The Impact of the Floods On Our Patchwork Economy: Swan

This is the text of a speech delivered by the Treasurer, Wayne Swan, to the CEO Institute, in Brisbane.

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The Impact of the Floods on our Patchwork Economy

Wayne SwanThanks very much for having me and for that kind introduction.

I’d like to thank everyone for being here today, at such a challenging time for our state in particular, for other flood-affected communities in Victoria and elsewhere, and for the national economy more broadly. I’m sure all of you have many competing demands on your time, whether you’ve been personally affected by the floods or involved in the huge rescue and cleanup operation, or whether you’re looking after staff, or whether you’re just trying to get your business back on its feet.

Like me, you would have been inspired by the sheer depth of the community spirit we’ve seen in Queensland in recent weeks. Given the scale of the floods, we’re going to need every ounce of that community and corporate spirit, as we turn our attention to the economic costs and the economic recovery. [Read more...]


Flood Levy Details, Fact Sheets and Reaction

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced a package of measures including a one-off levy to pay for the flood damage in Queensland and elsewhere.

  • Full Text and Audio of Julia Gillard’s National Press Club Address
  • Listen to Gillard’s speech.

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  • Listen to Greens Senator Christine Milne comment on the package.

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  • Listen to Independent member Rob Oakeshott comment on the package.

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  • Listen to Tony Abbott announce the coalition’s opposition to the flood levy.

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  • Listen to Queensland Premier Anna Bligh comment on the package.

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  • Flood Levy Fact Sheet (PDF)
  • Flood Levy Questions and Answers (PDF)
  • Flood Levy Attachments 1-5: Relief funding, Recovery and Reconstruction, Temporary Flood Levy, Infrastructure and Flood Recovery, Skills and the Flood Recovery Task (PDF)
  • FloodLevy.com – website that allows you to calculate the levy for any income. Definitely worth a look.
  • Flood Levy Indicative Estimate Calculator (Excel)

Summary of Measures – Julia Gillard

Rebuilding after the floods

The Prime Minister today announced the Gillard Labor Government’s response to the immense national challenge of rebuilding flood-affected regions across Australia.

Preliminary estimates, following consultation with the Queensland Government, indicate that the Government will need to invest $5.6 billion in rebuilding flood-affected regions, with the vast majority going on rebuilding essential infrastructure. [Read more...]


Gillard Announces Levy To Pay For Flood Damage

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced that a one-off levy to pay for flood damage around Australia will be introduced from July 1.

The levy will only apply to individuals on incomes of more than $50,000. It will be levied at a rate of 0.5% on incomes from $50,001 to $100,000. The rate will be 1% on incomes from $100,001. People who have been affected by the floods will be exempt.

Gillard said the levy will apply only in the 2011-12 financial year and will raise $1.8 billion.

Julia Gillard

Addressing the National Press Club, Gillard also announced a $5.6 billion funding and skilling package for flood rebuilding.

She announced the abolition, deferral or capping of access to a range of carbon abatement programs. “These include the Green Car Innovation Fund, Cleaner Car Rebate Scheme, the Carbon Capture and Storage Flagships and Solar Flagships, the Solar Hot Water Rebate, Green Start Program, Solar Homes and Communities Plan and the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute.”

Gillard said: “The key to these carbon abatement program savings is my determination to deliver a carbon price.”

  • Listen to Julia Gillard’s National Press Club Address, including questions.

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Transcript of Julia Gillard’s National Press Club Address.

I see what needs to be done and I will do it

Yesterday was Australia Day, and in some ways, it was an Australia Day like any other.

Picnics and barbecues, tennis and cricket, a new Australian of the Year and new Australian citizens – in so many ways it felt just like last year did and just like next year will.

But yesterday in Toowoomba, Australia Day felt different to any I have known.

I went to Toowoomba yesterday to be with some of the people I have met in these last weeks. I went to Toowoomba, where shock has been followed by horror and horror has been followed by grief and where grief’s long season has only now begun, because I wanted the people I have met to know that their Prime Minister won’t let them go. [Read more...]


Wayne Swan Media Conference on Floods and CPI

Treasurer Wayne Swan held a doorstop press conference today to comment on the release of the latest Consumer Price Index figures.

Swan also talked about the impact on the federal budget of the floods.

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Text of media release from Treasurer Wayne Swan.

Consumer Price Index – December Quarter 2010

Today’s inflation figures showed that both CPI inflation and underlying inflation in the Australian economy continued to moderate in the December quarter, with underlying inflation easing to its lowest level in a decade.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) grew by 0.4 per cent in the December quarter, down from 0.7 per cent in the previous three months. Headline inflation was 2.7 per cent through the year, down from 2.8 per cent in the September quarter. [Read more...]


Abbott Says Broadband Network Should Go

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has repeated his call for the government to abandon the National Broadband Network and concentrate on flood reconstruction.

Speaking at a press conference today, Abbott said the NBN “is a luxury that Australia cannot now afford. The one thing you don’t do is re-do your bathroom when the roof has just been blown off and that’s the situation that we find ourselves in right now.”

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This is the transcript of Tony Abbott’s press conference.

ABBOTT:

As the flood waters recede, it’s clear that the damages bill is going to be enormous, perhaps even gargantuan, as Sir Rod Eddington suggested this morning. Certainly it will run to many, many billions of dollars. Now, the money just has to be spent because the people of Queensland have to be resupplied with the roads, the railroads and the bridges on which modern living absolutely depends. But the damages bill will have to be met, the money will have to be found. It should not be found via a new tax. The people of Queensland have suffered enough, they shouldn’t have to suffer higher taxes as well. It should be found through re-prioritising government expenditure. [Read more...]


Queensland Floods: Worsening Over Next 24 Hours

11.05am AEDT – Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has provided an update on overnight developments in the flood crisis, confirming that 8 people are confirmed dead and 72 unaccounted for.

Yesterday’s Toowoomba event has been described as a “super rain storm” that was impossible to predict.

Bligh said Ipswich can expect to receive 16 metres of flood water in the next 24 hours. Continuing rainfall could push this to 18 metres. In the 1974 floods, Ipswich peaked around 20 metres.

As the flood waters move towards Brisbane, Bligh said further releases of water from Wivenhoe Dam will take place.

  • Listen to Anna Bligh’s press conference with Emergency Management officials.

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This remarkable footage of the flood in Toowoomba yesterday shows the speed of the water sweeping away vehicles.


Qld Floods: “This Is Our Darkest Hour Of The Past Fortnight”

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh says Queensland is facing its darkest hour of the past fortnight after floodwaters and rain today unleashed what she described as “a freak of nature”.

Bligh confirmed that 4 people have died in Toowoomba. Television pictures tonight have shown amazing pictures of flash floods in the CBD of Toowoomba.

Bligh said 30 people are isolated in the small town of Grantham, 100 kilometres west of Brisbane. Six others are isolated in a private residence and the Premier said grave fears are held for the safety of others.

Police described today’s event as an “inland instant tsunami, with a massive wall of water that has gone straight down through the Lockyer Valley”. The ABC’s Paul Lockyer described a wall of water that came and went in seconds.

Bligh said 43 helicopter rescues have taken place tonight but rain and fog are hampering operations.

Police say modelling due in the next few hours will tell them what to expect as the waters reach Ipswich and Brisbane.

  • Click the PLAY button to listen to Bligh’s press conference. This is a rare look at a Premier under maximum pressure.

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