Can You Help?

This website is in imminent danger of being shut down. It has been online since 1995, but the personal circumstances of the owner, Malcolm Farnsworth, are such that economies have to be made. Server costs and suchlike have become prohibitive. At the urging of people online, I have agreed to see if Patreon provides a solution. More information is available at the Patreon website. If you are able to contribute even $1.00/month to keep the site running, please click the Patreon button below.

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The site has been online since June 1995, nearly 18 years ago. It has operated on the current domain name for the past 12 years. It contains thousands of pages of content and routinely attracts 100,000-250,000 unique monthly visitors.

The site has grown in every year it has been online. At one point, I even hoped it would become a full-time venture. It had a bumper year in 2010 due to the federal election and other political events. This election year promised to be the site’s best yet.

However, my personal circumstances dictate that the site’s time is up. It will disappear from the web when the current hosting arrangements expire. The companion sites, and, will also close.

It has been a labour of love maintaining the site over the years. I would like to thank everyone who visited it.

Malcolm Farnsworth

Gillard Confirms $12 Billion Budget Shortfall

Prime Minister Julia Gillard says there will be a $12 billion budget hole this financial year.


In a speech to the Per Capita think tank today, Gillard said: “The ‘bottom line for the Budget bottom line’ is this: the amount of tax revenue the Government has collected so far this financial year is already $7.5 billion less than was forecast last October. [Read more…]

Reserve Bank Leaves Interest Rate Unchanged At 3%

The Reserve Bank has left the official cash rate unchanged at 3.0%.

The decision was taken at the bank’s Board meeting today. Rates were last reduced in December 2012. During 2012, rates fell by 1.25%. This followed a reduction of 0.5% in 2011.

In a statement, the Reserve Bank Governor, Glenn Stevens, said: “There are a number of indications that the substantial easing of monetary policy during late 2011 and 2012 is having an expansionary effect on the economy. Further such effects can be expected to emerge over time.”

Stevens said economic growth was “close to trend over 2012, led by very large increases in capital spending in the resources sector”. The peak in resource investment is “drawing close”, he said.

Inflation is consistent with the medium-term target of 2%.

The ALP was quick to release this graphic:


Statement from Glenn Stevens, Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

At its meeting today, the Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 3.0 per cent.

Global growth is forecast to be a little below average for a time, but the downside risks appear to be reduced. While Europe remains in recession, the United States is experiencing a moderate expansion and growth in China has stabilised at a fairly robust pace. Around Asia generally, growth was dampened by the earlier slowing in China and the weakness in Europe, but again there are signs of stabilisation. Commodity prices have declined somewhat recently, but are still at historically high levels.

Internationally, financial conditions are very accommodative. Risk spreads are narrow and funding conditions for financial institutions have improved. Long-term interest rates faced by highly rated sovereigns, including Australia, remain at exceptionally low levels. Borrowing conditions for large corporations are similarly very attractive. Share prices are substantially above their low points. However, the task of putting private and public finances on sustainable paths in several major countries is far from complete. Accordingly, financial markets remain vulnerable to setbacks. [Read more…]

April Fools’ Day At Google And The White House

I admit I didn’t instantly realise it was an April Fools’ Day joke.

Google can score it as a win.

I thought the number of visitors to from the International Space Station Control Room was unusual when I checked the traffic figures on Google Analytics this morning.

The real-time Location Map of visitors to the site said there was 41 of them.

They were in the United States. Later, they had moved to Australia:


By this evening they seemed to be somewhere over the Pacific Ocean:


The White House’s video titled “A Statement From the Briefing Room” was a little easier to pick.