Qld may see a surge of interstate migrants from Victoria post-COVID

I expect many Victorians suffering through stage four restrictions due to the COVID-19 outbreak will be contemplating a move to Queensland. And some savvy Victorians have found a way to do just that already. For instance, see this Nine News report:

Coronavirus: Melburnians escaping stage four lockdown with Queensland border closure loophole

Nick Cater from Menzies Research Centre, the Liberal Party’s think tank, has written in his latest email note:

Victoria is a state from which millions long to escape. The army and police are patrolling its borders, and Melbourne residents are under virtual house-arrest.

Earlier today I recorded a video on what the dire situation in Victoria might mean for interstate migration from Victoria to Queensland in the post-COVID future. 

Posted in Migration, Population, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Catch up on COVID-19 with Joe Branigan

I fear that the draconian stage 4 restrictions in Victoria and Queensland’s re-imposition of the hard border with NSW are over-the-top, disproportionate policy responses that will cause unwarranted economic and social harm, both short and long-term. Earlier today, I chatted about the state of play regarding COVID-19 policy responses with my old friend and former Treasurer colleague Joe Branigan of Tulipwood Economics. Our conversation is published as the first part of my latest podcast episode Re-opening economies in this time of COVID-19 with Joe Branigan. The second part of the episode is the interview I conducted with Joe a few weeks ago on the paper he co-authored with Professor Henry Ergas for the Menzies Research Centre (see my post Suppression preferred over more costly elimination strategy say Ergas & Branigan).


The Queensland Government is re-imposing a hard border with NSW and the ACT. 

Posted in Macroeconomy, Queensland Government, Tourism | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

JobKeeper test revision necessary given bleak outlook

Given the Victorian COVID-19 response debacle, the economic outlook is no doubt even bleaker than the bleak outlook reported by CCIQ today in its June Pulse Survey report (see chart below), so it’s welcome news that the federal government is considering a relaxation of the test for extended JobKeeper assistance, as reported by Sky News. As I discussed with Pete Faulkner a couple of weeks ago, eligibility for extended JobKeeper seemed too tight and would see many badly affected businesses miss out (see Qld’s regional economies & COVID-19 – video chat with Pete Faulkner). Many businesses, particularly those in Victoria, but also the worst affected businesses in other states, are going to desperately need JobKeeper beyond 30 September.

Steven Wardill, the State Affairs editor for the Courier-Mail wrote a perfect lead for his coverage of the CCIQ Pulse Survey in today’s Courier-Mail:

Most Queensland businesses fear they’ll go bust within the next 12 months as the coronavirus-induced recession bites and government handouts get gradually removed.

That sounds right to me, all things considered.


Finally, the new stage 4 restrictions such as curfews and business closures in Victoria look completely disproportionate and will obviously have a large economic cost, both in Victoria and the rest of Australia. The Victorian Government will have a difficult time explaining the necessity of these measures to the public over the coming weeks.

Posted in Macroeconomy, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Economic Update – US GDP, Gold, and Aussie jobs & CPI

In my latest video, I review the economic news of the past week, including US GDP, the record high gold price, and Australian jobs and CPI data in this time of the COVID-19 second wave. Incidentally, I highly recommended you also check out Larry Summers’ latest interview on Bloomberg which I mention in my video.

Posted in Macroeconomy, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yes to a North Qld State podcast

Bill Bates and David Young from the Boot Brisbane group have started a new live-streamed podcast on creating a new state of North Queensland. Guests so far have included former Queensland Speaker John Mickel and federal MP Ewen Jones, and I was happy to be their guest on Wednesday night:

Yes to a North Qld State podcast

We had a good chat about the economic and financial issues associated with creating a new state, including whether and how the state’s current debt would be shared with a new state of North Queensland.

My previous posts relevant to the NQ state debate include:

My comments on NQ exit in ABC online story

Is North Qld under-funded by the State Government relative to the South East?

Townsville Bulletin report on funding feud: Brisbane economist “under fire”

Senator Canavan’s ambitious plan for a State of North Queensland

The old Burns Philp company building on Flinders St in Townsville.

Posted in North Queensland | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Challenges of Economic Forecasting in the COVID-19 Pandemic with Prof. Rodney Strachan from UQ

The Brisbane south side COVID-cases and the Queensland Government’s declaration of greater Sydney as a COVID-hot spot are bad news for Queensland’s economy. Around the world, public health measures and public anxiety related to COVID-19 are causing huge swings in economic variables. Economic forecasting, always a difficult exercise, is even more challenging. University of Queensland Professor of Econometrics Rodney Strachan has recently recorded a thought provoking video on the Challenges of Forecasting in the COVID-19 Pandemic. I spoke with Rodney about the relevant issues in my latest podcast episode.


Cloister on the Great Court at the University of Queensland, Brisbane. Photo by Nick-D.

Posted in Macroeconomy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

GST & Vertical Fiscal Imbalance video

The Update on Queensland’s fiscal position media release from state Treasurer Cameron Dick last Thursday noted “over the 2019-20 and 2020-21 financial years, GST receipts to Queensland will be cut by up to $2.5 billion compared to our MYFER [Mid Year Fiscal and Economic Review] estimates.” I discuss this, and the long-standing issue of Vertical Fiscal Imbalance, in my latest video.

Related posts include:

ABC radio interview on Qld state debt & deficits update

Premier’s 2016 Lodge dinner remark to Turnbull highlighted Vertical Fiscal Imbalance problem

Posted in Budget, Tax | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

ABC radio interview on Qld state debt & deficits update

At the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Queensland Government’s economic response to COVID-19 on Monday last week, I called for the Government to publish its internal-use estimates of the state budget position and debt, so we don’t have to wait until the planned budget update in September (see my remarks). Thankfully, the Queensland Government released its estimates yesterday, in its Update on Queensland’s fiscal position media release, on the same day as the Australian Government’s more comprehensive budget update. I spoke with Bec Levingston on 612 ABC Brisbane radio this morning about the update. Bec then spoke with the state Treasurer Cameron Dick. Here is a link to the audio, which will only be available for a week or so (NB the segment starts at 6:40):


I reiterated several of the points I made to the Inquiry Committee, including the need to properly target assistance and ensure value for money, and for the state government to provide a long-term plan for eventually stabilising the debt-to-revenue and debt-to-GSP ratios.

The fiscal position update was disheartening, with estimated operating deficits of
$5.9 billion in 2019-20 and $8.5 billion in 2020-21. Note these are the operating deficit estimates, and do not include net capital expenditures. The estimated operating deficits imply overall fiscal deficits of $10 billion or more in 2019-20 and at least $13-14 billion in 2020-21. General government debt is expected to increase 36% in 2020-21 to nearly
$60 billion at the end of financial year. Total state debt, including the government-owned corporations as well, will be around $100 billion by mid-2021.

I’ll have more to say in future posts. Early next week I’m planning to interview Joe Branigan for his thoughts, so keep an eye out for that. Have a great weekend.


1 William St, the Tower of Power, the home of the Queensland Treasury and other agencies. 

Posted in Budget | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Valuing the Environment podcast chat with Boyd Blackwell

In 2017, Deloitte Access Economics estimated the value of the Great Barrier Reef at
$56 billion. You may ask, how could you even attempt to place a dollar value on the Reef? What techniques are used? Aren’t some of our environmental assets priceless? Or is some number better than no number at all? These questions are explored in my latest podcast conversation with Dr Boyd Blackwell on Valuing the Environment. Boyd is Principal of AquaEquis Consulting and President of the Australia New Zealand Society for Ecological Economics (ANZSEE).

Check out the show notes via your podcast player for relevant links.

Coral outcrop on Flynn Reef

Coral outcrop on Flynn Reef. Photo by Toby Hudson / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

Posted in Environment, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Qld’s regional economies & COVID-19 – video chat with Pete Faulkner

Earlier today I chatted with Pete Faulkner from Far-North-Queensland-based Conus Business Consultancy Services regarding how Queensland’s regional economies have been impacted by COVID-19. Check out the recording of our Zoom conversation below.

You can download the slides we chatted about via this link:

Slides discussed with Pete Faulkner on Qld’s regional economies

Posted in Brisbane, Cairns, Labour market, Mackay, Macroeconomy, Migration, Mining, North Queensland, Population, Tourism, Townsville, Uncategorized, Wide Bay-Burnett | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment