Monthly Archives: April 2013

Big box stores like Costco essential if we’re to close retail productivity gap with US

I was pleased to see the Deputy Premier used his special powers to approve the big box Costco store at North Lakes in Brisbane, avoiding a potential legal dispute that could delay the development (see the AAP report Costco is … Continue reading

Posted in Retail trade | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Commission of Audit report an impressive guide to reform of Qld Government

The three volumes of the Commission of Audit report released today form an impressive guide to the reform of the Queensland Government over the rest of the decade. With solid analysis of policy issues across the wide range of public … Continue reading

Posted in Budget, Queensland Government | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Forward estimates budgeting needs rethinking in more volatile economic times

Today’s speech by Prime Minister Gillard is a good attempt at explaining the Government’s budgetary challenges, but I was unconvinced by this line in the speech: The Budget will outline the fiscal path for the coming four years, one designed … Continue reading

Posted in Budget | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Government should fully repeal compulsory bike helmet law

I’m a great believer in bicycle helmets and I’d never ride my bike on the road without one. Indeed, a nice red Giro helmet I owned undoubtedly saved me from a nasty head injury when I decked it after hitting … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Transport | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Qld jobless rate not “historically high”

I agree with CommSec that Queensland is in the middle of the pack in terms of economic performance among the States, but I disagree with their observation in the State of the States report that “the jobless rate remains historically high.” … Continue reading

Posted in Labour market | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

ABS should review administration of Labour Force Survey in North Qld

I remember one of the old hands in the Queensland Government Statistician’s Office telling me back around 2000 that they once queried the ABS about the reliability of labour force data for Queensland, and were told the main point of … Continue reading

Posted in Cairns, North Queensland, Townsville | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Qld Government should sell assets – further spending cuts would weaken economy further

Given the weakness in the Queensland economy in recent months, it’s unsurprising Government revenues have fallen short of forecast levels, and the Government is considering  asset sales recommended by Peter Costello’s Commission of Audit, as reported by the Courier-Mail this … Continue reading

Posted in Budget | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Cap on Government size desirable, but probably unachievable

The great British-Australian economist Colin Clark, who Keynes regarded as “first class” and who served in top Queensland public service roles in the 1940s, famously speculated that Governments couldn’t grow beyond 25% of GDP without causing major economic problems. Given … Continue reading

Posted in Budget | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Six of the ten high growth mining towns in Queensland

The ABS published an excellent Australian Social Trends piece on Towns of the Mining Boom yesterday, noting the impact of fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) workers. Six of the ten high growth mining towns reported by the ABS are in Queensland (see … Continue reading

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

More evidence of modest recovery in Far North

A new Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) survey reported on by the Cairns Post today provides further evidence a recovery is underway in Far North Queensland: CCIQ Far North Queensland policy chairman Brett Moller said the region had … Continue reading

Posted in Cairns | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments