Tag Archives: Government

Fishers protest against Government response to Cockburn Sound fish deaths

Posted December 12, 2015 17:50:12

Recreational fishers and conservationists have urged the Western Australian Government to take action to ensure a mass fish death in waters off Perth’s south will not take place once again.

Around 200 people have attended a protest on the Rockingham foreshore, expressing anger at the Government’s response to the deaths in Cockburn Sound.

Far more than two,000 fish from much more than a dozen species have died in the area in recent weeks.

Mystery surrounded the circumstances of those deaths for weeks, before the Government announced recently it believed an algal bloom was accountable.

But some men and women at the protest expressed their doubts about the accuracy of that claim, while also saying the Government’s response to the deaths was slow and inadequate.

“We held the rally simply because we wanted answers to questions due to the fact they have not been answered adequately,” a rally organiser Tim Barlow said.

“If the Government’s response to this had been timely, proportional and transparent we wouldn’t be right here today.”

Mr Barlow mentioned he believed there was further information to come out about the deaths and demanded action to avoid it from happening once more.

There have been also fears from some at the protest that the Mangles Bay marina improvement, on the Point Individual peninsula, would worsen water high quality in the sound.

Labor leader Mark McGowan said there necessary to be an independent inquiry into the incident.

He mentioned there was clear neighborhood doubt more than the answers the Division of Fisheries provided.

“I feel folks are now a bit disbelieving of the answers that are becoming provided … individuals would like far more assurances than what’s been offered,” Mr McGowan mentioned.

“Several people’s social lives and recreational lives depend on the sound and the atmosphere of the sound is extremely important, which is why we want to get to the bottom of what has gone on.”

Fisheries Minister Ken Baston stated the Government was continuing to closely monitor the situation.

“The Department will be functioning closely with the recreational and industrial sectors to monitor fish stocks,” Mr Baston stated in a statement.

“Testing for the microscopic algae responsible for the current fish kill is also continuing.”

Topics: fish, atmosphere, perth-6000

Agen Sabung Ayam

Syrian opposition to meet government for talks in early January

Posted December 11, 2015 12:36:50

A joint team of Syria’s political and armed opposition will meet the government subsequent month for talks in search of a political answer to nearly five years of conflict, the chairman of a Saudi-hosted opposition conference says.

A lot more than one hundred members of Syria’s opposition parties and rebel fighting groups agreed at the finish of two days of talks in Riyadh to perform collectively to prepare for peace talks with president Bashar al-Assad’s government.

But the final hours of the meeting, which excluded Islamic State and Al Nusra Front fighters as nicely as the primary Kurdish force controlling big components of northern Syria, had been overshadowed by protest from the strong insurgent group Ahrar al-Sham.

In a statement, it said it had withdrawn from the Riyadh meeting, objecting to what it said was a prominent function provided to the mostly Damascus-based political opposition group, the National Coordination Body for Democratic Alter, which it said was closer to Mr Assad than to the opposition.

It also mentioned rebel fighters had been below-represented at the talks and their voices largely ignored.

Nevertheless a copy of the final statement had reportedly been signed by the Ahrar al-Sham delegate.

Nevertheless, its withdrawal — even so brief — highlighted enduring rifts among Mr Assad’s enemies which have bedevilled Western and Gulf Arab efforts to rally enough political and military pressure on the president to force him to step down.

Abdulaziz al-Sager, a Saudi academic who chaired the Riyadh talks, stated the opposition would meet government officials in the 1st 10 days of January, the very first such talks in two years aimed at ending a bloody civil war which has drawn in forces from the United States, Russia, Europe and the Arab world.

“There will be a meeting decided by [United Nations envoy Staffan] de Mistura in January,” he mentioned.

“A meeting between the opposition and the Syrian regime to go to a transitional period. This will take place in the 1st ten days of January.”

A statement at the finish of the two-day conference said Mr Assad must leave power at the start off of a transitional period, and named for an all-inclusive, democratic civic state.

It also committed to preserving state institutions.

The opposition was willing to enter talks with Syrian government representatives and to accept a UN-supervised ceasefire, the statement stated.

‘Difficult operate ahead’: Kerry

The meeting came amid escalating conflict in Syria, pitting the army and allied militias like Lebanese Hezbollah fighters backed by Iran and Russia against competing rebel and jihadi fighters, who incorporate Arabs and Kurds.

The Riyadh meeting called on the United Nations to stress the Syrian government to make a series of confidence-developing moves just before peace talks commence, including suspending death sentences against opponents, releasing prisoners and lifting sieges.

Vienna Syria talks Photo: Russia, the United States, European and Middle Eastern nations agreed on a two-year timeline major to Syrian national elections during talks in Vienna (AFP: Brendan Smialowski, file photo)

Monzer Akbik, a member of the National Coalition opposition group, stated the conference agreed to set up a 32-member secretariat to oversee and supervise peace talks.

The statement mentioned that physique would select the negotiating group.

Participants also committed to a political program which “represents all sectors of the Syrian folks”, and would not discriminate on religious or sectarian grounds – in a gesture towards minority Alawite, Christian and Kurdish populations.

US Secretary of State John Kerry welcomed the declaration.

“Although this crucial step forward brings us closer to starting negotiations amongst the Syrian parties, we recognise the difficult work ahead,” he said.

International efforts to resolve the conflict have been lent added urgency by a wave of deadly attacks across the world claimed by the Iraq- and Syria-based Islamic State and by a huge flow of refugees into Europe.

Major powers agreed in Vienna last month to revive diplomatic efforts to finish the war, calling for peace talks to start by January and elections within two years.

No spot for Assad in transition

The demands that Mr Assad and his lieutenants need to play no component in a political transition marked a tougher stance than that of many Western countries which back his opponents.

The United States, France and Britain all referred to as for Mr Assad to step down soon after protests broke out against his rule in March 2011.

Even though they all say Mr Assad eventually need to go, they have been less particular about the timing of any departures, indicating that they could accept his staying on in an interim period.

Mr Assad’s fate was one of numerous concerns left unresolved at the Vienna meeting final month which was attended by Russia, the United States, European and Middle Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran, which back opposing sides in Syria.

Saudi Arabia is a major backer of the rebels along with Turkey and Western nations. Iran and Russia support Mr Assad.

Iran has openly criticised the choice by Saudi Arabia to hold the talks, saying they have been designed to harm the Vienna procedure.

On Thursday, Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian mentioned some groups linked to the Islamic State militant group have been involved in the Riyadh meeting.

Russia launched air strikes in Syria ten weeks ago, assisting the Syrian army — backed by Iranian troops, Hezbollah fighters and allied militia — to contain rebel advances.

Russia says it is bombing Islamic State militants, who manage large locations of eastern Syria and western Iraq, but Western and Arab states which have been carrying out air strikes against Islamic State for more than a year say the Russian jets have mostly hit other rebel forces in the west of Syria.

Moscow’s intervention has not swung the war decisively Assad’s way and a number of Western-backed rebel groups, some of whom were represented in Riyadh, have been emboldened by the improved flow of foreign-supplied anti-tank missiles which have helped stem parts of the army’s counter-offensive.

Reuters

Topics: unrest-conflict-and-war, syrian-arab-republic, saudi-arabia

Agen Sabung Ayam

Palmer eyes government guarantor deal to keep refinery afloat

Posted December 10, 2015 19:31:06

Clive Palmer has insisted he is not in search of a Queensland Government bail-out for his Townsville nickel refinery.

But the higher-profile businessman and federal MP admitted he would like the state to go guarantor for a $ 35 million bank loan to preserve Queensland Nickel afloat.

Mr Palmer met with the Queensland Treasurer on Tuesday, requesting help to keep the Yabulu smelter, near Townsville, open.

Mr Palmer stated Queensland Nickel had a money flow deficit, but reiterated the firm could trade its way out of trouble.

He said he wanted to set the record straight about the future of the refinery, which has more than 700 workers.

Mr Palmer mentioned he was “personally attacked” due to the fact he was a politician, and that he had not held a director position in the business considering that becoming the Member for Fairfax in 2013.

“Just like many firms with a sturdy balance sheet and modest cash-flow deficit, Queensland Nickel approached the four major Australian banks for help,” Mr Palmer stated.

“Despite unencumbered assets of practically $ two billion, it was denied a $ 35 million overdraft by the 4 main Australian banks.

“I have been informed Queensland Nickel was told that in the present investment atmosphere they would not lend to a sources business.”

Mr Palmer mentioned Queensland Nickel’s assets totalled nearly $ two billion and that the balance sheet looked robust.

Earlier nowadays, he stated workers’ entitlements would be “properly and actually covered” regardless of what happened to the refinery.

“Banks are not supporting the resources sector — which is in a downturn cycle — as a matter of policy and this is a main difficulty,” Mr Palmer said.

“This ought to therefore be a matter of concern for each the Queensland and federal governments.

“At no time did Queensland Nickel request taxpayer funds, only a assure from the Queensland Government and for safety of the assure for $ 35 million, Queensland Nickel provided its balance sheet of practically $ two billion.

“In my assessment, this is a danger-free of charge proposition that would ensure the continued operation of the refinery.”

Topics: mining-business, state-parliament, organization-economics-and-finance, townsville-4810, qld

Agen Sabung Ayam

Stress on Government to ban greyhound exports

Posted December 10, 2015 15:53:48

Calls are increasing for the Federal Government to take action against Australia’s greyhound racing market following revelations on the ABC that animals sent overseas are becoming cruelly treated and languishing in appalling circumstances in components of Asia, which includes Macau and Vietnam.

Following a six-month investigation, the ABC’s 7:30 system exposed how trainers and owners have, with out the approval of racing regulators, been exporting greyhounds to banned places overseas, exactly where animal welfare is non-existent and an early death assured.

The plan also obtained covert vision of a killing field in Vietnam which shows dogs getting injected with poison and dumped in a mass grave.

Today, the ABC obtained figures from the office of Opposition agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon which revealed 370 greyhounds have been secretly exported to banned location Macau this year, with yet another 98 going to Hong Kong and 59 to other parts of China, where greyhound racing and gambling is illegal.

The ABC discovered at least two secret illegal private racing tracks operate in China.

All of the dogs were exported with no the information or approval of Greyhounds Australasia, the peak national racing physique.

All have also been sent overseas without the necessary ‘greyhound passport’.

The CEO of Animal Rights Australia, Lyn White, stated the investigations undertaken by her organisation revealed greyhound racing was riddled with cruelty and a continuing disregard for animal welfare.

“Layers of cruelty, killing of dogs, we were shocked at the degree of callousness, ruthlessness in this sector when it comes to disregarding the welfare of these dogs,” Ms White mentioned.

“It has no end actually.”

Peak racing body ‘frustrated’ with government inaction

The peak overseeing physique, Greyhounds Australasia (GA), mentioned it was frustrated by the lack of government assistance to tighten the guidelines surrounding exports.

CEO Scott Parker stated the racing market had been lobbying the Federal Government to close an export loophole since 2005, but their calls had been ignored.

The ABC obtained a letter dated August 2015, written by Greyhounds Australasia to Mr Fitzgibbon, detailing the aggravation of the peak market physique at the lack of action at a federal level, and pleading for assistance to finish the cruel international trade of Australia’s racing canines.

External Link: GA letter

“Greyhounds Australasia remains frustrated with the lack of Federal Government assistance for much better regulatory oversight of the exportation of Australian racing greyhounds,” Mr Parker wrote.

“These greyhounds are exported with out the approval of GA but with the sanction of the Federal Government.

“We are not in a position to ignore the community’s issues about the welfare of racing greyhounds in overseas jurisdictions but we want government support for a lot more adjust.”

Greyhounds Australasia mentioned it also sought a meeting with Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce to communicate their concerns and to once again ask the Minister to make a passport technique mandatory as it can’t be enforced outdoors of the Australian greyhound racing market, leaving the channel open for non-compliant exports.

Greyhounds Australasia stated Mr Joyce did not respond to their request.

State and federal ministers: ‘Government requirements to act’

In the wake of the scandal, Victorian Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford stated she had written to her federal counterpart, calling for the laws to be tightened.

“This is a tiny loophole in the export laws which are Commonwealth laws,” she said.

“We want the Federal Government, Malcolm Turnbull and Barnaby Joyce, to close this loophole so these lovely animals aren’t suffering in the way that we saw on our televisions last night [on ABC’s 7.30 program].”

Earlier today, Victoriam Racing Minister Martin Pakula publicly lambasted Mr Joyce, calling for legislation to be signed that would stop the export trade.

Mr Pakula mentioned the pictures broadcast on 7:30 have been “revolting”.

This afternoon, Mr Fitzgibbon weighed in, accusing the Government of turning a blind eye to the export trade.

“The Government could move to make the passport program mandatory for all exporters, but Barnaby Joyce will not have a bar of it,” Mr Fitzgibbon stated.

The independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, nowadays said greyhound racing must be shut down.

“1st of all we saw earlier this year that the abhorrent practice of reside baiting was commonplace in the greyhound racing sector,” Mr Wilkie mentioned.

“And now we see revelations on ABC’s 7:30 last night that hundreds of dogs are being exported to Asia exactly where they have to reside the rest of their lives in appalling situations, all due to the fact they couldn’t run rapidly enough in Australia.

“Surely we now have all the proof we need that the greyhound racing business is cruel and have to be shut down instantly.

“The Federal Government wants to act. The Minister for Agriculture obviously has a keen interest in dogs and should shut down the greyhound business.

“If he will not do that, then he at least have to amend the Export Control Act to cease the export of greyhounds without having appropriate safeguards getting in location.”

Australia is a single of only a handful of countries that nevertheless permit greyhound racing. It has been banned in multiple nations and states, such as the US and most of Europe.

The ABC has confirmed 70 trainers and owners across Australia are now implicated in the exporting scandal, which includes 52 in NSW, eight in Victoria, nine in Queensland and one in Tasmania.

So far, only 1 state regulator, Greyhound Racing NSW, has announced an inquiry.

External Hyperlink: Greyhound Export declaration

Topics: government-and-politics, community-and-society, law-crime-and-justice, animal-welfare, activism-and-lobbying, australia, asia

Agen Sabung Ayam

Cabinet document reveals Government under pressure to modify IR laws

Updated December 05, 2015 00:01:11

The Turnbull Government is being pushed to change Australia’s industrial relations technique, a sensitive Cabinet document obtained by the ABC has revealed.

The incoming brief for Treasurer Scott Morrison stated increased workplace flexibility was “crucial”, and the nation’s future productivity demanded “reform now”.

Crucial points:

  • Brief urges for elevated workplace flexibility
  • Calls for “reform now” to improve nation’s productivity
  • Labor labels Treasury suggestions troubling
  • National economy establishing “broader base for future growth” Treasurer says

“Labour industry flexibility remains crucial to the economy adapting to challenges and opportunities in the future,” the powerful Treasury division argued.

“The Productivity Commission’s Review of Workplace Relations represents a important opportunity for labour marketplace reform to help drive productivity in the economy,” it mentioned, referring to a report expected this month.

“[The assessment] is an chance to develop the case for reforms to grow the economy.”

The ABC’s freedom of information investigation also located average incomes are not expected to recover for at least yet another 18 months — in what would be Australia’s longest-ever period without per capita revenue development.

“Our objective wants to be improvement in the country’s productivity,” it mentioned.

“Reform now is critical, as delay will only exacerbate the extent of modify essential in the years ahead.”

Labor concerned about penalty rates

Federal Labor stated the Treasury’s suggestions have been really troubling.

“We are concerned that when the Government talks about flexibility, and that is Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberal Party, [they] are genuinely talking about cutting penalty rates, lowering the minimum wage properly a race to the bottom,” opposition workplace relations spokesman Brendan O’Connor mentioned.

“Whether it’s with WorkChoices or other IR reforms … it’s always about cutting penalty prices, cutting the minimum wage and generating jobs much less secure.

“Our concern is given the Liberal Party record, and the current foray into the penalty rates debate by the new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, that this notion of labour flexibility is a single-way flexibility, which is properly cutting situations of employment for 11 million Australian workers.”

In October, Mr Turnbull commented on the difference amongst Saturday and Sunday penalty prices, saying: “The only reason they are diverse, I assume, is history.

“I consider more than time you will see a move to a much more versatile workplace.”

The interim Productivity Commission report, released in August, advisable cutting Sunday penalty rates for sectors such as hospitality and retail in line with Saturday pay, but said wages for emergency workers must not be impacted.

“Australian society expects to be in a position to shop, go to a pharmacy, and consume at cafes and restaurants on weekends,” Productivity Commission chairman Peter Harris mentioned.

Australia in economic transition: Treasurer

When asked about the Treasury document, Mr Morrison said Australia was continuing to go via economic transition following the investment boom in the mining sector.

“The Australian economy is diversifying and establishing a broader base for future development,” Mr Morrison said.

“Australians recognize the modifications taking place in our economy and are seeking to the Government to continue to pursue policies that assistance jobs and growth. This is what we are carrying out.

“The Turnbull Government is backing Australians with our policies — whether or not it really is our efforts to make our tax program growth friendly, boost productivity via our innovation, competition and infrastructure initiatives or acquire improved access to overseas markets even though our trade agenda, we are taking action to support Australians who are working, saving and investing.”

Speaking on Radio National in October, Mr Morrison mentioned the technique required flexibility.

“What we want is a lot more people, specifically young people, being employed,” he stated.

“We want flexibility in the system which implies men and women with disabilities, men and women who have been extended-term unemployed can get a go in the labour industry.

“Now, I don’t see why you wouldn’t want to think about something that would not accomplish these sorts of targets.”

The ABC’s investigation has also revealed:

  • Earnings per person (real per capita national revenue) will not recover to 2011-12 levels until 2017-18
  • Treasury stated “structural reform” in the multi-billion-dollar wellness and education sectors was worthwhile, and the Federation White Paper method presented an opportunity for change
  • Treasury mentioned spending budget repair was vital, and the Government ‘could not wait for financial growth to repair the spending budget bottom line’
  • The division said worldwide uncertainty and the uneven transition after the mining boom remained risks for the economy

Malcolm Turnbull appointed Mr Morrison in September, relegating Joe Hockey to the backbench and sparking his retirement from politics and Saturday’s North Sydney by-election.

External Hyperlink: Brief for incoming Treasurer

Topics: government-and-politics, scott-morrison, federal-government, work, community-and-society, australia

Initial posted December 04, 2015 23:07:02

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Canola spill happened near internet site of Perth mass fish deaths: Government

Posted December 03, 2015 09:55:39

A dead snapper in the sand at Cockburn Sound. Photo: A dead snapper at Cockburn Sound, where poor water quality is believed to have killed off as a lot of as 14 various species of fish. (Supplied: Recfishwest)
Connected Story: Fresh mass Cockburn fish deaths as probe fails to reveal result in
Map: Perth 6000

A grain spill occurred near the web site of a mass fish death in Perth’s south around the very same time the fatalities began occurring, authorities have said.

Investigators are nonetheless unsure what caused the deaths in Cockburn Sound, with as several as 14 species of fish affected since they were very first noticed final month.

The Department of Fisheries believes a water top quality issue is responsible, but has been unable to identify a single definitive lead to.

Nevertheless the State Government has told Parliament that a canola spill occurred at the Kwinana Grain Jetty sometime amongst November 18-22.

The fish deaths had been initial noticed early on November 19.

“Even though this was cleaned up by Co-operative Bulk Handling, some may have entered Cockburn Sound,” Mental Wellness Minister Helen Morton told Parliament, answering on behalf of Environment Minister Albert Jacob.

“Analysis benefits of grain from this vessel from the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture indicates there had been no pesticides present in the samples taken.”

Authorities also confirmed they had received reports of individuals experiencing adverse reactions after swimming in Cockburn Sound, although some fishermen had raised concerns more than the impact on other wildlife.

Shooters and Fishers MP Rick Mazza, who has been questioning the Government on the dilemma in Parliament, said he was increasingly worried.

“It is truly concerning there has been a spill, particularly around these dates, and it is truly important there is a multi-agency investigation to see if there is any correlation in between the two,” Mr Mazza said.

Subjects: fishing-aquaculture, fish, states-and-territories, perth-6000, kwinana-beach-6167

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NT Opposition Leader moves motion of no self-assurance against Government

By Sally Brooks

Posted December 01, 2015 12:13:45

The Northern Territory Opposition Leader has moved a motion of no self-confidence in the Territory Government in Parliament.

If profitable the motion could trigger an early election.

In Parliament, Michael Gunner said it was time to speak about the future of the Northern Territory.

“We are presently ruled by an arrogant dictatorship, a lot more concerned with self-preservation than the very best interests of Territorians,” he mentioned.

“Under the leadership of Adam Giles, this CLP has destroyed the trust Territorians have in their Government with broken promises, salacious overseas travel scandals, failed midnight coups, corruption allegations, backroom bargains, continuous in-fighting and more.

“That is why I am asking you today as members to make a good choice for the Territory’s future.

“We can pick nine a lot more months of arrogance and chaos below an Adam Giles led CLP Government, or we can choose to trust Territorians.”

This morning 105.7 ABC Darwin was told independents Kezia Purick, Gerry Wood and Robyn Lambley would abstain from voting nowadays.

For the vote of no self-assurance to pass there require to be 13 votes in help of the motion, in the assembly of 25 members.

“If 3 members have chosen not to vote then the Opposition will not have the numbers and the Government will survive,” ABC election analyst Antony Green told the ABC this morning.

Topics: government-and-politics, political-parties, darwin-0800

Agen Sabung Ayam

Federal Government announces Pinery bushfire funding relief

Posted November 29, 2015 12:06:06

Federal cash has been created offered for victims of final week’s Pinery bushfire in South Australia’s Mid-North.

Federal Sector Minister Christopher Pyne mentioned folks eligible for Disaster Recovery Payments could access income help, equivalent to Newstart and Youth allowances, for up to 13 weeks.

A a single-off $ 1,000 payment would be created obtainable for adults who had lost their residences or suffered injury as a result of the bushfire, even though $ 400 would be produced available for each kid.

“The further help announced today will assist residents impacted by these bushfire gets back on their feet,” Mr Pyne mentioned.

It follows emergency funding announced last week by the South Australian Government, including $ 280 per adult and $ 140 per kid, to a maximum of $ 700 per family members.

Fire crews remain in the region mopping up after the fire burnt through much more than 85,000 hectares of land, destroyed 87 houses, and razed a lot more than 300 farm sheds and outbuildings.

Two individuals died, 5 had been critically injured, and tens of thousands of livestock perished.

Dead chickens, pigs and sheep are being disposed of and teams are making certain roadside trees are safe.

Demolition crews have also started removing broken structures.

Volunteer organisation BlazeAid is setting up two base camps to help with bushfire recovery.

If men and women can think about walking into an empty home and getting to reside there, what would they need to have?

Annette Broughton

Coordinator Barry Thompson stated work could get underway when camp locations have been finalised early subsequent week.

He said he had been receiving calls from folks about Australia wanting to aid.

“I would suggest by Wednesday or Thursday, we’ll have volunteers out on the ground beginning to do some work,” Mr Thompson mentioned.

He said volunteers would commence by helping with the clean-up and re-developing fences.

“We can assist by placing up boundary fences and almost everything like that so it then designates the person’s home and includes stock if that’s essential,” Mr Thompson said.

“We can get in there and aid with clean-up around houses and just assist people and give them a small bit of hope.”

A number of collection centres have already been set up where residents can get meals, clothing and other products.

Homewares required at collection centres

Annette Broughton has been helping out at the Hamley Bridge collection centre and mentioned the community response had been amazing.

Tables are filled with house hold item donated by the community. Photo: Donations are arriving thick and fast at the Hamley Bridge Institute. (ABC News: Loukas Founten)

“More men and women are dropping factors in,” she mentioned.

“We have got so much stuff here and I just encourage any individual who has been affected by the fire to come here and take anything they need to have.”

Ms Broughton stated more donations have been necessary.

“If folks can think about walking into an empty home and possessing to live there, what would they need?”

“People are coming and feeling afraid to take too much but this is what it is here for and if anyone does want to donate something, the issues that are genuinely needed now are things like cutlery and crockery.”

Topics: bushfire, fires, disasters-and-accidents, neighborhood-and-society, freeling-5372, mallala-5502, wasleys-5400, hamley-bridge-5401, sa

Agen Sabung Ayam

Stamp duty revenue drives budget surplus of $500 million: Victorian Government

Posted November 27, 2015 18:31:26

Victoria's Treasurer Tim Pallas Photo: Victoria’s Treasurer Tim Pallas says a massive enhance to the bottom line is due the booming property marketplace. (ABC: Alison Savage)

Powerful stamp duty income has underpinned a greater than anticipated spending budget surplus of $ 500 million, the Victorian Government says.

Treasurer Tim Pallas released a price range update that showed the surplus had elevated to $ 1.7 billion, up from the prior estimate of $ 1.2 billion in May.

Mr Pallas attributed the huge boost to the bottom line to the booming house industry, but warned the Government could not bank on such windfalls in future.

“Our reliance upon land taxes does mean that there will be volatility,” he said.

“We can not just assume that these numbers will stay around forever.

“They basically supply us with a buffer against a downturn, if and when it comes,” he stated.

Mr Pallas stated the Government was examining techniques to tackle housing affordability, as home costs shoot up.

“It’s a single of the largest and a lot more substantial policy troubles that confront Government,” he said.

“I am very considerably conscious of it, the Government is conscious of it, and we will be looking for to address this dilemma root and branch into the future.”

Mr Pallas stated the Andrews Government had been functioning on a housing affordability strategy for months, but would not reveal if it included cuts to stamp duty or better incentives for 1st residence-purchasers.

The spending budget update also showed a larger tax-take of $ 411 million, driven by population development, but public sector costs grew by five per cent.

“We have observed an boost as a consequence of the quantity of folks that are getting employed,” he mentioned.

But Opposition spokesman John Pesutto accused the Government of losing manage of the economy.

“What we’re seeing here are some quite ominous signs on the EBA (enterprise bargaining agreement) front,” he said.

“The massive query for Victorians to ask is what are they obtaining out of this? They are not receiving considerably.”

Across the budget and forward estimates, surpluses are set to total $ 6.7 billion.

Subjects: budget, government-and-politics, tax, vic

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NASA chief: Government climate scientists won’t be intimidated

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Bolden, far left, and Sullivan, far appropriate, were crew mates on the mission that launched the Hubble Space Telescope. (credit: NASA)

As NOAA has endured a series of Congressional attacks this fall for its climate change research, the agency’s administrator, Kathryn Sullivan, has largely remained silent. But the former astronaut’s wing mate for two spaceflights, Charles Bolden, has not been so reticent. The NASA administrator this week continued to blister Congress for its tack on climate adjust science.

Soon after delivering a keynote speech on the commercialization of space at the SpaceCom conference in Houston Tuesday, Bolden talked to Ars about his own agency’s Earth science study. He also addressed the efforts by Texas Congressman Lamar Smith, who chairs the Property Committee on Science, Space, and Technologies, to receive the e-mails of NOAA climate scientists, in which Smith expects to locate political influence and maybe fraud.

“I don’t think scientists will be intimidated by the subpoenas and almost everything else,” Bolden stated. “That may possibly be its intent, but I don’t think it will operate. Its peoples’ life’s operate, and they’re not just going to walk away because somebody threatens them with a subpoena to seem just before the Congress of the United States. They’ll probably welcome it, to be very sincere.”

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