Nation Must Move North

The federal government will this week release its northern Australia white paper. It is the first time in decades that a government has focused on developing a new frontier of our nation. Read more

WA Has a Valid Claim on More GST Revenue

You learn early as a parent that young children have only a concept of themselves, every toy is “mine”.  Read more

Getting Balance Right with Spending Cuts and Revenue Increases

Having not been that long since I was a kid, and now partly responsible for four children myself, I have learned that one key of effective parenting is: do as I say, not as I do.   Read more

Level the Tax Field for Single Income Families

We are continually told that more mothers must work. The intergenerational report states that "Australia's female participation rates remain lower than some other advanced economies such as Canada and New Zealand, and more can be done to encourage women to enter and stay in the workforce." Read more

Sugar Industry Co-Dependency

The decision to grow sugar is a bit like the decision to get married and have kids. Both raise issues of bilateral dependency and asset specificity.  Once you marry someone, you are locked in, or at least it’s hard to redeploy -- likewise with growing sugar. Read more

Good Fences Make Good Neighbours

The Jewish people did not lack for self-proclaimed messiahs seeking to stir trouble against the Roman occupiers. Why is only one of these men remembered today? Read more

If CQ was a State, we'd be Richest of All

If Central Queensland were its own state, it would be the richest state in the nation. Central Queensland produces $40 billion of wealth for Australia every year, from a population base of just over 400,000. That’s an income per person of more than $100,000, double that of Tasmania. Read more

Trading Laws Need Tune-Up

I was in Mareeba recently talking to growers about the difficult market structure they faced.  I asked: "Why don't you get together and collectively bargain so that you can counterbalance the power of buyers?"  The growers said to me they tried that a few years ago.  Three big growers had had enough: they all agreed not to supply the Cairns market the next Saturday.  The next Saturday came, and the grower who left at 5.30 in the morning passed the other two who were already on their way back from Cairns. Read more

Labor’s Energy Policy Nothing But Wind

George Orwell once said that political language was designed to “give an appearance of solidity to pure wind”.  Step forward exhibit A and the Labor Party’s explanation for refusing to fix the mess that is Australian renewable energy policy. Mark Butler says that Labor will not “stand by and watch” billions of dollars in investment in renewables head overseas. Read more

Welcoming the Bitcoin Challenge

The emergence of Bitcoins and other forms of digital currency could revolutionise money markets. If competition is so good in markets for products, why shouldn’t we allow competition in markets for currency too – why should governments have a monopoly? Read more



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