Election 2016 open thread: budgets and pork barrels

Three weeks to go and the biggest story electionwise for me wasn’t the 10-year Labor budget plan, it was Turnbull’s pork barrel strategy.

Turnbull’s $1.7 billion pork barrel strategy

Phillip Coorey in the AFR has reported that the LNP are carpet bombing marginal seats with small vote-buying grants. We’ve had 58 “micro-announcements” in Coalition seats for projects like revamped football club change rooms, new netball courts, fixing mobile phone black spots. Some $1.3 billion has been used to sandbag LNP marginal seats. Funds have also been allocated to nine Labor seats and Denison, held by independent Andrew Wilke. Continue reading Election 2016 open thread: budgets and pork barrels

Mixed signals on renewable energy

Bishop_CVtboY_WUAAXfLS_cropped_220In spite of information that Turnbull had done a deal on climate with the denialist Nationals in return for their support of the Coalition, hopes lived on that the Government would begin to take climate change seriously. At the Paris conference last December Greg Hunt, says Bill McKibben, went “on and on about his great, deep personal commitment to all of this, and how this was his most pressing personal thing you could ever imagine” and Julie Bishop more than entered into the spirit of things. The photo shows her close and friendly with Tony de Brum of the Marshall Islands. Continue reading Mixed signals on renewable energy

Low Cost Ways of Reducing Congestion

What follows is a study I made some time ago into low cost ways of reducing congestion along Moggill Rd, a key through road that goes through Kenmore Brisbane near where I live.  The study is of general interest because many of the identified problems and solutions are applicable for a wide range of urban situations. Continue reading Low Cost Ways of Reducing Congestion

Saturday salon 4/6

1. Here come the Chinese

One million Chinese tourists account for 23% of tourist trip spend at $8.9 billion, an increase of 38% in the last year.

I’m not sure how excited we should get. I remember being told in Heidelberg Castle in 2008 that they got 4 million each year. In Prague the number of 70 million was quoted. Tourism here is small beer, but I wouldn’t like to live in that sort of melee. Our Brisbane Queen Street mall on Friday afternoon was pleasantly cosmopolitan. Continue reading Saturday salon 4/6

Election 2016 open thread: war edition

Economy up, living standards down, and ScoMo starts a war as a distraction. Only 29 more days to go!

The national accounts figures were ostensibly good news for the Government. GDP growth at an annual rate of 3.1 per cent is brilliant. The next OECD economy I think is the UK with 2.1 per cent.

Jacob Greber in the AFR put it this way: Continue reading Election 2016 open thread: war edition