    Do you really want to succumb to the politics of envy? Peter Dutton and Michaelia Cash worked hard for all their negatively geared properties.

    John Hayward

  22. mike seabrook

    December 15, 2017 at 12:24 am

    #18 …I guess that they do not to wish to sell electricity to the zinc works or the aluminium smelter at est. 4 c per kwh delivered.

  23. Pete Godfrey

    December 15, 2017 at 9:17 am

    #22 John you are so generous. Suggesting that the mates pay 10% of the value of government property is just way too generous.
    The fellow that bought the Royal Derwent in New Norfolk got it for $350k then had a furniture sale that netted him $1.5 million. He still had something like 65 houses and the hospital buildings to sell after that.
    Then the Brighton Army base valued at $6.5 million, from memory the lucky mate who bought that for $185k did a bit better than your 10%.
    Not sure how the builders of the police boat went, they got to build a boat that was in such a hurry to be used that no tender was put out. Then after over $1.5 million it was basically sold for scrap.
    The sale of the old LGH (launceston hospital) was pretty lucrative. It went from being a “derelict building” to being a 5 star hotel and conference centre without too much work at all. It would have been worth far more as a carpark than the people of Tasmania got.
    Then we gave away the Pine Plantations and a 50 year lease went with it, now we have given away the worlds most expensive hardwood plantations and thrown in a 99 year lease gratis.
    We have form, why not continue, that seems to be the modus operandi.

  24. Ted Mead

    December 17, 2017 at 10:30 am

    #20 … I can only assume that your source of information comes solely from the mainstream tabloids. One day you might realise that these extreme right-winged slanted media only print what they want you to believe or indoctrinate you with.

    Coal is not expanding on a global scale. It was only 5 years ago when the International Energy Agency expected world-wide coal-burning to grow by 40% come 2040. Since then they have revised their figure back to near 0%

    You rattle on about bank investment, but given the global expansion and the revolution in renewables I doubt any reliable bank would see coal as a future investment ideal for lending. Why do you think Adani is having so many setbacks raising a loan? That’s why they want dumb old Australia to underwrite such a high-risk investment.

    China did build some new coal-fired power stations recently, but they also shut down over a thousand of them last year.

    Coal burning in Europe will be extinct in greater Europe zone by 2025 – only 8 years away. Every power plant is losing money there now.

    Read this whilst you’re nursing your aches and pains in your rocking chair!

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/08/death-spiral-half-of-europes-coal-plants-are-losing-money

  25. MJF

    December 17, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    #24 … Not to mention Federral Hotels pokie licence, the Tas govt bail out of the Abt rail or purchasing Tasrail back from last privateer owner Pacific National with run down locos and tracks which had a 60km speed limit imposed over the whole system.

    Or the golden handshake to Richard Butler which actually wasn’t required.

    #25 So a UK tabloid from a mass media company is any different?

    Adani is having trouble raising a loan because they have little money of their own to invest, their loan facilities with their local banks are maxxed out, they have a complex system of offshore tax haven shelf companies with one involved with the rail corridor suggesting fairly shady governance, they have a poor environmental and civil rights record and have had their NAFI application vetoed by a compromised Labor premier who decided she better ‘fess up that she sleeps with a bloke who worked on Adanis application for funding.

    She also can’t decide what she wants or how she is going to address her growing state deficit.

    Oh yes, and the small matter of green scaremongering to panicky local banks hasn’t helped.

    Little to do with actual coal sale volumes in my opinion

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