The Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee is currently examining the Shipping Legislation Amendment Bill 2015. The purpose of the Bill is to increase access to Australian coastal shipping for foreign crewed ships in an attempt to make coastal shipping cheaper.
The Queensland Treasurer, Curtis Pitt, has brought a welcome reality check to discussion about the Adani coal mine, pointing out the danger of overstating the importance of the mine to the state’s economy.
Queensland has workforce of 2.3 million people. Adani’s own economic expert has said the mine will create around 1400 jobs, or a 0.06% increase in the state’s workforce.
Since Tony Abbott took office, 101,900 more Australians are unemployed, but the Prime Minister is determined to create a new scapegoat – that of environmental legal victories – rather than face up to fundamental issues in the economy.
“We’re seeing a deliberate effort from the Government to blame environmental law for job losses, despite all evidence to the contrary,” Executive Director of The Australia Institute, Ben Oquist said.
“Growth is slow, mining jobs are down because of dropping resource prices, manufacturing and agriculture employment is in full retreat, and Abbott is choosing to ignore all of these issues.
The emergence of ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft offer a potentially useful addition to Canberra’s urban transport options.
Canberra faces unique transport challenges. Car ownership rates are higher in the ACT than in most states, despite almost all of the population living in the Canberra urban area. But with population predicted to almost double by 2061 other transport is required. At current rates of ownership Canberra’s future population would have an additional 124,000 cars by 2040, enough fill a parking lot the size of the entire Parliamentary Triangle.
Australia can't have a grown-up debate about reform until we stop having juvenile debate about economic modelling. A government that thinks its most persuasive argument begins with "but economic modelling shows" should have as much chance of shifting the economic debate as Bronwyn Bishop had of shifting Australians' attitudes to the role of helicopters in political travel.