TRENDS: with Peter Lewis

Jul 9, 2012

An overabundance of free online content means we value it less than ever before, polling shows.

The ructions within newspaper empires Fairfax and News Limited centre on our move to online media. But while the opinion makers have written acres on the subject, it seems the general public is less concerned. Essential Media polling shows that only 25 per cent of us are concerned about the potential death of newspapers.

And our online reading habits show why. Sixty per cent of the population do not take in any daily news. Peter Lewis and the 3Q panel discuss this celebration of ignorance and its future implications.

Read more on the polling here.

Why has the UN accused Australia of failing children?

Jul 3, 2012

Norman Gillespie says Australia broke its promise to the UN to take children out of detention centres.

Last month the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child gave its five yearly report card on Australia’s children and the findings were not good — especially regarding our treatment of asylum seeking children.

UNICEF Australia’s CEO Norman Gillespie tells 3Q that the UN’s recommendation seven years ago to release these children into the community has been ignored with over 400 children still in detention. He hopes the recent announcement to appoint a National Children’s Commissioner will ensure Australian meets its obligations for children seeking asylum and all children who continue to fall through the gaps.

Are we a nation of financial dunces?

Jul 3, 2012

Ian Silk shares some frightening statistics about our lack of literacy when it comes to super and investing.

At a time when people are being asked to make more financial decisions than ever before, study after study shows the vast majority are overwhelmed by increasingly complex transactions.. It’s a startling fact for a country with the greatest number of shareholders in the world.

When it comes to super, as many as 43% of people rate themselves as having “none” (8%) or “only minimal” (35%) levels of knowledge about superannuation. CEO of AustralianSuper Ian Silk explains why one solution to start financial education at school level and embed the basic concepts could be the answer.

Can a price on carbon create jobs?

Jul 3, 2012

Tim Ayres tells manufacturers to focus on opportunities in clean energy and new government subsidies.

Despite the hyperbole on one side and scaremongering on the other, the much debated carbon tax is in place. For manufacturers, the carbon tax is a game shifter heralding new beginnings but also some losses.

Tim Ayres for the AMWU tells 3Q about the opportunities and challenges to Australia’s clean, green future. Though the Government has committed billions in loans through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation kick-starting a clean technology industry in wind, solar and geothermal will mean putting the right policies in place so that local workers benefit.

TRENDS: The carbon tax: more political porkies to come

Jul 2, 2012

Peter Lewis ponders whether the Government will be able to win more support once the price on carbon is in place.

The ‘lie’ at the heart of Labor’s carbon tax has assumed legendary status.

Never mind that the realities of the supposed falsehood are highly contestable – Labor’s carbon pricing scheme is arguably not a tax at all – “there will be no carbon tax under the government I lead” has become the iconic political lie of our times.

Its ruthlessly successful exploitation by the Abbott opposition has spawned a political craze in exposing opponents’ lies, in the hope of replicating this highly successful case study in trust-related brand damage.

But what about the Opposition’s penchant for stretching the truth on impacts of the carbon tax?

Read more on ABC

Are newspapers dying?

Jun 26, 2012

Stuart Washington says technology is transforming journalism but just how our future media will look is still unknown.

The massive cuts to Fairfax and News Limited is part of the worldwide trend pitting newspapers against online media.

But what will bloggers and twitterers “link” to if traditional media is decimated? Who will fund investigative journalism? And will opinion be reduced to the “comments” section of blogs where extreme views and abuse proliferate?

International digital businesses like Google, Apple and Facebook are radically changing (and profiting) from the new media landscape yet pay minimal tax rates. Google paid just $74,000 in taxes in Australia last year despite $1 billion in revenue, while traditional media companies are struggling to stay afloat as their advertising clients drift to the cheaper and trackable world of online.

Fairfax journalist Stuart Washington tells 3Q his concerns about the brave new digital world.

Do we need foreign workers?

Jun 26, 2012

Rita Mallia speaks of the importance of unemployed locals getting the first pick of mining jobs as well as her union’s proud multicultural ethos.

Importing foreign workers has rocketed during the mining boom. Last year almost 90,000 workers were employed under 457 visa grants allowing them to stay and work in Australia for up to four years. The number of visas granted is up nearly 50 per cent on last year.

Since Gina RInehart received permission to bring in 1700 workers for her Roy Hill mine and the subsequent uproar, a Resources Jobs Board has been created.

The CFMEU’s Rita Mallia tells 3Q 60,000 people have already visited the website — putting paid to claims that Australians don’t want to do remote mining work.

How do we put the mojo back into our cities?

Jun 26, 2012

Ken Morrison explains why people, place and ease are the ingredients which get cultural entrepreneurs thinking big in the city.

What set of ingredients turns a drab, pocket of town into a new must-go place?

For Melbourne, it was the economic decline of the 80s which saw Jeff Kennett relax liquor laws to allow small bar owners to take over empty city shops and laneways which gave the city its cultural vibe.

Others are following their footsteps: Sydney is seeing an emergence of small bars thanks to new licensing laws; Adelaide is building city centre apartments to bring the population back in and previously staid old Perth is thriving thanks to a laneway revitalisation program to cater for international guests who are in town for the mining boom.

The Property Council’s Ken Morrison of the Property Council of Australia tells 3Q it’s still up to city planners to follow through and get the funk back into town squares.