Friday 2nd December 2016 - 12:14 pm
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Retail sales still rising

by Alan Thornhill

Australia’s retail sales rose by 0.5 per cent in October, on seasonally adjusted figures the Bureau of Statistics published today.

 

The bureau said this followed a 0.6 per cent rise in September.

 

It added that in seasonally adjusted terms, there were rises in food retailing (0.6 per cent), household goods retailing (0.7 per cent), other retailing (0.8 per cent) and cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (0.4 per cent).

 

 

But there were falls in clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (-0.4 per cent) and department stores (-0.4 per cent) in October 2016.

In seasonally adjusted terms, there were rises in Queensland (0.8 per cent), Victoria (0.5 per cent), New South Wales (0.3 per cent), Western Australia (0.4 per cent), the Australian Capital Territory (0.9 per cent), Tasmania (0.6 per cent) and the Northern Territory (0.3 per cent).

 

But sales in South Australia fell (-0.1 per cent) on seasonally adjusted figures.

The trend estimate for Australian retail turnover rose 0.4 per cent in October 2016 following a 0.4 per cent rise in September 2016.

 

Compared to October 2015 the trend estimate rose 3.3 per cent.

 

Online retail turnover contributed 3.9 per cent to total retail turnover in original terms.

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Friday 2nd December 2016 - 6:59 am
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The news: Friday December 2

by Alan Thornhill

Vladimir Putin tells Russians they may soon see better relations with the US

 

The Greens accept a 15 per cent backpacker tax rate after winning further concessions from the

government

 

Federal minister Josh Frydenberg dismisses international criticism saying Australia is already doing enough to save the Great Barrier Reef

Thursday 1st December 2016 - 9:21 pm
Comments Off on Backpackers’ tax rate -finally -agreed

Backpackers’ tax rate -finally -agreed

by Alan Thornhill

The Federal government and the Greens agreed today to impose a 15 per cent tax  on the money backpackers earn while working in Australia.

 

Rates ranging from 13 to 32.5 per cent have all been mentioned in the 18 month long debate preceding today’s decision.

 

The breakthrough came just minutes before Parliament was due to rise for the year,

 

It happened when the Greens hinted that they would approve a 15 per cent tax rate, if the Federal government agreed

to ease the rate at which backpacker’s superannuation payments are taxed.

 

 

The Federal government agreed.

 

 

It said it would ease the rate at which backpacker’s superannuation payments are taxe from 95 cents in the dollar to 65.

It happened when the Greens signaled that they would approve a 15 per cent tax rate, if

the government made the offsetting adjustments it demanded,

 

They had also successfully, demanded $100 million contribution to a landcare project.

 

Many Australian farmers depend heavily on backpackers to help them bring in their crops.

 

But some have complained that the present debate has gone on so long that their produce has passed its best before it reaches market.

.

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday 1st December 2016 - 1:58 pm
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Capital spending plunges

by Alan Thornhill

New capital spending fell by 4 per cent in the September quarter,

 

This is shown in seasonally adjusted figures the Bureau of Statistics  published today.

 

On trend figures the fall was even bigger at 4,9 per cent

 

The Bureau also said The trend volume estimate for buildings and structures fell by 8.5% in the September quarter 2016 while the seasonally adjusted estimate fell by 5.7%.

 

The trend volume estimate for equipment, plant and machinery rose by 1.0% in the September quarter 2016 while the seasonally adjusted estimate fell by 1.9%.
It explained, too, that its fourth estimate  for 2016-17 is $106,926m.

 

This is 14.3% lower than Estimate 4 for 2015-16.

 

Estimate 4 is 1.3% higher than Estimate 3 for 2016-17.

Thursday 1st December 2016 - 12:21 pm
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The news:Thursday December 1

by Alan Thornhill

Protests against Astralia’s refugee policies continued in Canberra today, with participants climbing

the flagpole above parliament and pouring red paint into its fountains.

Wednesday 30th November 2016 - 8:20 pm
Comments Off on The riot:Where did it start?

The riot:Where did it start?

by Alan Thornhill

 

The riot which forced the suspension of parliament today was a long time coming.

 

It started, several years ago, with the decision of the conservative government of the the then  Prime Minister, John Howard, to use Australian military forces to prevent those seeking asylum arriving in Australia as boat people.

 

That had already become a problem for Australia, as large scale population movements often do.

 

The people smugglers, who sought profit from this trade, were very unpopular in Australia,

 

There were also two other factors, which might have restrained Mr Howard, but didn’t.

 

People who fear that their lives are in danger have a right, under UN rules, to seek asylum elsewhere .

 

Mr Howard overcame that problem by endorsing a claim that people in one group of so-called asylum seekers had thrown their children overboard when the navy arrived.

 

So clearly they weren’t genuine refugees,

 

These policies took Mr Howard to the banks of his own personal Rubicon,

 

 

There was to be no turning back.

 

 

They also led directly to Australian run prison camps on Christmas Island and Nauru.

 

 

And the riot in Parliament today,

Wednesday 30th November 2016 - 8:04 am
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The news:Wednesday November 30

by Alan Thornhill

Malcolm Turnbull confident of establishing his bulding indstry watchdog soon, afer agreeing to “a raft of amendments” sought by the Senate  ABC

 

Speculation that US internet retailer Amazon , might open operations in Australia next year  ABC

 

US growth higher than expected at 3.2 per cent BBC

Tuesday 29th November 2016 - 8:01 am
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The news:Tuesday November 29

by Alan Thornhill

Debate on the Federal government’s building industry workplace reforms are expected to resume in  the reps today,after a long but inconclusive debate in the Senate overnight.  ABC

 

 

Digital industry warns the Federal government that it could collapse if the government uses 457 visas to restrict skilled immigration. ABC

 

 

 

High water temperatures around the  Great Barrier Reef cause the “worst ever”  coral bleaching  over the past year, according to a new report, BBC

 

 

 

 

 

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Alan Thornhill is a parliamentary press gallery journalist.
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