For the Premier it is a difficult task being handled well. Natural disasters such as that occurring  in Queensland present a difficult task for political leaders. People naturally expect them and the government they head to help in ending the problem but in truth there is very little any politician can do. It is public servants who must be relied on to provide whatever warnings and remedial actions that are possible. The best someone such as Queensland Premier Anna Bligh can do in circumstances such as these is to become as reassuring a mouthpiece as the circumstances permit.

So far, apart from a little hiccup when she spent a day in Sydney with her family before the extent of the tragedy was even predicted, the Premier has handled this responsibility well with comments such as her “this weather may be breaking our hearts but it will not be breaking our will”. She has combined a required sympathy with those suffering so tragically with a reassuring manner suggesting that someone with authority is in charge of the rescue efforts but her real task will begin with the clean-up and the considerable repairs to infrastructure that will be necessary.

No sign yet of the export boom. Australian Bureau of Statistics figures out this morning tell us that the next stage of the mineral export boom is still some time off. The trend estimate of the balance on goods and services was a surplus of $2241 million in November 2010, a decrease of $70 million on the surplus in October 2010. In seasonally adjusted terms, the balance on goods and services was a surplus of $1925 million in November 2010, a decrease of $636 million on the surplus in October 2010.

11-01-2011 balanceongoodsandservices

Between October and November 2010 the trend estimate of goods and services credits fell $208 million (1%) to $24,378 million. In seasonally adjusted terms, goods and services credits fell $7 million to $24,440 million. Non-rural goods rose $360 million (2%), rural goods rose $24 million (1%) and net exports of goods under merchanting remained steady. Non-monetary gold fell $325 million (21%). Services credits fell $66 million (1%).

A Facebook favourite. The Social Network has shortened into favouritism to win the Best Picture Oscar on the latest Crikey Election Indicator. Relegated to second place is The Kings Speech

11-01-2011 oscars

Peter Fray

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