Busting the latest renewable energy myths

Cross-posted from Independent Australia: Dodgy data, the Coalition and the Murdoch press have again presented a spectacular performance in renewable energy misinformation, writes RenewEconomy‘s Giles Parkinson. IT APPEARS that the South Australian conservative Opposition may have been the original source for the dodgy numbers that formed the basis of an erroneous front page story on The Australian last week, about wind generation in

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PC fires another shot at Australia’s FTAs

By Leith van Onselen The Productivity Commission (PC) has today released its 2014-15 Trade and Assistance Review, which fired another direct shot at Australia’s so-called Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations: The benefits of increased merchandise trade emanating from bilateral trade agreements have been exaggerated. Different and complex rules of origin in Australia’s preferential trade agreements


Mike Nahan lathers lipstick on WA economy pig

By Leith van Onselen WA Treasurer, Mike Nahan, has hit back at the CommSec State-of-the-States report, released today, which saw the WA economy slump to second last place. From The ABC: Treasurer Mike Nahan said it was inevitable the state had declined relative to its position during the mining boom. “Western Australia’s gone through the


Conveyancers dodgy-up foreign ID checks

From the AFR: Skype calls and passports being held up to a screen are some of the methods conveyancers are using to verify overseas buyers of Australian property. While face-to-face interview and original documents are routinely used to verify parties in transactions between locals, the ad-hoc processes conveyancers are using to check the identity of offshore clients raises risks that buyers


Bronny Bishop sure partied on your purse

From the ABC: Federal politicians are facing calls to urgently tighten overseas travel rules, after details of a $144,000 taxpayer-funded South American tripwere revealed. Cost per delegate Former NSW Liberal MP Bronwyn Bishop and staffer Damien Jones: $52,700.62 Incumbent Qld LNP MP Ewen Jones: $23,271.82 Victorian Labor MP Joanne Ryan: $22,737.48 Qld LNP senator Ian


Dalian dills at it again as big iron sinks

Dalian opened this morning and immediately rocketed 3% presumably on the back of the G20 nothing. It’s since deflating. I’ll simply make the observation that although measures to curb speculation using the Dalian bourse have been very successful in terms of falling volumes, the price action is still much more volatile over short time frames


Who is immigrating to Australia?

From UBS: Australia’s population growth has stabilised at 1.4% y/y – still high by international standards – after a few years of slowing from 2012’s recent peak of 1.8% y/y. This stabilisation is positive news for Australia’s growth outlook. 80% of this prior population growth slowdown has been due to reduced net overseas migration (with


Flat pack homes won’t make housing affordable

By Leith van Onselen ABC News is running an article today examining flat-packed homes, which can be assembled in just four weeks, could revolutionise home building in Australia, and could be a potential answer to affordable housing: The designers said the ideal timeframe to build the house was four weeks, which could be done because


CoreLogic leading mortgage index still falling

From Corelogic: The leading mortgage index is still falling but so much that we’d see it as anything other than seasonality. Meanwhile, listings are threatening to break lower unseasonably: It’s a narrowing market with rapidly slowing credit offset by even lower volumes. Neither strong nor encouraging but not falling apart either.  Full report.


NZ debates housing. Australia ignores it

By Leith van Onselen In the wake of Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) Deputy Governor, Grant Spencer’s, excellent speech earlier this month calling for government assistance to rein-in the housing market, debate over housing policy has hit fever pitch in New Zealand. For weeks, we have witnessed strong debate from all and sundry –


Advisers warn on super ‘dog’s breakfast’

By Leith van Onselen Hot on the heels of the Actuaries Institute’s support of the Coalition’s superannuation package last week, financial advisers have now spoken-out against watering down the package, warning that implementing exemptions to the proposed superannuation caps would create perverse incentives to game the system and increase complexity. From The AFR: Introducing exemptions


NSW, VIC parasites continue to eat economy

By Leith van Onselen CommSec has released its latest State of the States report, which once again ranks New South Wales and Victoria on top due largely to strong population growth, housing, and debt-fueled consumption: Each quarter CommSec attempts to find out by analysing eight key indicators: economic growth; retail spending; equipment investment; unemployment; construction


Clinton camp hammers nail in TPP coffin

By Leith van Onselen Hillary Clinton’s new Presidential running mate, Senator Tim Kaine, has came out against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, publicly declaring that he cannot support the pact in its current form. From Politico: Kaine spokeswoman Amy Dudley said Saturday that the Virginia Democrat shared his negative views on the trade deal


If Aussies are so lucky, why is everyone else more confident?

From Westpac’s Red Book: ― Measures of consumer sentiment globally suggest the shock from the UK’s ‘Brexit’ vote has been minor and that sentiment overall is slightly positive, albeit with above average reads in developed economies partially off set by below average reads for emerging economies. ― Chart 9 shows sentiment across the major economies


Auction clearances slide on low volumes

Core Logic released its auction market report yesterday, which posted a small fall in the national auction clearance rate on weak volumes. The preliminary national auction clearance rate was 70.7% this week, down from the 71.6% clearance rate recorded last weekend, according to Core Logic: Sydney’s preliminary clearance rate fell by 0.9% to 75.3%, whereas Melbourne’s


Doombull fixes Arrium just like the Budget

From Malcolm Turnbull: The Turnbull Government is delivering on its election commitment to support South Australia’s steel sector and workers at Arrium. The Export Finance and Insurance Corporation will provide a loan under the National Interest Account of $49.2 million for new machinery at the Iron Knob and Iron Baron mines. This will enable Arrium’s