The author has been described by News Ltd as an "iconoclast", "Svengali", a pollie's "economist muse", and "pungently accurate". Fairfax says he is a "Renaissance man" and "one of Australia’s most respected analysts." Stephen Koukoulas concludes that he is "85% right", and "would make a great Opposition leader." Terry McCrann claims the author thinks "‘nuance’ is a trendy village in the south of France", but can be "scintillating" when he thinks "clearly". The ACTU reckons he’s "an enigma wrapped in a Bloomberg terminal, wrapped in some apparently well-honed abs."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Resource project listing sky-rockets to $232bn from $173bn in April

NAB reports:

"Prior to the release of the Government’s mid year review of the Budget this morning, an updated listing of major resource development projects has also been released this morning. And in a sea of external defensiveness and worry, this six-monthly Australian update of its resource development projects has gotten even larger, now bursting at the seams.

The listing from the Federal Bureau of Resource and Energy Economics (BREE) has seen the value of underway/ committed projects (termed “advanced” by BREE) soar to $A232bn, some 16.6% of GDP. That’s up from $A174bn (13% of GDP) only six months ago and $A132bn (10.0% of GDP) last October.

The boost this time comes from the addition of several large-scale LNG projects including Wheatstone, APLNG and Prelude LNG (Shell’s offshore floating platform LNG project) as well as BHP Billiton’s commitment to develop the Caval Ridge coal mine in Queensland.

It’s certainly a very ambitious list. Remember that these are committed or already underway projects; other less advanced projects that are on the drawing board and not yet fully committed to comprise another 302 projects (on top of the 102 advanced projects), including several more signature LNG projects currently under consideration. These less advanced projects total another $224bn.

We have already seen how large-scale engineering expenditure is boosting domestic demand as well as supporting the demand for labour when non-mining companies are more defensive in increasing capacity."