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Government leads focus on industries for the future

19 February, 2014

The Australian government shares the disappointment of the Geelong community following Alcoa's decision to close its Point Henry Smelter and two rolling mills, according to Minister for Industry Ian Macfarlane.

It also understands this is a sad day for the more than 900 affected workers and their families. Macfarlane said while the announcement would be a blow for the local community, it is now more important than ever to progress the government's Economic Review of Victoria, which has been conducting hearings to identify future manufacturing and industry directions for the state, and get rid of cost business burdens like the carbon tax.

"The Australian government has been working with the Victorian government, local businesses, employees and industry groups through this review – hearing firsthand from a range of companies and organisations who are working in emerging, not traditional, business sectors. The draft report of this review panel is due to be considered next week," Macfarlane said.

"A major focus of this panel has been to assess the structural and industry changes needed to allow regional communities like Geelong to absorb the significant transformation underway in manufacturing and industry and to put these regions on the right footing to move into the industries of the future.

"Along with the separate economic panel reviewing manufacturing in South Australia, the submissions to this review process have been positive and show that there are significant strengths in Australian industry.

"In the wake of Alcoa's announcement, and the additional challenges it will present to the Victorian economy, it's now more important than ever that the government gets rid of the red tape, regulation and unnecessary cost burdens that are standing in the way of investor confidence to create new investment and new jobs.

"The government is moving ahead with our plans to get rid of the carbon tax and the mining tax in order to cut business costs. We are also proceeding with our plans to reinstate the Australian Building and Construction Commission.

"Alcoa raised the alarm about the cost of the carbon tax at its aluminium smelters back in 2011.  It has since been forced to wear a very significant carbon liability at its Point Henry smelter.

"It's regrettable that the $40 million spent by the former Labor government to 'help put them on a sustainable footing for the future' according to former minister Greg Combet in June 2012, has not been successful in helping the company beyond July 2014. But this highlights the need for governments to provide the right infrastructure and operating environment in which our companies can grow their competitiveness.

"This government will fight for Australian workers and Australian industry by working to slash costs, encourage new investment and position Australia to capitalise on the industries of the future.

"We will stand with the workers and community in Geelong as they work through this difficult time, not by offering cheap rhetoric and short-term handouts, but by encouraging investor confidence, the opportunity to re-skill and the environment to allow smaller companies to diversify into new and emerging sectors.

"I don't deny the challenge this presents for Geelong. This is not a regional issue; it is part of a global evolution of industry which is causing major changes in 'old world' industry sectors across the globe. But I will fight for this region as it evolves from a traditional industry base to jobs of the future."

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Former Auto Worker | Wednesday, February 19, 2014, 1:20 PM
So what are these 'New Industries'? Surely we should already know before we wipe out what we have? Why will Australia get these 'New industries' when other countries would offer better incentives? After all if the USA will contribute >500million to a $1.6 billion VW auto plant then I am sure they will want to attract these 'New Industries' as well!
Lou Furbadamo | Wednesday, February 19, 2014, 2:05 PM
Focus, Hocus Pocus, Focus?? Yet another one’s down! And another one’s gone! And another one bites the dust! When will we ever learn? What a totally useless, incompetent, Gov. Con Job we have? How can this country be so stupid to continue tolerating such lying rhetoric, humbo jumbo hype and anaesthetising, dream time crap, they’ve been future transition spinning for years, that never eventuates? As reported yesterday after the Alcoa closure announcement. A leading Geelong employment & jobs centre manager openly admitted that all their touted “new jobs just aren’t there” and the avalanche of actual new job applications, so overwhelmed, they were forced to disappointingly close their doors. He confirmed Gov. promises were all smoke and mirrors and most would be public relocation of existing work from Melbourne! Thereby not fixing the unemployment problem, but sharing the pain and disgust around! SA’s and J Badweatherdill’s Mitsubishi failure to generate new replacement industry and jobs after 6 years, is a clear minor example of the gross failure expected, on a grander, multi afflicted Geelong scale! “Incredible Doe Cockey” is laughably peddling a “Productive Infrastructure “ cure! When all along they’re allowing massive, highly strategic, high value adding, quasi irreplaceable, high employing, previously successful, truly productive going concern Aussie industries, to be decimated and scrap closed?? Seeing successive Gov waffle nonsense, panel assessments and talk fest have never mounted to anything tangible. Why haven’t the cavalcade of pathetic, devious governments and sham Industry “Iann MacDumbos” been more proactive and/or sounded the loudest of Alarm Bells to contain the rot, following successive, key industry failures? How can we be so “Paradigm Australis” Daft afflicted and conceited, as to not accept the dire, overwhelming reality of on going economic and manufacturing failures and persist with naively believing; “We’ll all be totally transitional successful and better off with their futuristic touted “ad-ventures”, when we’re proving systemically unsound, uncompetitive and miserably incapable with the current ones?? How can we continue to absurdly remain effectively disinterested in protecting our currently doomed, invaluable industries and thousands of current jobs? Given the gross destructive consequences and sham abdicating, incompetence legacy of being the only nation, ever to “hocus pocus, Focus”, spout loose an established, fully functioning Car Industry! Why wouldn’t they constructively try to avert or minimise the damage, without wishful, doomed transition and hype retraining deceit? Why has no key player logically concluded that the imminent, domino industry and employment destruction and loss of technical expertise and shrinking future opportunity is totally unacceptable and needs desperate aversion? Cause the clueless Budgie Destructacons Can’t? Why has the condemnation of our Iconic local Auto industry been so calmly, readily accepted as fait accompli? If it weren’t for devious spin, you’d never guess so many jobs and lively hoods depended on the drastic reversal of these retrograde corporate decisions and industry decline? Instead of tacit, resigned acceptance, why is No One actively trying nor even considered convincing, pressuring and if need be, benevolently blackmailing the rashly, mercenary fleeing, Foreign, Yankee and Jap based multi national Automotive, would be industrial prosperity bastardi? You would, if you really, really loved and wanted something? Right! Continued 2/2.
Lou Furbadamo | Wednesday, February 19, 2014, 2:07 PM
Continued 2/2: So, Why! Wouldn’t future legacy cursed and despised Aussie Car Destroyers and potentially voter punishable one term wonders, “ Budgie Boy & Co”. Now seek and embrace deliverance awakening and miraculous Jesuit, furbo visionary inspiration. To enthusiastically implement saving, long agitated and mentioned, glorious solving, blessed suggestions, such as immediately; 1. Stop job destroying, commissioned Global Betrayal and industry sell out. 2. Increase import barriers, quotas and tariff protection, initially back to 35%. Or are our traitors worried they’ll disadvantage and upset their lobbying, importer competitor mates? 3. Reinstate responsibly targeted, short term aid and subsidies to threatened industries, high employers & strategic manufacturers, to give them time to resurrect and competitively, profitably readjust. Whilst our multi tiered, over burdensome, high gouging, regulating and taxing governments dramatically rationalise and restructure to provide sustainable, long term competitive, local working environments? It’ll surely be much cheaper in the long run to keep Aussies subsidy employed, rather than gross hand outs to those ex- workers soon dependent and languishing in depressive long term unemployment, under employment, abandoned participation, gross disillusion and discontent! Right Gurus? 4. Introduce, generous buy Australian rebate incentives to boost local car sales to profitable, sustainable levels. Ie. Government Rebate of initially say $8,0000 to buyers and say $2,000 to auto companies (in lie of continuing grants). That’ll magically make locally made cars “better designed and vastly more preferentially attractive” to crucially boost local production line volumes, viability & competitive efficiencies!!! And surely prick the Auto companies’ ears to change future bottom line profit assessments and perspectives, to rationally reverse their strategic exiting decisions and reconsolidate and expand locally again? Belatedly recovering a 1,200,000 local car market’s future Budget Deficit alternative Import Shock! Is Worth a long shot Furbo Try, when coupled and compared to everything else we’re set to dopy loose? Because right now, the Auto industry debacle looks like a Three headed conspiracy to rampantly Shaft and Stooge us? 5. Commence longer term competent government and structural reforms to recover an internationally competitive operating environment and open-market viability! Simple enough! Even a non inquisitive, sell out prone, foreign and big business, crony prone, bland, Budgie Black Abbot and screeching “end of free entitlement”, shoulder hood Cockey parrot, could contemplate and be rear kicked forced to resistant implement!! Comprende Misogynist Amigos? Cheers! Desperately Desirous, Banananananananana Republic avoiding, Furbo!
Julie | Thursday, February 20, 2014, 10:30 AM
The previous government spent 40 million on Trying to keep Alcoa afloat. Everyone in the industry knew it was only a matter of time before they closed. The rising cost of employment in Australia is a problem. Our unions sit back and blame everyone else but maybe they need to look at what they do.Yes fifty years ago they may have done some good but now.....ummm not sure. Employees need to be responsible as well and have ethics which have long gone and also employers need to do same. Also the high cost of super which many employees think they pay but no they don't it is paid by the empployer and after Gillard increased that it is going to make it harder and harder for employers. Maybe they should say each put in half I know it is tough and most time we are flat out just trying to find money to pay normal household costs and we don't even have takeaway. Cost of Kids why should the Government be responsible for hand outs don't have children or may be limits of two should apply would people have so many children if they had to support them by themselves. We been told we have to work until 65 maybe by time I get there it will be 70 but how about all these people that have never worked I have paid taxes all my life to support a lot of lazy people I know there are genuines ones as well and I don't mind as long as people make effort. There are plenty of institutions crying our for volunteers yes they have to be screened or maybe National Serviced for those who can't find work it would give them self confidence and self esteem. And yes the big one why should politiicans get so much money and such big pensions and lurks they getted voted out yes isn't that basically a termination for maybe not such a good job. They should be able to pay their own way after what they have been paid. Ad as for these so called refugees that dress better than i do and look quite healthy and have more money saved than I do because they paid someone to get here - why should they be better off than our pensioners that have worked all their life and the workers of this country that there taxes are paying for them. Everything they get should be itemized and upfront and not hiddenfrom the general public. If it was there would be a lot more protests against them. Once any immigrant naturalized or not has committed a crime they should be sent back to their own country and their citizenship revoked which I actually thought was what suppose to happen but Australia is too nice. Yes we should welcome new people and and they should respect our laws and regulations and not bring their problems with them and not just resettle them in cities they should be made to spend at least 3 years in these small country areas where growth is needed and a lot of time you would probably find they wouldnot leave as they are great places.
Julie | Friday, February 21, 2014, 9:39 AM
Would also like to add these same people and unions that are complaining about jobs "What vehicles are they drving" and "Are they sticking to buying Australian Made" so in the end people can't whinge if they are not helping alleviate the problem. Think about our future our kids and grandkids buy Australian and stop the rot. Why should it be cheaper to get things from overseas (freight shipping costs etc) maybe we need to look at this I know employment costs are high her but surely the freight must outweigh these. Have you ever tried to send something outside your own state or even within.? The government also need to look at tariffs and look at these free trade agreements are we really benefitting.
Former Auto Worker | Friday, February 21, 2014, 10:53 AM
I had a manufacturing company in Australia. It wasn't viable and we now import products. Wage rates were not my major issue. I would like to support Australian made but I will not go broke doing it. (I am happy for my taxes to support local industries.) Other countries DO support manufacturing. As a director you are legally required to get the best return for your shareholders. In many cases this means go overseas. The government must have a strategy to encourage local manufacturing or more will move overseas. We also need to look at local freight. You can buy and import a small item from China for less than it will cost to freight that same item within Australia. You are right Julie. I would be happy with tariffs in a consistent government policy. I would love to be manufacturing in Australia again.
Lou Furbadamo | Saturday, February 22, 2014, 9:07 AM
Hello Julie! Mostly valid points, but you’ve thoroughly blamed every lesser issue, except the principle root cause of all your stated problems and upward cost pressures. As I’m regularly on about! That is, our exorbitantly expensive, mostly redundant, uniquely three tiered level of wasteful Aussie governments, that compound drive all the other cost pressures, inefficiencies, frustrations and over regulation etc. Yes, the Cost of Labour is a key issue, but It’s not the worker’s fault they’re playing cutch up to support families and pay all their other badly gouged bills & charges! Just see if any of our competitors pay the same shockingly prohibitive prices for say, electricity, water, gas, beer, licences, council rates, stamp duties and insurances, that we do? You admit yourself, workers get far less pay and benefits, than trend setting, overpriced snorting pollies and for mostly failure policy and mismanagement! So! Why can’t our closed mentality “Paradigm Deniers”, see that and attach the real blame where overwhelmingly due, for wishful fixing? Because until we drastically, constitutionally resolve the excess burden of political over representation and excessive, systemic bureaucratic waste. Industries and jobs will continue failing and going off shore to places where they do have viable working environments and future. Regardless, your primary argument is clearly illogical, if you simply believe it’s “The rising cost of employment in Australia” that’s the problem and that as a consequence “Everyone in the industry knew it was only a matter of time before Alcoa closed”? Then how can you possibly support a seemingly merciless, inactive, Liberal condemning solution, that apathetically forces Alcoa to close, with the loss of 800 jobs. Adding to the already, extra thousands looming unemployed, in Detroit prone Geelong? For which we taxpayer bunnies, will pay the massively unaffordable, running out of money, additional social welfare and assistance Billions Bill? What are most of these discarded workers going to be doing, other than pathetically mope around on the dole, do drugs and develop psychosis? It’s simply needless Liberal social destruction and one term wonder, dream world mentality, that defies belief! Unless of course my favourite GST grasping “Righties” plan to, as per our competitor countries, severely limit or do away with unemployment benefits all together? Which personally has merit in re-aligning and better balancing the modern employer - worker perspective! Shades of olden times whip Master and Serf to jokingly stir the possibility pot? But straighten out the public and worker sapping, privilege swilling pollies and bureaucrats first! Surely the best industry strategy now, is to discard Labor’s nonsense “Fixes” and implement a proper Liberal set of workable, sustainable strategies, checks and balances. Including strict short term loans & conditional grant aid, to make Alcoa and other threatened Aussie jobs viable again! Fixing industrial relations and the economy post failures, won’t be much use to gone Alcoa, GMH and failed others! Otherwise, what is it about Oz now, that just can’t make a go of competitive manufacturing? Do we suddenly have some industrial infectious disease, that forces us to pandemic avoid and seek “special, protected niche, shelters”. And prevents us from successfully competing and mixing it with the international rest and best? I hope not. So let’s look at properly reviving our problem industries to international best practice and demand, long overdue “level playing field fair go”! Only then blame and punish jettison the few rotten, bad apple, local manufacturers! Ultimately, how can any decent, non heartless paradigm society, now dismissively sit back and casually watch all these looming fellow jobs and livelihoods go? Shaking in Disgust, Incredulous Furbo!
Barry | Monday, February 24, 2014, 5:34 PM
Blah, blah, blah, the elephant in the room that nobody mentions is demography. The reality is that every nation in the developed world has been on an anti natal binge for nearly fifty years. If countries insist on reducing their birth rate to below replacement rate for nearly half a century they get where we are now; with an ageing population a shrinking productive consumer base and diverting increasing amounts of national wealth into aged care. To cover it all they float bonds repayable in a few decades, long after the current politicians have retired and somebody else gets the blame. This all began with the swinging sixties, the arrival of the pill and the idea of copulation without conception. It's interesting that the greens so focused on 'nature' dont see the contradiction in their anti natal obsession. The entire Western world is in the same predicament, so its no surprise we are all facing similar problems. If societies insist on culling the next generations of consumers they should not be surprised that consumption, production and the wealth effect begins drying up. Interestingly our manufacturers and primary producers are increasingly relying on high birth rate Islamic countries to provide demand. I've also read cashed up Islamic oil producing nations are showing increased interest in productive Australia real estate. What goes around comes around.
Lou Furbadamo | Tuesday, February 25, 2014, 10:53 AM
Hello! "Blah, blah, blah, elephant totally far out of the room and ball park to mention", Barry! Yes, ideological “demographics” can have economic impacts, but are of low relative merit and concern here. Most western countries suffer the same, non traditional family malady. But most are on the economic improve, even without our massive mining boom propping assets. Because they've started to get their economic act together, freed up and improved their competitive productivity and efficiencies. Unlike wasteful, sustainable Boom, Boom, Boom Head, Australia. In fact China’s Economy has properly boomed, with it’s forced rapid de-population. Further, the US is now finding that over 20% of the industry that failure ventured offshore is re-patriating back to it’s questionable democrat demographics and looming basket case Osama upheavals. But no one's come back here to our Tony’s mentor Johnny Wayward, or most disastrous Juliar’s, Dudd’s Or Budgie Boy’s, now grossly uncompetitive failure zone, Oz? They still keep leaving and we’ve now more than plenty, unemployed, young and older, able bodied Australians desperately looking for work! So defensive Aussie Paradigm awaken yourself and stop diversionary excuses for our inevitably failing, uncompetitive system of over representing, mostly crony, global sell-out and Craighy Boy Slippery Plastic Credit Card, actually Non Representing, self centred, blatant inefficiencies and fattest, over sapping Pollie snorters and Gov Waste. That are clearly filling, impossibly overcrowding and burgeoning your said room, such that they can’t even manage the basics straight, never mind let your much smaller, anti natal elephant anywhere near! So you're shot theory is not worth wasting further credence time over. Suffice to say, if you think continued overpopulation is the answer to our worsening economic woes, Go away! and consider moving to Africa, South America or Bangladesh? Where they still do a lot of lasting, non birth controlled, heavy bonking pro creation! Presumably more to your, “non-shrinking productive consumer base”, natal liking. Cheers, Have another gook, long look and reassessment and stop wasting time fondling around the edges! Disparaging Furbo!
Hedley | Tuesday, February 25, 2014, 6:45 PM
Well Lou, you have stirred me up again. Sifting thru what you have to say, on our favorite subject, I am in agreement with most of what you present. That said, my fifty years in the industry is still learning just what has been going on behind the scenes. The Button Plan was the start. In hindsight it sure stirred up the Repco group of manufacturing companies from inception of what might have become a change for the better. But try as we did, that Company died as a manufacturer. What might have been? Well, the Button Plan could have been modified to take account of the numerous changes that impacted on the Australian market as time went on into the nineties. But the changes were neither recognized by Government nor acted on to fine tune a plan that lead to failure. Does the blame rest with government that failed to understand or have we exposed a method of Government that has been exposed by a "better" centrally managed government system? (China) I would like to see our system of government come to some plan that led us towards something better than a "new economy". (Note that they have yet to explain what the new economy will be and act as though we business people have totally missed it),I am left with the belief that our politicians just lack business experience and are fools.
Former Auto Worker | Wednesday, February 26, 2014, 10:03 AM
Well said Hedley. I only have 30 years in industry (so still learning). I think the word "Plan" is definitely missing from politicians' dialogue and business experience is also lacking. However I think leaders of manufacturing industry must also take some blame as they have not done enough to promote manufacturing and also make sure our politicians are educated. Some of my best mentors learned their trade at the old Repco (during Phil Irving's day). Where would you get that (still relevant) experience now?
Lou Furbadamo | Wednesday, February 26, 2014, 12:11 PM
Hello again Hedley and former Auto Worker! Congratulations on your Good points! Welcome to the awakened and enlightened "furbo" fold? From this point you’ll hopefully, continue seeing the really objective, competitively efficient, improvement answers, for this country to get out of it’s worsening economic & employment mess. During my time in the industry, apart from mostly internationally best practice, automated design engineering, justifying, installing and commissioning expensive tooling and equipment expansions. I had much to do with product costing and “competitor cost estimate synthesising,” to establish where we “relative cost” disturbingly stood. And it was consistently a worsening, sad, dynamic situation that would inevitably lead to today’s sinking quagmire. So the best thing, the exiting car companies could’ve aversion done for us earlier, apart from staying on and proactively championing improvement and change. Was to release detailed, indented costing of their Australian and equivalent foreign manufactured vehicles for dire, shameful comparison. That way we’d zero in on the problem differences, without requiring too much nous and avoid most of the wasteful, waffle beating around the bush Government, academic and commentator diversionary failure nonsense, that’s already grossly, expensively occurred . But, off course they don’t for commercial reasons. Regardless, I’ve never needed that, because I was pretty good at synthesising it from basics, to back up justifications in capital approval requests. Hence my perennial concerns and numerous belated improvement recommendations and suggestions here. It’s simple! Australia’s generally, basically sound, technically advanced, work ethic conscious and otherwise viable globally competitive industries are overly costs pressured, handicapped and ultimately condemned from the Top Snorters, down! So there’s no point fussing around and squabbling at the edges and bottom, without brutally dealing with the glutenous, stale, self protecting and wasteful Government and Bureaucratic privileged Top. That are consistently, still rewarding themselves with the obscene, clearly un merited, out of the ball park, highest, wages and condition hikes ever! Way above that of most of our competitors! Our glaringly mostly redundant, triplicating, three tiered public system. may inefficiently overly tax, recycle and squander national wealth to fund itself. But it doesn’t generate it! It’s ultimately a sapping cost, as the truly economic astute appreciate. So, lets properly zero in on the root cause, then stop being cynical and objectively work on improvements to secure industry future recovery and national prosperity! It’s a vital debate we should’ve stood up for, addressed and satisfactorily resolved over twenty years ago, before their destructive Mongrel Button Plan and Global Betraying had had too much of a disastrous effect on us! But it’s proving too “impossibly simple” to convince and dopy work here though! Cheers, Titanium Hardened, Aged Cynic & Critic, Furbo!
Former Auto Worker | Wednesday, February 26, 2014, 12:38 PM
You are quite right Furbo. It is not in the Auto manufacturers' overall interests to pressure the government particularly when it is easier for them to import cars. But when I look at the results of cigarette co's and casino operators' lobbying I just wish there were similar lobbyists for manufacturing.
Barry | Wednesday, February 26, 2014, 4:31 PM
Ignoring the barely concealed ridicule of my contribution by my verbose critics, may I suggest those interested google Mondregon and Nucor. Mondregon is a highly successful industrial complex in the Basque region of Spain. It's wide variety of industries ranging from domestic appliances to aircraft parts are based on the co operative principle and since its inception in the 30's have all prospered through the boom and bust periods of our monopoly consumer system. They may also like to google Nucor, which is a electric power generation company based in the heart of capitalist America. It also operates along basic co operative principles and has also prospered throughout boom and bust periods without resorting to mass layoffs and financial crisis. If capital is prepared to appreciate that human labour is more than just another cost component and treat people like people good things happen. If people are treated as just another component in the cost equation then expect them to respond accordingly. Back in the late sixties I worked on the construction of the Newman line in the Pilbara. The employer was a large international American construction giant and acted accordingly. People were just a part of the process. However there was an incentive to get the job finished early. Despite the major contractor and its mostly American supervisors treating the workforce as just an extension of the machine the job went without a hitch and finished ahead of time and below budget. The reason was that it had an economic incentive to get the job done. We all went home happy with a sizeable bonus added to our final pay. Some time later I worked for the same firm and with some of the earlier supervisors on the construction of the Tullamarine jetport. It had no incentives for labour and the job was a shambles riven with problems and stoppages. Treat people as people and they will respond; treat them as just there to serve th system and they will react accordingly. Two thousand years ago a notable historical figure said, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." It was good advice then and it's still so today.
Former Auto Worker | Wednesday, February 26, 2014, 5:30 PM
Not to ridicule you at all Barry. I had a read about the companies that you mentioned. They are excellent examples of how well managed companies appreciate human capital. (Another example is Semco - refer Maverick a book written by their change agent.) Of course they are not perfect. Fagor, a division of Mondregon declared bankruptcy a year or so ago. I agree with you that this management style can be very successful. I think the point being made here is that even if you have a perfect management/employee structure you would be better off establishing your business somewhere else. Australia's costs and lack of incentives means that you will generate better shareholder return if you establish your business in another country. Encourage manufacturing AND better management in Australia. I would be all for it!
Lou Furbadamo | Wednesday, February 26, 2014, 11:35 PM
Hello Again touchy, touchy “Golden Rule” Mount. preacher, Barry! I’m only replying to “help” you! So, please don’t confuse my mild constructive criticism, as “barley concealed ridicule”. It was only my earlier, milder, gentler way of saying “you’re wrong”. Because I wasn’t sure if you were a little emotionally confused or a real ding-a ling hypocrite. The bouncing around of your arguments and the mood of your second contribution, sadly suggests the latter? Because, what does your inferred, “ reduced unprotected sex and subsequent decrease in natal (birth) rates”, have to do with your follow up fair treatment of factory workers, in some relatively obscure, but happy, pasodoble enclave in gaily pebbled maracas Spain? Or Jesus’s popular sermon on the mount 2,000 years ago? Or more to the point; This article’s Government future Hocus, Pocus, Focus on industry subject matter?? You complain about shabby treatment! Yet, more incredibly, you quote the biblically decent Golden Rule “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”! Immediately after you’ve unfairly insulted “verbose” me? Fair go! Had you wisely read the almost equally famous, but motivationally more practical and appropriate; Dale Carnegie’s 1936 famous self help book on properly treating and dealing with people. You’d have realised that absurdly starting your offensive comments with deriding or dismissive remarks like “Blah, blah, blah” and following up with a description of “verbose critics”, was not wise and definitely No Way, To classically “Win Friends and Influence People”, Amigo? Especially, when I’m almost thanklessly trying hard, to belatedly inform and enlighten, with pages of experienced, factual contribution and arguments. Which you could’ve possibly, nasty troll fetish, contradicted and criticised, if some how wrong! You’ve raised no contradicting argument, nor sensibly retracted. But in laughable spat retaliation, all you’ve done is “Blah, Blah, Blah rubbish my dominating style and mostly shoot yourself in your hypocrite foot? An absolutely useless approach to this vital debate, which currently dispassionately impacts on tens of thousands of unfortunate, unemployed Australians. 842,500 desperately depressed doled Aussies to be exact! That we currently can’t find jobs for and contrary to your dismissible population shortage concerns! We’ve effectively over-bred?? Regardless, despite your lack of respect for the critical facts. I’m sure glad we're not paying this billions dollars bill direct, but those “money effluent, farming handouts, budget bankrupting, Raise the credit Limit! Raise the credit Limit! Budgie Boys,” are! God Bless their frittering, “mate Barry protected”, little snorting hearts! So my suggestion to you is; Get your facts straight, attack our clueless, overburdening, wasteful Governments, always practice what you preach and above all, keep your kickable butt low, when you don’t really appreciate the issues and are vulnerably, only capable of firing a few measly, “pop, pop dud blanks”! Cheers, Ever Friendly and Factually Caring, Furbo!
Barry | Thursday, February 27, 2014, 5:06 PM
Thanks former Auto Worker for actually doing your own research and your response. I'll be interested to look at the book you suggest. I couldn't agree more about companies probably establishing themselves elsewhere because of Australia's costs and lack of incentives. I think IGA grocery chain is based approximately along a owners co operative style of management and is a major reason we shop there whenever possible and avoid as much as possible giving custom to its monopolistic capitalist conglomerate opposition. There are a few other co operative style businesses in Australia which appear to be able to compete well in the market place. CBH is a $1bn farmers co op' and Elders another. If you google Australian co operatives you will get a long list of multi million $ co ops operating here in Australia. Perhaps my critic Lou might even like to google same. Lou doesn't seem to be able to make the connection that if a society insists on reduceing its birth rate to below replacement rate (which is the case since the sixties)it will eventually get progressively older and old people tend not to spend money -- and thus the more old folks the less economic activity and increased pension costs. Governments have been hiding this reality by printing money and kicking future debt obligations down the road in the form of interest bearing bonds for future generations to pick up the tab. That worked in the aftermath of WW2 because the high post war birth rate spread the debt over more people; more people who created more activity and wealth. Our ageing population is changing all that and our shrinking youth component are facing increasingly unpayable debts. China's mad one child policy is having the same effect there. It's current demand for our minerals is based upon catching up with the rest of the world after the dreadful Mao years. However once the infrastructure is built the ongoing demand will decrease and our reliance upon them will become increasingly shaky. Already they are easing demand and or getting their raw materials from other sources such as Latin America. The entire Western world has been on the same anti natal post sixties binge and is facing similar problems everywhere. The exception is America which is maintaining population stability mainly because of its growing Latino population. Places like Italy, Germany, France and all of Europe are all sufering demographic challenges that could severely affect their future and even their demographic composition. What goes around comes around.
Lou Furbadamo | Friday, February 28, 2014, 3:40 PM
Hello again, Barry! I’m familiar with your sustainable population argument, and I dismissed it as a major issue here the first time! Repeating it five times or making accusation won’t change my opinion. Similarly, “no brainer” trivial are these worker friendly companies. Any good manager knows that the better you look after your employees the greater the performance and loyalty. Again it’s not the principle answer hear, because I loved working for an initially successful, innovative, computer savvy, 120 year old, Iconic, predominantly family owned company, for nearly 18 years. It had the best team and cultural focus, training, occupational health and safety, pay, conditions and industrial relations record around. Yet it too became an unviable takeover target, was eventually split in two and both halves were fully relocated offshore, in China and Thailand. And both are still productive in their starker, less friendly foreign environments. And the operators are still working for relative peanuts! So it seems, there’s no dissuading some Barrys? Especially those, who for starters, believe China and Germany are on the wrong economic track, compared to the deficit riddled, quasi bankrupt rest? You obviously don’t know who the international pawn brokers are and must operate in an inverse parallel world? Cause , I’d have thought my previous assessment and suggestion that; “If you think continued overpopulation is the best answer to our worsening economic woes, …. consider moving to Africa, South America or Bangladesh? Where they still do a lot of ...procreation. To your, “non-shrinking productive consumer base”, natal liking”. Clearly showed that I’d well considered the “connection”, dismissed it and made recommendations! But, if those destinations are not to your liking. Consider the economic, luring over populating appeal of Mexico, where they’re all abandoning, to your favourite basket case, laughably quantitative easing, 13 Trillion dollar Debt Exemplary, USA? Or perhaps the overpopulated India, favourite uncle loving, North Korea or overpopulated Philippines, Bali Belly Indonesia, or in impoverished, non dole paying South East Asia?? Sadly, while you’re vaguely contemplating papal blessed, re-populating solutions, to boost longer term demand. The Australian economy and our big employers such as GMH, Ford, Toyota, SPC, Alcoa and now Qantas are currently, irrecoverably dishevelling and disintegrating on the unlevel tarmac, thanks to our clueless Pollie Leaders! Symptomatically, we’re obviously getting the Budgie numb nut leaders, dreamers deserve? Even if you could fast track all this boosted breeding, they’d probably still be “useless”? Cause they’d be typically selfish prone and fly cheaper Tiger or Virgin and buy foreign Asian or European cars? And we’d have an even bigger unemployment benefits payout mess, as we reach the magic ONE MILLION Unemployed Aussies, Sooner! Right? Finally, remember the other golden rule; QUALITY always beats quantity! So Cheers, Banana Republic Teasing, Furbo!
Barry | Friday, February 28, 2014, 8:15 PM
Dear Furbo, thanks for your erudite objective analysis of my contribution. In the world of finance and economics things dont respond immediately to fundamental influences such as that of demographic change. The problems our gov'ts are grappling with today had their genesis back in the post sixties and seventies and it is now that we are experiencing their effects. The euphoria of the post war baby boom gave us the youth culture of the 60's. All those soldiers returning from war in the mid 40's and reconnecting with their sweethearts and wives gave us a highbirth rate then and the youth culture of the 60's. Shortly after we got the invention of the pill, Carnaby Street, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin and the world of the sexual revolution. The pill introduced the principle of copulation without procreation and coincided ideally with the zeitgist, 'the spirit of the age'. It wssn't long before that was followed by the legalisation of abortion to take care of 'mistakes' and as a result today we abort about 90,000 babies per year in Australia, and in the US its about a million. Like so many ideas that are promoted as an advance at the time the long term consequences become very much otherwise. Thus decades later we are now suffering the reality of demographic decline and massive mounting future unpayable debts from the idiocy of quantative easing, and trillion dollar unpayable debts for future generations. Future generations which will be smaller and older. You are quite welcome to criticise my analysis and I am at a disadvantage because as I point out gov'ts are doing all they can to hide the reality by printing money and pushing repayment out for future repayment; long after they have retired on their indexed pensions. It reminds me of the definition by since deceased political commentator Norman Podhorotz who said a 'neo conservative is a liberal whose been mugged by reality.' I have a suspicion that after this looming crisis has had its effect there will be a lot of neoconservatives about, trying to understand what went wrong. Like so many today you resort to the implication that a lot of today's troubles lies with so called overpopulation. I know it is most politically incorrect to say so but the world is not overpopulated. Whereever you look at problems of poverty it becomes obvious the real causes are things such as fractured political systems, tribal antagonisms, religious extremism such as the re emerging threat of a re invigorated Islam, lack of coordinated infrastructure and a host of similar problems; but its not the green furphy of overpopulation. I've done calculations that the entire world population of about 8 billion could be accomodated at a Melbourne or Sydney standard of housing density and the entire world population would fit into a little more than the 7.8 million sq K's of Australia. Its an unrealistic proposition but the purpose of the exercise is to point out there would not be another person anywhere else on the planet. Every other land mass would be empty. The world is not overpopulated. Where ever there is suffering and problems it always comes down to man's inhumanity to man with tribal and or ethnic antagonisms or primitive economic and land tenure systems that provide no incentive to people to work productively. The world is not overpopulated. It is political, economic, social or religious antagonisms that lie behind most of the examples of suffering we see on our TV's. It's interesting that today the gov't has announced incentives to encourage an increase in our birth rate. Our decision makers are beginningto realise that demography is indeed destiny and without a healthy birthrate and demographic balance we are doomed to stagnation and a land of retirees.
Barry | Friday, February 28, 2014, 11:01 PM
Dear Furbo, try to remember the context of our conversation in another few years time. These things take time to play out. The developed world is sitting on a demographic time bomb which will eventually have its natural outcome. Overpopulation is a nonsense. The real problem is man's inhumanity to man and lack of concern for other people's welfare. I've calculated that the world's population of a bit more than 8 bn could be housed at a typical Australian urban density and take up only a little more space than the 7.8 bn sq k's of Australia. It's not a practical arrangement but makes the point that there would not be another person anywhere else on the planet. Every other piece of land mass would be empty. The world is not overpopulated. Every instance of suffering and privation around the world is due to social, political, racial or economic injustice. We'll never get a perfect world but a little more tolerance and co operation would help a great deal to advance people's living standards. I think I've already suggested you google Mondregon to see how co operation between capital and labour can be very beneficial to both. Incidentally Mondregon has a healthy birth rate. To put the record straight I'm no fan of unrestrained monopoly consumer capitalism, but enable people to participate in a free enterprise environment with a strong streak of mutuality and good things happen.