Weekly salon 25/11

1. Go Victorians!

It was like watching a rugby league State of Origin match when we are 30 points ahead. Pure joy, and you know it’s never going to be this good again!

Daniel Andrews said “they [the voters] have, in record numbers, rejected the low road to fear and division.” There are still votes to count, and we need to wait at least another day to see something close to the final result, but Labor have won the state election in a landslide. On latest figures it looks as though Labor has gone from a majority of one to a majority of near 30.

I’m with former Liberal premier Jeff Kennett, who attacked the party’s Victorian president Michael Kroger.

    “I will say this — if there’s one person who should stand down tonight it is Michael Kroger,” he told Channel Seven.

    “And he should stand down before the clock strikes 12.

    “Because I think his leadership of the party over recent times has been appalling.

    “Michael, if you’re listening, it’s 8:20, by midnight I hope your resignation is on the floor.”

He won’t, of course. He’ll think the people were at fault.

Kroger reminds us this morning that he has just been re-elected with a record majority. That indeed seems to be the problem – the Liberal Party membership being mistaken for the ‘base’.

Here in Qld we have often made jokes about Victorians. Like, you can always tell a Victorian, but you can’t tell them much.

Or when a Victorian migrates to Queensland it lowers the average IQ in both states.

I take it all back now. Victorians are the smartest and most rational in the country.

Some links:

I think Mumble is right. Tomorrow’s Newspoll will be more than usually interesting.

2. Different states, different developments

Another setback for those of us wanting to see the end of coal mining. Queensland state approval has just been given for the China Stone coal mine:

It’s a nearly $7 billion mega-mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin expected to produce 38 million tonnes of coal annually.

    It will create thousands of jobs and is planned to be built alongside Adani’s proposed mine in central Queensland, looping into the Indian project’s planned railway line to Abbot Point.

    The $6.7 billion project will contribute about $188 million annually in royalties to the Queensland Government during its first 25 years of operation.

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said:

    “That means more high-paying jobs for regional Queenslanders, especially in places like Mackay, Townsville and Rockhampton,” Mr Macfarlane said.

    “The resource industry is currently creating a new job every 40 minutes and over the past year has created some 10,000 jobs, so there’s no false hope in that.

    “That’s reality, and we’re seeing mines open not only in the Galilee Basin but right across the Bowen Basin and potentially in the Surat Basin.”

He says:

    “The resources industry adds $62.9 billion to the Queensland economy and supports 316,000 direct and indirect jobs.

So we should all be happy, right? More money for schools and hospitals.

Meanwhile in Victoria Electric vehicles set to bring hundreds of jobs to Victoria’s Latrobe Valley.

It’s an assembly plant, but there are 500 jobs in it.

Also with it world class super-chargers for EVs:

    The announcement comes as Australia’s first ultra-rapid Chargefox charging station opened at Euroa, in north-east Victoria, this month.

    It charges electric cars around 15 times faster than other charging stations currently on the market.

    Another ultra-rapid station will soon open at Barnawartha North, near Wodonga, and more are flagged for Melbourne, Ballarat, Horsham, Torquay and Traralgon, with 22 stations expected all up.

    The chargers are capable of power output of at least 150kW and up to 350kW, fully charging an electric vehicle in under 15 minutes, with power sourced from 100 per cent renewable energy.

    The charge will allow electric vehicles to travel for about 400 kilometres before needing to be recharged.

129 thoughts on “Weekly salon 25/11”

  1. I’ve put this up with two items, and may add a few more later in the day. We’ve got some reasonably heavy duty family stuff going on at present, so I’m not getting a lot of keyboard time.

  2. Victorians are the smartest and most rational in the country.

    Whoa, steady there Champ, let’s not let our emotions cloud our judgment here…..

  3. Jumpy, the devastation of the Victorian Liberals is a moment of joy, rare since we used to see Mick Malthouse cry when the Brisbane Lions were in their pride.

    The beauty of it is that there doesn’t seem to be any self-insight, so we can hope that lasts until the federal elections.

  4. Before the Vic election some commentators were saying that the Libs were crazy to be concentrating and law and order in a state where crime rates had gone down over the last parliamentarian term. By contrast, Labor had delivered a lot in areas that affected a lot of people and was promising to do more.
    Labor was also delivering in areas that could be described as progressive including things like climate action. Wouldn’t have helped the Greens. (The Greens appear to have gone backwards in both the upper and lower houses while independents and other minor parties have surged.) The Greens need to think about what they are and what they are trying to achieve in the light of their successes in changing public thinking.
    Federal Libs may be delivering to their core supporters before the crash but they seem unable to do anything to take advantage of the growing support for progressive and climate action issues.

  5. John, the greens may as well formalise their coalition with ALP if they’re wanting more seats.
    The greens and ALP are virtually factions of the same voter base.
    But that will have to wait till ALP are in opposition again.

    Brian, I regard magnanimity as a superior emotion, but hey, you do you.

  6. Jumpy: My take is that the Greens, like the Democrats, are the party of the educated middle class. It’s dilemma at the moment is that some of the key battles it has fought in the past have been won or taken on by the Labor party as an important part of their platform. For example, the gay marriage fight has been won and climate action seems to progressing due to the support of state governments, business and households trying to reduce their power bill.
    The other problem they face is that many people have used them in the past to lodge a general protest vote. The competition for the protest vote has grown over time that makes things hard for the Greens.
    They have also spent a lot of time talking down “the old parties”. Problem is that they have been around for a long time too and have to compete with younger parties.
    On the other hand the Greens appear to be surging in Qld and in places like NSW have become part of the establishment now that they control a number of councils and hold Lord Mayor positions.

  7. According to Twitterland there were many first time Labor voters mainly from rusted on LP voters as well as Greens. A traditional National seat also fell to an independent conservative candidate. There is a shift on to more pragmatic and effective politics. Some comments are being made that even the populist gutter media is waning in influence. There is even talk about ‘the walls are closing’ in on Allen Jones. I guess the big end of town have had enough of this costly and wasteful charade of government and an Liberal party which put its faith in fighting cultural wars rather than run effective government. Three Cheers for a ‘progressive’ Vic government, but we also need to keep the bastards honest.

  8. Quiggin outs himself again as the far left culture warrior that he’s always been I see.

    I wonder if he’d like to state which of our institutions are veering right.

    To my little mind they’ve all drifted left.

    ( standing by for accusations of “ dichotomic thinker !,“ but Quiggin started it so that’s moot )

  9. To my little mind they’ve all drifted left.

    Which I guess outs you as the far right culture warrior you’ve always been.
    I wonder if you’d like to state which of our institutions are veering left.

  10. I wonder if you’d like to state which of our institutions are veering left.

    Oh that’s easy.
    Our educational institutions. Media institutions, Judicial institutions, Academia, religious institutions, political institutions….. pretty much all of them.

    Now your turn .
    Which of Australia’s institutions are veering right in any way, in your mind ?

  11. Our educational institutions. Media institutions, Judicial institutions, Academia, religious institutions, political institutions….. pretty much all of them.

    Since I’m not a far left culture warrior I’ll counter with a simple, “You’re mistaken”.

    [See Hitchen’s Razor: what can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.]

  12. Are you ever going to be reciprocating in q and a conversations zoot or is it all interrogation and derision from your end ?

    We’re just 2 dummies just momentarily passing through history, wouldn’t it be more meaningful to engage.

  13. Jumpy, not so much ‘magnanimity’, more recognition, regard and compassion. Perchance I’ll explain at greater length some time.

    I like Quiggin’s piece – A state election outcome with global implications ?

    Time some decency and fair dinkum policy was brought back into politics.

    Yes, John D, the Greens need a rethink. With the upper house I think they have gone from 8 representatives to possibly 3.

    I’ve been thinking of a post on Whitlam’s children, the name of a book by Fairfax reporter David Crowe.

    Might dust it off.

  14. Brian,

    I like Quiggin’s piece – A state election outcome with global implications ?

    I’m not surprised give your fanboi devotion to the ALP.
    So Quiggin thinks ( or rather wishes) the Victorian election has Global implications.
    OK then, fmd, whatever.

  15. Are you ever going to be reciprocating in q and a conversations zoot or is it all interrogation and derision from your end?

    If you call people names (e.g. “far left cultural warrior”) without any supporting examples, calling you names is reciprocating.
    And if you simply state something (“To my little mind they’ve all drifted left”) without any supporting evidence I am reciprocating by making an unsupported contrary statement.
    To quote someone who once posted here:

    E…Vid…Ence or your pants self combust.

  16. I’m not surprised give your fanboi devotion to the ALP.

    I draw Jumpy’s attention to the Comments Policy: “Do not comment on other commenters with negative implications.”

  17. Zoot, I need evidence as the what’s in my mind now, I need evidence proving what I think is what I think ?
    Good luck.

    Anyway, stop dodging, “ Which of Australia’s institutions are veering right in any way, in your mind ? “
    I don’t need evidence that prove you think it btw.

    Bonus question ( which will, based on previous experience, go unanswered) “ which institutions are not veering left in your mind ? “

    Brian wants common decency and fair dinkumness back in politics, lead the way.

  18. I draw Jumpy’s attention to the Comments Policy: “Do not comment on other commenters with negative implications.”

    Hmm, so saying someone is an ALP fanboi is a negative implication is it, in your opinion ?
    Brian may be offended you think being called an ALP fanboi is derogatory, I believe he wants everyone to be one.

  19. Hmm, so saying someone is an ALP fanboi is a negative implication is it …

    And it’s not “in my opinion”, the term fanboi has only negative implications entailing, as it does, mindless or uncritical devotion.

  20. Jumpy, ‘fanboi’ does have negative implications. It may be your fortune that I don’t so angry and upset, or at least not often.

    The ALP is not perfect, but in a lot of places in Australia it is in quite good shape. My impression is that the Libs did take the low road in Victoria. Seems Andrews was respected for delivering the kinds of services and programs that people need and indeed mostly want.

    Just good, competent progressive government.

  21. A couple of links:

    Phillip Coorey – Victorian state election: Voters repudiate the Liberal party’s right wing

    He says federal Labor is now realistically targeting up to six seats in Victoria on the back of the state election result.

    Not sure about this:

    The man to save the Liberals is Morrison, who some Liberals insist, is relatively popular in Victoria, but for some reason, made not a single campaign appearance.

    Greens blame Labor attacks and preference deals for disappointing Victorian election

    I don’t think Greens can complain about being attacked by Labor when they are running against sitting Labor members.

    Conservatives Are Losing Their Minds After Labor Annihilated The Liberals In Victoria

    Looking everywhere except in the mirror.

  22. The problem with the so called LNP “conservatives” is that they are crazy right wing radicals, not conservatives.
    Crazy right wing radicals who don’t give a stuff if they destroy the planet and make the Liberal party unelectable in the process.

  23. Zoot, I need evidence as the what’s in my mind now, I need evidence proving what I think is what I think?

    No, that is not what I wrote, and if your comment

    To my little mind they’ve all drifted left.

    was merely sharing your rich inner life you were wasting not only our time but yours as well.

  24. The Republican party in the US used to be a conservative party but has been taken over by the Tea Party which claimed to be the party of the left behinds but, in reality, became the toy of its rich supporters such as Murdoch and the Koch brothers. It is the party that has given us Trump who is anything but conservative.
    Is something similar happening in the LNP?
    I remember talking in the past about “Tony’s Tea Party”, not entirely in jest.

  25. Is something similar happening in the LNP?

    Indubitably (and probably springing from the same source).

  26. Indubitably (and probably springing from the same source

    By zoots reasoning ( haha ) he just wasted our time and his because he shared his thoughts without any evidence.
    Self awareness or consistency don’t appear to be his strong suits. And answering legitimate questions in an honest way an allergy or phobia of some sort.

  27. John, I’m inclined to think the Tea Party is similar to the National Party in fundamentals.
    Kind of the voice outside the Cities, outside the establishment, with conservative values.
    Trump is certainly no political conservative, he was a loved darling of a Democrat donor for most of his life.

  28. I’m inclined to think the Tea Party is similar to the National Party in fundamentals.

    Agrarian socialists? Really? That’s quite a misreading of the tea party.

  29. I’m sure you’re an expert on the Tea Party zoot to give such a scathing assessment.

    Please don’t hesitate to share your profound learnings and prognostications.

  30. Oh no, I couldn’t. You’re such a tea party fanboi (I hear in Jumpyworld that’s not at all derogatory, and you are in Jumpyworld, aren’t you) that the honour should all be yours.

  31. Epistle to the non-Victorians

    Part 1

    Premier Andrews was visible and spoke regularly. Opposition Leader was scarcely seen, ditto his shadow ministers.

    Premier led an active and constructionist Govt: road and rail projects, solar energy, hospital upgrades. Meanwhile Ford at Geelong and Hazelwood Power went west.

    Likely the most unpopular decision was their cancelling the East-West Link (metropolitan) road tunnel, at a cost of a billion $, but
    a) this fulfilled an election promise
    b) it happened at the start of their four year term.

    A truism: State Govts that do the humdrum services jobs, can be re-elected.

    It’s not rocket surgery.

  32. Epistle to the non-Victorians

    Part 2

    Brethren and Sisters, let us consider the Greens of the fields. They spin not, neither did they prosper.

    While most comment has understandably been directed toward the low Liberal vote, another significant Party lost ground in Victoria: the Greens.

    It is claimed they may lose four of their five Upper House (Legislative Council) seats.
    That’s 80%.

    May I now address some suggestions?
    “Greens didn’t really do badly”
    See above. Also, a poor result in the Lower House.

    “Ragtag bunch of micro-parties elected to the Upper House”. Well, if they can get a rep elected, whither the Greens?

    It seems the “Derryn Hinch” group may get 3 or 4 seats in the Upper House. And only 1 for The Greens?? Latte-sipper numbers are up, so there goes the easy sneer that every Greens voter is a bicycle riding hipster trendie.

    “Labor stole some of the Green policies”.
    1) That’s what Parties do
    2) Imitation is the sincerest flattery
    3) If a good policy is carried out, the public doesn’t care much who gets credit for it

    “Greens should have won four inner-city seats in the Lower House.”
    Memo to journalists: spend more time in those electorates, ask around, try not to be taken in by youthful enthusiasm and hype (even if it’s Green hype).

    If the relatively poor Federal election results of the NSW Greens in 2016 warranted an intetnal investigation, then Saturday’s poor result in Victoria should too, I think.

    Not every poor outcome can be laid at the feet of Senator Rhiannon nee Brown.

  33. Probably didn’t help the greens that they scream “ rape culture !!, misogyny!!“ every time a male looks at a womans necklace or a handshake lasts for a nanosecond longer than someone remembers it was, to then start eating there own self described male feminist.

  34. Ambi:

    “Labor stole some of the Green policies”.
    1) That’s what Parties do
    2) Imitation is the sincerest flattery
    3) If a good policy is carried out, the public doesn’t care much who gets credit for it

    You are right. Minor parties can do well when the public is starting to get behind things that the major parties aren’t supporting. Now the Labor party, business and householders are getting behind climate action one of the reasons for voting Green has weakened and the small swing away from the Greens was enough to lose most of their seats. (Hard to say how much effect the claims of impropriety had – Lesson: Problems with any candidate can do damage, not just problems with candidates in wining seats.)
    The upper house problem is different. Vic is one of the few states that still allows for the preferences of people who vote above the line to be distributed according to the parties how to vote card. Add “preference whispering” and a raft of minor parties can get candidates elected even though their primary vote is very low.)

  35. Hi all:) Done with study…

    I note the posts so far don’t mention item 2: the further approval for a Galilee coal mine. It’s not Adani it’s Macmines – owned by Meijin Energy Group, founded in 1984, in Qingxu County, Shanxi Province. It will share the rail infrastructure and likely Abbot point with Adani. It now has at least some environmental approval, ‘not sure about how much water they are permitted to draw from the GAB. Adani got free, unlimited water for 60 years. Perhaps they will sell water rights to others.
    The project is 3 – 4 years away from production – more detail here:

    I think it identifies that the Galilee Basin prospects are not dead and that quietly government may be working to enable production in the basin. Palmer and Rhinehardt also have interests in Galilee.
    From Adani studies and commentary we know that Adani coal is not of high quality, but that is not to say that all Galilee coal is poor. However, the accepted widely held view seems to be that the medium/longer term future of coal is declining. If that is true then the poorer quality coal will be cut first, damaging Adani. But if other mines are relying on Adani’s rail (yes, owned by Adani Cayman) and Abbot Point (also owned by Adani Cayman) then the mines may be seen as viable. Perhaps this is what Adani is gambling on.

    It may be that Adani if it has the rail, shipping port and water can turn in a tidy income and never bother to mine Carmichael and possibly avoid paying Australian tax too.

    As far as jobs are concerned, once again the proponents are using exaggerated figures to make the mine look more attractive to the politicians. Adani agreed that it would generate 1,470 jobs for a project with nearly twice the expected output of the China mine. “Thousands” of jobs is a big stretch.

  36. “Done with study”.


    Have you felt the weight lift off your shoulders?


  37. Geoff H, not sure what options the Qld government really has. They’ve placed multiple conditions, but I imagine that a reasonable approach to allowing mining to proceed was inherent in the licence to develop the tenement.

    Financially the state coffers live off destroying the planet with coal and gas exports. Qld govt is working hard to establish new innovative industries and to support old ones like agriculture and tourism, (leaving aside tree-clearing laws) but the economy is dependent on a Faustian bargain with the fossil fuel miners.

  38. Ambi Thanks. Weight off the shoulders? Only partial, still trying to get comfortable with recreational reading. I’m reading “Dark Emu” by Bruce Pascoe. Pascoe researched explorers accounts of Australia and the aboriginal settlements, describing their housing and agriculture in detail. The settlers accounts (and government) are vastly different, totally diminishing the amazing attributes of our First Australians. My thesis dealt with alcohol management plans in Queensland and Dark Emu is a bit oblique to that but the link for me is the deeper understanding of Indigenous cultures that came with my studies.

  39. Brian the mining revenue is not as great as imagined, being about the same as motor registration, something like 5% of State revenue. And mining labour is not a huge proportion of the workforce – can’t recall the number but 8% pops into my mind. I know nothing about gas except that our output is heavily committed to export.
    I do hope the government will encourage a creative surge in commerce to take up the slack from declining industries.

  40. On last Sunday’s ABC Insiders, immediately after the Talking Pictures segment (from time interval 55:18) Paul Barry introduces a segment of David Speers on Sky News interviewing Frankston Liberal candidate, Michael Lamb, about the need for coal-fired power stations.

    (Apparently Frankston was the 2nd most marginal seat in Victoria’s state general election on Saturday)

  41. Geoff Henderson (Re: NOVEMBER 27, 2018 AT 6:12 AM)

    …However, the accepted widely held view seems to be that the medium/longer term future of coal is declining. If that is true then the poorer quality coal will be cut first, damaging Adani. But if other mines are relying on Adani’s rail (yes, owned by Adani Cayman) and Abbot Point (also owned by Adani Cayman) then the mines may be seen as viable. Perhaps this is what Adani is gambling on.

    Tim Buckley, Simon Nicholas and Kashish Shah at IEEFA published a report New South Wales Thermal Coal Exports Face Permanent Decline: Grim Outlook Prompts the Need for a Planned Transition, dated Nov 2018. The executive Summary begins with:

    While the Australian coal industry and its lobbyists continue to maintain that the nation’s thermal coal export industry is booming on the back of record export revenues, the reality is very different.

    Exports have declined since 2015 and more contraction is expected. High export revenues entirely reflect current high prices which are themselves partially a result of declining investment in thermal coal mining. In short, current high coal prices do not indicate a strong and growing industry, but instead just the opposite: growing concerns over the long-term viability of the industry.

    New renewables are decisively cheaper than new nuclear, coal and gas electricity generator technologies. Renewables can be deployed faster than nuclear and coal.

    I can’t see how any new coal mines will be viable.

  42. Geoff M thanks for the added value. I think most of us here think that Coal is waning. Yet no government or government-in waiting-is prepared to come out with a sound environmental policy that addresses fossil fuels in a meaningful way.

    A Party that demonstrates extended vision beyond next elections is the party I want. Let’s hope that such a party will emerge in the next few years. However the necessary reforms will need more than environmental outlook, it will need to rid itself of vested influences that distort government policy.
    Labor is poised to take government at the next election but largely because the LNP plot is in disarray, not because their climate policy is sufficient. They have a golden opportunity right now to just surge ahead if they can find the ‘nads to do it.

  43. Yes Ambi, a great book. Other greats are “My Place” by Sally Morgan, and “A Conspiracy of Silence”, Timothy Bottoms. The former offers a chance to understand the meaning, depth, and breadth, of Place to Indigenous Peoples.
    Bottoms book uncovers the dreadful story of settlers murdering thousands of Aboriginals as they were “dispersed” from land wanted by settlers. Well researched, Bottoms story is ugly yet largely unknown.

  44. There is a game of chicken going on between governments and those with undeveloped coal reserves. These days governments might wish the coal owners would quietly go away but aren’t going to force the issue because they don’t want to pay compensation and don’t want to see Australia painted as a place of high sovereign risk.
    On the other hand the owners are attracted to having the coal reserves on their books as an asset with the possibility that a future government may be willing to pay them to go away.
    Perhaps the government should cancel the water allocation on the grounds that coal fired global warning is shrinking the available reserves?

  45. Sovereign risk is pretty squishy stuff and we don’t really want to get caught by that one.
    However, what about our sovereign risk, we Australians and citizens of a threatened world? I rank that above Adani claims.

    In any event, it would be an easy case to prove Adani unworthy across a number of parameters. Even if it cost us dollars, the effect of shutting Adani out would seriously damage the potential of other miners establishing operations in the Galilee.

  46. Geoff Henderson (Re: NOVEMBER 27, 2018 AT 12:28 PM)

    …Yet no government or government-in waiting-is prepared to come out with a sound environmental policy that addresses fossil fuels in a meaningful way.

    I think the electorate is partly responsible for this state of affairs. But what happened in the NSW state Wagga and federal Wentworth by-elections, where independents won on platforms that included promises to act on climate change is encouraging. The major parties need to take note, or lose many votes.

  47. Brianna

    ….not sure what options the Qld government really has.

    They are the only level of Government that has all options on the table Constitutionally with regard to resources . Palaszczuk could say stop tomorrow and face the consequences at the next election. There’s no Senate to obstruct her.

    Financially the state coffers live off destroying the planet with coal and gas exports. Qld govt is working hard to establish new innovative industries and to support old ones like agriculture and tourism, (leaving aside tree-clearing laws) but the economy is dependent on a Faustian bargain with the fossil fuel miners.

    Perhaps that’s a function of the Fed commandeering State taxation sources. Give em back their income, corporate and GST collections and the current coal mining states would see coal revenues as largely inconsequential.

    And that’s regardless of what party is in charge of the particular State at any time.

    ( these are just thoughts of the author for consideration by others )

  48. ( standing by for accusations of “ dichotomic thinker !,“ but Quiggin started it so that’s moot )

    ( these are just thoughts of the author for consideration by others )

    OMFG, you’re not just being contrary – you really don’t get it!
    It must suck to be you.

  49. Does anybody have any idea what zoots trolling of me today is about ?

    Other than to distract from the essence of my comment that is, that’s a given.

  50. You just cannot make this stuff up….
    A Victoriam Federal MP resigns and speaks in the House, announcing an immediate move to the cross bench, but promising to support Supply for the Government.

    So The Age online features as their main story – an Exlusive By Stephanie Peatling, an article about the Red High Heeled Shoes that the MP wore while giving a press conference on the resignation. Accompanied by a photo of the shoes, and the calves of the wearer.

    Oh, did I mention that the MP is a woman?
    And that she has complained about her Party’s treatment of its women MPs in Canberra, since the Dumping in August?

    Step forward, The Age, to focus on what really matters.


  51. Ambi:

    an Exlusive By Stephanie Peatling, an article about the Red High Heeled Shoes….

    Is women trivializing women part of the culture problem? Or was it a male editor that demanded the focus on those red shoes as a sign of secret commitment to the communist party?

  52. Ambi, that is astonishing.

    A little while ago Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the young Democrat elected in the US mid-terms who counldn’t find affordable digs in Washington, was then criticized for showing up in a nice dress instead of jeans.

    She said, they were always going to write about her bum so she pleased herself.

  53. Nice Alexandria story, Brian.

    John, that’s a possibility I hadn’t thought of. “The Age” of course harbours huge left wing foot soldiers, but the actual commos, most of them are over at “The Guardian” online.

    I mean Mr Sparrow and Ms Helen Razer.

  54. Geoff H,

    Not yet, …. their online edition has been serving up more celebrities, gossip, tweets and “lifestyle” items for a long time.

    I recall mentioning it at the Old Purple Blog.

    We shall see. ….

  55. Geoff Miell on election candidate Michael Lamb, 10.33 am on 27th Nov.

    Excruciating viewing.
    Where do Parties find these people?
    (Other Parties nominated some duds too, it must be said.)

    So Jumpy can rest assured: we Victorians are not all intelligent and liberal.

    But something else is noticeable in the Frankston election contest, as I think you may have been suggesting, Geoff M.

    If Frankston was thought to be the second most marginal seat in Victoria* you might expect any major Party to nominate a really strong candidate, with some likelihood of capturing the seat. Wouldn’t you??


    * no longer is it the second most marginal!!

  56. Mr A,

    So Jumpy can rest assured: we Victorians are not all intelligent and liberal.

    Perhaps not, if you say so. But apparently, “ Victorians are the smartest and most rational in the country.”
    I’m sure you’ll be considered stupid and irrational soon enough when the Libs wins in some subsequent election.
    The voting publics intelligence and rationality fluctuate markedly depending election results apparently.

  57. Today it seems that a Mr Howard is pointing out that some people call Victoria the Massachusetts of the south.

    Now look, that’s all very well, but we Victorians have never staged a Tea Party in Port Phillip Bay!!

    We have subtler ways of sending a message to a government elsewhere.

  58. we Victorians have never staged a Tea Party in Port Phillip Bay!!

    No but you did have a Eureka Stockade for the same reasons, over taxing and attempts of overlords to establish servitude.

    People forget that.

  59. Eureka?

    Oh look, that was just a rabble of noisy miners, and quite a few of them were foreigners.

    Why do people keep mentioning it?
    The nation has moved ahead; no longer are we hostage to a rabble of noisy miners and their supporters.

  60. Gold miners not coal miners.
    The fact that Bills CMFEU dare to wear the Eureka flag on their outlaw biker vests is laughable.

    Research first and never forget the Eureka Uprising and what it was for.

    Blithely evaluation would infer ignorance.

  61. Edit

    The fact that Bills CMFEU dare to wear the Eureka flag on their ( * pretend) outlaw biker vests is laughable.

  62. I see this day that Craig Kelly may quit the Libs, and if you believe the news reports that others are possible.
    Given the sorry history of the LNP over recent times, it’s clear that they are no longer a cohesive force in Australian politics. the LNP is surely doomed at the next election.

    That’s too bad because democracy needs a strong effective opposition to the government to “keep it honest” as the late Don Chip said. The LNP is no longer honest to itself or the People and I doubt that it could even be a constructive or credible opposition.
    Sorry Jumpy but I think there is a long period coming where the LNP will have time to flush out their self-elevated loftiness and develop policies that reflect the needs and wants of the people.

  63. I wrote “noisy miners”.
    No mention of that which they sought and mined.

    Must be off now, to attend to the
    Noisy Mynahs.

    By the way, no-one in Melbourne forgets Eureka: there is a prominent Tower on the Yarra named the Eureka Tower, and its design at its very prominent top incorporates gleaming gold, and a large blood red stain.

    No public monument could commemorate that rebellion more bigly. It is not forgotten, and at Ballarat the Uprising is prominently depicted for tourists and Australians alike.


  64. So, was the 16.8 a wild overestimate, or is the 2 a cheeky underestimate?

    Will a Northern Development grant from the outgoing Federal Govt soon shower down? Or is the PM keener on burning coal than mining it??

    Mr Abbott likely wants the Govt to buy and operate the mine. C’mon Mr PM, you could be the new Ben Chifley and send the troops in!!

  65. Very strange, I’m sure I sent a message of best wishes to people in Queensland affected by bushfires, but it doesn’t seem to have come through

  66. Palaszczuk got votes for 3 things at the last Queensland election, 1) stop Adani ( coal mines in general), 2) the draconian VLAD repealing ( not done in the slightest), and 3) reversal of Newman’s cutting the bloated public servant numbers.

    She’s got 1 out of 3.

  67. Val, thanks for your thoughts on the Qld bushfires. The number was a s high as 200 yesterday, then down to 120 this morning, and later I think 140.

    My elder bro and his wife live near Gracemere, a bit west of Rockhampton. At 3pm yesterday I heard that an evacuation was ordered and people were to go to the Rockhampton showgrounds.

    As luck would have it my folks were driving down the Bruce Highway north of Rockhampton.

    House was OK, but the place was a mess. High winds brought down litter from the trees.

    Rockhampton had over 44°C temperatures with hot dry winds. Same elsewhere. Authorities say it was a first, giving us conditions similar to those experienced in southern states, which we don’t normally get. Rockhampton city itself was in critical danger for a few hours.

  68. Bottom line on Adani, as Quiggin says, we just don’t know, but if Adani goes at any level it could open up the whole basin.

    I think it is an advance in the discourse that people like Quiggin are openly contemplating the necessity of ending coal.

  69. Brian I think that Aurizon’s role might bear some thought. It looks like the Adani rail will intercept existing Aurizon track, greatly reducing the capital needed. ‘Not sure why that was not brought up earlier.
    Aurizon’s main business is coal and ore haulage so the Galilee Basin would be very attractive to them. I think the Queensland government holds a slim majority holding in Aurizon. I have failed to find out who the other major shareholders might be.
    I was looking for an interest that might advance Adani from behind the scenes. Given that the Adani rail will encourage/enable other Galilee mines it is a near certainty that the other (potential) miners were cognisant of Adani’s negotiations and likely have MOU’s in place setting out freight conditions going forward. Speculative of course, but perhaps there are some insights into the thrust behind those wanting the Basin to be developed. Whilst Prof. Quiggin’s views make great sense there still seems to be a lot of inertia to develop more mines.

  70. For what it’s worth, The Australian‘s story today leads with that scenario of opening up the whole Basin for coal mining.

    I have no expertise in the area, but perhaps the holders of mining leases there are just adopting a “wait and see” tactic, with the possibility of rail lines being built? That would be prudent from a financial standpoint.

    In many areas of business, firms produce mutual benefits without explicit contracts: e.g. retail businesses “cluster”: car yards, furniture and furnishings shops, etc. It lowers the customers’ fuel consumption and a retailer can piggyback on its competitors’ advertising expenses by grabbing “passing trade”.

    I’m sure you’re right Geoff H: the other potential miners would have MOUs on freight conditions by now. Sheer stupidity on their part if they hadn’t bothered to negotiate those already.

  71. Thanks John Quiggin,
    Your update on how the basic arithmetic of coal prices/sales has not changed (worsened for Adani if anything) is pertinent and useful.

    Anyone can query statistics with the old catch cry, “Lies, damn lies, ….”

    But a business or financier can’t ignore prices, costs, government conditions; and puts huge efforts into assessing likely future opportunities, and trend-spotting.

    Cold, hard arithmetic.

    Bankruptcy is cold and hard.
    (Similar to losing an election in a landslide, but without the comfort of post facto finger-pointing. We’re only human: the fingers always seem to point away from ourselves.)

  72. There was talkback on the issue on Nightlife last night.

    Apart from a widespread acceptance that climate change is real, with us and already dangerous (the Qld fires have brought it home to some), and that we must exit coal, two things emerged.

    Water used by mining is apparently simply not counted when calculations are done on the health of the Great Artesian Basin.

    Secondly, the native title claims have not yet been settled. This one is different in that native title normally applies to the surface of the land. (I think normal title goes 30 metres down.) This claim is for what lies underneath, and would be of great significance, if won.

    Plus the jobs involved are buggerall and irrelevant compared to the potential jobs destroyed.

  73. With respect to John Quiggin, may I add a question which varies a quote from John Maynard Keynes?

    “When I want to know if the economic facts have changed, I ask an economist. What do you do, sir?”

  74. Or

    “There are two kinds of forecasters: those who don’t know, and those who don’t know they don’t know.”

    ― John Kenneth Galbraith

  75. Brian I’m in Washington State right now and there has been quite a bit of talk about the Californian fires.
    The news services that I see are very open about the links between the fires and climate change. I’ve been visiting Washington every 18 months or so for the past 20 years. That the media here is now openly talking about climate change and at least some of its consequences is to me, as a subjective observer, is a very marked change. Trump’s rants are often juxtaposed and contrast with the vision of thousands of burning acres.

  76. Mr A, just that from the shriveled memory.
    Had to look up the Author, he may be an honest Keynesian or just once accidentally got something correct.

    Another is “ Astrology was invented to make economics appear an exacting science “ ( author unknown)

  77. On further investigation Galbraith was a snake oil book selling fraud that did more harm than good and a hypocrite with great influence.

    That quote must have been an accidental accuracy.

  78. Geoff H, I heard an American academic talking at length about the US fires. ABC RN National, wish I could remember which program.

    The long and the short of it was that there have been serious fires like these historically in a different context and different causation.

    However, in the modern context, the fire season has been greatly extended. From memory I’ve seen figures indicating that the risk of such fires in California and Greece have increased by about 45% due to climate change. If I see any references I’ll post them.

  79. Geoff Henderson (Re: NOVEMBER 29, 2018 AT 2:52 PM)

    Adani has declared it will proceed with the Carmichael mine.

    Posted today at the SMH is an article by Cole Latimer headlined Adani coal mine hinges on a rail line in doubt. The article begins with:

    Adani may have to spend more than half of the $2 billion slated for its Queensland mega-coal mine on rail lines alone if it is to get its shipments to ports.


    “The rail numbers alone don’t add up, the cost of rail is likely to be north of $1.2 billion,” IEEFA economist Tim Buckley told Fairfax Media.

    So I think the economics will kill it – we’ll see soon whether Adani will begin work before Christmas.

  80. Geoff M thanks for the info. Is it clear the amount refers to the modified rail scheme that interfaces with the Aurizon assets? That was supposed to reduce the overall cost, make the deal more attractive to other mines and generally contribute to the viability of Carmichael.

  81. So I think the economics will kill it – we’ll see soon whether Adani will begin work before Christmas.

    The construction industry pretty much starts grinding down in about 3 weeks till about 6 weeks later when it’s back in full swing.
    I wouldn’t expect full noise work to start before Australia Day. Unless they decide a “ show of activity “ was worth it in a media trolling sense.

    But hey, Adani is apparently fiscally stupid so it’s anyones guess.
    Palaszczuk would probably have more of an idea but the media don’t seem to press the issue with her.

  82. Maybe so Jumpy. But the traditional Xmas shut down also makes capacity available to those seeking to build stuff – e.g. Adani. It is entirely feasible that Adani could offer a substantial contract that shows little respect for the traditional shutdown. An irresistible morsel to contractors who rely upon mining in your region.

    I still have the concern that the hidden dark hand of government is working behind the scenes to help the Adani project into life.

  83. Same blokes build rail lines that build houses, Mr Jumpy? I thought the two groups had not much overlap.

    Getting back to J. K. Galbraith, how was he a salesperson of snake oil and hypocrite?

    Does his success as an author over several decades indicate that his views were of interest to millions of readers? What does that tell us?

    You might like to check Report from Iron Mountain, one of the sharper satires from the 60s. Some folk thought Galbraith might be its anonymous author.

  84. Over here in the Victorian Era, nice Mr Kroger has resigned from his position as Chief Plenipotentiary of the Wonderful Party.

    His departure was predicted, nay demanded, by nice Mr Kennett in a magic lantern show on Election Night.

    At present a sad procession of dreadful drays and b*ggered buggies is making its way north along the Sydney Road, as aristocrats make their slow way into exile. Murray River ferrymen, make haste! There will be many a shilling to garner when the long caravanserai reaches yon shore.

  85. Mr A
    Rarely does a project start in December other than small scale stuff.
    And winding up a large project takes momentum that Xmas thwarts.
    The fact that subcontractor invoices generally get considered on the 25th of each month putting December invoices unpayed till late February is also an issue. Also a stack of penalty rates ( unproductive overpayment for some cultural reason or other ) over the period.

    No no, I suspect very little to happen on the ground before mid-January at the earliest.

  86. That’s unfair to have to wait two months for payment. I think Parlt may be seeking now to improve this: heard an MP in Parlt a few days ago, saying “big businesses are treating small businesses as if they were banks”.

    Do weather patterns affect building schedules here? In Scandinavia they seem to do heaps of road repairs, building, in their (short) summer: necessity, probably.

    Much roadwork in damp Victoria is done in hot summer months. Working with dust beats trying to work in mud. Bloke we knew had contracts to spray water to suppress dust on local road works. Peak of summer, Jan/Feb, as I recall.

    Yes, Virginia.
    There is a summer in Victoria.

  87. Yeah, if central Queensland is going to get a big wet it’ll generally be Dec/Jan/Feb with the remnants of cyclones formed in the Gulf.

    With the payment thing yes, paying up to 3 months wages, including mass annual leave when no producing happens, needs to be planned for carefully.
    Small time businesses like mine allows a modest holiday lifestyle.
    Luckily I’m a camping and crabbing enthusiast, that’s cheap

  88. To clarify the 3 month thing, wages payed in the first week of December till invoice payment in late February.
    The normal state of affairs is between 30 and 60 days between wage payment and invoice remittances.
    Materials payments are 30 days or less, one day over the supplier cut you off.

  89. One question about the Cricket fiasco, is it just a coincidence that Channel 9 expose the cheating just when they lost the broadcast rights to 7 ?

  90. These things are usually coincidences.
    You know the old saying, “If I have to choose between a conspiracy and a cock-up, I choose cock-up every time.”

    This is apt in Australia, the Land of The Habitual Mess-up.

    Or the Razor attributed to Ockham.

    I hope you catch crabs Jumpy.
    Meant in the nicest way, of course.

  91. On Adani, Palaszczuk says she’ll believe it when she sees it.

    Adani flat out don’t have all the approvals they need, so I would think they can’t start until they do.

  92. Jumpy, about penalty costs and stuff dictating project times:
    I was in the fast freight industry when WA ore projects were being developed and Bougainville Copper was starting. A colleague in Bouganville was stopped on the road as it was being constructed. A bulldozer suffered a major mechanical failure and needed to b returned to the place where it could be fixed. In the meantime, a serious hold-up existed. Management ordered the bulldozer be bulldozed over the side into the valley below. The cost of delayed construction outweighed the cost of retaining the broken dozer. Point is Jumpy, that in high dollar projects, the height and nature of the economic bar can change. Penalty rates for the Adani project, even if paid are not likely a sufficient cause for delay.

  93. Ambi Jumpy is right about the payment schedules and using suppliers as “banks”. But small business does it too, effectively getting free credit.
    The other thing though is that if you are offended by their payment terms, you can stop doing business or you can try the ludicrous process of trying to sue them. Worse, the developer can claim the work is faulty and generate a dispute that often ends in serious compromise for the supplier because you can’t easily beat the developer even if you are not at fault.

  94. Geoff H

    You are definitely a contender for
    Best Bulldozer Story of the Week.

    Remarkable, the things that go on, which we civilians could never guess at!

    In the cold light of day, I wish to retract my “crabs” remark. May Jumpy’s fishing efforts be well rewarded.

    Businesses “being used as a bank”….. A decade ago, someone noted that huge warehouses were no longer used in Europe, because ‘just in time’ supply had become possible and widespread.

    So “the warehouses of Western Europe were the highways and rail tracks”.

  95. On the 30 and 60 day thing for business, it is a double edged sword. The benefit of a 60 and even 90 day payment delay (as long as your customers are solid) is in the income smoothing effect. Being paid up to the minute has the disadvantage that there is no more income until more work has been done, that is a lonely spot to be in particularly if breakdowns and injuries occur. Those who winge about the cost of this are usually those who cannot manage a budget effectively. I’ve been self employed for over 40 years and my losses to payment failure are a tiny part of 1% of gross turnover. Different businesses have variable risk, but in my experience I lose far more to dishonest business partners than to customers.

  96. Another way subbies are used like banks in construction is called “ retention “
    Set generally at 5%* of the total contract price, held for 12 months.
    The idea is that when the 12 month warranty inspection is held then the subbie rectifies any defects attributable to them, then claims his retention back.
    Or if he’s no longer in business or refuses that 5% is used to hire someone else.

    Problems with this,
    5% is, if your lucky, the entire profit margin on the job.
    If the Principal refuses to cough up, legal avenues are more costly than the amount in dispute.
    It’s advantageous for the Principal if the Subbie goes broke, I’ve never seen 12 month defects anywhere close to 5% worth, so they trouser the surplus.
    That 5%, from every subbie is in the Principals 12 month fixed term bank account gaining interest rather than in the subbie cash flow.
    And if the Principal decides to Phoenix then the subbie loses all his profit margin.

    I personally was very lucky with JM Kelly.Got my retention for a hospital job we did 18 months ago only 3 weeks prior to them going into liquidation. And knocked back 2 Government school jobs they offered us mid year.
    Phew!! Bullets dodged.

    Why the QLD Government was still awarding them major contracts given the QBCC knew they were shit is beyond me. Perhaps incompetence, perhaps malfeasance.

  97. There are two sides to that one Jumpy. The neighbours of a friend decades ago were being sued by a builder for the retentions. The builder had failed to turn up to fix cracks in plaster and some other small items (items important to the home owner). The owners were distressed by the legal claim against them. I implored my Dad, a government architect, to go and have a look to see if the builder had an argument. Dad spent ten minutes with a torch comparing the roof construction to the specification. The consequence was that the roof needed to be rebuilt to meet the specification. Next the home owner was suing the builder who ran for his life , “ keep the retentions”, and that was that. True story from about 1969.

    If you are good at your job you won’t have the problems you complain about so often, though I do grant you that the construction industry can be more hazardous than manufacturing at times. But in today’s over inflated building cost environment, I can’t see it. Quoting for renovations these days is “ think of a number between 100,000 and a million, double it and submit”, no matter what the project is.

  98. That’s a nasty roof story at 12.07 BilB.

    I suppose most home buyers lack the knowledge and experience to know what to check.

    I wonder if that builder thought that everything above the ceilings was “out of sight, out of mind”.

    Back in Queen Victoria’s State there’s a very good service run by the “Archicentre”. For a lowish* fee, they will inspect any secondhand house that you might be thinking of buying. Most agents are used to seeing ‘subject to building inspector’s report’ or ‘subject to an Archicentre report’ on a contract of sale these days.

    The Archicentre staff are retired architects as far as I know. They love climbing up in ceiling cavities and checking foundations and rooves. Worth their weight in coal.

    The other check that springs to mind is organised by our motoring club. ‘RACV Check’ on secondhand cars. Very handy, not dear.


    * fee is very low as a fraction of the house price

    PS no family connection with Archicentre; disclosure: we belong to the RACV

    PPS when will retired bankers/accountants set up Bankicentre for the lay person??

  99. BilB, for the last 30 years at least the Local Council Inspector must have signed off on your friends home. In 1969 I’m not sure.
    Also it worthwhile employing the services of an independent Inspector if your ignorant in construction of the most expensive purchase most of us will ever make.
    Roughly about 0.01% of that investment I’d say.
    Probably $500 on a $500,000 property.

    There is such a thing as irresponsible lending and irresponsible purchasing, that doesn’t come without a cost.

    And no, Murphy is not going to jail. I smelled a rat before the hospital job but the boys needed income and without it they’d be without. Took a punt and flukes happen. Got smarter after that.
    And I’m not sure what MSNBCs Rachel Madcow and her chronic TDS has to do with it.

  100. Hahaha.
    Mr A, would you believe I started writing my comment before you posted yours ?
    Fair Dink.

    Distractions, distractions, everywhere distractions.

  101. Epistle to the non-Victorians

    Part 3

    About that Election.
    I have heard from some voters “I voted Labor for the first time in my life.” The same people were satisfied with the Labor win.

    Several Press reports have told of Liberal candidates and campaigners being told on election day, or during the campaign, “For the first time ever I will not vote Liberal”.

    Cold, hard looks of disdain outside polling places.

    Now the Opposition Leader Matthew Guy wasn’t hated, as far as I could tell. Not a recent usurper to the leadership, or a failure at a previous election. So I don’t believe he was personally strongly rejected (as were, in recent years, John Brumby for Labor or Jeff Kennett for the Liberals).

    He was little known.

    Failed Lib candidates are seething.

    Whether or not Victoria is more ‘liberal’ or ‘progressive’ than other States is debatable. But I think it’s clear that Vic voters saw Mr Turnbull’s removal as sad OR panicky.

    And Vic govts usually “get a second go” unless clearly woeful.

    Hypothesis: State elections aren’t necessarily decided solely on State issues.


    Must attend to some scything, and the re-fill the oil lamps before the wombats come out of an evening….

  102. Another thing to consider is the very high attrition rate of builders.
    There’s a good chance that the iterations of “ Cut Price Houses are Us “ will not deliver an optimum product or be around in 2 years time.
    Buyer beware is still a thing regardless of regulations.

  103. I’ve got some sympathy for the builders and their working environment. I can’t condone bad or deceitful practice but think that the builders have a lot of headwinds to overcome on every job.
    * They are heavily regulated by the government – so many rules.
    * Hostile and often ignorant owners who are adversarial from the start.
    *Designers, including architects who despite their creative flair, are often not great at building, leaving the builder to sort out stuff.
    * Unreliable trades who for whatever reason do not complete their roles in a sequence and blocking other trades as a consequence.
    * Owners or principals who consider it “good business” to withhold progress payments for little or no reason.
    * Suppliers, for whatever reason, fail to deliver goods on time. It might be tiles where the owners choice is not available for weeks or as I have seen, for months.

    These are just a couple of things that a builder deals with on any job.

  104. GH

    These are just a couple of things that a builder deals with on any job.

    At least 1 or all of those on every job.
    I’m glad someone here can see it, it’s reassuring.

    Could maybe explain my apparent ( I’m sure 🙂 ) predilection toward scepticism and investigation of everything folk say.

  105. You’re being way too generous there, GeofH. Any and every enterprise can provide a list of operational complications. That is just “business”. Most of us just get on with it and solve the problems as they arise with most being anticipated and prepared for. Even the weather can be managed around these days with the incredible knowledge base available for forecasting.

    One of the key limitations, but also benefits, for “subbies” is the extremely low investment they have in their livelihood. A “chippie can set himself up for as little as $5000. A second hand ute, a Bunnings crosscut saw, a collapsible saw horse, some power leads, a compressor and a nailgun,…and he is in business. Across the road from my home is a work alone brickie whose business included a ute, a trailer, a cement mixer, power cords, ladders tressles, planks and some trowels. He owns half a dozen houses in the area because he is good at what he does, was a preferred contractor so was never out of work, never in the pub, and he was careful with his money. His total business investment was $20,000 even with a new ute.

    The point is that a low enterprise investment means plenty of competition, unless one is very good at what they do.

  106. This, Ladies and Gentlemen, is why the word “ BilB “ can be used as a synonym for “repeat bankrupt “

    “ It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble.
    It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.
    Mark Twain

  107. BilB the ability to make good with minimal investment and expertise is true enough but not the complete picture. There are a great many externalities that tradies and builders need to deal with. But the building industry is great fodder for the news and so we are likely to hear more about building industry collapse than other stuff.

  108. Watch out, Jumpy.

    There’s plenty who can play the Quotation Game.

    A friend’s Dad had to retire from Melb to Hobart because his business partner defrauded him and skipped the country. Not sure how he was supposed to know that would happen. Small business co-owner; salt of the Earth; industrious; smart.

    Worked out well because the Dad is a yachtie.
    Hobart is an excellent town

  109. Geoff Henderson (Re: DECEMBER 1, 2018 AT 11:14 AM)

    Is it clear the amount refers to the modified rail scheme that interfaces with the Aurizon assets?

    I assume by your question you are unable to access the referred SMH article? The article includes:

    However, there are doubts Adani can build the 200-kilometre rail line, valued at roughly $1.5 billion, connecting the Carmichael mine to Aurizon’s Central Queensland Coal Network.

    So, if Adani is only investing a total of $2 billion, and the 200 km long narrow-gauge rail line linked to Aurizon’s network is valued at about $1.5 billion, then that leaves only about $500 million to develop the Carmichael mine.

    Without the rail link the mine is stranded – the coal cannot get to the Abbot Point Coal Terminal.

    Has Adani done a deal with other mine owners in the Galilee Basin, like MacMines’ recently approved $6.7 billion China Stone project, and GVK/Hancock Coal’s two mines, to co-invest in the rail link, to free up more capital to invest in the Carmichael mine?

    The AFR article (you referred to in your comment above at NOVEMBER 29, 2018 AT 2:52 PM) by Mark Ludlow headlined Adani to self-fund $2b Carmichael mine, construction to start before Christmas, dated Nov 29, includes Adani Australia’s chief executive Lucas Dow reportedly commenting that:

    …the project, which now only needs final management plans signed off by state and federal governments, would be funded by parent company Adani Group’s finances rather than externally by a bank.

    It seems to me that about AU$500 million to spend on a ‘greenfield’ open-cut coal mine development is much, much less than the billions of dollars originally proposed (US$16 billion for a much larger mine plus standard-gauge rail link to Abbot Point). I’m sure we aren’t being told the full story.

    In the fullness of time (i.e. 3 weeks) we will see whether Adani’s recent announcements are true, or they are all talk and no action.

  110. during my career I moves from the cloistered halls of a research center in the days when companies put money into research because research was considered a “good thing” to a moderate sized mine out in the bush followed by a very large mine in the middle of WA. (Both on healthy profit margins.)
    Bit of a culture shock for each of these moves but not as big as the shock of moving to the contract mining and construction business. All of a sudden I was working in an industry where the profit margins were small and the chances of losing big money were real, good project managers were so tight arsed that they only shat once a year and minimising working capital by delaying payments to subbies till after your customer paid made sense.
    Then there were the clients from hell who would seek any excuse to pay late or demand modifications. The most blatant case that happened to me occurred when I put every smart I could think of to maximize the recovery from the new module design I was working on. Recovery was about 2% better than the first module so instead of thanks from the client the client from hell demanded that the first module be modified for free because it clearly hadn’t been designed right! (They had a lot of leverage because we had the operating contract that was renewed from time to time.) The good news was that I designed the second module so that it would reduce the length into one less bay and the money saved by doing this was worth a lot more than the free upgrading of the first module.
    A different world that you probably understand a lot better than I did Jumpy.

  111. It has certain dangerous wild west charm about it.

    The sort of place that parents can dare to make their Sons middle name the same as his surname 🙂

    A “ devil may care “ move.

  112. GM I have always seen the Adani project as three parts – the mine, rail, and the port.
    The original mine output of 60 million tonnes per year was scaled back to 25 million. Still a massive project. The rail, of 200 km (16 0?) was reduced by linking to existing Aurizon rail although there was a rail gauge size issue. But the effect was to lower (or shift) the capital cost considerably, in theory at least. The port was to be extended to accommodate the new high volumes of coal. Apparently, Adani has met debt obligations associated with the port but it operates well under capacity at this time.
    The rail line gained attention because it was seeking $1 billion from Australia to build it. Thinking about that, I’m not sure what the estimated cost of the rail was at that time. But it was always clear that the rail enabled further development of Galilee, making it increasingly likely that there are other parties inclined to co-invest in the rail. But for other parties to go in as customers or investors would require a serious degree of certainty that the various green lights would be lit.
    The Aurizon link is interesting and I don’t think it is a done deal. The plan is to link Adani rail to the existing Aurizon Goonyella rail. But that line will need a significant upgrade to carry Adani’s output. Who pays for the upgrade is a big point of discussion. Given that Aurizon is largely government-owned, it is possible that if Aurizon does fund it we citizens are exposed to the very real risk that if mining declines as predicted the rail also becomes a stranded asset. Worth noting here that coal and ore haulage is the significant revenue streams of Aurizon. This Guardian article from early Nov 2018 is interesting:
    I’ll agree that the Adani project is not yet a certainty by any means, with many issues – logistics, verified funding, government approvals, and cultural interests – still to be sorted. And all that against a lot of uncertainty about the future of coal, especially the low-grade coal of Carmichael.

  113. Posted today at RenewEconomy is an article by Oliver Yates headlined Adani coal project does not have a social licence – it must be stopped. It begins with:

    Mining approvals for the extraction of Galilee Basin coal by groups like Adani and companies associated with Gina Reinhardt need immediate review.

    Considerable new information is available about the climate impacts of exploiting one of the largest untapped coal reserves on the planet. New coal projects are losing their social licence to operate as society understands the serious impact of climate change on humanity and the ecosystems we depend upon.

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