Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Way out west where the rain does fall

What's that? Hereford cattle?

This post could also be titled as the rain depression low what never became Stan which is the name of the next cyclone. I apologise to anybody named Stan who may have been offended by previous cynicism on his potency. The Stan which never happened has delivered for western Queensland this week.

Brownsvillle is flirting with avoidance of an historic driest ever year on record. Cairns got lucky again and on track for well above average December rainfall and completely avoided the drought suffered by surrounding regions.

Christmas cricket at Blackall

Friday, December 25, 2015

Direct flights to Toowoomba

Top End airline to link Wellcamp to Melbourne and Cairns with E-170s
It’s a great part of Australia, and its about to get the most comfortable domestic jet type in service to link its new airport to Melbourne and Cairns.
Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport near Toowoomba will get daily Airnorth E-170s to Melbourne, and three times weekly flights to Cairns, from 14 March.
Airnorth chief executive Daniel Bowden said “This initiative provides a much-needed direct link for residents of Toowoomba and surrounding regions to Melbourne and Cairns for business and leisure travellers alike.
“The new flights will also allow passengers from the Toowoomba region to easily connect onto international and other domestic services via Cairns or Melbourne.”

Will be interesting to see how these flights work out.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Packer v Fung; Dalton v King

My two fave Cairns journalists appear to have sqaured off over Aquis: Aquis licence decision imminent as part of stadium package deal. This was posted on FB as a PRO TIP: Before you read it in The Cairns Post tomorrow

It was sourced from the sports pages of The Guardian from a local soccer representative.

The Cairns Post responded: Aquis rules out February decision for $8.15bn casino near Cairns

Never mind. The King Parrott followed up with a Q&A: Aquis remains tight-lipped on Cairns plans

Meanwhile. Keen financial wonks may have noted that back in the real world the biggest financial story of the week was rumours of young Jamie Packer taking Crown Resorts private. The public stockmarket was not adequately valuing the business and aggressive expansion plans apparently.

Now this gets interesting because Fung is proposing on current PR spruik to fund similarly ambitious casino development from the public ASX listed Aquis Entertainment. An opposite strategy. Who am I to question the financial strategy of billionaires? However, can they both be right?

Someone is gunna make money tralalalalaslala!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

ABC of tax data

Quite a bit of recent data of local interest to catch up on but was distracted today by the ATO release of corporate tax data in the interests of transparency. Predictably there have been some rather misguided commentary based on reports such as this at the ABC:  Zero Tax: Data reveals how much tax major Australian corporations pay

When I first looked at this I wondered why the Australian Tax Office had presented "tax payable as a proportion of total income" and not as a proportion of "taxable income". The answer is that they didn't but rather the ABC derived this mostly, but not always irrelevant metric from the data themselves. I had thought even the most clueless numpty was aware that Woolworths pay corporate tax on corporate profits and not sales revenue (income). The ABC reporting along with much commentary doesn't seem to have bothered with the ATO commentary and particularly the contextual information: Corporate tax transparency report for the 2013-14 income year

Ranking corporate tax to total income as the ABC has done really mostly ranks differences in profit margins and between different types of businesses. Consequently I'm not sure the data and misguided reporting has really helped much in identifying where problems may lie in the corporate tax system or contributed greatly to transparency. Beyond a few predictable corporations I cant find much in this general data which shows what some outraged people think it does.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

40 y.o. nickel refinery set to fledge?

Katter calls on Fed Govt to extend lifeline to Nickel Refinery
Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter has today called on the Federal Government to extend some of its $5,000 million earmarked for development of North Australia – to save the fledging Yabulu Nickel Refinery in North Townsville.
“The Liberals can find $5,000 million for the development of Northern Australia – well the closure of the Nickel Refinery will be a mortal blow for Northern Australia.
“When it was scheduled for closure last time no one came forward to buy it – but Clive Palmer, whatever else might be said of him, took a great risk and showed great foresight in buying it.
“He made a lot of money out of it, but the mining game is such that you make money and you lose money.
“And the truly worrying thing is that last time there was no other interest in the Nickel Refinery.
“The Government is prepared to spend $5,000 million looking after their rich corporates – that’s seems to be all they’ll ever look after.
“I’m sure they can bring a little bit of that money across to help out the refinery and the people of Townsville,” Mr Katter said.
It has been estimated that anywhere from 800 to 3,000 families could be impacted if the refinery were to close.

I'm flabbergasted.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Dalton Shameless

Cairns Post, December 3, 2015: FNQ beats Gold Coast to attract most overseas holiday-makers in Queensland
TROPICAL North Queensland has stolen the international holiday-maker crown from the Gold Coast for the first time.
Nearly 700,000 overseas holiday-makers spent nearly $1 billion when visiting the region, the latest International Visitor Survey shows.
The Tropical North recorded 697,000 visitors – 10,000 more than the Gold Coast and 146,000 more than Brisbane (551,000).

Cairns Post, December 5, 2014: North Dumps Gold Coast For Top Spot
The tropical north has beaten the Gold Coast for the first time as the most popular destination in Queensland for international holiday makers.
According to international visitor survey figures for the year ended September 30 this year, 665,000 international holiday-makers visited the region, 23,000 more than the Gold Coast and 155,000 more than Brisbane.
Guess who? Yes it's Nick Dalton again, business editor and plagiarist at the Cairns Post. This year the same story and incorrect claim was even promoted to the front page headline. The numbers above actually appear to indicate that FNQ/TNQ has lost ground to Gold Coast and Brisbane in the past year?

I can't find a link online to last years Cairns Post yarn but it was posted here at Loose Change at the time: A Dalton too far?  Let me also repost the same graph from last year for the benefit of the professionals (sic) at the Cairns Post:


The first time for what? Does anybody at the Compost actually fact check the notorious BS from Dalton before they turn it into a front page splash?

Update: Analysis of the latest international visitor survey at Conus Strong International Visitor Survey results; but TNQ is lagging behind