World’s greatest treasurer. “Running a $1 trillion economy takes skill and the ability to do hard work to get on top of the figures,” Peter Costello said in Question Time last week. “It is not for Queensland public servants to walk in and think they can do it.” But now’s your chance to test yourself, to see how you measure up. Yesterday, Cossie told a fundraiser in Adelaide for Bob Day, the high-profile Liberal candidate for the marginal seat of Makin, that a teacher from his son’s former school, Carey Grammar, sends him the year 12 economics exam each year. He completes it and returns it for marking. He managed 90% one year. Cossie’s tackled questions like:

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is an example of:

A. a direct and progressive tax.
B. an indirect and regressive tax.
C. a direct and flat tax.
D. an indirect and progressive tax.


The Reserve Bank of Australia’s current medium-term, monetary-policy objective is:

A. to minimise the rate of inflation.
B. to maximise the rate of economic growth.
C. to keep the inflation rate between 0 and 3 per cent over the business cycle.
D. to keep the annual inflation rate between 2 and 3 per cent on average over the business cycle.

Want to see how you measure up? You can find the papers on the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority website.

Do ‘em yourself — but remember the warnings:

  • Students are permitted to bring into the examination room: pens, pencils, highlighters, erasers, sharpeners and rulers.
  • Students are NOT permitted to bring into the examination room: blank sheets of paper and/or white-out liquid/tape.
  • No calculator is allowed in this examination.

(It’s silent on the subject of bringing in Treasury and Reserve Bank officials.)

Drover’s Run, hotbed of left-wing bias. Forget Ultimo. Forget the Spencer Street Soviet. When’s the Kulturkampf coming to Drover’s Run, home to McLeod’s Daughters. Everyone from Michelle Grattan down has now talked about the AWA plotline that Crikey first drew attention to. And McLeod’s Daughters has form. Back during the 2004 federal election campaign, actor Myles Pollard, who plays farmer Nick Ryan on the series, told the Adelaide Sunday Mail he was disillusioned with John Howard’s’ “stupidity, deceit and dishonour” and “deeply concerned about the prospect of another Coalition government assuming office”. So concerned, in fact, he wrote to Iron Mark’s office offering to hand out how-to-vote cards for the ALP on polling day in the marginal seat of Adelaide — taken from the Liberals at that poll by rising Labor star Kate Ellis.

Labor backflipping on FOI? “I’m acutely conscious of the fact that I used to work for a state government which tightened its FOI operating procedures in the early- to mid-1990s, so I’m not pretending to be Mother Teresa on this question,” Kruddy has been quoted as saying in The Australian twice in the last two days. We’re told the Opposition has said federal restrictions on Freedom of Information requests have gone too far, and protection for public service whistleblowers needs boosting. Thumbs up for that. But at the same time the private members bill introduced last year by then-shadow attorney-general Nicola Roxon to abolish conclusive certificates — the mechanism deployed by Peter Costello to block the release of documents on bracket creep and the beneficiaries of largesse from first-home-owner grants — is just being allowed to gather dusty. Why, it seems that Labor’s looking like a government already!

Economics made easy. John Howard says the mining sector’s “financial success has been built on individual contracts.” Actually, Prime Minister, might the fact that most that most mining companies are now getting twice the price for the same stuff they were selling three years ago have something to do with it? And you say that only the Coalition understands the economy …

Sing-a-longa Kevin: It was inevitable. At some stage in his burgeoning, yet eerily unconsumated, love affair with the Australian people, someone would set Kevin Rudd to music. That someone is, of course, ABC broadcaster and sometime Crikey operative Red Symons. Watch his melodious evocation of Kevinism here.