Random Analytics

Charts, Infographics & Analytics. No Spinning the Data. No Juking the Stats

Month: June, 2013

Random Analytics: RDAF Rd 5 Analytics (WIP)

The Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF) allocations via Round 5 have been announced. Interestingly this was not announced at the Regional Development Australia Conference which was held over the 15-16 June weekend but almost immediately after on the last day of the Australian Local Government Association National General Assembly.

There is another series of RDAF funding via Round 5B which will allocate a further $200-million in funding available until 30 June 2018 (for which I’ll complete a separate round of analytics).

In regard to RDAF Round 5 the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport website stated:

On Wednesday 19 June 2013 the Minister for Regional Development and Local Government, the Hon Anthony Albanese MP, announced that applications for Round Five of the Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF) open on Friday 21 June 2013. RDAF Round Five is an allocative funding round, with each local government that was funded under the General Purpose component of the Financial Assistance Grants 2012–2013 eligible to apply for funding for infrastructure projects.

RDAF Round Five will provide $150 million to eligible local governments, according to an allocative model, for capital infrastructure projects. $105 million of the funding will be allocated to regional local governments while $45 million will be allocated to urban local governments. The funding for regional local governments will come from the Regional Development Australia Fund and funding for urban local governments will come from the Liveable Cities program. Eligible local governments are those that received the General Purpose component of the local government Financial Assistance Grants in 2012–13.

Funding will be allocated among states and territories on a per capita basis. A base grant of $30,000 will apply for all eligible local governments with the remaining funding in each state or territory to be distributed in the same proportion as the General Purpose funding component of the local government Financial Assistance Grants (as determined by each state and territory local government grants commission).

Effectively this means that all 565 Local Government Area’s within Australia will get funding which totals to $149,999,994. The LGA funding details can be found at on the DoRALGAS site.

Given the extensive detail of this it will be quite a challenge to do the analytics.

Here is a look at the funding commencing with a breakdown by State and I’ll add more graphics and detail as I populate the data.

RDAF Round 5 Funding by Data Population & Population Centre

01 - RDAFRd5_FundsbyPopCentre_130829

This chart looks at three items.

The inner ring is a split between funding to capital and non-capital cities. To be clear all the State plus the territorial capitals (Darwin, Canberra and Kingston) are included.

The secondary ring breaks down the funding by the size of the population centre that it is being deployed in. Population size is based upon Australian Bureau of Statistics Census 2011 data and then allocated to one of five categories. The categories are:

  • Town: A town or a rural region with a population under 10,000
  • Regional Centre: A small city or rural centre with a population between 10,001 and 30,000
  • City: A city or regional centre with a population between 30,001 and 100,000
  • Large City: A city with a population between 100,001 and 500,000
  • Metropolis: Any city with a significant urban area greater than 500,000.

The outer ring is split between funding that I have been able to populate (data verify to council chamber level) and work still ‘in progress’. Currently I have been able to populate 75% (112.5-million) of the funding with 52% of the councils (294 out of 565). At this time I am in the process of working through those councils that received between $200,000 and $300,000 of funding.

RDAF Round 5 Funding by State

02 - RDAFRd5_FundsbyState_130626

The second chart looks at funding by State and is fully updated.

Note: This infographic was created using Tableau Public.

Round 5 Funding by Political Party

03 - RDAFRd5_FundsbyPolParty_130829

This chart looks at funding by political and is not fully updated (see RDAF Round 5 Funding by Data Population & Population Centre).

To populate the entire chart from the outset I specifically selected a seat held by an Independent, the Greens and Katter’s Australia Party (KAP). On the conservative side (in blue) the slices are split into the Liberal Party, the Liberal National Party (QLD) and the Country Liberal Party (NT). The National Party section (in yellow) also includes funding that was allocated to O’Connor, which is held by Tony Crook of the WA National Party.

Round 5 Funding by 2 Party Preferred (2PP)

04 - RDAFRd5_Fundsby2PP_130829

The next chart looks at funding by how safe the seat is considered. The Australian Electoral Commission states that Divisions with a 2-party preferred (2PP) percentile of 60% or greater are safe, those between 56 – 60% are fairly safe and those between 50 – 56% are marginal. Where a seat is considered marginal (based on 2010 election results) I have split into Labor, Coalition and Independent.

Final Thoughts

I’ll continue to update this article as I populate the data down to LGA level.

Declaration of Interest: I have utilised only publically sourced information and all analysis and views expressed are my own and do not reflect that of any employer or organisation that I am associated with.

Note: My previous posts on Regional Development funding can be found at:

Update (3/07/2013)

  • Added Funding by Population Centre, Funding by Political Party & Funding by 2PP sections with inclusion of 20% of the funding data populated.

Update (22/07/2013)

  • Updated Funding by Population Centre, Funding by Political Party & Funding by 2PP sections with 40% of the data populated.

Update (4/08/2013)

  • Updated Funding by Population Centre, Funding by Political Party & Funding by 2PP sections with 50% of the funding data populated. Additionally added a link to RDAF Round 5B.

Update (14/08/2013)

  • Updated Funding by Population Centre, Funding by Political Party & Funding by 2PP sections with 65% of the funding data populated.

Update (29/08/2013)

  • Updated Funding by Population Centre, Funding by Political Party & Funding by 2PP sections with 75% of the funding data populated.
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Peak Jobs, Disruption and Micro-Enterprise

Outside of the Cloud and Big Data there is a word that is over utilised and often miss-purposed in modern employment (plus unemployment or underemployment) parlance.

That word is Disruption.

Looking at the modern meaning of the word via freedictionary.com

1. To throw into confusion or disorder.

2. To interrupt or impede the progress, movement, or procedure of.

3. To break or burst; rupture.

Having a look at some of the mainstream HR discussions taking place at the moment you would think that the disruption taking place in our modern workplaces only offers opportunities and that the liabilities of disruption and disruptive technologies can only ‘revolutionise’ tired industries.

Rachel Botsman will be discussing disruption at one of Australia’s largest HR conferences this year. Specifically she will talk about:

“Publishing, music, retail and travel have all been revolutionized by digital technologies. Who’s next in line? In this big-picture speech, Rachel explains the need and radical opportunity for industries, from education to finance to manufacturing, to reinvent their business model over the next decade to get ahead of the great disruption. As more industries ‘blow up hierarchy’ and move towards reaping the benefits of collaboration, how will it change the way employees think about work and what does this mean for the HR industry? Participants will be inspired by examples from all around the world that are challenging the status quo, and using technology internally and externally to stay relevant in an age of unprecedented change.’

What does disruption look like (macro-view)?

Malcolm Farr wrote an excellent piece about micro enterprises in 2011 titled ‘Australia shuts up shop: the effect the GFC has had on your local stores’. Although I would suggest that the GFC is not the major reason for the slide in Australian micro-business some of the interesting findings in his piece include:

  • According to the Australian Parliamentary Library the amount of small businesses in Australia that employed 1-4 persons decreased from 528,669 to 497,191 between 2007 and 2011 (impacting between 31,528 to 126,112 persons or 0.2 – 1.2% of the participatory population during that time).
  • During the same period small businesses which employed between 5-19 persons increased from 227,883 to 233,832 an increase equal in-line with economic growth.

This is what disruption really looks like (micro-view):

1 - Photo (Civic Video Jun 2013)

That photo, taken only this week was one of two DVD micro-businesses left in Gympie, a small regional city of around 20,000 souls some two-hours north of Brisbane Queensland. It’s been operating for around 20-years, is a family run business and employed around half-a-dozen first time workers in a part-time capacity. There would have been an extensive list of maintenance and supply-chain inputs which allowed this business to run and assisted other small enterprises who provided those services.

Next month there will be one less family run micro-business in this small regional town which can ill afford the loss of any business. That family will now be looking for other employment as will the part-time workers and all the inputs required to run will now be less one client.

What will replace this business?

If you believe Rachel the business has been revolutionised, much like Blockbuster UK was recently revolutionised! What is actually happening is that the model was expensive and out-dated and has been replaced by a number of options all requiring much less in cost input terms, including employment in source countries although there may be employment in digital supply chains. Options which are commonly replacing bricks and mortar micro-enterprises such as this one:

  • DVD vending machines (same cost without the service);
  • Bundled digital options (with bundled extended bill each month on your phone or pay TV carrier service);
  • Online (PAYG, assisting global corporations while helping multi-nationals such as Amazon avoid their tax burdens);
  • Outright piracy;
  • Turning the telly off.

Final Thoughts

‘Peak Jobs’ is the idea that technology is replacing jobs faster than it’s creating them. For those more technically inclined it can also be attributed to the finalisation of the increased growth in average output (and income) per labour unit due to technological change since the 1820’s as put forward by Robert Solow (1956) or the commencement of technological unemployment as put forward by John Maynard Keynes (in the 1930’s) without the opportunity to transition into new roles as productivity increases but global employment declines.

For Australia this meant that not only was there a movement by larger businesses toward part-time or flexible work options but also a Darwinian attrition of small businesses. This was especially impactful on micro-businesses which employed 1-4 persons since the GFC and now is impacting on the next tier in the SME chain. All of this without a likelihood of same-for-same employment transition across the economy as disruptive (read technological) replacements are sourced, placed and deployed.

Publishing, music, retail and travel are just the tip of the spear.

Wait until disruption really starts to squeeze.

Note: My previous posts on Peak Jobs can be found at:

Random Analytics: RDAF Rd 4 Analytics (WIP as at 24 Jul 2013)

From mid-June 2013 announcements by the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport commenced in relation to the Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF) Round 4 series of grants.

An overview of RDAF Round 4 from the Department website:

The government has announced a large strategic package to support the immediate and critical needs of regional Australia. This funding is supported by the proceeds of the Minerals Resource Rent Tax. Round Four of RDAF is a key element of this package and provides $175 million in grants to strategic infrastructure projects in regional Australia, with the maximum grant being $15 million.

Funding from Round Four will be provided to the highest priorities of communities, and seek to improve liveability and the sense of community. Regional Development Australia committees will again play a key role, identifying projects to proceed to full application. These projects will be selected because they best meet the needs of the regions, address priorities in the committee’s Regional Plans, and deliver real benefits to regional Australians.

For those interested in the RDAF Round 4 grants series here are some analytics of the 41-grants that have been announced. Four projects have been officially notified since Kevin Rudd was confirmed in his second term as Prime Minister.

RDAF Round 4 Funding by Allocation & Population Centre

01 - RDAFRd4_FundsbyPopCentre_130724

This chart looks at three items.

The inner ring is a split between funding to capital and non-capital cities. To be clear all State or Territory capitals including Kingston, Norfolk Island are considered capitals.

The secondary ring breaks down the funding by the size of the population centre that it is being deployed in. Population size is based upon Australian Bureau of Statistics Census 2011 data and then allocated to one of five categories. The categories are:

  • Town: A town or a rural region with a population under 10,000
  • Regional Centre: A small city or rural centre with a population between 10,001 and 30,000
  • City: A city or regional centre with a population between 30,001 and 100,000
  • Large City: A city with a population between 100,001 and 500,000
  • Metropolis: Any city with a significant urban area greater than 500,000.

The outer ring shows the over allocation of funding. The amount of funding for Round 3 (Regional) was originally set at $50-million and Round 4 was $175-million as per the Ministers Forward. RDAF Round 3 was under allocated approximately 19.5-million in funding while RDAF Round 4 currently has an over allocation of $20.2-million (11.6%).

RDAF Round 4 Funding by State

02 - RDAFRd4_FundsbyState_130724

The next chart looks at current funding by State.

Norfolk Island, a self-governing external territory of Australia won a single project worth $13-million as part of RDAF Round 4. As at 24 July 2013 the data.gov.au website stated that:

NSW

RDA South Coast includes the external territory of Jervis Bay. In previous data releases, Lord Howe Island (part of the ABS Unincorporated NSW) was part of RDA Northern Rivers. On the 16 of August 2011, Lord Howe Island declared to be represented by Mid North Coast.

On the 28 of May 2012, there were major changes to 4 RDA boundaries with Bland moving from RDA Central West to RDA Riverina and Tumbarumba moving from RDA Southern Inland to RDA Murray.

Norfolk Island IS NOT part of any RDA.

Note: This infographic was created using Tableau Public.

Round 4 Funding by Political Party

03 - RDAFRd4_FundsbyPolParty_130724

This chart looks at funding by political party and includes funding to Norfolk Island which is an independent territory (thus politically unaffiliated).

The National Party slice includes funding that was allocated to O’Connor, which is held by Tony Crook of the WA National Party (technically a different party).

Since Kevin Rudd commenced his second term as Prime Minister five new projects have been announced with $29.05-million in total funding. All five projects have gone to ALP held seats and one of those projects, the Lake Macquarie Transport Interchange has previously received $7-million funding as part of RDAF Round 2.

Round 4 Funding by 2 Party Preferred

04 - RDAFRd4_Fundsby2PP_130724

The next chart looks at funding by how safe the seat is considered. The Australian Electoral Commission states that Divisions with a 2-party preferred (2PP) percentile of 60% or greater are safe, those between 56 – 60% are fairly safe and those between 50 – 56% are marginal. Where a seat is considered marginal (based on 2010 election results) I have split into Labor, Coalition and Independent.

Round 4 Funding by Electorate

05 - RDAFRd4_FundsbyElectorate_130716

The following chart looks at the top ten electorates or external territories that have been funded.

Although filled with The National Party logo the Division of O’Connor is technically held by the WA National. The current sitting member, Tony Crook, has stated that he wanted to be treated as an Independent during most of his term although will be resigning from federal politics at the next election.

Eden Monaro was one of five projects to have received enough funding after Kevin Rudd commenced his second term to be included in the top 10 ten electorates by funding allocation.

Round 4 Funding by Employment Sector

06 - RDAFRd4_FundsbyEmploySector_130724

The second last chart looks at funding by employment sector. I have created a similar selection to that implemented by Seek but have amended to reflect a regional development framework and focus. The employment sectors focus on the longer term operational outcome of the funding, not its infrastructure or implementation phase(s).

Currently several employment sectors have not received funding in this round including:

  • Mining, Resources & Energy;
  • ICT;
  • Education & Training;
  • Construction;
  • Call Centre & Customer Services; and
  • Banking & Financial Services.

Round 4 Funding by Regional Development Australia (RDA) Region

06 - RDAFRd4_FundsbyRDA_130716

The final chart looks at the top dozen RDA Regions by allocated funding (with additional State and Territory detail represented by relevant flag) .

Final Thoughts

I’ll continue to update this article as more projects get announced.

Declaration of Interest: I have utilised only publically sourced information and all analysis and views expressed are my own and do not reflect that of any employer or organisation that I am associated with.

Note: My previous posts on Regional Development funding can be found at:

Update (19/06/2013)

  • Updated all graphs/infographics after 9-projects were announced via the RDAF Round 4 Department page.

Update (20/06/2013)

  • No new data. Upgraded Funding by State to a Tableau Infographic and added Norfolk Island detail.

Update (24/06/2013)

  • No new data. Upgraded Funding by RDA Region by adding State or Territory flags.

Update (16/07/2013)

  • Updated all graphs/infographics after 4-projects were announced via the RDAF Round 4 Department page.

Update (24/07/2013)

  • Updated all graphs/infographics (with exception of Funding by Seat & RDA Region) after a single project was announced via the RDAF Round 4 Department page. Additionally, included a Funding by Employment Section.

Random Analytics: EIF Regional Priorities Round (to 5 Aug 2013)

***** The Regional Priorities Round has not been finalised, thus this is still a Work-In-Progress and will be updated as more information becomes publically available. *****

The Education Investment Fund (EIF) was first deployed in 2008 and during the previous term of federal government distributed more than $2-billion in funds to various higher education and vocational institutions. Here is the official overview as per the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education:

The Education Investment Fund (EIF) was announced in the 2008-09 Budget and is a major component of the Government’s Education Revolution. The role of the EIF is to build a modern, productive, internationally competitive Australian economy by supporting world-leading, strategically-focused infrastructure investments that will transform Australian tertiary education and research.

The EIF will provide funding for projects that create or develop significant infrastructure in higher education institutions, research institutions and vocational education and training providers, in order to:

  • transform Australia’s knowledge generation and teaching capabilities
  • boost participation in tertiary education
  • position Australia to meet domestic skills needs now and into the future
  • enhance Australia’s innovation capacity
  • invigorate the growth of Australia’s research capabilities
  • enhance Australia’s international competitiveness in education and research.

The EIF is one of three Nation-building funds established by the Government, along with the Building Australia Fund and the Health and Hospitals Fund.

The Regional Priorities Round will be deployed during the current term of government and will distribute $500-million in funding to regional institutions. The Department considers a regional institution to be:

As stated in Section 2 of the guidelines, infrastructure funded through the round is to support students located in regional, rural or remote areas of Australia, and regional cities (including, but not limited to Hobart, Darwin, Newcastle, Wollongong and Geelong).

Infrastructure funded through the round is expected to be located predominantly in these regions, unless there are exceptional circumstances where it can be demonstrated that locating infrastructure elsewhere, such as cities including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide or Canberra, offers the most efficient and effective way of supporting students in these regions.

In determining whether or not a particular location is within the boundary of a capital city other than Hobart or Darwin, the EIF Advisory Board will be guided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Greater Capital City Statistical Area classification.

EIF Rounds 1 – 3 plus Regional Priorities Applications

The Application Success Rate (ASR) breakdowns by Round have not been finalised.

In Round 1 (late 2008) there were 55 applications with 11 projects getting funding, an application success rate of 20% exactly. For Round 2 (2009/2010 Budget) I had to rely on a number of Ministerial media releases which confirmed the number of successful projects as 35 while only stating applications were greater than 160. This put the ASR between 18.8% and 19.8%. Finally Round 3 (May – June 2010) had 152 applications, of which 19 were successful giving it an ASR of just 12.5%.

Regional Priorities Round by Allocation & Population Centre

02 - EIFRdRPRFundingbyPopCentre_130805

As at 5 August 2013 there has been $388.9-million or 77.8% of the total funding announced.

The outer layer of this graph looks at the amount of known projects funded (from $500-million) while the inner layers break down the funding by the size of the population centre and capital/non-capital city deployment. Population size is based upon Australian Bureau of Statistics Census 2011 data and then allocated to one of into four categories. The categories are:

  • Regional Centre: A small city or rural centre with a population between 1 and 30,000;
  • City: A city or regional centre with a population between 30,001 and 100,000;
  • Large City: A city with a population between 100,001 and 500,000;
  • Metropolis: Any city with a significant urban area greater than 500,000.

Currently the bulk of the funding has gone to larger regional cities but none to any of the major cities such as Sydney or Melbourne.

In line with the EIF Regional Priorities guidelines Hobart and Darwin are considered regional centres but nonetheless are capital cities which have received funding.

More commentary to follow as the funding is finalised.

Regional Priorities Round Funding by State

03 - EIFRdRPRFundingbyState_130805

With almost 75% of the funding announced the clear winners have been both New South Wales and Queensland.

More commentary to follow as the funding is finalised.

Note: This infographic was created using Tableau Public.

Regional Priorities Round by University

04 - EIFRdRPRFundingbyUni_130805

Currently there have been 14 Higher Education institutions which have received funding. Note: In my analysis I included university business units under the parent university and TAFE units by state.

James Cook University is the leading higher education facility to have received funding.

With the Sunshine Coast and Central Queensland Institutes of TAFE both receiving funding TAFE QLD is currently the leading vocational education and training organisation to have received funding.

More commentary to follow as the funding is finalised.

Regional Priorities Round by Political Party

05 - EIFRdRPRFundingbyPolParty_130805

This chart identifies the political party where the funding is located.

With more than 75% of the funding announced the glaring issue with the Regional Priorities Round is that currently the Independents have been allocated almost half of the $388.9-million announced. Even without further funding that would mean that the Independents would get a minimum of 35.2% of the total EIF RPR funding.

It’s my view that the allocation of funding to seats held by Independents is disproportionate.

More commentary to follow as the funding is finalised.

Regional Priorities Round Funding by 2PP

06 - EIFRdRPRFundingby2PP_130805

The next chart looks at funding by 2-party preference. The Australian Electoral Commission states that Divisions with a 2-party preferred (2PP) percentile of 60% or greater are safe, those between 56 – 60% are fairly safe and those between 50 – 56% are marginal. Where a seat is considered marginal (based on 2010 election results) I have split into Labor, Coalition and Independents.

Safe seats currently get 36.3% of all funding while no grants have been allocated to fairly safe seats. Extraordinarily funding to marginal seats currently represents 63.8% of all institutional grants. Again, even if no more marginal seats get funding (highly unlikely for the VET
component) the amount already announced would represent 49.6% of the total Regional Priorities Round.

More commentary to follow as the funding is finalised.

Regional Priorities Round by Electorate

07 - EIFRdRPRFundingbyElectorate_130719

The last chart looks at the top 10 electorates by funding allocation.

Currently four of the top ten electorates funded are held by Independents but as the final funding gets announced this may decrease (or may not).

More commentary to follow as the funding is finalised.

Final Thoughts (well, sort of)

There is no doubt that even though the total funding for the Regional Priorities Round of the EIF has not been finalised many great regional Australian institutions have received funding for projects which will enhance educational outcomes for students outside of capital cities. As a Masters student who lives in a “regional region” studying off-campus with a regional institution I may well benefit from this largesse.

Also, BRAVO to the local independent members who have been able to get funding to regional areas, often starved in favour of inner city electorates. Certainly, this level of funding to some regions would be much less if it wasn’t for minority government.

That said, with more than 75% of the funding allocated since late November 2012 there is no doubt in my mind that the funding to date has been directed with intent to seats held by Independents.

As I stated in my EIF Rounds 1-3 analysis “Although I believe that incumbency deserves a reasonable return in terms of overall funding allocation the role of government is to lead in the national interest, not in complete self-interest.

Hopefully the decisions made and the final allocation of funding decisions to be made are in the national interest and that other projects which may have provided better educational and regional development outcomes were not overlooked for political purposes.

Note: My look at the Education Investment Fund Rounds 1-3 can be found at Random Analytics: EIF Rounds 1-3 Analysis.

Declaration of Interest: I have utilised only publically sourced information and all analysis and views expressed are my own and do not reflect that of any employer or organisation that I am associated with.

Update (3/07/2013)

Update (19/07/2013)

  • Updated all sections (minus funding by University) with announcement of a grant to North Coast TAFE.

Update (5/08/2013)

  • Updated all sections (minus funding by Electorate) with announcement of a grant to CQIT.

Random Analytics: EIF Rounds 1-3 Analysis

Prior to my analysing the upcoming Regional Priorities Round I felt it might be worthwhile looking at how the first three rounds and the $2.064-billion Education Investment Fund were distributed. Here is the official overview as per the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education:

The Education Investment Fund (EIF) was announced in the 2008-09 Budget and is a major component of the Government’s Education Revolution. The role of the EIF is to build a modern, productive, internationally competitive Australian economy by supporting world-leading, strategically-focused infrastructure investments that will transform Australian tertiary education and research.

The EIF will provide funding for projects that create or develop significant infrastructure in higher education institutions, research institutions and vocational education and training providers, in order to:

  • transform Australia’s knowledge generation and teaching capabilities
  • boost participation in tertiary education
  • position Australia to meet domestic skills needs now and into the future
  • enhance Australia’s innovation capacity
  • invigorate the growth of Australia’s research capabilities
  • enhance Australia’s international competitiveness in education and research.

The EIF is one of three Nation-building funds established by the Government, along with the Building Australia Fund and the Health and Hospitals Fund.

Here is my analysis.

EIF Rounds 1 – 3 Applications

01 - EIFRd1-3Applications_130612

Here are the Application Success Rate (ASR) breakdowns by Round.

In Round 1 (late 2008) there were 55 applications with 11 projects getting funding, an application success rate of 20% exactly. For Round 2 (2009/2010 Budget) I had to rely on a number of Ministerial media releases which confirmed the number of successful projects as 35 while only stating applications were greater than 160. This put the ASR between 18.8% and 19.8%. Finally Round 3 (May – June 2010) had 152 applications, of which 19 were successful giving it an ASR of just 12.5%.

With 61 successful projects and between 368 – 376 project applications the final ASR stood at 17.4%.

EIF Rounds 1-3 Funding by State

02 - EIFRd1-3FundingbyState_130612

Of the EIF through to Round 3 the weight of grants were presented to NSW (22) and Victoria (19) representing more than two thirds of the total project allocation. The final third was shared between Queensland (6), WA (5), SA (4), NT (2) and Tasmania with one project.

Victoria was the leading state for federal government funding with $681.852-million (33%), an average of $35.9-million per project. Following closely was New South Wales with $676.916-million (32.8%), an average of $30.8-million per project. The remaining four states and two territories finished up with $706.011-million (34.2%) across 20-projects and a project funding average of $35.3-million.

The key point here is that NSW and Victoria received two out of every three dollars on offer, an overly generous proportion of available funding given the diversity and depth of both Higher Education and VET institutions spread across Australia.

Note: This infographic was created using Tableau Public.

EIF Rounds 1-3 Funding by University

03 - EIFRd1-3FundingbyUni_130612

Looking at the allocation of funding by institution there were 36 educational organisations from both the Higher Education and Vocational Education & Training (VET) sectors which received funding. Note: In my analysis I included university business units under the parent university and TAFE units by state.

The Top 10 institutions in terms of EIF funding received were all universities. The University of Melbourne received the most funding with four projects and $146.793-million (7.1%) followed by the University of Queensland (three projects, $137.431-million) and the University of Sydney (2-projects, $135-million).

Although the projects that the University of Melbourne won were top shelf and it is the top rated institution in Australia (37th according to UniversityWorldRankings.com) prior to the 2010 election it was also located in the seat of Melbourne, held by the former Minister for Finance and Deregulation, Lindsay Tanner. In fact, of the top ten institutions represented in the graphic above only one project from the 22 which were included was in a seat held by any party other than the ALP. The project in question, allocated in Round 1 was the Gateway @ COFA grant, located in the Division of Wentworth and represented by the then recently dumped Coalition opposition leader, Malcolm Turnbull.

The largest VET recipient of funding was TAFE VIC which received four separate grants across the State with a total value of 52.95-million.

At Number 9 it was good to see QUT, my old Alumnus, represented in the top-10 universities funded.

EIF Rounds 1 – 3 Funding by Population Centre

04 - EIFRd1-3FundingbyPopCentre_130612

This chart breaks down the funding by the size of the population centre and capital/non-capital city deployment. Population size is based upon Australian Bureau of Statistics Census 2011 data and then allocated to one of into four categories. The categories are:

  • Regional Centre: A small city or rural centre with a population between 1 and 30,000;
  • City: A city or regional centre with a population between 30,001 and 100,000;
  • Large City: A city with a population between 100,001 and 500,000;
  • Metropolis: Any city with a significant urban area greater than 500,000.

As shown those cities with a population greater than 500,000 received the bulk of grants (40) and funding (71%). If we just looked at Melbourne and Sydney they would still receive almost half of all the funding on offer with 27-projects and 1.005-billion in funding.

Given the concentration of universities within our capital cities it is not surprising to find that 45-progrects worth $1.651-billion (80%) went to capital cities.

With just 326 souls at the last census the smallest population size that received funding ($5.5-million) was the NSW regional town of Tocal.

EIF Rounds 1 – 3 Funding by Political Party

05 - EIFRd1-3FundingbyPolParty_130612

Of the 61-projects, 46 were allocated to seats held by Labor with a total value of $1.687-billion, 12 to the Liberal Party ($328.7-million) and 3 to the National Party ($48.7-million).

With more than four out of every five dollars going to areas which were Labor during the Rudd/Gillard years the biggest winners from the EIF Rounds 1 to 3 were those institutions located in ALP held seats.

EIF Rounds 1 – 3 Funding by 2PP

06 - EIFRd1-3Fundingby2PP_130612

The next chart looks at funding by 2-party preference (the Australian Electoral Commission states that Divisions with a 2-party preferred (2PP) percentile of 60% or greater are safe, those between 56 – 60% are fairly safe and those between 50 – 56% are marginal. Where a seat is considered marginal (based on 2007 election results) I have split into Labor and Coalition seats.

From the 61 projects allocated during the Rudd/Gillard term 28 were considered safe and 18 were fairly safe. There were 15 grants and $430.5-million (19.8%) in funding that were directed to marginal electorates.

Although the split between Labor (7) and Liberal (8) was quite equal the marginal representation percentile for each side was as lopsided as the allocation of funds across parties. For Labor the $200.4-million dollars directed at marginal seats equated to 11.9% of all the funding it received while the conservatives received $230.2-million in marginal seat allocation, a thumping 61% of its total allocation.

EIF Rounds 1 – 3 Funding by Electorate

07 - EIFRd1-3FundingbyPolParty_130612

The last chart looks at the top 10 electorates by funding allocation.

No surprise here with eight of the ten being Labor held seats. What is interesting is that of the top four electorates given funding Melbourne was lost to the Greens and Brisbane was lost to the Liberal National Queensland Party.

Down the list at 25th the best allocated National Party electorate was Riverina with one project and $34-million in funding.

Final Thoughts

I commenced an analysis of the Education Investment Fund Rounds 1 to 3 as a background to an upcoming analysis of the Education Investment Fund Regional Priorities Round which, as at mid-June had reached an impasse between Commonwealth and State jurisdictions.

Sometimes as you complete background research your findings during the exploratory phase can be as interesting and as the story you hope to tell.

In the case of the EIF during the previous parliamentary period that was certainly the case.

There is no doubt that every dollar spent on education, no matter where it is spent, adds value to the human capital stocks of the country, has a multiplier effect across multiple indicators and improves individuals, businesses and organisations.

Saying that I cannot comprehend why the value of academia in New South Wales or Victoria was considered that much more valuable than the rest of the Commonwealth, so much so it attracted 67-cents out of every dollar invested. Was Queensland only worth 14-cents and Western Australia a miserly 6-cent portion?

Then there is the greater allocation of funding to Labor held seats.

When I first published this article I felt that analysis demonstrated a level of emphasis of Labor held seats over those of the Coalition which bordered on ‘pork-barrelling’. As the EIF Rounds 1 – 3 were allocated funding during the Rudd/Gillard term which had a stronger ALP 2-party preferred vote and a higher concentration of inner city seats which is anecdotally also where most Australian universities are situated any statement of ‘pork-barrelling’ must be presented with stronger evidence.

Upon personal reflection and as a result of an independent review via a senior editor at an Australian broadsheet I don’t think that I have, as yet, presented a convincing case that either proves or disproves any pork barrelling.

Obviously, more data is required.

Note: My look at the Education Investment Fund Regional Priorities Round can be found at EIF Regional Priorities Round.

Declaration of Interest: I have utilised only publically sourced information and all analysis and views expressed are my own and do not reflect that of any employer or organisation that I am associated with.

 

Updates (17/06/2013)

  • Updated the ‘Final Thoughts’ section.

Random Analytics: Mining – A Dangerous Business (China to 24 July 2013)

Xinhua had some interesting (and sobering statistics) on mining casualties. They include:

  • Mine accidents killed 37 workers for every 100-million metric tonnes of coal produced in 2012, down from 56.4 for 2011 but well above the US which reported 1.9 in that same year;
  • 1,384 fatalities occurred in Chinese coal mines in 2012, down from 1,973 in 2011;
  • 93% of coal gas blasts were caused by poor ventilation.

China is acknowledged by many to be the most dangerous place on Earth to work in mining, especially when it comes to coal mining.

Here is an updated analysis of Chinese incidents resulting in significant casualties as reported by official Chinese media sources through to 24 July 2013.

Fatalities by Province

1 - ChinaMiningDeathsbyProvince_130725

To date there have been 40-major incidents which have been reported by Xinhua. This includes 411-deaths and 229-injuries. Due to a lack of follow-up reporting by Xinhua and the severity of Chinese mining accidents there are also 47-missing persons, many of whom should be considered as deceased.

The single largest incident was that of a landslide in Tibet which buried 83 from the Jiama Copper mine under 2-million cubic metres of mud and rock on the 29th March. This single incident also confirmed Tibet as the province with the most confirmed fatalities to date.

The South West province of Guizhou had the most reported incidents with seven separate incidents and a combined fatality count of 70. The most serious incident from Guizhou was a colliery gas blast at the Machang mine which left 25-dead and a further 20-injured.

Both North East and South West Regions have recorded 11-incidents each. The South West Region (which includes Tibet) had the worst data, so far recording 195-deaths. The North East had 114-deaths.

The most recent incident reported by Xinhua was the death of 10 sulphur miners in Chengcheng County, Shaanxi who were killed when a fire broke out on the 24th July 2013.

Note: The infographic was created using Tableau Public.

Fatalities by Resource

2 - ChinaMiningDeathsbyResource_130725

Coal continues to be the most dangerous resource to mine in China with 292-deaths or 71% of all reported fatalities. Additionally, with 33 out of the 40 incidents where the resource was known attributed to coal it has dominated the news representing 82.5% of all reported incidents.

Copper was the second most dangerous resource by numbers with 86-deaths (20.9%) but only two incidents (5%). Although we are just over half-way through the year I believe that percentile will come down further given that most of fatalities from copper mining came from a single incident (the Tibetan landslide) which even by Chinese standards was unprecedented.

Other commodities with reported deaths include gold (2.4%), sulphur (2.4%) and oil (0.5%). There have been two incidents and 11-deaths that had no details of the resource being extracted.

Fatalities by Month

3 - ChinaMiningDeathsbyMonth_130725

The final graph looks at reported mining deaths by month including provisional numbers for the current month. I have split the graph to show confirmed fatalities and those still missing at the time of the latest reporting. Often Chinese media do not follow-up on previous incidents.

To June the incident average is 5.7 per month and the fatality average was ranged between 62.5 to 69.2 (if you include the missing). With three incidents which claimed more than 25 lives each, including the Tibetan landslide which killed 83, March was the worst month on record for 2013.

Final Thoughts

This analysis can only scratch the surface of what is going on in the Chinese mining industry.

A commonality of the 40 incidents reported by Xinhua was that they covered accidents which involved three or more persons. Thus, a huge amount of individual deaths and injuries that can happen on any mine in any part of the world including Australia must surely go unreported. There is also no way to validate this data against a Chinese regulator. In all fairness to the Chinese it is also difficult to get immediate injury and fatality data from Australian mining regulators and Work Cover entities.

Another factor here is illegal mining. To date at least six incidents and 54-deaths occurred in illegal mines which have subsequently required a major rescue effort. How many unknown accidents and tragedies have gone unreported?

While China remains the most power hungry nation on the planet one unfortunate (yet certain) point can be taken from this analysis.

There will be more tragedies.

 

—————————–

Update (8/07/2013)

  • Updated all infographics and some text with an additional six incidents between 6 June and 8 July 2013.

Update (25/07/2013)

  • Updated all infographics and some text with an additional three incidents between 9 – 24 July 2013.

Random Analytics: Mining Workforce Planning Scan (May 2013)

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

There has been a marked decrease in mining industry Employment sentiment since the recent high experienced just three months ago in March, returning to levels I have not seen since the commodity crash of mid-2012. At the same time as Employment sentiment is hitting worrisome levels the discussion about skills shortages in the mining sector has been null and void for 2013, potentially reflecting an industry that is waning even faster than the pundits are suggesting by the reducing FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) figures.

To highlight this issue Coffey announced 54 projects that it had projected consulting on were either delayed or cancelled with a Q4 reduction in revenue of nearly $14-million (see Geosciences Contracted Projects Delayed or Cancelled and thanks to Andrew Duffy for tweeting this prior to his overseas trip). This loss of revenue may well result in the loss of around 150-jobs from the Australian Geosciences and Project Management business.

1 - Coffey-Projects-Cancelled

While some of the figures look grim, projects are still going ahead. During the month an iron ore junior, Sherwin Iron got the nod while discussions are progressing on all the mega-coal mines in Queensland are still progressing (although whether its momentum carrying it forward may be a question worth asking). Even while coal struggles, juniors, such as Taroborah Coal are still moving ahead on community consultations.

It really is a case of one step forward, two steps back.

Categories

Employment was the leading category with 24-stories (25.5%), the fourth month in a row. Of the past 12-months, Employment has been the leading category nine times centred around the commodity crash from mid-2012 and in the New Year as continued cost cutting has impacted on jobs.

Like April, WH&S (Work Health & Safety) was the second leading category with 23-stories (24.5%) and IR (Industrial Relations) was third with 11-stories (11.7%).

If you want to get a feel for where mining is going there have been no stories recorded for SkillsShort (Skills Shortages) in May and only one article in 2013. What this is telling me is that mining is cutting employee’s quickly enough that new ventures have enough candidates to fill most of their hard-to-fill and critical roles and the operational critical roles (generally only around 5% of a workforce) and holding onto positions rather than risk a move.

2 - Mining_Categories_May2013

Positive/Negative Index

For the first time since October 2012, Employment has returned to being the most negative indicator. With five positive and 16-negative stories which resulted in a minus -11 reading for May. What is more concerning is that just two months ago this category had its highest reading in a year and looked to be on an improved trend-line.

For the third consecutive month and with three positive stories and nothing negative reported L&D/R&D (Learning & Development/Research & Development) finished as the most positive indicator. Given that it looks at mainly positive stories about mining L&D investment or education programs over the past 12-months this indicator has been the most positive on six occasions.

3 - Mining_PosNegIndex_May2013

Mining Employment Gains & Losses

May was the first month that saw 2013 numbers fewer than 1,000 (with no employment opportunities discussed in 2014). With just 1,190 jobs new positions reported over the next five years it was also the worst month in terms of employment projection on record for this year.

As discussed in the introduction there were three articles where the number of infrastructure and operational jobs on offer exceeded 100. They were Sherwin Iron (600), Taborah Coal (330) and Northern Platinum (200 from 2015). On the negative side Coffey were looking to cut 150 followed by Transfield (113), BHP Iron (100) and Boggabri (106). Controversially, the job losses which hit Boggabri in NSW were featured on ABC 7.30 as local workers were cut over 457-visa employees.

4 - Mining_Employment_May2013

Here’s a look at the May data.

5 - Mining_Data_May2013

Story of the Month

My pick of the month is a story of three parts. It’s a story of a company trying to de-unionise its workforce by recruiting cleanskins. Based on the numbers it’s also a fantastic recruitment story for a 100% FIFO workforce. Again, based on the numbers it’s also a tale of how hard it must be to break into the mining industry without relevant experience.

After taking 14,000 applications for the 750 jobs on offer for Brisbane residents in its Bowen Basin mines, BMA closed off its Cairns recruitment campaign after receiving 8,000 applications for just 250-positions. This means that for Brisbane there were 18.7 applicants per position, while for North Queensland the ratio was 32 to one.

With this level of positive attraction in the recruitment campaign (and even with a potential 15-25% turnover for FIFO workers) it would now seem reasonable to suggest that the union campaign against BMA waged through to 2012 was misjudged to the detriment of local workers. Obviously the tier one miners will accept more expensive deployment models and malleable staff over instability.

It will be interesting to see how the IR story plays out in coming months if the mining sector continues to ease.

Final Thoughts

In my February Mining Workforce Planning Scan I stated that the mining sector had returned to Business As Usual, although cost cutting would be ongoing. Now that we are in the first week of June with End of Financial Year just around the corner you can just see the hint of troublesome currents.

Although a minus -11 Employment sentiment is awful, it’s not as bad as September 2012 when the commodity decline saw that number down as low as minus -20.

If we were to see a similar or worse number in June I would then be starting to get really concerned, especially if we started to see more than just cost-cutting numbers come through.

But then again, things could just return back to normal.

Note: My previous post on Mining Workforce Planning Scans can be found at Random Analytics: Mining Workforce Planning Scan (Apr 2013)