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Who will be held responsible when visa privatisation fails?

Cross-posted from The Conversation: The Department of Home Affairs has begun taking steps to outsource its visa processing to private service providers. This move has sparked an important national debate on transparency, accountability and profiteering in the immigration system. The proposed changes will involve private service providers processing certain “low-risk” visas, rather than department staff.

8

CBA: Mortgage equity injection highest in living memory

By Gareth Aird, senior economist at CBA: Key Points RBA cuts to the cash rate have generated both a lift in new housing‑related lending and an acceleration in debt repayment. We expect national dwelling prices will continue to grow faster than household income in 2020 but any increase in household leverage is likely to be

13

The density dilemma

By Ross Elliott, cross-posted from The Pulse: A recent decision by Brisbane City Council to restrict townhouse and similar ‘missing middle’ housing product to areas actually zoned for it has been met with hostility from some parts of the urban planning community. It has been exaggerated as a “total ban” and labelled variously as “terrible

6

Australia’s retirement system unprepared for home free future

Cross-posted from The Conversation: Asked to conduct an independent review of Australia’s retirement income system, the panel appointed by treasurer Josh Frydenberg reported on Friday that it was all tied up with the family home. At every age range, Australians have more money saved through home ownership than they do through superannuation or anything else,

21

First home buyers are on the rise. But for how long?

From CoreLogic’s Tim Lawless: According to ABS housing finance data for August 2019, first home buyers comprised the largest proportion of national owner occupier mortgage activity since early 2012. The data showed first home buyers comprised 29.8% of the national market for owner occupier home loans; almost five percentage points above the decade average of

6

Coalition mortgages Australia’s economic future

Via Independent Australia: IN A RECENT SURVEY conducted by the Australian Financial Review, every single economist who participated had the same message for the Morrison Government: the Reserve Bank should not have to rescue the economy on its own. However, despite the mounting evidence of domestic economic slowdown and the growing risk of a potential

45

Aussie voters reject Labor’s immigration extremists

Cross-posted from Independent Australia: At the May Federal Election, Labor and the Greens overbid the already-high Coalition position on immigration and population. Post-election, Labor muffles the topic, targeting instead Home Affairs and its Minister, Peter Dutton. Is that the right play? For this year’s Federal Election, Labor offered virtually open-ended migrant-parent visas. This would have

6

Lower-income households are priced-out of housing

By Cameron Kusher, CoreLogic Research Analyst: Last week the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released their biennial Housing Occupancy and Costs data for the 2017-18 financial year. The release has too much data to cover off in full in just one blog post so this week’s blog will cover off on some of the details

3

Fed confusion throws spanner into bond rally

By Damien Boey at Credit Suisse: Over the past few days, we have witnessed some very confusing signals from Fed officials: Vice Chair Clarida suggested that the Fed should not wait until things get so bad to have a dramatic series of rate cuts. These comments followed and potentially reinforced dovish comments from the New

6

Westpac auction preview: July 13-14

From Westpac Senior Economist, Matthew Hassan: Given the intense focus on Australia’s housing markets at the moment and in light of our recent commentary around the best way to interpret auction market results (see here) we are now providing short previews each Friday and summary updates the following Monday setting out how results should be viewed. Key

19

Household wealth falling but debt trap remains

By Cameron Kusher at CoreLogic: The ABS data showed that at the end of the March quarter, household net worth was $10.243 trillion. CoreLogic research analyst Cameron Kusher observed that while a large figure, household wealth has now fallen for two consecutive quarters and is -0.7% lower year-on-year. The $10.243 trillion in net worth is

13

Aussie household confidence takes another dive

From Martin North at Digital Finance Analytics: After the slight twitch of positive sentiment following the election in May, the DFA Household Finance Confidence Index fell again, to a new low of 85.54. Whilst the RBA rate cut may offer some borrowers the prospect of improved cash flow (when the changes propagate through to the

17

Challenging the dogma of GDP and population growth

By Michael Bayliss, communications manager for Sustainable Population Australia and Co-founder of Population, Permaculture and Planning Australia’s economy is centred on the belief that we need Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a means of measuring prosperity. For this to happen, we need to maintain a culture of consumption coupled with a continually growing population. While

24

Getting out of liquor and pokies good for Woolworths

Cross posted from The Conversation by Jason Pallant Lecturer of Marketing, Swinburne University of Technology The Woolworths Group proclaims it celebrates “family-friendly values”. Within its supermarkets the company has sought to demonstrate this commitment. Woolies gives out free fruit to kids, for example, and no longer gives out plastic bags. Its goal, the group states, is to

14

“Congestion busting” just got harder under ScoMo’s immigration boom

Cross-posted from Independent Australia: THE ELECTION OFFERED no respite from Australia’s radical immigration economy. We could crank it up higher, under the Coalition. Even more so, via Labor. In 2017 and 2018, net migration clocked about 240,000. The Budget grows that by 30,000. But permanent migration drops by 30,000. How good are bridging visas? The long haul is real news. Only

31

Ponzi Pallas serves up land taxes to fill stamp duty black hole

By David Collyer Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas has pre-announced Land Tax changes ahead of Monday night’s state budget. Expect a dramatic budget contraction as Victoria’s key ‘own revenue’ source, Stamp Duty, has shrunk with the fall in both property transaction volumes and prices. “The government says stamp duty revenue will collapse by an average of

45

Political trouble for the bubble down under

By Ross Elliott, cross-posted from New Geography: In a remarkable and most unexpected outcome, Australia’s conservative Prime Minister Scott Morrison has retained the country’s leadership at the recent Australian Federal Parliamentary election (18 May, 2019). Morrison’s victory confounded a wide array of commentators, academics, advocacy groups, industry groups, all of the opinion polls, most of

14

International student’s “clenching and corrupting hold” on universities

By Binoy Kampmark, lecturer at RMIT University There are no protests on the streets and no effigies of university officials being burned by protesting students today. There are no protests outside the officers of the over-remunerated Vice Chancellors and their various henchpersons. It is business and malpractice as usual after revelations by Australia’s national broadcaster that Australian universities have

6

Why the banking royal commission will ultimately achieve little

Cross-posted from The Conversation: Will the banking services royal commission have a lasting effect of improving the banking and financial sector? The answer is “no”. A temporary change is apparent, but the problems lie deeper than those addressed by the royal commissioner. The worldwide pervasiveness of financial sector misconduct is an indication. This is not a

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How Labor lost Middle Australia

Cross-posted from Patreon: I’m sure like most of you – you are scratching your head to explain what happened last night, and how Bill Shorten lost the Federal Election (when only months ago most people thought he would romp it home in a landslide). Read on and enjoy my thoughts: 1. Climate Change isn’t the

109

Labor visa earthquake to trigger elderly migrant tsunami

Below is an edited extract of a new paper by Dr Bob Birrell from the Australian Population Research Institute. Summary An alarmist headline? Not really. This judgement follows from an analysis of Labor’s proposed temporary visa for parents of existing migrants, entitled, a ‘Fairer Long stay parent visa for Australia’s migrant and multicultural communities’. The

32

Australia: The Once Lucky Country

Here’s an interesting take on Australia by American Joel Kotkin and the publishers of The City Journal. Cross-posted with permission: Few places on earth are better suited for middle-class prosperity than Australia. From early in its history, when it was a refuge for British convicts, the vast, resource-rich country has provided an ideal environment for

40

Where is Australia’s population policy?

Cross-posted from Independent Australia: Morrison Government’s population plan “capped” permanent migration at 160,000 but its 2019 Budget uncapped net migration to 270,000. This has not been challenged by the Labor Opposition and so, our steep population growth is removed from the political contest, ignoring the environmental and electoral objections. UP UNTIL CHRISTCHURCH, Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s muscular migration brand was “Stop

60

There is no silver bullet (train)

By Ross Elliott, cross-posted from The Pulse: A proposed High Speed Rail connecting Melbourne with Sydney and Brisbane is getting favourable press. But what are the hurdles and how would it compare with existing modes of intercity travel? “We should bite the bullet and go for a high-speed rail connection not just through to Sydney