Archive for September 16, 2011

EYE-BALL MovieZone – Oscar Movies 1953 …

September 16, 2011 Comments off
EYE-BALL MovieZone –
Oscar Movies 1953:
EYE-BALL MovieZoneThe Nominees for the Best Picture in 1953 were:

1953 Nominees:

[Oscar Best Picture Winner – highlighted – click Nominee Movie links provided to navigate your way up and down the page – each Movie has additional links to Bit Torrent “downloads’ links, Wikipedia Links for all the information about the nominated movie, and the EYE-BALL MovieZone Reviews and ratings.]

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EYE-BALL MovieZoneReview – 1953

“From Here to Eternity”:

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Plot: [Pasted from Wikipedia] –

From Here to Eternity is a 1953 drama film directed by Fred Zinnemann and based on the novel of the same name by James Jones. It deals with the troubles of soldiers, played by Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Frank Sinatra and Ernest Borgnine stationed on Hawaii in the months leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Deborah Kerr and Donna Reed portrayed the women in their lives.

The film won eight Academy Awards out of 13 nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director (Fred Zinnemann), Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor (Frank Sinatra) and Best Supporting Actress (Donna Reed)

EYE-BALL MovieZone Review …

This movie has very strong characters – Actors like Lancaster, Montgomery Cliff and Frank Sinatra all play brilliant character roles with troubles – set before the Pearl Harbour attach during WWII – each of the lead characters live out their pasts and future as soldiers trying to reconcile their life and choices to be made – they all want to improve themselves but the ghosts of the past get in the way.

Ernst Borgnine plays a vicious prison guard who likes to get even in his own way – his contribution makes Sinatra’s character shine even more.

The love interests – named actress’s Debra Kerr and Donna Reed play strong roles – they too have a past trying to catch up with them and it is this connective human responses that the Director uses to create the mix of interaction that makes the movie a hit.

It was nominated for 13 Oscars – winning 8 – but for mine – it is a raw edged and rugged movie and part of the post WWII America that wanted to personalise and expose the way of life in the military – it has dated and lost a lot of its true appeal.

EYE-BALL MovieZone Rating [scale 0-10]: 7.5/10 …

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EYE-BALL MovieZoneReview – 1953

“The Robe”:

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Summary: [Pasted from Wikipedia] –

The Robe is a 1953 American Biblical epic film that tells the story of a Roman military tribune who commands the unit that crucifies Jesus. The film was made by 20th Century Fox and is notable for being the first film released in the widescreen process CinemaScope.

It was directed by Henry Koster and produced by Frank Ross. The screenplay was adapted by Gina Kaus, Albert Maltz, and Philip Dunne from the Lloyd C. Douglas novel of the same name. The music score was composed by Alfred Newman and the cinematography was by Leon Shamroy.

It stars Richard Burton, Jean Simmons, Victor Mature and Michael Rennie, with Dean Jagger, Jay Robinson, Richard Boone, and Jeff Morrow.

The Robe had one sequel, Demetrius and the Gladiators.

Plot: [Pasted from Wikipedia] –

The action takes place in Ancient Rome, Judaea, Capri, and Galilee in a time period stretching from 32 A.D. to 38 A.D.

Marcellus Gallio (Richard Burton), son of an important Roman senator (Torin Thatcher) and himself a military tribune begins the film in a prologue that introduces the viewer to the might and scope of the Roman empire. He is notorious as a ladies’ man, but he is captivated by the reappearance of a childhood sweetheart Diana (Jean Simmons), ward of the Emperor Tiberius (Ernest Thesiger), in Caligula’s pavilion. As Caligula is the grandnephew and heir to Tiberius, Diana is unofficially promised in marriage to him.

When Caligula comes to the marketplace with military fanfare to take part in the slave auction, Marcellus makes the mistake of bidding against him for a defiant Greek slave Demetrius (Victor Mature) – and winning. Caligula feels he had been made a fool of in front of Diana, while Marcellus feels that he had wronged Demetrius by stopping him earlier when he had escaped from his slaveholders. Angrily Caligula leaves with Diana and the rest of his military escort and issues orders for Marcellus to receive a military transfer to Jerusalem in Palestine.

Marcellus has Demetrius released, and he orders him to go on his own to the Gallio home. Marcellus is surprised to find Demetrius waiting for him when he gets home. Unofficially Marcellus had freed Demetrius, but Demetrius feels honor bound to compensate Marcellus by being his servant.

Demetrius accompanies Marcellus to Palestine, but before the galley sails, Diana comes to see Marcellus, pledging her love for him and her intention to intercede on his behalf with Tiberius. Marcellus declares his love for Diana and asks her to make the emperor promise not to give her in marriage to Caligula.

Marcellus rides into Jerusalem with the centurion Paulus (Jeff Morrow) on the same day as Jesus’ triumphal entry on Palm Sunday. Jesus confronts Demetrius as he rides into Jerusalem, silently calling him with his eyes to be his follower. When Demetrius later finds out what the Romans have in store for Jesus, he tries to warn him about the intentions of the Romans to arrest him. However, Jesus has already been arrested, as Demetrius finds out from a chance meeting with Judas.

Jesus is arrested and condemned by Pontius Pilate (Richard Boone), the procurator, who sends for Marcellus to take charge of the detail of Roman soldiers assigned to crucify him. Marcellus is also told that he is being recalled to Italy by the emperor.

The reason Lloyd Douglas wrote the novel The Robe was to answer the question: what happened to the Roman soldier who won Jesus’ robe through a dice game? It is Marcellus that wins the robe, and he compels Demetrius to throw it over him as the two of them are caught in the rain on the way back into Jerusalem. It is then that Marcellus begins to feel remorse for the crucifixion of Jesus. When the robe is on him he has a painful seizure, and he orders Demetrius to take it off him. When Demetrius does so he has had enough: he curses Marcellus and the Roman Empire and runs away.

Marcellus now behaves like a madman haunted by nightmares of the crucifixion. What sets him off is any reference to being “out there” on Calvary. He cries out fitfully, “Were you out there?!” He does this in the presence of Tiberius himself when he reports to him on Capri. Fictionally Tiberius is portrayed as a benevolent elder statesman, who wants to help Marcellus, so, at the prompting of his soothsayer Dodinius (Francis Pierlot) and Marcellus’s own enthusiasm, he gives him an imperial commission to find and destroy the robe while gathering a list of names of Jesus’ followers. At Diana’s request Tiberius leaves her free to marry Marcellus even though Tiberius believes him to be mad.

After leaving Capri Marcellus is next seen sometime later with a Syrian guide Abidor (Leon Askin) outside the village of Cana. He is posing as a cloth merchant going about buying up homespun cloth. To further his investigation Marcellus pays exorbitant prices for any kind of cloth, even rags. Justus, a weaver in Cana (Dean Jagger), reprimands his fellow Christians for accepting such unfair prices as being contrary to the teachings of Jesus. Seeing Justus as a lead in his investigations Marcellus seeks to ingratiate himself with Justus by giving his young grandson Jonathan (Nicolas Koster) one of his pack donkeys. Marcellus also wanders in on a public performance by the paralytic Miriam as she sings a song of Jesus’ resurrection.

When Marcellus returns to his camp he is confronted by a greedy Abidor, who wants to turn in Justus and the others to Pilate, who has ordered the arrest of Jesus’ followers. Abidor, who is obsessed with making money threatens to tell the people of Cana that Marcellus crucified Jesus, which drives Marcellus to beat Abidor and send him away violently.

The next day Marcellus is furious with Jonathan for giving his donkey to his physically challenged friend David. Miriam, who is sitting nearby kindly confronts Marcellus, and urges him to see Peter (Michael Rennie), who has come to Cana with a Greek companion. Marcellus guesses that this is Demetrius and goes off to Shalum’s Inn to confront him.

Marcellus finds Demetrius alone, and demands that he get the robe and destroy it. Demetrius gives the robe to Marcellus, who refuses to touch it, and Demetrius tells him that if he wants it destroyed, he will have to destroy it himself. Marcellus picks the robe up with his sword, and as he becomes frozen with fear, the robe slides down the sword onto him. He is terrified, but this time, as the robe touches him, he finds that the pain he has been carrying since the robe first touched him vanishes and that he is no longer afraid. He feels the true power of the robe and of the one who wore it. In that moment he becomes a Christian.

The two men go outside and Justus calls the villagers together and begins to introduce Peter. But suddenly he is pierced by an arrow and falls. The assembly turns to see Paulus and a large detachment of Roman soldiers, with the gloating Abidor lurking among them. Several other villagers are killed before Marcellus intervenes, ordering them to stop. Paulus informs him that his orders are no longer valid; Tiberias is dead and Caligula is emperor. Marcellus thus has no choice but to fight a duel with Paulus, and after a prolonged struggle Marcellus prevails. Rather than killing Paulus, as is expected of him, Marcellus hurls his sword into a tree, thus winning the admiration of the villagers. He orders Paulus and his soldiers to leave.

Peter invites Marcellus to join him and Demetrius as missionaries. Marcellus hesitates, and when Peter tells him of his own denial of Jesus on the night he was arrested, Marcellus confesses his role in Jesus’ death. Peter points out to him that Jesus forgave him from the cross in the dramatic words showcased before, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34a). Marcellus then pledges his life to Jesus and agrees to go with them. Their missionary journey takes them to Rome, but they must proceed “undercover” with their base in the catacombs because the Emperor Caligula has proscribed them.

In Rome, Caligula summons Diana from her retreat at the Gallio home to tell her that Marcellus has become a traitor to Rome by being a Christian. He takes her to the guard room where a captured Demetrius is being tortured. Diana runs out of the palace to Marcipor (David Leonard), the Gallio family slave, who is a secret Christian. Diana guesses that Marcipor is a Christian and has seen Marcellus, and she gets him to take her to Marcellus.

Marcellus and Diana are reunited, and Marcellus tells her the story of the robe and his own conversion. Diana gives Marcellus information on where Demetrius is in the imperial palace, and Marcellus and his fellow Christians manage to rescue him. They are almost too late as Demetrius is near death, but Peter comes to the Gallio home where Demetrius has been taken and heals him.

A physician friend of Senator Gallio, Thaddeus (Thomas Browne Henry), who had been called in to help Demetrius, betrays Marcellus to Caligula when he resents the fact that Peter had healed Demetrius when he could not. Marcellus flees with Demetrius but, when they are pursued by soldiers, Marcellus gives himself up so that Demetrius can escape. He is captured and put on trial. At Diana’s request he agrees not to defy Caligula. He kneels to Caligula with the intent to renew his oath of loyalty, but when Caligula demands that he renounce Jesus, Marcellus refuses. Caligula condemns him to death. Diana seeks to join Marcellus, and she exposes Caligula as the “evil, insane monster” that he is. The film ends with Diana giving the robe to Marcipor and her and Marcellus walking out of the imperial palace into the clouds, their entrance into eternity.

EYE-BALL MovieZone Review …

Love Richard Burton in most of his movies – this is overacted and his quick-fire dialog is a turnoff …

Simmons is good but overshadowed by Burton … worth a look if you have nothing else to watch – this type of Roman saga has really dated …

EYE-BALL MovieZone Rating [scale 0-10]: 4.0/10 …

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EYE-BALL MovieZoneReview – 1953

“Roman Holiday”:

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Plot: [Pasted from Wikipedia] –

Roman Holiday is a 1953 romantic comedy directed and produced by William Wyler and starring Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn. It was written by John Dighton and Dalton Trumbo, though with Trumbo on the Hollywood blacklist, he did not receive a credit; instead, Ian McLellan Hunter fronted for him. Trumbo’s credit was reinstated when the film was released on DVD in 2003.

Hepburn won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance; the screenplay and costume design also won.

In the 1970s, both Peck and Hepburn were approached with the idea of a sequel, but the project never came to fruition. The film was remade for television in 1987 with Tom Conti and Catherine Oxenberg, who herself came from a European royal family.

EYE-BALL MovieZone Review …

This movie is a delightful gem in the mold of the classic love story.

It involves a Princess and heir to a throne [Audrey Hepburn] – and her dreams of having a day of freedom away from her structured and regimented life.  She sneaks away during the night and a Journalist down on his luck [Gregory Peck] – who is in need of a good story finds her sleeping on a stone fence – neither reveal their true identities but through a mix up the next day the Peck’s character learns who she is.

They spend a day together – Peck’s character trying to get his big story – the Princess just wanting to escape and spend a day like a normal person.  Peck tries to set her up for his story but ultimately falls for the innocence and charm of the Princess and it turns out to be a ‘brief encounter’ with a happy ending.

Hepburn is every bit the ‘goddess’ – her eyes sparkle – her perfect eyebrows and clean face lines eat up the camera … there is no more beautiful an actress and it is easy to see why millions fell in love with her.

The script is simple yet elegant and the Peck/Hepburn chemistry is obvious.  I cannot rave too much about Hepburn’s performance in this movie – she won the Best Actress award for her performance and it was an outstanding performance in a part that was ready made for someone with her charm and poise.

This movie is in stark contrast to all the other 1953 Nominees and if it had not been for the bullet proof performances by Burt Lancaster and Montgomery Cliff in “From here to Eternity”  – this movie would have won the Oscar.

If you are in the mood for a good love story and don’t mind Black and White movies – you will not be disappointed if you download and watch this movie.

EYE-BALL MovieZone Rating [scale 0-10]: 8.0/10 …

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EYE-BALL MovieZoneReview – 1953

“Julius Caesar”:

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Plot: [Pasted from Wikipedia] –

Julius Caesar is an 1953 MGM film adaptation of the play by Shakespeare, directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, who also wrote the uncredited screenplay, and produced by John Houseman. The original music score is by Miklós Rózsa. The film stars Marlon Brando as Mark Antony, James Mason as Brutus, John Gielgud as Cassius, Louis Calhern as Julius Caesar, Edmond O’Brien as Casca, Greer Garson as Calpurnia, and Deborah Kerr as Portia.

EYE-BALL MovieZone Review …

Filmed in Black and White – it is a dialog piece more than the action scene drama’s that came later – Brando’s early scenes in this movie are so amateurish that it immediately was a turn off – not a movie I would want to watch again even though I am a fan of James Mason –

EYE-BALL MovieZone Rating [scale 0-10]: 4.0/10 …

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EYE-BALL MovieZoneReview – 1953


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Summary: [Pasted from Wikipedia] –

Shane is a 1953 American Western film from Paramount. It was produced and directed by George Stevens from a screenplay by A.B. Guthrie Jr., based on the 1949 novel of the same name by Jack Schaefer. Its Oscar-winning cinematography was by Loyal Griggs. The film stars Alan Ladd, Jean Arthur (in her last film after a thirty-year career) and Van Heflin, and features Brandon De Wilde, Elisha Cook Jr., Jack Palance and Ben Johnson.

Shane was listed #45 in the 2007 edition of AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies list and #3 on AFI’s 10 Top 10 in the category Western.

Plot: [Pasted from Wikipedia] –

A stranger who calls himself Shane (Alan Ladd) drifts into an isolated valley in the sparsely settled territory of Wyoming. It soon becomes apparent that he is a gunslinger, and he finds himself drawn into a conflict between simple homesteader Joe Starrett (Van Heflin) and powerful cattle baron Rufus Ryker (Emile Meyer), who wants to force Starrett and every other homesteader in the valley off the land. Shane accepts a job as a farmhand, but finds Starrett’s young son Joey (Brandon DeWilde) drawn to him for his strength and skill with a gun. Shane himself is uncomfortably drawn to Starrett’s wholesomely charming wife, Marian (Jean Arthur).

When Shane and the rest of the homesteaders go into town, Shane gets into a fistfight with Ryker’s men. With Joe’s help, they beat up Ryker’s men, and the shopkeeper orders them out. Ryker then declares that he and his men will kill the next time Shane or Joe return to the town.

As tensions mount between the factions, Ryker hires Jack Wilson (Jack Palance), a skilled gunslinger. After Wilson kills ex-Confederate Frank ‘Stonewall’ Torrey (Elisha Cook, Jr.), a hot-tempered Alabama homesteader who had stood up to him, the homesteaders have a funeral for him with many planning to leave afterwards. Once the funeral is over, the homesteaders see a fire burning in the distance. Ryker’s men have set fire to the house of one of the homesteaders, Lewis. The homesteaders then resolve to keep fighting and they promise to help rebuild the house despite fears that the same will happen to them. Joe Starrett decides to take it upon himself to kill Wilson and Ryker and save the town; however, one of the cowpunchers, who declares that he’s “quitting” Ryker, tells Shane that Joe is “up against a stacked deck.” Shane stops Joe, and the two men fight over who should go on to face Wilson. Shane regretfully uses his gun to hit Joe over the head and knock him out, knowing this was the only way to prevent Joe from facing Ryker and getting killed. Joey yells at Shane, and then turns to his father. Shane saddles up and rides to the town.

At the town, Shane walks into the saloon. He faces Wilson first; they both draw their guns and Shane shoots Wilson several times. Shane turns swiftly to his left and guns down Ryker. Shane turns to leave. Joey, having followed Shane from the farm, warns Shane of danger. Ryker’s brother is on the staircase with a Winchester rifle, and is able to fire first. He shoots Shane in the back, but then Shane returns fire and the rifleman collapses from the staircase onto the floor.

Joey runs up to Shane; Shane asks Joey to take care of the homestead and to watch over his family. The wounded Shane gets onto his horse and rides away. He is upright (looking down at the ground at night) with his left arm hanging to one side. He rides past the grave stones on Cemetery Hill, symbolically appearing to sink down amongst them.

The film does not explicitly indicate whether Shane survives the wound he received in the shootout. This has led to sometimes heated discussions among fans of the film, as depicted in the 1998 film The Negotiator.

EYE-BALL MovieZone Review …

I enjoyed the soft cowboy performance of Ladd – and it is easy to see how this movie resonated with moviegoers – well worth the time to download and view –

EYE-BALL MovieZone Rating [scale 0-10]: 5.5/10 …

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EYE-BALL Guru on – Wayne SWAN – The Australian Treasurer – gets it wrong again …

September 16, 2011 2 comments
Wayne SWAN – Australian Treasurer – gets it wrong again …
Today’s release of the Mining export numbers was something to crow about – and both the Treasurer Mr Swan and the Minister for Resources and Energy and Minister for Tourism – Mr Ferguson – decided that they both needed to highlight the strength of these numbers during Question Time in the HOR.The self-promotion questions were prompted by some media reports and the figures released today by the independent Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics about the record exports result.  The Media story about these numbers is pasted below:

Coal loading port, China

Resources, energy export values grown 27pc to record $175bn

Coal is offloaded in the east China port of Rizhao. Source: AP

THE value of Australia’s resources and energy exports has soared to a new record, buoyed by higher prices for commodities on the back of robust demand from Asia, according to official figures released today.

Much of Australia’s relative economic strength is due to its expanding mining sector and consistently high commodities prices and rich deposits of coal, iron ore, gold and natural gas.

But the mining boom has also driven the exchange rate higher and fuelled capacity constraints, leaving the manufacturing sector to suffer.

The value of resources and energy exports earnings increased 27 per cent in the year to June 30 to a record $175 billion, according to the Resources and Energy Statistics June-quarter report released by Australia’s Bureau of Resources & Energy Economics.

The figure is 9 per cent higher than the last record of $160bn in 2008-09.

Prices for iron ore leaped 56 per cent to $54bn, even as volumes only rose 5 per cent.

For the first time, the value of liquefied natural gas exports exceeded $10bn, helped by a 12 per cent increase in volumes and 34 per cent increase in values.

Export earnings dropped for petroleum refinery products, liquefied petroleum gas, silver and uranium.

The strong showing is impressive for a year during which extended flooding washed out coal-mine operations in Queensland, shutting down production that has yet to recover to full capacity. There has also been disruption to iron-ore production in the Pilbara region, in Australia’s west, and gas production in the Cooper Basin.

Australian Resources Minister Martin Ferguson said today: “These figures are yet another signal to investors that Australia’s resources sector is performing consistently well and rewarding investors with solid financial returns.”

The mining sector now accounts for some 59 per cent of the country’s total goods and services exports.

In a separate development, Rio Tinto said a further $US833 million ($810m) will be invested in major power and fuel-supply projects in the remote Pilbara region as part of its push to significantly expand production capacity for iron ore.

Rio Tinto’s share of the investment is $US706m, the miner said.

With Robb M. Stewart

As for the Parliamentary Hansard records of both Mr Swan and Mr Ferguson’s responses – the copy of their responses and questions asked is pasted below:

Firstly Mr Swan – The Treasurer …

Mr HAYES (Fowler) (14:43): My question is to the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer outline to the House the importance of responsible economic and fiscal management for the creation of jobs.

Mr SWAN (Lilley—Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer) (14:43):

I thank the member for Fowler for his very important question, because it is three years ago today to the very day that we saw the collapse of Lehmann Brothers, which sent shock waves right through global financial markets. On that day the world did look into an economic abyss that eventually became the global financial crisis and the global recession. What followed that was an enormous amount of instability in the global economy and a collapse in global demand. What that led to was the worst recession globally in 75 years.

Given the magnitude of all these events, it is perhaps not surprising that the world is still living with the aftershocks of the global financial crisis and the global recession. We can see this in very slow growth rates in Europe and in the United States and we can see it in the really high levels of long-term unemployment right across so many advanced economies; and, of course, we can still see it today in the instability in global financial markets.

But the thing that is very pleasing for our country is that we are uniquely placed: we are in a position of fundamental strength in the middle of this uncertainty and turbulence elsewhere in the global economy. Our economy is stronger than our peers because we as a government took the hard decisions. We as a government got the big economic calls right in this parliament, particularly at the end of 2008 and through early 2009. The consequence of that for this country is that we did not experience the capital destruction, the skills destruction and the high unemployment that plagued so many other developed economies.

We did that because we worked together and because this parliament passed not just one but two sensible stimulus packages. The consequence of that has been an economic strength in this country unlike that of our peers. In particular you can see it in terms of unemployment. Unemployment in this country is far lower than that in the United States. When the world went into the global financial crisis the unemployment rate in the United States and Australia was the same. It is almost twice that now in the United States.

So we have an exceptional record in terms of supporting employment, including nearly three-quarters of a million jobs in this country over the past four years—a very strong record of employment creation and, as we saw from the national accounts, a strong investment pipeline, solid consumption and very good income growth.

These are all very good indicators which tell us about the underlying resilience of our economy, but, of course, there are parts of the economy that are doing it tough. That is why we need to put in place a fundamental reform program to assist people across the economy. We can see that those sectors of the economy that are affected by a high dollar are doing it tough. That is one of the reasons why we need the MRRT and the revenue from that to give a tax cut to 2.7 million small businesses—the instant asset write-off worth $6,500 to assist those struggling small businesses. That is why we do need to invest in infrastructure. That is why we need to build the NBN. That is why we need to boost our national savings by building up superannuation.

All of this is based on a very strict, clear and consistent fiscal policy. That is the rock that the resilience of our economy comes from. That is an objective which is not shared by those opposite. In terms of the Parliamentary Budget Office, which we need for transparency to indicate who is serious about strong fiscal policy, we have found out that those opposite want to hide this from the public—

The SPEAKER: The Treasurer will resume his seat. Has the Treasurer concluded?

Mr Pyne: Mr Speaker, the Treasurer should have taken your hint. On a point of order, it could not possibly be relevant to the question he was asked to attack the opposition. Under the ruling—

The SPEAKER: The Treasurer will avoid unduly arguing the response and will avoid debating a matter before the House, not on the basis that it is before the House but on the basis that it should not be debated further.

Mr SWAN: For all of the reasons that I have outlined in the House, we support the Parliamentary Budget Office. We support the recommendation of the joint committee, which was supported by those opposite and is now opposed by them. (Time expired)

Mr Hockey: You screwed it up.

The SPEAKER: Order!

Mr Mitchell interjecting—

The SPEAKER: The member for McEwen is warned, but he raises a valid point, regrettably, for the member for North Sydney. The member for North Sydney will leave the chamber for one hour under standing order 94(a).

The member for North Sydney then left the chamber.

The SPEAKER: Having warned the member for McEwen, I apologise for dobbing him in.

Not long after Mr Swan’s response came Mr Ferguson’s address:

Mr Ferguson’s Address …

Mr PERRETT (Moreton) (14:50):
My question is to the Minister for Resources and Energy and Minister for Tourism. Will the minister update the House on the contribution that the resources and energy sectors are making to the strength of the Australian economy?

Mr MARTIN FERGUSON (Batman—Minister for Resources and Energy and Minister for Tourism) (14:50):
I thank the member for Moreton for his question. The figures released today by the independent Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics clearly show the strength and resilience of the Australian economy. They are also a very strong statement about our capacity to manage the implementation of the MRRT and our confidence in the future of our economy.

Let us deal with a few hard facts. Firstly, export earnings from resources and energy commodities have set a new record, reaching $175 billion in 2010-11. Secondly, this is an increase of 27 per cent on 2009-10 and a nine per cent increase on the previous record of $160 billion set in 2008-09.

Clearly, the decisive action we took as a government through the global financial crisis is bearing fruit. Our community had confidence in our capacity to go forward and use the resources and energy boom to further strengthen the diversification of the Australian economy. I would also remind you that we have achieved this result despite the serious adverse weather effects experienced in Queensland, the Cooper Basin and the Pilbara region of Western Australia earlier this year. It is also interesting to note that we have not alone benefited from high commodity prices. We are also seeing increases in export volumes, which is very important.

That is related to the fact that we as a government have invested and will continue to invest in productivity related issues such as the skilling of the Australian workforce and infrastructure. It is also why we are working with the resource and energy sector to try and encourage them to invest in the skilling of our Indigenous community side by side, by focusing on the increased employment of women in this sector, and to use migration with a focus on skilled and semi-skilled migration agreements to enable us to deliver these projects on time and on budget.

Take the value of liquefied natural gas. Exports of LNG have hit for the first time $10 billion, with export volumes up 12 per cent and the value of exports up 34 per cent in 2009-10. These are exceptional results that we should be proud of as a nation. Similar results apply across a range of commodities, be it iron ore, metallurgical and thermal coal or, for that matter, copper. Importantly, they say to the domestic and international economies that we as a nation are a safe haven for investment. That is why we have a capital investment pipeline at the moment of $430 billion, of which $110 billion is in the LNG sector. I am also confident that over the next six to eight months we will achieve a further investment of $50 billion to $60 billion, effectively meaning that by Easter of next year we will have $500 billion committed to new capital investment in Australia.

Our responsibility is to use this opportunity to assist those sections of the Australian economy who are finding it tough because of the strength of the Australian dollar coming off the back of the strength of our resources sector. It is about diversifying our economy, smart investment in manufacturing, support for financial and legal services and the importance of our hospitality and catering services sector. We are the envy of the world when it comes to economic opportunities, and the Australian community can have a sound confidence in our economic future.

This whole discussion and propaganda spin on export revenues and the high value of the A$ and its true cost to Australian Business is a ‘cup half full’ verses a ‘cup half empty’ debate.  The Government is only seeing the debate from the foreign capital inflows and what that brings to the table.

The Treasurer – Mr Swan, The Minister for Energy and Resources – Mr Ferguson and the RBA Board need to have a good look at the real cost to the Australian economy the high value of the A$ relative to all our major trading partners is causing.

Capital Inflows:

The $500 billion of capital injection into the Australian resource sector for new infrastructure and energy production is great boost for our economy.  The market disruption this inflow of capital causes has its casualties – for every business who benefits from the high value of the A$ – there are at least 4-5 small and  large business who are hurt.

A serious question might be how to prevent the A$ rise with all the inflow of capital?

The RBA’s only concern under its bi-partisan charter agreement is to target inflation at a specific range – it has been this way since the late 80’s and early 90’s when Australia did have interest rates at 17-20% and inflation at double digits.  The world has moved on and the RBA is still in a time zone freeze and unable to see the damage the high A$ is causing.

Since the ‘resources boom’ started and the piggy back investors jumped all over the A$ during the early 2000’s – all on the back of China and India’s booming economies – the A$ has been the darling of all global traders and investors.   With our high interest rate structure relative to the rest of the developed world – and the strong currency – no global investors have any need to fear being long A$’s.  There was a hiccup in early 2009 when the GFC hit hard – the world unwound the resource ‘cash and carry’ trade and the A$ fell 40% to A$0.60c in a matter of weeks. [see chart below]

Coal loading port, China

The world all of a sudden got very scared and the flight of capital leaving Australia was reflected in the A$’s fall.   Yet this brief correction and fall only returned the A$ to levels that had previously made us a very competitive economy on the world stage.

Since then as the chart reflects – the world has once again purchased the $A and this ‘speculation’ combined with the capital inflows into our resource sector that Messes Swan, Ferguson sprout as a result of their ‘economic management’ – tell and highlight a very different tale.  Fools look at the Profit and Loss statement first – whereas smart people want to see the real numbers and make investment decisions on the sustainability f the numbers before they make investment decisions for the long term.

The A$ value and its impact on Business in Australia:

There were very good reasons why the A$ fell in a heap during the GFC crisis in early 2009.  Off-shore investors wanted their money.  Having drained wealth from Australia since 2000 – these investors had more than tripled their capital – why not withdraw and look for another ‘bunny’ market where Governments are too weak to turn this ‘speculative capital’ away.

In the A$ remains at these above parity levels and above its mean average of A$0.75c since it was floated in 1983 – all Australian industry will have to make  adjustments.


Tourism cops a double whammy – rather than tourists visiting Australia with a cheap currency – not only do they stop coming but Austrasians travel overseas because of the high A$ and the cheaper holidays on offer.  The Tourism industry has spent 30 years building its industry and then in a matter of 2-3 years it is stopped in its tracks.

All the infrastructure built to cater for tourists suddenly become vacant – Resorts are empty during peak seasons and the massive investment in the industry over time suddenly becomes worthless.  Tourism is withering on the vine and this Government is open for business as long as you but A$’s and the FIRB sanction your investment.


Australia has had two bumper years of grain and produce production – yet the high A$ has diminished returns to farmers by 20-30%.  This despite the higher global prices for their produce.  At a time when Farmers should be rejoicing – they are lamenting the A$ value and its impact on their cash flow.


Jerry Hervey from Hervey Norman has been the loudest to complain about the high A$ – the impact on retail sales is that everybody now wants to buy on-line and off-shore because the high value of the A$ works in favour of the consumer.   Computers, TV’s and other home use items are half the price they were two years ago – profit margins are squeezed , shop owners have permanent sales and trying to keep staff employed is a losing battle.


Same thing – the higher the A$ goes the more expensive it is for overseas buyers and this makes it impossible to compete against low income economies.  Just look at the amount of out-sourcing of employment – call centre operations and the like by mainstream companies – Australian jobs are being exported offshore because of the high value of the A$.


All the capital inflow into this sector does not cover the lost A$ receipts caused by the high A$ – this all at a time when we are selling into a sellers market – these resources once used – are gone forever – this is Australia’s legacy to the world and this Government is allowing it to be shipped off-shore at a fraction it would return to Australia is the A$ value was at its mean average –

The Capital inflow is important to build the infrastructure – surely the Government and the RBA could think ahead a little and allow the inflows to fund this infrastructure to be purchased away from open market activity.

The Swiss stepped in to protect their currency from being priced out of the market – the Japanese have been doing it for years – everywhere else in the World Nations Central Bankers are taking measures to protect their economies and their competitiveness.  Mr Swan is happy to sit back and watch it happen.  He is a weak man – he has no vision for where this high A$ is leading this economy.  He is still drunk with an ego problem over what he thinks was saving Australia from the GFC – he thinks that the wasteful spending during 2008-9 was well worth the value received and climbs atop his personal dungheap to crow about his saving of the Australian economy.

News for you Mr Swan – your dungheap stench is getting worse  …

The Cash and Carry Trade:

It is not just capital inflow for resource investment buying the A$ – every global investor/speculator is locked into this trade and this Government and the RBA remain content to sit back and wear the resultant economic fallout.  The record resources export numbers – both in terms of A$ export receipts and volumes exported as reported above only tell one side of the story.

The flip side of all this hoopla is a simple yet real cost to Australian Business’s that nobody wants to face or talk about in any preventative way.   The industries impacted by this neglect cover every aspect of Australian economy.

Just for a moment – can you imagine what these export numbers would be if the A$ was where it has averaged for the last 40 odd years – around the A$0.75c level.

It was good enough for the Swiss to intervene to stop their currency rising and their financial clout is renown. Would any sane person stack Mr Swan’s and the RBA Board’s reputation up against the Swiss Financial knowledge base?

The above media article quotes A$175b as the amount received in export revenues – if the currency was at A$.75c during this period – this number would be 25% higher – some A$44b … given the A$ has been at these lofty levels for some years – the calculated A$200b wealth transferred to our trading partners and off-shore investors during this period – all receiving investment income and capital gain on their currency purchase – why is there no spin or mainstream talk about this transference of wealth from the Australian mortgage borrowers – the miners – the farmers – the tourism operators – the manufactures and all the other business’s hurting because to off-shore lands?

If the Opposition knew numbers and had any economic management credentials – they would be all over this – that could cause massive damage to Swan’s creditability – yet they languish in a maggot infested dungheap – beneath Wayne Swan trying to white ant him in other ways.  What ever ‘crow’ value Mr Swan offers in the House – the Opposition ‘crow’ less – all because even they don’t get the fundamentals on what a high A$ cost Australians.

These resources are a once only asset and we are selling them at firesale prices when global demand is at its highest.  These record export values only paint a small picture about what is really happening – and Mr SWAN is allowed to wear his ‘duncehat’ in full view of the Australian Media because they are dumber than he is.

A new story in on the impact of the high A$ on employment has just been published – read it below … not much more needs to be said.

The Australian – Strong dollar costs nation 90,000 jobs

David Uren, economics correspondent
From: The Australian September 16, 2011 12:00AM

INDUSTRIES trying to win exports or fend off imports have shed 90,000 jobs in the past three months as they try to deal with the high Australian dollar.

The only parts of the economy that have been adding staff in any numbers are the state and commonwealth public sectors, health, professional services and the mining industry.

Manufacturing is suffering the most and has lost 30,000 jobs in the past three months and 50,000 in the space of six months.

The sector has been under pressure for the past two years, but the pace of contraction has increased in the past six months as the Australian dollar has remained above $US1.

Education and training, one of Australia’s biggest export success stories over the past decade, has also started losing jobs rapidly, with 29,200 workers leaving the sector since May.

Training institutions, in addition to being hit by the high dollar, have also suffered as a result of the government’s decision to deny residency visas to graduates of cooking and hairdressing courses.

Although farming has been enjoying fair growing conditions and markets, it has also been hurt by the high value of the dollar and may be losing employees as a result of consolidation of properties.

Jobs in the farm sector have dropped from 380,000 to 315,000 since May last year, with 20,600 workers going in the past three months.

The hospitality industry, which includes accommodation and restaurants, is one of the big growth industries of the past 30 years thanks to tourism and a continuing rise in the number of people eating out. However, the stress in tourism has cost it 10,000 jobs in the past three months and 18,000 in the past six.

Construction is another big growth industry of the past decade that appears to be entering more difficult times. Although it added more jobs than any other sector in the past six months, there has been a small contraction in the past three months. Construction is a winner from the mining boom but is shedding workers in housing and commercial building.

Retail, one of the biggest employers, has been holding staff numbers steady at about 1.2 million for the past 18 months, despite weak consumer demand.

Mining, which is still one of the smaller industries, on a par with property and communications, has grown by 10 per cent, or 8900 workers, in the past three months.

The big job creators are the commonwealth and state governments, through their public services and their funding of the health industry. They have generated 46,800 new positions in the past three months.

The uneven influence of structural change in the economy has made a big difference to the occupations. The contraction of manufacturing and the weakness in housing and commercial construction has resulted in the loss of 107,000 skilled trades jobs in the past six months and 49,000 labouring jobs.

The weaker outlook has cost 56,500 sales jobs and 33,500 professional positions in the same period. The loss of professional jobs may partly be the result of outsourcing of information technology positions to India, The Philippines and other countries in the region.

However, growth in the public sector has led to a rise in the numbers of managers and clerical, social and community workers.

The strength of the mining industry has helped generate almost 50,000 new jobs in the last six months for machinery operators and drivers

What do you say now Mr Swan to your ‘JOBS – JOBS – JOBS’ rants over the last 2 years or so … Al these jobs disappearing on your watch – and all you want to do is sit with your smug smile thinking you’re some sort of hero for saving us all from the GFC take 1 … well Humpty Dumpty is about to take a great big dump – and all over you …


The EYE-BALL Guru …

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