Wayne Swan delivered last week’s Budget from intensive care. Labor’s vital statistics are waning badly. The prognosis looks terminal.
With limited time ahead of him, it’s time for Swan to confront this burning question: what would Walter White do?
Swan might do well to follow the lead of Walter White, the cancer ridden science teacher in US TV series Breaking Bad who uses his limited time to look after his family’s financial future – by becoming a five-star methamphetamine cook.
The latest Essential Report suggests Swan would do well to cook up some winning policies.
Michael O’Connor questions why the national bank took so long to cut rates.
Our economy has had 20 years of growth thanks to our resources boom. But the casualty has been other sectors of the economy, including manufacturing. The CFMEU’s national secretary Michael O’Connor tells 3Q the Reserve Bank waited too long to cut rates and should be cutting more. And he’s not alone in his criticism.
According to him, the Reserve Bank has forgotten its obligation under its Act to maintain full employment in our two-speed economy. And he says mining companies should be more accountable in their engagement with local industry by ensuring access to the huge market for mining services and infrastructure.
With Treasurer Wayne Swan reaching deep to produce his promised Budget surplus, foreign aid has become one of the victims.
The Government’s long standing promise to increase aid will happen but it will be delayed for another year. Currently Australia allocates just 0.35 per cent of National Gross Income — or 35c for every $100. The change means that by 2015-16, it will increase to 50c in every dollar. It’s still a long way from the top global donor, Norway, which gives $1.10 out of every $100 of its national income to the world’s poor.
Tim O’Connor from UNICEF tells 3Q Australia rates poorly compared with the rest of the world, ranking 13th out of 23 OECD nations. The delay in increasing funding has been criticised by aid groups and according to UNICEF it will cost lives.
John Della Bosca says funding the NDIS will be less costly than the future expense of disability.
THE Prime Minister’s announcement to fund a National Disability Insurance Scheme has been warmly welcomed – especially by Every Australian Counts who organised the national rallies and has lobbied long and hard.
Its campaign director, John Della Bosca, tells 3Q that people with a disability have been mistreated for years. The plan to institute a Medicare-style scheme a year earlier than recommended by the Productivity Commission is the first step in correcting the inequity.
Read the key points from the inquiry.
He urges all states and territories to sign on to the NDIS.
Peter Lewis talks us through our love for a nanny state — as long as it doesn’t overstep the mark
The metaphorical nannies are out to control us; to mollycoddle and corrupt us; to intervene and suppress the free spirit in those of us who just want to puff on a ciggie or punt on a pokie or jump off a cliff because the other kids are doing it.
But while collectively we denounce a controlling nanny state, EMC polling shows that most of us actually like a designated grown up. Peter Lewis talks us through the details on 3Q.
Pam Cahir talks about the biggest improvements to early childhood education in 25 years.
More Australian babies and toddlers are in childcare than ever before. And they’re there when their brains are laying down the pathways vital for later learning, intelligence and social capability.
Pam Cahir, the CEO from Early Childhood Australia, tells 3Q how new national reforms are ensuring childcare centres provide a nurturing environment that will ultimately have a long-term beneficial effect on the society of the future.
Critics of the Government’s plan say the changes will cost up to $27 a day more in childcare. But Pam Cahir says they are exaggerating the price increases, which she estimates to be closer to $5 a day.
The ECA believes the small price increase is warranted to ensure the long-term goals of the reform agenda are met.
Matt McGowan explains why opening up university places is admirable but will fail unless it is matched with better funding.
This year almost 90 per cent of school leavers who applied to go to university got a place. That’s because the government removed the caps on university enrolments to create more opportunities for those from lower socio-economic groups.
But Matt McGowan from the National Tertiary Education Union tells 3Q that academics are already suffering with the swelling numbers of foreign fee paying students. With this new influx – which brings in much less funding capital – the pressures on the system will be magnified.
He talks about the NTEU’s campaign Invest in Universities calling for a fix to the problem.
Dr Brian Owler gives his reasons for fronting a road safety campaign and the next issues in his sights.
The AIDS awareness campaign was the first graphic public health campaign of its kind — the Grim Reaper playing ten pin bowling with children, parents and old people.
Since then there’s been dozens more, targeting everything from anti-smoking to domestic violence. Associate professor Brian Owler is the face of the RTA’s “Choose Wisely” campaign.
He rejects the suggestion that these ads constitute a “nanny state” agenda and tells 3Q why more needs to be done on issues like building and pool safety in order to protect children.
Peter Lewis says the public no longer believes that mining has personal benefits – despite an expensive ad campaign from the industry.
The long-running ‘This is our story’ campaign is the soft side of the anti-mining tax’s shock-and-awe bombardment of 2010 that delivered the head of a prime minister and a windfall approaching $20 billion for its sponsors.
But in the intervening 18 months, the national tone has changed from one where the mining industry’s success was seen as central to the national interest to one where the question appears to be: is this ‘our’ story or just theirs?
Ken Morrison says the time for talking is over — the Federal Government needs to take action on planning our cities.
Every 87 seconds a new Australian is added to our heavily urbanised population.
That Aussie is mostly likely to end up in the big smoke – being a boon on productivity but also a drain on housing, infrastructure and services.
Our growth is not nearly as explosive as China where a new city the size of Adelaide is being built every five days.
But Ken Morrison from the Property Council of Australia tells 3Q that COAG’s criticisms of state governments’ failure to plan are justified, as the PCA’s CEO Peter Verwer told the Press Club recently.
Mark Delaney explains how super funds are delivering good returns through investing in infrastructure.
We all rely on energy, communications, transport and dozens of other public utilities.
Traditionally it’s been the role of governments to fund such vital infrastructure.
But the costs involved mean governments are increasingly handing that role to the private sector — and that includes super funds.
If you’re a member of AustralianSuper, you may already be investing in new energy production, airports, ports and the like.
Mark Delaney, Deputy CEO and Chief Investment Officer at Australian Super, tells 3Q that the long term nature of infrastructure funding and the solid returns make it an attractive investment.
Two Party Preferred: 17 June 2013
In this week's report:
19 Sep 2012
Lewis and Woods talk through this week’s polling numbers: voting intention, leader attributes, drug laws in Australia, and more…
12 Sep 2012
Ken Morrison says our cities need to be transformed for our ageing population – and it’s not solely about nursing homes.
11 Sep 2012
Tim Ayres wishes Clive Palmer and other mining giants would give local manufacturers a go instead of heading overseas.
11 Sep 2012
Nadine Flood questions whether governments take our science and other publicly funded breakthroughs for granted.