Graham Matthews

We’ve heard it all before — especially those of us who can remember the rhetoric of the Hawke and Keating governments. A little pain now and everything will be much better for everyone in the long run.
On July 21, Access Economics released its forecasts for the Australian economy. It predicted Australia was through the worst of the recession.
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On June 10, the federal government’s new occupational health and safety (OH&S) peak body — the Safe Work Australia Council (SWAC) — held its first meeting. Workers in Australia took one more step towards eroded and unsafe working conditions.
Australian cities are growing in population and in geographic spread. Urban sprawl, encouraged by governments at all levels, is pushing suburbia in all directions.
On June 15, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) raised the rate of its standard variable mortgage by 0.1%. For home buyers with the typical $300,000 mortgage, this means repayments go up by $18 a month.
The Business Council of Australia (BCA) — representing Australia’s largest 100 corporations — has called for a higher consumption tax and for the company tax to be halved. It did so in a submission to the federal government’s review of taxation (the Henry review) made public on June 14
On June 3, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released its estimates of the national accounts for Australia for the January-March quarter. Following on from a small overall drop in gross domestic product (GDP) of 0.6% for the December quarter, a fall in the March quarter would mean that Australia had entered a “technical” recession.
On May 29, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd told radio 3AW that his government has “absolutely no plans to make any change” to the superannuation preservation age — the age at which workers may access the superannuation paid into a super fund by their employer.
Opinion polls in both the Fairfax and Murdoch dailies on May 18-19 show voter support for PM Kevin Rudd has fallen. Rudd, who scored a 74% approval rating in the Fairfax Nielsen poll on March 30, dropped 10 points in the May 18 poll, down to 64%.

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