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Analysis and Comment (18)

Angela Merkel has thus far closed her eyes to the need for more spending, at her country’s peril. Angela Merkel has thus far closed her eyes to the need for more spending, at her country’s peril. Reuters

Germany may be the biggest loser if it doesn’t start spending

There’s growing pressure on Germany to spend more to support Europe – and for good reason. But it’s proving to be a hard sell to the country’s leaders. Germany’s budget is balanced and the government insists…
The Ranger uranium mine, inside the World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory. The Ranger uranium mine, inside the World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory. AAP Image/Tara Ravens

Queensland lifts its uranium ban, but is the price worth the cost?

As of today, Queensland has lifted a 32-year ban on uranium mining. That decision was taken within months of the 2012 state election, despite Premier Campbell Newman’s pre-election promise not to restart…
Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller and CNPC Chairman Zhou Jiping sign documents as Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping look on. Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller and CNPC Chairman Zhou Jiping sign documents as Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping look on. Alexey Druginyn/Ria Novosti/AAP

Australian LNG in the shadow of a global gas showdown

The US$400 billion gas deal signed between Russia’s giant state-owned corporation Gazprom and China last week is 16 times larger than its predessor in the supply of gas to China - a US$25 billion LNG project…
Gina Rinehart’s Roy Hill mine has secured funding from multiple sources, including Export-Import banks in the US, Japan and Korea. Gina Rinehart’s Roy Hill mine has secured funding from multiple sources, including Export-Import banks in the US, Japan and Korea. Hancock Prospecting/AAP

Why the US Export-Import Bank backed Rinehart’s Roy Hill

When Gina Rinehart’s Roy Hill mine proposal secured the multi-billion dollar financing deal needed to proceed last week, questions were asked about the US$694.4 million coming from the US Export-Import…
Australia only keeps an estimated 23 days' worth of fuel in the country. Australia only keeps an estimated 23 days' worth of fuel in the country. Bidgee/Wikimedia Commons

Running on empty: Australia’s risky approach to oil supplies

It might sound unlikely, but Australia’s fuel gauge is worryingly low. We’re one of the world’s top energy exporters, but our stocks of liquid fuels – such as the oil on which almost the whole transport…
South Korea has surpassed Australia on many economic measures. South Korea has surpassed Australia on many economic measures. KOREA.NET/Flickr

Can Australia win from FTAs in the Asian Century?

Australia and South Korea are entering a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), but before you think “advanced Western country gains access to a large Asian market”, think again. Economic powers have shifted seismically…
A shift towards fresh food and improved consumer protections in China provides opportunities and threats for Australian food producers. A shift towards fresh food and improved consumer protections in China provides opportunities and threats for Australian food producers. dcmaster/Flickr

SPC Ardmona and the cheap Chinese food challenge

The political lobbying accompanying the government decision to withhold financial support from SPC Ardmona has overshadowed the big structural issues facing Australia’s preserved food industry. The two…
Australian companies have done little to expand overseas, preferring the lucrative home market. Australian companies have done little to expand overseas, preferring the lucrative home market. AAP/Damian Shaw

Successful Australian exports: where the bloody hell are they?

Australia’s major banking, retail and manufacturing brands are often regarded as less interested in the aggressive overseas expansion being pursued by market leaders in other countries. Some have tried…
The economic argument for an FTA with China isn’t as strong as some may assume. The economic argument for an FTA with China isn’t as strong as some may assume. derekGavey/Flickr

Why an Australian FTA with China has never stacked up

Despite trade in goods and services between Australia and China exceeding A$125 billion in 2012, negotiations between the two countries for an FTA that began in 2005 have been so unproductive that both…
Much has changed from the first Colombo plan, but Australia’s engagement with Asia should start at home. Much has changed from the first Colombo plan, but Australia’s engagement with Asia should start at home. Asia image from www.shutterstock.com

Colombo II: send students to Asia but don’t ignore the Asian students at home

Now it’s in government, the Coalition says one of its top priorities is international education. Along with policies to encourage international students to study here, Australian students, too, will be…
Electricity prices, renewable energy, climate change, uranium exports: what does the Coalition plan to do about our energy future? Electricity prices, renewable energy, climate change, uranium exports: what does the Coalition plan to do about our energy future? akeii/Flickr

Where to for energy policy under a Coalition government?

The Coalition has returned to government at a time of uncertainty and rapid change in almost every area of energy policy. With an energy policy released and a responsible minister named, what can we determine…
Exporting uranium carries a risk not just in Australia, but all over the world. Exporting uranium carries a risk not just in Australia, but all over the world. Mad House Photography

Expanding Olympic Dam: with great power comes great responsibility

The South Australian and Federal governments have approved another expansion at Olympic Dam. This expansion raises some very important questions about Australia’s role in the future of global energy and…
Indigenous people traditionally eat kangaroo, but they’re worried about the scale of the hunting. Indigenous people traditionally eat kangaroo, but they’re worried about the scale of the hunting. AAP

Food fight – Aboriginal elders take on the kangaroo industry

Last month, an alliance of Aboriginal elders announced their intention to bring a constitutional law challenge against Australia’s kangaroo industry. The announcement follows efforts by the Federal Government…
Out of the box: an export tax could be combined with the Federal Government proposed resources tax. Out of the box: an export tax could be combined with the Federal Government proposed resources tax. AAP

A resources export tax could help save manufacturing

Australia’s lagging manufacturing sector faced thorough scrutiny last week, amid calls for more government support for local industries following BlueScope Steel’s $1 billion loss and its decision to sack…
The law treats animals as merely “property” – but is this out of step with community expectations? The law treats animals as merely “property” – but is this out of step with community expectations? AAP

When it comes to live animal exports, the law is a strange beast

Last week’s resounding defeat of two private members bills seeking to end live animal exports demonstrates the myopic vision Australian politicians have for the country’s agricultural industry. This is…
Iron ore is now Australia’s biggest export. Iron ore is now Australia’s biggest export. AFP/CHRISTIAN SPROGOE RIO TINTO

The Boom: Iron ore and Australia

Australia’s economic future lies underneath our feet. The island continent is blessed with a variety of natural resources but none as plentiful or important as iron ore. Iron is a common element in soils…
Welfare standards adopted as part of the ban being lifted fall short of public expectations. Welfare standards adopted as part of the ban being lifted fall short of public expectations. AAP

Knee-jerk lifting of live animal export ban means we’re almost back to square one

When it comes to the live animal export industry, the government’s knee-jerk reactions leave it open to criticism that it dances to whichever group, industry or the animal activists, plays the loudest…

Research and News (1)