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Australian Election: The Aftermath

Greetings. Long-time reader, first-time poster. It's disappointing that my first blog post is in the aftermath of the terrible Australian election results; however I feel I need to vent my spleen, so here goes. I hope my post can live up to the high standards of the other wonderful bloggers on this website.

Anyway, my thoughts on the election results and where we go from here:

Federal Election Campaign: The Morning After

Well, it seems my seat predictions were a little off. In my defense I simply followed what both the bookmakers and opinion polls were saying, which was Labor to win c85 seats. As it turns out, the polls over-estimated the Labor vote by about 4% and under-estimated the LNP vote by about 3%, the sum of which is quite significant. I did express concerns about Queensland and, grimly, they turned out to be correct and worse. The 11% vote for One Nation and Palmer, who directed preferences to the LNP, now means that the ALP holds 5 of the 29 seats there, and with no change seen in WA.

Federal Election Campaign: Day 35 and 36

Day 35 and 36 of the campaign, and I thought it was all going to be over. But then the Liberals provide their costings just before the electronic media blackout (hilarious on the days of the Internet, right) and announce $1.5bn public service cuts to fund election promises. Surprise! Also, the last quarter's unemployment figures were announced an they came with a spike to 5.2% unemployment, 8.5% underemployment, and the dollar's down. Move along, nothing to see here, right?

Real Estate Lobby Groups

A real-estate lobby group has just blocked me from commenting and deleted my posts on Facebook. Apparently, they didn't like the fact that my comments on negative gearing were getting so many "likes", and that they didn't like that they were coming from a landlord.

Because the reality is the real-estate lobby is lying through their teeth and squealing like stuck pigs. I am quite happy to argue against my own interests and even *lose* money if it means that more people have a less expensive roof over the heads.

Australia's negative gearing system is absolutely terrible.

Federal Election Campaign: Day 34 and 35

Day 34 and 35 of the campaign and, unsurprisingly, this close to the finish line there are no more big announcements from anybody, although Shorten's announcement that Labor will scrap the federal government's current submission on the minimum wage and submit a new one is of note. This may have particular resonance in W.A. and Qld where real wages have declined (for the rest of the country they've flatlined). RBA comments on wages from November last year added for context.

Post-capitalism battery arrays

I'm not usually very fond of the term, but it's hard to describe this quote as anything other than post-capitalism at its finest:

"While battery arrays that are installed to support short-duration renewables integration may be able to underbid current service providers and win a share of the frequency regulation revenue, additional battery capacity that exceeds total demand is likely to drive frequency regulation prices down to levels that are currently unthinkable. It may ultimately be good for electricity consumers, but it will be very bad for facility owners."

Scott Morrison Respects Women

When this government came to power in 2013, Australia was ranked 24th out of 133 nations for gender equality. Today we are ranked 39th.

WEF Global Gender Gap report, 2018
https://www.weforum.org/reports/the-global-gender-gap-report-2018

But don't fear women of Australia, on Mother's Day Scottie said he respects you!

Federal Election Campaign: Day 32 and 33

Day 32 and 33 of the Federal election campaign and the big ticket item of the past two days was the announcement by the Labor Party that they would put up $10bn to help fund the suburban rail loop in Victoria, which would be the largest federal funding injection in public transport history. For their own part the Coalition had kind-off splashed some money as well with $4bn offered for the East West Link - although it must be said that's now been rejected by two state elections and the Feds have been withholding $3bn in transport infrastructure spending since.

California's Renewables

The rate at which California builds new sources of renewable energy has slowed dramatically over the last few years. In 2013, we were adding over 3,000 MW a year; in 2017, we only added 546 MW. The reason for this slowdown is that conventional utilities (like PG&E) have been losing customers to Community Choice Aggregators (like MCE). The conventional utilities don't want to add capacity because it's expensive and their revenues are down. The CCAs have a hard time adding capacity because they're still small and young.

Federal election campaign: Day 30 and 31

Day 30 and 31 of the Federal election campaign, and without a doubt the biggest possible news item was Labor's costings which project the largest budget surplus in history, and double the size of the Coalition's. Note that these values are verified by the Parliamentary Budget Office, an indepedent statutory office, which uses the same numbers and models as the Treasury and are required to do so. I guess it helps a *lot* when you're not giving $77bn in tax-cuts to those earning $180K or more per annum.

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