Survey: Aussie Voters Put the Economy and Healthcare Ahead of Climate Change

Bill Shorten
Former Australian Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, who bet everything on his headline climate initiatives. By Ross CaldwellOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

A post mortem national election survey conducted by the losers suggests that while their noisy climate policy initiatives swung a few votes, most voters put economic self interest and healthcare ahead of climate concerns.

Climate change concern helped Labor at 2019 election but Coalition won on economy – survey

ANU survey finds Labor loss due to erosion of working class base and Coalition’s perceived advantage on economy and tax

Nevertheless the Australian election study – which used a nationally representative sample of 2,179 voters – found that narrow majorities approved of Labor’s individual tax policy measures to limit franking credit rebates and negative gearing.

The study found that two-thirds of voters (66%) primarily decided their vote based on policy issues, compared with 19% who voted based on the parties as a whole, 8% on local candidates and 7% on the party leaders (7%).

The most important policy issues for voters were management of the economy (24%), health (22%), taxation (12%), the environment (11%) and global warming (10%). One in five respondents nominating environmental issues as their top concern is a record, up from fewer than 10% of voters in 2016.

Read more:

This survey, a genuine moment of reflection from a party which bet everything on their climate policy initiatives, has implications for US politics.

So long as voters trust President Trump on the economy and healthcare, candidates who bet everything on their radical climate policy initiatives and who spook voters with their big economic ideas are on track to lose in 2020, regardless of how worried people say they are about climate change.

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December 8, 2019 2:22 pm

People shouldn’t be surprised. World wide people place CC at the bottom of their worry list. I am surprised though that Australia had such a strong showing for environment/CC. All that being said, surveys are about as believable as politicians and pseudo climate scientists.

Reply to  markl
December 8, 2019 3:53 pm

Any would be survey that includes the following about Aussie voters is garbage:

“The study found that two-thirds of voters (66%) primarily decided their vote based on policy issues, compared with 19% who voted based on the parties as a whole, 8% on local candidates and 7% on the party leaders (7%).”

Survey respondents love to say they “decide their vote based on policy issues” but that is pure, unadulterated BS; many more, probably a majority, of Aussie voters are very loyal to the parties.

Sceptical lefty
Reply to  Me@Home
December 8, 2019 11:41 pm

Several decades ago, Don Chipp (founder of the Australian Democrats) observed on national television (not an exact quote): “Everyone [in politics, presumably] knows that 80% of voters will vote for ‘their’ party, even if it’s led by a two-headed monster.” The implication was that only 20%, at most, of the electorate is in some way amenable to persuasion.

Your caustic comment on voters is undoubtedly correct, but people love to maintain the pleasant fiction that their vote is decided by objective criteria.

Reply to  Sceptical lefty
December 9, 2019 9:26 am

Party and policy positions are to a large degree interchangeable. People belong to a party because they like the Party’s policies. If a politician belongs to a party on the political left most of the time you can make a reliable guess about how they will vote on particular policy issues and likewise for a politician who belongs to a party on the political right. So voting for “your” party is not much different then voting because of how you feel about policy issues.

December 8, 2019 2:22 pm

Perhaps one of the reasons why there’s little concern for “climate change,” which was supposed to be “global warming,” is that imo, as I said on Tony Heller’s site, we’re not getting warmer, globally, at least in the context of the last ~ 100 years.

We’re coming out of the Little Ice Age so we should be getting warmer, so even if we were warming the CO2 lag (see: Great Global Warming Swindle – Al Gore Excerpt) shows ZERO evidence that CO2 is responsible for climate warming!

But, regardless, the recent temperature evidence shows that we’re NOT warming in the US, and imo, by a reasonable inference, globally.

First, there’s an area that’s very hard for the politically motivated warmists to manipulate which is the historical hottest day temperature records. The hottest day ever recorded on this planet was set .. IN 1913! If we’d actually had a century of runaway hockey stick global warming as the fear mongering Chicken Littles maintain then that record without a doubt would have been broken time and time again. But no.

And look also at U.S. State hottest day records: most of the hottest day records for individual states were set ~ 50 to 100+ years ago!! There’s like only 1 state hottest day record (excluding ties) set in the last 2 decades:

The inference: the US temperature record circa the 1930s was MUCH more extensive and reliable than most of the rest of the world. With the spotty and highly manipulated and suspect global temperature record from ~ a century ago I would put greater trust in the US record as representing better the global temperature than the global temperature record itself. Hopefully that makes sense.

And before NASA manipulated the data (!) the data showed the US to be warmer in the 1930s than now!! And if that’s not enough take the actual words of NASA’s Chief Scientist in 1999: “It is clear that [in the USA] 1998 did not match the record warmth of 1934.” -Jim Hansen. Case closed!

Case closed, but I’ll add this for good measure: consider also: 1) the Urban Heat Island effect which increases current temperature readings!, and 2) all the alarmist data manipulations which in almost every case “coincidentally” also increases current readings and decreases past readings!

NASA US temperature data from 1999, PRE-manipulation:
comment image

Reply to  Eric Simpson
December 8, 2019 3:23 pm

Remember: Ice Age is Coming 1978 Science Facts

The progression was from cooling to warming to change. They were right.

Reply to  n.n
December 8, 2019 3:40 pm

@n.n, Interesting that you allude to the “global cooling” scare in ’70s, as my other comment today, at Breitbart, talked about that. The comment:

Oh but .. hot causes cold!! As one of “the scientists” (in fact it was Obama’s Science Czar) said: “The kind of extreme cold being experienced by much of the United States as we speak is a pattern we can expect to see with increasing frequency, as global warming continues.” -John Holdren, Obama’s Science Czar, 2014

Holdren also said: “A billion people could die from global warming by 2020.” -John Holdren, 1986. And this: “A massive campaign must be launched to de-develop the United States.” -John Holdren, 1973

But Holdren was also saying, in 1971, that we were headed for an ice age, unless, guess what .. we cut industrial production! Lol. See: Flashback: John Holdren in 1971: ‘New ice age’ likely:

Reply to  Eric Simpson
December 9, 2019 4:02 am

What very important job is John Holdren doing now to save us all from extinction?

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  Eric Simpson
December 19, 2019 5:35 pm


What very important job is John Holdren doing now to save us all from extinction?

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  Eric Simpson
December 19, 2019 6:49 pm

“climate” is like a steady rain, a
lasting land rain, a country rain.

Driving the dry, dusty highway – in a bend you get into heavy showers.

The next bend you find yourself at the same old dry, dusty highway.

Reply to  n.n
December 8, 2019 6:41 pm

Keep in mind we are about 12,000 years into an Interglacial period. The range for past interglacials(ice core data) is 10-20,000years. There even was on interglacial in the Vostok core(I think) that only rose about half way and then went on for 20,000 years at about 5°C lower than the modern period temperatures.

Even high CO2 is very unlikely to stop an interglacial period. It never has before, as far as we can see.

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  n.n
December 19, 2019 5:45 pm

Philo December 8, 2019 at 6:41 pm

Keep in mind we are about 12,000 years into an Interglacial period. The range for past interglacial (ice core data) is 10-20,000 years. There even was on interglacial in the Vostok core (I think) that only rose about half way and then went on for 20,000 years at about 5°C lower than the modern period temperatures.

Vostok core:

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Eric Simpson
December 8, 2019 4:55 pm

“I would put greater trust in the US record as representing better the global temperature than the global temperature record itself.”

The global surface temperature record is a combination of many regional temperature measurements from around the world. Unmodified regional surface temperature charts all resemble the US surface temperature chart profile, so there is no reason to be suspect of their reliability. They tell the same story as the unmodified US surface temperature chart. The regional coverage duplicates the US. temperature profile, it’s just that what coverage we do have for the rest of the world historically is few and far between. But should not be assumed to be inaccurate.

Then we get the Climategate Data Manipulators and their spawn gathering all this regional world-wide data together and putting it into their computer and creating a bogus, dishonest, CAGW-promoting representation of the global temperature record, the bogus, bastardized Hockey Stick chart which gives the false impression that we are experiencing unprecedented warming today, which they attribute to CO2.

Don’t believe the Hockey Stick charts. Believe the actual temperature readings from unmodified charts. The unmodified charts show that there is *no* unprecedented warming going on today and that means CO2 is a minor player in the Earth’s climate. That’s something the Hockey Stick creators don’t want you to know, and went to considerable effort to erase this climate history.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 8, 2019 6:06 pm

Tom, I agree with you, except to say that my point is that pre-WWII we got nearly nothing on temperatures from Africa, Asia, Antarctic and the Arctic, correct? But the leftist Chicken Littles have “extrapolated” what that data “should” be.

Their pre-1950 global data extrapolations don’t conform with the US data, or with temperature records for the hottest & coldest days across the globe. Their manipulations (I’m sorry, extrapolations, or interpolations, whatever) appear to be nothing short of completely made up garbage meant to further their “cause.”

Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 8, 2019 9:49 pm

Australia was recorded as being warmer in the late 1800s than the present time or even the 1930s. There are a few remote weather stations that have long records. These two are good examples:

Lighthouses provide a long and generally reliable source of late dating back to the late 1800s in Australia.

This one further north and does indicate 1930s were warm but does not date back to the 1800s:

Another lighthouse, near the SE of the mainland shows late 1800s were warmer than now:

Ron Long
December 8, 2019 2:30 pm

Right you are, Eric. Whenever I see polls of priorities Climate Whatever” ranks near the bottom. The loonies in congress are now drawing up articles of impeachment, which now reportedly include “Treason”, which can carry the death penalty. You know what treason is, like Jane Fonda givi8ng aid and support to the NVA during the Vietnam War, and she was tried, convicted, and executed! Wait, that was a dream I had, actually no pasa nada. But Trump will get his? Somebody is dilaudid here, and it’s not me.

Reply to  Ron Long
December 8, 2019 3:40 pm

Reply to  icisil
December 8, 2019 4:44 pm

That’s AI Deep Fake, btw. Just as real as the fake impeachment, though.

Reply to  icisil
December 8, 2019 9:17 pm

icisil, Seems pretty “good” as far as replicating Trump, except his mouth does not seem to be moving properly, or the audio is out of sync, or both?

Regardless, the deep fake stuff is going to present real issues in the future, especially when they get the bugs ironed out. It could present issues for Hollyweird also, as they will be able to create credible characters and entire sets right from software, saving a TON of production money.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Eric Simpson
December 9, 2019 8:15 am

“It could present issues for Hollyweird also, as they will be able to create credible characters and entire sets right from software, saving a TON of production money.”

When we reach that point then everyone can make movies, even conservatives! Hollywood will get cut out of the picture. Not everyone with creative talent lives in Hollywood. 🙂

Reply to  Ron Long
December 8, 2019 6:49 pm

Too right Ron.
The U.N.’s million-person worlwide survey of life concerns rated climate last (16th ranking) below jobs, health, etc, etc

December 8, 2019 2:32 pm

A practical and rational response to evolutionary processes (e.g. climate, life).

December 8, 2019 2:49 pm

… regardless of how worried people say they are about climate change.

The answers you get to a poll depend on the questions you ask. If you explicitly ask people about climate change, they will probably say we should do something about it, especially if you word the question ‘correctly’. Of course, you aren’t getting real data and that’s a tiny problem. 🙂

Gallup has an ongoing poll about the nation’s most important problem. As far as I can tell, it’s carefully done to avoid prompting for any desired outcome. ie. It seems to reflect what the people actually think.

Currently 3% of people think “Environment/Pollution/Climate” is the nation’s most important problem. 33% of people think “The government/Poor leadership” is the nation’s most important problem.

Hint to the Democrat party: knock off with the wacko schemes. People aren’t interested. The majority of Americans would be grateful for a little peace, order, and good government.

Reply to  commieBob
December 8, 2019 7:24 pm

As Craig said below the Greens can’t get more than 10% of the primary vote so clearly 90% of the population is putting something ahead of all enviromental issues including climate change. It may be they have always voted for “X” party or they hate the look of the greens leader but whatever the case climate change is not an issue that is attracting a surge of new green voters.

Craig from Oz
December 8, 2019 3:01 pm

Why are people surprised?

If ‘Green’ issues were a major concern with voters, The Greens would get more than 10% of the vote.

The don’t. They occasionally push 11% but even back in the day when people did believe in Global Warming they were still a fringe party.

Reply to  Craig from Oz
December 8, 2019 6:53 pm

^^^^ That
Pauline Hansen can get 5.4% and Clive Parmer got 3.35% so I guess we can say the greens are about as Clive Parmer and Pauline Hansen put together :-).

December 8, 2019 3:08 pm

If a uneducated person like me can understand the lies, for example, David attenborough and the walruses jumping of cliffs or polar bears hunting whales, due to climate change, even victoria falls drying up in a small part (happens yearly) was due to “climate change” (BBC) or even the Imaq melt 😐 Then the conclusion is that climate change is a massive lie and a world wide scam, thus why would it bother me or anybody else in my position…

People on this site are vastly educated then myself on weather, solar cycles and other sciences regarding our climate, and nobody is worried, so why should anybody else be worried…

If the climate was really in trouble, then their would be no need to constantly lie.

Reply to  Sunny
December 8, 2019 4:27 pm

“If the climate was really in trouble, then their would be no need to constantly lie.”

exaggerate and fabricate…

We have a winner….

Terry Shipman
Reply to  Sunny
December 9, 2019 6:37 am

Don’t sell yourself short. Part of education is learning critical thinking skills. We should learn to look at the evidence and make reasonable conclusions. Sadly, this is lacking in colleges and universities today. In the early 1970’s, when I was getting my degree in history, I took a course called a United States Economic History, taught by my favorite history professor. It was a senior level-graduate level course. During the course there were two books we dissected. One was written by two unabashed Marxists and the other very complimentary to Capitalism and focused on the late 19th century United States. As I recall no one, at the conclusion of the class, felt that Marxism offered anything but misery. I came away from the course with an added appreciation for what Capitalism has offered millions in the United States and around the world. And that was because almost 50 years ago I had college professors who taught their students how to critically examine competing ideas. I don’t believe you get that today in high school and college. You get indoctrination instead. So Sunny, if you have learned critical thinking skills then you have been well educated.

Geoff Sherrington
December 8, 2019 3:13 pm

You note “33% of people think “The government/Poor leadership” is the nation’s most important problem.”

That would be the case here in Australia also. Somewhere between 30 and 40% of voters would like to see something done about “climate change”even if that something was to issue firm policy guidelines. Aussie people are not prepared to pay more than trivial amounts of their own money for “climate change”. The majority, when it comes to the vote, would welcome and reward policy statements that cut through the fluff of the United Nations, blowing up our coal-fired electricity plants, spending billions on a Great Barrier Reef that is looking like normal. They know these are bad ideas based on artificial constructs. They usually vote for common sense.
We just need clear policy. One that rejects the Paris agreement, that rejects renewables subsidies and preferences, one that rejects carbon taxes, one that finally makes nuclear power generation liked, one that brings back foreign investment from cheap electricity and low Sovereign Risk and thus creates more good jobs.
Geoff S

Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
December 8, 2019 5:48 pm

From a fellow Australian Geoff, I agree 100%!

As per your suggestion we would save tens of billions of dollars on ‘renewable energy’ and use coal till we get nuclear up and running.

Your not thinking about running for parliament are you? 🙂

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Megs
December 8, 2019 11:10 pm

One of my jobs before retirement, one that I elected to handle instead of my customary Science work, was to manage Government Relations for one of Australia’s major resource corporations.
I met many pollies. I would never be one. Very few of those I met admitted to me that they enjoyed being poloticians. Those that did enjoy their work tended to fanaticism. Geoff S.

Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
December 8, 2019 11:32 pm

Geoff are there any that you are still in communication with who could make it clear to those at the top that we do not want wind and solar power.

Some of us know the toxic side of it and if they would only discuss this openly then no one could possibly think that there is anything positive about it! Why can’t the Australian public have an ‘informed’ choice? If people knew the truth they would certainly not embrace wind and power, I honestly can’t believe that Scott Morrison is pushing forward with it. Worse still I live in the part of NSW they are planning to dump it on a massive scale and we won’t have a choice!

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Megs
December 9, 2019 3:34 pm

Since retirement I have not retained a circle of pollie contacts. Life offers more interesting pursuits. Geoff S

Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
December 9, 2019 3:37 pm

Fair call 🙂

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
December 8, 2019 10:39 pm

I am not an Aussie however, I live here. I find Aussies are suckered in and brain washed in to “believing” climate doom. It is constantly in the media, constantly! And given daytime free to air TV is just news and news repeats upon repeats upon repeats, people are sucking up to it.

For one, I am glad to see our PM, “Shouty”, ignoring most of it.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
December 8, 2019 11:13 pm

I’m glad he ignores it too, I just wish he’d go several steps further! Regarding the MSM, doesn’t it drive you nuts? You must love the ABC. If you can ever work out how to get the truth ‘out there’ please post it here. Often.

Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
December 9, 2019 5:08 am

I hear the Vic govt is saying we will get a 5% reduction in power prices in next couple of yrs
well seeing as its risen by 150% or so in the last 5 yrs
thats diddlysquat
and with madman Andrews and his green birdshredding pv cell bias it isnt going to happen anyway

oh and WA grids in deep crap due to excessive solar prob crashing grids
elsewhere in Aus theyre talking of DUMPING power during the day rather than crash grids
at the same time they are trying to make stand alone homes anywhere near a grid or removed from it stillpay service fees
thatd be a min of 440 $ a year for eg on my home
and if they are forced to reduce the price of power units they simply up the service fees
2007 to 19 fees started at 20 a quarter and are now 105 smartmeters helped do that too

and even UN funnier all the smart grid forced homes are now looking at having the powercos drop supply as they choose and no one can do jackschitt about it.
they say just to aircons but it wouldbe entire home so fridges etc as well

a happy little debunker
December 8, 2019 3:26 pm

In 2 elections (both 2013 & 2019) voters rejected the notion of climate change policies by electing the LNP.

Nowhere in the Labor Opposition’s review into their 2019 election loss did they examine or review their CLIMATE EMERGENCY policies – whilst they did denounce various suggested scare campaigns, they could muster the stomach to examine their own.

This is a battle that is still yet to be won.

Reply to  a happy little debunker
December 8, 2019 3:43 pm

Maybe after they lose the next election?

J Mac
December 8, 2019 3:33 pm

Economic reality takes precedence over climate chimera?
How refreshing! Good on ya, mates!

Michael Jankowski
December 8, 2019 3:47 pm

“…The most important policy issues for voters were management of the economy (24%), health (22%), taxation (12%), the environment (11%) and global warming (10%). One in five respondents nominating environmental issues as their top concern is a record, up from fewer than 10% of voters in 2016…”

I like how “the environment” is only one component of “environmental issues” lol.

While the article notes the uptick in concern since 2016, it’s WAY down from moments in-between, there is this…
“…In an ABC poll of more than 100,000 Australian voters, it’s clear the environment has become the number one issue for most respondents…Twenty-nine per cent rated it as their biggest concern, up from just 9% in the 2016 election…In the ABC poll of issues most important to voters, the economy was a close runner up at 23%…”

So economy and health care concerns seem to keep stable, yet environmental issues went from 9% to 29% back down to 21%. Sure…

John in Oz
December 8, 2019 3:55 pm

Today’s Oz news has a story of how we are going to achieve a $27 reduction in our electricity bills OVER THE NEXT 2 YEARS.

This will, of course, be possible due to further increases in ‘renewable’ power and the uptake of home battery systems.

These idiots fail to recognise that solar systems and battery backup is being installed BECAUSE OF the high electricity prices.

Cart before the horse syndrome.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  John in Oz
December 8, 2019 8:55 pm

They are also being subsidised by people who cannot afford to install them nor can in stall them because they live in a unit.

Reply to  John in Oz
December 9, 2019 1:01 am

Well yes… but it was installing and building of CONVENTIONAL electrical generation which pushed the prices up, wasn’t it?

and batteries are certainly dropping the cost:

Patrick MJD
Reply to  griff
December 9, 2019 5:33 pm

Ah Griff, one can always expect a totally WRONG post from you. One of the major contributors was upgrading wires and poles in the entire network. I worked for Ausgrid (Did you work for a similar company in Australia?) so have a bit of back ground info on that.

“Electricity Prices per kWh by State
Electricity usage rates can vary from state to state, and even within different parts of the same state. There are a number of reasons for this, but for the purposes of this article it’s enough to know that the average price of electricity per kWh in Victoria won’t be the same as in New South Wales. Below we’ve listed the typical electricity usage rates across QLD, VIC, SA and NSW. This was done by calculating the average usage rates of flagship market offer contracts from six leading electricity retailers – AGL, Origin Energy, EnergyAustralia, Red Energy, Click Energy and Alinta Energy. Prices are shown in cents per kWh.

State Average Electricity Usage Rates (per kWh)
VIC 23.272c/kWh
QLD 23.545c/kWh
NSW 27.56c/kWh
SA 37.62c/kWh
Prices based on single rate electricity tariffs for selected postcodes in each state, August 2019.”

SA power IS NOT the cheapest in Australia because of renewables and the Tesla battery and are about to get more expensive because of the plan to expand it by 50%.

December 8, 2019 4:13 pm

Concern for climate change leads to more co2 as industry moves to places where electricity is cheapest, which means to countries that use coal.

Clarky of Oz
December 8, 2019 4:22 pm

Several MSM reports today that the ALP is supporting the mining of coal. Amazing what a little dose of reality can achieve.

Reply to  Clarky of Oz
December 8, 2019 7:29 pm

Power broker Joel Fitzgibbon and and a number of unions are still not happy with labour position. It will be interesting to watch the tension between Albanese and Fitzgibbon as they get closer to an election.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Clarky of Oz
December 9, 2019 1:17 am

Australian MSM “reports” a lot of stuff, mostly SH!T, but it is still stuff the uninformed love to “read”. The 11,000 “scientists” report on climate change was a doozie! Thanks Mickey!

December 8, 2019 5:22 pm

Even the people who say they are very worried about climate change put it behind the economy and healthcare…and their lifestyles, vacations, and pretty much everything else…sacrifices for climate change are always to be made by others….

Reply to  Steve
December 8, 2019 7:30 pm

You left out their franking credits 🙂

George Daddis
December 8, 2019 5:24 pm

Attitudes of citizens in developed countries appear consistent; and have been understood for decades.
People vote on kitchen table issues; jobs, health, taxes – “It’s the economy stupid” as the sign in Bill Clinton’s office read.

The left has evolved to a point where they are being lead by their most extreme base, to their detriment in a general election. They are also swayed by the success and social media popularity of extremist kooks elected in unique districts (e.g. AOC and the Squad in the US) and give the far left undeserved influence, which also turns off the general population.

To the detriment of the Progressives in the US, the supposed “Climate Crisis” is a concern only to those too young to vote.

Maybe the best example of my point is the Democrats putting all of their chips on “Impeachment”; polls are showing it is having a very negative impact on Democrat candidates in contested areas. The Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi knew this and resisted calling for Impeachment because she understood the political disaster, but finally caved to the extremists because they would have engineered her removal as Speaker. (Clearly in Nancy’s mind, personal position trumps the good of the Party, never mind of the country.)

December 8, 2019 5:32 pm

I think most people realize they must do what is best for themselves and families, today, and let the future generations deal with the problems of tomorrow. Otherwise, there may be no future generations.

December 8, 2019 6:50 pm

When Australians look at their electric bills, they have to worry that the financial effect will be more than just personal.

When you see the high cost for each kwh, you wonder what manufacturing company is going to want to build a facility in Australia. Why would any manufacturing company want to stay in a country that has some of the highest power costs in the world? Where are the jobs going to come from in the future? Where is the middle class going to prosper?

Patrick MJD
Reply to  SMS
December 8, 2019 8:53 pm

Commercial power costs are HUGE here in Australia! Many businesses have closed simply because they can’t pay staff after paying power bills. One of the reasons why GM and Ford pulled out of Australia was energy costs.

Power costs to drop;

Reply to  Patrick MJD
December 8, 2019 9:20 pm

Yes, but it was the strong Australian dollar that resulted after all the Chinese investment and free-trade dealings, which really wrecked Australia’s economy, and not just in the manufacturing sector.

If we had far less connection or priority given to Chinese trade we’d probably still have a manufacturing export base, and a much more balanced and stable mix of economic sectors, which a healthier more diverse economy and workforce in general.

China also didn’t provide us steady growth, we already had that, for most of two centuries prior to China became a fixation. In fact in the century prior to engagement with China Australia’s economy grew at a higher rate than every other western country. They’ve dis us no favors, we would have grown without even engaging economically with China to the excess that we have, and undermined ourselves in the process. And if the younger generation got an eye-opening rude shock as to what a recession really is it would have turned them into smarter and better people in the process, and put us on the road to a more viable economic path.

2 floating cents

Patrick MJD
Reply to  WXcycles
December 8, 2019 10:29 pm

You would be wrong. In terms of cars, it cost twice as much to make the same car in Australia as in Europe and four times as much as in Asia. There is only one culprit in that and it ain’t the Chinese. So look in a mirror (Australia) and point at what you see.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
December 9, 2019 12:03 am

You actually think the AUD rates since 2010 had nothing to do with that? Seriously? You could not be more wrong.

Other than energy and labor costs, the bloated AUD was the single biggest source of export non-competitiveness. Why dis you reference the relative cost of manufacturing in relation to Europe and Asia, if not in terms of the relative export competitiveness within foreign sales markets?

You must believe AUD doesn’t impact the cost of a stock on the floor of a foreign car dealership’s showroom or something. Competitiveness of the currency matters to manufacturing and export, it is a major area of study and observation to guide manufacturing and purchasing decisions and timing, globally.

European cars were actually massively disproportionately expensive in Australia, for decades prior to the current decade, selling numerous makes of economically non-competitive cars into Australia’s market, for most of my life. They sold due to a perception of quality, prestige and good advertising. Open your eyes as there’s abundant proof right in that which shows high manufacturing cost was not a hurdle for the Europeans to make a profit, they did it here for decades.

And it’s only been during the period from 2009 forward where the European cars actually became closer to price competitive in Australia, and thus became much more mainstream, plus directly competitive against locally produced cars, and also against higher-end Asian cars.

And that coincided with the movement of the AUD from $0.72 cents, in late 2008/2009, to $1.08 to the USD just three years later, exacerbating the price competitiveness of exported Australian cars (and all other exported Aust manufactured goods) by between 30% to 40%, while also demolishing other domestic economic sectors. And equally, this provided a similar advantage to European and Asian importers and simultaneously dropped their prices by another 30 to 40%.

So naturally Australians bought many more foreign cars due to the AUD being excessively high for about 6 years. And when did the manufacturing base close? During that same period. But you think it had everything to do with the domestic costs of manufacturing, and nothing to do with AUD smashing both domestic and foreign competitiveness of Australian cars?

Dream on. The AUD never should have got that high, it was Chinese hot-money flows into Australia which sent it into relative orbit, compared to the $0.50 to $0.60 to the USD range that it was in prior when car manufacturing was viable and still made money. Since then the cost of electricity exploded, while the AUD still remains around an economically suppressive $0.80 to USD level.

You can look down your nose all you want, but that’s why manufacturing plus also domestic and foreign price-competitiveness each collapsed – A China-trade and hot-money bloated AUD was the main factor in why it occurred.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Patrick MJD
December 9, 2019 12:52 am

So your whole argument is based on currency exchange rates, now? What about before? Does not add up.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
December 9, 2019 1:21 am

” … So your whole argument is based on currency exchange rates, now? What about before? …”

No, you want to pretend the exchange rate didn’t matter, wasn’t a major factor, even though the change was large and the effect economically destructive. Obviously it did have a major effect on domestic and foreign competitiveness.

I said the “main factor”, I did not say only factor, and I mentioned other factors so quit pretending I didn’t. You’re view as stated was simplistic and grossly wrong, you have no worthwhile counterpoints to make. Worry about the quality of your remarks.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Patrick MJD
December 9, 2019 2:52 am

GM and Ford did not cite exchange rates as the reason for closing car making in Australia. They cited, publicly, labour and energy costs as the two factors for their extraction. What GM Holden DIDN’T tell you was that the Govn’t pulled the billions of subsidies annually poured into GM Holden that found it’s way to the accountants in Detroit, USA, bypassing any Australian car maker, employee or supplier, costing each and every Australian taxpayer about AU$2,500 PER CAR, PER YEAR since GM had control of Holden. Abbott stopped that, GM Holden, and then Ford, pulled the plug. Absolutely NOTHING to do with currency exchange rates. You are “yanking” your chain on that one!

Reply to  Patrick MJD
December 9, 2019 3:42 am

Patrick MJD December 9, 2019 at 2:52 am
GM and Ford did not cite exchange rates as the reason for closing car making in Australia. They cited, publicly, labour and energy costs as the two factors for their extraction. What GM Holden DIDN’T tell you was that the Govn’t pulled the billions of subsidies annually poured into GM Holden that found it’s way to the accountants in Detroit, USA, bypassing any Australian car maker, employee or supplier, costing each and every Australian taxpayer about AU$2,500 PER CAR, PER YEAR since GM had control of Holden. Abbott stopped that, GM Holden, and then Ford, pulled the plug. Absolutely NOTHING to do with currency exchange rates. You are “yanking” your chain on that one!

Which is again you demonstrating your extraordinary ignorance about economics while irrationally continuing to pretend exchange rates don’t affect the sales price paid by the buyer. Contrary to your fantasy claim that the issue of subsidies was some sort of unknown factor it was actually a nationally discussed topic that was debated a length for years.

Your assertions and obfuscations about what took place are simply irrational and seek too ignore the most basic facts. You seem to not want to let go of some satisfying pet narrative, in the face of the TRADE-EXCHANGE RATE whiplash doing what it did to the entire Australian manufacturing base, not merely to car factories.

You have nothing to support your view, nor insight to offer on the topic.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  WXcycles
December 9, 2019 6:01 pm

Look up a guy called John Cadogan, I think he has a better grasp on the subject than either us and may even influence your understanding.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
December 9, 2019 7:56 pm

You still want to argue armed with nothing?

Frankly, your position is absurd and you demonstrate your ignorance of the topic. If you won’t follow fact and logic and take on board the known and observed massive implications (for the entire national manufacturing base) caused by the post 2010 bloated dollar, maybe you’ll listen to actual economists explain it to you, though I doubt it at this point. This below confirms the things I just pointed out to you:

The Positive and Negative Effects of a Strong Aussie Dollar

June 26, 2018 by Lauren Hua

… A strong exchange rate may affect the economy in different ways. These are the negative and positive implications of a strong Aussie dollar. …


Cheaper Imports
[Foreign] Imports will be cheaper which means imported goods such as luxury cars and other imported durable goods will be inexpensive for the consumer. This is a positive for retailers who use imported goods. As the cost of imports decrease, this can create more disposable income for households. Companies which use imported parts to manufacturer goods will see a high exchange rate as a positive. This is because it decreases their costs of imported parts which can then increase their profit margin.


Expensive Exports
A higher Aussie dollar can make [Australian] exports more expensive and can drive overseas buyers to import from other countries with a lower exchange rate. Iron ore and coal are our top two exports and a high exchange would negatively impact these industries and our economy. Education is our third largest export. Universities have large numbers of foreign students so strong exchange rates can deter students from studying in Australia when they have other options such as Canada, UK, and the US.

Higher Unemployment
A strong currency rate can make [foreign] imports cheaper so this can create less demand from locally made products. If demand from local companies is drastically reduced then it can cause job losses if companies are finding consumer demand of their products lagging. This in effect can cause a slow down of the economy as high unemployment means less disposable income from households which means less aggregate demand from consumers.

Less Foreign Visitors
A high Aussie dollar will deter foreign visitors to our country which will affect our local tourism industry. A high exchange rate would make travel to Australia more expensive. Our local tourism industry generates billions of dollars a year for the Australian economy. A decrease in foreign visitors would affect local tourism companies and jobs.

But according to you this couldn’t have any deeply negative impact on why the car industry competitiveness plummeted, as AUD rose strongly, and Australian produced car sales, both domestic and in foreign markets, dried up. Profitability evaporated as the AUD rose and that occurred before the lions-share of power price hikes occurred.

It’s not a theory that you position is wrong, it’s what actually occurred. The car subsidies came about because the sharply rising AUD eliminated price competitiveness and profitability.

AFTER THAT the electricity cost and eventually supply reliability became another strongly negative factor on top, which further pushed up domestic manufacturing costs and made it perfectly clear that car production would not be tenable in future, and it had not been since just before the GFC.

The subsidies were removed by Canberra because they were never solve anything while the AUD was comparatively high. The car companies had not control of that and could not adjust to make themselves profitable with a high AUD.

Plus electricity price was also rising fast and spiking the manufacturing cost further.

And this …

Explainer: What a strong Australian dollar actually means – April 11, 2011 2.00pm AEST

Author Saul Eslake – Program Director, Productivity Growth , Grattan Institute

“Manufacturers may be forced to accept profit margins will continue to narrow. …”

Your position that the cost of power was the major cause of the national manufacturing sector’s collapse is simply false.

It was just one other factor, and not the biggest one, nor the longest running factor, that eliminated manufacturing profitability (and not just in the domestic auto industry). The history is perfectly clear on this and the bloating of the AUD sent manufacturer’s margins throughout the entire country into non-profitability and bankruptcy.

Companies were sold off and the Australian production was moved away from the damage the AUD was doing to sales, which made them unprofitable and unable to compete to earn the margins necessary to keep the doors open.

The incompetent and increasingly expensive Australian energy generation sector was just icing on the cake for manufacturing competitiveness, either for domestic consumption, or for exports. But even if that power price were not occurring and didn’t add to margin shrinkage the AUD would have finished the car industry off anyway, because they were already finished due to the AUD’s rise alone, and already living on borrowed time via subsidy supports, which still could not provide any method or avenue to overcome the competitiveness implications of a strong $AUD.

That’s why the car companies were cut away from the subsidy tether and forced to go off-shore. The AUD was remaining historically elevated and was considered unlikely to come down much outside of recession or significant downturn, and such conditions would just make the car companies even less tenable or profitable.

So Canberra (correctly) pulled the public-money life-support away and let them close.

Your claim that Australian cars failed to sell because they were just “… SH!T …”, is frankly a fine example of stupidity and ignorance as the cars themselves were winning in consumer comparison tests in Europe against European makes. Were the European make cars all “SH!T” too then?

Reply to  Patrick MJD
December 8, 2019 11:07 pm

I agree Patrick

An aluminum smelting company was forced to close down in SA recently. They were being asked to shut down their operations periodically during times of power problems. You can’t stop and start furnaces!

Reply to  Megs
December 9, 2019 12:09 am

” … An aluminum smelting company was forced to close down in SA recently. …”

Wrong, the word in your sentence that matters is “recently”. A whole lot occurred before “recently”, which caused this. Failing to understand the cause because of such urban myths does not help to deal with the result, or provide insight into how to rearrange the outcome in 5 and 10 years time. And such power problems came after the high AUD, and the smelter closure is after manufacturing closed. Chronology matters to causation.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  WXcycles
December 9, 2019 12:59 am

This all started well back in 2007. What was the exchange rate then? Blaming this all on an exchange rate, when everything is traded in US$’s is stupid. No-one wants to but poorly made products at high prices when they can buy the same, sh!t, at a quarter of the price.

Holdens and Fords built in Australia were SH!T and STILL are SH!T! Make of that what you will. People, when not forced to, will buy SH!T at a price they want to and see as fair from anywhere else these days.

Reply to  WXcycles
December 9, 2019 2:07 am

I stand corrected WXcycles, you were right, I was wrong. It was Victoria not South Australia.

Basically, renewables could not run the factory and it had to shut down. Link as follows.

Please be respectful

Reply to  WXcycles
December 9, 2019 2:33 am

“… This all started well back in 2007. What was the exchange rate then? …”

Why don’t you actually have a look at what the currency did in data, instead of pretending you have some valid point to make about the cost of power or the cost of manufacturing?

Your ignorance and prejudice as well as lack of knowledge is right there in your rant claiming they were just “SH!T” cubed.

Whatever, that’s not an argument it’s just you ignorantly proving you don’t have one.

“… Blaming this all on an exchange rate, when everything is traded in US$’s is stupid. No-one wants to but poorly made products at high prices when they can buy the same, sh!t, at a quarter of the price. … ”

Again you wish to misrepresent what I said and pretend it’s all about the exchange-rate when my words are posted right there above showing that I didn’t claim it was all about exchange rates, I said AUD was the MAJOR factor because it was. A point to which you have no counterpoint to, but dishonestly claim that I think this was the only factor.


Here’s a hint, take a look at the first two words in my first comment to you above, they says this:

“Yes, but … ”

i.e. I first agreed with your point that power was a factor, but then went on to show you why it was more complicated and nuanced than just that. It’s called a discussion.

But you can’t bare to be contradicted with the facts staring you in the face? Well here’s the relevant historical AUD data charted that you asked for Patrick. It shows the AUD was $0.50 to USD in 2001 (as I already pointed out) then $1.10 to USD ten years later.

And there was this certain global dislocation called the “Global Financial Crisis” in the interim. But according to you this massive change in AUD was not the major effect regarding foreign-imports’ price-competitiveness against the domestic production competitiveness? And likewise upon the export competitiveness into foreign markets!

Ridiculous, have a look!

The power cost and reliability issues all came after this, that AUD move bought about by linkage to China was the destroyer of Australian manufacturing base.

A a few years on from AUD hitting $1.10 USD and the domestic car industry was gone. In fact ALL manufacturing was gutted by that major flip in AUD level. The power cost factors came AFTER the economic viability damage had already been done, and the car industry hobbled on only with spiral subsidy growth.

You haven’t got a leg to stand on Patrick. Less arrogance and prejudice would be nice next time.

Reply to  WXcycles
December 9, 2019 2:34 am

No problem Megs, cheers.

Reply to  Megs
December 9, 2019 2:47 am

“… when everything is traded in US$’s is stupid. … ”

I forgot this irrelevant red-herring.

That is a nonsense argument. You Patrick, as a naturalized Australian working here aren’t going to be transacting for a Ford or Holden car from an Australian car dealer and settling the purchase price in USD, you will be trading in AUD whether you like it or not. And nor will a buyer who buys an Australian car in Dubai or Singapore escape the exchange rate driven cost implications of AUD at $1.10 to USD.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  WXcycles
December 9, 2019 5:41 pm

Car dealers buy from the makers in US$’s.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  WXcycles
December 9, 2019 5:44 pm

Apologies, I meant car IMPORTERS buy from makers in US$’s. Importers supply cars to dealers and are purchased in AU$’s Many dealers sell many makes of cars on the same lot.

Reply to  WXcycles
December 9, 2019 8:10 pm

That’s just more nonsense from you, Patrick.

Australian dealers that buy from Australian producers transact in AUD.

Each year all imported car manufacturers release a national recommended retail price guideline for each car model and variant of that model. It is set by the manufacturer of foreign imported cars to Australia. The car dealerships generally will not set the price above that. This recommended retail price in the Australian market is determined from the forecast level of the AUD over the next 12 months.

And if the AUD level rises significantly in that period, it’s the manufacture who eats the loss, not the car dealership, the manufacturer still has to provide the cars to the dealerships at the contracted price. So they’re conservative about it, but they are also just as likely to see a fall in the level of the AUD, as a rise, so they can also potentially make extra income if the AUD falls lower for most or all of that year. They eat the loss, and they get the windfall.

You claim about transacting in USD in Australian car transactions is just baloney.

Reply to  Megs
December 9, 2019 5:24 am

Portland vic is only just hanging in there and another power out couple weeks ago again ruined a run luckily less damage to equipment
high aus$ my ass
they DROPPED the tariffs due to OS trade deals and EU pressure
and thats whent tha ass dropped outta our markets
sure our cars were costlier
but then our workers got a decent wage as well
usa is still bitchin about a 15$ n hr wage
even a farm worker unskilled or a school leaver working at a snack bar makes 20+ n hr

Reply to  ozspeaksup
December 9, 2019 8:26 pm

” … high aus$ my ass …”

What compelling erudition.

Reply to  SMS
December 9, 2019 5:16 am

hell not even industry the local butcher and cafes are struggling while the cafe can swap to gas for most things they stil have to run drinks fridges freezers and cool display units 24/7
the butcher , even worse
smallish supermarket is also hurting
and commercial rates are WAY above the avg 30+ cents per kwh paid by homes users

December 8, 2019 6:59 pm

But I thought Australia was already suffering from climate catastrophe: wildfires, drought, loss of GBR etc! How come the electorate haven’t noticed?

December 8, 2019 7:17 pm

Bill Shorten . . . his seminal words . . . “This election is a referendum on climate change”!,12728

December 8, 2019 7:43 pm

I own a newish factory in AU and as soon as practical it’s moving to the USA where we can secure long-contracted cheap electricity.
Conservative Gov here just don’t care about energy because they love the additional GST (tax).
And that’s the worst kept secret of high-ranking conservatives I know.
Both sides of politics are slowly sinking Australia because they don’t understand (or care) that low-cost energy is the engine of a healthy economy.
The greatest threat to Australia now is lawyers (that’s most politicians) and climate change fanatics (across all political persuasions).

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Warren
December 8, 2019 10:31 pm

Why would you do that when you have south east Asia on your doorstep?

December 8, 2019 9:08 pm

“… the environment (11%) and global warming (10%). One in five respondents nominating environmental issues as their top concern is a record, up from fewer than 10% of voters in 2016. …”

The greens vote was 10.1% at the last Federal election earlier this year. The rest are eco-loons in the hard-left of the Labor party.

What it signifies is the further damnation of nutjob ‘policy’ nonsense from both the Greens and Labor, as they battle it out to see which party of useless gobschists can attract the biggest voting block of feral lunatics.

As a result both will become even more un-electable by regular sane people. However their collective aim is to eventually form a coalition government, and put the most mentally-ill patients in Australia in charge of the national asylum in Canberra.

December 8, 2019 9:32 pm

No Australian election was ever won by the party offering the most Climate Action; same in USA 2016, Hungary and almost everywhere people get a choice. Maybe not Canada.

December 9, 2019 1:02 am

climate change is 4th most important issue in the current UK election.

and you think people in Australia might have noticed most of their state on fire plus continuing drought and lack of govt response to that next time they vote?

Reply to  griff
December 9, 2019 11:24 am

You need to read more posts and comments griff, otherwise you’ll learn nothing more. You can’t just come in every now and again, otherwise you’ll only ever have your own opinion.

So much to learn griff, if you’re willing to listen.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  griff
December 9, 2019 5:40 pm

Griff, go learn about Australia and the constant, recorded, cycle of drought and fire. Nothing unusual about the current fires other than decades of forest management that have not happened as it once did.

michael hart
December 9, 2019 8:03 am

Sooner or later even the thickest of politicians must surely get it. Years, now running into decades, of media saturation about how the planet is going to totally cook us in only a few years is proving to be
a) False
b) Not winning many votes.

Sure most politicians are going along with it because all the others are, and they don’t want to be separated from the herd. But it may only take a few with the courage to stand up and call BS. Then the house of cards might possibly come down as fast as the Berlin Wall.

December 9, 2019 8:24 am

Global Warming isn’t so much a problem as an answer to a problem. Namely, how to make a group of supposedly highly-educated (yet clearly rather stupid and totally unelectable) people look both mainstream and necessary.

This is a Herculean task, yet one shouldered daily by climate pseudo-scientists, environmentalists, teachers, students, neo-feminists, pseudo-antiracists, communists, actors, popular musicians and others Hell-bent on placing themselves at the elite end of society where they clearly belong (according to their own deluded thoughts).

December 9, 2019 8:30 am

Not to mention journalists. They’re some of the worst.

December 9, 2019 2:40 pm

Where was political leadership on the list?

Rudolf Huber
December 11, 2019 2:12 pm

Wow, that’s a biggie. Let me drive it home – any population that is forced to choose between a decent life and following some nutbags into a Climate Aöarmist economic fiasco will choose their own lives first. In Germany, a collective of more than 10000 concerned citizens has asked all political parties a series of questions that should show those parties that they will bleed if their concerns are not being taken seriously. When the first bunch of senior politicians loses badly in elections and this will at least in part be attributed to the Climate madness, watch the rest of the bunch flip faster than a ballerina on her toes. People are sick and tired.

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