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Ethical Australian Journalists Guide


April 04, 2006

Old money

With the petrol price heading ever skywards, it can be fun to look back to the heady days (and it wasn't that long ago, either) when it only cost 65 cents or less a litre. Comparisons over time are always handy for journos who have to churn out pieces on the inexorable rise in the costs of living, borrowing, and so on. Economic History Services ( has a How Much is That section for that very purpose. It has various sections: one is the Exchange Rate Between the United States Dollar and Forty Other Countries, 1913 - 1999, for example. There are several others. The focus is mostly US/UK but the site has lots of useful materials for economists or economic reporters.
Posted by belinda at 03:18 PM | Comments (0)

September 13, 2005

The price of petrol

Petrol prices are in the news and MotorMouth can help you find current prices. It's easier looking on here than driving around looking at service station signs. It's a way of shopping around and comparing prices without wasting petrol. The site is at and you can search by clicking on a map or by entering a postcode (use the Advanced Search for that). You can specify the type, e.g. ULP for unleaded, and you can search by brand, e.g. Caltex, if you're committed to buying from one particular fuel company. MotorMouth currently reports fuel prices in Brisbane, the Sunshine and Gold Coasts, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. Sorry, Canberra.
Posted by belinda at 10:12 AM | Comments (0)

October 14, 2004

Forgive and forget?

To break the ongoing "lend-and-forgive" cycle that heavily indebted poor countries face, the international community should "significantly" increase grants and debt relief, says US Treasury Secretary John Snow in an article on The IMF discussed the issue of debt relief for poor nations at their annual meeting on Oct. 2-3. You can read or join a featured discussion on whether the IMF should forgive debt or not at globalEDGE ( or just trawl through the IMF info at for facts and figures and directions. For anyone wanting country insights or international business resources, globalEDGE is a great starting point.
Posted by belinda at 10:37 AM | Comments (0)

October 05, 2004

World report card

The IMF has just released a new World Economic Outlook. These present the IMF staff's analysis and projections of economic developments at the global level, in major country groups (classified by region, stage of development, etc.), and in many individual countries. The latest is at Issues include how demographic change will affect the global economy and whether the currently bright prospects in Asia will be scuttled by macroeconomic policy mistakes.
Posted by belinda at 01:35 PM | Comments (0)

August 13, 2004

Free trade or a free kick for America?

Now that John Howard has swallowed the Latham amendment on drugs, the US–Australia Free Trade Agreement looks set to pass. With so much momentum behind it, the deal looks unstoppable. Yet why the lemming-like rush to sign a deal that is not in Australia's best interests? Various commentators have pointed out the problems with the deal, but no-one in government appears to be listening. In a piece on Australian Policy Online today, economist John Quiggin says Howard was so keen for a deal that he would have signed anything the Yanks put in front of him. Other APO members and contributors weigh in at
Posted by belinda at 10:02 AM | Comments (0)

May 12, 2004

It figures

The Budget is all over the Net today. The official site is at for those who want the overview, the budget at a glance and other information.
Posted by belinda at 10:13 AM | Comments (0)

February 09, 2004

Whether we like it or not

Looks like we're on for the free trade agreement with the US, so it's best to be informed of the worst. The Parliamentary Library has prepared a Research Note entitled Australia–US Free Trade Agreement: overview of potential legal issues at It covers areas that are likely to be affected by the agreement.
Posted by belinda at 03:05 PM | Comments (0)

October 30, 2003

How we've been taken ...

Feel poorer since John Howard got elected? You probably are, according to a new report from the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales. Their new publication, 'Examining recent changes in income distribution in Australia' examines how income inequality has increased since 1994-95, with the years 1996-97 and 1999-2000 being particularly bad. Time to throw Howard overboard? Find out for yourself at
Posted by belinda at 11:43 AM | Comments (0)

October 01, 2003

Trade wars

BBC News has archived its coverage of the recent World Trade Organization talks in Cancun, Mexico. Segments include Why did trade talks collapse? and The new politics of trade. The site includes forums, alternative viewpoints, news, real life stories and more. "The Battle over Trade" is at
Posted by belinda at 10:28 AM | Comments (0)

June 27, 2003

G8 Information Centre

The G8 countries (France, the United States, Britain, Germany, Japan, Italy, Russia and Canada) meet regularly to talk (and be protested at), and the G8 Information Centre at the University of Toronto has preserved a lot of the material produced from such meetings in a range of languages. The site at stores a huge collection of materials, from summit documents and speeches to policy analyses, G8 news and scholarly writings.
Posted by belinda at 03:30 PM | Comments (0)

June 13, 2003

Taxing question

ACOSS says we're not overtaxed here in Australia, and they have a new report and a media release at to back up that assertion. According to the report, we pay less income tax than our US counterparts and Australia is one of the lowest taxing countries among the developed nations.
Posted by belinda at 11:19 AM | Comments (0)

June 12, 2003

A business top 40

What are the top 40 wired companies in the world? What do they do? And how do they affect us? Find out in Kevin Kelleher's article, The Wired 40, on Wired. He claims the top 40 are reshaping the global economy. Top players include Google, Yahoo!, Nokia, eBay and IBM. Companies that fell out of the top 40 this year include News Corporation and AOL Time Warner. Read the full piece at
Posted by belinda at 10:01 AM | Comments (0)

June 05, 2003

Free trade? No, thanks

In Australian Policy Online ( this week, economist John Quiggin argues that Australia should not have a free trade agreement with the United States. If we sign up for one, we'll be committed to US terms on issues such as copyright and pharmaceuticals, he says. Read more at Also at APO and related to the free trade agreement, Jock Given's piece, Trade, culture and friends: new meaning for an old story, looks at the historical insight into the relationship between culture and trade.
Posted by belinda at 04:03 PM | Comments (0)

June 04, 2003

And you thought the World Bank was big ...

When looking at the links on AID/WATCH ( today, I found ECA-Watch, a watchdog site for export credit agencies (ECAs). Never having heard of ECAs, I investigated and found this definition at the site: "Export Credit Agencies, commonly known as ECAs, are public agencies that provide government-backed loans, guarantees and insurance to corporations from their home country that seek to do business overseas in developing countries and emerging markets. Most industrialized nations have at least one ECA.
ECAs are now the world's biggest class of public IFIs (international finance institutions), collectively exceeding in size the World Bank Group. Yet, like the World Bank Group 20 years ago, most ECAs have no social and environmental standards. As a result, ECA-backed projects often despoil the environment and disrupt the lives of the communities.
" If you want to keep on top of ECA news, activities and campaigns about them, visit the site at
Posted by belinda at 01:07 PM | Comments (0)

June 02, 2003

Tax expenditures

According to a recent Parliamentary Library Research Paper, a tax expenditure "is a provision of Australian tax law that provides preferential treatment to certain classes of taxpayers or to particular types of activity. Examples are superannuation tax concessions and excise exemption for alternative fuels." Find out where the $30 billion spent on them go at
Posted by belinda at 12:14 PM | Comments (0)

May 13, 2003

Budget day

Don't even bother looking for the latest Costello Budget this afternoon - it won't be released online till 7.30pm. When they do let it out of its cage, find it at If that site is too busy, try these alternatives - Federal Parliament, the National Library, the Department of Finance and Administration and the Australian Taxation Office.
Posted by belinda at 02:29 PM | Comments (0)

April 24, 2003

Do Australians have a growth fetish?

The introduction and first chapter of Clive Hamilton's book, Growth Fetish, is online at the Australia Institute's home page ( (Hamilton is the Director of the Institute). There is also an accompanying web site, which links to reviews and to other papers, such as Discussion Papers no. 49 (Overconsumption in Australia) and 50 (Downshifting in Australia). From the site: "Published by Allen & Unwin, Growth Fetish will be available from 7 April. The recommended retail price is $24.95 but members can buy copies from the Institute for $22 (includes postage)."
Posted by journoz at 10:03 AM | Comments (0)

April 11, 2003

Report card

The IMF has just released its World Economic Outlook, April 2003, at It's had some coverage in the news so get the full story. For our region, there is a section entitled: Asia-Pacific Region: Has Growth Become Less Reliant on Global Developments? . Maybe more importantly, the site also provides access to the Global Financial Stability Report, released in March, at
Posted by journoz at 02:35 PM | Comments (0)