Report: Jobs, not taxes, stimulate migration

first_imgA new study suggests that Vermont shouldn’t worry that higher taxes will drive people away, but how it spends its tax revenue appears to affect the likelihood that people will move here. Employment opportunities, a low incidence of crime, and affordable housing go hand in hand with greater inward migration.Those were among the key findings of a new migration study released today by the Montpelier-based Public Assets Institute and the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) of Amherst, MA. The study was based on migration data from all 50 states, but focused specifically on the effects in the New England states.‘The results show that taxes have no measurable impact on people’s decisions to leave a state,’ according to Jeffrey Thompson, a research economist at PERI and the author of the study, The Impact of Taxes on Migration in New England.  ‘Once households have decided to relocate’because of job loss, divorce, or whatever other reason’they seem to be slightly influenced by the taxes in their potential destination states.’ Even in choosing a destination state, though, the impact of taxes is relatively small and far outweighed by job opportunities and other conditions, according to the report.‘This new research should put to rest claims we’ve heard for years about tax flight,’ said Paul Cillo, president of Public Assets Institute. ‘Our own research and recent analysis by the Blue Ribbon Tax Structure Commission have shown that people moving to Vermont consistently have more income than the people who leave the state each year. If tax flight, especially by the wealthy, was happening, we should be seeing an income drain; instead we’re actually seeing more income.’‘The report suggests that how a state uses it tax dollars can make it more attractive,’ Cillo continued. ‘Over the 18-year period analyzed, there was a consistently strong correlation between people moving to a state and greater job opportunities, lower crime rates, and the availability of affordable housing.’Thompson’s study was based on migration data from all 50 states collected by the Internal Revenue Service between 1988 and 2006. He also looked at Census data and reviewed economic literature on migration patterns and tax policy.‘That taxes are not a big driver of migration may shock some politicians, but is not a surprise to researchers on this issue,’ Thompson said. ‘People concerned about attracting people to a state and keeping them there should really focus on creating jobs, and even be willing to raise taxes to do it. People are not going to leave a state because of some modest change in taxes, but they will leave if public safety deteriorates and if there are no jobs.’Critics of Vermont’s tax structure often point to New Hampshire as a model. However, Thompson also found that when looking solely at outward migration, people consistently have left New Hampshire at a greater rate than residents have left Vermont or the other states in the region.Public Assets Institute is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that researches and analyzes state fiscal policy. It is a member of the State Fiscal Analysis Initiative (SFAI) coordinated by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, D.C. Jeffrey Thompson is a research economist based at the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts and funded, in part, by Public Assets Institute and the other New England members of the SFAI network.The Impact of Taxes on Migration in New England is available at the Public Assets Institute website…(link is external)last_img read more

March 1, 2005 On the Move

first_img March 1, 2005 On the Move On the Move William E. Adams, Jr., was elected partner of McGuireWoods in Jacksonville. Adams practices in the commercial litigation department, focusing on complex commercial litigation and class actions. Francis H. Sheppard joined Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell in Orlando as a partner. Sheppard practices in general civil litigation with an emphasis in professional liability, employment litigation, and commercial litigation. Gerald Shane Ferenchik, Kelly M. Klein, and Jennifer A. Sullivan joined Coppins, Monroe, Adkins, Dincman & Spellman in Tallahassee as associates. Shawn Willson Shepard joined Bunting Sanchez Hayes in Atlanta as an associate. Shepard concentrates in commercial transactions, real estate, and corporate law. Additionally, the firm has relocated to 1640 Powers Ferry Road, Building 11, Suite 250, Marietta, GA 30067; phone (770) 552-8655, fax (770) 552-8862. Lila A. Jaber has joined the Tallahassee office of Akerman Senterfitt as of counsel in the government relations practice group. Lawrence A. Farese joined Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi in Naples as a partner. Farese’s practice focuses on business and probate litigation. Rebecca Sos joined Holland & Knight in Orlando. Sos joined the real estate section and practices primarily in the area of land use. G.W. Harrell joined the Tallahassee office of Akerman Senterfitt as of counsel in their legislative and governmental affairs practice group. James W. Pimentel has become police legal advisor to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office. Jay Carmichael has joined the law firm of Gunster Yoakley & Stewart in Miami as an of counsel attorney. Carmichael will serve local, national, and international clients in both the private and public sector in the areas of corporate strategic counseling. Neema R. Nair joined Genovese, Joblove & Battista in Miami as an associate. She will focus her practice on insolvency, bankruptcy, and creditors’ rights matters. Todd B. Reinstein joined Pepper Hamilton in Washington, D.C., as an associate in tax law. John C. Strickroot, Jr. , joined Shutts & Bowen in West Palm Beach as a partner in the real estate practice group. Cheryl L. Gordon was elected managing shareholder of Abel, Band, Russell, Collier, Pitchford & Gordon in Sarasota. Additionally, Christian T. Van Hise was elected shareholder in the firm. Samuel S. Heywood joined Akerman Senterfitt as an associate in the litigation practice group in the Miami office. John Fleming (Jack) Kelly joined the panel of mediators of Upchurch, Watson, White & Max in Daytona Beach. Jason K. Hutchinson joined Humphries & Oberdier in Jacksonville as an associate. The Law Offices of Michael Shane announce the relocation of its main office to One Datran Center, 9100 South Dadeland Blvd, PH 2, Suite 1810, Miami 33156; phone (305) 671-8777; fax (305) 671-2278. The firm continues to represent individual and corporate clients in all aspects of U.S. Immigration and Nationality law. The satellite office in Broward County will remain at 500 West Cypress Creek Road, Suite 500, Ft. Lauderdale 33309; phone (954) 772-8782; fax (954) 772-8783. Mark Kaplan was named chief of staff to Lt. Governor Toni Jennings. Amit Dehra joined Gorman Miotke and Associates with offices at 9800 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg 33716. The firm practices exclusively in the area of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Dehra works as an immigration associate and can be reached via e-mail at Richard E. Zelonka, Jr., joined Hinshaw & Culbertson in Jacksonville. Zelonka focuses his practice in litigation and handles motor vehicle accidents, premises liability, commercial trucking, and insurance coverage matters. Dan Bachrach, Tracey Ellerson, Matt Julian, and Christa Werder were elected partners of Baker & Hostetler in Orlando. Bachrach practices in the business group. Ellerson practices in the employment and labor group. Julian and Werder practice in the litigation group. Charles A. Volkert III of Robert Half Legal in Miami was promoted to the position of executive director. Gary Walker joined Allen Dell in Tampa. Walker focuses his practice in the area of health care law. Yueling E. Lee joined Barr, Murman, Tonelli, Slother & Sleet in Tampa as an associate. Lee practices in the area of commercial law and litigation. Victor G. Santiago joined Norton, Hammersley, Lopez & Skokos in Sarasota. Santiago concentrates on business law, taxation, estate planning, probate, and real estate. Mark K. Straley, Tracy J. Robin, and Robert S. Williams announce the opening of Straley, Robin & Williams. The firm’s areas of concentration include real estate transactions and development, land use and zoning, community development districts, federal, state and local taxation, tax controversies, estate planning, tax planning, and corporate law. The firm’s offices are located at 100 East Madison St., Suite 300, Tampa 33602; phone (813) 223-9400; fax (813) 223-5043. Gina K Grimes, Erik R. Matheney, and Lara J. Tibbals have been elected shareholders in Hill, Ward & Hendersen in Tampa. Grimes is a member of the real estate practice group. Matheney and Tibblas are members of the litigation group. David A. Riggs joined Hodgson Russ, L.L.P., in Boca Raton as a partner in its Florida family law practice group. March 1, 2005 On the Movelast_img read more

CUNA to lawmakers: No g-fee use for highway, other expenses

first_imgCUNA joined more than 30 financial organizations Monday in requesting that the U.S. Congress refrain from using guarantee fees (g-fees) as funding for any purpose other than supporting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac safety and soundness.The letter, sent to leadership of both the Senate and the House, comes after the Senate added a provision increasing g-fees and extending the fee’s expiration date by four years to 2025 as part of a long-term highway funding bill (H.R. 22).The proposal contained in H.R. 22 would use the higher fees charged from 2021 to 2025 to fund highway programs.Fannie and Freddie charge lenders the g-fees primarilyto protect against credit-related losses in the mortgage portfolio. In 2011, those fees were raised by 10 basis points until 2021 to fund a two-month extension of the payroll tax.“We understand the critical need to reauthorize highway programs,” the CUNA coalition letter reads. “However, we are united in our belief that using g-fees as a funding mechanism for this purpose shifts the burden to homeowners and the housing sector in a manner that prevents the government-sponsored entities (GSEs) from effectively managing their risk and managing their duty to ensure that creditworthy borrowers from underserved communities has access to sustainable credit.” continue reading » 14SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Credit-debit card fraudsters target the affluent

first_img 11SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr If you make $75,000 or more a year and have a college degree, you are more likely to receive a credit and debit card fraud alert from your financial institution, according to a new survey report from’s more, despite the best efforts of financial institutions and new security measures, many types of card fraud are still on the rise because criminals have become more devious.The Austin, Texas-based organization’s nationally representative sample of 1,000 U.S. adults surveyed found that 68% of those with annual household income of $75,000 or more have received a fraud alert compared with 40% of those making $30,000-$49,999 and 26% with income under $30,000.The same is true for educational attainment: 65% of college graduates have gotten a fraud notification, compared with 49% who attended some college and 25% who have a high school education or less. continue reading »last_img read more

PREMIUMIndonesia to get new business license regime with omnibus bill

first_imgGoogle Topics : Log in with your social account LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Facebook omnibus-bill omnibus-law job-creation BKPM investment-coordinating-board Bahlil-Lahadalia license Linkedin Forgot Password ? The government will introduce a new business licensing regime in the omnibus bill on job creation to boost competitiveness and bolster investment as Indonesia’s ranking in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business (EODB) index stagnates at 73rd.The draft omnibus bill obtained by The Jakarta Post introduces the new “business licensing” mechanism issued by the central government, streamlined through the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), according to the bill’s draft and Presidential Instruction (Inpres) No. 7/2019 on the acceleration of ease of doing business.BKPM head Bahlil Lahadalia said on Monday that the board had started to handle all licensing issuance as per Jan. 31. The new system will cut licensing hurdles as issuance was previously spread across government institutions and regional administrations, causing uncertainty to both investors and b…last_img read more

A retro home stuck in another era sells just before it was due to go under the hammer

first_imgThe new owner plans to update the home.According to Place – Bulimba agent Rachel Fechner, the home which was owned by the same family since it was constructed back in 1960 retained much of the look from that decade.“It’s not everyone’s cup of tea,” Ms Fechner said. Perfect for parties.But with a large 371 sqm of internal floorspace, including an expansive rumpus room and bar, the buyer saw a lot of potential in the home. “He had been looking for quite some time for a project, something he could bring a new vibe to and do it up,” she said. Among the unusual additions to the home are a wrought iron staircase, originally from the Commonwealth Bank building in George St, and 1960s era cream carpet. TIME WARP: A home that remained virtually unchanged since the 1960s was sold to a keen buyer right before auction.A massive home that looks like a time capsule of the 1960s was snapped up just hours before it was due to go to auction.center_img Like stepping back in time.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus19 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market19 hours agoThe five-bedroom home at 56 Delsie St in Cannon Hill was set to be auctioned early yesterday morning before a buyer made a successful offer of $700,000 on late Friday night. last_img read more

Policy vacuum clouds a bright future

first_imgINTRO: A unique opportunity to restructure Australia’s fragmented and neglected rail network into a profitable industry providing cost-effective, reliable and safe transport will be lost if the federal and state governments fail to create the right framework for private investmentBYLINE: John KirkDirectorAustralasian Railway AssociationTHERE IS A HIGH level of optimism about the future of rail in Australia. Evidence of this can be found in the strong private sector interest among bidders in the sale of Australian National, the price paid by the successful bidders (A$95·4m), and the number of privately funded rail projects in progress or planned. In addition, three private companies are successfully operating freight trains in the east – west corridor.Against this background, it is very difficult to provide a frank analysis of the current situation without being accused of talking down the future of the industry, and thus devaluing publicly-owned assets which are up for sale.It is especially hard for the Director of a relatively new (but very pro-active) industry body – the Australasian Railway Association (see box p698) – to caution against the implicit assumption that the private sector operators can somehow find a way of sorting out fundamental problems such as gross inconsistencies in road and rail infrastructure pricing and funding. Railway reform can succeed in Australia as it has done in New Zealand, Japan and elsewhere. But the policy framework does have to be right, and in Australia it is seriously defective.Reform, with or without privatisation, will not work where there is a substantial legacy of under-investment in rail infrastructure, fragmentation of safety and technical standards, and grossly inadequate recovery of external costs (including road provision) from competing road transport.The business community in Australia has come to understand the potential of rail to conquer the ’tyranny of distance’. Rail is being considered as a key line-haul link in the logistics chain, and some potential buyers of privatised organisations see big opportunities in this sector.Despite all the uncertainties and dithering at the political level, three private train operators have entered the east – west corridor. Using hired traction, crews and wagons, Specialised Container Transport and TNT Australia are operating between Melbourne and Perth, and Patrick Stevedores between Melbourne and Adelaide.The question is: how do we persuade our politicians that rail freight is worth taking seriously, and help them to understand what changes are essential for sustained success? Aside from lobbying and campaigning by ARA and other bodies, the federal government has taken two initiatives that may produce policy directions in due course.First, it has created the National Transport Council to improve the quality of industry advice to the Minister of Transport, John Sharp; Vince Graham, Managing Director of NRC, represents rail. Secondly, it has set up an inquiry into the role of rail in national transport by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Communications, Transport & Macroeconomic Reform.A third initiative, taken by the transport ministers through the Australian Transport Council, was to call a Rail Summit in Melbourne on September 10. Although the catalyst was the argument over which line should be built to Darwin (box p697), rail industry leaders were confident that a number of more useful outcomes might be achieved.Foremost on their shopping list was the establishment of a government funded national rail research body similar to the National Road Transport Commission, which has been very successful in harmonising road regulations and determining reforms that have improved the quality and efficiency of trucking. The other issues included the need for intermodal competitive neutrality, the cost of network access, the role of government in infrastructure investment, and the application of consistent rigorous assessment criteria to all transport investment.Conflicting objectivesThe political structure of Australia, which is a federation of six states and two territories, leads inevitably to a conflict of objectives not only between the federal government in Canberra and the state governments, but also between one state and another.Land transport is a state responsibility. Australia’s notorious gauge problem – alleviated if not resolved by conversion of the principal interstate routes to standard gauge between 1930 and 1995 – is one of the more visible results.Less obvious, but highly relevant to the development of a national interstate network open to competing private train operators, are the many complex and differing safety and technical standards evolved by the government railways in each state. These pose a serious barrier to new and existing operators who want to invest in rolling stock and operate with maximum efficiency.After lengthy negotiations, the Intergovernmental Agreement on Rail Safety came into effect on July 1 1996. This provides for a national system of safety accreditation of owners and operators based on Australian Standard AS4292, although accreditation is still a state rather than a national responsibility. The agreement does not deal with technical standards affecting the registration of rolling stock, nor does it have any impact on the plethora of safe-working and communications systems across the nation.Some 14 months after it should have come into force on July 1 1996, this agreement has still not been signed by Tasmania and the Northern Territory. Some states have yet to enact their legislation to implement properly the first of the much-needed national reforms. But the National Accreditation Guidelines prepared by the state regulators have already come under fire from the rail industry. Government and private operators large and small are critical of the costs involved in meeting the guidelines which do not conform to AS 4292.If reaching agreement on purely technical issues such as safety standards is so tortuous, it is hardly surprising that the policy objectives of the governments are seriously out of step.AN sale in progressThe Federal and Victorian governments are moving rapidly to privatise their rail operations. The announcement of the successful bidders for the three AN business units was expected in early August, but several bidders were called to submit revised offers for further consideration by the Federal Office of Asset Sales. On August 28 the federal transport minister John Sharp announced that AN would be sold to three separate consortia (p703).The Federal Government has also said that it intends to sell its shares in National Rail Corporation by the end of 1998, a move that is supported by the board and senior management. The other two shareholders, Victoria and New South Wales, are expected to sell their shares too.Withheld from the sale of AN assets were the standard gauge interstate routes linking South Australia with WA, NSW, Victoria and the NT. It is proposed that these lines will be managed by a federal agency, but until this is established AN’s Track Access unit will continue to manage them and charge access fees to train operators. The unit is directly responsible to the federal transport minister in Canberra.Negotiations are under way with the relevant states to resolve the issues stalling the creation of a national track access regime. The federal government has made some funding available from July 1 1998 to enable the regime to commence business.In Victoria, the Public Transport Corporation is being restructured into stand-alone businesses which are destined for sale. Victorian Rail Track Corporation (VicTrack) will maintain and manage access to the non-metropolitan non-electrified infrastructure including the two standard gauge interstate routes from Melbourne to the NSW and South Australian borders.Originally, the government said it would retain ownership of rail infrastructure, but recent announcements indicate that all assets may in fact be sold.V/Line Freight Corp is expected to be sold as a train operator in 1998. Competitors will be able to negotiate with VicTrack for access rights, on terms which the establishing legislation merely says must be ’fair and reasonable’. They can also use the Trade Practices Act to obtain access if negotiations are unsuccessful.There are country passenger services radiating from Melbourne on five routes. Trains on the routes to Warrnambool and Shepparton are already operated by private companies under slightly different arrangements. West Coast Railways and Hoys have seven-year franchises for their respective services, beginning in July and August 1994. WCR owns its own rolling stock, whilst Hoys leases from the PTC. Both pay access fees for the routes between Melbourne and the destinations, and both receive a CSO contribution for state-imposed concession terms. The remaining services operated by the PTC will be put out to tender by the state government as part of the PTC privatisation. The PTC operates an extensive network of heavy rail and tram/light rail routes covering the built-up zone in and around Melbourne. The electric suburban train service will be split for sale into two networks, and the tramways into two.Privatisation not universalThus far, the governments of Western Australia, Queensland and NSW have not said that they intend to privatise their railways.Westrail and Queensland Rail remain vertically integrated businesses, and the fact that both are profitable (apart from explicit subsidy for urban and country passenger trains) means that pressure for restructuring is muted.Nevertheless, both states are setting up open access regimes that should eventually allow new entrants to compete with the government railways. A Queensland Competition Authority is being put in place to administer the open access regime and arbitrate on disputes between QR and new entrants.Queensland is the only government to have implemented a long term programme of investment in rail infrastructure so as to bring it up to modern standards. In addition to new and upgraded heavy haul lines moving coal to the sea for export, major improvements have been made to the trunk line between Brisbane and Cairns including deviations and electrification throughout south of Rockhampton. However, it should be noted that the QR investment of over A$700m was funded through borrowings to be paid back with interest, unlike the billions of dollars of state grants sunk into road improvements.New South Wales is the only state to sign a long-term (7-year) CSO agreement. NSW is also investing A$250m a year into capital works and A$500m for routine and periodic maintenance of rail infrastructure. Last year, NSW split its State Rail Authority into four organisations handling passengers, freight, track access and infrastructure maintenance.The Rail Access Corp manages the infrastructure, outsourcing the actual work of maintenance and construction, and arranges access for train operators within the provisions of the Trade Practices Act. The negotiated price must meet the direct cost and full incremental cost imposed by the operator’s trains, and the rate of return on RAC’s assets must not exceed 14%. The government-owned Railway Services Authority is the incumbent maintenance contractor for much of RAC’s network. RSA provides construction, maintenance and technical advice to RAC under a series of Deeds of Agreement. Infrastructure maintenance work is now open to competition from the private sector, starting with the East Hills line in the Sydney suburbs.NSW’s major rail freight operator is now known as FreightCorp, but remains state-owned. It has recently won large long-term contracts to haul coal from the Hunter Valley against threatened private competition, and is launching other innovative freight services for its customers. The residual State Rail Authority remains responsible for country, commuter and urban passenger operations.Absence of policyWhat is clearly evident from both the Commonwealth and Victoria asset sales is the lack of any real transport policy, such as exists in Queensland, for example. Both governments simply want to rid themselves of the troublesome railway as quickly as possible, while generating as much cash as they can from sales.In the case of AN, the government was extremely happy with the results of the sale, with final bids higher than expected. This was despite some comment from bidders expressing dismay at the short time frame, and many changes to the bidding parameters.Indeed, comparing the recent privatisation of airports with the sale of AN, some commentators attributed the difference in approach to the government’s lack of understanding of the role of rail in the nation’s transport task.For example, how can investors judge the prospects for making a return on AN assets when a conflict of objectives exists over track access regimes and private investment in the infrastructure?Notwithstanding the One Nation programme of 1992-95, which saw Melbourne – Adelaide converted to standard gauge (RG 7.95 p445) and modest improvements to the Melbourne – Brisbane route, the federal government has shown no consistency in funding rail and road investment. Despite claims by the Federal Minister for Transport that the government’s objective is to make rail more competitive with road, the 1997-98 federal budget allocates A$175m over four years from 1998-99 for main line rail infrastructure upgrading compared to A$1 600m for road spending in just the one financial year. Over the past 20 years the federal government has spent A$1·5bn on rail investment and A$32bn on roads.Track access debateThe whole question of control and charging for track access is the subject of heated debate, and delicate negotiations began in July with the aim of thrashing out a solution by September 10. At the time of writing two initiatives were being taken, and the Federal Minister of Transport was confident that a national access regime could be established. The Commonwealth Department of Transport is negotiating with each of the states to establish an agreed position, and at the same time the state access providers are engaged in discussions to try and determine an industry solution. As well as funding and control issues, the state infrastructure providers are looking to improve service to operators through greater uniformity in terms of operation, communications and safe-working practices. The proliferation of accreditation agencies alone has created a barrier to new entrants and imposed a huge cost burden on existing operators.Track Australia, proposed by the former Labour government, was to have owned and controlled access to the interstate trunk lines (at least) so that operators between the major cities would have only one organisation to deal with. This fading dream is now being revived by access providers, who are discussing a possible ’one stop shop’ for all operators both interstate and intrastate.The federal government has put forward a number of models for a national track access regime. The model currently favoured by the Federal Departments of Finance and Treasury sees the states retaining ownership of the track, and the Commonwealth providing a centralised ’one-stop shop’ to broker deals between operators and the state access providers. Initially, the eastern states were said to favour this because they have significant intrastate traffic over which they wish to retain control. The model favoured by Federal Minister for Transport John Sharp would see Commonwealth control over the network through a national authority, but with the states making financial contributions towards the maintenance of the assets.The major sticking points to an agreed outcome are: who should fund the ongoing maintenance and upgrading of the network; the passing of control over state infrastructure to the Commonwealth; and access pricing policy. The states want the Commonwealth to pay for interstate rail infrastructure in the same way as they pay for national highways and roads of national importance. The Commonwealth wants the states to contribute.The eastern states are resisting any form of national control over their corridors, as this would continue the duplication of access agencies. The operation of a small percentage of interstate business could also unduly affect the much larger volume of intrastate activity; the tail wagging the dog! Solutions being proposed include the creation of a board representing access providers to manage track access, and substantial Commonwealth funding to separate the freight and urban passenger networks in Sydney to ease peak-hour congestion.What is urgently needed is the alignment of financial and managerial responsibility, and of ownership and investment. The operators want a workable and affordable solution. The access providers are trying to find an acceptable solution. The federal government is also trying to find a solution. But until the conflicting objectives and political agenda can be resolved, the conundrum remains.Private funding soughtThe Commonwealth wants to see private investment in rail infrastructure; the transport minister has said many times that rail users must pay for the upgrading and maintenance of the infrastructure they use. This would be fine if road freight operators were required to do the same, but studies show that they are only contributing about a quarter of the amount required. In contrast, although both road and rail operators pay diesel fuel excise, about 60% of the duty paid on loco fuel goes on road improvements.Private train operators simply cannot compete with truckers on these terms. Some are asking for zero access charges in the Melbourne – Sydney – Brisbane corridor as a way of compensating for the huge investment which is going into parallel highways, which are constantly being improved at public expense.No responsible investor would put money into rail infrastructure on this basis, especially as a large part of the interstate network has been neglected for decades and is incapable of being operated efficiently because speeds are low and many passing loops too short.Also, the private sector is unlikely to invest in state-based railways. What they want is an integrated national trunk network owned and managed by one central authority, whether publicly or privately controlled. This is the conundrum for government.Developing a national policyThe absence at the federal level of any coherent policy to develop a commercial rail freight industry that can compete effectively with road and win back not just tonnage but market share is a very serious deficiency.A business environment survey by the OECD’s Economic Intelligence Unit, published in May, ranked Australia 12th out of 58 countries, but the quality and extensiveness of rail infrastructure was in the lowest tier of indicators (2 out of 5) along with strikes, skill shortages and restrictive labour laws.Despite this handicap, rail managed to haul 100 billion net tonne-km in 1994-95, which is 56% of the combined road and rail freight task outside urban areas. Admittedly, a high proportion of this is accounted for by heavy haul operations in Queensland and Western Australia which in general have not lacked private or public investment.But the remarkable transformation of privately owned, unsubsidised and vertically integrated railways in the USA from near bankruptcy in the 1970s to highly effective competition with road for general freight in the 1990s shows what key legislative and policy changes can achieve. oCAPTION: National Rail is taking delivery of 120 new NR class diesels from A Goninan & Co in Perth and Newcastle. Two NRs and a Clyde-EMD DL class tackle the steep curves and sharp grades in northern SA with a 1·5 km long Perth – Sydney superfreighterCAPTION: NSW Freight Corp uses Canadian-built 90 class diesels under a Clyde-EMD power-by-the-hour contract for its lucrative Hunter Valley coal operations, which may soon be challenged by private competitorsCAPTION: Australian National’s Leigh Creek coal business accounted for about one-third of its South Australian revenue, but instead of including it in the sell-off, ownership was transferred to South Australia power company Optima Energy, significantly reducing the sale valueCAPTION: Australia’s first privatised country passenger service links Melbourne and Warrnambool in Victoria; West Coast Railway’s ’WestCoaster’ is headed by an overhauled 40-year-old EMD S class dieselCAPTION: National Rail has introduced double-stack operation on the Trans-Australia route across the Nullarbor. Originating in Melbourne, the new 5-pack wagons on this Perth-bound superfreighter were ’doubled up’ in Adelaide for the 110 km/h trunk haulUn vide politique obscurcit un brillant avenirLes chemins de fer australiens font actuellement l’objet d’une restructuration massive visant à privatiser une majeure partie, voire l’industrie entière. Mais le prix que les sociétés devront payer pour acquérir les marchés à vendre – dont un grand nombre sont en perte à l’heure actuelle, est déprimé par le manque des politiciens fédéraux à comprendre le besoin de réforme structurale du secteur des transports préalablement à la privatisationPolitisches Vakuum trübt sonnige ZukunftAustraliens Eisenbahnen werden einer massiven Umstrukturierung unterzogen, die auf eine Privatisierung eines großen Teils, wenn nicht des gesamten Wirtschaftszweigs abzielt. Der Preis, den Unternehmen für den Erwerb der zum Verkauf stehenden Geschäfte – von denen viele zur Zeit Verluste machen – zahlen werden, wird allerdings dadurch herabgesetzt, daß bundesstaatliche Politiker nicht die Notwendigkeit einer strukturellen Reform des Verkehrssektors vor einer Privatisierung verstehenEl vacío político plantea nubes a un futuro brillanteLos ferrocarriles australianos estlast_img read more

Saudi Aramco orders 13 jackets from McDermott

first_imgMcDermott International has been awarded a large contract from Saudi Aramco for the engineering, procurement, construction and installation of 13 jackets in the Zuluf, Marjan, Berri and Abu Safah fields, offshore Saudi Arabia.McDermott defines a large contract as between $50 million and $250 million.This is the fourth fast-track project to be awarded to McDermott by Saudi Aramco in the last 24 months. The combined total weight of the structures is approximately 26,455 short tons (24,000 metric tons), McDermott noted in a statement on Wednesday.For this latest contract award, McDermott said it plans to use its engineering teams in Dubai and Chennai with construction taking place at McDermott’s facilities in Jebel Ali, Dubai and Dammam, Saudi Arabia. Vessels from McDermott’s global fleet are scheduled to undertake the installation and completions work.Linh Austin, McDermott Vice President, Middle East and Caspian, said: “Since 2001, McDermott has built and installed over 121 jackets for Saudi Aramco with a total weight of over 220,462 tons (200,000 metric tons). Not only is McDermott able to meet the schedules of fast-track projects, but we consistently deliver them with outstanding safety performance.”The contract award will be reflected in McDermott’s first quarter 2018 backlog and work is expected to be carried out through the second half of 2018.last_img read more

140 Ruby Princess crew members test positive for COVID-19

first_imgThe ship is subject of an investigation by the NSW Police as it is believed to have become Australia’s biggest source of COVID-19 infections. It is linked to hundreds of confirmed coronavirus cases and a number of deaths. In NSW, 369 passengers who were on the Ruby Princess have tested positive and there have been 8 deaths associated with the ship. In addition, there are 12 Ruby Princess crew members with COVID-19 in health facilities in NSW. The vessel has a total of 1,040 crew members on board. A total of 140 crew members of the cruise ship Ruby Princess, which is still docked in Australian waters, have tested positive for COVID-19. In response to the recent order from the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Princess Cruises, operator of Ruby Princess, canceled all voyages through June 30, 2020. The company also canceled all Princess Alaska Gulf cruise and cruise tours. center_img “This global outbreak continues to challenge our world in unimaginable ways. We recognize how disappointing this is to our long-term business partners and thousands of employees, many of whom have been with us in Alaska for decades,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. The figure is being revealed after 13 more crew members tested positive to the virus in the latest round of testing, data from the New South Wales Ministry of Health (NSW Health) shows. “We hope everyone impacted by these cancellations – especially our guests, travel advisor partners, teammates, and the communities we visit – understand our decision to do our part to protect the safety.”last_img read more

Sevilla confirm Uchenna Kanu’s exit

first_imgSevilla revealed through their official website that the Falcons star, Uchenna Kanu, has left the club alongside other players who no longer want to continue with the club. It would be recalled that Kanu has signed two year deal with Swedish Damallsvenskan side Linkopings FC. The full statement from Sevilla reads: “Sevilla FC has confirmed today several of the footballers who will not continue in the women’s first team for the coming season.Advertisement Counting the already known case of Jeni Morilla, there are other soccer players who will not carry the elastic sevillista in the 2020-2021 exercise.” read also:Uchenna Kanu completes deal with Sevilla “Thus, Aldana Cometti, Yanara Aedo, Sabrina Flores, Uchenna Kanu, Claire Falknor, Nadya Karpova and Olga Carmona are the ones who have joined the Coria del Río soccer player so far, Olga having the express desire to say goodbye in the next dates to through this website after having decided to embark on a new professional path. Sevilla FC wants to thank the services provided and wishes them luck in the future.” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 center_img Loading…last_img read more