#STARTADANI

Good. More jobs. Fewer mobs.

Nice to see activists who spend a lifetime staging secondary boycotts and trashing corporations operating within the law get stopped by the courts. Go Adani!

Nothing to be proud about

Biz Ivest

Flipping through the latest RBA Chart Pack, it is no surprise that business investment keeps sliding off a cliff. As a % of GDP, it has slid from a peak of 18% off the short-term trough of 14% (GFC) to 11%, which now puts it at 1994 levels. It proves the old adage that businesses don’t invest because interest rates are low, they invest because they have confidence in the cycle.

Our government should be looking at this with alarm bells. It doesn’t take too much imagination to work out that political instability has played its part.

Australia was once regarded as the vanguard of political stability in the region which made it a sensible investment choice for domestic and international investors as a place to do business. There was a comfort in knowing that there wouldn’t be revolving door prime ministers and flip flops on policy positions. After all, much business investment takes years to get to the production stage.

The Howard years saw our business investment surge. Sensible fiscal policy was a feature too. While Rudd can be forgiven for GFC causing a slump in business investment it resumed until political instability put the mocker on business confidence.

We have been running deficits ever since and cranking up the national debt (we wrote about it here) because it is clear we don’t have sensible free-market conditions to self sustain direct investment at anywhere the levels we need.

Instead, we kowtow to radical activists who try to stop investment in projects like Adani and conduct illegal secondary boycotts on businesses like Greyhound Australia and Siemens without repercussions.

Whether coal is evil or not is irrelevant. The problem is such activism, which is further supported by ideologically corrupted government environmental departments – that push their own agenda on granting approvals – doesn’t endear domestic industries or foreigners to invest in us. These are dangerous precedents. All of this tokenism when we only need look at the realities of what will happen down the line.

Don’t take our word for it. Even our domestic businesses are leaving.

Thanks to Australia’s ridiculous energy prices, Aussie company Bluescope confirmed the expansion of capacity in Ohio. In Feb 2019, the company CEO said, “much cheaper energy in the United States is a major driver of the company’s preparedness to invest in a $1 billion expansion in Ohio.”

In 2017, Tomago Aluminium reported, “We have to grow to be competitive and to be ahead of the curve, but when the spot price went to $14,000 [per megawatt hour] we had to take that load off. It’s just not sustainable. You can’t smelt at that price. We have had to curtail or modulate the load [on occasions] or we get hammered by the price…We cannot continue to keep paying those prices. We have to find a solution. The prices are crippling”

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Unfortunately, 28 years of unfettered economic expansion has made us complacent. We think this economical miracle has no off-ramp.

None of this is remotely surprising.

Can we honestly say that the impact of higher electricity prices hasn’t been a factor in pushing away investment in engineering and manufacturing? So this mad push for renewables will not alleviate this pressure. Germany is the perfect beta-test crash dummy. It predicted flat prices. They doubled from those forecasts.

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Yet our political class is playing with fire.

We never thought Australia was realistically going to have a surplus when it was announced. Secretly there must be a sigh of relief in Treasury that the impacts of the bushfires and coronavirus will provide a convenient scapegoat to miss those targets under the premise of ‘doing the right thing.’  And no that does not mean the government is glad those two catastrophes have happened from a humanistic approach.

We need proper reforms. We need to ditch these notions of political correctness in public policy. We are as unimaginative as many other governments around the world. Living on a low-interest rate fuelled debt bomb. Kicking the can down the road simply does not work. Why aren’t politicians convicting their cases with evidence rather than folding to ideological positions held by fringe dwellers on Twitter?

When we visited Israel on a business delegation in 2018, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu uttered the only 4 words that mattered for investors – “we want your business.” The innovation nation knows what it is good at and is prepared to back it to the hilt.

It would be so nice if our government spent some time in Israel to discover that we have it all wrong. Because we are only storing up a rude awakening. When our economy does suffer from the eventual ramifications of all of that lack of investment, the public will be howling that they can’t pay their mortgages, that they can’t get decent jobs and they can’t keep the lights on. None of that would have been necessary if they had been more open to business.

The ultimate result will be that we’ll put ourselves deeper into debt to fund some monster infrastructure projects that will provide short term relief, not long term solutions.

The foreign investors that could have helped had we treated them in a more dignified fashion will just buy our assets at fire-sale prices instead. Then we’ll have another moment to howl at the moon.

That will be the true price of our complacency. Experience is a hard teacher. You get the test first and the lesson afterwards.

Sydney Socialism Conference

Sydney is hosting its biggest anti-capitalist conference in August. Elitist wage earners pay $80 for the weekend. Concession or unemployed pay $45. High school students pay $20 or they can bundle the ticket and a copy of the “Introducing Marxism” book for $60! Or one can sign up for the $85 2-yr four issue Marxist Left Review theoretical journal. How lazy to only have a 1/2 yearly review?

CM questions how many socialists will pay full freight? Guessing not many.

At 10am in August 24th, ‘Marxism 101: Climate strikes, climate justice: A socialist response to global warming‘ kicks off the conference with the following summary,

Capitalism is fast destroying our planet, seen nowhere more clearly than the drive to build the Adani coal mine, against mass community opposition. This session will look at why a profit-driven market system inevitably leads us to environmental disaster, and how we can turn the situation around while looking after the most vulnerable.

Good to see the speaker will ignore the last election result, especially in the Adani coal mine’s backyard of Queensland. Despite this, recommended readings come from the Red Flag magazine, one with undoubtedly balanced credentials.

Perhaps CM will wait with baited breath for Sunday’s topic, “Why we feel shit too often: Marx on alienation

Could it be that living as a socialist causes one such misery?

The closing panel looks at “whose side are you on?” Presumably dissenting opinions will be howled at.

CM is half tempted to enter the surreal world of the loony left.

Venue yet to be announced.

NSW to lose State of Origin 4 (Adani)

Who’d a thunk? The Queensland Labor Government is fighting for its life. If it means trading principle for expediency, they have chosen the latter path. Even throwing on last-minute ‘infrastructure taxes’ couldn’t halt progress. Adani has been approved.

Labor has spent 8 years obstructing Adani Carmichael from going ahead. After the unlosable election result handed to its federal colleagues, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk saw the light. Political suicide was at stake. It won’t stop the inevitable, especially post QLD Treasurer Jackie Trad’s deeper deficits announced this week.

What Greens Senator DiNatale fails to understand (despite saying every election hereon will be a #ClimateElection) is that Queenslanders couldn’t give a hoot for Victorians complaining about their wish to have jobs. The reality is that Adani Carmichael will likely be open for decades to come. It will employ those working at the mines and the local economies that support them.

What evidence has DiNatale got for thousands of jobs being destroyed? It is that level of economic comprehension that means they will remain such a joke as a credible party. Not least helped by the eloquence of NSW MLC Cate Faehrmann who thinks encouraging a blockade in a neighbouring state seems fair game.

There are only supposed to be three games in the State of Origin.  Faehrmann is guaranteed to lose her suggested matchup, much like former Senator Bob Brown’s convoy pre-election warm-up game concluded. Queensland will run rings around the NSW attack, as always!

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Why doesn’t Atlassian lead the charge if it is such a great idea?

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Atlassian Co-Founder Mike Cannon-Brookes (MCB) has put forward a vision that is so compelling for Australia to junk its $70bn coal industry, it is a real wonder why he has not decided to deploy the tech giant’s own capital to seize those obvious riches? He believes coal will be worth zero in 15-25 years. If it is such a dead industry, can he explain why China’s coal-fired power (great infographics here) has grown from 200GW in 2000 to over 900GW today? Or India that has grown from 61GW to 221GW of coal-fired power gen? Why would Adani persevere in the face of 8 years of government and regulatory roadblocks in Queensland if coal wasn’t on the menu for India’s future?

The International Energy Agency (IEA) notes the following on coal,

Coal power generation increased 3% in 2018 (similar to the 2017 increase), and for the first time crossed the 10 000 TWh mark. Coal remains firmly in place as the largest source of power at 38% of overall generation. Growth was mainly in Asia, particularly in China and India.

Note in the following map, yellow and red are levels of intensity and in operation. Grey is that idled or shut down.

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Global wind and solar installations account for about the same as China’s current coal-fired power capacity.

MCB’s idea that we should export the sun and wind is utterly fanciful. The amount of transmission loss over distances in Australia would be massive. Our own energy market operator, AEMO, noted that energy transmission losses for those wind and solar farms located furthest from the main load hubs, in north Queensland, western NSW and some in Victoria could suffer marginal loss factors (MLF) of up to 22%.

To think our closest neighbours – New Zealand, Papua New Guinea & East Timor – are at least 200km away from our extremities. At least 500km to major city centres like Port Moresby. That is assuming our ecomentalist Department of Environment would fast track approval for Cape York and the Daintree Forest to be logged and turned into a wind and solar park to then run some cable to Port Moresby. The problem with MLF is that if Port Moresby demanded 1MW of energy, then it would need to pay for more than it needed to anticipate the MLF which would grow the further the demand was from the main load hubs that could supply it.

To add to the problem, Australia’s ridiculously high power prices would be completely unattractive to the likes of Papua New Guinea. They would be better off ignoring Australia’s transmission and self-supply. That is exactly what it is doing. PNG currently get 30% of its power from hydro, 40% from gas and 24% from oil. Note it has signed a memorandum of agreement to install, you guessed it, a 60MW coal-fired power station in Lae. Energy security is on the menu.

MCB has suggested we set up local manufacturing to harness all of our local resources. Once again, a great idea on paper, but in practice, our prowess in low-cost manufacturing has a terrible track record. The now defunct auto industry is exhibit A on that plan.

As is so often the case for celebrity billionaires, thought bubbles are often free to them but costly to others. Tesla shareholders know that feeling. Who could forget JCB’s retweet of Greta Thunberg at the time of the election, imploring Australians to “not f*ck it up“??

MCB may drive a Tesla and have plans to make Atlassian 100% powered by renewables by 2025 but for the sake of shareholders it best he sticks to his core business unless he plans to divert capital to diversify Atlassian and harness this green future. Perhaps he should put Greta Thunberg on the Atlassian board as an executive director on renewable exports?

If climate scientists were surgeons would you let them operate on you?

Why do our politicians continually recycle and peddle climate experts that have made so many dud predictions? If they were major organ transplant surgeons with this record of failure, would you ask them to operate on you?

Annastacia Palaszczuk’s government has stumped up $142,000 to hire the Brisbane Convention Centre for former VP Al Gore to lecture on a subject where his prophecies have been way off the mark. The Office of Environment has chosen not to release the full costings. Now that Adani is back on, it makes them look even more stupid for inviting a quack.

Gore made ridiculous statements that Arctic sea ice could be completely gone by 2014. It’s still there. Thicker too.

Who could forget his mysterious absence from the 2009 Copenhagen UN COP summit when the Climategate scandal unfolded.

The National Center for Public Policy Research obtained Gore’s electricity usage information through public records requests and conversations with the Nashville Electric Service (NES).

In powering his home, Gore still greatly outpaces most Americans in energy consumption. The findings were shocking:

• The past year, Gore’s home energy use averaged 19,241 kilowatt hours (kWh) every month, compared to the U.S. household average of 901 kWh per month.3,4
• Gore guzzles more electricity in one year than the average American family uses in 21 years.5
• In September of 2016, Gore’s home consumed 30,993 kWh in just one month – as much energy as a typical American family burns in 34 months.
• During the last 12 months, Gore devoured 66,159 kWh of electricity just heating his pool. That is enough energy to power six average U.S. households for a year.
• From August 2016 through July 2017, Gore spent almost $22,000 on electricity bills.6
• Gore paid an estimated $60,000 to install 33 solar panels. Those solar panels produce an average of 1,092 kWh per month, only 5.7% of Gore’s typical monthly energy consumption.

There is an irony in Palaszczuk’s backflip over Adani. Here she was thinking that Shorten would win and that her anti-coal activist environment team could get some status from Gore to kill it off for good.

Now the cost to save her political career far outweighs the planet. Tells us all we need to know.

Palaszczuk backflips on Adani

What a farce. Queensland Labor Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is about to backflip on the Adani coal mine approval after her federal colleagues were wiped out in Queensland.

Typical. She’ll still lose the next state election in October 2020 for this expediency. She had to weight for the litmus of a federal election to find her missing conviction. Total clown show.

The people have spoken. So all the radical left activists have failed. The bullying of the banks which caved in to this pressure are no better.

This approval process has been 8 years in the making. An Indonesian coal mine took only 18 months.

Queensland Government appointed an advisor, Tim Seelig, to the Dept of Environment. As an anti-coal Greens activist it seems apparent he threw up roadblocks to dissuade Adani from going ahead by unnecessary and overbearing approval processes.

Now Palaszczuk is considering launching an inquiry as to how Seelig was hired into the role despite the applications deadline having ended. Another backflip.

Once again – get woke, go broke!