Tony Shepherd has been paid $55,000 for 17 days work producing a report which recommended that the rules governing the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund be changed to allow the government to pretty much do what it likes with its five billion dollar slush fund.
That’s the same Tony Shepherd who was paid $85,000 for a few weeks work as head of the Commission of Audit that was the basis for Abbott’s 2014 budget from hell.
If any statement has shown how much trouble the Liberal Party is in, it’s that one.
Peter Dutton? A statesman?
The Coalition works on the theory that “a rising tide lifts all boats”, which is all very well if you happen to own a boat. The majority of the population is either bailing hard to stay afloat, treading water or drowning.
In the last five years, the world’s economies have made a strong recovery. Investment has returned, GDP is growing, profits are up and jobs are being created.
The problem is that all this extra wealth is going to the people who already own boats.
In 2017, the top ten percent owned 50.3 per cent of all wealth in Australia. The top one per cent’s share was 22.9 per cent while the bottom 60 per cent’s share was 15.3 per cent.
In March 2018, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) sent Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg their assessment of whether AGL’s plan would meet our future energy needs.
AEMO’s analysis shows that an additional 850 MWs of resource capability are required to ensure reliability in NSW following the closure of Liddell. If all three stages of the AGL plan are completed, the resource gap will be eliminated.
In its current state, Liddell is more likely to be the cause of a power emergency because of what AEMO describes as the potential for ageing coal generators to fail in the heat – during the 2016-17 summer heatwave, Liddell was missing 1,000MW of its capacity due to problems with boiler tube leaks.
When Joe Hockey delivered his first fiscal statement in December 2013, it painted a much bleaker picture than the PEFO produced by Treasury and Finance in August based on Labor’s policies.
This was in part due to the Coalition’s decisions, foregoing $7.4 billion in revenue from the carbon tax and unnecessarily gifting $8.8 billion to the RBA for example, and partly due to Hockey changing forecasts, assuming a sustained unemployment rate of 6.25 per cent over the forward estimates for example.
“We have inherited from the Labor Party budget deficits totalling $123 billion over the next four years, and unless we take immediate action, we’ll be in deficit for more than a decade,” Mr Hockey said.
Whatever action they have taken doesn’t seem to have worked because the deficits over the four years since the Coalition took government have added to $159.2 billion with another $20 billion to the end of February this year.
Hockey’s 2013 MYEFO also warned of ballooning debt suggesting that Labor’s profligate spending would see gross debt hit $460 billion by the end of 2016-17.
Under the Coalition’s supposed superior economic management, gross debt was actually $501 billion by the end of 2016-17.
Libertarians are more dangerous because they are insidiously campaigning to undermine the very fabric of our society. For them, governments should get out of the way. Let the free market reign. Low taxes. No rules. Every man for himself, or “individual liberty” as they like to put it.
This overwhelmingly privileged crowd are focused on what they can get out of society rather than what they can contribute.
One of the most refreshing comments made by newly appointed Senator Tim Storer was that he would judge each piece of legislation on its merits and would not be horse-trading.
That, of course, would require him taking the time to read the legislation and having the capacity to understand it, unlike Pauline Hanson who can be fooled into supporting anything if you throw her a bone.
In order to gain Pauline’s support for weakening media ownership laws, Turnbull agreed to have a review into the competitive neutrality of the ABC and SBS – yes, another one.
I think we do have very competitive tax systems and tax settings and that’s been proven.” Canavan LNP
The government has offered no evidence whatsoever that their proposed company tax cut will lead to more investment, more jobs and higher wages other than the assurance that it will happen “as surely as night follows day”.
In fact, actual evidence, as opposed to textbook theory and ideology, tells an entirely different story.
Firstly, Dutton’s hand-picked choice to head his paramilitary Border Force, a colleague from his days as a Queensland copper, was finally sacked for using his position to get his girlfriend a job and for not disclosing the relationship. Roman Quaedvlieg is obviously held to a higher standard than Barnaby Joyce who just took a self-imposed temporary demotion for the same thing.
Then we hear that, after meeting with Bob Katter’s son-in-law, who happens to be one of the largest gun importers in the country, Dutton is considering forming an advisory board where the gun lobbyists decide on the suitability of legislation.
That’s like letting the aluminium smelters advise us on emissions reduction or the cotton farmers advise us on water management. Or letting the mining companies devise a mining tax that costs them nothing.
The top ten challenges identified by the 18-35 year old age bracket were as follows:
Climate change / destruction of nature (48.8%)
Large scale conflict / wars (38.9%)
Inequality (income, discrimination) (30.8%)
Religious conflicts (23.9%)
Government accountability and transparency / corruption (22.7%)
Food and water security (18.2%)
Lack of education (15.9%)
Safety / security / well being (14.1%)
Lack of economic opportunity and unemployment (12.1%)
So how is our government faring in addressing the things that are of most concern to the young people of the world?
I know the government is desperate to find jobs for regional Queenslanders since it is obvious coal mines can’t find private funding. I know the government sees national security as one of its strong suits. But this is getting ridiculous.
The central purpose of government in a democracy is to be the role model for, and protector of, equality and freedom and our associated human rights. Government leaders must set an ethical standard for the people to emulate.
In this regard, you are failing badly. The behaviour exhibited daily by our politicians would not be tolerated in any school, any workplace, any organisation.
If you want to help us address bullying, clean up your own act and set an example of how you would like our children to behave.
Despite all of Barnaby’s failings and poor judgement calls, my real disgust lies with the other 20 Nationals in parliament who have implicitly condoned his behaviour using the Don Burke excuse. Barnaby’s ratings are so good that he can do whatever he pleases and they will still support him for the sake of their own incomes.
The “don’t tell us what to do” attitude is ludicrous. You are obviously so out of touch with what is appropriate, or you never cared, that you have lost all credibility.
You are enablers. And for that, you all deserve condemnation.
Overall, according to the ABS, company profits rose by 20% to the year ended 30 September 2017, but the only wages that are going up are the excessive bonuses for CEOs.
The NAB monthly business survey for December said that “Strong business conditions are broad-based across all major industry groups with the exception of retail.”
The business conditions index was unchanged at a strong +13 index points, which is well above the long-run average of +5 index points.
So with business conditions and profits at very high levels, and supposed jobs growth of over 400,000, we should see wages going up.
Except they are not as the following graph shows.
As Ted Mack pointed out in his 2013 Henry Parkes oration:
Over the last 30 years politicians’ staff has increased dramatically. At federal level there are now some 17 hundred personal staff to ministers and members. The states probably account for over two thousand more. Add to this the direct political infiltration of federal-state public services and quangos with hundreds more jobs for the boys and girls, there is now a well-established political class.
But it’s not just a political class – it’s blatant nepotism.
All up, the trip cost us $19,619.87.
According to the new “Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority”, any claim for expenses must be “for the dominant purpose of parliamentary business”, it must represent “value for money”, and parliamentarians must be “prepared to publicly justify their use of public resources in conducting their parliamentary business.”
‘Parliamentary business’ includes activities that fall within four streams:
parliamentary duties: covers activities of the Parliamentarian that relate directly to the parliamentarian’s role as a member of Parliament
electorate duties: activities of the Parliamentarian that support or serve their constituents
party political duties: activities of the Parliamentarian that are connected with both their political party and their membership of the Parliament
official duties: activities that relate to the Parliamentarian’s role as an office holder or Minister.
It was only seven months ago that Greg Hunt, Michael Sukkar and Alan Tudge, under threat of contempt of court charges, made an unconditional apology to Victoria’s Supreme Court for comments critical of terrorism sentencing.
In comments that were published in The Australian newspaper,
Chief Justice Warren said the court was “gravely concerned” there was a prima facie case that the ministers and The Australian had committed contempt. “But for the apologies and retractions we would have referred the groups, namely the ministers and The Australian … for prosecution for contempt of Court.”
So how come Peter Dutton is not facing similar censure for saying there was a “problem with some of the judges and magistrates that Daniel Andrews has appointed” who were wrongly allowing bail and imposing “very soft sentences” in the name of political correctness.
And this is not the first time he has made such comments.
With rapidly evaporating respect Mr Turnbull, that’s crap. The rest of the world is moving to fibre whilst you have made us a communications backwater, ranking 50th in the world behind places like Thailand, Estonia, Bulgaria and Kenya. With rapidly evaporating respect Mr Turnbull, that’s crap – » The Australian Independent Media Network
“Whoever wants to make their own private or religious arrangements about living together can do so, provided they do not conflict with Australian law. But for the law to specifically endorse verdicts of religious groups is to give them a power and legal standing that seems at odds with not just our notion of one law for all, but with our Constitution’s insistence on a separation of church and state.”
But now we see the anti-marriage equality campaigners asking for just that – they want special laws to accommodate their religious beliefs.
Wages are not keeping up with inflation, well over 700,000 people are unemployed, part-time, casual and contract work are on the rise and almost 3 million people live below the internationally accepted poverty line.
In 2016-17, corporate profit surged 21.2 percent while average wages rose only 1.8%. In the year to September 2017, trend employment increased by 335,500 persons while the labour force increased by 333,300 persons resulting in 716,600 still unemployed.
Why is it that every time the Coalition are caught out it is a witch hunt?
The head of the misnamed Coalition backbench environment committee, Craig Kelly, has been all over the media with ever more strident calls to stop all subsidies to renewable energy. His argument, which has been adopted by that jellyfish Frydenberg, is that, if renewables are cheaper then they don’t need subsidies. On June 25, Mr Kelly…
“Tony Abbott is the genuine article. The conviction politician who will use his muscle to cajole, bully, smash his way through. Abbott’s ability to yell from the rooftops what he believes in is his strength.”Genuine? Conviction? Strength? Surely you jest.Abbott is a politician who changes his mind depending on how the wind blows as Peter van Onselen reminded us in his article “Tony Abbott’s convictions are ever changing”.
In an article in today’s Australian, Janet Albrechtsen waxes lyrical about departing boss of the Minerals Council, Brendan Pearson, who she claims was “shoved out of his job as boss of the Minerals Council of Australia by those who prefer feel-good corporate bromides and green myths over energy facts and figures.”These purveyors of “green myths” were, among others, BHP and Rio Tinto who said they had lost confidence in Mr Pearson due to his unstinting advocacy for coal, something Ms Albrechtsen, on the other hand, considers a virtue, Source: Why are we letting the fossil fuel industry make the rules on climate change action? – » The Australian Independent Media Network
There are, and always will be, things we should be concerned about, things we should be working to improve, but they get lost in the political misinformation deliberately fed to us by a government that lacks any integrity, a government who chooses to confect crises and then boast about saving us from dangers that either…
The great Debt and Deficit Disaster that we faced going into the 2013 election has miraculously disappeared (even though the debt has more than doubled) and been replaced by good debt and bad debt. Apparently, when the Labor government invested in stimulating the economy, keeping people in work through the global financial crisis, that was bad debt, but borrowing $400 billion to spend on war machines is good debt.
I sure hope Leigh Sales takes Barnaby up on his offer to come back and identify these huge onshore reserves that no-one else knows about.And if I was a state premier, I would be having a very serious conversation with the Federal government about how telling lies for political purposes is not helping the nation.
In an article titled Inside the terrifying mind of Tony Abbott, Bernard Keane quotes a study from 2015 which looks into the psychological basis for climate change denial and why one particular demographic — older white males — tends to dominate the ranks of climate denialists. The study identified that “denial is driven partly by…
Fifty years ago, the film Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner challenged social norms by exposing the discrimination faced by inter-racial couples. In those days, it was considered ‘unnatural’ for whites to marry blacks. Some people may still feel this way but the wider community has thankfully and rightly moved on from such ignorant prejudice. It…
The outrage follows a similar incident in June when a single parent at St Justin’s Catholic primary school in Sydney claimed “emotional abuse” because of an educational program about the Stolen Generation.As part of a role-playing exercise, students were told their parents were not looking after them properly and the government had ordered they be taken away from their parents..”
“Imagine the outrage of these parents would feel if German where Children in primary schools are regularly taken to concentration camps to be reminded of their inglorious history. In fact today’s German parents in the main welcome the truth of thei past being taught and not hidden. We have hidden our Brutish Colonial past and seem to have retained the attitudes that went with it. (Old Dog)
I know we are supposed to show respect to the NO side in the marriage equality debate but for how long? When Robert Menzies introduced the Marriage Act in 1961, a Country Party senator wanted to change the act to define marriage as being between a man and a woman. The amendment was voted down…
That bastion of bigotry and bullshit, Miranda Devine, informed us last year that Cheltenham Girls High School had banned the use of gender specific terms like “girls”, “women” or “ladies” and that teachers were told “that if they did not support decisions of LGBTI students they would be breaking the law, would be considered homophobic and were not welcome by the school”.The story was a lie.Every year we hear that Christmas carols have been banned and every year it is shown to be another lie.The Coalition for Marriage aired an ad where mother Cella White, an avid campaigner against the Safe Schools program, tells viewers that her son’s school told him “he could wear a dress next year if he felt like it”.Except it never happened.
The Coalition have made their strategy quite clear. They are delving back to the 50s for a reds-under-the-bed scare campaign. Turnbull said Shorten was “thoroughly Stalinist”. Matthias Cormann waffled on about Cold War socialism and “socialist revisionism”, whilst, ever the adherent to today’s talking points, Dan Tehan accused Shorten of being a “would-be East German”…
When newly elected secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Sally McManus, defended the right of unions to take unlawful industrial action, there was outrage. Leigh Sales opened with the loaded question “Do you believe in the rule of law?” “It shouldn’t be so hard for workers in our country to be able to…
Just to be clear, political correctness is “the avoidance of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.”Tony seems fixated on protecting the Aussie right to sink the boot in and to keep the bastards out of our pubs – oh no, wait…. that was women and Aboriginals.Tony’s concern for religious freedom comes from the man who thought the burqa should be banned, the man who called for a “religious revolution” inside Islam, declaring “all cultures are not equal”, the man whose government insisted the school chaplaincy program must not fund non-religious counsellors, the man who insists that our laws and our school curriculum should be based on some “Judeo-Christian” heritage.
”Tony seems fixated on protecting the Aussie right to sink the boot in and to keep the bastards out of our pubs – oh no, wait…. that was women and Aboriginals. the man who insists that our laws and our school curriculum should be based on some “Judeo-Christian” heritage.
“History Repeats: Abbott walks in the shoes of Bob Santamaria and the NCC Australia’s answer to America’s Senator McCarthy hunting out the godless left and others ” Old Dog
During the 2013 election campaign, Joe Hockey was asked “Should you win the election, at what stage will you own the economy and at what stage will it no longer be Labor’s fault?” He responded “We will own the economy from day one, whether it’s Labor’s fault or not… I’m not afraid to accept responsibility…
Bill Shorten needs to be better prepared with some specifics when asked about Labor’s plan for job creation. Obvious answers are the renewable energy industry and building infrastructure but there is one Labor initiative that never rates a mention that will create jobs in every part of Australia – the NDIS. In July, the Productivity…
The government is trying to sell us the line that, if businesses make more profit, wages will go up. This flies in the face of all evidence. Corporate profits in Australia rose 6.0 percent quarter-on-quarter to 82.63 AUD billion, an all time high, in the March quarter of 2017 from a 20.1 percent rise…