States urged to sell $220b in public assets rather than increase debt

Original article by Mark Ludlow
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 20-Jun-19

The net debt of Australia’s state governments is set to rise sharply in coming years to finance infrastructure projects, but analysis shows that they have almost $220bn worth of assets that could be privatised. This includes $67.4bn worth of public assets in Queensland and $59.bn in New South Wales. IFM Investors CEO Brett Himbury says the nation’s superannuation funds would be keen to invest in state government assets. The NSW government may be open to further asset sales, but Queensland and Western Australia have ruled out this option.

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IFM INVESTORS PTY LTD, INFRASTRUCTURE PARTNERSHIPS AUSTRALIA, S&P GLOBAL RATINGS, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSGRID PTY LTD, ENDEAVOUR ENERGY LIMITED

States climb $180bn debt mountain

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 19-Jun-19

The combined net debt of Australia’s state and territory governments is set to exceed $184bn over the next four years, compared with just $81bn in 2018-19. Increased investment in infrastructure will be a key contributor to the debt blowout, and Robert Carling of the Centre for Independent Studies stresses the need for such projects to be subject to a cost-benefit analysis. He adds that New South Wales and Victoria could potentially be at risk of losing their AAA credit ratings if their net debt continues to rise, although he says this is unlikely in the near-term.

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THE CENTRE FOR INDEPENDENT STUDIES LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, MOODY’S INVESTORS SERVICE INCORPORATED, DELOITTE ACCESS ECONOMICS PTY LTD, NEW SOUTH WALES. THE TREASURY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF TREASURY AND FINANCE

State revenues under threat: PM

Original article by Primrose Riordan, Ben Packham, Ben Wilmot
The Australian – Page: 6 : 1-May-19

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Labor’s proposed changes to the negative gearing and capital gains tax regimes could result in lower GST and stamp duty revenue for state governments. He added that the states should seek a guarantee from Labor that its reforms would not affect their revenue. Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen in turn has blamed the Coalition for the housing market downturn, which has reduced state governments’ stamp duty revenue.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, REAL ESTATE INSTITUTE OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA, STOCKLAND – ASX SGP, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, HOUSING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION LIMITED, MASTER BUILDERS AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED

Canberra still to control overall overseas intake, says Morrison

Original article by Andrew Tillett, John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 13-Nov-18

The federal government will seek greater input from the states on the immigration rate, based on what they feel is their "carrying capacity" in terms of the infrastructure and services they can provide. However, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the federal government will always be responsible for setting overall migrant numbers, and that it is not something it will be "contracting out" to the states. New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has welcomed plans for the states to have more input on migrant numbers, saying it is "playing catch-up" on the infrastructure that is needed because of recent population growth.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, NEW SOUTH WALES. DEPT OF PREMIER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HOME AFFAIRS, QUEENSLAND. DEPT OF THE PREMIER AND CABINET, WESTERN AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PREMIER AND CABINET

PM push for states to set migrant rate

Original article by Simon Benson
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 12-Nov-18

The federal government is understood to be planning major changes to immigration policy that would see the states and territories assume responsibility for determining permanent migrant numbers. Such a change would help address a major problem with current population policy, namely that while the states and territories are in charge of infrastructure issues like schools and roads, the federal government controls immigration, one of the major "levers" of population.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HOME AFFAIRS, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Morrison’s $9bn GST fix facing Labor, states revolt

Original article by Andrew Burrell, Rachel Baxendale
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 4-Oct-18

The federal government’s proposed changes to the formula for distributing goods and services tax revenue was rejected by the majority of state treasurers at a meeting on 3 October. The reforms had the support of Western Australia’s Treasurer Ben Wyatt, but other state treasurers warned that the Coalition must guarantee that no state or territory will be worse off. Federal Labor also opposes the GST reforms, and Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he will take the GST policy to the next election if it is blocked in parliament.

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AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, WESTERN AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF TREASURY AND FINANCE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, VICTORIA. DEPT OF TREASURY AND FINANCE, NEW SOUTH WALES. THE TREASURY, QUEENSLAND. TREASURY, TASMANIA. DEPT OF TREASURY AND FINANCE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF TREASURY AND FINANCE

PM stares down states over GST compensation

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 3-Oct-18

Proposed changes to the formula for the distribution of goods and services tax revenue will head the agenda of a meeting of the federal and state treasurers on 3 October. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has given assurances that no state will worse off, but the eastern states are concerned that the GST reforms favour Western Australia and that they will lose more in revenue than the federal government has proposed to offer by way of compensation. Morrison has indicated that he will legislate to make the changes even if the reforms are not supported by the eastern states.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, VICTORIA. DEPT OF TREASURY AND FINANCE

ALP states to support Shorten if NEG revived

Original article by Joe Kelly
The Australian – Page: 5 : 19-Sep-18

Queensland’s Energy Minister Anthony Lynham and Victorian counterpart Lily D’Ambrosio have indicated that they would back the national energy guarantee if Labor wins the next federal election. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten recently signalled that a Labor government would be open to adopting some aspects of the Coalition’s NEG. Lynham has also criticised the federal government’s lack of action regarding energy policy following its decision to abandon the NEG under new Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

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AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, QUEENSLAND. DEPT OF ENERGY AND WATER SUPPLY, VICTORIA. DEPT OF ENVIRONMENT, LAND, WATER AND PLANNING, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENTS

‘NEG is dead’: States go it alone

Original article by Mark Ludlow, Ben Potter
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 30-Aug-18

Uncertainty about the future of the federal government’s national energy guarantee in the wake of the leadership spill has prompted Labor-led state governments to press ahead with their own renewable energy targets. Queensland’s Energy Minister Anthony Lynham says he has not anything from the federal government about the NEG since the leadership change, adding that the state remains committed to its renewable energy target of 50 per cent. The Australian Capital Territory’s Climate Change Minister Shane Rattenbury says it appears that the NEG will not proceed.

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QUEENSLAND. DEPT OF ENERGY AND WATER SUPPLY, AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY. DEPT OF ENVIRONMENT, PLANNING AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENTS, AUSTRALIA. ENERGY SECURITY BOARD

$1 trillion debt bomb buried in budget papers

Original article by Adam Creighton
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 21-Jun-18

Analysis of budget documents shows that the net financial liabilities of Australia’s federal, state and territory governments will top $A944bn in June 2021, which is equivalent to about $A36,000 per person. Infrastructure projects will be a major contributor to the debt blowout, with New South Wales and Victoria unveiling plans to ramp up spending on infrastructure over the next four years. Meanwhile, credit ratings agency Moody’s has expressed concern about the NSW government’s increased debt in its 2018 Budget, warning that it could affect the state’s credit profile.

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MOODY’S INVESTORS SERVICE INCORPORATED, NEW SOUTH WALES. THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INFRASTRUCTURE AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT, INFRASTRUCTURE PARTNERSHIPS AUSTRALIA, QUEENSLAND. TREASURY