20 ways how to F—k up an economy!
Number 12. Hanging the public out to dry, and selling the clothes of their back at the same time!
By our Local NT Government. (witnessed and written about by me, a lowly peasant, oops I mean citizen, but I don't want to steal their limelight, they did all the work... proudly.)
Don’t get me wrong, continuously I’ve discussed economic factors and events with several sitting politicians and pundits from both sides of the isle. To say Holes and Homes is their main concern would be an understatement, but forgiving the lack of economic and financial intelligence by both the local bureaucracy and the half-wits presented for us to vote on what we have seen is that they can’t even get the Mining and Housing sector right, so we didn’t stand much of a chance for anything else.
For those blaming either side for the problems, I say, they have both been as bad as each other, but given that we currently have a government with a massive, albeit, unstoppable majority of 18 members and an opposition of 2, this current government could really make some changes to fix things, but lets reflect first on both sides F-ups.
I’m releasing one of these one at a time, then I’ll provide 20 ways they might make some positive changes, so in the new year we might be able to re-invigorate our currently sitting government to get back to work and maybe represent the people again, as most who know me can attest, I have a critical mind, with a positive outlook.
Number 12 - Selling out the NT
Consecutive NT Governments have taken the extra-ordinary steps to sell (a 99 year lease in most terms is known as a sale) or divest its interest in income producing assets to the dismay of every business professional.
Not all assets are equal. Many assets will depreciate over time either from normal wear and tear or from obsolescence. The government, councils and state/NT alike have public ownership of a massive range of assets, some income producing and some not.
Some assets are an integral part of physical infrastructure, some financial, and some are owned for security reasons. So, like many Territorians, I was not just bemused but angered when 2 of the Territories assets were sold by the previous government. Being a Real estate professional, I was also pissed off at the low prices, that were at the time well below comparative sales in western countries (let alone asia).
The Darwin Port. Apart from not even trying to seek a mandate from the electorate, the sale of this asset was a massive blow to national security to a foreign financed and owned entity, but a perceptually financially misleading. The asset made a profit, it required maintenance and contract renegotiation, but even at it’s outdated income it made a profit.
Like many assets suffering from negligence and a lack of local political will, the Darwin Port required some bureaucratic focus. Many users had failed to meet Australian environmental requirements and reports had found that the administrators had failed to police or even penalise many of the offenders. This major issue would not go away, on the contrary, due to the secrecy and policies and procedure of the new “owners” (ok we still own 20% with the liability but no decision power, whoo hoo (sic)), we no longer have reasonable direct access to the asset to ensure EPA requirements are met presently or in future.
Due to allowances made to the new operators, there has been a massive loss in local employment and as the new operators require the asset to make even greater profit, the local costs have risen, and will continue to rise. This was a bad idea, for so many reasons, the previous government has in no small part been punished for it, all but being wiped out in the last election.
I won’t get stuck on the TIO scandal too much, but to say, our insurance has sky rocketed, the failure of a local banking alternative, has almost crippled the local economy. So, what has the new Government done to counter it?
The silence is deafening!
I wonder if they are still thinking about selling our power and water assets next?