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BUSINESS & ECONOMY

What should be done with the NBN in the long run?

The NBN is on the path to being privatised after construction finishes. AAP The National Broadband Network (NBN) should be built and fully operational by 2022, having cost about A$50 billion. The question will then be whether the government should retain the NBN or sell it off. The current government has laid the groundwork for NBN to be broken up and sold off. But this...

No presents, please: how gift cards initiate children into the world of ‘credit’

Most Australian children have such a glut of toys that parents are opting to give them gift cards so they can choose for themselves. rawpixel/Unsplash Western children have more toys, games and possessions than ever before. And Australia has one of the highest rates of average spending per child on toys. Faced with a glut of children’s toys at home, more...

Why plastic bag bans triggered such a huge reaction

There was an implicit financial exchange between parties.AAP Woolworths’ and Coles’ bans on plastic bags have been applauded by environmental groups, but were reportedly met with abuse and assault and claims of profiteering. Even comedians saw value in the theatre of the bag ban. This reaction is due to supermarkets breaching their “psychological contract” with customers. When both major supermarkets appeared to back flip in the face of irate...

Green is the new black: why retailers want you to know about their green credentials

Is it really that hard to switch to paper   or cloth bags? Guus Baggermans | Unsplash Australian supermarkets phasing out single-use plastic bags is just one example of how retailers are fiercely engaged in a race to be “green”. Other examples are dumping plastic straws, buying back used products and reducing unnecessary packaging. Rather than competing on price or time,...

Doomsaying about new technology helps make it better

The doomsayer is just as vital as the visionary.  That new technologies could actually be bad for us, by sapping our attention or ruining our memories, is an argument that goes back to Socrates. It’s tempting to summarily dismiss these concerns, but such tech-doomsaying is actually an important part of economic discovery. Our societies are organised by rules, embedded in our collective knowledge,...

Fear not, shoppers: Amazon’s Australian geoblock won’t cramp your style

Will there be fewer of these on Australian doorsteps?  Ink Drop/Shutterstock.com Online retail giant Amazon’s decision to block Australian shoppers from its US website has prompted an outpouring of anger from its customers. However, economic statistics indicate the actual value of online purchased products entering Australia from international marketplaces is relatively low. While some shoppers will be disappointed by Amazon’s decision, others...

Five ways the Treasurer could boost the budget bottom line

The government should remove age based tax breaks to boost budget revenue. GLENN HUNT/AAP Treasurer Scott Morrison faces a difficult balancing act in the federal budget. He wants to cut income taxes, deliver new infrastructure spending and still reach a surplus by at least 2019. If he’s serious about maintaining the surplus, here are five ways the Treasurer could boost revenue to...

Seven and Foxtel snag cricket rights, meaning more content but maybe not for free

A new A$1.182 billion dollar cricket broadcast rights deal will be split between Seven and Foxtel. Joel Carrett/AAP Under a new broadcast rights deal Cricket Australia will part ways with its long broadcast partner, the Nine Network, after more than 40 years. The A$1.182 billion deal lasts six years and will commence from this coming summer through to 2024. It will...

Australia is one of the world’s best places to retire, or is it?

Happiness in retirement isn’t the same for everyone. Tom Carmony/Flickr Australia is ranked in the top third of countries in almost all indices measuring the best countries to retire, according to our analysis of nine separate ageing and retirement indices. The problem is, experts contriving such indices can’t agree about which ingredients should be included and which are most important. The flaw of averages While...

Daylight saving can boost the economy but Australia needs to make it uniform

  The easiest way to resolve daylight saving issues would be to apply it uniformly across Australia. AAP When we compare daylight saving across countries, states and territories its economic impact is mostly positive. But this breaks down in the “transition” in and out of it, such as the days before and after, and when people cross borders between states that have daylight saving...

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