Thursday, May 20, 2010

Australian Dollar in Shock Freefall



The Australian dollar has fallen sharply on foreign exchange markets, shocking local analysts and banks that until recent days had been predicting the currency would hit par with the U.S. dollar.
Trading at around .93 cents to the U.S. dollar just weeks ago, the Australian currency has fallen more than 10% to levels of around .81 cents. The Aussie has fallen several cents just this week.

The currency has been in freefall since the Government announced a 40% super tax on the country's resources companies. The mining industry is the largest in Australia.

In late afternoon New York trading Thursday, the Australian dollar was quoted at .8325, well above earlier lows of below .8200.

Aussie MPs Revolt Over Climate Change Laws

Australian politics is in turmoil because MPs and senators are refusing to back action on global warming - on the eve of the Copenhagen Climate Change summit.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd regularly says his hot, dry country would be among the first, and the worst affected, by rising temperatures.But he is meeting fierce opposition in the Federal Parliament. At least he will keep his job - the leader of Australia's opposition is unlikely to survive the row.
Liberal party leader Malcolm Turnbull has backed proposed legislation, which punishes polluters and rewards those who clean up their industries.
But he has failed to convince half of his party - who are in open rebellion - and already survived one attempt to oust him as leader.

A group of party heavyweights, including Tony Abbott, have now resigned their front bench jobs in protest at Mr Turnbull's support for the policy.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Hockey would target green car scheme to tighten belt

SLICING another $270 million out of the green car innovation fund will be one of several savings to be outlined by the opposition's treasury spokesman, Joe Hockey, today as the Coalition seeks to prove its credentials as a conservative manager of the economy.

As well as the savings measures, Mr Hockey will announce a ''top to bottom'' review of Australia's competition and consumer protection laws, including the Trade Practices Act, and unveil a detailed ''manifesto'' of the Coalition's values.

But his speech will contain some of the specific policy usually announced in an Opposition Leader's budget address in reply, after Tony Abbott chose to use his budget speech to attack the government's resource super profits tax and Labor's ''reckless spending''.

The $270 million cut to the green car fund comes on top of $200 million taken out of the scheme by the Rudd government in the budget and would leave $590 million over nine years in a fund that originally promised car makers more than $1 billion.

The cuts to the car scheme come on top of reductions in the Coalition's own promised 15,000-strong ''green army''.

It was going to cost $750 million a year, but Mr Abbott confirmed yesterday it would now be built up ''more slowly''. He said this was because a faster build-up could endanger the green army troops - who will fight invasive weeds, feral animals and erosion - in the same way as insulation installers were endangered by the Rudd government's pink batts scheme.

Monday, May 10, 2010


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