Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Brigid McKenzie must still go

Andrew Probyn has belled the cat on the Sports Grants rort.  McKenzie completely changed the criteria for gaining a grant. Sports Australia has a list from 1 to whatever based on merit.
McKenzie put all potential grants into safe seats marginal seats, winnable seats.

In an irony on ironies the grants had no impact whatsoever.

What we are seeing is the real Canberra bubble at work. The nationals and others just do not get this does not pass the pub test.  From now on in applying for any sort of grant people and organisations will know if they are not in a marginal or winnable seat they will have no hope.

I have been involved in many a community organisation and this will cause white hot anger. all that effort to write a brilliant submission and all for nought!

Monday, 27 January 2020

Bushfires rap

Quite clearly the bush fire season is not over yet however I thought I would outline some things that occurred this season.

This could well be the first 'bad' season' that El Nino was nowhere to be seen.
Every State and Territory had 'bad' bush fires
The chances of four successive days of over 40C has fallen like a rock.
We had not one but TWO one in one hundred droughts in less than twenty years
We had the driest season on record.
Thus far we have seen off that arsonists caused the fires, 1974/5 was worse however it is clear the cultural war 'rightists' have put there was not enough hazard reduction done. Just rem,ember they never put a figure on what was needed only MORE was needed.

A big problem here is hazard reduction is usually done in colder times and when there is humidity around.
When it is dry the problem of controlling such reductions rises exponentially.  In Sydney we saw this in Hornsby in 2018 where houses in West Pymble and the like were threatened. homes have been burnt because hazard reduction gets out of control.

however when it is sooo dry and you combine it with searing temperatures and very strong winds then you can have hazard reduction until the cows come home it won't make a difference. Just a little example the RFS in NSW reported flames climbing heights never envisaged during the[present season.
There are of course a few examples where hazard reduction was done and people were confident they were prepared BUT the fires simply swept through. Kangaroo Island is possibly the best example of this.

It is a moot point whether politicians will understand the lessons of these bush fires. The National Party leader would seem to show they won't have a clue

Thursday, 23 January 2020

Around the Traps 24/1/20

It is time again for Around the Traps.

Aussie,Aussie,Aussie,Oy,Oy,Oy,
Northern America
Europe
Asia
Wonk
General
Climate
Andrew Gelman ( mainly stats)
Genial Dave Giles ( econometrics)
Dianne Coyle ( quirky + book reviews)
vox wonk

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

What do financial planners, mortgage brokers and Trivago have in common?

We learnt yesterday the Federal court ruled against Trivago . They were telling consumers they were getting the lowest cost deals.
In fact they were getting the deals Trivago got the largest commissions on.

Commisions are insidious. Consumers find it hard to find out exactly how much they are. Indeed in a lot of cases consumers think they are getting a service for free.

Financial planners and mortgage brokers gorge themselves on trailing commissions. They are a specialised form of commission. They are even  more insidious. Consumers get hit with a trailing commission each year every year.

Commissions in whatever form are not transparent indeed very opaque.

In both cases the people getting the trailing commissions are paid by the organisation who is selling the product. .Thus we can say both financial planners and mortgage brokers are simply part of the selling process of either investing or getting loans for housing.

They do not increase competition rather the opposite. It is not surprising the Present Liberal National government caved into mortgage brokers. It was the same thing with financial planners.
In neither case do they want to charge fees as then they would have to justify it.

Neither wants to put the consumer first just as Trivago had no intention of doing so.

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Iran is a lot more potent than you think

The most important thing that occurred after Trump's act of war on Iran was Iran's response.

If the USA attacked or invaded Iran then we know Iran has the capacity to kill a hellva lot of yanks.

If you have to ensure the sanctions you have imposed against Iran work then you will have a lot of assets and thus people in an areas susceptible to attack by very fast and accurate ballistic missiles.

Iran gave the USA that message. The only problem is does Trump understand that.

Monday, 20 January 2020

Poll Update

With so much happening Kevin Bonham's update got by me somewhat.

Be wary of a poll when polls are not usually done and also of polling forms who won't tell you why they got it so wrong in the last election.

Mark the Ballot explores this yet again as an added bonus

Sunday, 19 January 2020

McKenzie must go

The Auditor General released  report into sports grants by the Government just before the last election.
Just before I start here is Maria O'Sullivan on the issue.

It was devastating.

Community groups put a lot of effort to get grants for local sporting infrastructure.
Sports Australia then ranked the all of the proposals from the various sporting groups in order of importance ie merit.

The minister Brigid McKenzie then completely changed all this to putting most of the money into either marginal coalition seats they were protecting or ALP marginal seats they wanted to win.
Merit had NOTHING to do with the grants. This has similarities with Ros Kelly.

After some time she resigned as she should have. It was one of the main reasons Keating as Leader lost a lot of credibility. he was defending the indefeasible all because he did not want to give in to Opposition demands.

It is the same now. McKenzie must go. The longer it takes the more it will impact on Morrison who is already hit with credibility problems . Firstly defending Taylor and then the Bushfires fiasco.

I will finish by saying do not discount the red hot anger at all those community groups that missed out. all that time in writing a submission just for the minister to change things. Every community group now knows if they are not in a marginal seat then what is the point.

update:

I forgot two things

1) Sports Australia should have said to McKenzie NO instead of meekly accepting her 'suggestions'.

2) The is a possible legal problem here.