Autumn less spectacular Down Under
Autumn in south eastern part Australia is less colourful than you in Britain or Europe, mainly because of the native species and numerous variety of the infamous eucalyptus and the many types of shrubs; hakea, banksia and bottlebrush to name a few.
Apart from the odd clusters of elms and birch deciduous trees are not so common in these parts although we do have quite a lot of oaks and pines.
To enhance our gardens with some northern autumn colour we tend to plant trees or shrubs that can with stand our hot summers and the Japanese maples have proven quite sturdy in this regard as well as providing some of the most beautiful shades of reds and yellows you could find any where.
Our winters, although not as cold as those in the United Kingdom, are comparatively chilly when compared with the heat we often get through autumn until about Easter, when suddenly our temperature range can plunge from 28C down to 15C in the blink of an eye without the slow seasonal adjustment you find in parts of Europe and the United Kingdom.
In my last Letter from Oz I mentioned the government’s intention to tax the giant mining companies 40% on earnings.
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Once again the Rudd government is showing signs of cracking under pressure, not only from the mining companies and opposition, but from investors and the state governments most at risk from losing mining investments.
The Resources Minister, ex-ACT Union front man Martin Ferguson, has announced that the government is prepared to consider the scope on how this tax will be implemented and also look at concessions.
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Queensland mining magnate Clive Palmer has come out swinging at the government’s plans to tax his mining interests with all sorts of threats about taking his investments elsewhere.
Mining companies pay very little tax at the moment when compared with other industries and businesses and naturally the Liberals are firmly against upsetting the goose that lays the golden egg as far as this country’s overseas earnings and economy is concerned.
Opposing this argument is the insufficient tax revenue collected from Australia’s dwindling manufacturing sector and so if this country is to have improved infrastructure, a broadband network competitive to the rest of the modern world, better education, hospitals and dental care then the money has to come from somewhere
I for one can’t see why these mining companies should be allowed to make huge profits from these national resources some of which ends up overseas without contributing something in return towards the running costs and needs of this nation and it’s growing population.