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I am grateful for another guest post, this time from Dr Stephen Thornton of BG Economics. Views expressed are Stephens, and should not necessarily be attributed to me. GT
Pets, Airbnb and Management Rights: Strata policy challenges for the incoming Queensland Government
by Dr Stephen Thornton
The apartment construction boom in Queensland in the last few years has been astonishing and unprecedented. The number of strata lots is now quickly approaching 500,000, mostly apartments and townhouses (465K, October 2017). By 2020 around one million people in the state will call them home.
A strata review is being finalised by the QUT Commercial and Property Law Research Centre as part of a wider Queensland property law review commissioned by the former Newman government, with a number of recommendations recently made. Some of these recommendations go to procedural matters like the calling of AGMs, electronic communications and the like, while others are around by-laws and, importantly, scheme termination.
Given jobs and health budget savings are always high priorities, the incoming government should give serious consideration to one of the Centres recommendations around the keeping of pets. The recommendation would make it much less likely that pets would be banned in strata complexes, as it would limit the prohibition of pets to new buildings where the developer sets it as a by-law or if a body corporate adopts it by way of a resolution without dissent.
In my submission to the review (in which I argued that giving developers and bodies corporate the power to adopt no pet by-laws is contrary to Queenslands economic interests), I calculated that allowing pets in strata properties is likely to result in 1,000 new jobs in the longer term in Queenslands $1B $2B pet industry (currently estimated at 10,000+ jobs). Importantly, these new jobs would be in both high-skilled employment areas (e.g. vets, pathologists, radiologists) and lower skilled employment areas (e.g. retail stores, pet grooming, dog walking), and would be right across the state including high youth unemployment places like Townsville and Cairns.
In more recent work for the Mars Keep Australia Pet Friendly campaign, I have estimated the recurrent public healthcare savings due to pets for the Queensland budget to be $172 million annually (total Qld/federal public saving of $435M; total all state/federal public saving of $2B). More pets in strata properties would increase these savings.
However, there are a number of major issues not cover...
She is launching a battler bus with champagne. YOU CANT MAKE THIS UP. pic.twitter.com/9CyaZ85wY1Sam Dastyari (@samdastyari) November 6, 2017
The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) today welcomed Labors commitment to support large scale renewable energy generation and solar and energy efficiency measures in schools. Fight For Our Reef Campaign Director Imogen Zethoven said that the future survival of the Great Barrier Reef depends on a rapid switch from coal to clean renewable energy. Over 
The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) has revealed that Pauline Hansons One Nation is using a campaign bus built by a company that offshored its manufacturing to Malaysia. The so-called Battler Bus was made by Quality Bus & Coach, a company that offshored its manufacturing work to Malaysia in 2003. AMWU Queensland State Secretary and 
How do you follow a start to an article that says the following? From the Sydney Morning Herald comes this paragraph: I am the mother that the Australian government would rather forget. My daughter Mia was killed in a stabbing attack almost a year ago in a backpacker hostel in far north Queensland, while she 
Queenslands Deputy Premier Jackie Trad is under threat of losing her seat of South Brisbane to the Greens candidate Amy MacMahon, who is benefiting politically from a range of utopian policies disconnected from economic reality (see Fridays Courier-Mail on the political situation in South Brisbane). I first heard about the Greens proposed $1 public transport fares policy while waiting in the green room of ABC Studios at the same time Ms MacMahon was on air discussing the policy with Steve Austin, who would interview me later that morning. Obviously this would be a very costly policy and one without economic merit, especially given the large subsidies already provided to public transport by the Queensland Government. But the $1 public transport fares policy would represent just a fraction of the total cost that Greens policies would impose on Queensland taxpayers.
Based on my interpretation of the policies currently presented, Greens policies could increase total annual Queensland Government expenditure by an incredible $8-9 billion or 13-14% (see chart below). Of course, this is unlikely to ever happen, given the Greens couldnt possibly win government in their own right, but it is interesting to consider what a Greens budget would look like.
A team of UNSW research students are urging regulators to properly consider green infrastructure natural drainage, tree canopies and green walls when setting charges for new property developments. A review by Masters of Urban Policy students found that a new approach to green infrastructure that involves better funding and regulation is essential to 
As part of the Westenders election coverage, we have sent each candidate a list of questions regarding their policies, philosophy and voting intentions. Here is the response of Cameron Murray of the Sustainable Australia party. What do you think makes you personally qualified to represent the residents of the South Brisbane electorate? I have been 
As part of the Westenders election coverage, we have sent each candidate a list of questions regarding their policies, philosophy and voting intentions. Here is the response of Karel Boele of People Decide. What do you think makes you personally qualified to represent the residents of the South Brisbane electorate? I believe I am the 
Ive worked as a social researcher, teacher, carer, and community worker. Ive just finished my PhD looking at climate change adaptation in Bangladesh. Im a long-term renter living in Woolloongabba, and I went to school at Brisbane State High. Our political system is stacked in favour of big business, and Ive seen the effects that 
The post Candidate Profile Amy MacMahon for the Greens #qldvotes appeared first on Westender - West End 4101.
The announcement of the result of the same-sex marriage postal survey is now just days away. At 9am Queensland time on Wednesday morning (November 15), the Australian Bureau of Statistics will announce the result. Free-to-air channels ABC News and SBS have confirmed theyll broadcast the outcome live that morning. Regardless of the result, yes campaigners ...
The post Heres Where Marriage Equality Parties Are Being Held Next Wednesday appeared first on QNEWS.
I am again very grateful for Joe Branigans review of the previous week in the Queensland election. The views expressed in the guest post are Joes, and they should not necessarily be attributed to me. GT
Winner must target the fiscal balance, buy global and
avoid mega-projects Week 2 Queensland election highlights from Joe
There was Tim Nicholls hurtling down the Movie World rollercoaster at terminal velocity coincidentally a speed soon to be seen on the M1 thanks to the political battle being fought from Logan to the NSW border. And there was the One Nation candidate cornered by a junior Channel 7 reporter and his quest for a stunning scoop. But the image of the week was surely Pauline and the Battlers Bus broken down on the Bruce Highway barely out of Rocky.
Beneath the bluster and non-verbal communication stunts so vital to election campaigns in a place where life is long and concentration spans are short, there are a number of important policy issues that will affect whether or not the good times continue to roll on.
The first and most important is that we need to live within our means, and that means targeting the fiscal balance not the net operating balance. The difference between the two measures is that the fiscal balance includes net infrastructure investment but the net operating balance does not. It is a public finance accounting identity that if you have a fiscal deficit your debt is rising, even if you have a net operating surplus.
My colleague John Quiggin made this point last week*, although I think he overstated what that would mean for LNP spending policies, in part because he has assumed that the LNPs M1 duplication policy (and therefore its cost) is the same as Labors when it is not: LNPs $500 million 4-lane arterial versus Labors $2.5 billion 6-lane highway. Based on work Ive previously done for the Queensland Government (with my SMART Infrastructure Facility hat on), my Saturday night back of the envelope calculation for the LNPs M1 duplication (based on the SEQ Council of Mayors specifications) is [36.5 km * $14.7 million per km =] $536.6 million. However, the per km cost might be lower in the post mining boom economy, as the cost of engineering, design and construction services have fallen relative to the mining boom data set I used to produce a median cost of $14.7 million per km. Therefore, I dont think the $500 million LNP estimate is unreasonable.
In any case (back to Quiggins point), a man is innocent until proven guilty, so lets see what the LNP costings say (yes, released way too late).
Labor have convinced themselves that targeting a net operating surplus is ok and they have demonstrated that commitment by bequeathing to the LNP (if it wins government) what can only be described as a kale an...
The crippling effects of red tape on the economy are unfortunately not restricted to the NSW housing sector.
As chair of the Senate Select Committee on Red Tape, I have so far introduced three interim reports on the sale, supply and taxation of alcohol; the sale and use of tobacco and nicotine products; and environmental regulation, sometimes called green tape.
Unless you are a smoker or drinker, the first two might not be of interest. However, environmental over-regulation should be of vital concern to us all. The actual and opportunity cost runs into many hundreds of millions of dollars in lost or delayed investment. And that means a lot of employment opportunities for our fellow Australians.
The origin of the term red tape is generally attributed to the 16th century administrative system of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, which used red tape for priority documents that required immediate action.
Given that red tape has now come to mean pernicious, corrosive and difficult-to-eradicate regulation, it seems highly appropriate that Charles V is today more remembered for his army spreading syphilis across Europe and thence to the rest of the world.
Like its venereal legacy, the red tape legacy of Emperor Charles V continues to be spread through the incautious infatuations of his Australian political successors.
The Institute of Public Affairs calculates that red tape reduces Australias economic output by $176 billion each year, equivalent to 11 per cent of GDP. This cost is reflected in businesses that are never started, jobs never created, and the time lost adhering to bureaucratic requirements.
Throughout our inquiry, we heard again and again that environmental red tape has turned many project approval processes into a bureaucratic nightmare.
A prime example is the Roy Hill iron ore project in the Pilbara that required more than 4,000 licences, approvals and permits for its pre-construction phase, needlessly delaying the project and raising the cost. Likewise, the Carmichael coal mine in central Queensland spent seven years in the approvals process, fighting more than 10 legal challenges and requiring an Environmental Impact Statement running to 22,000 pages.
We have the means to eradicate some of this green tape scourge from our lives.
As we recommended, the Federal Government could bring forward its review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, avoid duplicating state laws and create a One Stop Shop something the Productivity Commission also supports.
It could start focusing on the risks associated with non-compliance with legal rules, rather than the legal rules themselves, a risk-based approach that the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority is a...
Star Trek star George Takei has strongly denied allegations he sexually assaulted a man in the 1980s. Scott R. Brunton alleged in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that the 80-year-old gay actor and activist took advantage of him in 1981. The alleged incident occurred in Hollywood when Brunton, aged 23, was working as a ...
The post George Takei Denies Allegations He Sexually Assaulted A Male Model appeared first on QNEWS.
In the Courier-Mail, Stephen Wardill responds to my observation that LNPs campaign promises dont add up, and must imply large unnannounced cuts to services, by suggesting that they may instead imply large unnannounced cuts in infrastructure, specifically the Cross-River rail tunnel project. There is a simple way to resolve this: the LNP could say where they plan to cut, and by how much. This idea doesnt seem to have occurred to Wardill however.
Its also easy to check that cutting the Cross-River project will go nowhere near filling the gap in the LNPs promises. The commitment in the last budget was $2 billion, and the total (assuming no Commonwealth funding) is about $5.4 billion over 7 years, with a target completion date of 2024. Scrapping the current budget allocation of $2 billion would barely be enough to pay for the reintroduced Royalties for Regions program, let alone the many other ideas that have been floated. And none of that goes anywhere near achieving the promise of a surplus on fiscal balance.
So, as Robert Menzies famously asked, Wheres the money coming from?
Wardill does make one fair point: the practice of providing costings at the last possible moment is not new and was done by Labor last time around. As with compulsory preferential voting, this is a piece of cleverness that has come back to bite them. Indeed, looking at this article on Labors costings release, the symmetry is amusing, and goes both ways.
From the LNP
At the last gasp, at almost the very last day of an election campaign they produce a three-page document that doesnt add up, Mr Nicholls said
And from Labor, a promise to this article on Labors costings release>cut government advertising expenditure, just as Nicholls is doing today. As I said in my previous post
As for government advertising, not only are the sums involved relatively modest, but this is a promise routinely made and broken by Opposition parties in just about every election. Nicholls may not like government advertising when Labor does it, but, in office, he was happy to spend $70 million on the Strong Choices asset sales campaign.
Ellen Page has accused film director Brett Ratner of homophobic and abusive behaviour In a lengthy Facebook post, Page said Ratner made the comments to her while working with him on the 2006 film X-Men: The Last Stand. I was eighteen years old, she wrote. He looked at a woman standing next to me, ten ...
The post Ellen Page Accuses Director Brett Ratner Of Homophobic Harassment appeared first on QNEWS.
Three in four voters back the Turnbull governments plan to drug test unemployed welfare recipients.
A Newspoll published in The Australian shows 73 per cent support the two-year trials targeting 5000 new jobseekers across three different locations, with 19 per cent against.Labor and the Greens remain flatly opposed, arguing the scheme will demonise jobless Australians, but a clear majority of voters for both parties are in favour of the proposal.
The government wants to roll out the drug testing pilot across three trial sites Mandurah in Western Australia, Logan in Queensland and Canterbury-Bankstown in NSW from January.
Anyone who tests positive would be shunted onto cashless welfare cards, while those who fail more than once would be referred to medical professionals for treatment.
Coalition voters were most in favour, at 89 per cent, followed by One Nation supporters (80 per cent), Labor voters (67 per cent) and Greens backers (50 per cent).
However, the federal government faces an uphill battle as the Senate prepares to debate its controversial plans.
The proposal, part of a broad package of reforms to the welfare system, cleared parliaments lower house in September.
With Labor and the Greens against the drug tests, the government must court support from the Senate crossbench.
Former senator Nick Xenophon, whose bloc of three votes in the upper house will be crucial, has given conditional support to the bill.The poll of 1623 voters was conducted on October 26-29.
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