At last Australia has a Prime Minister and a Government. What a battle, what a win! I was in Melbourne when the election heat was on and voted on the 21 August, but did have to wait for more than two weeks for a new government to be decided.
After, 1940, Australia fell into a hung parliament situation. Nevertheless the wait is over, and now we have our First Lady Prime Minister reinstated forming a minority government. Congratulations Ms Gillard!
Although elections are considered significant by most Australians, elections bring less drastic changes to day-to-day life in Australia. I am proud to be a part of a great nation that truly believes in democracy. In modern political arena, Australia triumphs one of the most refined democracies in the world.
Unarguably, a country's progress is measured upon its economic growth. When it comes to elections, all what that did matter to the public was how well a government in place could run the country.
Australia enjoyed an unprecedented economic growth for the past 17 years, although certain industries were under performing due to the global financial recession. However, Australia was never pronounced a country in recession, but the impact was inevitable, and obviously evident up to mid 2009.
Nevertheless, in recent months we have seen inflation under control, despite Australia's strong economic growth.
Headline inflation was 3 per cent in the year to August according to the index, which is at the top of the Reserve Bank's target range. The controlled Inflation is telling us that the mid-year return to trend GDP growth, the income surge arising from the terms of trade boom.
There are speculated fears of interest rate hikes, although it's unlikely as mortgage lending rates have already been restored to average levels. At the moment our economy resembles the perfect porridge. The consensus among Australia's financial institution economists is very much that the next move in interest rates will be up, not down because the economists expect growth to keep ticking along at around 3.25 per cent, with continuing elevated commodity prices keeping national income high, and fuelling more increases in consumer spending.
That's certainly what's happened in Western Australia, with spending in the mining boom state soaring 9.2 per cent over the past year - a level of growth more akin to China and India than the Western world.
Job ads in newspapers rose 1.5 per cent in August, while online ads jumped 2.6 per cent. Job advertisements increased 2.6 per cent in August, and are now 36 per cent higher than a year ago.
It is the fourth consecutive rise in job ads, and the ANZ series shows there were an average of 176,239 jobs advertised each week in the major metropolitan newspapers and on the internet.
ANZ's chief economist Warren Hogan states, "there were some big monthly rises in job advertisements in the Northern Territory, New South Wales and Queensland. Tasmanian job advertisements were also slightly higher, we expect regional disparities in job advertisements to persist in the coming period, with the resource states of Western Australia, Queensland and potentially New South Wales likely to outperform."
Several months of strong job ad growth has economists expecting 25,000 more jobs created in August, pulling the unemployment rate slightly lower from 5.3 to 5.2 per cent. The pick-up in job advertisements in recent months also suggests the unemployment rate is now likely to fall below 5 per cent before year-end.
This will provide solid support for Australian households. Out of the current work force, 68 per cent of skilled migrant applicants have full-time jobs; 32 per cent of their dependents have full-time jobs. In addition, 36 per cent of skilled migrants are professionals compared with 20 per cent of workers generally.
Even if catastrophe doesn't strike in the short-term, there are signs Australia's growth will continue. Public spending played less of a role in this quarter's growth than over the previous year-and-a-half, and is likely to contribute even less in future quarters as the government seeks a rapid return to budget surpluses.
Today's economic growth figures were about as good as they get according to virtually every market economist in Australia: growth around average levels; exports outweighing imports; national income surging from those higher commodity export prices; consumers resuming their spending, yet also with signs inflation will stay under control for a while longer.
Today, Australian economy is in good shape, and Ms. Gillard has promised $9.9 billion package for rural Australia and pledging to restructure Parliament and the public service to better meet the needs of the regions. All eyes will be monitoring her performance and the Prime Minister's minority Government is so tight that one person changing their mind would cost her the job.
It's not an easy road ahead, and I wish her the very best for a productive term.
Sources: ABC News room; http://www.abc.net.au/news/
Surani Punchihewa, a registered migration consultant