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The Coalition’s war on business

If we want to talk ‘war’, let’s have a look at some of the recent battles.

In the lead up to the 2013 federal election, Holden presented a new business case to the Labor Government – an update on a March 2012 deal when Holden agreed to build the next generation Commodore and Cruze in Australia from 2016-2022 and the federal Government, Victorian Government and South Australian Government agreed to provide $275 million in assistance.

In September 2013 Tony Abbott came to power promising to slash $500 million in government funding from the auto industry.

Holden met with the new government on October 2 to once again present their business case. Reports at the time suggested Holden needed an additional payment of between $150 million and $265 million to build the two new models in Australia.

Abbott was having none of it.

There’s not going to be any extra money over and above the generous support the taxpayers have been giving the motor industry for a long time,” Mr Abbott said in early December 2013.

In Parliament Hockey demanded Holden immediately announce its long term intentions.

“Either you’re here or you’re not,” Treasurer Joe Hockey told parliament.

The ultimatum to Holden came despite the government not revealing its position publicly, having said it would wait for the Productivity Commission’s findings – a preliminary report was to be released 10 days later – before making any funding decisions on the car industry.

GM Headquarters in Detroit decided it could take no more and announced it was quitting building cars in Australia 24 hours after the parliamentary assault. Toyota folded two months later.

Holden says the industry provided direct employment for about 45,000 people and estimated another three to six people were employed in supporting industries for every one direct automotive job. GM also said it invested three dollars for every one dollar of government help.

Professor Peter Fairbrother from RMIT University says the car industry should have been thrown a lifeline.

“It is effectively like a deliberate decision made by a government to move Australia out of the car production industry; it need not have happened.”

The previous government also introduced a number of small business tax relief measures as part of its Mineral Resources Rent Tax (MRRT, or mining tax) legislation. These included:

  • the ability to instantly write off asset purchases up to $6,500 in value (up from the existing $1,000)
  • instant write-off of the first $5,000 spent on a motor vehicle plus 15% of the rest of the purchase price, and
  • ability for small companies that incur tax losses to carry those losses back against profits of the previous year, with a resulting refund of tax paid in that previous year.

As part of the repeal of the mining tax however, the current government proposed to abolish these measures, with effect from January 1, 2014 – a retrospective change that left small business very confused as to what they could claim in 2013-14 as the repeal legislation had not yet been passed.

Then along came the 2015 budget where Hockey informed us that “Small businesses will now be able to immediately deduct new assets up to $20,000.” Except now there was no income from the mining tax to help pay for it.

We also saw the hysteria from the Coalition and their big business buddies about pricing carbon. The Business Council of Australia, Australian Industry Group, Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Minerals Council issued joint statements condemning Labor’s carbon price.

But the business lobby now seem to have changed their minds with BCA’s Jennifer Westacott describing Labor’s climate change policy as “a platform for bipartisanship.”

Ms Westacott has now decided that “Australia must begin the careful transformation of our economy if we are to achieve our lower emission future. “ To paraphrase Scott Morrison, where the bloody hell were you?

Likewise, Abbott’s vindictive crusade against renewable energy is losing traction.

The Coalition went to the 2013 election with the stated intention of killing the CEFC, reviewing the RET and supporting ARENA. The party also had a solar panel policy, which through generously increased rebates wanted an additional one million homes equipped with solar panels by 2020. But then the backflips started.

The solar panel policy vanished along with their support for ARENA and the RET.

“The government didn’t contact key agencies during its review of RET, and the process was cynically stretched to 18 months,” said John Grimes, CEO of the Australian Solar Council. “The prime minister didn’t take the advice of independent experts. Then the climate commission was shut down. They tried to shut down the Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), but that failed. So they denuded it – removed $750 million from it.”

In July last year, the treasurer and finance minister directed the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), to cease investment in wind farms and domestic-scale solar projects.

We had a Senate committee waste time on looking into wind farm sickness and money on appointing a wind commissioner.

As Mark Butler points out

“In the Abbott-Turnbull Government’s first year, large-scale renewable energy investment fell by a stunning 88 per cent.

Small-scale renewable installations, such as rooftop solar, have also taken a tumble. In the last year of the Labor Government, nearly 413,000 such installations occurred. This year we are on track for 113,000.

This Government has done all it can to destroy this industry. Almost 3,000 jobs directly involved in the renewables industry have been lost under this Government – a sector which should be growing jobs, not losing them.”

This government also purposely “demolished” our NBN (Abbott described it as a white elephant), setting us a long way behind our competitors and denying us the huge potential gains from connecting the whole country to this game-changing technology.

Scott Morrison’s overly theatrical rants about Labor policies are rapidly losing credibility. He brings along his placards with the latest negative campaign graphic attacking Labor with made-up figures and big red crosses but when asked about his ‘economic plan’ all we hear is tax cuts are good – we know this intuitively.

When asked how he will find the $50 billion to pay for the cuts, it will come from a growing pie – something he also just knows.

Where will the jobs come from? Innovation.

What business wants now is certainty to attract investment, not more political tug-of-war where decisions are based on ideology and undoing anything achieved by Labor or automatic opposition to anything proposed by Labor.

Stability is far more important than tax cuts, particularly when public companies in Australia pay an average of 24% on their taxable income, while private companies pay an average of just 19%.

Research groups like the CSIRO need security and protection from political interference in the shape of a venture capitalist who seems determined to turn them into a marketing arm for private enterprise.

And most importantly of all for our future prosperity, we need a government who is willing to invest in our greatest underutilised asset, our human capital. A well-educated, skilled, healthy workforce is the foundation on which all else will be built.


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  1. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hear, hear Kaye Lee.

    This LNP Degenerate regime is empty of Nation Building grand schemes. Their destruction of the car industry, their attempted destruction of the emerging renewable energy industries are reprehensible abuses of power.

    Furthermore, their assaults on grassroots people in or out of meaningful employment are nothing less than criminal.

    I want a change of government on 2 July so much.

  2. Matters Not

    waste time on looking into wind farm sickness and money on appointing a wind commissioner.

    The Canadians were also concerned with wind farm sickness so they had an inquiry led by scientists. They concluded:

    Self-reported health effects (e.g., migraines, tinnitus, dizziness, etc.), sleep disturbance, sleep disorders, quality of life, and perceived stress were not related to wind turbine noise levels

    That finding is in line with:

    the National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) 2015 report on wind farms which found no strong evidence of health effects from turbine exposure. There have been 25 reviews with similar findings published since 2003.

    Yet we have a few Senators (none with scientific backgrounds) who construct a different reality. The Turnbull Government’s War on Science again won the day when funds were provided for a Commissioner who presumably will spend his term rereading the scientific reports. Who says mental illness isn’t a problem in Australia. And in high government positions as well.

  3. Kaye Lee


    The Senate committee relied heavily on the testimony of ‘Dr’ (not practicing for personal reasons) Sarah Laurie whose testimony has been thrown out of other inquiries.

    Dr Sarah Laurie, medical director of the anti-wind lobbying group The Waubra Foundation, was asked to testify on behalf of those opposed to a proposed wind farm before the Environment, Resources and Development (ERD) Court in South Australia from 13-14 January, 2011. She was examined by George Manos, LLB acting for those opposed to the wind farm. Judge Costello presided with Commissioners Mosel and Agnew.

    For those looking for the short version, Laurie and the ERD Judge and Commissioners agreed that she was not qualified to testify on matters related to health and wind energy, was in a conflict of interest related to wind energy, and the ERD discounted her testimony pretty much in its entirety. Further, the ERD agreed completely with the expert witness for the wind farm, Dr Gary Wittert, whose testimony, along with others, analysed Laurie’s data and found that people had more of the claimed symptoms of so-called ‘wind turbine syndrome’ when wind farms were not operating than when they were operating, the opposite of Laurie’s claim.

    Then she tried to testify in Canada and was ripped to shreds.

    1.Ms. Laurie is not a doctor and must stop referring to herself as one, as part of an agreement with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), based on the outcome of an ethics complaint.
    2.She is not licensed or permitted to diagnose patients because she is deregistered and non-practicing. However, she has continued to diagnose people.
    3.Most of her planned testimony required her to diagnose patients.
    4.Ms. Laurie has no training in research methodology and design.
    5.Ms. Laurie is not a trained acoustician.
    6.Ms. Laurie has not performed a comprehensive literature review related to wind farms.

    Sarah Laurie

  4. corvus boreus

    Kaye Lee, Jennifer Meyer Smith and Matters Not,
    Respect, regards, and good luck with your efforts.
    corvus, out.

  5. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    don’t go. I appreciate your insights. We need diversity and Progressive Reform that the Lib/Labs fail to provide in the duopoly.

  6. Kaye Lee

    “Dyer said the number of complaints was 42, although he also said the number of people making them was “considerably” smaller than 42, and in some cases counted married couples’ complaints separately. He also noted that seven of the 12 wind farms being objected to had not yet been built.”

  7. townsvilleblog

    To Kaye Lee, Jennifer Meyer-Smith, Matters Not and corvus boreus, I so enjoy reading Kaye’s letters and your comments I feel as though a story has been told that I am unable to tell myself. My formal education forbids me commenting, I read and learn instead. Surely the Australian people who make up the 75% of the workforce who are paid below $80,000 p.a. have been hurt enough by this extremist right wing govt that they surely would not vote them back into government. Turnbull has proven that he is held hostage by the extreme right wing faction within the Liberal Party/LNP and that he cannot act on his beliefs and remain Prime Minister. We have suffered so much with the $80 bn cut to public health and education, the co-payment to see a GP will be next because the LNP have frozen their Medicare payments for consultations which has affected “working families” greatly. I am of the opinion (right or wrong) that the LNP actually hate everyday Australians, they (LNP) dodge revenue from corporations which could account to tens of billions every year with which to fund such schemes as Medicare, but they (LNP) never cut the loop holes out, that the corporations use to avoid paying tax why? It seems to me, just my humble opinion that you are only important to the LNP if you are wealthy, because they way they treat ordinary Australians is disgraceful.

  8. Peter F

    They may not have been built, but are already causing sickness. Now if only we can come up with some placebo which will rid us of this plague.

  9. Matters Not

    Noted the number 42 and immediately thought of Adams and his book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and his joke re the answer to life, the universe and everything.

    But then as you would know, it is also a ‘pronic’ number as well as having other characteristics.

    CB, I would hope your absence is but temporary, because this site is poorer without your contributions.

  10. Florence nee Fedup

    Might be coincidence but all businesses this mob attack have one thing in common.

    They all have strong unionized workforce.

    One can also ignore the fact, not only unionized but very reliable and productive workforce.

    This government won’t allow contracts to be given to companies that do, what they describe as deals with unions.

    PM stated this week he wanted to legislate stopping this from occurring.

    Shortens work deal with that road link in Melbourne was highlighted TURC. Evidence proved that the works came in under time, under cost with workers highly paid. Win win win as far as they eye could see. He also curtailed the power of Builders Labourers of the time. Many whislerblowers/complaints come from that union.

    Seems PM sees something wrong in such schemes.

    Has anyone heard PM voice any concerns for workers being ripped off by 7 Eleven and other such businesses. No concern for cleaners either I see.

    Any small or family business who believe this PM has concerns for them, are fools. He is using them, not helping them.

    We aren’t not only seeing class war, we are seeing social engineering on a scale never seen in this country.

    In their eyes, workers, even middle class, contractors, family businesses are all there to serve the corporate world.

  11. Kaye Lee


    Learning never stops. The greatest thing an educator can do is instil curiosity and a love for learning and hopefully some skills that assist with that.

    For example, after teaching maths in high schools for decades, I never knew the term pronic before (the product of two consecutive integers) – the things you learn while having a chat 🙂

  12. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    We all learn by informative discussions. Thanks to the positive contributors.

  13. Michael Taylor

    Jennifer, that’s when we all learn.

  14. Möbius Ecko

    I think there was a German study on the back of medical complaints about wind farms as well. It found that the medical complaints were directly related to whether the complainants were not receiving any compensation or direct benefit from the farms.

    Property owners that were getting compensation for having wind turbines on or near their lands were in perfect health and so were their livestock and pets. Towns near wind farms that received discount energy for having the turbines nearby were also healthy and there were no increased doctor visits outside of the norm.

    However, those landowners next door who didn’t have turbines on their properties or who weren’t getting compensation had all manner of illnesses supposedly attributed to the turbines. It was a similar story for towns who didn’t directly benefit from wind farms in their area.

  15. corvus boreus

    Matters Not,
    My ‘contributions’ have drawn threat of litigation.
    Given the fiscal reality of my chosen profession (well below national average wage), legal defense against any complaint, even seemingly flippant or vexacious ones, is a significant financial deterrent, so I will take the easy option and discontinue my active participation.
    The omission of my voice will not significantly effect the big outcomes.

    Please continue contributing your own learnses and thinkses (with my thankses assumed).

  16. Terry2

    After the Abbott government had decided to get rid of General Motors Holden they then proceeded with a Free Trade Agreement with all and sundry including South Korea. In January 2014 GM said this :

    “General Motors’ new international operations chief Stefan Jacoby has told reporters there is a “good likelihood” South Korea will ship more cars to Australia.

    He pointed to the coming free-trade agreement between Australia and Korea as a factor in the decision, as it will cut tariffs on Korean cars coming into the country.

    “Korea is producing high-quality cars. It will have a major role in our manufacturing set-up in the region and there is a free trade agreement coming up between Australia and Korea,”

    So Abbott’s Nope, Nope, Nope approach to business has effectively meant that we no longer make Holden cars in Australia and his haste to sign Free Trade Agreements has given free acces to countries that do actually make things.

  17. Matters Not

    From another perspective, there’s plenty of evidence that the Coalition is waging a war on Australian small businesses in particular. It begins by redefining the definition of ‘small’ business to include, over time, very big businesses with large turnovers. In so doing, it attempts to appropriate the positive meanings given to the use of ‘small’ in relation to enterprises and attempts to transfer those sentiments to multinational corporations. It’s a type of theft.

    Speaking of theft, small businesses by and large do not have the ‘resources’ (broadly defined) to transfer their wealth to tax havens across the world. Thus small businesses (and other taxpayers) must shoulder the financial burden of supporting the State and the services it provides while transnational corporations use the state provided infrastructure, including state developed mental capacities, to reap profits without paying any share of that burden.

    Malware could well be asked. Mr Turnbull why do you hate Australians and the businesses they develop? Why are you changing tax arrangements that benefit ‘big’ TNCs while penalising the Australian people? Will you publish your tax returns in the same way as US Presidential candidates have done for decades? If not? Then why not? You did promise transparency, but did you mean it? And so on …

  18. Kaye Lee


    I would be very perturbed to lose your insights. I have learned a lot from you. At times, Michael and Carol have had to reword or delete things I have written to keep us on the safe side. Please don’t leave.

  19. Matters Not

    CB, legal action or threats of same are very real for those on the ‘front line’, particularly when they make no attempt to be anonymous when it comes to who owns what. Whether we like it or not, they are the ‘publishers’. They are the ones who must take the legal responsibility for what appears and, more importantly in the legal sense, what ‘remains’ on their site.

    Removing some comments shouldn’t be taken to mean that they agree or disagree with those comments but are simply protecting their ‘legal’ backs. That’s the legally, prudent course to follow.

    It must be their decision to make. And for a whole host or reasons.

    Sometimes I think they get it right (much of the time) and sometimes I think they get it wrong BUT it’s not my thinking that counts. They must have the ‘freedom’ because they cannot escape the ‘responsibility’.

  20. The AIM Network

    Matters Not is quite correct.

  21. nexusxyz

    The current government’s ‘Innovation’ is merely smoke and mirrors and will be a massive fail for two reasons. The model has been tried elsewhere and there is no evidence of success no matter how much money was thrown at the initiatives. In spite of spending hundreds of billions on R&D and Innovation US competitiveness is in decline and has been declining for decades. It is a therefore a myth that throwing money at innovation and R&D will result in a ‘competitive’ outcome. It will not and if in some cases it does it is to do with luck, chance, etc. The VC model promoted by the LNP is no more then a pump-and-dump operation with a pitiful success rate.

    Next the focus is utterly wrong. We should be focusing on becoming ‘competitive’ which is done via the acquisition of technology which then appropriately drives R&D, innovation, funding, skills, etc. It is ONLY by becoming competitive do you underpin current industries, grow new industries, create jobs and balance trade – this is called ‘technology-based planning’. Research show this is the ONLY way to make any nation, Australia included, competitive. Listening to dimwitted economists and academics about reducing wages and increasing productivity are utterly pointless if you do not create competitive products and services. They have no idea how to make an economy competitive. The government’s dumb innovation initiative also ignores whole industries and the community sector.

    It is more than likely that the government’s pitiful initiative will actually make Australia less competitive and destroy industries. They have already destroyed tens of thousands of jobs. If they ratify the TPP and TiSA be prepared for what remains of many industries to be gutted.

  22. Kaye Lee

    Another example worthy of mention is the optional discounting of prescriptions. The government “allowed” pharmacies to charge customers $1 less for prescriptions – something only the big discount chains could afford to do. It cost the government nothing – it cost the businesses who chose to adopt it $1 per prescription. Independent community pharmacies are going out of business. And what’s worse, the government banked hundreds of millions in savings because, if concession card holders take advantage of the discount, they will need an extra 11 scripts to reach the safety net so they will be on it for a far shorter time.

    If they get through their proposed increased PBS co-payment get ready for safety net rules to be changed again.

  23. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    That was an interesting read, Kaye.

    Real life domestic, industrial, community samples and graphs should be the basis of the decision making before any company tax cuts occur. There appears to be some glaring omissions and pie-in-the-sky assumptions such as full employment, in the treasury modelling.

  24. z

    579 major corporate paid zero tax in 2013 to 2014 financial year is the another form of war between Government and business, that is tax war. the Government lost that war because that ATO released data at Dec.2015 and Government no action taken so far

  25. Wayne Turner

    The Libs ONLY support businesses that BRIBE them. While the current policy of tax cuts for business is just a small pathetic BRIBE to try to con all business owners to (maintain) voting for the Libs.Plus to appear to the ignorant masses,that the Libs are doing something for the economy,regardless that it is based on the don’t work of “trickle down economics”.

  26. jimhaz

    Can you change the heading to read “Australian business”, as there is no end to their love of multinational business.

    A love so profound that one must assume there are many secret payments behind the books. Folks assume it is all about donations for electoral funding, but come on it is clear there is personal “donations” being paid. That is the reason so many Libs have trouble with donations for electioneering – they have trouble keeping track of which is which – personal or party.

    In times past, the rich used to sponsor artists on a one on one basis. Don’t assume that sponsorship has now not transferred to politicians.

  27. Kaye Lee

    Top Liberal ministers raised more than $1 million in 2014-15 through shadowy entities with no reporting requirements, accountability to donors, codes of conduct or independent oversight, a Fairfax Media investigation has revealed.

    Where the money came from is largely obscured. Only about a tenth of the $1,045,730 raised by ministers Kelly O’Dwyer​ and Josh Frydenberg​ and former ministers Andrew Robb and Kevin Andrews was contributed by disclosed donors.

    Hmmm…the assistant treasurer, the former assistant treasurer and now minister for resources and energy, and the former trade and defence ministers.

  28. Matters Not

    ONLY way to make any nation, Australia included, competitive. … will actually make Australia less competitive

    In these times, I have difficulty with the notion that nations become ‘competitive’ (or ‘uncompetitive’, for that matter,) because it seems to proceed on the (unstated) assumption that we (the citizens one and all) are ‘on the same bus’, heading in the same direction, each sharing in the workload, and each entitled to the ‘reward’ when the goal(s) are achieved. This assumption that we are all ‘holding hands’, singing and dancing united in our search for the ‘common good’ is just wrong. And terribly misleading.

    Rather the evidence suggests that, economically speaking at least, there is no common national interest. Sure there are companies that claim to have the national interest at heart but even a cursory examination of their behaviour demonstrates otherwise. Take The Big Australian (once known as BHP) which is now no longer even headquartered in Australia but still ‘operates’ in Australia in the mining sector, broadly defined. Head Office profits are not paid in Australia but in London. In Australia, some taxes and royalties are paid but only after the profits are off shored via Singapore. It seems to me that BHP and so many other companies aren’t on the bus I am on. While they may have been fellow passengers in days of yore, they alighted some years ago but didn’t publicise their departure.

    The interests of companies should not be equated with ‘national interests’. Indeed many companies want to be completely free of national considerations. To disappear from taxation regimes everywhere. Sure they want to be ‘competitive’ and they will take everything on offer but they operate in their own interest. Certainly not a national interest. Accordingly the TPP shouldn’t be seen in terms of national interests but best conceptualised in terms of corporate interests.

  29. jimhaz

    [For those interested in the modelling used by the government to justify the supposed gains from company tax cuts, this is a must read article from Stephen Long at the Drum]

    Ahh that now reads to me as proof the “The Treasury” is now corrupted. No longer independent. I’m sure I read somewhere that a decent proportion of the appointments to Treasury have been from the private banking sector. I cannot locate this, so I may be thinking of the US, where it was most pronounced.

    Below is not the “reading” I was referring to, but it shows what is occurring. They are appointing Yesmen and rampers. Everyone employed from private industry takes the most rosy option when presenting reports, as that is what they did in private industry. The ALP was little better and i suspect that is why Treasury growth forecasts were always wrong under the Wayne Swan idiot (and for those who love Albo – he also is a ruined-by-ego twit). NSW Treasury under their corrupt right wing Terrigal brigade did the same.

    “Treasurer Scott Morrison is refusing to consult with the opposition over a raft of top economic appointments in the lead-up to a likely election in July, including the promotion to governor of Reserve Bank of Australia deputy Philip Lowe, who has won Labor’s backing.

    More than two dozen Treasury portfolio positions are due to be named between now and the end of the year, including that of Reserve Bank board member John Edwards, who was appointed five years ago by the previous Labor government and whose term expires on July 30. He would normally be given a second term, given historical precedents for board members.”

  30. Kaye Lee

    Paper industry sources say hundreds of tonnes of imported paper are flooding into Australia to be used for printing ballot papers for the July 2 Federal Election.

    In a move that has outraged independent senators and industry and union representatives, the Federal Government is set to use the imported paper despite local paper being available.

    Any minor cost differential for Australian paper would be more than offset in the tax paid by Australian companies and workers by buying local, as well as significant supply chain and multiplier benefits to communities. However current Commonwealth Government procurement rules do not require these factors to be taken into account, only looking superficially at the cheapest option (unless we are talking subs of course)

  31. Keith

    The automotive industry was subsidised; yet, the plain hypocrisy is that so are coal mines. Funny how the fossil fuel industry provides huge donations to the conservative political parties.
    Just prior to Holden saying they would be leaving I came across their submission to the Productivity Commission; it highlighted a number of benefits stemming from the industry; for example, supporting many small industries, providing research and development, and there was a multiplier effect in relation to employment. The submission provided a cost benefit analysis which suggested that for every dollar subsidised there was a multiple return to government.

    Trust the COALition at your own peril.

  32. jimhaz

    [It seems to me that BHP and so many other companies aren’t on the bus I am on. While they may have been fellow passengers in days of yore, they alighted some years ago but didn’t publicise their departure]

    I wrote this yesterday in response to something Kaye said about Turnbull and Wran’s company Allcorp, but didn’t post at the time.

    “You’d think Tempo would have sued – but I did not find any google page that would indicate they did.

    Prior to 2000 I was under the ignorant impression that it was only a few large companies who did immoral things and most of the misdoings were with the small penny stock companies.
    Since then pretty much every large company has been in the news at one point due to immoral behaviour from their executive group.
    The problem with money and wealth seems to be that people become fixated with more, more more and fear of loss increases. It is more than material greed though, the importance of social status seems to increase tenfold and I think a lot of skulduggery emanates from people trying to raise themselves in the social structure. Cleaning and waste businesses have a rather low status and thus do not attract the most highly skilled people, who may still be ambitious. There is also the limited average skills of the workforce, from which many of the execs come from. Contract fraud can be expected.

    The building/property industry is similar. Even if the ABCC was not just an excuse to attack unions and the ALP, and had real corruption prevention powers, these industries will never be clean. The problem is that all the big companies now do what they do (and perhaps always did, but could hide it).”

    My point is posting now is that the default position needs to be that large companies are corrupt, no presumption of innocence and no value given on their point of view in relation to any issue.

  33. Matters Not

    KL, I read somewhere of recent times, that paper imported to Australia from China under the new CHAFTA is duty free while paper exported to China from Australia attracts duties. A double incentive for Australian companies to set up in China.

    CHAFTA like other FTAs was not thought through. They saw us coming as it were and sold us a pup. I suspect many more duds to surface over time

  34. Terry2


    If you remember, the CHAFTA at Abbott’s insistence had to be signed at the Sydney G20 so the Chinese happily signed knowing full well that they were conceding nothing and that it was really just a political charade..

    Abbott ( and Robb) are responsible for major damage to our economy.

  35. Kaye Lee


    My favourite ChAFTA story is how the Chinese imposed a tariff on our coal in 2014, I think after Abbott said he wanted the deal signed by the end of the year, and then removed the tariff as one of their big concessions to us, hailed as a victory hard fought and won by Robb.

    “The crucial final stages of free trade talks between Canberra and Beijing have been thrown into turmoil following China’s shock decision to impose harsh new tariffs on Australian coal supplies.

    The sudden reversion to protectionism is designed to save the local coal industry and will see all coking coal imports hit with a 3 per cent price hike and double that applied to the lower grade thermal coal attracting an import tariff of 6 per cent.”

    Isn’t it amazing that so many free trade agreements have so quickly reached agreement all at once after years of negotiation – and then off troddles Andrew Robb, handing the baton to Tim Wilson who was sick of those lefty tree-hugging bigot-hating Muslim lovers at the AHRC. His stoic endurance of a couple of years of their bleeding heart advocacy for abused children in detention has been rewarded with a safe Liberal seat.

    Re the paper industry, this is the article about how ChAFTA is screwing them.

    PS I just looked it up…Abbott was saying SIGN in October 2013

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he is confident of securing a free-trade agreement with China within 12 months.

  36. jimhaz

    How paper is made.

  37. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    😛 jimhaz

  38. Kaye Lee

    Further on the “wind” budget, in Morrison’s December 2015 MYEFO….

    “The Government has also increased the funding allocated for the establishment of the National Wind Farm Commissioner and the Independent Scientific Committee on Wind Turbines, up $600,000 over four years to a total of $2.5 million.”

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