Why is it that when we talk about reform it is nearly always about how much something costs rather than what it is worth?
I remember the joy of the Whitlam years. It was invigorating. The changes he made – not promises for the distant future but real achievements – could truly be labelled reform.
Ended conscription and got us out of Vietnam
Opened relationships with China
Introduced the supporting mother’s benefit and welfare payment for homeless people.
Equal pay for women and extended adult minimum wage to include women workers
Abolished the death penalty
Federal funding for state schools
Free university education
25% cut in tariffs across the board
Reduced voting age to 18
An Order of Australia replaced the British Honours system
Racial discrimination act
Land rights to Indigenous people
Replaced God Save the Queen with Advance Australia Fair as the national anthem.
Established the National Gallery of Australia, the Australia Council for the Arts, the Australian Heritage Commission, FM and community radio.
The film industry flourished
Talk about tax cuts, national security, and surpluses doesn’t have the same inspirational ring to it somehow.
The government has decided to quote modelling by Brian Fisher, who is already well known for his very dodgy modelling in favour of the coal mining industry, to say that Labor’s policy will cost workers $9,000 per year. This is, of course, complete rubbish and totally at odds with modelling by Frontier Economics and research by the ANU.
The question is not how much Labor’s policy will cost. The cost of not taking action is far too great to contemplate.
The damage from the cyclone coupled with a fire at a port facility in January will lead to a loss of about 14 million tonnes of production in 2019, the miner said in a statement.At today’s iron ore price, that equates to over $1.7 billion dollars lost revenue for one company from one cyclone.
In February, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the state budget is estimated to take a hit of at least $1.5 billion after catastrophic bushfires and floods ravaged Queensland over the summer.
The winner-take-all result where the party or Coalition with the majority of seats has all the power just does not work. Politicians are focused on beating their opponents rather than working collaboratively to do what is in the best interests of the nation. And increasingly, it is attracting those who are in it for themselves.
We must break the influence of vested interests and lobbyists who, by donating to a political party, can buy a whole bloc of votes.
We must invest in a public service capable of giving frank and fearless advice based on real evidence and who have the resources to oversee and assess the results from the expenditure of public money.
But first and foremost, we must elect people whose focus is on facilitating all Australians to make the best contribution they can to our society and supporting them to lead happy fulfilling lives in a healthy environment.
Ther was amajor Qatari investment partnership with Rupert Murdoch is Ashby pointin fingers at him too? oh Dear!! How almighty crumble. (ODT)
Firstly, we are supposed to believe that the Qatari government have launched a three-year sting operation employing spies to influence the elections in Australia and, in order to exert influence over our government, they sought out James Ashby.
Sorry James, but that’s narcissism on steroids. As if the Qatari government has ever heard of you and as if One Nation will ever have any actual influence over government in this country. You can’t keep a Senator long enough for them to even get letterhead printed at the exorbitant rates you charge for your monopoly on One Nation printing business.
Where is the collective culpability for encouraging an atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust where raids on suspects’ houses are televised before they have even been charged with anything?
Where is the admission that collectively blaming all Muslims for the acts of a few has promoted fear and hatred?
Where is the acceptance that conflating asylum seekers with criminals is dogwhistling?
Wasn’t me, says Scott. They love me. I even went on a walk with some Muslim boys once.
Scott says he has led by example and that he has set the tone.
The tragedy is that he is right about that – and look at what has happened.
Perhaps in preparation for threatened defamation action against Waleed Aly for reminding us of the reports of Scott Morrison suggesting the Liberal Party should capitalise on community concerns about the inability of Muslims to integrate, Peter Dutton and Greg Hunt have lined up to deny it ever happened.
Dutton and Hunt had in their mind that they would be PM and Deputy leader last August. Both have been censured for their disrespect for the legal system. They have no loyalty, no honesty, no integrity – just naked ambition.
If they are the best you can come up with to provide alibis/cover/character reference, then you are stuffed.
Our founder, Senator Cory Bernardi, has been a regular critic of Islam, including here calling on Muslims to ‘reject, refute and reform’ Islam, and here where he called out the error of Britain’s migration program accepting Islamic migrants.
One question states that “some have attributed the migration of people of Islamic belief to terror attacks in Australia and abroad” and asks people for their view. In an obvious attempt to solicit negative responses, other questions included, “What is your view on the practice of sharia law in Australia?” and, “What is your view on the Islamic practice of allowing men to marry girls who are under the legal age of sexual consent?”
Bernardi defended the timing of the survey saying “We’re not politicising anything, we’re trying to decide what the Australian people want.”
Far from an innocent information gathering exercise, the very format was intended to offend.
“The party is now characterised by disunity and disloyalty, by tribalism, not by principle or policy but by personal interests – not even party interests and certainly not the national interest.
Despite what they claim, few who stand as Liberals come with a genuine policy agenda or commitment. Their end game is simply to be a politician, or a minister, or even prime minister. Not necessarily to achieve anything in particular – just to be there, and to enjoy the trappings of the position.
The fact that the Liberal Party consider John Howard some sort of elder statesman with great knowledge to impart, the fact that they wheel him out every election like he has some relevance to the contemporary electorate, shows just how bereft of ideas they are.
The blame for pretty much every problem we have can be sheeted squarely at the feet of the Howard era, exacerbated by his disciple, Tony Abbott.
Biggest Problem is if you don’t vote for Morrison your voting to make Tony Abbott opposition leader. It’s our responsibility and the only argument we have to struggle with (ODT)
Tony Abbott came to power offering a paid parental leave plan designed to encourage “women of calibre” to breed and then return to the workforce. Not only was that abandoned, those women of calibre were now “double dippers” rorting the system and their existing entitlements were reduced.
After a tortuous process, marriage discrimination was ended – praise be. But then we have an inquiry to work out how churches can ignore the law and continue to discriminate against gays.
The community and the majority of the parliament decide we have an obligation to provide medical care for seriously ill refugees under our care (I still can’t believe that is something they had to actually debate). So people who are traumatised by being incarcerated with no hope on an island gulag will be shifted to another island gulag with no hope of any future and the promise of being sent back should they get well.
It seems the government’s only clear purpose at the moment is to use its few remaining months to reward as many fellow political travellers as they can with high-paying appointments and to secure employment for themselves post-politics.
Nothing underlines white privilege more than the government’s reaction to child sex abuse.
When allegations of paedophilia rings and child sex abuse in Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory were made, the government sent in the army, stripped people of their rights, and made draconian rules affecting whole communities.
When allegations of child sex abuse were made about children in offshore detention, the government attacked those making the allegations.
When rampant child sex abuse in the Catholic Church was exposed, former Prime Ministers lined up to provide character references for the offenders.
Minister for down down prices are down, Angus Taylor, proudly boasted on The Project (kinda, cause I’m guessing he knows what a con this is) that emissions per capita are at their lowest level in 28 years. That is true. Not because emissions have come down but because the population has increased by over 2 million between September 2013 and now.
According to just about every journalist, commentator, and Liberal/National politician, the Coalition are better economic managers.
Pretty much every problem we have can be laid squarely at their feet.
From the second the Coalition formed government, they have been using their position to shower largesse on themselves, their friends and donors.
The tone was set when George Brandis gifted a patently unqualified Tim Wilson a job at the Australian Human Rights Commission, a position Wilson gleefully accepted despite having called for the body to be abolished. The job wasn’t advertised because there was no vacancy. The disability sector lost an outstanding advocate in Graeme Innes to make way for freedom boy so he could increase his profile while he waited for Andrew Robb to retire from the plum Liberal seat of Goldstein.
When it was revealed last year that taxpayers had shelled out more than $825 million on lawyers in 2016-17, Attorney-General Christian Porter said he was “taking a particular interest in the expenditure of funds on legal services, applying very close scrutiny to each and every application that comes before me for approval.”
That being the case, one wonders how he can justify approving over $288,000 in legal costs (so far) for Michaelia Cash when all she has done is provide the police with a copy of Hansard and then turn up for one day in court to say “refer to what I said in Hansard”.
Cash is not facing any charges, she was merely a witness who had nothing to say. So why does she need a defence team?
If politicians had the strength to do what is right, we could make this world a far better place. Instead, we are subjected to lying, mealy mouthed excuses. endless arguments about ridiculous trivialities, and empty egotistical posturing.
We are led by politicians who are more scared of losing an election than of wrongly sending us to war or of the consequences of ignoring climate change.
You aren’t a “strong leader” Scott. You are an empty blowhard on the make who doesn’t have the ability or the courage to solve anything.
Kaye Lee accurately describes what happened to my feelings as an Australian the day Tony Abbott took over the leadership of the Liberal Party and became PM in 2013. It wasn’t that IT”S TIME feeling was it. (ODT)
There have always been incidents of nepotism, rorting, broken promises, moral failures, poor decisions, and even straight out lies, in politics. So why does it feel so bad now?
In the past, despite the shortcomings of the government of the day and the failings of individuals in parliament, there was an overall feeling that progress was being made. Not in all areas at once and certainly not equally across society, but we were generally moving forward.
Until Tony Abbott fell into the leadership of the Liberal party.
From then on in, it has been a constant onslaught of combative negativity, destructive and misleading messaging, and a focus on tearing things down rather than building a better future.
It seems astonishing that, in a country where one in eight adults and more than one in six children are living in poverty, and many of those are living in “deep poverty”, the Coalition’s election focus is on tax concessions and tax cuts for the wealthy – and they seem to be getting away with it.
In 2004-05, the top income tax rate kicked in at a taxable income of $70,000. Four years later, that had risen to $180,000. Meanwhile, the tax free threshold remained at $6000 from 2000-01 until Julia Gillard increased it to $18,200 to compensate for the introduction of carbon pricing in 2012-13.
When Tony Abbott got rid of the mining tax, he also repealed many payments to low income earners, including income support benefits to children of soldiers killed or seriously injured in service.
Broadly speaking, the coming federal election seems to be coalescing around three main issues.
Young people particularly see climate change as the defining issue. They are being joined by angry grandparents concerned about the world we are leaving to our descendants, as well as many of the business and farming community who are realising the economic threat posed by inaction.
It has come to the point where Liberals are openly admitting that certain elements in the party room will not allow any policy progress in this area and apparently the leadership is too weak to override this noisy minority. They are basically telling us that we have to vote the deniers out if we want to protect the environment.
As journalists do their best to try to get Josh Frydenberg to say ‘sorry’ about the government’s opposition to a banking Royal Commission, they should not be surprised to be met with a stupid grin accompanied by a whole heap of “it’s Labor’s fault”. That’s the way these guys roll.
When David Speers asked federal member for Fadden, Stuart Robert, about Scott Morrison’s jobs promise, Robert replied they would be full-time jobs just like the million that Tony created.
This, of course, is rubbish.
When pressed about it, he dithered around finally saying “We’ll see what the economy throws up”.
Exactly. Unless the government starts re-employing some of the multitude of people they have sacked, it will not be them creating jobs.
Perhaps Robert’s slip could be forgiven, except it adds to a very long list which begs the question of why this guy is still in parliament let alone being recently promoted to the position of Assistant Treasurer in the latest iteration of the ATM government.
In October last year, when forced to repay $38,000 he’d billed to taxpayers for home internet charges – $2000 a month, 20 times more than the average claimed by other MPs – Robert told a local radio station that “I probably just wasn’t paying enough attention” as the bills went through.
Didn’t Morrison tell us the banks didn’t need a Royal Commission? It showed just how much they were ripping off retirees and who was supporting them. (ODT)
The same old dog-eared Liberal Party playbook has been dragged out again with Liberal Party federal director Andrew Hirst warning voters about Labor’s “great big new tax on retirement savings”.
ProMo has embraced the talking points, accusing Labor of wanting to “take to hardworking retirees who’ve done nothing more than do the right thing and save for their retirement and try to get ahead”.
Wasn’t it Scott Morrison’s 2016 budget that caused over 330,000 Age Pensioners to have their entitlements cut with at least 100,000 of those losing all pension entitlements?
And didn’t the then Treasurer for Graphs also try to retrospectively introduce a lifetime cap on non-concessional superannuation contributions (NCC) of $500,000?
“The economy” may have been growing for 28 years but, as far too many people are painfully aware, that growth has not been shared. Is Scott unaware that one in eight adults and more than one in six children are living in poverty, and many of those are living in “deep poverty”? They endure daily the cruel lessons of an economy which favours the wealthy.
Every move made by the Coalition is designed to reward investors, clinging to the belief that that will somehow magically translate into bounty for all. But as we have seen, investors get very narky if asked to share any of their gains.
And nowhere is it more true than in a country that would sacrifice the Great Barrier Reef for profits for foreign coal companies. A country that would endanger its water resources for the profits of foreign agribusinesses and mining companies. A country that would hold traumatised children hostage to deter others from asking for our help. A country that ignores a Statement from the Heart of its Indigenous people inviting us to move forward together towards a life of dignity for all. A country whose elderly languish in inadequately staffed nursing homes.
We must do better.
The Coalition’s Monash Forum has called for us to pull out of the Paris Agreement. We have reneged on our commitment to contribute to the UN Green Energy Fund. We have earned the Colossal Fossil Award for obstructing progress at climate change talks. Unlike other countries, we are using carryover credits in an accounting trick to make it look like we are meeting targets when we are not.
Professor Leo Dobes, a retired senior public servant and associate professor at the Australian National University, told the ABC that there are not enough skilled economists left in the public service, describing “a woeful lack of ability and knowledge in that area.”
Outsourcing has been sold as a more efficient way to do things. And hasn’t that gone well – NOT!
The cost of Government IT has spiralled from $5.9 billion in 2012-13 to nearly $10 billion a year, with 24 per cent of that going to Boeing, IBM and Telstra.
That was more than they spent on Newstart.
The Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission’s final report will be provided to the South Australian Governor by 1 February 2019. That has the potential to embarrass both the NSW government and Barnaby Joyce right before elections.
February 1st is also the deadline for the banking Royal Commission to deliver its final report to the Governor-General. We have already heard enough to know that it will be damning which only underlines the government’s poor judgement in characterising it as a “political stunt” by Labor.
February is also the month when the Federal Court is due to hear the case regarding the media tip-off from Michaelia Cash’s office about the raids on AWU offices, providing she hasn’t succeeded in having the subpoenas set aside as she has said she would.
The case against Kathy Jackson, that ‘lion of the union movement’, may take a little longer. It is due for court mention in January but a tentative trial date of April 29 has been set because “she’s yet to secure funding for her legal representation.”
In the few sitting days available, the government will have to deal with a crossbench determined to facilitate medical evacuations from Manus and Nauru.
And there will still be the question about what to do with all those pesky gay teachers.
When pressed to give examples of religious discrimination today, Scott floundered until Christian helpfully stepped in recounting how a person who had expressed opposition to marriage equality on Facebook got sacked and had to sue for unfair dismissal. Which was kind of ironic as he was announcing the government’s support for religious schools to sack teachers if they express support for marriage equality.
Scott then remembered that someone had been blocked from entering a meeting somewhere because of their religion…then remembered they want to enshrine the right of religious groups to stop people from entering their premises so kind of mumbled something about exemptions.
As I read the principles and recommendations from the ASX, the thing that struck me most forcibly is that there are no similar expectations or accountability for government and parliamentarians.
Does Kelly follow Bolt or Bolt Follow Kelly? (ODT)
Kelly is engaged in an intense campaign of deliberate misinformation about climate change. Amongst articles from very dubious sources and lots more about weather at specific locations (as opposed to climate), he occasionally links to genuine research from credible organisations.
Invariably, when he does so, he will cherry pick one piece of data, or a sentence or two, and completely ignore the context, other results, and the actual conclusions from the research.
Craig declares in Trump-like capitals, ANOTHER PROPHECY BITES THE DUST : MORE SNOW, NOT LESS, and links to the following graph of Winter Northern Hemisphere Snow Extent from Rutgers University Global Snow Lab, a well-respected source.
Aside from not understanding the difference between weather and climate, the stuff Kelly posts at times is doctored. Take the following graphic:
Continually fighting against things has drained both the government and the people. We need leaders who can explain why we should do things, not why we shouldn’t.
A few days before he was rolled from the top job, Malcolm Turnbull said “We will not hesitate to use a big stick, as we did with gas, to make sure the big companies do the right thing by you, their customers.”
Well the latest quarterly update from the AEMO shows just how effective that “big stick” was with the gas companies.
Wholesale gas prices increased across all markets compared to Q3 2017 despite a year-on-year reduction in demand (largely due to reduced gas-powered generation (GPG) demand). Average quarterly gas prices in the Declared Wholesale Gas Market (DWGM) in Victoria and Brisbane’s Short-Term Trading Market (STTM) were the second highest on record.
And it doesn’t look like getting better any time soon.
So many important discussions this nation must have are being hijacked by sensationalist scaremongering and the caterwauling from the extreme right.
In true Trump fashion, racial profiling is on the rise. Muslims, Africans and asylum seekers are vilified in a frenzy of xenophobia. Aboriginal disadvantage is due to laziness and giving them too many free handouts.
We can’t even fix the tragic plight of the refugees on Manus and Nauru. They are “quietly” bringing people here they tell us in media reports that are supposed to satisfy the growing calls for immediate action whilst saying “shhhhhhh don’t tell anyone”. At the same time, to satisfy the indignant right, they continue to fight tooth and nail in court to stop these people being freed.
Any discussion about migration quickly simplifies to they are taking our jobs, making housing unaffordable, and clogging our cities.
Meanwhile the IPA is doing business as usual. The Falnski complaint is rather a Falski one (ODT)
“When was the last time we had a business leader come out on tax issues, or regulation issues, or industrial relations issues?”
Apparently, Mr Falnski has missed every business leader, every time they speak publicly, calling for lower taxes and less regulation. Perhaps he is unaware that business lobby groups make submissions to the Fair Work Commission on all industrial relations matters.
Member for Hughes and chairman of the Coalition backbench environment and energy committee, Craig Kelly, seems to split his time between appearing on Sky After Dark and 2GB, and posting clickbait headlines on his facebook page.
But the most cursory investigation shows Craig is either deliberately misrepresenting the articles he links to by cherry-picking a sentence or two, or he is a gullible fool who doesn’t bother reading the stuff he is being fed by others. Considering the volume of links he posts, I would suggest the latter.
Governments must be honest with us about these threats. They must provide us with the most up-to-date information. They must allow us to take part in the decision-making about priorities.
The consequences of their obfuscation and inaction and downright lies are becoming graver by the minute.
Forgetting the noise and arguments, the marketing and campaigning – a government’s job (and the job of us all) is to make the world a better place.
You don’t do that by worshipping wealth above well-being.
You don’t do that by supporting the fossil fuel industry and looking to join the world’s top ten arms manufacturers.
You don’t do that by engaging in rampant land-clearing to make way for livestock, inappropriate crops, or urban sprawls.
You don’t do that by habitat destruction of endangered species.
The experiment of government and business being hand-in-glove has failed.
In the relentless pursuit of profit, businesses have reneged on their part of the social contract.
In the pursuit of endless growth, and pandering to big money donors, government has ignored its duty to act in the best interests of the people.
In order to give some substance to his claim that the Coalition are for lower taxes, Scott Morrison has chosen to bring forward by five years tax cuts already legislated for small and medium businesses. To use his oft-repeated phrase, these are nothing new, they are ‘existing’ legislation, just fast-tracked for an election sweetener as Coalition governments always do.
According to ProMo, this will allow tradies and hairdressers and family businesses to hire more people and give wage rises to their staff and invest more in their businesses.
Sounds good…until you actually examine the real implications of this announcement and which businesses it will affect.