The preliminary report on energy prices released last week by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) suggests that the consumer watchdog is concerned about almost every aspect of Australia’s electricity industry. It quotes customer groups who say electricity is the biggest issue in their surveys, and cites several case studies of outrageous price increases experienced by various customers. Bruce Mountain investigates what has been a lucrative little earner for the energy industry — useless infrastructure. THE REPORT is long on sympathy about the plight of Australia’s electricity users. But the true picture is even worse — in reality, the ACCC’s assessment of...Read More
Author: Sandi Keane
Paul Budde, one of the world’s foremost telecommunications management and business consultants who was interviewed on ABC Four Corners ‘What’s wrong with the NBN’ this week, argues that replacing FttN with FttC (fibre to the curb) is the only sensible solution to the ongoing waste of taxpayers’ money even if this requires a delay or another one or two years. IT HAS taken four years for the government and the nbn company to finally admit what many people have been predicting since the very beginning of the change in NBN plans from FttH (fibre-to-the-home) to FttN (fibre-to-the-node). The prime minister now...Read More
Following the latest report from Transparency International warning of rent-seekers and corruption risks in the Australian mining industry, John Menadue argues the case for a Royal Commission on regulatory capture, major changes in political donations, tough and transparent regulation of lobbyists and a standing anti-corruption commission. Back in April 2015, Gigi Foster and Paul Frijters wrote in Pearls and Irritations: “The vast majority of the richest Australians work in property, mining and banking/finance. … Tellingly, the highest earning workers in these industries do not invent or use advanced production or distribution technology… People in these highly regulated industries are handsomely rewarded when...Read More
Donald Trump’s tax plan has been criticised for lack of detail and as a $US1.5 trillion bet on trickle down economics which is overwhelmingly skewed in favour of the rich. Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Trump biographer and multinational tax avoidance expert, David Cay Johnston, looks at it from a business and accounting point of view and evaluates the winners and the losers. Johnston is in Australia next week for the Sydney University’s Dark Money project, a collaboration between <ahref=”http://sydney.edu.au/arts/sdn/”>Sydney Democracy Network and michaelwest.com.au. DONALD TRUMP’S 100-word proposal on taxes, which would slash by 57 per cent the rate at...Read More
Push-button coal-fired power! Really? At least that’s what our prime minister would have us believe when he redefined coal as “dispatchable” in his media release on Tuesday. Professor John Quiggin from the University of Queensland School of Economics runs the ruler over the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) and explains how Turnbull’s tricky word play solved the PM’s dilemma of addressing both policy advice and the demands of his vocal backbench. THE MOST important thing to understand about the federal government’s new National Energy Guarantee is that it is designed not to produce a sustainable and reliable electricity supply system for the...Read More
New Michael West Podcast
Created by PodcastOne, this 3 part series looks into how Australia has gone from one of the cheapest countries in the world for energy to one of the most expensive, and reveals just what has happened with our gas and electricity supply and why we are on the verge of an energy crisis.
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