A small amount of toxic CSG chemicals leaked from a waste pond operated by Santos. No humans, stock or wildlife were threatened. Santos was given a small $1500 fine, reflecting the trivial nature of the leak. It did not stop anti-CSG campaigner Alan Jones from once again aligning himself with the Greens in going after CSG on his morning programme. His go to man? Someone from Wyoming. However:
It’s instructive The Greens have flown Wyoming activist and farmer Mr John Fenton more than 13,000km to make an unfounded case against production of much needed gas resources.
It’s also worth noting the orchestrated visit is avoiding country Queensland where gas production and agriculture are working side by side.
Mr Abbott urged closer and more active engagement but also signalled a tougher stance on Chinese investment, saying that an Abbott government would “rarely” support a Chinese-government company taking over an Australian business.
I don’t want government, domestic or foreign, running businesses in Australia.
The luxury car maker is expected to post profits of between £1.5bn and £1.6bn for the year to March 31, up from a record £1.1bn last year.
To keep up with demand, JLR is looking to expand all three of its UK plants at Halewood, Castle Bromwich and Solihull and is building a new engine factory in Wolverhampton. The car maker also plans to produce cars in China for the domestic market.
JLR insiders believe the company could eventually produce 500,000 cars a year.
JLR has been turned around under Tata after it tried to seek financial assistance from the Labour government in 2009 and was rejected.
I think there is a lessons learnt here for our own auto industry.
…and where are all the environmental problems? From the WSJ:
Are you listening Alan Jones? The main issues I see are three-fold: respect for private property rights, payment for water usage and bringing state regulations up to speed with those in the USA. Other than that I have no problem with fracking for coal seam gas. We need energy independence as much as food independence. The two are not mutually exclusive.
The USA’s biggest retail bank Wells Fargo has a net interest margin of 3.89%. What do you think the CBA’s net interest margin is? With all the bank bashing from Swan you’d expect it to be higher. However, in 2011 it was only 2.19%.
Mr Narev’s attack centred on federal treasurer Wayne Swan’s claims that banks’ profit margins had recovered to levels before the downturn.
“Our net interest margins are not back at pre-GFC levels,” Mr Narev said.
The bank, Australia’s largest, raised its standard variable rate by 10 basis points on Monday.
Mr Narev, who became the chief executive in December 2011, defended the profitability of the domestic banking sector.
“We have heard from some parts of the community that the Australian banks are far more profitable,” he said.
I see the arguments for both sides, but if we are going to get rid of auto car subsidies lets get rid of all business subsidies, especially for ‘renewable’ energy.
Senator Carr said that one million Australians are employed in some form of manufacturing and that the automotive industry is the foundation stone of manufacturing.
He said that, at only $17.80 per taxpayer, the Australian government’s level of support for the car industry was very low compared with Canada ($96.39), France ($147.38), Germany ($90.37), Sweden ($334) and the UK ($27), let alone “the great home of free enterprise”, the US ($264).
“Nowhere in the world – nowhere – does the automotive industry survive without substantial co-investment by the governments,” said Senator Carr.
HOLDEN’S Australian operations hang in the balance as Ford today announced a $103 million investment to keep its Victorian plants open for another four years.
South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill and federal Manufacturing Minister Kim Carr met with General Motors chief executive Dan Akerson in Detroit this morning for talks on the future of its Australian subsidiary, Holden.
Mr Weatherill said the closure of the GM’s Australian operations was “one possible scenario”.
He said the SA and federal governments were negotiating a deal to prevent that occurring.
If the ALP really wanted to save the car industry in Australia then they might consider implementing my five point plan detailed here. Let me update it and call it my ten point plan:
Abolish government transaction taxes on new Australian made cars sold to private buyers, including stamp duty and registration;
Abolish payroll tax for the entire car manufacturing sector;
Reduce the corporate income tax rate to 5 per cent for the entire car manufacturing sector;
Provide funding for an automobile R&D centre of excellence made up of local industry, local universities and the CSIRO, to focus on the engineering challenges of meeting EU environmental standards and other government regulations;
Provide tax-credits for new automobile manufacturing investment;
Relax current IR laws, including unfair dismissal and collective bargaining and implement ‘employer at will’ AWA arrangements;
Abolish any government scheme, alternative energy requirement or subsidy that drives up the cost of power;
Abolish the Co2 tax;
Allow the owners of Australian cars – no older than 4 year old – to travel 130 km/h on some dual freeways; and
Relax immigration restrictions for persons that have expertise and investment dollars for the automobile R&D and manufacturing sector.
If the SA and VIC governments really want automobile manufacturing in their states there is nothing stopping them from abolishing payroll and transaction taxes on Ford and Holden tomorrow. The problem with Ford and Holden is symbolic of the wider problem with manufacturing in Australia though: governments, through a myriad of taxes and regulations, is making the sector uncompetitive in world and domestic markets. That is about 75 per cent of the problem.