West Gate Tunnel: Critical Infrastructure or Game of Mates?

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by Emily Sims One of the games in the Game of Mates is the Public-Private-Partnership. PPP projects such as Citylink in Melbourne and the Cross City Tunnel in Sydney are financed and built by private consortiums with high, ongoing returns guaranteed by the government. In terms of how we pay for infrastructure, PPPs are essentially […]

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MCA’s appeal to the dark side

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West Australia should not raise mining royalties because GST revenues are distributed to human need, according to the Minerals Council of Australia. Their logic is as twisted as a snake in a maze: both state boundaries and orebody sites are accidents of geography, also known as luck. The MCA’s submission to the Productivity Commission inquiry […]

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Australia: you’re being ripped off MERCILESSLY!

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by Bryan Kavanagh “The more tuned out the general population, the more James can get away with his Game before voters notice.” A full house for the Melbourne book launch by co-author Dr Cameron Murray of the “Game of Mates: How Favours Bleed the Nation” at RMIT’s Francis Ormond Building on Friday. I’ll let people […]

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Decentralisation made easy

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As Australian capital cities spill out into their hinterland, our regional cities and towns serviced by good infrastructure are failing worse than ever to attract their share of population growth. Politicians regularly breast-beat about the developmental imbalance, occasionally sending this or that centrally-located administrative department off to the regions in order to redress the lopsidedness […]

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A Radar for Common Sense

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Our Renegade Economists radio show is celebrating its 500th show next week. Here are some recent highlights: The International Union for Land Value Taxation’s Alanna Hartzok discusses the political implications of a world unable to comprehend the onslaught of record land prices, immigration and inequality. UN developments alongside water rights are also analysed. Check the […]

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Who will know who owns the land?

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The Andrews government intends to sell Victoria’s land titles registry to private interests for an expected $2 billion – a mere detail in the May budget. This is no ordinary asset sell-off: land is the single largest asset class in Australia and the central public register of who holds what is arguably the raison d’etre […]

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Citizens v. Iron Ore Miners: nil – 1

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The West Australian National Party is like a dog with a bone when it comes to taxing the big iron ore miners, unbowed by their resounding defeat in the state election. Their plan is simple: increase the iron ore royalty from 25c to $5.00 a tonne and spend as much as possible in the bush […]

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Boom-bust and the Australian banks

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Australia experienced an increasingly gigantic bubble in land prices during the 1880s and the beginning of the 1890s, and the city of Melbourne became bubble-central. Michael Cannon provides an excellent account of the period in The Land Boomers. Henry George’s masterwork Progress and Poverty had hit the streets in the United States in 1879 and […]

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Leadership is more than presiding, Gladys

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Economist Peter Abelson has dropped a bomb on Sydney’s madly expensive land market, asserting the usual demand and supply equations have little influence on prices while major positive benefits are available from ending Stamp Duty and using land tax. His views only came to light after journalist Adam Creighton used FOI to prise his report […]

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Game of Mates – Melbourne Book Launch

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In 2015 Dr. Cameron Murray released an influential paper investigating the nexus between relationship networks and land rezonings in Queensland. Fairfax journalist Michael Pascoe stated the paper ‘should have brought down state and local governments, sparked a royal commission and radically changed the Australian housing industry’. Murray has built on this game theory approach in […]

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