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Delivering more of the same for the LNP’s New Suburban and Coastal Resort Heartlands in Queensland

By Denis Bright  

When Australia was the land of hope, our best political leaders could inspire the electorate with occasional commitments to longer-term community welfare and peaceful international relations. The federation era prior to 1914 brought real debate about the best priorities for the new social market. Even during the wartime emergency, Curtin and later Chifley focused on post-war reconstruction. The Whitlam Government broke out of the sabre-rattling of the Cold War with new patronage for community development and more peaceful international relations to be re-endorsed in the Hawke-Keating era.

After the scourges of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), the COVID-pandemic and the threats to humanity from global warning, the time is ripe for new policy positive paradigm changes. The COVID-crisis has provided opportunities to re-set the conventional policy buttons.

For senior federal LNP leaders in 2022, there is a back to the future plan for recovery from these multiple crises. This is the new era of a Return to Normalcy which was already fraying prior to the arrival of COVID. From the Wizard of Oz himself, commitments to a return to the normal are a regular feature of our prime minister’s media releases in the presence of the Chief Health Officer and of course General Frewin (PM’s Press Conference 5 January 2022):

So, if it’s not an essential test, you’re not a close contact, you’re not symptomatic, you shouldn’t be in those lines. In most cases, people in that situation don’t require a test at all and they should go to the beach, go with their family or be at work or wherever, whatever their normal course of business is. So, all states are moving away from that RAT test requirement for travel.

Alas, these are not normal times despite the PM’s daily assurances to viewers of nightly news services.

The next edition of Australian National Accounts for the December Quarter is due for release on 2 March 2022 with the March Quarter following on 1 June 2022.

Percentage Quarterly Changes in Australian Private Capital Expenditure (Image from tradingeconomics.com)

During the worst months of the COVID-crisis, the Australian economy was kept going by Commonwealth fiscal stimulus programmes and higher deficit spending by the states and territories. This approach received largely bipartisan support from the federal Labor Opposition and at meetings of national cabinet.

The graph shows the effects of the federal stimulus packages on levels of Australian Private Capital Expenditure during the worst months of the COVID-crisis in 2021.

The value of a return to old ways as The New Normalcy might still triumph over federal LNP fear strategies about the dangers of paradigm changes in difficult times when householders are under great financial stresses from mortgage payments, high rents and uncertainty in longer-term employment trends in the midst of the usual domestic family tensions. Beyond the official unemployment rate for December 2021 of 4.2 percent with the addition of an underemployment rate of 6.6 per cent with a youth employment rate of 9.4 per cent. Expect to hear more of this magic 4.2 per cent punchline which is based on a definition of work as one hour within the business surveys conducted by ABS in the monthly survey week. Our LNP leaders intentionally do not explain the caveats.

How employment is measured: The one-hour rule (ABS Explanation)

Less than 50 people in the sample of 50,000 report they only work one hour. That works out to be 15,000 people out of around 12 million employed (or 0.1%) and movements in this number are not large enough to affect total employment.

The ABS defines people as ’employed’ if they work one hour or more in the reference week. The vast majority of part-time employed people work more than 15 hours.

The ‘one hour rule’ is used internationally and allows employment figures to be compared with other countries. It has been used in Australia since the Labour Force Survey began, enabling comparisons to be made over a long period of time.

The ABS also has a range of other measures, such as underemployment, that help to understand how many people are fully employed, and how many would like to be working more.

Public opinion has shifted against the excesses of unconvincing media appearances by LNP leaders.

Recent national polling trends have been communicated by William Bowe for Poll Bludger from Resolve Strategic Polling (18 January 2022):

The Coalition primary vote is down fully five points since the last poll in mid-November to 34%, with Labor up three to 35%, the Greens steady on 11% and One Nation steady on 3%. The pollster’s already high ratings for independents and “others” are up still further, by two points to 11% and one point to 6%. As ever, no two-party preferred result is provided, but applying 2019 preference flows produces a Labor lead of around 53-47.

However, Queensland is the aberrant state and shows an erosion of the primary votes for the two major parties by 12 per cent since the last Resolve Strategic Polling in mid-November 2021. This is highly significant as there are thirty federal electorates in Queensland and most are helped by the federal LNP.

The last federal election brought Wall to Wall Coverage for federal electorates across Queensland beyond the six Labor electorates along the Brisbane-Ipswich corridor. Even on this corridor, the LNP can balance the remaining Labor seats with LNP seats in Longman, Petrie, Brisbane, Bowman, Bonner and Ryan. State-wide in Queensland, the federal LNP currently holds twenty-three of Queensland’s seats. The remaining federal seat of Kennedy in North Queensland is held by the Katter Australia Party (KAP).

Shortfalls in federal government grants have been a real challenge to Palaszczuk Government.

For outer metropolitan urban growth areas like the Beaudesert Corridor in Brisbane South, the federal LNP’s concept of the 30 Minute City is a property developers’ delight to justify more investment in shopping centres, suburban offices or workshops and new housing estates.

In Australia, regional shopping centres like the Logan Hyperdome are social hubs with a huge food court, cinemas and a wide choice of retail outlets accessible from extensive carparks. Unlike other major corporate shopping centres, the Logan Hyperdome is managed by the Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) operating as the QIC Logan Hyperdome Pty Ltd. This is a corporatized entity within the Queensland Government’s portfolio of investment properties within Australia and overseas.

Company Description: QIC LOGAN HYPERDOME PTY LTD is located in Brisbane, QUEENSLAND, Australia and is part of the Other Investment Pools and Funds Industry. QIC LOGAN HYPERDOME PTY LTD has 1,000 employees at this location and generates $6.68 million in sales (USD). (Employees figure is estimated, Sales figure is modelled). There are 119 companies in the QIC LOGAN HYPERDOME PTY LTD corporate family.

These favourable outcomes of the QIC’s use of the investment multiplier generated a welcome profit of $6.7 billion for the Queensland Government in 2020-21. This is 10 percent of the entire Queensland state revenue. This is a most welcome windfall at a time of austerity in the distribution of grants by the federal LNP. The Queensland Investment Corporation Act 1991 (s.2.6) uses its property portfolios to protect Queenslanders from the effects of austerity in the allocation of Commonwealth Grants which combine with GST revenues to generate more than half of the total revenue base of the Queensland Government. In Tasmania, over 60 percent of all state revenue is derived from these federal revenue sources.

The mainstream state investment funds and the national Future Fund could be supported by investment subsidiaries which are independent of the mainstream funds to specialise in the delivery of new infrastructure, public health and community development options from investments by the Australian and especially overseas corporate sectors for delivery through public-private partnership arrangements. All dividends at the discretion of the investment funds as with our own personal superannuation investments.

Use of the Future Fund to generate investment in affordable housing was canvassed in Anthony Albanese Budget Reply Speech (7 News 13 May 2021):

“Labor has pledged to build 30,000 social and affordable houses over five years through a $10 billion future fund if the party wins the next federal election.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese used Thursday’s budget reply speech to reveal his plans to create the kitty from borrowed money.

In its first five years, investment returns would build 20,000 social houses with 4000 allocated for women and children fleeing domestic violence, and older women on low incomes at risk of homelessness.”

Already US style trailer parks are on the rise in the outer suburbs as housing and rents become more unaffordable. Some caravan parks offer long-term caravan and cabin sites such as the Galaxy Caravan Park near the Pacific Highway at Tanah Merah.

Although seldom publicised in the mainstream media, trailer parks are a feature of the urban landscapes of the USA as shown by this waterfront site in San Diego (Image: De Anza Trailer Park):

 

Waterfront Views from the De Anza Trailer Park in San Diego (Image from sandiegouniontribune.com : Photo by Nelvin C. Cepeda/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

 

The reality of trailer parks in neoliberal societies are of little concern to the LNP’s team of ministers and their assistants who help Barnaby Joyce as Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development.

Minor far-right parties like Clive Palmer’s UAP are poised to assist in the re-election of the Morrison Government through the disciplined distribution of preferences in Outer Suburban Areas where financial stresses have frustrated the delivery of affordable housing dreams. In the Outer Brisbane South Electorate of Forde, the combined vote for One Nation, the UAP and Fraser Anning’s Conservative National Party approached 20 per cent of the primary vote and was highest in the most disadvantaged polling booths.

The alternative measures being offered by Barnaby Joyce’s ministerial networks are token measures like business studies of the possibilities of new transport infrastructure on the Beaudesert Corridor in Brisbane Outer South. The northern terminus of the much-publicised Inland Railway will be at Bromelton near Beaudesert in the LNP electorate of Wright where Scott Buchholz is Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport.

Rail connections from Bromelton to the Port of Brisbane (approximately 80 kms) are not finalised. Freight not being by road from Bromelton may one day rattle through the southside suburbs of Brisbane. To raise the hopes of the southside electorates on the Beaudesert Corridor for suburban rail connections for this urban growth area, the federal government will be paying for half the token costs of a business study of this initiative.

Planning is now underway to confirm the need, timing and land requirements for a future rail line and services to support population, employment and economic growth in the south-west corridor of Queensland’s capital city region.

North of Brisbane, the proposed federally funded Sunshine Coast Railway is likely to be resurrected to assist in holding the LNP’s northside seats as leading property developers proceed to recycle wetlands and grazing land into new home sites at Aura.

The vast resources available to the Queensland Government through Forestry Plantations Queensland were sold off to the Hancock Timber Resources Group by a previous state government. The possibilities of using harvested pine plantations as affordable housing sites in the Sunshine Coast hinterland is no longer a policy option.

Alternative economic options are difficult to promote in more disadvantaged electorates where many residents are under siege from financial pressures of mortgage payments or high rentals. These stresses have generated a fair share of scepticism about national politics and the relevance of the old two-party divide in Australian politics.

Electorate profiling of constituents has become so intricate that political insiders in the federal LNP can exploit these financial and social tensions in Australian households to make use of the outrageous levels of opportunistic political communication from both federal LNP and minor far-right parties who are offering a disciplined distribution of preferences to the Morrison Government.

Due to the COVID-crisis, there will be paper trails to encouraging the use of postal and pre-polling voting are becoming mainstream mechanisms during the current COVID-crisis. In outer-suburban electorates, there is no long traditions of political participation to challenge the saturated levels of political communication from sitting members through strategic use of electorate allowances.

During my research for this article, I found little interest in political futures on Brisbane’s Outer Southside when I completed some light-hearted impromptu vox populis at shopping centres and bus stops. Many constituents detest formal political processes as opportunistic rhetoric. Only some more risk-taking about policy solutions can change this situation. The alternatives have to be very outstanding to gain attention and involve a degree of political risk-taking which brought Labor leaders close to power in 1961 in a shock result for the LNP and sent them off into Opposition in the Hawke-Keating and Rudd-Gillard eras.

 

Denis Bright (pictured) is a financial member of the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA). Denis is committed to consensus-building in these difficult times. Your feedback from readers advances the cause of citizens’ journalism. Full names are not required when making comments. However, a valid email must be submitted if you decide to hit the Replies Button.

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25 comments

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  1. Indigo

    Thanks Denis. At least someone cares for working class people in crisis at a personal and financial level in those expensive new subdivisions at a time of an affordable housing crisis for both rents and purchase costs.

  2. Betty

    I agree that it is time for a paradigm change,Denis,in the old style development agendas which have persisted since Menzie’s time.

  3. Stella

    Denis, thanks for an interesting article about the Australian political landscape in the lead up to the federal election

  4. Claudio Pompili

    Hi Denis, good article….unfortunately, I don’t see that paradigm shift in contemporary ALP policies. Admittedly, the cake is being sliced up differently to some extent in favour of the broader and aspirational working-class but the underlying paradigm of neo-liberal economics hasn’t shifted, bearing in mind that it was Hawke-Keating governments that unleashed neo-liberal idealogy that prevails especially in the dominant Right of the ALP. On matters of foreign policy/defence, the ALP has gone lockstep with the LNP and, not only under Gillard, committed Australia to Obama’s Pivot to Asia (aka containment of China) and US permanent Marines and heavy, nuclear armed bombers rotations, but also to this day supports our belligerent stance as the USA lapdog in the South China Seas and elsewhere. Given the litany of LNP incompetence and corruption since 2013, one would think that the ALP would be a sure-fire winner instead the primary votes of the major parties remain approximately equal in the low 30%. The ALP could so easily take government for the foreseeable future were it to take a leaf out of the LNP playbook. Were the ALP to show maturity and leadership by creating a formal progressive unity/coalition with The Greens (whose constituents are largely disaffected former Labor voters and youth/professionals) and other progressives, such as occurs regularly in in Europe, the new social democratic Labor/Greens/Progressives Party would be inclined to foster an improved domestic social democratic agenda including a neutral/independent foreign affairs policy, and a new Republic and Constitution. Of course, this is anathema to the ALP Right especially but also to the so-called but risible Left. By this simple metric it’s clear that the ALP has no specific interest in governing for the masses but only in maintaining the status quo of its career politicians. After all, irrespective of whether politicians are in government or in opposition, they have a very comfortable life well beyond the dreams of the 90% of Australians.

  5. Kaye Lee

    Labor voted with the government to exempt the Future Fund from freedom of information (FOI) requests about its investments.

  6. Leila

    Arthur Calwell nearly defeated Menzies in 1961. Time for Anthony Albanese and Jim Chalmers to go in hard against the excesses of Scott Morrison. Thanks for those progressive Denis with a new generation approach to urban policies.

  7. Chris

    So Scott Morrison has blessed those A/C Malls from the Property Market to assist the residents of the Outer Suburbs on hot days. Let’s hope they are fully vaccinated as RAT Tests are expensive and scarce.

  8. corvusboreus

    Claudio Pompili,
    You skipped over one voter option, independents (the band without banners).

    Lineage includes Zali Steggal, Andrew Wilkie, Kathy McGowan, Rob Oakeshotte, Tony Windsor & the venerable Ted Mack.

    Usually relatively undersupported in terms of logistical resourse backing, but often very good at operating in local conditions without impediment of baggage.

  9. Denis Bright

    Thanks Claudio and Kaye. I particularly like Cauldio’s comment: “unfortunately, I don’t see that paradigm shift in contemporary ALP policies”. I agree with this assessment.

    My article is all about Labor moving from rhetorical criticism to policy shifts which involve some responsible risk taking on behalf of disadvantaged sections of the electorates which are covered in the analysis.

    There were large swings against Labor is these outer suburban electorates in 2019. My independent assessment is that this situation has not changed.

    Neoliberalism offers very little for both sustainability and living standards in the outer suburbs. Voters surely want solutions offered to long-term structural dilemmas which have trapped them in locations with still relatively right rents and housing prices across vast areas of residential subdivisions.

    I write to promote progressive change and try to offer a fair and balanced coverage of the issues raised. I would say that the Outer Bergs are very quiet as voters wait to applaud candidates with policy solutions over rhetorical claims.

  10. paul walter

    Funny how the most innocent of small comments can carry so much intense meaning.

    Kaye Lee, 519 pm.

  11. wam

    A good read denis but, other than seducing labor voters to vote palmer and prefer lnp over labor, how can palmer preferences help scummo? 1961 was oh so close to a calwell win. It was ironic that the anti commo catholics kept sending worker votes to pig iron bob but killen probably won on commo preferences and that saved menzies and we spent another 11 years of marching on the spot. (there is no resemblance of a connection but the title of a terrific sellers film running jumping standing still reminds me of the waste of time PM.) Albo should address the economy lies and go better in 2022.
    ps Kaye,
    The consequences of the greens LNP supporting votes in 2009, 2013 are far more significant but silent here.

  12. Denis Bright in Brisbane

    Let’s do more investigative reporting about the Future Fund, Kaye Lee.

    The Australian Future Fund identifies itself as Australia’s sovereign wealth fund, unlike the QIC which is an investment fund that upholds a commitment to commercial in confidence decisions. Unlike the Future Fund, the QIC Media Department in Sydney resports to phone calls and emails but still restricts itself to information already on the QIC Web site which contains all the details about the QIC which its senior officers want you to know (https://www.qic.com.au/investment-capabilities/investment-capabilities).

    The Future Fund of course had a tainted origin with a lot of the seed capital being derived by the LNP from the privatization of Telstra.

    It will help if Kaye can provide details of Labor’s protection of the Future Fund from FOI requests. Was this during the initial legislation that formed the Future Fund or during amendments which generated throse subsidiary funds for medical research, indigenous welfare or protection from the effects of climatic disasters?

    My article emphasises the need for subsidiary funds at national and state levels which can offer more public sector involvement in infrastructure, public health outreach and community development. These subsidiary funds may have lower rates of return on capital and thus protect the profitability of the mainstream funds. That’s why overseas capital could be an important source of public sector investment funds. The strength of the Australian dollar would assist overseas corporate investment in the subsidiary funds without any guaranteed dividends. Our own superannuation funds operate on this principle.

    The Future Fund is a web of intrigue. President Obama opposed Australia’s financial investment in China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank but Tony Abbott decdied to ignore this advice.

    Peter Costello was also the liason person for Oceania for the China Investment Fund until quite recently during the better days of our commercial relatioships with China.

    I follow developments in the investment priorities of the Future Fund and the QIC as closely as I can within the FOI Controls which are probably necessary to protect the funds from rival investors.

    The state LNP in WA also gave the Canadian Pension Fund a lease over the WA Railways and the Perth Metro System. The Canadian Pension Fund would have been competing with other funds for this investment.

    Peter Costello was reported in the AFR as having authorized withdrawal of some Chinese investment (26 August 2021):

    “Future Fund chairman Peter Costello says the near $200 billion sovereign wealth fund has pared back its investments in China in light of rising tensions between Australia and its largest trade partner.

    The former federal treasurer said it had decided itself that it needed to be careful with “sovereign money” in light of the current circumstances.

    China is a big part of the emerging world and ordinarily we would be taking a big position in relation to that,” he said in a media briefing following the fund’s record 22 per cent return for the year.

    But given the difficulty in the relationship between Australia and China we have pulled back on allocation in China.”

    The comments came on the day the fund disclosed its impressive performance figures as the fund added 10.2 per cent, or over $18 billion to the government’s fiscal position in just three months to June 30″.

    With my limited resources, I am pleased to raise such issues for further investigation.

    I cannot predict the future. However, I have a hunch that from the global economic slowdown in the mid-2020s, there will be more interest in the value of subsidiary investment funds to get the Australian economy moving again.

    Commitment to the social market is an essential priority for Australia if it wants to be more independently aligned as one of the world’s ethical middle powers in those old traditions of progressive elements in the Labor Movement from the federal era prior to 1914.

    King O’Malley (1959-1953) from the Fisher Governments in 1910 and 1914 was ahead of his time but our of step with more conservative elements in the Labor Movement. He was allocated a quite humble portfolio as Minister for Home Affairs.

    His advocacies are likely to be revisited in the future but not by the federal LNP which needs to be defeated at a very difficult election where the influence of the COVID-crisis will affect campaigning and give the Morrison Government a beter chance to manipulate outcomes through postal and pre-polling voting that is influenced by saturated media coverage in favour of the LNP and the distribution of preferences from minor far-right parties back to the LNP.

    Over 70 percent of UAP preferences for example have been returned to the LNP in the past. A vote for Palmer is indirectly a vote for the LNP. The UAP is a strong asset for the LNP as the national election approaches. Ironically, the UAP does a notch better at disadvantaged polling booths in those Outer Suburban federal electorates of Brisbane and the adjacent coastal resorts.

  13. Kaye Lee

    “It will help if Kaye can provide details of Labor’s protection of the Future Fund from FOI requests.”

    https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/legislation/ems/r6759_ems_94946cb0-e816-423d-b585-2e5d897ebb0d/upload_pdf/JC003284.pdf;fileType=application%2Fpdf

    INVESTMENT FUNDS LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL 2021

    The Bill also amends the FOI Act to provide a partial exemption for documents handled by the Future Fund Board and the Agency in respect of the Board’s investment activities. This will reduce the risk of disclosing highly sensitive confidential and commercial material and align the treatment of the Future Fund Board and the Agency under the FOI Act with that of other entities that deal regularly with commercial information, such as NBN Co and Export Finance Australia.

    The government wanted to make super funds disclose line by line details of all their investments. Labor agreed to the Future Fund changes in return for dumping the super fund requirement. A cynical view could be you keep our secrets and we’ll keep yours.

    Labor’s financial services spokesman Stephen Jones said exempting the Future Fund from disclosing the details of its investments was in the best interests of taxpayers.

    “We want to ensure that when the Future Fund is involved in a commercial transaction they are not disadvantaged and Australian taxpayers lose out on billions of dollars when the fund is selling assets,” he said.

    (Though they also used the excuse of the administrative burden of FOI compliance)

    https://www.afr.com/politics/future-fund-secrecy-law-to-pass-after-government-backflips-on-super-20211112-p598cr

    They have reason to want to keep secrets. Supporting the Myanmar military is not a good look.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/nov/30/right-to-know-critics-blast-coalition-attempt-to-shield-future-fund-from-foi-laws

  14. Phil Pryor

    What a swampy world is our finance one, with aspects of the Future Fund being given a short arm inspection, hose down and casual glance. Finance is an area where “any orifice” may be utilised or bespoiled in the interests of the moment, the policy, the strategy, and no ethics, morals, decency or consideration will hinder the seeking of advancement, success, the “result.” P Costello is ideal for this supervisory task as he is not hindered at all by considerations of relative decency or needs for skill. A former blathering barrister who won a case about child labour and chocolates, and, windy as ever, he has little trouble counting his thirteen fingers. Surely one way to conceive of a “future fund” of a “patriotic ” kind might be to imagine it investing in essentials of housing for people, in health and education, especially in research. This is social infrastructure; even owning toll roads or tunnels might be more acceptable if viewed as a people owned essential rather than a makeshift. But, conservatives get on better with exclusive mafioso types in “pleasing people” rather than mere workers or citizens. You can’t trust ordinary Australians, Who are they? What do they expect for buggerall? Who do they support? What’s in it for me and mine?

  15. GL

    When the LNP talks about the Future Fund they really mean the Future Porkbarrel and War Toys Fund.

  16. Lara

    Political oppositions gain support if they can focus on burning issues of concern. The Australian election date has not been announced and this time COVID will affect the openness of campaigning with encouragement from the Morrison Government to move to more postal voting and use of pre-polling centres. A well resourced government can use restrictions on campaigning to its advantage as sitting members have control of electorate allowances and access to postal services for campaigning.

  17. Kaye Lee

    I don’t understand why it is better for the Future Fund to hold some shares in lots of businesses than all the shares in profitable ones that serve the community – like Telstra. Why not own some infrastructure?

    Labor’s Housing Future Fund sounds like an ok idea except I don’t really get why they borrow $10 billion to hopefully be able to spend $450 million a year. (provided the fund earns 4.5% more than the cost of borrowing). Instead of using the money to fund service payments to community housing providers who build them, the government could build and service them. We used to have a Public Works Department?

    There is also the danger that a change of government presents. Morrison “repurposed” $3.9 billion from the NDIS Future Fund to kick off his Drought Future Fund. The Education Investment Fund was originally intended for new facilities in the higher education sector. But payments were frozen in 2013 and it has been accumulating funds since. That $3.9 billion has now been “repurposed” as the Emergency Response Fund..

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/ndis-funds-to-be-repurposed-for-drought-relief-under-morrison-plan-20181026-p50c5k.html

    https://www.afr.com/policy/economy/universities-angry-with-3-9b-fund-loss-and-other-cuts-to-research-20190403-p51aab

  18. wam

    denis 70% of UAPP not to labor seemed low.
    In longman, at the 5th exclusion about 30% went LNP 15% labor and the rest PHON.
    The danger is not the right wing palmer supporters but the traditional labor voting workers scared into deserting labor and then following how to vote palmer cards.

  19. Indigo

    Pleased to see a good discussion on this important topic. Nice article Denis.

  20. Denis Bright in Brisbane

    Thanks for the explanation Kaye about the FOI issue and the Future Fund.

    Corporate Australia does not release details of its investment activities and tax avoidance protocols. Sometimes the private sector is in competition with public sector investment funds. A degree of commercial in confidence protocols is absolutely necessary in my opinion for public sector investment activities.

    The privatization of Australian government and coprporatized public entities like Telstra and CSL was a policy error during the 1990s. These enterprises were short of capital and the public sector did not have the resources to rectify the problem at a time when Australia was recovering from one of the worst post-war recessions.

    These were potentially very viable entities. Had the Future Fund existed at the time, it may have been able to mobilise the necessary capital with investment from the corporate sector and particularly the overseas corporate sector.

    It is a different matter with commitment to infrastructure and community development which is unlikely to generate short-term dividends. Subsidiary funds may be necessary here. Overseas corporate funding could perhaps be attracted to support public private partnerships involved in the delivery of these options.

    The Future Fund operates successfully from its seed capital without the need for too much support from public finances. It supports Commonwealth superannuation funds.

    My aim is to promote discussion on the unsutainable nature of the outer suburban areas of our cities without resort to privatization as with the NSW Generations Fund.

    Surely, we are all on the same page in wanting responsible change. Governments act slowly and the fine details will be left to expert inquiries and parliamentary committees to consider. The issues will not really be resolvedd here.

    I am pleased I raised this issue for discussion and I respect right to an opinion. Many potential voters in the electorates covered in the article do not participate in discussions about issues affecting their welfare. Many are not on the electoral rolls and those who do vote are attracted to far-right parties as wam has told everyone.

    The UAP has billboards along the M1 Motorway to the Gold Coast procaliming a commitment to freedom. It will then direct its support base to allocate preferences from its 5-10 per cent support base back to the Morrison Government.

    Claudio’s comment remains the real imperative for change: “unfortunately, I don’t see that paradigm shift in contemporary ALP policies”

  21. Denis Bright in Brisbane

    Thanks for all the discussion about ways and means for change after the defeat of the Morrison Government. That outcome won’t occur if there is too much political sectarianism in the Opposition to the LNP.

    The most disadvantaged people of the outer sububs from Longman in the North to Forde in the South and Blair in the West of Brisbane are under great financial and social stresses. I spoke with just a few on my visit to Brown’s Plains and Loganlea. Convincing them to enrol to vote and to resist the populism from the LNP and its far right allies especially in the UAP, should be a unifying force for Greens, Independents and diverse elements in the Broad Labor Movement.

  22. Kaye Lee

    I think we would all like to see a more co-ordinated effort from the progressives but the animosity seems to run too deep between Labor and the Greens, which is disappointing, as is Labor’s support for the stage 3 tax cuts. The opportunity cost of that loss of revenue is immense. It will exacerbate inequality and is most unlikely to affect employment. It will just make rich people richer, keep our debt and interest bill higher, and inevitably lead to a cut in services if/when governments turn their mind to budget repair.

  23. Kaye Lee

    Further on the Future Fund….

    I know it it is supposed to make provision for unfunded superannuation liabilities but, since they dumped defined benefit, that obligation is dwindling – super now is just paid as part of wages.

    Re the commercial in confidence, I don’t understand why we cannot know what assets they have invested our money in. Perhaps we don’t need to know specific details of how many shares they have but share prices and major shareholders are public knowledge and they use brokers to trade so the origin of any transaction would be confidential anyway.

  24. Clio

    Thanks for the interesting read Denis. Raises some big issues. We need some innovators and outside the box thinkers in Canberra to weather the complex storm of uncertainty on the radar for the global economy and our societal well-being.

    Congrats on a great article.

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