1. Adani’s problems mount
The IEEFA has issued a warning that Contracting with Adani Australia entails counterparty risks.
They say self funding is basically impossible, because Adani Enterprises Ltd (AEL) does not have the capacity to fund it. Adani Mining is already carrying $1.8 billion of debt in Australia. The project would require the coal market to stay robust for decades. Tim Buckley:
- “In IEEFA’s view, Adani’s Carmichael thermal coal proposal is unviable and unbankable on any normal commercial evaluation, absent massive government subsidy support in both India and Australia,” says Buckley.
“Adani’s suggestion it will self-fund this proposal is a clear acknowledgement of this.”
Engineering firm AECOM was in a legal fight with Adani up until last month over millions of dollars of work it completed on the Carmichael rail years ago before the project was downsized again. However, Adani has told the ABC that the claim is now settled.
The ABC now understands that major rail company Genesee & Wyoming Australia (GWA) has declined to participate in the Carmichael coal project.
Aurizon has come under intense pressure from UniSuper, one of Aurizon’s top five shareholders, not to cut deals with it because of environmental concerns, and doubts from some key investors that the venture is “a viable commercial proposition”. However, Unisuper understands that Aurizon may have legal obligations because of its ‘monopoly’ status as a former government entity.
Then there is Pacific National.
Today we hear that engineering firm Aurecon, who did work on the port, won’t be doing further work for Adani. Protest groups are chalking it up as a win
2. ScoMo still preferred but the election glow has dimmed
Newspoll is carrying on undeterred from the dent in their reputation. The last TPP poll this week has the LNP in front 51-49 compared to 53-47 on July 25-28. My son Mark says they should forget about TPP and just give the first preference votes.
There we see the LNP on 42, Labor on 34, the Greens on 11, One Nation on 4, and Others on 9, which is roughly where things stood at election time.
I regard the Greens as part of the established parties, and I reckon that there is a solid vote for established parties of about 80 per cent. So I think the trope about the ‘drift away from the major parties’ is a bit overdone.
In leader’s performance, ScoMo has a positive vote at 48-42, as does Albanese at 41-34. The main difference is that 10% are doubtful about ScoMo, but that rises to 25% for Albo. It was only 10% for Shorten.
My theme at present is that the disinterested people in the middle have a large say in election outcomes.
I’m reading Niki Savva’s book Plots and Prayers at present. She said the Turnbull wanted to stay positive in campaigning, thinking he could convince the Australian people with his vision. LNP realists, Andrew Robb chief among them, impressed on him the need to go negative on Shorten and go hard on the devastating implications of a Labor victory. Turnbull wasn’t very good at that, couldn’t do it with conviction, which in one reason he’s not there any more, apart from Abbott’s revenge, the fact that some on his side couldn’t stand him, the ambition of Dutton and ScoMo, as well as the machinations of the ‘prayer group’ and the fact (to ScoMo) that God works miracles, but only for the Liberals. That last bit, we are assured, is literally true.
Ian McAuley has an interesting article, where he says the old two-party Westminster system based on class differences is dying. He graphs the election results over the last few decades:
It is essentially ridiculous and undemocratic that the government should be held hostage by a small rump of climate deniers.
He would also like to see reform of the parliamentary system so that the smaller parties are rewarded with a commensurate number of seats.
3. Climate the biggest election issue?
Phillip Coorey in the AFR quoted cited JWS Research which showed the climate change was the number one issue overall in the last election. A pity then that the debate did not really focus on climate change. More on a money but overwhelmingly on how awful Bill Shorten would be as a PM and how he was coming after our money. Somehow, money spent on schools, hospitals, infrastructure, the old, people on Newstart etc was not ours or for us, just government theft.
Breaking the issues down, however, climate change was a clear winner only for Labor and Greens voters. For the Coalition voters:
25 per cent cited economic management as their most important issue, followed by tax (23 per cent), health (12 per cent), and franking credits (11 per cent).
Climate change ranked eighth in order of importance among Coalition voters, with 7 per cent citing it. But this does not diminish its importance as an issue.
Religious freedom rated just 1 per cent overall.
So in this context, for the LNP climate change run a poor second to electricity prices.
ScoMo told the troops that their mandate was indeed about the economy and the hip pocket. He told them not to indulge themselves by speaking out about peripheral matters, and he told them in detail what the audience reach of each media program was. He would not have appreciated Andrew Hastie’s contributioin to security and international relations with the Chinese.
ScoMo is an advertising man at work. He also told them not to underestimate the Labor Party.
It’s about power, politics and eyes firmly on what wins for ScoMo.
- The polling is a warning to those who think climate change disappeared as an issue when Morrison won the election.
4. Pell appeal fails
- Two of the three judges from Victoria’s Court of Appeal turned down Pell’s primary ground of appeal, that the jury’s verdict was unreasonable.
The judges unanimously dismissed two other grounds of appeal which argued that there were errors in the way the trial was run.
I understand the judges watched the videos of the trials, inspected the site, and handled the robes which were claimed to be too heavy or restrictive.
5. Grattan on baby boomers
In the AFR there was a simple report today saying that the housing slump was over. We were all meant to rejoice that our housing costs, already some of the highest in the world, were going up.
Wages aren’t going up in a commensurate fashion. Now Grattan Institute has weighed in:
For the first time in a long time, we’re setting up a generation to be worse off than the one before it
‘A generation falling behind’: Here’s why young people’s wealth is stagnating (while others get richer)
How about this?
- Young people are told they waste their money instead of saving, but their spending on ‘luxuries’ like booze, holidays, cigarettes and clothes has gone down since 2010.
By contrast, spending by households headed by someone aged 55 or older has gone up 50 to 80 per cent in the past six years.
With fewer workers per retiree, the next generations are going to have to pay for the care of the aged, who are not all self-funded, and who are living longer than ever before.