The Bligh government has announced that a substantial amount of money (about $200 million) derived from the sale of QR’s highly profitable coal business will be used to upgrade heavily subsidised passenger rail services between Brisbane and Cairns, correctly described by the Transport Minister as a “luxury” service. In this case the rhetoric of the Premier and Treasurer, spurious when applied to the income-generating coal freight service, is absolutely correct – every dollar spent on new tilt trains is a dollar that can’t be spent on schools and hospitals.
Hat-tip: David Adamson
Zombie Economics gets its official Halloween launch at the Irish Club, 6:30 tonight, courtesy of Birsbane Young Economists
I discovered this too late to put it in Zombie Economics, but it has to be the sharpest irony of the Queensland privatisation debate. The sale of our public assets is being managed, in part, by the Royal Bank of Scotland which, thanks to the gross incompetence of its private managers, is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the British government.
I was too busy to post when it came out, but the Climate Institute has recently issued an important report on the implicit carbon price associated with such measures as renewable energy quotas. The take home message is that major economies, either directly or indirectly, are putting in place carbon prices. China’s current implicit price, for example (in PPP terms), is roughly either times higher than Australia’s and three to four times higher than the USA and Japan.
You can read more here.
An important implication is that concerns about Australia “acting alone” or “getting out in front” are misplaced. We are, as we have been for most of the past decade, at the back of the international pack. One day, this will come home to hurt us.
That’s right. It’s the official Halloween launch of Zombie Economics, to be held at the Irish Club on Friday, thanks to Queensland Young Economists.