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The budget, the mining tax, falling shares… why is the government “all over the place”? [PODCAST]


Talking Business is a weekly 15-minute podcast review of the Australian economy, presented by seasoned business journalists Leon Gettler and Gary Barker, produced in association with the RMIT College of Business.

It features interviews with prominent business leaders and expert analysis from RMIT academics.

The podcasts are in three parts: an interview with a leading figure in business (Australian mostly, but also visitors from overseas), an examination with an economist of the latest significant Australian Bureau of Statistics figures and a review of the week in business.

Part 1 – The Interview: Hugh Davies

Hugh Davies is managing director of Macfarlan Lane, one of Australia’s leading advisers on executive career change and outplacement. He talks about the issues facing business people in today’s economic environment.


Part 2 – Economic Trends: The Mining Tax

RMIT economist Sinclair Davidson talks about the latest employment figures, which look positive. He criticises the mining super tax, saying the government is all over the place on the issue and questions assertions in the Federal Budget that we are headed back for a surplus.


Part 3 – Week In Review

Leon and Garry talk about the volatility in the share markets, reflected in the price of gold and the rising US dollar. Hospital operator Healthscope is considering a a $1.74 billion takeover offer and it’s tough time in retail land with Myer reporting flat sales, the result of interest rates and consumers no longer having the government’s stimulus money. Rising interest rates have seen a drop in housing finance and might be cooling the property market with the RBA signaling it might take a break from raising rates. The battle over the mining super profits tax continues with BHP taking it to shareholders and threatening to cut its dividend. Leighton reports an 82% increase in its profits. NAB faces further class actions over its exposure to derivatives. The wine industry is in serious trouble with the grape glut with Taylors Wines reporting a loss and Foster’s set to split its wine and beer business. China is now Australia’s largest foreign direct investor.


Talking Business Podcasts on iTunes

Garry Barker and Leon Gettler both have established careers with ‘The Age’ newspaper, where Garry Barker is its Technology Editor, and Leon Gettler is a Senior Business Journalist. Gettler also works freelance on a number of other publications.