Every Victorian knows who Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin is, who Nathan Buckley is, and who James Hird is. Even non-supporters know these names, because AFL is so ingrained in Victorian culture and lifestyle that is almost impossible to avoid them. However if you ask an average Victorian who James Horwill is, there is a good chance that you will be given a blank expression as a response.
It’s no secret that the Asian dragon has an insatiable appetite for Australian raw minerals, and that the foreign capital which has flowed from it has been a pivotal factor ensuring the steadfastness of the nation’s economy. However, Asian investors have also taken a particular interest in another sector of the lucky country: the property market.
Two years ago, South Sudan became the newest independent nation in the world. It seceded from Sudan, after years of fiscal neglect and a lack of infrastructural development. Even today as a separate entity, the majority of the population is rural as well as poor and the economy is primarily reliant on agriculture. The South Sudanese government has had to relegate prosperity of their new country to the bottom of the priority list, as it fights a war with nomadic tribesmen in the Upper Nile and clashes with Sudanese troops in South Kordofan.
In this coming Australian federal election it is likely that you may come across the HEMP party, whilst you are fulfilling your civic duty at the ballot box. The Help End Marijuana Prohibition Australia Party, claims that marijuana, or more widely known as ‘pot’, contains superior protein to beef, is healthier than alcohol, and can be used for food, fuel, medicine and of course, recreation.
Twelve years after being named the next global economic powerhouses, the Brazilian, Russian, Indian, Chinese and South African governments, also known as the BRICS economies, have decided to embrace a de facto union, and had numerous economic meetings between the countries’ leaders. The group demands international attention. Brazil can offer the world enormous amounts of agricultural goods, China is the world’s second largest economy with a massive cheap labour force, India offers itself as a source of inexpensive intellectual resources, and Russia is now the world’s largest mineral exporter. The group are now considering making a formal alliance, following a meeting of all five countries in Durban. Such a move would most likely create one of the world’s most powerful unions of the twenty-first century, and surely the most diverse we have seen thus far.
The Pirelli was skirting once more at Albert Park, last week, as the 2013 Australian Grand Prix arrived on its yearly visit. The high-octane event has been carried out in Melbourne, ever since it was moved from Adelaide in 1996. However, it wasn’t just the rain which dampened some people’s enthusiasm for the event. As is increasing the case each year, the media and variety of parties with vested interests were steeped in debate over whether the F1 Grand Prix is in fact economically viable.
According to a report tabled in the State Parliament, the Victorian taxpayer is losing over US$34 million to the event; most of which, is going to president and CEO of F1 Management, Bernard Ecclestone, just for the right to host the event.
That’s a lot of opportunity cost in government expenditure!
The lack of the requisite majority in the upper house has left the election outcome uncertain. However it is clear that Bersani’s promise to end the crush of austerity in Italy in order to get the Italian economy back on track has resonated with the Italian voter. Should Bersani emerge as Prime Minister, Italy will be set for a collision course with Germany and the European Central Bank.