Thursday, July 13, 2017

Australia to get a draconian fuel efficiency standard?

Sounds like America's CAFE, which is widely deplored and likely to be cut back by Trump.  The idea is for cars to get more miles per gallon -- but that pushes people into small cars, which may not suit families and others

Malcolm Turnbull's proposed 'carbon tax' could push up the price of new cars by more than $5,000 for Australian buyers.

The Government's proposed tax details penalties for car distributors that fail to meet fuel efficiency targets.

Distributors told The Daily Telegraph they were shocked by the 'extreme' proposal when they received it on Monday.

Australian Automobile Association chief executive officer Michael Bradley told the publication the carbon tax would without a doubt force up the price of new cars.

'This would be one of the most extreme efficiency standards in the world and will lead to car prices going up and motorists having fewer cars to choose from,' he said.

'There is no escaping the fact that if the government pushes ahead with this proposal it will mean more expensive cars.'

Under the Government's proposed Fuel Efficiency Standard, it planned to have 65 per cent of vehicles complying with emissions targets by 2022 and 100 per cent by 2025. Emissions penalties would commence in 2025.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries' acting chief executive Tony McDonald said emissions penalties would add thousands of dollars onto the price of a new car.

While the proposal was still under assessment, Mr McDonald said it would have a huge impact on Australian consumers if it were to go ahead.

'The industry firmly believes this high target is unrealistic and ill-considered,' he said.

Mr McDonald said Australia's peak car industry bodies consulted with the Government for 18 months.

He said the outcome was far more extreme than the industry expected.

The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development said it was just a proposal and nothing was confirmed.

The department said it welcomed stakeholder feedback.

If emissions were not offset within the next three calendar years, the price of some of Australia's most popular cars could cost upwards of $5,000 more.

The Ford Ranger would cost more than $2,000 more to buy, the Toyota Corolla would cost almost $4,000 more, and the Hyundai i30 would cost $5,770 more.


Reality bites: Australian bank drops sexism case against high profile Sydney trader after he sent an email calling their new female chief financial officer a 'dumb appointment'

Just because the person criticized was female, a self-righteous executive said it was sexist, even though the sex of the person was not mentioned.  That folly has just cost his bank a lot of money

ANZ Bank has reached a settlement with the high profile trader who was fired after sending a 'sexist' email about the bank's new female chief financial officer.

Angus Aitken lost his position as head of institutional equities at Bell Potter, a broker firm employed by ANZ, after sending an email to clients in May of 2016 about the bank's new CFO Michelle Jablko.

In the email, Mr Aitken wrote: 'ANZ - that new CFO has to be one of the dumber appointments I have seen... another reason not to own this stock. Sell ANZ.'

Last year he launched legal action against the bank and its chief executive Shayne Elliott and communications general manager Paul Edwards.

On Tuesday, Mr Edwards tweeted an apology to Mr Aitken on behalf of himself and the bank.

'ANZ withdraws the allegation that Angus Aitken is sexist and apologises,' he said.

Mr Aitken also posted an apology note through social media, saying: 'I withdraw and apologise for my allegations against Shayne Elliott, Paul Edwards and the ANZ that they engaged in intimidatory conduct towards Bell Potter in order to have my employment terminated.'

The email, sent by Mr Aitken following Ms Jablko's appointment, went on to say investment bankers 'tend to be crap at most things,' but listed a few male exceptions, including Chris Mackay and Hamish at Magellan Financial Group.

Mr Edwards shared a screenshot of the email on social media, adding the caption: 'sexism alive and well in stockbroking'.

It comes after Mr Edwards said a male in the same role as Ms Jablko wouldn't be subjected to the same level of criticism, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

'I'm not saying that people ought not to raise questions about appointments but the nature of that article was surprisingly personal,' he told the newspaper.

Mr Aitken was employed as head of institutional equities at Bell Potter Financial Group in Sydney.

His controversial email went on to say: 'UK clients last night were completely amazed that they would appoint a CFO whose last major deal was advising Slater and Gordon to buy the Quindell assets form over $1bn last year that are now worth bugger all.'

'I would be surprised if you saw anything but selling of ANZ from UK investors let alone anywhere else.

'I mean don't get me wrong, we all gets things wrong - look at some of my stock ideas... but hey I am never going to be CFO of ANZ bank either'.


The woman criticized does seem to have a poor track record.  She probably WAS an "affirmative action" appointee.  In other words, it was the bank, not the critic, that was sexist.  So the bank "projected" their own sexism onto someone else

Incompetent NSW forensic science laboratory

This arrest of an innocent person should never have occurred.  How could they mix up two common substances?

She's the Bondi-based fashion designer and upcoming Shark Tank contestant with a promising career.  But the future didn't always look so bright for 34-year-old Lisa Maree Boersma.

In 2009, after returning from a holiday in the US, she found herself falsely accused of drug possession, in police custody and facing 25 years in jail.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the drama unfolded when police found five kilograms of white powder in the brunette beauty's BMW.

At the time, a confused Lisa struggled to explain where the large bags of substance came from, and her world came crashing down when the powder tested positive for methylamphetamine.

The part-time model and entrepreneur was promptly arrested and charged with supplying a prohibited drug, according to SMH.  

She was held in custody for three days before being released on bail.

It turns out that Lisa's boyfriend, a bodybuilder, was using her car while she was enjoying her overseas trip. 

After further tests where conducted, results showed that the powder was actually a caffeine-based legal supplement taken by bodybuilders.

The case against Lisa was later dismissed in court.


Australia’s lurch to the left will lead it down the same path as Greece

Venezuela is richly endowed with a year-round growing season, first-class tourist destinations, the world’s largest oil reserves, gold and other minerals, and a population of only 30 million. Venezuelans should be among the most content and prosperous people on the planet. Not so.

Thanks to 14 years of socialist experimentation under Hugo Chavez, they are in the grip of ­tyranny and hyperinflation. According to government data, last year infant mortality rose 30 per cent, maternal mortality shot up 65 per cent and cases of malaria jumped 76 per cent. Chavez died in 2013. His successor, Nicolas Maduro, vows to protect the “socialist fatherland” against all threats. Demands for elections have claimed the lives of 75 demonstrators.

Only 10 years ago a group of Australians including the ABC’s Phillip Adams and the Greens’ Lee Rhiannon enthusiastically invited Chavez to visit Australia, telling us he was the champion of a “new socialism for the 21st century … stirring hope in the hearts of many people — and fear in a few”. Kevin Rudd was urged to follow his lead.

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn told us Chavez had made “massive contributions to Venezuela and the world”. Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders taunted fellow Americans: “Who’s the banana republic now?” Well, Greece for a start. It too has run out of other people’s money and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, a former communist, is trying to persuade his socialist EU neighbours that impoverished, overtaxed Greece is a worthy charity.

Well he might. Almost 1.5 million Greeks live in extreme poverty, most of them young and unemployed. More than 2.5 million are without healthcare coverage. Hospitals no longer conduct basic blood tests because lab ­expenditure has been pared back.

You won’t read that in The Age or hear it on the ABC. They counsel that “ignorance is bliss”. Pay no heed to Churchillian warnings: “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” It’s all so yesterday.

But is it? After decades of socialist, compassionate (?) policies, 19 million Britons now live below the nationally recognised minimum income standard. In France, nine million — including three million children — are ­officially impoverished. There are 7.5 million Italians, 3.2 million Spaniards and 1.8 million Portuguese living below the poverty line.

And, according to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia, even after a quarter of a century of economic expansion, with governments firmly committed to fairness and equality, 1.5 million Australians live in entrenched poverty. And the numbers are rising. Perhaps Churchill is not so yesterday after all.

Which means if the world’s poor read the latest G20 communique they should run for the hills. Like a scene from Dr Strangelove, it talks of “mastering the challenges of our age”, “shaping an interconnected world”, contributing “to prosperity and wellbeing and promoting greater inclusiveness, fairness and equality in our pursuit of economic growth and job creation”. God help us.

Of course, if challenged, the G20 members will quickly blame past failures on crooked bankers and greedy capitalists. But they ­encouraged competitive capitalism to be corrupted by conferring patronage and access on privileged cronies. Climate change has become a favoured mechanism. Under the cover of wealth redistribution, they have ignored human behaviour through the never-ending proliferation of incentive-­destroying taxes and regulations. These entrench the privileged, limit social mobility, widen wealth inequality, misallocate capital and sap economic activity. That’s Australia 2017. Australia tomorrow is South Australia today.

South Australia has the ­nation’s worst unemployment, the largest per-capita public service and ranks as our highest taxing state. Its reckless pursuit of renewable energy has given it the world’s most expensive electricity. Yet it denies that high taxes, unreliable and uncompetitive energy, foolhardy industry protection and a highly unionised workforce have anything to do with its poor economic performance. It buries its head in accounting tricks to hide a cash deficit, a bank tax, more spending on dubious infrastructure such as Elon Musk batteries and, above all, unbridled optimism. Unfortunately, as the government was boasting “Growing jobs today, creating jobs tomorrow”, a plastics recycling business closed its doors after 37 years, citing a 125 per cent rise in electricity charges in just 18 months.

More closure will follow. Domiciles will move and the state’s best and brightest will leave in search of jobs elsewhere. The Weatherill government’s tax base will keep shrinking, debts and deficits will grow and, like its European socialist role models, it will appeal to rich relatives to bail it out.

It’s already happening. To create jobs for those laid waste by South Australia’s failed policies, Canberra has committed $50 billion to building ostensibly obsolete submarines in a state proved to be the nation’s least competitive.

Queensland and Victoria are also lining up. Competitive federalism, be damned. If they can use horizontal fiscal equalisation, justified mainly on social “equity” grounds, why not? But then why should taxpayers in well-managed states, particularly NSW (Australia’s Germany), pick up the tab for the failed experiments of others? Rather than constantly ­reward bad behaviour, it’s time states stood on their own feet. After all, Federation was 116 years ago.

And Canberra is also a socialist-roader. Its hyped 2021 budget surplus was all but spent buying Gonski Senate approval. Unfor­tunately, global head­winds are getting stronger. Our banks’ credit ratings have been downgraded and government debts and deficits are rising. Government commitments will prove unsustainable.

Must we experience another global calamity before the big lie of socialism is rejected? Or is serfdom going to be the new normal?


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

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