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.
Whoever wins the next election is going to face a monumental task to reduce our emissions in order to tackle the existential threat posed by climate change.
In one way, it would serve Scott Morrison right to have to face the consequences of his lies. But the country cannot afford someone who thinks prayer is the answer to the drought.
Our Prime Minister, the man charged with making the decisions on how to keep us safe, is a bald-faced liar.
Scott Morrison has nothing to say about the criminal behaviour of the banks. He has nothing to say about real problems like stagnant wages, sham contracting, or the death toll in the construction industry. And now he wants to leave construction workers with no representation.”
And they pretend we have an egalitarian society.
In his interim report into the banking Royal Commission, Commissioner Hayne pointed out that “Over the 10 years to 1 June 2018, ASIC’s infringement notices to the major banks have amounted to less than $1.3 million.”
Meanwhile, the other “tough cop on the beat”, the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC), has imposed fines totalling over $15 million against the CFMEU since 2005, with around 80 officials still facing courts on some 44 matters.
In one case alone in September last year, the CFMEU were fined a record $2.4 million over an “unlawful blockade” at Lendlease’s Barangaroo site. This ruling is currently under appeal.
In June, the CFMEU and an official were fined $51,300 for abusing and threatening construction workers on the Gorgon LNG project in Western Australia. The ABCC took legal action against the union and official Brad Upton after a 2015 incident during which he abused workers for not being members of the union, calling them “f—–g dog c—s”.
“This is a f—–g union site, we have other union sites starting up next year and if you’re not in the union, you can f–k off too, you are not welcome.”
Federal Court of Australia Justice Michael Barker said the official’s behaviour and conduct at the meeting of employees on December 2015 was “appalling”.
It shows that “Australia’s emissions for the year to March 2018 were 1.9 per cent below emissions in 2000.” That is a long way from the 5% reduction we committed to.
It also shows that “Emissions for the year to March 2018 increased 1.3 per cent” continuing the rising trend ever since they dumped carbon pricing.
Scott Morrison has recently assured us that Australia would meet its 26-percent emissions reduction target by 2030 “in a canter“. He is offering absolutely no proof of how and no policy to achieve it. Apparently, it will just happen of its own accord due to “improved technology.”
On the release of the interim report from the banking Royal Commission, Josh Frydenberg has hit the airwaves to slam ASIC. He must think we have very short memories.
When Tony Abbott cut $120 million from the ASIC budget in 2014, ASIC Chairman, Mr Greg Medcraft, issued a statement saying staffing levels would have to be cut by over 200 and that “our proactive surveillance will substantially reduce across the sectors we regulate, and in some cases stop.”
In 2016, Scott Morrison announced reforms to shift the regulator to a “user-pays” funding model – in which the institutions it regulates are forced to pay for the ongoing cost of their regulation – so taxpayers no longer have to fund its operations.
The user-pays model was slated to begin operation at the start of the 2017-18 financial year, but little detail has been provided by the government to explain how it will work.
Morrison said if the regulator required any extra money in the future, it could claim more money from Australia’s banks.
Then, in May this year, Morrison cut another $26 million from ASIC.
Australia Day should not be a day for drunken white yobbos with Southern Cross tattoos and flag capes to terrorise anyone who doesn’t look like them, as happened in Scott’s own electorate in 2005.
Why should we celebrate a foreign state invading and claiming this country to use as a penal colony? I am fairly certain my ancestors who were transported here as convicts would not have been celebrating either.
Let’s get real here. The date is nothing to celebrate. Being Australian is. Surely, as a civilised society, we can consider others’ feelings and avoid deliberate hurt.
Can we cast off the shackles of a colonial past and move forward together in respect and understanding? Or are we to bow to the Anglophiles and sink into the hatred and division fostered by the ugly Hansonites?
Yesterday we were subjected to a disgusting abuse of parliamentary privilege by a man who feels his actions should be beyond scrutiny.
Peter Dutton, outraged at what he calls a “personal smear campaign” against him, stood up in parliament and had what could only be described as a hissy fit, launching a cowardly and very personal attack on witnesses providing evidence to a Senate committee.
He also carried with him, every time he stood up, two large folders very obviously labelled with the names Chris Bowen and Tony Burke – the implication being ‘come for me and I will go for you’.
Asked to explain the rationale behind granting some people visas whilst rejecting others, his role in securing jobs for mates, and a possible conflict of interest regarding his businesses, he went into head-kicking mode.
All of the questions asked of Mr Dutton related to his actions as a Minister and his eligibility to sit in parliament. None of those are personal smears. They are legitimate questions.
Unfortunately, our Minister for Home Affairs does not think he should be held accountable and views any questioning as a personal affront. If he has done nothing untoward, why is he so angry? Why does he feel the need to impugn others?
When Tony Abbott first put his hand up for the Liberal Party leadership back in 2007 (withdrawing before the ballot), Paul Keating called him the “young fogey” – an apt description of an anachronistic man whose personal beliefs are out of touch with those of the majority of Australians.
Scott Morrison assures us that he has installed a “new generation” of leaders but it is increasingly apparent that what we now have is a government full of young fogies.
One lesson we should all take from the Royal Commission into Insititutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse is the horrific ongoing damage caused by the veil of secrecy drawn by the Catholic Church, and others, over the crimes that were being perpetrated on innocent children in their care. That enabled the abusers to continue.
That same veil of secrecy has been drawn by the government over the plight of people who came to us seeking asylum. Instead of offering sanctuary, we incarcerated them indefinitely causing irreparable damage to children and their families once again.
When their meaning is represented by their style (ODT)
“They’d been sobbing in shock and disgust at the threats and intimidation they’d been subjected to by the goons and knuckledraggers trying to gather the signatures on Dutton’s behalf.
“One of them purports to be a conservative family man of traditional Christian values. To those women now, he is just a pig.”
Dumped Minister for Small and Family Business, Craig Laundy, also spoke of the intimidation used by Dutton’s camp in an interview with 2GB.
“Some of the behaviour this week… I’ve had one female senator and two female members of the house, when it came to the letter – the petition, that were physically stood over to sign it, and they refused. That sort of intimidation and bullying is something you can actually file a claim against.”
When Abbott went into the mode that I recognised so well from our uni days – the personal attacks, the bullying, the need for an audience, the misogyny, the homophobia – I got worried and figured I needed to do my bit to show the real Abbott because it seemed others couldn’t see it.
But it wasn’t Abbott I should have been focusing on. The Labor Party imploded and handed this inadequate man the reins of the country.
This whole debacle can be sheeted directly to Tony Abbott.
Then the wrecker won in 2013 and threw out any certainty the industry thought they had. Investment in new generation ground to a halt. No-one was going to invest in coal and the rest of the world were more than happy to accept their investment in renewables.
Emissions started rising again for the first time in a decade and energy prices continued to rise astronomically, much higher than any increases due to the carbon price.
But Tony couldn’t care less about that as his tweet this weekend showed.
“To have a chance of winning the next election, the Coalition must create a policy contest on energy, not a consensus.”
Tony Abbott is a narcissistic anachronism who seethes with anger and resentment at being dumped by his own party less than two years into the gig he felt he was destined for.
Any idea that he gives the slightest shit about energy prices, or anything other than himself and his all-consuming desire for revenge, is laughable.
Christian Porter and Zed Seselja added a joint message.
This statement recognises that cultural diversity is one of our greatest strengths; one that equips us to build a future where everyone belongs and has the chance to live a great life. It upholds the centrality of our democratic institutions and the rule of law, it highlights the importance of citizenship in our national identity, and it makes clear the responsibility we all have to respect our fellow Australians.
The above information comes from the Department of Home Affairs webpage.
I thought I’d share it before Prime Minister Dutton has it erased.
Tony Abbott is being widely dismissed in the media as having little influence in the Liberal Party today but I beg to differ.
Abbott is, in fact, very much the architect of today’s Liberal Party strategy.
Malcolm had a go at telling us there was never a more exciting time to be us and that innovation would solve all our problems.
But he failed dismally to excite the nation. Talk of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists and innovation hubs meant nothing to an electorate struggling to get by with stagnant wages, insecure employment and inadequate welfare.
So Malcolm ripped up the science playbook and adopted the well-honed Abbott strategy of going for character assassination instead, with a fishing expedition hoping to find some mud that would stick.
Markson won the Kennedy award for breaking a story that been said she didn’t break(ODT)
According to the Liberal letterbox, Sharri Markson, “The Turnbull government will underwrite multi-billion dollar investments to build new coal-fired power stations…The Daily Telegraph understands Mr Turnbull will announce his support for the ACCC recommendation at [today’s] party room meeting.”
Except the ACCC didn’t recommend that at all Sharri.
Here is what they actually said:
It is easy to lie and cheat and steal and exploit. But infinitely more rewarding to know that you have done the right thing by others. We have to set our own standards. We have to honour our obligations, not because of fear of punishment, but because it is the right thing to do.
When you shake someone’s hand, whether physically or metaphorically, it should mean something.
Annual government expenditure is over $450 billion per year making it, by far, the biggest business in the country.
They decide what percentage of our income they will take and how they will spend it. They have total control over our common wealth and the ability to sell our assets as they please.
They make our laws. They can send us to war. They can choose to ignore existential threats like climate change.
Mark Latham might think Jacinta Price has “impeccable credentials for speaking on indigenous issues”. Some think Tony Abbott does too.
Every time I hear Alice Springs councillor and political hopeful Jacinta Price speak, I cringe.
Ms Price has announced her ambition to contest the NT seat of Lingiari in the next federal election as a CLP candidate, a move welcomed by Mark Latham and Warren Mundine who both sing her praises.
We cannot eliminate emissions entirely so we must be very selective in our activities so we can try to get back to a level that can be managed by the natural carbon cycle instead of powering on past saturation point.
The fools who say Australia’s contribution is negligible have obviously never done any titration – it’s that last drop that causes the reaction to happen.
In comparison, reliability and affordability of energy are miniscule issues.
For years now, the OECD corruption watchdogs have been recommending that Australia improve its protection for whistleblowers. In their latest report last December, they pointed to some work that had been done towards this but still expressed concerns.
And with good reason.
It’s not new where there is money the Gravy Train follows currently it’s focusing on the NDIS services. fraudulent child minding an example. Easy money whenthe government caps NDIS staff, budget and offers an IT system that doesn’t work. The LNP is bent on watching it fail and is doing the same to the ABC (ODT)
The challenge of doing things with people, not to them, means having to assume Indigenous people have a sense of agency and then actively embracing and engaging that capacity at a local level rather than sub-contracting those profoundly important relationships out to those gravy train charlatans.”
And there have been plenty of those.
Kelly is an improvement on her two predecessors in the role in that she is a woman and also a feminist. (Mind you, it would be hard to find someone worse than Abbott and Cash)
Meanwhile, family benefits have been cut, funding for legal aid has been slashed, refuges have closed, men’s help groups have folded, early intervention community programs have been defunded, over 100,000 are homeless, elder abuse is rampant, anti-bullying programs have been attacked, and women continue to be beaten, raped and killed.
It’s all very nice for high-flying women to empower each other but what about those women who are struggling to survive? They don’t need investment advice. They need a way to put food on the table and a roof over their children’s heads. They need to know that they have a place to be safe.
I agree that economic independence is a desirable goal that provides choices but Kelly seems to think that the only reason many women are not financially independent is because they just don’t understand how the system works.
We understand well enough, it’s just that the majority of women do not have enough left over to worry about whether to put it into superannuation or a negatively-geared property or shares.
Single parents don’t need lessons on economic literacy – they need practical help.
Victims of domestic violence don’t need advertising campaigns – they need safe havens, legal help, and paid DV leave.
It isn’t women that have to get smarter, it’s society that has to change.
One of the most important roles of government is to prioritise. They must identify the challenges facing us and the consequences of inaction. They must rank the urgency of responding to problems and decide on the most efficient use of resources to address them.
The current debate about energy policy is a prime example of a government failing to do that.
Wondering what’s happening with Adani?
Well there have been a few developments of late.
Adani’s original plan was to use the coal from the Carmichael mine in its own generators at the Mundra power plant in Gujarat, India. Except Adani Power Mundra is on the verge of bankruptcy.
Faced with mounting operational losses, they have already started scaling down generation from the Mundra plant. The average plant load factor in the January-March 2018 quarter dropped to 37%, from 73% a year ago.
Currently Adani Power has debts of about $US7.4bn, having lost $US927m last year and $US317m this year. They tried to give the government a 51% stake in the Mundra plant for a token amount of Re 1 but they weren’t interested.
In 2011, opposition immigration spokesman, Scott Morrison, urged the shadow cabinet to capitalise on the electorate’s growing concerns about “Muslim immigration”, “Muslims in Australia” and the “inability” of Muslim migrants to integrate, telling the shadow cabinet meeting on December 1 at the Ryde Civic Centre that the Coalition should ramp up its questioning of “multiculturalism”.
Fierravanti-Wells says the various waves of immigrants since the early days of European settlement have all been “targeted” – from the Chinese, Irish and Germans, through the postwar cohort of Italians and Greeks, the Vietnamese and Lebanese in the 1970s and, more recently, Muslim groups – but we should not let their positive contribution to Australia be forgotten due to the actions of “a few rotten apples in our community”.
Perhaps she needs to have a word to Peter Dutton who suggested that the former prime minister Malcolm Fraser should not have let people of “Lebanese-Muslim” background into Australia back in the 70s – citing as evidence a handful of individuals of Lebanese descent who have been charged with terrorism offences.
Dutton also infamously claimed that Victorians are “scared to go out to restaurants” because of “African gang violence”.
“A consolidation of Australia’s border services has the potential to generate significant savings by removing duplication, better integrating and improving operational systems and practices, reducing staff, as well as consolidating back office functions and rationalising property. Savings could also come from greater efficiency in visa processing.”
However these benefits have not materialised.
A review published by the Australian National Audit Office last week into The Integration of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service highlighted significant and persistent departmental failings and no discernible benefit from the merger.
The report stated that the department “is not achieving commitments made to government in relation to additional revenue, and is not in a position to provide the government with assurance that the claimed benefits of integration have been achieved.”
Despite many previous criticisms and recommendations, “The department’s record keeping continues to be poor.”
“The audit found that the department did not maintain adequate records of the integration process. This finding repeats the outcomes of a substantial number of audits and reviews going back to 2005. The department’s own assessment is that its records and information management is in a critically poor state. The problems and their solutions are known to the department, and it has an action plan to address them, although numerous previous attempts to do so have not been successful.”
we had the saga of George Brandis’ refusing to fulfil a freedom of information request for his diary to see if he met with community legal aid stakeholders before making controversial cuts to the sector in the Coalition’s 2014 budget despite a Productivity Commission report that found it needed a huge boost in funds to meet growing demand.
The Administrative Appeals Tribunal subsequently ruled Senator Brandis should process the request. He again refused, taking it to the Federal Court who also ruled he must hand it over. Eventually, after 1039 days and over $50,000 of public money wasted, Brandis finally handed over a heavily redacted copy of his diary.
Michaelia Cash is waging a similar battle to avoid answering questions regarding tipping off the media about an AFP raid on union headquarters. The Federal Court has issued a subpoena requiring her to give evidence but she has instructed her lawyers to fight it.
The result of this headlong pursuit of continuous growth is a concentration of wealth in the hands of a few while the vast majority are mired in poverty. At the same time, environmental degradation in the pursuit of profit, and the waste produced by billions of consumers, is destroying the planet.Neoliberalism purports to reward individual effort, completely ignoring the fact that we don’t all start from the same place.
The boys from St Ignatious College
For almost a decade, Tony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce have been hugely instrumental in the destruction of bipartisan support for action on climate change (and a lot of other things). They have both now had their power stripped from them by their own parties for showing a stellar lack of judgement.
This presents an opportunity for a reset that should be grasped.
But will they?
The Coalition has spent all of its time attacking unions, attacking Labor, attacking individuals who question their policy, and fostering division by ‘othering’ various groups in our community. Five years in and they still are looking for others to blame. The rich have got richer but the vast majority of the population are feeling disappointed and uneasy, concerned about the future. It doesn’t need to be this way. The Coalition election strategy is, once again, to go for character assassination of the Labor leader – “Kill Bill” and “Unbelieva-Bill” and other such puerile nonsense It is up to the public to reject this inadequate attempt at deflection and to demand a genuine debate of important policy.
OUR PM IS THE HIGHEST PAID IN THE OECD & INCOMPETANT
Another example is the government’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Labor government introduced a carbon price which was achieving the goal of reducing emissions. The Coalition chose Direct Action instead and, ever since, emissions have been rising.
We have always had the goal to provide affordable, reliable energy. The thing that has changed is the urgent need to minimise global warming. But somehow that imperative has been discarded.
Privatisation of the electricity sector has proven a disaster. The NSW government, against the advice of the ACCC but with the encouragement of the Federal government, sold off Bayswater and Liddell power stations and now the Coalition want to prosecute the company they sold them to if they don’t give it back. They want them to keep using coal rather than implement their plans to use gas and renewables.
Then there’s our asylum seeker and refugee policy. Supposedly, the draconian offshore detention was to save lives. Peter Dutton keeps telling us about the deaths at sea. But he refuses to talk about the deaths in custody or the sexual abuse or the mental health issues or the cruelty and illegality of indefinite detention of people whose only crime was to come by boat instead of plane to ask for our help.
Or we could talk about how we let the car industry die but are now going into the armaments industry. Apparently giving billions to foreign arms manufacturers is preferable to giving foreign aid which has been slashed to record lows.
government who seems to view Treasury as their private piggy bank to use as they see fit, a government that showers largesse on their supporters at our expense, a government who thinks we have no right to know what they are doing as they strip away our privacy rights in the name of national security.
The latest example is the gifting of almost half a billion dollars to ‘save the reef’ to a charity who, last year, spent (or promised to spend) $5.9 million on “science investments” whilst spending $1.44 million on “employee benefits” and another $1.7 million on various administrative expenses. They have six full-time employees and a further five part-time employees who have “roles relating to science, marketing, communications and accounting.”
This gift was made without any tender process or any consultation with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority who have 206 full-time equivalent employees.
For those of us who wonder what this government has actually achieved, the Liberal Party have provided a handy list of “key achievements”.