The Bullroarer - Thursday 16th October 2008

The Australian - Australian sharemarket plunges amid recession fears
Many people have commented on the possibility that a serious economic downturn could hide the advent of Peak Oil.

Mining stocks bore the brunt of the selling after oil, base metal and commodity prices tumbled overnight.

NZ Herald - Greens announce plans for Auckland's transport system

Auckland's $1.9 billion motorway tunnels through Waterview would be replaced by a triple-loop of fast rail and bus services under a transport plan launched by the Green Party today.

"All the surveys show that Aucklanders are so over motorways," co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons told a rally attended by all six Green MPs as well as party candidates who converged on Britomart by boat, train, bus, bike, electric scooter and on foot.

NZ V8 - Holden launches fuel saving technology for V8 range

Holden New Zealand announced this week that it will introduce fuel saving Active Fuel Management (AFM) technology on all its V8 automatic models from early 2009.

AFM, or cylinder deactivation, enables an eight cylinder vehicle to automatically operate on four cylinders in certain driving conditions, before restoring full power when engine demands increase. In a combination of town and highway driving, the technology can deliver fuel savings of up to one litre per 100 kilometres, with potential for even better results at constant cruising speeds. AFM will be standard on all automatic V8 models in the Commodore, Ute, Sportwagon, Statesman and Caprice ranges.

Holden New Zealand Managing Director, Simon Carr said this was an example of the company’s commitment to providing fuel saving solutions.

ABC - Sugar mill set to fuel Supercar series

A sugar mill in north Queensland will literally fuel the entire V8 Supercar series for the next three years.

CSR Sugar has secured a deal with the racing body to supply an 85 per cent ethanol fuel blend to all teams, with the first ethanol fuelled race to be held at the start of next year's season.

Ian Glasson from CSR says the agreement will hopefully lead to general motorists using a 10 per cent blend in their own cars.

Herald Sun - Origin Energy expects 40 per cent profit boost

ORIGIN Energy expects a lift of up to 40 per cent in annual profit this financial year above last year's $443 million.

Sydney Morning Herald - Macarthur Coal forecasts $160m profit

Macarthur Coal Ltd, the supplier of more than a third of the world's pulverised coal, has forecast a profit of up to $160 million in the half year to the end of December 2008.

NZ Herald - Qantas cuts fuel charges from Aust but not NZ

Aussies flying Qantas to Europe have had A$20 ($22.71) in fuel charges shaved off their ticket prices but Kiwis making the same trip are still paying the same price.

NZ Herald - GPS could save airlines time and fuel

CHICAGO - A World War II-era air traffic network that often forces planes to take longer, zigzagging routes is costing US airlines billions of dollars in wasted fuel while an upgrade to a satellite-based system has languished in the planning stages for more than a decade.

The $35 billion (NZ$58.7 billion) plan would replace the current radar system with the kind of GPS technology that has become commonplace in cars and cell phones. Supporters say it would triple air traffic capacity, reduce delays by at least half, improve safety and curb greenhouse gas emissions.

An Associated Press analysis of federal and industry data found that if the new system were already in place, airlines could have saved more than $5 billion in fuel this year alone.

NZ Herald - Editorial: Petrol tax put to cynical use

There are several reasons for being sceptical about the regional fuel tax, most of which will be used for the billion-dollar electrification of Auckland's rail network. Why, for example, should drivers pay for the development of another mode of transport? Why is it being introduced when, despite a lull, petrol prices seem to be staying high? And what are the guarantees that electrification will, indeed, ease traffic congestion? In such circumstances, those shepherding the tax should surely have aimed for an introduction as free of controversy as possible. Not one that sees 1c a litre of the fuel tax being used in a blatantly political manner to pay for most of the $183 million Penlink road, a toll-free route to the Whangaparaoa Peninsula.

Understandably, this has attracted many critics. The Green Party said the Government had flouted a fuel tax law provision requiring eligible projects to be consistent with Auckland's regional land transport strategy.

NZ Herald - New train relief for passengers

Auckland rail passengers jammed on peak-hour services will gain some relief on Monday, when a new train is added to the region's fleet.

ABC - Premier renews promise to provide free public transport for seniors

The Premier Colin Barnett says he hopes to fulfil an election promise of free public transport for seniors by Christmas.

It was initially Labor that promised Seniors free travel between 10am and 3pm weekdays, and all day Saturday and Sunday, however the Liberal Party matched the commitment.

In addition, the Liberals promised annual lump sum payments for all seniors card holders of $100 for singles and $150 for couples.

Sydney Morning Herald - Shares plunge 6%

Energy stocks slumped along with crude oil prices.

Oil fell to a 13-month low overnight on concerns the world economy will slump into recession, trading recently at $US73.52 a barrel.

ABC - Public transport boost as new buses arrive

Adelaide's new bus fleet is taking to the roads. Six of the new batch have arrived and another 14 will be ready by next June.

The South Australian Government says the buses have diesel-powered motors and the best emission standards available.

It is buying 80 buses for $32 million. - Welcome to the Revolution

Neo-con ideologues, who are old allies of John McCain, have argued for years that the US military should serve as the world's policeman, largely to maintain control of global oil and natural gas. This would greatly profit American corporations and - more important to the neo-cons - give Washington a political weapon to reward or punish potential rivals, whether Chinese or European.

More of a traditional American nationalist, McCain has moved in the same direction. "In the Middle East," he explained back in 1992, "as long as the world's oil resources come from that area of the world, we have to be vitally involved." In backing the Georgians against Russia this year, he has similarly pointed to the need to keep an important oil pipeline out of Russian hands. you should care about the crisis

Unfortunately a weaker Aussie not good news for motorists," says CommSec's Mr Sebastian.

Global oil prices are at their lowest all year, as demand slows, but we won't see a drop in petrol prices at all, he predicts. - Major Market For Energy Efficient Appliances

The latest annual survey of how New Zealanders will cut personal greenhouse gas emissions reveals there is a major market opportunity for those promoting energy efficient appliances.

The ShapeNZ survey of 4076 New Zealanders in September also shows 31% of households will be looking to buy products certified as environmentally friendly during the next year.

Tasmania Mercury - Kayaks part of traffic remedy

DEDICATED bus lanes, light rail and even kayak parking will be considered by the State Government in an effort to reduce congestion on Tasmanian roads.

The Australian - Shell's initial payment for Arrow stake up to $640m

ARROW Energy expects its agreement to sell a stake in tenements to Royal Dutch shell to settle next month.

The Australian coal seam gas producer said the initial payment for the sale was now higher at around $640m because of the depreciation in the Australian dollar since the agreement was reached in June.

Times Online, Aukland - Local Transport - Who is prepared to try public transport?

TRANSPORT is a leading issue in the general election campaign. With the rising costs of fuel hitting hard on people’s wallets, motorists have become more selective about the trips they make and how many they take.

aeldric wrote:

Many people have commented on the possibility that a serious economic downturn could hide the advent of Peak Oil.

The advent of peak oil is the serious economic downturn!

Mate, I can't believe you forgot the poor little Aussie battlers!

Mrs Whyte's wage as an office manager for a crane and concrete company in Lithgow, west of Sydney, combined with that of her coalminer husband Dallas, puts her household's income at $140,000 to $160,000.


The Lithgow couple are seven years into a 30-year mortgage on their home, paying more than $2000 a month plus $1200 a month on an investment property. They go through at least $160 worth of petrol a week [ie over 100 litres], what with Mr Whyte's 25km commute to work and the girls' after-school activities.

Madalen's school fees at St James Catholic School and Kelsie's private pre-prep school aren't cheap either.

While they still find spare dollars for small luxuries, high interest rates have put the pressure on.

"We get by, but it would be nice to get a little bit of assistance at times," Mrs Whyte said.

Poor buggers.

"While they still find spare dollars for small luxuries..."

...they expect help from the government for that holiday in the Maldives?

Apparently (though I'm not sure when "holiday in the Maldives" was relegated to the "small luxuries" category - what the hell is a big luxury then - buying the QE2 ?)..

Its this sort of thing that brings out my foaming inner libertarian.

I don't mind making sure the poor get by, but this welfare mentality embedded into the middle class (and pretty well off middle class at that) is just ridiculous.

And as for the reporter...

To be fair to The Oz, the same edition had on the previous page the photo and story of an unemployed bloke on $350 a fortnight, and an opinion column saying "that's nice about the oldies, what about the unemployed?" and noting that there still seemed to be an issue that the unemployed were all dole bludgers.

The whinging class family got a bigger article, though.

Even driving a petrol guzzling Commodore or Ford V8, thats 900 Km per week. What are the girls after scool activities, SUV rally driving?
If the middle classes had put more pressure on the previous governments to fix the public shcool system they wouldn't have to pay private school fees.
Suggestion: buy a Yaris or Mazda2, and save $80 a week on petrol.