Saturday salon 18/3

1. Sally McManus is one to watch

Sally McManus has just become the first female secretary of the ACTU. When she went to study a bachelor of arts at university her parents said “We never knew you were good at painting.”

There’s been a bit of a kerfuffle over Leigh Sales ‘gotcha’ question about supporting the rule of law on the 7.30 Report. McManus took the bait head-on by stating that there was no obligation to obey an unjust law. Christopher Pyne called it “anarcho-Marxist claptrap”. Bill Shorten took the easy road and said “We believe in changing bad laws not breaking them.”

People should remember Rosa Parks and Mahatma Gandhi.

McManus believes in solidarity, is good with social media campaigns, was credited with mobilising an “army” of volunteers to doorknock and call voters in the lead-up to last year’s federal election, and is said to have taken a hand in the WA election. Leo D’Angelo Fisher says:

    In a staid and insipid political environment, Ms McManus’ performance on 7.30 suggests she is someone to watch – for all the right reasons.

2. Geert Wilders fails in Netherlands election

Geoff Russell at Crikey (probably paywalled) explains the basics of the Netherlands election. There are 150 seats, and any party winning more than 0.7% of the vote can win a seat. Last time there were 11 parties, but:

    the right-liberal People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and the centre-left Labour Party won a majority between them (41 and 38 seats respectively), and formed a coalition government with VVD leader Mark Rutte as prime minister.

There was much attention on Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom (PVV), with its anti-Muslim and anti-European policies. Russell said he would never win, polling at 15%, and no other party would join him.

Here’s the result from Wikipedia:

Wilders picked up five seats, to make 20, the second biggest party. Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) lost 8, but is still by far the biggest with 33, and will probably form government.

The shocker was the Labour Party, which lost 29, to be left with nine, in seventh place behind the Green Left party. There was a move to the smaller parties, and the new parliament will have 13.

There is much rejoicing around Europe. Seems this time the efforts of the Russians and the American far right have not succeeded.

Here’s Richard Maher at The Conversation.

3. White spot lays waste to fishing industry

White spot disease in prawns has now been found in the wild in Moreton Bay near the Redcliffe Peninsular and Deception Bay. The disease has no effect on humans, but the prawns cannot be sold. This is what they look like:

The disease is highly contagious, lethal to crustaceans and has reduced prawn farm productivity by up to 40 per cent overseas. A ban has been placed on moving uncooked crustaceans from an area encompassing Brisbane, north to the Noosa and south the NSW border, to prevent the disease spreading to Bundaberg and other prawn fisheries.. I heard Turnbull say that these things happen and now we are going to “fix” the problem.

The problem is actually unfixable with known science.

Late last year white spot was found in fish farms in the Logan River, south of Brisbane. The industry begged Biosecurity Australia to ban the import of Asia green prawns. Biosecurity Australia did nothing, suggesting, without any evidence, that the prawn farmers themselves had imported the disease. As the last farm was wiped out with chlorine to kill off infected prawns, Barnaby Joyce intervened and instituted the ban. Too late.

Prawn fishers can now still catch prawns in Moreton Bay, but those exporting to Sydney and elsewhere must now sell locally. One retailer said local sales dropped by 90%. The state government is urging us to keep eating prawns. It is probably a matter of time before the disease spreads to the whole bay.

At the bottom of this mess is the Biosecurity Australia policy to implement “acceptable risk” in importation to improve competition and drive down prices. And their pathetically small sampling rates of imports to detect problems.

Farmers say, and I’m with them, that if you accept risk, it’s a matter of time before you fall in a hole. That’s a $25 million industry at Logan down the crapper, with a $30 million Moreton Bay industry to come, in the clever country.

4. Bullies everywhere

There are about 3.8 million students attending Australia’s schools. We are told the around 25% experience bullying.

On Tuesday night Ian Thorpe in an ABC TV program, tackled the issue one at a time. More here.

Reaction has largely been positive, but Michael Carr-Greg slammed it, saying that they entered a school without permission and kids rights had been violated.

It was hard to watch, and exemplified the harm done by bullying.

I have reservations, however. Thorpe said they developed strategies for dealing with bullying.

Strategies that don’t involve the teachers of the school are actually useless, and nothing was done to correct the behaviour of the bullies. I was not impressed with ‘expert’ Professor Marilyn Campbell.

At Buranda where my son went to school, they taught ethics in the classroom as part of the philosophy program. If issues were experienced in the playground they were brought into the classroom and discussed there.

Bullying is endemic in Australian society. Bullies include some teachers and school principals, as well as politicians. Nothing much has changed in 20 years.

113 thoughts on “Saturday salon 18/3”

  1. Biosecurity and quarantine should be the highest order issue for any Australian government. Simple border control.

    Ballast water has spread white spot to so many Countries, it was a bureaucratic failure not to prevent it here.

    CSIRO, tap tap, are you awake or distracted by other things ?

  2. I’m sure it will with a liberal amount of their own free speech.
    I have empathy for his partner, Lo Mong Lau, being subjected to such rubbish so soon after her beloveds passing.

  3. Personally, I don’t believe Bill Leak was either a racist or a coward.

    Artist, satirist, cartoonist, controversialist; but not racist.

    The paywall has prevented my reading the “Saturday Paper” piece.

  4. Ambigulous, click on the red box for a free week.

    Can’t work out the name of the writer though. Coward perhaps.

  5. Ambigulous, the editorial makes a solid argument that Leak’s recent cartoons were racist. Probably its most telling criticism is

    Leak’s late-career targets were rarely the powerful. At some point he gave up on genuine insight. About the same time, he gave up on being funny.

    This is at odds with his earlier work for the Oz (which I admire) and I believe the reason for the change is probably the neurological damage from his accident. He was an extremely talented visual artist and an affable, intelligent presenter when he worked on ABC radio. As a fan I was dismayed by his swerve into bigotry.
    However my comment takes issue with the people lionising his “crusade for freedom of speech”, particularly since those are the ones most likely to get precious about someone exercising their freedom of speech by (figuratively) pissing on his grave.
    Poor, politically correct little snowflakes that they are, I will not be surprised if Devine, Albrechtson, Akkerman, Bolt et al are shocked! (shocked I tell you) that the editorialist of the Saturday Paper dared to exercise freedom of speech and tell it as he/she sees it.

  6. I will not be surprised if Devine, Albrechtson, Akkerman, Bolt et al are shocked! (shocked I tell you) that the editorialist of the Saturday Paper dared to exercise freedom of speech and tell it as he/she sees it.

    I’d be surprised if they read the swill unless their attention is drawn to it.

  7. I don’t know enough of Leak’s work to make a comment, but his 2009 interview with Richard Fidler was truly amazing. The neurological damage was certainly enough to have made a before and after difference, but whether it did or not, I can’t personally say.

  8. Brian, that conversation was replayed during the week and in his introduction Fidler, who was a close friend, made the observation that Leak changed dramatically (“from one of the most left wing people ever”) but probably didn’t think he’d changed at all.

  9. Van Badham enters the lists on what Sally McManus said. She says McManus:

    had merely affirmed in her first 7.30 interview that in an Australia where unions are fined more for walking off unsafe worksites than corporations when workers die on the job, the ACTU would be backing in union members’ right to safety over any present, unjust law. The ACTU, its allies and antecedents have held this position since the industrial revolution: master-servant laws, indentured serfdom and child labour were once legal while the eight-hour day, minimum wage and equal pay were not.

    Interesting article from Van Badham. Do Australians hold values that are essentially leftwing?

  10. I’m sure there is more than one person that regards Laws against flogging Van Badham with an onion bag half full of Echidnas as unjust.
    Not me though, I like Echidnas.

  11. That is a great article, Brian.

    I’m inclined to be a little sympathetic to Turnbull (hence only flogging once a week) because it is less his being a weak leader than it is his being stuck with a weak ideology and, let’s call them what they are, a stupid party hierachy and sad collection of ministerial material.

    I think Van Badham did not need to use so many words to prove Australian’s to be left leaning as it is in the very culture of the great Australian “fair go”, a national character that was forge by the common sharing and caring through times of extreme hardship (harsh beginnings, droughts, wars, depressions, more droughts, more wars), something which the right elites are oblivious to.

  12. I think, Jumpy, that in declaring your self a Trump Fawner you have buried your opinions under a mound of crap that even a dung beetle would fail to extract itself from.

    The thing is that Trumplings care nothing for the environment, in the image of their idol, so your claim to be a echidna fauna fawner fails to convince.

  13. Brian, the ‘fair go’ was still alive when I arrived on Australia’s shores in early eighties. It then got transmogrified by Howard into ‘mateship’ where ‘battlers’ could take solace in Menzien styled leadership by possibly our worst PM ever!

    A do-nothing ditherer like Turnbull or McMahon is better than someone who made Australia poorer and less equitable.

    And the linked comment those not even mention the crippling of R&D and the beginning of eroding CSIRO, science as well as education. All the cultural wars we had to have, are still fought with no one winning. The immense wealth racket in in his terms in inflated McMansions and prized horse studs with the majority of it parked in the Karibik somewhere. Not only is Malcolm a hollow man but he is stuck in the mud created by Howard the war criminal and his political child Abbott, who once acused a dying battler on a oxytank for doing a political stunt (ironies of ironies)!

    Me thinks the political centre in Australia has had enough of fake free markets and fake political ethics. Now that the going is getting tougher for even the large lump in that middle, political frivolities are becoming less becoming. The Liberal party leadership (aided and abetted by commercial radio and limited news) has in fact snookered itself, by forever chasing the lunatic right fringe with escalating lies and loot. Meanwhile loosing the centre, and thus their whole adventure started by Howard, has come to its inevitable conclusion. Really, the chickens have come home to roost, when the Daily Tele reports Turnbull government to cut concession cards from welfare recipients, targeting pensioners

  14. BilB

    I think, Jumpy, that in declaring your self a Trump Fawner


    you have buried your opinions under a mound of crap that even a dung beetle would fail to extract itself from.

    Also wrong because it relies on the first wrongness.

    The thing is that Trumplings

    Not me but do go on.

    care nothing for the environment,

    Wrong again.

    in the image of their idol,

    Don’t know about that.

    so your claim to be a echidna fauna fawner fails to convince.

    You are wrong to think I believe you can be convinced of anything you’re not already convinced of, as wrong as that may be.

  15. You can tell a good News source that both condemns and praises on individual policies, regardless of the proposer, well done Breitbart.
    Pity the MSM isn’t as balanced….

  16. From Ootz link

    Kip Hagopian and Dana Goldman described a similar idea in Forbes recently, proposing a plan “to provide a catastrophic insurance policy to 100% of the approximately 200 million Americans not covered by Medicare and Medicaid.

    Wowee!! Obamacare was that shitty ?

  17. You know jumpy, it is your kind of juvenile ‘mine is bigger than yours’ comparisons, often found in school latrines and simplistic popular political circles, which bring the reputation and the fortunes of the general establishment as well as that of their own movement into decline. It is short sighted and self handicapping. As I said before, baseless sledging does not serve the good game of cricket either.

    Wrt Obamacare, that piece of legislation has experienced a similar mindless destructive and self serving political ‘opposition’ similar to Abbott’s wholesale war to axe the tax. And look where that has gotten us.

    Populism and reasonable social outcomes, are like taking a laxative when you have a heart condition.

  18. Errmmmm? I think there is only one interpretation from this earlier Jumpy’n to the deep end…..

    MARCH 18, 2017 AT 5:51 PM
    Well played Trump, use their bias against them.
    So embarrassing for Madcow and MSNBC.
    Id have thought Obamas legacy had more in common with Magabes.”

    From the

    “fawned, fawn·ing, fawns. 1. To exhibit affection or attempt to please, as a dog does by wagging its tail, whining, or cringing. 2. To seek favor or attention by flattery and obsequious behavior.”

    I see a lot of tail wagging in those few short sentences, Jumpy.

  19. Ootz
    Empty name calling, no matter how mentations, convoluted nor confected bothers me a jot.
    An honest civil discourse can do without such mindless tribalism.

    Perhaps sticking to the subject and some self reflection is in order.

    Is Obamacare better than before Obamacare ?
    Yes or No, your metric, not some crutch of ” expert stooge ” support , just raw data.

  20. Oh, and I have a few problems President Trumps policies, Health Care and Trade, but he’s done SFA yet.
    Can you name 2 areas where Obama failed in the last 8 years, or was he perfect ?

  21. I see a lot of tail wagging in those few short sentences, Jumpy.

    What you see rarely mirrors reality I’ve leaned.
    To the point of engaging with you lowers both our IQs, let’s just not.

  22. Bloody autocorrect is giving me grief today !

    I can see jumpy, apparently in more ways then one.

    Wowee!! Obamacare was that shitty ?

    Is that the topic you like to discus? Or this

    Is Obamacare better than before Obamacare ?

    You often make no sense at all, that is my frustration and I apologise for that. The question is, how to constructively engage with you, when one gets such contradicting and shrill fare from you.

    How about you provide raw data on Obamacare, “not some crutch of expert stooge support” glanced from Breitbart!

    Have I ever said Obama was ‘perfect’? As usual you are making assumptions, jump to conclusions and fill up the comment section with breast beating and cheap populist slogans. Also you have chosen not to engage with my argument about the responsibility of the Republicans in that sorry saga of Obamacare. Like with Abbots self serving war to ‘axe the tax’ in opposition, the Republicans snookered the nation and themselves in the process. It is a lose – lose situation by the exact tribalistic populism which you accuse me of. I am on record to challenge the usefulness of the old left-right divide and you will see up thread that I was dishing out critic/advise for the left as well.

    Also I’d like to remind you that my topic or thesis on this thread, was the abysmal leadership of one John Winston Howard underlying most of our nations woes as well as that of the contemporary Liberal party. You are welcome to constructively criticise that if you like.

  23. Dodge, salt, salt, dodge.
    It’s very hard to try and get non-evasive honesty sans insults.
    Tell the truth, as you see it, is Obamacare better than what preceded it and how so ?
    And whilst your being honest, for the minute, if you do, why fixate on someone 6 PMships ago ?

  24. I asked if Ootz thinks Obama was perfect and name any 2 Obama fails.
    We all see what he did in response.

  25. This piece from Open Democracy says there is little to celebrate about the Dutch election.

    The leading VVD party has appropriated enough of Geert Wilders agenda to normalise liberal racism. Wilderes has succeeded in shifting dutch politics to the right.

    The Labour Party was decimated for associating themselves with Rutte’s VVD. The Greens and the centrist liberal party D66 have increased their representation, but are both stuck in the middle class.

  26. Talking about US and health.
    ‘Fake news of the Davos Club’ featured a chart, courtesy of Oxford economist Max Roser, which plots per-capita health-care spending against life expectancy for the world’s wealthiest countries over the past 40-plus years. Each country gets one line, which plots its trajectory on those measures over time. Have a look at the US curve!

    … two things become clear: As Roser notes, the big takeaway is that, in wealthy countries, more spending on health leads to a longer life expectancy.

    But there’s a secondary finding: Not all health-care spending is created equal. In the United States, the inflation-adjusted per-capita annual health spending has exploded from 1970, when it was less than $500 a year, to 2014, when it was about $9,000 a year.

    That’s $2,000 more per person per year than the second highest-spending country on the chart, Switzerland. But despite that big spending, growth in American life expectancy has been anemic. Essentially, we spend a lot of money but haven’t seen much in the way of life expectancy gains because of it.””

    In other words in a free market, as per US, you pay more to live shorter.

  27. Peter Mares in support of Sally McManus.

    It was ‘issue of the day’ on Nightlife the other night. The only caller not supporting McManus was a lovely 93-year old who came at the end, saying her mother brought her up to always obey the law.

    To be honest, I thought it was shallow ‘gotcha’ journalism on the part of Leigh Sales, but if you are paid big bucks you need to make an impression.

  28. I should have added above, it would appear from the graph that the US started to deviate from the rest of the developed world re health cost and long lifted around Carters term.

    The Greens and the centrist liberal party D66 have increased their representation, but are both stuck in the middle class.

    Interesting analysis Brian. I often wonder what would happen if the inner city latte sippers would get along with the average cocky and CWA brigade in a sort of Country-Green alliance.

    I mean the Nationals have sold out rural Australia, look no further than Murray-Darling basin and Barnaby’s insistence to get more precious arable land done over by CSG. In return for the odd dam and sealed road to nowhere. Meanwhile they hog government with barely 5% of the vote, yet The Greens on more than 10%, get ridiculed as a minor party.

  29. Ootz, I guess it’s obvious that the will of the people in The Netherlands is more directly reflected in parliament. Whether in the long run this makes for better government is an interesting question.

  30. US health system cannot be packaged up neatly as it is in Australia and NZ. It is a vastly complex situation of competing interests.

    I have a few data points starting here

    Another is a very recent case where an Australian living in Chicago just before a trip back here developed an abdominal pain so went to his doctor who referred him on to a hospital. He went to the hospital and was CT scanned then spent 15 minutes with a doctor after a 4 hour wait and the bill was $8000, $2000 of which he had to pay and the other $6000 was billed to his employer paid health insurance.

    Another data point was a family visiting the US when the son developed appendicitis. The family was billed $35,000 for his treatment and the hospital would not release the son till a bond of $25,000 was paid.

    Another cas was a Kiwi woman living in the US was able to return to NZ for the birth of each of her children as the cost to give birth in the US was $40,000 (20 year old story).

    It would be very interesting and informative to be able to rewatch those US ER type medical shows with a side panel that showed the billing for all of the events unfolding in the story line. I suspect empathy for the institutions and the medical practitioners would quickly melt away in the light of the degree of extortionate billing by the American system.

    As to how effective Obamacare has been, I think one would need real access to the on ground situation to be able to make any real judgement.

    After hearing of the first story which was only a month or so ago I did some google research to attempt to identify the hospital my friend went to and uncovered a horror show situation of hospital greed as outlined in the reviews of the various institutions. Basically any hospital giving a fair go is swamped causing huge delays and turn aways even for dying people in ambulances. Standing ready catch the ripe pickings are all of the rip off hospitals who might stem the flow of blood but drain bank accounts.

    The US health system seems to be the epitome of “to hell with you, I’m (health insured to the eyeballs ’cause my employer is a Fortune 500) alright” ism.

    Ootz’s research tell the story quite well.

  31. One of the things that stuffed up US health was the growth of successful professional indemnity claims against doctors. The result is very high health costs with a lot of this going to pay indemnity insurers and lawyers.
    The other obvious problem is that the free market concentrates on services that give a very high return. If you are rich it has a very good service.

  32. The US health system seems to be the epitome of “to hell with you, I’m (health insured to the eyeballs ’cause my employer is a Fortune 500) alright” ism.

    This has been exacerbated by the fact that members of Congress and the Senate have excellent health insurance. The fight against the Affordable Health Care Act has been led by these “I’m alright” Jackals.
    There’s a petition asking for the people’s representatives to receive the same care as the people – more that 600,000 signatures when I looked.

  33. Whatever its faults, no doubt many, comparisons with some nations make Medicare look not so bad.

  34. Happy Southern Autumnal Equinox Jumpy. Is it already that time, this year is just flying.

  35. Ootz: People in the Australian political centre are well aware of what they have lost: The Fair Go. Benign Indifference (which put an end to sectarian hatred). The spirit of Have A Go. The next generation having a better standard of living. And they are cynical about news and about politics and about the fairy-stories used to “explain” their situation.

    Brian: Ethics? Philosophy? Goodness gracious, if that sort of thing is allowed to continue happening in schools, the students will finish school with maturity and an understanding of the challenges life throws at them – and who know where that will lead???

  36. Ian Verrender, the ABCs business analyst, wrote another good piece which deals with the gas debacle and makes a good case in general terms of increased recognition ‘free market failures’. How the free market failed Australia and priced us out of our own gas supply.

    When Margaret Thatcher came to power in the UK in the 1980s, she unleashed a wave of privatisations that transformed the economy and contributed to decades of economic growth.

    It didn’t take long for the fad to gain ground here. Government-owned businesses from airlines to banks and insurance companies were jettisoned.

    Even vital infrastructure like roads, telecommunications and power generators were flogged to the highest bidder with little thought about the long-term consequences.

    But have we gone too far? Free market theory, while it’s terrific in theory, has some almighty shortcomings and, as we now are discovering, may not be the economic cure-all we once imagined.
    Suddenly, the winds have shifted. Business leaders talk in hushed tones, openly uttering a phrase once considered unmentionable: market failure.

    In the past few days, there has even been a call for part nationalisation of our energy industry from a free market wheeler dealer. More on that later.

    A fortnight ago, competition chief Rod Sims let fly with his annual swipe at the fee-gouging taking place at our airports.

    Airlines and the travelling public were forking out an extra and largely unnecessary $1.6 billion in fees.

    You may go to the link above to get his take on the gas debacle.

  37. I often read stuff from Verrender for fun. He frames most articles around ” free market fail, Nationalise good ” and ties himself in knots trying to prove it.
    On this occasion he gives;

    What’s going on with gas?

    The problems arise when the business being sold is a monopoly, when the buyer, having paid an exorbitant price, is given carte blanche to extract its tonne of flesh. The benefits flow from the community to private interests, often offshore.

    First it’s hardly a monopoly if Gas companies listed on the ASX operating here is a clue.
    No benefits to the community ? What, like the

    ” exorbitant price “

    or Royalties or jobs or payments to landholders or payroll tax or

    “spending close to $250 billion building new export facilities “

    Then he’s on about profits going offshore but says
    “Gas prices into Asia, where we export, have now dropped below what it costs to extract, process and ship the stuff. ”
    As an economist, does he know what a PROFIT is ?

    Maybe he could mention the massive increases production and use are in response to Government policies around the world shutting down coal. I get that thats seen as good, but its markets short term responses to Government intervention, not a construct of the market itself.

    Seem to me, every time Governments try to manipulate a market and undesirable consequences eventuate, they propose more manipulation.

    You won’t see Verrender write that.

  38. With due respect Jumpy, but I have trouble following your argument(s). I am not exactly sure what your point is, or follow how you come to that point. Neither did you link to an article make your point more succinctly which would be very helpful.

    ASX listed or not, if the regulatory framework is full of holes (provided by politicians from both sides, who after quitting politics end up working officially for these oligarchs), excessive price gouging and super profits moved off shore is in my, the ACCC and many economists view a market failure. With respect to gas (I should really post that in the gas thread) Business journalist Michael West and analyst Bruce Robertson expose the profound failure of government energy regulation and demonstrate how our loss, as consumers, matches the gains of the power companies.

    Why would an Asian billionaire be so keen to invest in old-world Australian infrastructure assets like gas pipelines and electricity networks?

    Here is a man who lives in Hong Kong and made his billions in China, Hong Kong and the growth-charged markets of Asia with their abundance of investment opportunities.

    Li Ka-shing’s eye for a bottom line profit is so keen he even uprooted a large chunk of his global business empire in 2015 and shifted domicile from Hong Kong to the Cayman Islands, apparently deeming the 15% tax rate in Hong Kong too onerous.

    Why go to Australia then — a low-growth economy with double the Hong Kong tax rate — to buy assets in a mature old industry?

    The answer is plain: mega-profits. The tycoon’s gain is our loss; Australian gas and electricity customers, that is.
    In July 2016,, in conjunction with energy analyst and activist Bruce Robertson, unveiled the remarkable performance of APA Group, Australia’s largest gas pipeline owner:

    “APA is one of the very best performers on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). Since floating in 2000, its shares have delivered investors a return of 1304 per cent. In share market vernacular, this is a ’13-bagger’, increasing in value 13 times its original investment in 15 years. A truly phenomenal run …”

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) later confirmed how companies such as APA achieved such returns in its inquiry into the east coast gas market. Gas transmission pipelines are natural monopolies and in Australia we allow these monopolies to charge whatever they like. And they don’t hold back.

    Lest readers suspect we cherry-picked data by merely showcasing the biggest, most dominant gas pipeline player in Australia, our thesis of excessive industry returns is mirrored by JP Morgan in a report written last month for the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).

    “The analysis examined returns over a ten-year period and compared them directly with aggregated returns to regulated electricity asset owners and with the ASX 200. The results show that the total return on the pipeline business was double that of the average regulated electricity network operator.

    Read the whole article, including the recommendations by ACCC.

  39. Jumpy, I don’t know if you read Heath Ashton for fun too, but he writes in Nigerian government takes more in oil and gas revenue than Australia, analysis shows

    As a percentage of oil and gas production, Australia receives less than 1.5 per cent of the value of product, according to research conducted by Tax Justice Network member Jason Ward on behalf of the International Transport Workers’ Federation.

    Nigeria, Malaysia and Indonesia all receive 3.0 per cent or more.

    With the exception of the North West Shelf project area, Australia has no royalty payable on offshore oil and gas production in Commonwealth waters.

    I’d assume you find Limited News How Australia is being screwed over its gas hilarious too.

    Gas on the east coast of Australia is controlled by a handful of companies and the lack of competition means they can charge higher prices locally.
    At the moment, supply is controlled by six companies: Santos, Exxon, BHP, Origin, Arrow Energy and Shell. Some of these companies also control pipelines used to transport gas around the country, also adding to inflated prices.

    Australia is also not profiting as much as we could from selling our gas overseas.
    Japan reportedly puts a tax on the gas it imports from Australia, which will deliver it $2.9 billion over the next four years.
    In comparison, Australia will not receive any money from its petroleum resource rent tax from gas projects over the same period. We get $0 in tax from selling our gas overseas.
    Most of the $800 million we do get from the tax every year comes from established oil operations in the Bass Strait, rather than from LNG producers.
    Qatar, which is the world’s biggest exporter with 32 per cent of the market, also reportedly raises three times as much in royalties as Australia for selling the same amount of gas.

    Over to you chum.

  40. With due respect Jumpy, but I have trouble following your argument(s). I am not exactly sure what your point is, or follow how you come to that point. Neither did you link to an article make your point more succinctly which would be very helpful.

    I merely commented commented on this open thread on an article that was full of holes by a ” business analyst ” that has a track record of anti-market bias, tis all.

    ASX listed or not, if the regulatory framework is full of holes (provided by politicians from both sides, who after quitting politics end up working officially for these oligarchs), …

    Exactly, if politicians or parties have the power to favour entities for favours by distorting the market, shouldn’t that corruption be reduced by reducing their powers. Lets face it, their not getting these jobs with their records of competence, just good old fashion past and future influence in the halls of power.

    …excessive price gouging and super profits moved off shore is in my, the ACCC and many economists view a market failure.

    The financial windfall for having pollies in your pocket is the opposite of free market competition , but it is a market made fail by powerful law makers both here and abroad.

  41. zoot,

    on Bill Leak: a sense of humour is very personal; we may differ about whether Bill was funny in recent years.

    That radio interview with Richard Fidler, replayed indeed, was very good. I felt I got to know Bill a bit better.

    The longer time went on after his head injury, the funnier it seemed to him. He found his delusions in hospital particularly amusing.

    I would put him up there with Ron Tandberg, Bruce Petty, Patrick Cook, …. and in former times: David Low.

    Probably Honore Daumier too.
    Daumier was very broad in his satire of social foibles… not just amongst political figures, e.g. lampooning married couples, doctors, lawyers, arms manufacturers, fathers of sons,…..

  42. So Jumpy, I am still half way with you, but then I am also confused and not following your logic.

    Are you postulating that those gas oligarchs would be much more fairer in sharing their loot with the Australian public without a government providing just regulations? If so, can you point me to a market or country where that worked out for the people of a nation and back that up too with figures or decent references.

  43. Are you postulating that those gas oligarchs would be much more fairer in sharing their loot with the Australian public without a government providing just regulations?

    Not at all, I’m saying Governments facilitate these oligarchs using their licensing power to cut the landowner and other competitors out. Landholders are quite capable of tendering access, method is dictated by Standards in the contract, Governments ( States ) set fair royalties that cover monitoring in stages plus the value of the resource deemed acceptable in policy at elections.
    When is the last time mining royalties levels was a major State election issue to pay for hospitals, Police and Schools ?
    Never, State blames Fed/ Fed blames State, nothing changes, retired pollies get nice insider jobs on top of lavish election losers pension.
    “Just ” is missing.

  44. And as we speak, Gillard takes Kennetts ( well payed ? ) spot at Beyond Blue. She joins mate Bill Howes.
    Apparently her Dads occupation makes her the best person for that job,

  45. When is the last time mining royalties levels was a major State election issue to pay for hospitals, Police and Schools ?

    Western Australia 2017.

  46. Western Australia 2017.

    I don’t think so but you, zoot, may have followed it more closely.
    Could you supply a policy or speech that went to the royalty level ( not distribution ) please ?

  47. Don’t do it zoot. Jumpy is just bone lazy. He can find that himself but he would rather you do the finger work so he can have the ammunition to argue with on other forums.

    Face it Jumpy your argument has been trashed #5341.

  48. One of the things JK did was propose that business executives (and politicians too I expect) should have an annual psychological examination. Had he got that into law or culture Tony Abbott’s (by my estimation) mental problems would have been uncovered and Australia would have been saved that awful period of his “leadership”, if only by ensuring he took appropriate meds.

  49. I’m so lazy I can for the life of me find the Beyond Blue board members renumeration in their Annual Report either !!
    Shouldn’t that be in there ?

  50. As this thread talks about bullies, and Trump is the topic of the day (all time zones), lets see if we can find out what his problem is.

    Here is the check list for a Sociopath from author Mike Adams (there are a other criteria, and this seems to be an extremely popular Google search right now IWW).

    #1) Sociopaths are charming.
    #2) Sociopaths are more spontaneous and intense than other people.
    #3) Sociopaths are incapable of feeling shame, guilt or remorse.
    #4) Sociopaths invent outrageous lies about their experiences.
    #5) Sociopaths seek to dominate others and “win” at all costs.
    #6) Sociopaths tend to be highly intelligent,
    #7) Sociopaths are incapable of love
    #8) Sociopaths speak poetically.
    #9) Sociopaths never apologise.
    #10) Sociopaths are delusional and literally believe that what they say becomes truth merely because they say it!
    #11) Sociopaths never answer facts; they always attack the messenger
    #12) A common theme of poison, sainthood, redemption

    Not so easy if he is a President of a country like the USA or the Phillipines, or even a little country like Zimbabwe.

    Well Donald came up at least an 11 by my observations. How do you score DT Jumpy?

  51. I m still confused Jumpy, are you saying politicians are all bad and always take us for a ride? And you and me are better on our own to negotiate a fair deal with the oligarchs?

  52. Ootz
    Can you please give me your dictionaries definition of oligarchs please and I’ll pick this up again tomorrow.

  53. Jumpy,

    Julia’s Dad’s job is relevant.
    Do you think Rupert Murdoch’s business progress was harmed by his Dad’s work?
    And Kim Jong UN learnt the job of dictator from his Dad and Grand-dad.
    Lisa Minelli and her Mum,
    Kim Beazely and his Dad,
    The Bach clan, the Katter family, any Royal Family, …. examples are legion.

    So don’t knock Julia.

  54. Oh, by the way everybody.
    Could we stop picking on Jumpy, please?

    He mean swell.


  55. Jumpy if you have difficulties with big greek words, how about you actually read my comment and link where I refer to a Mr Li Ka-shing in that oligarchy context. Li moved to bulk up his extensive suite of Australian energy assets when his Cheung Kong Infrastructure, whose registered office is in Bermuda, and launched a $7.3 billion takeover bid for Duet Group. He has utility assets on four continents — with a business set up by China’s cabinet whose chairman is also the Communist Party’s chief commissar within the company.

    So Jumpy are you suggesting you and me should negotiate with this dude, rather than the politicians, to get a better deal for Oz? Or how is a free market in such situation to operate, I am genuinely puzzled by what you are proposing actual practical terms as to the solution to Oz citizens getting ripped of? Have you got a link to where you got this idea of a free market from so i can follow up or did this notion grow on your own paddock?

  56. From Oxford,


    1 A ruler in an oligarchy.
    Example sentences
    2 (especially in Russia) a very rich business leader with a great deal of political influence.

    Political influence, the more the richer, just like Mr Li there.
    You’re agreeing with me.

  57. Yes Jumpy more or less, so how do we deal with these kind of people in a free market, as you are proposing, without government and politicians and get a fairer share from our resources all round? You are so adamant about this, so you must have some alternative approach you could enlighten me with or point me in a direction from where you got this idea from please?

  58. Oozt, last first ,

    or point me in a direction from where you got this idea from please?

    You’ve repeated this request quite a few times, my ” authority ” on this, it’s a tactic I’ve see many times.
    I’ve got no one ” authority ” for you to attack, just a compendium of ideas forming a position. I’m not a sheep defending a shepherd.
    To your first, I’m not calling for NO Government.
    Basically just big enough to protect our rights ( the real ones ), property rights being this issue.

  59. One thing I do like about the US Federal elections are the State Referendums held in conjunction at very little extra expense, royalty levels could be altered then. Who said 4% should be the norm ?

  60. Big blackout in Sydney tonight.
    They must have lots of wind turbines there, and an unreliable Labor State government, amiright Mr Turnbull?

  61. Ohhh, Am..bigulous silly! The powers gone out because all of those renewable solar panels stopped working. Did this blackout occur around 5pm?? See? Its always the renewables that cause the lights to go out.

  62. Jump, you do realise that what protects your property the most is education, don’t you?

    Now if there were to be a rethink of property protection on a cost efficiency basis, there would be no protection for where you live as no cost conscious minimalist government is going waste resources on areas that will not be economically habitable in thirty years, so it would be a waste to maintain protection for land that will be left to the elements all too soon.

    Annual super cyclones will make commercial operations of all kinds uneconomic and the waters around the area will be devastated by jelly fish inundation and the irukanji jelly fish will make all water related activities far too hazardous.

    However, it is not your real estate property or your possessions that you will be most concerned about, it will be your money. An unregulated minimalist banking sector is a brutal place. Cobb and Co Bank being a tiny glimpse at what would happen.

    Fortunately for you there are enough rational people in Australia to keep the crazies out, or at least give them the shortest opportunity to stuff up our ……..”great”……

  63. Well, that’s all very well Mr BilB, but 5pm is a long time before sunset, so the solar panels would be OK I think. Quick calculation of cosine of theta, time of year, yep some more output…..

    Cloudy was it?
    Oh, so the coal got wet and wouldn’t burn as well as it should. And folk were using their clothes dryers too much, and their hair dryers, and heaters – was it cold too?

    Nuh, ya got me fair flummoxed….. what really happened??

  64. Ambi, you’re a genius. You nailed it , or nearly. Wet coal? check. Too many dryers? check. Too many hair dryers, also? check. But no,…it was …not…cold. What really happened? I’ve just seen it on the FAKE News! Now they have to wash the coal to make it clean, before they burn it, ….and they …did…not …get…it.. time. So “blink” the lights went out.

  65. Ambi, I think you’ll find that it was pissing rain, as it has been up near where Jumpy lives, and a storm with Donner und Blitzen, as you probably know.

  66. BilB:
    Sociopaths – Thanks for that very handy list of traits.

    Annual Psych Checks – If this were done, there would be a whopping big improvement in the quality of Australian business, government, judiciary, military and academe. Likewise if random alcohol and drug tests were carried on these same glorious leaders and decision-makers.

  67. Brian

    I’m just jealous.
    Have heard it’s been fair hissing down in Sydney for a fortnight or so, and where we are in Vic we’ve been watering veges, flower beds etc for several weeks.

    It’s not just renewable energy that’s bl**dy intermittent.

  68. Thanks Jumpy, appreciate you coming back to me on that.
    First, I like to clarify your first point.

    You repeated this request quite a few times, my ” authority ” on this, it’s a tactic I’ve see many times.

    Jumpy, honestly to me asking for references and background information is like a professional reflex. It’s the scientific way, a integral part of research and it makes for better communication and exchange of ideas or concepts in a debate. Perhaps surprisingly you’ll find one’s thoughts or ideas of the world out there are rarely ‘original’. That is why I like to go back to the classics and treasure history. Therefor I can with great certainty assume that your “compendium of ideas forming a position” would be available out there and probably much clearer formulated than what you are expressing in your comments here. Without you backing up your “position” we all may missrepresent that position by conflating it with a well known other source of similar thought, say the IPA in this instance. As it is, most of us on here provide links or background information when we express our position out of courtesy and to provide clearer information of where we are coming from.

    You are well know to dispatch our sources as “swill” or worse, or you ridicule them as seen above with Verrender, without providing evidence to support such.

    “… a ” business analyst ” that has a track record of anti-market bias, that is all.”

    That is quite an empty statement without backup, considering that I provide link after link to backup my arguments. Are you saying they are all wrong and only you with your personal “position” are right? A position which you can’t backup, because it is formed by your home grown “compendium of ideas”. Are you really ‘a lone warrior’ or have you got something to hide?

    You recently made a statement that you are serious and commenting on Brian’s blog to debate and exchange and challenge ideas, or some such. Well in a debate or serious discussion it is essential to put up a coherent and half decent argument up, that is or can be backed up when challenged. With your evasive contrarianism on permanent display throughout your commenting history here and elsewhere, I and many others here, regard you either as at best a comedian or worse a troll. It is up to you to change that perception. Here is your chance, as I am dead serious about this debate on ‘fair share on wealth of Australian natural resources’. Thus my specific question to you is, can you clarify and elaborate your “position” stated above

    Basically just big enough to protect our rights ( the real ones ), property rights being this issue.

    and perhaps give us some reference to others who have a similar position, thanks.

  69. Ootz, it’s political philosophy, you don’t get to dictate the ground rules to suit your preferred blog debating strategy, not over me anyway.
    I’m not going to play duelling authorities with you, ok ?

    To best explain how I’ve come to my present position I’ll quote a line from Mad Max 1, ” a piece from here and a piece from there “.
    You just have to except that and debate me on what I say, or not, up to you.

  70. Jumpy if you have to hide behind Mad Max, while you are blasting at me for my well argued and referenced position that is one thing. But if you don’t have it within you to clearly spell out and substantiate your “position” on how to get a ‘fair share on wealth of Australian natural resources’ then DON’T EVER have a go at my position on it. Because I’ll just call you out as a cheap and arrogant fraud.

    But I give you one more opportunity. Please, what do you mean by

    Basically just (a) big enough (government) to protect our rights ( the real ones ), property rights being this issue.

    and how would that assure a fair share for all? Can you answer that honestly please, so we can have a decent discussion on an extremely relevant national issue?

  71. What is your position Ootz ?
    If we’re going to debate positions rather than debating rules, what is your answer for you to defend ?
    No need to continue your vitriol.

  72. On your question, and I answer more than you, is that the People of the States OWN the resources and they should discuss and ascertain that value regularly.
    Any problem with that ?

  73. To be even clearer on that point, price and value are 2 very different things even though they share some qualities.

  74. What is your position Ootz ?

    Jumpy, if you actually would take the care and time to read my comments as well as the provided links and try to comprehend instead of just ridiculing them and snipping without substantiation nor alternative position, then you would not have to ask this question.

    No need to continue your vitriol.

    Honest, I’ll stop calling you out when you stop ridiculing and snipping my comments without substantiation nor offering an alternative position.

    People of the States OWN the resources and they should discuss and ascertain that value regularly.

    Thanks for that, now we are getting somewhere. How would that happen in praxis, who would represent the people of the state. I thought we already had a government attempting to do that? How would new investment likely be affected by your regular reviews? On the other hand, see what happens when a representative tries to reevaluate. Wayne Swann made a similar experience. Where did these two go wrong in your opinion?

    To be even clearer on that point, price and value are 2 very different things even though they share some qualities.

    Again, thanks for that. I am interested but not exactly clear why you make the distinction between price and value. Would it not also complicate the regular reviews, as “value” could be seen like futures, or do I get this wrong?

  75. No need to continue your vitriol.

    That wasn’t a question.
    Now, what is your answer, for the second time ?

  76. Do you not see that Grylls was talking of distribution rather than levels ?
    How do you confuse this ?

  77. I am interested but not exactly clear why you make the distinction between price and value.

    ?!?, you’re joking right ?

  78. ?!?, you’re joking right ?

    No I am not! To be clear, I do know the difference between a price and a value, but I have no idea why exactly you want to change that and how difficult it would be to change that and what the repercussions would be thereof. I have no qualms to admit that my knowledge is limited. But again, you have failed to have a look what I actually wrote in that context in your haste to have a go at me.

    Honestly I had enough of you and your flippant one liners, that is the last time I’ll respond to you. On the evidence on here and elsewhere, you are nothing but a twisted lone keyboard warrior or a devious culture warrior affiliated with the IPA crowd, who gets his kicks off insulting and trolling people online. You are a waste of time and space on here.

    Over and out from me.

  79. Do you not see that Grylls was talking of distribution rather than levels ?

    The WA Chamber of Minerals and Energy does not agree with you.
    Its (reputedly) $5 million campaign against Grylls was based on his proposal to raise the amount paid per tonne.

  80. Honestly I had enough of you and your flippant one liners, that is the last time I’ll respond to you.

    Struth, that’s like a Dave Allen skit response.
    Still avoiding the question of what Ootz would do to get fair value for the primary owners of the resources in question!
    Perhaps someone else could ask him.

  81. Jumpy

    Royalties paid per tonne shipped would be fair I think.
    Avoids the lack of value for a State if fee is paid on profit, because exporter can artificially reduce the ‘profit’ figure.

    If fee is based on selling price, that may fluctuate rapidly and could be manipulated (inside the arms of a multinational, or by a cartel).

    Royalties could be set for, I dunno, five or ten years at a time, so that if a mineral suddenly becomes very valuable, royalty can be raised.

    I understand that exporters need some certainty for planning purposes and to assess investments.

    Meanwhile, other taxes such as company tax, income tax on workers, capital gains tax on shares, GST if applicable, will capture some of the turnover and money making for the population of the State whose minerals are extracted, and fir the Commonwealth.

    John Davidson has many years experience in Australian mining, so over to him for better suggestions and practicalities.

    BTW, I don’t think Ootz was asking you to follow debating club rules; I thought he was saying that citing sources, references, background assumptions, was a useful way to advance understanding between participants in a rational discussion.

    Not to “win”.
    To understand.

    Of course, I may be mistaken.

  82. zoot
    A “production rental fee ” is not a Royalty Level on the resource, it’s a tax on the effort of extraction.

  83. Ambi, the owners ( Statesmen ) can set the the price, the customers ( big mining ) gauge the value.
    Price set too high= customer finds another shop = no benefit .
    Price set too low = many customers = some benefit.
    Trick is to gauge the Goldilocks point, the debate should be had I recon.

  84. Ootz, this is one example of why I no longer try to engage with Jumpy:

    1. Jumpy writes that that Grylls was ‘talking of distribution rather than levels’.

    2. I point out that Grylls wasn’t ‘talking of distribution’. He was in fact campaigning to increase the payments mining companies make to the state government. (I would guess that Jumpy did a quick Google and didn’t get past “Royalties for Regions” – which has been in effect for years and was not the target of the CME ads.)

    3. Jumpy’s response? What he apparently thinks is a ‘gotcha’ regarding definitions – as well as playing the man he’s an expert at moving the goal posts.

    Jumpy has shown no evidence of engaging in good faith. He’s demonstrated time and again that he’s just here for a stoush and as such is not worth our time or effort.

  85. Zoot, go back to “the list” at 8.16 21/3 and you are talking about items 4, 5, 10 and 11. Libertarianism isn’t a philosophy, it is a psychological consequence of low empathy and its impacts on cognitions (how we all process information and the values we put on it). Jumpy won’t engage with me because I don’t argue on “the information”, I (attempt to) address the concepts and the principles which don’t change with the information. The other thing Jumpy does is he blasts in here with half a thought that came from some other forum, the pub probably or cattlaxy, and drops what to me is an incoherent thought bubble. You guys and Brian seem to be able to understand what he is saying, but a lot of them are beyond me. Anyway it is clear to me that Jumpy is at the further end of the empathy bell curve and this is just how it comes out with these people. The thing is though that we need to be able to get on with such extremophiles and it is vital that we are able to identify them and keep their hands off our communities’ management pathways.

    I will give you an example. A now not so recent business partner turned out to be an extreme end low emp (psychopath). In the clean up of the inevitable train wreck I discovered that this guy was buying materials for the business in his own name and supplying the business with copies of invoices. I twigged to the deception when he one day made a comment “oh, I never pay taxes” which led me to wonder how that could possibly be, till I found out. Now one would think that was the extent of it, but no. A good scam is worth expanding upon. The same guy bought a unit in a strata group of 100 units. It was not long before he took a very high profile on the body corporate and gained control of the accounts. Now I don’t know to what degree he applied his skills there but the winning at all costs demands that he would have used it to the maximum degree. Cast your mind to the exploits of Eddie Obeid and the mess he created, and then our top of the heap Tony Abbott. Now America has got the most glaring one as their president. It is worth watching the body language of Angela Merkel as Trump is blurting his infamous “we have something in common” line. It spells out what Europe is thinking of America right now. These people are so far removed from reality.

    I know I sound like a crank talking about this, but Trump has finally made it vital that we, as a community, get our head around this problem, discuss it openly, and ensure that when we elect people to community management roles, they are complete and rational people, and not be dazzled by their apparent personalities.

  86. BilB, I’ve been too busy to get my head into this recent ‘discussion’ but especially in recent times I’ve been having more trouble understanding what exactly Jumpy is saying.

    Apart from that, I prefer a more discursive style. The one-liners may be popular at RW sites, but lets just say it’s fine if everyone wants to deal in one-liners.

    Otherwise they contain implied principles where you have to write 500 words to provide a genuine answer. That gets a bit wearing.

  87. Most of those 500 words ( from Ootz ) are un-neccesary spiteful barbs.
    Perhaps economising on them would be less wearing.

    Ok, let me start with the basics, who lawfully owns the resources in question ? Whos property is it ?
    With that established we can start on basic commerce.

  88. Hey Jumpy, Ootz’ comment was 153 words, mine was 497 so I presume you mean my comment?

  89. Zoot, is there a book open on the length of Trump’s presidency?

    If that were from a newly appointed public servant he would not see out the week.

    Business perpetually attacks the public sector for incompetence, now they have really got the proof.

    Trump, one of their own.

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