David Collyer

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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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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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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Our lives are like a Hieronymus Bosch or Pieter Bruegel painting

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by Dr Gavin Putland WORKERS (i) pay rent, (ii) help their employers to pay rent, and (iii) raise some of the next generation of rent-payers. LAND SPECULATORS (i) receive economic rent for the gifts of nature, (ii) take the credit for providing them, and (iii) lobby governments for an ever-increasing supply of rent-payers. BANKS (i) […]

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The fragrant vagrant is not a rose by another name

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Melbourne City Council is wringing its hands again over developer land vagrancy – prime sites deliberately held vacant or with disused, dangerous buildings to assist developer lobbying of government for rezoning or advantageous building permits. The issue last hit the news when a wall collapsed at the old CUB site in Swanston Street in 2013 […]

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The Metricon Judgement

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In March last year, the NSW Supreme Court set aside the NSW Office of State Revenue’s assessment for land tax in 2009-13 on certain lands at Terranora in the Tweed Valley held by Metricon. The developer bought the $60m aggregation to subdivide for residential use. It side-stepped a land tax liability of around $1.2m per […]

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The bank cartel has a new enemy

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The federal Treasurer Scott Morrison used parliament yesterday to fire an extraordinary broadside at Australia’s banking cartel. Conservative governments rarely indulge in the public thrashing of such major supporters of the status quo. Morrison and the Turnbull government are absolutely furious with the big 4 banks and Macquarie for their brazen pursuit of self-interest at […]

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