Leith van Onselen


Melbourne set to reopen on Sunday

With Melbourne’s COVID-19 infections plummeting: Premier Daniel Andrews has finally ceded to common sense and flagged significant reopening on Sunday: Victoria has broken the back of the nation’s coronavirus second wave. Premier Daniel Andrews on Friday declared that restrictions in Victoria would be overhauled on Sunday. Mr Andrews said there would be a “significant statement


Shareholders revolt at ProfitKeeper largesse

Last month we reported how the Morrison Government’s JobKeeper subsidy has been an absolute boon for Australian business owners, juicing company dividends and profits. This was reflected in the latest national accounts for the June quarter, which showed that employee wages & salaries fell by 3.3% over the quarter while company profits soared by 13.7%:


Environmentalists must confront population problem

Fresh from shamelessly pumping mass immigration propaganda, The Conversation has published a more balanced article calling for environmentalists to confront the world’s bulging population: Brown recently declared the world’s population must start to decline before 2100, telling The Australian newspaper: “We are already using more than what the planet can supply and we use more than the


Locally acquired COVID-19 infections crater

Australia recorded only 10 new COVID-19 infections overnight, down from 21 yesterday: However, only one was locally acquired with the rest returned travelers in hotel quarantine: Victoria’s 7-day average infection rate has cratered to just 2.4: And Melbourne’s 14-day average has cratered to just 5.5: NSW recorded zero new local cases, with 7 overseas acquired


Another Victorian contact tracing fail?

Department of Health and Human Services Testing Commander Jeroen Weimar revealed yesterday that 500 people were instructed to self-isolate for 14 days after a grade 5 student tested positive for the virus in Victoria. The student, who attended East Preston Islamic College, was confirmed positive on Wednesday, resulting in the rapid closure of the entire


Melbourne listings rocket after real estate restrictions ease

From Eliza Owen, Head of Research Australia at CoreLogic: One of the lessons learned about the property market through COVID-19 is that listings numbers have been extremely responsive to changes in social distancing policies. Despite an extended lockdown, Melbourne is no exception. Since onsite, private inspections resumed on the 28th of September, new listings volumes


What happened to following the COVID-19 science?

During his daily press conferences on Victoria’s COVID-19 infections, Premier Daniel Andrews regularly tells us that he is just “following the science” and the “super computer” with regards to the state’s draconian lockdowns. This “science” saw blunt measures like nightly curfews, 5km travel limits, one hour exercise limits, playground bans, golf bans, and tennis bans


Links 23 October 2020

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Bill Gates: ‘Shutting down’ economy not nearly enough to stem climate change” – The Blaze Robots Encroach on Up to 800 Million Jobs Around the World – Bloomberg Tesla’s autonomous driving could displace $8 trillion worth of enterprise value in the market: Analyst – CNBC Meet The Network That


Peta Credlin hits back at left media over hotel quarantine

Sky News’ Peta Credlin has again forensically unpicked inconsistencies, lies and obfuscation from the Victorian Government during the Hotel Quarantine Inquiry. In the video above, Credlin explicitly calls for Inquiry chair, Jennifer Coate, to call back witnesses for oral testimony instead of relying on signed affidavits written by lawyers and worded in ways to obfuscate:


Sydney’s auction market continues to strengthen

CoreLogic has released its final auction clearance results for last weekend, which reveals that the final national clearance rate retraced to 66.2% from 66.4% the prior week: Sydney’s auction clearance strengthened to 69.1% from 67.2% the prior week, whereas Melbourne’s rose to 60.2% from 58.6%. As noted by CoreLogic: There were 1,131 capital city homes


Taxpayers fleeced twice by Foxtel

Recall that Foxtel in July received $10 million from taxpayers to televise “women’s, niche and other under-represented sports”. This $10 million subsidy came on top of $30 million already provided by taxpayers to Foxtel in 2017. It also came at the same time as the Morrison Government slashed funding to the ABC by $84 million.


NBN a breeding ground for fat cats

When it comes to the age of entitlement, you would be hard pressed to beat NBN Co, which is packed flush with literally hundreds of employees paid exorbitant ‘fat cat’ salaries: NBN Co chief executive officer, Stephen Rue receives the highest salary in the public sector, after earning more than $3 million in the 2019-20


AUSTRAC demands property money laundering laws

The CEO of AUSTRAC – the Australian Government agency responsible for detecting, deterring and disrupting criminal abuse of the financial system – has warned that lawyers, accountants and real estate agents are being used to launder illicit, necessitating then need for the industry participants to be brought into the anti-money laundering (AML) regulatory net: Austrac


Labor pushes for federal ICAC

Labor leader Anthony Albanese has urged the federal government to press ahead with its proposed national integrity commission in the wake of revelations about a controversial land deal at Badgerys Creek in New South Wales. The government paid $30 million for land at the site of Sydney’s new airport that was subsequently valued at just


Only 6 local COVID-19 cases recorded overnight

Australia recorded 12 new COVID-19 infections overnight, below yesterday’s 16: However, only 6 were locally acquired, whereas 6 were returned travelers in hotel quarantine: Victoria recorded 5 new infections, the highest in a week: However, Melbourne’s 14-day average infection rate has fallen to just 6.1: Both jurisdictions’ infection rates are bouncing around low levels: Active


Hotel Quarantine Inquiry liars could face charges

Lawyers say that Victoria’s Chief Health Officer (CHO) Brett Sutton is among several government officials who could potentially face criminal charges over their evidence to the inquiry into the state’s hotel quarantine program. Sutton recently came under scrutiny over revelations that he had instructed Health Department lawyers to withhold an email from the inquiry which


Why Australia needs more housing stimulus

A group of university academics have called on the Morrison Government to significantly increase housing stimulus in order to help drive Australia’s economic recovery: In response to the COVID-19 recession, federal, state and territory governments quickly provided support to the housing industry for two reasons. First, to safeguard jobs and, second, because investment in the


Chinese international students are not coming back

The South China Morning Post (SCMP) reports that four out of five affluent Chinese families are shunning Western universities amid strained foreign relations and negative sentiment towards the COVID-19 pandemic: After being inundated with news about the worsening coronavirus pandemic and rising tensions between China and the West for months, Beijinger Joe Gao… who runs


Links 22 October 2020

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Tesla Stock Drops Ahead of Earnings. Here’s Why. – Barrons Nokia to build mobile network on the Moon. – Reuters Americas: AOC Wants To Work With Republicans To Legalize Marijuana And End War On Drugs – marijuanamoment.net Millions Of Unemployed Americans Monitor Relief Bill Negotiations – NPR Pandemic expected


Inflation expectations scrape along bottom

From Roy Morgan Research: In September Australians expected inflation of 3.3% annually over the next two years, up 0.1% points on the record low in August. However, Inflation Expectations are still down a significant 0.7% points on the pre-pandemic month of March 2020… Inflation Expectations have fallen significantly for all Australians during the pandemic, down


Stockland demands HomeBuilder extension

The CEO of Australia’s largest listed residential property developer, Mark Steinert, has urged the Morrison Government to extend its $25,000 HomeBuilder subsidy beyond six months: Mr Steinert said the economic boost from state and federal government stimulus programs could be widened just by allowing more time for qualifying projects to begin construction… “We do know


Mortgage stress near record lows?

According to Roy Morgan Research, Australia’s mortgage stress is running near record lows due to around 400,000 mortgage holders on repayment holidays: New research from Roy Morgan shows an estimated 751,000 mortgage holders (20.2%) were at risk of ‘mortgage stress’ in the three months to August 2020 as Australia navigated its way through the COVID


Retail sales retraced in September

From the ABS comes preliminary retail sales for September: Sales have fallen for two consecutive months: Here’s the breakdown: There were falls in turnover in Food retailing, Household goods retailing, and Other retailing, in September. Despite the month-on-month falls, these industries continue to trade at levels above September 2019. Every state and territory, except the


COVID-19 infections remain well under control

Australia recorded 14 new COVID-19 infections overnight, only 5 of which were locally acquired: Victoria recorded only 3 new infections with the 7-day average falling to just 2.9: Melbourne’s 14-day average has fallen to just 6.2, almost at the 5 average target required to ease draconian lockdowns: NSW recorded only 2 new locally acquired cases,