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Crystal ball reveals 2016’s highs and lows in business

Michael Pascoe is all-knowing.January

Senator Eric Abetz declares a Day of Shame over Tony Abbott not being named Australian of the Year. “Monckton warned me – it’s the United Nations World Government again,” the Tasmanian senator says.

At his first official function as Ambassador – an Australia Day barbie – Joe Hockey lauds the McDonald’s all-day breakfast as the sort of innovation Australia needs. Embassy staff quietly ask guests not to tell him it’s already available here. February

After the year’s first RBA board meeting, governor Stevens says “chilling out” is working well for the economy by reducing speculation. To assist, the RBA board will only meet quarterly.

The UN General Assembly declares thermal coal a hazardous substance. Environment Minister Greg Hunt says: “If coal’s a hazard, all you have to do, to get rid of it, is burn the stuff.” March

The Bureau of Meteorology says 2016 is already on track to take 2015’s Hottest Year Ever title.

Under instructions from Minister Hunt, BoM apologises to Alan Jones for using alarmist language and re-scales expectations for 2016 to perhaps be Least Coldest Year.

Missing person report is filed for Opposition Leader Bill Shorten. April

ASIC and ATO jointly announce a royal commission into banking/finance/superannuation industry and promise a no-holds-barred crackdown on executive expenses rorting and multinational tax dodging.

The sharemarket plunges. An ASIC spokesperson asks why no journalist noticed the date on the release, April 1. “This was a perfect example of “if it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t true”.

After six months of holding his head with a slight tilt to the left, while smiling beneficently through media conferences, Prime Minister Turnbull experiments with a slight tilt to the right. “Innovation is what we’re all about,” he says. May

RBA governor Stevens announces “chilling out” policy is being replaced by “hanging loose”. RBA board meetings are to be bi-annual.

Treasurer Morrison’s first budget solves spending and revenue problems by privatising and outsourcing e.g. ABC is to be sold to Foxtel, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to the IPA, the Health Department to a consortium of tobacco and drug companies, the Defence Department to Donald Trump; Centrelink clients will be auctioned off for body parts.

Tasmanian Senator Abetz declares Tony Abbott a genius. “The budget proves my leader is actually running the government from his hideout in the Brindabellas,” he says. “Morrison is his puppet.” June

The Queensland government agrees to a take-or-pay contract with Adani in order to secure a Galilee Basin coal mine. Every Queenslander is to be guaranteed a monthly coal ration of 10 tonnes, delivered to their door. July

At his second official function, Ambassador Hockey tells a July 4 cocktail party that Australia has much to learn from America’s exciting spirit of innovation.

“Most countries, if they had Dunkin’ Donuts, would think, ‘well, that’s good enough, that’s great’, but not the US of A, no sir-ee – you go and invent Krispy Kreme as well! I say hats off to you, it’s a privilege to be your most faithful ally. How are you off for body parts?”

Environment Minister Hunt and Deputy PM Joyce announce an enhanced Direct Action program with a $10 billion payment to farmers for burying coal. August

Queensland government reclassifies all backyards as rural properties.

The combination of liberalised crowdfunding, investment bank start-up boosterism and relaxed bankruptcy laws come home to roost with a slew of frauds, failures and fit-ups that promise to keep Adele Ferguson in Walkley Awards for a decade.

The United Nations Security Council announces a blockade of Australian coal ports. September

A search party looking for Tony Abbott’s guerrilla base in the Canberra hinterland finds Opposition Leader Bill Shorten in a bark hut, wearing a grass skirt. With an election imminent, they do the humane thing and leave him there. October

Crosby Textor’s Australian Electoral Commission announces a landslide victory for the Turnbull/Joyce government. Sir Lynton Crosby declares it the most efficient Australian election ever. “Replacing the ballot box with targeted phone polling is what the Innovation Nation is all about,” he says. November

RBA governor Stevens says the natural progression of unorthodox monetary policy meant “hanging loose” would be replaced by “dropping out”. “The board really only needs meet once a year. We’ll do it on Melbourne Cup Day – it’ll be easier to remember,” he says.

In his third official function, the Australian Embassy’s thanksgiving dinner, Ambassador Hockey declares the turducken the innovation Australia has been waiting for. December

The UN World Government forces trap the global coal fleet in Barrier Reef waters and sink it. “Direct Action can’t get any more direct than that, everyone’s adopting our innovative policies,” minister Hunt says. “And all those sunken ships will provide habitat for the fish that used to have coral.”

In the “quiet” period between Christmas and New Year, Treasurer Morrison achieves the GST he’s always wanted by outsourcing Treasury to New Zealand.

And somewhere high in the Brindabellas, the unmistakable voice of Senator Abetz can be heard calling: “My leader, my leader, I’m here, ready to lead the charge on the Lodge. Just give the order!”

Michael Pascoe doesn’t guarantee his almanac’s accuracy, especially the bits he plagiarised from his Mining Monthly column.

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