April 16, 2014 | Jason Hall

Some budget thoughts from a Tassie Tradie

As a Tasmanian who has endured a destroyed budget in recent years, it frustrates me no end to see the same issues played out nationally, and be completely missed by the media.

99% of media focus on gov’t spending / taxation – nothing about how our economy grows and contracts.

In other words all focus is on how to cut up the pie, nothing on what size it can be. Government of course has a lot of control over this.

We can, to give some examples – lower interest rates and the dollar, assist international marketing of our products, allow sensible development on public land, allow coastal development ( in Tas we don’t ).

We also now days expect a developer to pay in full up front for all environmental / social impact studies, with no input from the beneficiaries the public.

Another huge impost on the economy is workplace safety / injury law. If some idiot walks off the edge of something it is invariably someone elses fault, we are at the point now where ladders are banned on many work sites.

I believe this dumbing down of the workforce benefits no-one but the lawyers/insurers – it will change one day because we simply cannot afford it.

I think we should be starting the conversation now.

To tax the remaining businesses and workers into oblivion will only worsen our economic situation, the solution is surely to actually start supporting business to grow the economy for the benefit of all.

The simpleton tax centric commentary by the media completely misses the real issues in my view.

Jason Hall is a tradie in Tasmania, and this is his first contribution to Ambit Gambit.

Posted by Jason Hall at 8:03 am | Comments (8) |
Filed under: Economics


  1. Jason, this is your first article for OLO, and simply not the best thought out I’ve read.
    When ideology replaces rational thinking and logic, this is the sort of simplistic rubbish we can expect?
    Full to the gunwales with supposition and blame shifting?
    Hopefully, one day not too far ahead in time you’ll be the village idiot that steps off something and winds up in the wheelchair?
    Something no reasonable person could have actually seen in the poorly lit place, and just as the natural light is fading, but the artificial light is yet to replace it, the very worst time to step off something patently unseen.
    And somebody with just a modicum of intelligence has saved the stupid from themselves, by limiting coastal development.
    Nothing prevents the population from using it as common land, parks, camping spots and recreation sites, and the east coast has plenty of high spots, not to far away from the best beaches!
    And building there, the best of both world’s!
    Who loses when global warming finally inundates coastal plains with melt water?
    Not the too clever by half investor developer/real-estate spruiker, spending other poeples money, but rather, the poor dumb trusting mugs out there in mugsville, who earn all their own money by their own endeavor/sweat of their brow!
    I believe in simple solutions, because there is the least to go wrong!
    But never ever simplistic thinking, which is never ever the same thing Jason.
    As for growing the pie, and making everyone better off?
    Well maybe if the ideologues on both sides cleaned out the earwax, listened to the people, and ditched the endlessly repeated monosyllabic moronic mantras, and replaced all stupid, nonsensical, I’m the king of the castle, extremely juvenile political infighting and endless time wasting, with some rational bipartisan pragmatism,[a la Le Kwan Yu,] we might just be able to grow the economic pie. And not just for Tassie!
    I have, over many years Jason, employed staff of my own, and can tell you mate, that good staff are the very life blood of any successful enterprise, rather than the scapegoat of short cutting thoughtless employers, too tired and or, too short fused, to get up off their own ass and shift/stow a ladder/tool?!
    And of course you have to do their thinking for them mate, that’s the job description of every employer!
    Welcome to OLO and robust debate Jason.
    Don’t ever make the mistake of thinking its all about you or in any way personal!
    Of course you don’t leave ladders propped up around building sites.
    Some poor bastard may walk under one, and have something drop on his bonce, like a wheelbarrow full of bricks!?
    I mean, surely you heard of why Murphy couldn’t come to work today or Murphy’s law?
    Take the time to get to know your workers, don’t be afraid to show up at the birth of an employee’s baby, with a bunch of flowers for mum, and a big Havana for the Dad.
    I promise you, you will never ever regret it!
    And try asking blokes to please shift things, put them away when they’ve finished using them, rather than trying to behave like a junk yard dog, demanding people jump or routinely outwork you.
    I don’t know you Jason, but the tone of your article and the blame shifting alerts me to a character, who is just too ready to blame others?
    After all, common civility costs nothing, and your workers will respond with a good deal more alacrity, and bust a gut for a well liked and respected employer!
    As someone who leads men, you must set the example and the pace, before you demand it of others!
    And if you’re ahead of schedule, don’t be afraid to lay on a Friday night sausage sizzle and a few beers, just to say thank you or show appreciation for a job well done!
    Believe me, you really do have to spend a sprat to catch a mackerel, and it’ll pay of in the long run, or when things get tight and the load needs to be better shared by your extended family, which is what a harmonious workplace is or really ought to be!
    The very basis of all wealth is water rather than land per se.
    I mean, if you could just add water to the Sahara i.e., you’d make virtual trillions!
    Tiny Tassie’s has plenty of water, and in huge surplus above that needed as environmental flows.
    Developing the midlands as an irrigated mainland food-bowl, will create endlessly sustainable prosperity and work.
    Getting the lunatic fringe/very big frogs in tiny puddles, out of the forests and back in the asylum where they belong, as clients, not administrators, will allow endlessly sustainable selective logging to prosper Tassie once again.
    Rapid rail coupled to a fast ferry service, will enable fresh produce to reach Melbourne markets/consumers, while it’s still fit to be eaten/consumed, and help Tassie to grow in a much more sustainable way.
    There’s absolutely nothing wrong with going into more debt, for income earning infrastructure!
    Every competent businessman, knows that the best way out of trouble or debt, is trade and or increased commerce, and far better use of resources. But never ever by increasing the margins, which simply forces your clientele to seek better managed businesses!
    Nor is it austerity, which just shrinks the base, and from which many economies rarely recover, i.e., Japan, once the second largest economy in the world, and just too dependent on exports and a bricks and mortar mindset/hugely over valued/over leveraged real estate!
    Rather than growing a growing middle class, which would have been the economic bulwark needed, during any and all cyclic downturns! N.B Mr Abbot!
    Shrink the middle class and their reliable discretionary spending, [in real adjusted for inflation terms,] at your economic peril!
    We here in this land are yet to try self terminating thirty year bonds?
    And that’s is part of the problem for ideologues, who’s permanently blinkered eyes. can’t separate foreign capital, from foreign control, and lots of forelock tugging!
    One of the many problems for Tassie, is the brain drain, that invariably leaves Tassie, leaving the would be if they could be developers, without a viable growing market or out of pocket?
    And why would anyone want to develop the coastal plains, when all the smart money is seeking a tree change?
    And the very obvious inherent pun was intended.
    You have a very nice day now Jason, y’hear!
    Alan B. Goulding.

    Comment by Alan B. Goulding — April 16, 2014 @ 12:09 pm

  2. Jason, great post. Clear, simple. You are right, the commentary is dominated by focus on the wrong things. The taker class dividing the spoils from a shattered maker class.

    The incoherent ramble above is hard to figure out, but I think its an attempt to replicate the logic that made the Tasmanian economy what it is today.

    Comment by Chris — April 16, 2014 @ 12:30 pm

  3. You think What Chris?
    Well a round earth essay would be incoherent to a flat earther, would it not?
    And therefore hardly surprising my post went straight over the top of your head.
    Typical of a much younger generation, that tweet, are defeated or bored out of their brain by articles longer than around six sentences, and need links that do their research and or critical thinking for them?
    As someone who worked hard and earned all my own money, doing some of the most dangerous jobs on earth, I take extreme umbrage to your prejudged taker comments!
    And your and or Jason’s evaluation is just not that simple!
    And I add, if your intellectual acumen lets you see my post as part of the reason Tiny Tassie’s in its current trouble, then you and your extremely limited ability to comprehend plain English and or, dismiss with a right royal wave, good well intended advice, is the real reason tiny tassie is in such dire straights?
    Factually and historically, Tassie has been going backwards since well before Robin Grey was PM. And or since, Britain joined the common market!
    And in so doing, virtually destroyed tiny Tassie’s primary economy, almost overnight.
    A problem further compounded by green extremists, and their destruction of forestry and mining jobs. The promised tourist are staying away in droves!
    Incidentally, which part of my previous post do you find incomprehensible?
    I’d be more than happy to help out, by reducing my words to ones with just four more easily understood letters, and rephrase any other part, so you, poor dear, have less alleged difficulty, with your challenged comprehension!
    The real problem down there, is just too many with limited abilities just like you, and indeed, the highest illiteracy rates in all of Oz!
    Were that no so, you would at least be able to fact check, and get just some of them right, rather than just limited to simply casting, less than well thought through aspersions, when the irrefutable facts, just don’t suit?

    Comment by Alan B. Goulding — April 16, 2014 @ 2:50 pm

  4. Thanks for the comment Chris
    I won’t bother with the one who goes straight to derision and insults

    Comment by Jason Hall — April 16, 2014 @ 4:42 pm

  5. Plain speaking and candor, are neither derision nor insult Jason, just honest debate.
    If you chose to ignore either, then you are very much part of the head buried in the sand problems that beset Tassie today!
    Please point out either insult or derision, and I’ll happily rephrase, to remove either, without reservation!
    I don’t want to hurt or offend your delicate feelings or patent conformation bias?
    [Thinking within a limited circle of ideas, also limits the questions, and by inference, the available decisions or choices!
    No? Can’t actually find either deliberate derision or actual intended insult in my first post? I’m so surprised!]
    Well it does help to actually read the whole post before reaching your own informed conclusions Jason, than have my clearly UNREAD WORDS misconstrued or misrepresented, but particularly, by those clearly not up to the challenge of informed debate, or simply can’t refute my conclusions?
    And hey, that was just an observation you are free to disprove or refute, but only if you’re man enough, and or up to it! You’ll also need to develop a sense of humor, and not take everything said so personally or prickly.
    Did some of my comments, hit a raw nerve?
    And hey, if you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen!
    Public debate is no place for whimps or sissies!
    I mean, I’m one of those idiots who stepped off of something, you personally bagged so veraciously, and spent months in hospital in plaster as a consequence, more months in a wheelchair, further months limited to crutches, and finally a cane or canes.
    Did I cry or run home to mummy, blubbering about insults and derision?
    No, I manned up, and spoke straight from the shoulder!
    Feel free to ignore my posts, others who matter much more, won’t!
    Without bias.
    Alan B. Goulding

    Comment by Alan B. Goulding — April 16, 2014 @ 6:11 pm

  6. That is an excellent point you make Jason. Economists just mindlessly follow some generalising theoretical formulas, not understanding how it works in the real world. Chris. The incoherent rumble above cannot be figured out. It has no rational substance. There is nothing in it to figure out.


    Comment by Jiri — April 18, 2014 @ 2:40 am

  7. Alan Goulding, more power to your arm. I think you may have some good ideas but I genuinely got my head tangled before I was half-way into your piece. I will pay attention in future, because if you had the spine to work through a recovery like that you have the spine to organise your thoughts and develop your writing to be clear and persuasive.

    I apologise for being derogatory.

    Comment by Chris — April 20, 2014 @ 2:53 pm

  8. Jason,
    Economies grow, when they sell more than they buy!
    Same at home, when the savings account is ahead of the debit card!

    Conversely, when we buy much more than we can sell or earn, the economy invariably contracts, as your personal means would, if you maxed out the credit card, then used another to service the debt liabilities!

    Much the same way as Tassie has done in recent years, thanks largely to, in my view, the greens and their incredible, almost unbelievable, economic illiteracy!

    Tassie just doesn’t have the means to fully recover on her own, and needs considerable financial help, from the big brother, or mainland Australia.

    Water is the basis of all wealth. Tassie has a huge surplus and some decent irrigation developments around he midlands, would stimulate much, including housing demand and building, which also assists economic stimulation.

    Other things that would assist Tassie to become far more reliant, and perhaps a donor economy, particularly when WA’s mining boom runs out of steam as it must!

    These include, the complete roll-out of the NBN, very rapid rail, and a fast ferry service; in order to get all this new fresh produce to a main Melbourne market, while its still crisp enough to command premium prices.

    Anther idea worth exploring, is very low cost pensioner housing.
    Particularly around the north and northwest, which has depopulated in recent years, yet still has enough basic infrastructure, to accommodate many more people!

    Melbourne has quite a large senior demographic, and very high rents.
    Around 100, 000 pensioners, could be assisted to relocate to Tassie, which has a milder climate, particularly when the horrible hot northerly blows.

    Now these people, receive around $7-800 dollars a fortnight, multiply that by around 100,000 and that’s around 3.5-4 million dollars a week added to Tasmania’s budget.

    Plus they come with a number of entitlements, that simply don’t increase the domestic budget load on health or education, the two biggest domestic outlays!

    If you add the demand imposed by another 100,000 people on the domestic market, and add another 3-4 million per week to the domestic economy, Tassie could become much more self sufficient. No ifs, buts or maybes!

    Joh Bejelke Peterson, may not have seemed too bright, but was nonetheless, bright enough to completely jettison death duties, that saw an exodus of oldies to Queensland!

    A factor that saw huge expansion of essential infrastructure, some serious building growth and a budget well in truly back in surplus!
    You’ll have a nice day now, y’hear.
    Alan B. Goulding.

    Comment by Alan B. Goulding — April 22, 2014 @ 9:25 am

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