Labor comfortably leading. There is now enough market action for the Crikey election indicator to give an indication of how things are going in Queensland. The signs at this stage are pointing to Anna Bligh being returned as Premier. The Indicator, based on action at Betfair, gives Labor a 72% chance of victory to 28% for the Liberal National Party. We will give you regular updates throughout the campaign.
Well now, we hope this clears things up for you.
Advice from the Bloomberg website this morning helping its readers to predict the future.
It’s almost official — The Guardian joins The Express. Earlier this week (‘Burn a banker‘ in Monday’s Crikey) I drew attention to a report in London’s Sunday Express that MI5 was worried about the potential for an outbreak of violence as the impact of the recession in the UK gets worse. I was sort of hoping that it was a bit of conservative exaggeration but now I notice that that very liberal organ The Guardian has taken up the same theme. “Britain faces summer of rage — police” was the headline on its website last night above a story claiming “Britain’s most senior police officer with responsibility for public order raised the spectre of a return of the riots of the 1980s, with people who have lost their jobs, homes or savings becoming ‘footsoldiers’ in a wave of potentially violent mass protests.”
Poli speak update. Promises were split in to non-core promises and core promises and now Queensland Liberal National Party Leader Lawrence Springborg gives us a new variation. Yesterday when he spoke about returning the state budget to surplus within three years he described the deadline as a “goal” rather than a “promise.” He clearly thinks missing a goal is not nearly as serious as breaking even a non-core promise.
Leadership challenges. I have remarked before on the obsession political journalists have on slow news days with leadership challenges, but as a breed Canberra’s finest cannot compete with their football writing colleagues. Brendan Nelson had at least sat down in the Opposition Leader’s parliamentary chair before he was reading the first story about him being sacked and Malcolm Turnbull was given a good couple of weeks. Not so Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse. The Australian‘s Patrick Smith has club chairman Eddie McGuire ready with his axe before the first ball of the AFL season has even been bounced! And they reckon politicians need thick skins!
One part clearly working. politicians and economists can argue all they like about the benefit the country gained from December’s $10 billion stimulus package, but there can surely be no denying that the part of it doubling the first home buyers grant is having the desired impact. Building approval figures for January from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that while total dwelling approvals continued to decline there was a turnaround in approvals for private sector houses. The seasonally adjusted January figure was up 1.1% on the December figure. That’s the end of the good news. The seasonally adjusted estimate for dwellings other than houses — flats and units — fell a huge 15.4% which meant the value of total new residential building (housing plus other dwellings) approved fell 4.3%. The value of alterations and additions rose 0.7%, the value of non-residential building fell 3.2% making a total fall for all building approvals of 3.4%.
The picture of dwelling approvals by state:
The trend estimate for total number of dwelling units approved in New South Wales fell 4.8% in January 2009 and has fallen for 13 months. The trend estimate for the number of private sector houses fell 2.4% and has fallen for 12 months.
The trend estimate for total number of dwelling units approved in Queensland fell 7.8% in January and has fallen for 15 months. The trend estimate for the number of private sector houses fell 3.7% and has fallen for 15 months.
The trend estimate for total number of dwelling units approved in South Australia fell 3.3% in January and has fallen for seven months. The trend estimate for the number of private sector houses fell 1.3% and has fallen for nine months.
The trend estimate for total number of dwelling units approved in Victoria fell 1.7% in January and has fallen for six months. The trend estimate for the number of private sector houses fell 0.5% and has fallen for 11 months.
The trend estimate for total number of dwelling units approved in Western Australia fell 5.1% in January and has fallen for 13 months. The trend estimate for the number of private sector houses fell 3.4% and has fallen for six months.
Figures are not produced by the ABS for Tasmania and the two Territories.