Café Talk XIX

Café talk, Adelaide edition.

405 comments on “Café Talk XIX

  1. With thanks to Lavinia Projustice and Jo for the link..

    The Unthrown Kids

    John Howard’s “forbidden” kids overboard photos

    On 23 July 2003, more than one-and-a-half year after the sinking of SIEV 4 – The Olong, as we learnt from David Marr – and the rescuing of its survivors by the crew of HMAS Adelaide on October 8 2001, we received (from someone who wishes to remain anonymous) a set of electronic photos taken on that fateful day.

    Below are the photos – most of them are photos we were not allowed to see…

    http://www.safecom.org.au/kids-overboard.htm

  2. As usual the MSM is concentrating on the Metropolitan areas, when the true tragedy lies in the country areas. That’s where most of the deaths occurred in 2010-11, and where the major flooding is happening this time… The Lockyer Valley flooding this time is worse than last time for example…

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-01-28/flood-crisis-hits-lockyer-valley/4486866
    http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/2013/01/27/12/00/bundaberg-braces-for-major-flood-peak

  3. Min @9.25pm 27/1, that is a very disturbing report. You’ve spoken about the effect that this policing action has had on naval personnel involved and it’s confirmed in the psychiatrists report.

    It underlines the cynicism and cowardice on both sides of politics wrt asylum seekers. Kim Beazley and Labor certainly didn’t cover themselves with glory with their craven leap onto the Rodent bandwagon.

    The Greens are really the only party which has shown any integrity wrt asylum seekers.

    One of the interesting things is Greg Sheridan’s reporting. He obviously hadn’t gone completely over to the dark side at that stage.

    We really have to lift our game on this matter. I really hope that this report does make it into the mainstream, so people can see how duplicitous we have been and how we’re still using asylum seekers as a political tool.

    I do think that onshore processing will not happen; it will take a lot more goodwill from both sides of politics than is currently being exhibited.

    Failing the likelihood of there being onshore processing, I think Gillard’s Malaysia solution is the next best thing and will receive more regional cooperation than Liealot’s knee jerk “solution”.

    The very best thing would be for the conflicts currently forcing people to flee their homes and countries to cease, but with human nature being what it is, we have to address the refugee crisis and face the fact that it is a humanitarian crisis affecting the entire planet.

    We can’t just close our eyes and pretend it’s nothing to do with us-convenient, but short term and stupid.

    Bacchus, those photos are an eye opener. I feel so sorry for the poor buggers going through this again.

    You can send a few inches of that rain down south anytime you like. We haven’t had any rain since September and the tanks are getting pretty low.

    I’m sure the poor sods devastated by bushfires would welcome a decent shower or two, as well.

  4. Is this a bad thing, Especially if it frees up money for such things an NDIS and Gonski, which many of these families will benefit from as well.

    “CUTS to single-parent welfare have combined with the start of the school year to fuel a boom in applications for jobs in retail, hospitality, administration and health.
    Spurred by the 64,000 mothers around the country who had their single parent payments cut by at least $60 per week on January 1.
    As a result, many women have applied for positions employers have traditionally struggled to fill over the summer holiday period.
    The start of the school year next week will create even more demand, as parents are relieved of their carer’s duties and have time to look for work.
    Employment service CareerMums director Kate Sykes said the normally quiet summer period has been a lot busier than usual.
    “Comparing to last January, we are up by 65 per cent in new registrations on CareerMums which may have come about from the changes to the federal government allowances,” she said…..”

    Read more: http://www.news.com.au/money/money-matters/single-mums-now-seeking-work-to-cover-increased-costs/story-e6frfmd9-1226563035323#ixzz2JPsYh3gh.”

  5. It appears the Abbott’s daughters have nothing better to do, than accompany him around the country.

    Both seen today at another hospital.

    Pyne and Abbott out today, promising to raise the standards of parliament.

    Agree with Defence Minister Smith, that is a joke. Abbott a man that has suspended standing orders on more that seventy occasions.

    I take it, that Tony and those sitting beside him are going to correct their behaviour for the rest of this governments term.

    I take is, we are going to see them respect the conventions of the houses.

    I take it, we are going to see a better manner Opposition leader, and less abuse and name calling.

    We are also going to see that pigs can fly.

  6. Too busy doing.

    “………….New reform agenda backed by business and union leaders
    BY: DAVID CROWE From: The Australian January 30, 2013 12:00AM
    I
    BUSINESS and union leaders have backed a Gillard government vow to put skills and training at the top of a new reform agenda, raising hopes for initiatives in the May budget to expand the workforce.

    Julia Gillard made the commitment at a meeting in Canberra yesterday that heard a warning from Treasury about the need for structural economic change to deal with the higher Australian dollar and a weaker outlook for the global econom..”

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/education/new-reform-agenda-backed-by-business-and-union-leaders/story-fn59nlz9-1226564577611

  7. The PM has announced the election date. 14th September. She got a reaction at last from the audience,

  8. A little history lesson. One does not have to vote on the day.

    “………Labor MP Michael Danby, who is Jewish, says he is aware that the election date coincides with Yom Kippur, the most holy day on the Jewish calendar.

    “As a matter of personal conscience I will be unable to participate on election day,” he said in an email.

    “It is my practice, with my wife Amanda, to observe Yom Kippur (the Jewish Day of Atonement).”

    Mr Danby says he’s contacted Special Minister of State Gary Gray to help ensure the “fullest participation” of Australia’s 120,000 Jews through things like postal voting and pre-polling.

    Mr Danby ends his email by noting: “Yom Kippur 2013 is the 40th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, when a tough female PM, after initial setbacks, won a great victory.”.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-01-30/julia-gillard-calls-september-14-federal-election/4491118

    Opposition leader once again commented on the announcement but did not take any questions.

  9. 4:05pm:

    Tony Abbott’s opening statement – declaring that the election would be about trust – is a clear reference to former prime minister John Howard’s statement when announcing the 2004 election.

    Mr Howard said:

    This election, ladies and gentlemen, will be about trust. Who do you trust to keep the economy strong and protect family living standards?

    Who do you trust to keep interest rates low? Who do you trust to lead the fight on Australia’s behalf against international terrorism?

    Who do you trust to keep the budget strong so that we can afford to spend more on health and education?

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-01-30/julia-gillard-calls-september-14-federal-election/4491118

    Once again, Howard centre stage.

  10. And life goes on.

    “Fair Work Australia has issued the New South Wales ALP with a subpoena ahead of the Federal Court case against former Labor MP Craig Thomson.

    The subpoena calls for the release of information about payments allegedly made by the Health Services Union (HSU) to Mr Thomson’s local branch and the New South Wales branch.

    It specifically calls for information about an invoice it claims was issued by the NSW ALP to the HSU for $12,500, for money spent on advertising relating to Mr Thomson’s local branch.

    The invoice is said to be dated May 2007, just months before he was elected to parliament.

    Other companies issued with a subpoena are CabCharge, Silver Top Taxi Service, Bing Lee Electronics, Australia Post, Central Coast Radio, Officeworks Superstores, Dads In Education and the Central Coast division of Country Rugby League Inc.

    Mr Thomson is facing allegations he used work credit cards to pay for prostitutes and lavish hospitality during his time as head of the HSU, a position he left in 2007.

    Mr Thomson, who now sits on the cross benches, has consistently denied any wrongdoing in relation to the allegations.

    Another recent subpoena resulted in a hotel providing CCTV vision of a foyer, but Mr Thomson’s lawyers say it did not prove anything.

    A directions hearing for the case against Mr Thomson is listed in the Federal Court for Friday.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-01-30/alp-subpoenaed-ahead-of-thomson-case/4491796

  11. The NSW Labor party says it will ‘fully co-operate’ with the workplace watchdog over its case against former Labor MP Craig Thomson.

    The comment comes after media reported on Wednesday that Fair Work Australia (FWA) had issued the NSW ALP with a subpoena ahead of a federal court case against Mr Thomson.

    An ALP spokeswoman told AAP on Wednesday night that to her knowledge, the party had received no subpoena from FWA relating to the case, but would fully co-operate with any request for information.

    ‘As always, we will fully co-operate with any requests made by Fair Work Australia,’ she said.

    ‘At this stage, the Labor party hasn’t been issued with a subpoena.’

    FWA alleges Mr Thomson misused union funds when he was the Health Services Union national secretary between 2002 and 2007, using union credit cards to spend thousands of dollars on personal expenses, including prostitutes.

    Mr Thomson vehemently denies the claims.

    A directions hearing for the case against Mr Thomson is scheduled for Friday in the Federal Court.

    http://bigpondnews.com/articles/National/2013/01/30/ALP_to_co-operate_on_Thomson_case_840908.html

  12. Seven News this morning is alleging the Victorian police are about to arrest Thomson. One brothel has handed over a document and something about t photo taken outside a the Western Hotel. Portrayed as maybe halting the PM’s progress this week.

  13. Portrayed as maybe halting the PM’s progress this week.

    The media will give it the old college try anyway ;)

  14. Just read some of the comments from the above article.
    The Newmann supporters would rather attack people in need than have any personal criticism. RWNJ

  15. A moment away from politics..yay, what a relief. ;) I thought that this was one of the better spam efforts that we’ve received..at least it’s amusing and makes a change from the endless efforts to sell Viagra.

    From Mose,

    Wow, wonderful weblog order! How verbose be struck by you everlastingly been blogging for? you made match a blog glance easy. The overall look of your web situation is spacious, as smartly the thesis concrete!

    …umm, translated from the????

  16. Sounds like an Abbott speech Min, any one of el gordo’s posts but longer or any of the right wingers’ rants.

  17. Did I see my name mentioned in vain?

    This is sumthin our joolya didn’t consider…

    ‘TONY Abbott has received a boost in the fight to the September 14 election under federal laws that allow him to demand equal time to Julia Gillard across commercial radio and television, eroding one of the government’s tactical advantages.

    ‘The media laws undermine the Prime Minister’s repeated claim that the election campaign is yet to get under way, making it clear that the official campaign began for broadcasters on the day it was announced – on Wednesday.’

    David Crowe in the Oz

  18. Well that’s great for Gillard as it means she gets equal time with Abbott instead of Abbott getting 90% of the media time with 99.9% positive coverage and Gillard getting 10% of the time with 99.9% negative coverage.

  19. I read an article sue from a small Queensland community that has been badly affected by floods who are absolutely livid at Newman. Seven days after the waters went through they have had a little assistance shortly after and then nothing. No visits, no assessments and no offer of State government aid or support, yet in that same period areas of Brisbane that weren’t flooded but had a negative impact because of the floods have been given assistance, have had lots of government visits including Newman and have been promised more help.

    Welcome to Newman’s unfair Queensland and an indication of Abbott’s inequitable Australia.

  20. Sorry I take that back Min. That spam makes far more sense than el gordo and most of what the right wingers post.

  21. The MSM is not going to give up. It is still a disaster, Mr. Evans commented that he enjoyed the machinations of the media over the last few days.

    Shades of 1972.

    Have Abbott and the media forgot, for the next few months, there can only be an election for the lower house. How does that lead to stability. May be they should explain.

    “.It also emerged last night that Robert McClelland, who Ms Gillard sacked as attorney-general, is being considered for a judicial post by the state government.

    An appointment of Mr McClelland to the bench could spark a by-election in his southern Sydney seat of Barton if he took up the post before September.

    Before this week it would have added to the fears of a by-election bringing down the government, with suspended former Labor MP Craig Thomson and former speaker Peter Slipper both facing criminal charges and also considered potential early retirees.

    Ms Gillard’s early announcement of the election date, however, may have quarantined the government from collapse..”
    It also emerged last night that Robert McClelland, who Ms Gillard sacked as attorney-general, is being considered for a judicial post by the state government.

    An appointment of Mr McClelland to the bench could spark a by-election in his southern Sydney seat of Barton if he took up the post before September.

    Before this week it would have added to the fears of a by-election bringing down the government, with suspended former Labor MP Craig Thomson and former speaker Peter Slipper both facing criminal charges and also considered potential early retirees.

    Ms Gillard’s early announcement of the election date, however, may have quarantined the government from collapse.

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/prime-minister-julia-gillards-campaign-in-disarray-as-minister-for-higher-education-chris-evans-resigns/story-e6freuy9-1226567059223

  22. The Tele has gone overboard today for Abbott. It could be seen as sicking.

    “…………..Tim won’t nearly be the same asset for Julia that Margie could be for Tony Abbott,” he said.

    “Margie humanises Abbott. There is still an underlying problem for him with female voters. He will be judged harshly by women and I think there is no doubt that Margie and his daughters humanise him. Their presence is deliberate. Part of the spin package.”

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/tim-mathieson-and-margie-abbott-have-key-campaign-roles/story-fncvk70o-1226567034284

  23. Just heard the coalition state member for Campbelltown take credit for widening of the F5 and upgrading of the hospital. Both were well underway long before he was elected.

    ABC 2 newa

  24. That Newman cut emergency services is well known, the wingnuts even defend it, but whilst he was cutting front line services Newman has been approving luxury projects and overseeing increasing waste.

    Also Newman’s closing down of a power station and not turning on desalination when it was needed have made Queenslanders suffer longer without power and water than was necessary. And those who suffered know it and aren’t happy with Newman.

  25. And Barnett up to his neck in kow towing to Packer. More concerned about the document leak than the implications of it.

    Then they give mixed messages. It’s not OK but its OK because it was not secret. So why the brouhaha over the leak?

  26. not turning on desalination when it was needed

    Not sure about this one Mö – my understanding is that Newman has no say in the decision – that’s up to SEQWater, who had the Tugun desalination plant running at 100% quite quickly…

    The Tugun Desalination Plant – which had been on “hot standby” for almost two years – kicked in to help meet the shortfall on Wednesday by supplying 90 mega litres of water a day to Brisbane.

    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/enough-water-for-now–if-were-careful-20130130-2djol.html

  27. “Möbius Ecko
    FEBRUARY 3, 2013 @ 7:31 PM
    That Newman cut emergency services is well known, the wingnuts even defend it, but whilst he was cutting front line services Newman has been approving luxury projects and overseeing increasing waste.

    Also Newman’s closing down of a power station and not turning on desalination when it was needed have made Queenslanders suffer longer without power and water than was necessary. And those who suffered know it and aren’t happy with Newman.”

    What complete and utter drivel!

  28. Newspoll finishes, and then the truth starts to emerge

    this just reeks, from start to finish

    CRAIG Thomson’s lawyer, Chris McArdle, has claimed a victory for his client in his PR war with police, after a senior NSW officer admitted he had made errors in his statements about the MP’s arrest.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/police-admit-to-errors-over-thomson-arrest/story-fn59niix-1226568163718

    Normally, this would be tin-foil hat area, unfortunately, it’s just the new norm :(

  29. It’s amazing how last year when a poll showed a similar jump for the ALP it was labeled a rogue poll, when the same thing happens with the LNP it’s a disaster for Labor.

    If you believe anything you read in the Australian then you are obviously a right wing nut job :grin:

    Cheers :lol:

  30. The most interesting aspect of the Galaxy Poll is this:

    “However, few voters of either persuasion appear intent on rewarding the PM for subjecting them to an eight-month campaign.

    Nor do they believe her motive was to provide the country with stability and certainty – rather to insure the government against resignations or a leadership challenge.

    Re-enforcing the view that the PM has a significant battle ahead of her to restore trust with the community, 53 per cent of voters said they didn’t believe her explanation. Only 41 per cent accepted the PM’s claims.”

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opposition-leader-tony-abbott-charges-ahead-in-polls/story-e6frf7jo-1226568212235

    Imagine what the numbers will look like when more people understand the AWU issue…

    “I was speaking with a media friend at lunch on Friday, “See all those people in the street, they could all tell you that Whitlam was dismissed, about 25% could tell you what Craig Thomson is alleged to have been up to, maybe 1 in 20 has some understanding of what Gillard did in the AWU matter. When Australians understand what went on in the AWU, the backlash will be frightening.”

    Michael Smith…http://www.michaelsmithnews.com/2013/02/comical-julia-will-give-abbott-the-mother-of-all-battles.html

  31. From the oo link above

    Leader of opposition business Christopher Pyne said: “We won’t be targeting Craig Thomson in a legal sense because he’s entitled to the presumption of innocence and we don’t prejudge him.

    “But we’ll certainly be holding the Prime Minister to account for what has been a startling lapse of political judgment on her part in relation to Craig Thomson.”

    So, they won’t pre-judge Thom(p)son. But, if, as they claim, Thom(p)son is not pre-judged, why is there a question about political judgment? From my understanding, a ‘protection racket’ is only run for someone who is guilty.

    Will any of the assembled gallery be able to spot this discrepancy?

  32. maybe 1 in 20 has some understanding of what Gillard did in the AWU matter

    Yea, the rest believe it to be something far worst, thanks to a concerted campaign of disinformation from our media

  33. “So, they won’t pre-judge Thom(p)son. But, if, as they claim, Thom(p)son is not pre-judged, why is there a question about political judgment? From my understanding, a ‘protection racket’ is only run for someone who is guilty.”

    You just nailed it Tom…The protection racket has been going on for years…to protect those involved in union corruption.

  34. Treeman, I can’t quite read the writing on your cap in your gravatar. I’m not sure if it says Walker or Wanker.

    The latter seems more appropriate.

  35. “Yea, the rest believe it to be something far worst, thanks to a concerted campaign of disinformation from our media”

    Ha Ha…Hedley Thomas and Bolt along with a few bloggers makes a concerted campaign? Disinformation? What world do you inhabit? At least concede where there’s smoke there’s fire. Besides 149 charges and a civil case against Thomson is but one part of the scandal.

  36. Walker Mowers

    http://www.walkermowers.com/company/our-story.php

    “A family business since 1953 where innovation and hard work has been rewarded with “The Walker Mower is distributed throughout the United States and into 28 other countries. We are thankful for the thousands of people who have recognized the benefit of our product and invested in a Walker Mower. We truly enjoy how our product brings people together and the relationships we have formed over the years”

    I wear this cap proudly as it reflects the ethos of reward for work and innovation.

  37. I am certain that there are those in their ignorance who believe that “public service jobs” somehow means well-stuffed chairs and will not effect them personally. I wonder how Queensland Rail will now function with 2,200 less people? Want to get to work on time..you’d better look at purchasing a horse and buggy if you live in Queensland.

  38. Queensland Premier Campbell Newman calls for an end to rebuild roundabout.

    Just for those who are unaware of the hypocrisy relating to infrastructure rebuilding…
    The Premier highlighted the limitations of the National Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements as Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced $25,000 grants for farmers, small business owners and charities in the state’s worst-hit areas. He expressed concern the NDRRA mainly funded “like for like” projects, meaning flood-prone roads and other infrastructure continued to be rebuilt in the same location.

    Yesterday the Premier admitted the NDRRA did not really allow for his vision for “betterment”.

    “While there are some guidelines to allow that to occur, it’s not really been a feature of the program so we’ve got to change that,” Mr Newman said.

    “Doing the same thing, the same wrong thing time and time again, is the definition of insanity.”

    NDRRA funding is split between federal (75 per cent) and state governments (25 per cent).
    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/queensland-premier-campbell-newman-calls-for-an-end-to-rebuild-roundabout/story-e6freoof-1226567760407

  39. Goodness Treeman, and it didn’t happen??

    There were a lot of redundancies with payouts and one in particular who was not offered a voluntary redundancy and asked to stay on and dismantle his folly…

  40. Miglo

    I can’t read the brand on you cigar…not that it matters whether from Havana or no. Suggest that now might not be the best time to light it…digest the bad news first!

  41. lol that’s my point, they all got redundancies as appropriate. Those on short term contracts were not renewed. Check you facts before regurgitating sensationalist headlines from 2011

  42. Hedley Thomas and Bolt along with a few bloggers makes a concerted campaign?

    And the rest of the oo, grattan, harcher, lewis, actually, pretty much the whole press gallery, who have now sat through almost two hours of open questions, and finish it with ‘she still has questions to answer.

    Perhaps, when the PM closes those question forums with ‘are there any more questions?’, then is the time to ask them, not the next day in their ‘opinion’ columns.

  43. they all got redundancies as appropriate.

    Thanks to the unions. And, sorry, a redundancy doesn’t make up for the fact that you NO LONGER HAVE A JOB.

    Do you do stoopid all the time, or is it just a morning thing?

    Imagine how those power workers felt, rushing around getting peoples power reconnected, and then hearing that they just lost their jobs.

    I wonder who is supposed to reconnect the power next time?

  44. It aint gonna get better, that’s for sure

    It wasn’t surprising that hundreds of thousands of people (including me) lost electrical power, or that repairs couldn’t start until the wind had subsided. Even so, the restoration of power was very slow – in many places slower than in 2011. It’s become evident that, like all areas of the Queensland public sector, the electricity distributors (Energex in the Brisbane region and Ergon elsewhere) have been subject to staff cuts that have hampered their ability to respond. The union was issuing warnings about this last year, and they have been proved right. In one startling case, workers were delayed from responding to the emergency in Bundaberg, so they could be briefed on their redundancy options.

    http://johnquiggin.com/

  45. In the latest Newspoll in the two-party preferred stakes, the Coalition is 56 per cent while Labor is 44 per cent, whereas in the Galaxy poll also out this morning saw the two-party preferred stakes remaining unchanged since November, with the Government sitting on 46 per cent and the Coalition on 54 per cent.

    Polls and surveys have a margin of error and can not be expected to be perfectly accurate and at this early stage, for either party, I would give as much attention to the polls as I would to the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting the weather on September 14. There will be many storms until then.

  46. It is a huge swing away from Labor, well out of the normal MOE higgs boson. I think the next one will be interesting to see just how far out of the MOE it was

  47. Serious Question: Would there be any technical reason (apart from the cost) why the country’s power lines should not be put underground?

    It seems insane to me that storms are still causing blackouts in 2013.

  48. And my point is this..

    Queensland is facing its most dangerous fire season in years — but the Newman government has just announced that it’s cutting jobs in the rural fire service.

    The government is targeting a handful of paid staff who look after the state’s 35,000 rural fire volunteers. The cuts will damage their ability to fight fires, protect the community – and they will put lives in danger.

    The workers themselves may or may not have been adequately compensated and there have been suggestions that a number of these redundancies have been forced, but what happens to essential services…

    For example, when I was living at Billinudgel I was volunteer liaison person with the SES as I had the Bureau of Meteorology flood monitoring station at the creek at the back of the property..this site being Marshalls Creek at The Pocket. SES crews would visit regularly to ensure that the equipment was operational. These are the sort of jobs which Newman has axed. Knowing River Heights in Northern NSW is important..get it…

    ps yes I know one is Northern Rivers NSW and the other Qld, but it’s the situation which I am discussing.

  49. And if it would be technically ‘OK’ to put the lines underground out of harm’s way, it should be done while the NBN is being laid, possibly in the same or adjacent trench. It goes house-to-house.

  50. I’m still getting over treemans rampant stupidity for claiming that losing a job is fine because they get redundancies.

    It is really quite offensive for stupidity of that magnitude to infiltrate my head. It does actually hurt.

  51. More tin-foil hat time. This is what they have been waiting for

    THE time for silent whispers is over, we have to talk about Kevin. That is what Labor MPs should be telling themselves as they file into today’s caucus meeting.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/we-have-to-talk-about-kevin-anyone/story-fn53lw5p-1226568196160

    Mind you, they had to arrange a week of absolute bullshit from the MSM, coupled with not polling large sections of QLD and VIC due to fire and floods (apparently)

    Confected? Who knows. after all the ‘gates’, I’m not ruling anything out.

  52. Tom,

    I’m still getting over treemans rampant stupidity for claiming that losing a job is fine because they get redundancies.

    It is really quite offensive for stupidity of that magnitude to infiltrate my head. It does actually hurt.

    These people are WorkChoices Party fanatics, remember. They would set up a workplace regime for their grandchildren to inherit, where wages are on a slippery slope downwards (ideally with the minimum wage abolished) and people can be dismissed on the spot, no warning needed, even if they’ve done nothing wrong.

    With declining wages and zero job security, imagine trying to take out a mortgage for a roof over your head, or any other major loan for that matter. We would look like Bangladesh after a generation under SerfChoices. That’s the scenario they would set up for those who come after them/us.

  53. This poll has an error rate of 3%. Wonder if it is one out, As an expert pointed out, a poll is based on a hypothetical question,

    Wonder what a poll would be, if taken yesterday, after some very good speeches from the PM and the efforts of Mr. Pyne.

    ANDREW CATSARAS: Well there is a great deal of misunderstanding about polls. An opinion poll is not some Delphic Oracle delivered to us from the gods, it’s just an estimate of how people are likely to behave in a hypothetical situation: that being, if an election were held now.

    And by aggregating the polls as we do on Poll of Polls, we’re trying to get a more complete estimate, from a series of estimates, of how people are likely to behave in a hypothetical situation. And then we track those estimates over time to see if there are any trends emerging.

    Now while such a measured approach might not suit the manic nature of the 24 hour news cycle with its insatiable desire for instant gratification and superficial analysis, it is the only sensible way that you can look at polls.

    BARRIE CASSIDY: OK, so what about the analysis that you provide though, averaging out the polls every month; how much weight should we put on that process?

    ANDREW CATSARAS: Because we’re aggregating the polls it is a more comprehensive approach, but even these results are not answers and nor are they predictions. They’re simply reflections. And because they’re reflecting likely behaviour in a hypothetical situation, those reflections are not clear images of the future but rather blurred images of the past, and should be understood as such.

    Now viewed in that context, we can better understand what polls actually are, not what many people would like them to be. And it exposes the extraordinary frenzy that follows the release of each new poll – treating each poll result as if it’s an actual election result, and each change from poll to poll as if they’re actual swings between elections – for the absurd and highly destructive political ritual that it truly is.

    A ritual that regularly weaves the threads of very little into the illusion of very much; one that routinely values opinion over fact; and one that is convinced that random variations in polling results actually mean something, is a ritual, that our political system could well do without.

    http://www.abc.net.au/insiders/content/2012/s3682001.htm

  54. That’s the scenario they would set up for those who come after them/us.

    And that’s why I am scared shitless of them getting in.

    Yes, I forgive Labor for much of their stupidity, eg Pokies, Same sex Marriages and Asylum seekers, because the game is much larger than that, and the libs choices are even worst in those three cases

    Two or three poor policy choices do not offset the numerous positive ones, especially those in regards to workers rights.

    The NBN, Carbon Price, Mining Tax, NDIS, Paid Parenting, Smoking Reform, Murray Darling Plan, Marine Parks, Gonski, raising the tax free thresh-hold, School Kids Bonus, GFC avoidance and Health reforms are just icing on the cake. Add the Fair Work changes into that, which is their biggest draw-card for me personally, then there is no contest.

    The media don’t see it that way at all. They just see chaos where there is none.

  55. I groaned when I saw the introduction to that segment CU, but, when he started talking, he made just so much sense

    I also suspected that no one else with the gallery would take any note of him. Appears that I was correct on that last point :(

  56. Leave Cando alone.

    He has good reasons for saving that Money, How could he upgrade his own office accommodation up to luxury standards without doing so,

    We should ignore the fact, it is going to cost the people of Queensland more in the long run, repairing the damage it does.

  57. As for only sacking those behind the desk, is tommy rot.

    If they are not there to do the necessary record keeping, rosters and planning, those on the front line have to take over the role, leaving less time for working with the public,

    Sacking these people, does not mean the work disappears. All it means that productivity and efficiency do.

  58. ‘because the game is much larger than that’

    Climate Change is the biggest game in town, but I agree their policies on Asylum Seekers, Gay Marriage and Pokies is badly flawed.

    The Opposition leader in NSW is cracking down on ‘right faction’ blocking tactics, which is necessary if Labor is to be reformed.

    The stench of Obeid lingers longer.

  59. Tom,

    then there is no contest

    None at all. They offer nothing positive, only to undermine the Australian standard of living with “WorkChoices”, and demolish the good things Labor have done.

    Oh, but they will say, we will get the Budget back to surplus. I say, bullshit. Their record under Howard was the most wasteful government in the last 200 years. Why would we throw out the party, Labor, that’s running the world’s strongest developed economy, Treasurer named world’s best…. for a mob that’s never been surpassed for waste and idleness?

  60. but I agree their policies on Asylum Seekers, Gay Marriage and Pokies is badly flawed.

    So, what is your thoughts on the NBN, , Mining Tax, NDIS, Paid Parenting, Smoking Reform, Murray Darling Plan, Marine Parks, Gonski, raising the tax free thresh-hold, School Kids Bonus, GFC avoidance, Health reforms and the Fair Work Act?

    Do they come into the picture at all? Or is just your fear of a Market Based Mechanism to combat Climate Change that has been shown to have caused very little little detrimental effect amongst the larger population that drives your ideology?

  61. The NBN I like, hard wired to every door, the others are outside my portfolio.

    ‘Or is just your fear of a Market Based Mechanism to combat Climate Change that has been shown to have caused very little little detrimental effect amongst the larger population that drives your ideology?’

    If joolya hadn’t sheltered the larger population from the detrimental effects of the CO2 tax it would have been a disaster for Labor.

    But she knows her stuff and only punished small business instead.

  62. El gordo, therefore the price on carbon for the big polluters hasn’t been a disaster but Abbott’s promised roll back of the NBN will be..

  63. the others are outside my portfolio.

    I think you have pretty much confirmed that the Carbon Price is well outside of your portfolio too :lol:

  64. So, what is your thoughts on the NBN, , Mining Tax, NDIS, Paid Parenting, Smoking Reform, Murray Darling Plan, Marine Parks, Gonski, raising the tax free thresh-hold, School Kids Bonus, GFC avoidance, Health reforms and the Fair Work Act?

    The planet is cooling. Global warming is crap. It’s snowing in Siberia. :roll:

  65. CU

    On the Thomson arrest and court appearance. an answer to one of your questions last week

    “While Mr McArdle says the law is clear that Mr Thomson has the right to not attend the court hearing because parliament will be sitting, he has decided not to delay proceedings.

    The opposition has provided Mr Thomson with a parliamentary “pair”.”
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/police-admit-to-errors-over-thomson-arrest/story-fn59niix-1226568163718

    I wonder if the circumstances surrounding the arrest will come to light on Wednesday?

  66. Migs, the PM said on Sunday she is proud of the CEFC legislation. She added that we were now living the climate change, She intends for it to be forefront in the coming election campaign.,

    This should make Mr, Abbott happy.

  67. ” admitted he had made errors in his statements about the MP’s arrest.”

    Yes, Tom, big errors. Being accused of not turning up for arrest, then using that as the reason for action as they din, is indeed a big error.

    One questions the money wasted by the way they conducted the arrest.

    A phone call was all that was needed. Fice senior police to NSW for the day does add up.

    Of course, Mr. Thomson could not be presented in a bad light, if they went down that track.

    Noe, the question is, regarding those extra so called 149 charges, Do they want him for questioning, or for charging.

    I suspect charging, but also suspect, they can no longer question him, after laying that one charge involving $330.

    It appears to be so badly handled, one wonders how long the charges are going to last.

  68. Cuppa, I believe your idea was mentioned. It appears there could be technical reasons, but also political. Two many government to get an agreement.

    Sue, wonder why the pairs? Unusual for this Opposition.. Could it be, that things are not so clear cut, as we have been led to believe.

    Has gone from the headlines very quickly. Announcing the resignations would have help in this regard.

  69. Sue, The Ashby matter I see is also on Wednesday. It is going to be a big day. I do believe that Mr.Abbott’s first MSSO’s is going to be crowded out,

    Might ,make it a little easier for the new immigration minister. I do not believe the new AG will have trouble coping.

  70. CU

    Have no idea about the pairs, unless the arrest has played its part. Baaaaaad govt, caaaaaan’t trust PM, etc etc. Also maybe the police stuffed it, O’Farrell went too far, ….interesting.

  71. higgs, I was only counting those that came from Victoria. Should have made that clearer. Did not say why the could not have went on to questioning, before charging.

  72. Looks like they are still lying a little. Was it an invitation or a summons. Can one legally summon over the phone?

    It is one thing to say it in an interview, another to go on 2GB. Is that the role of a leading and respected police officer.

    “……………. Mr Dyson implied that it was this refusal to accept arrest by appointment which had led police officers to snatch him from his NSW central coast electorate office in a blaze of publicity when some media got advance warning.

    Mr McArdle denied any such specific offer or warning of intended arrest from Victorian police had been received by his client.

    “Never had there been any suggestion that he come to Melbourne and surrender . . . had that happened, we would have gone there,” Mr McArdle said.

    RECOMMENDED COVERAGE
    Brandis targets Thomson

    After Mr McArdle’s denial, Mr Dyson went on Sydney radio 2GB’s Ray Hadley show to repeat and strengthen his claim, saying that “endorsed on that (arrest) warrant is reference to the fact that a warrant had been issued because he had been invited to Victoria before Christmas to — words to the effect — to surrender himself for arrest”.

    The Australian has seen a copy of the arrest warrant, which does speak of Mr Thomson’s decision not to be interviewed, as Mr McArdle has previously said he had advised his client. But it makes no mention of Mr Thomson refusing to surrender for arrest, nor any timeline of any approach along these lines before Christmas.

    When The Australian put this to Mr Dyson, yesterday he replied: “The arrest warrant indicated that Mr Thomson was invited to Victoria to be interviewed. It additionally indicated that the arrest warrant was issued on the grounds that he was avoiding the service of the summons.

    “I concede the word ‘summons’ and not ‘arrest’ should have been used when I referred to the wording on the warrant.”

    However, Mr McArdle said it was also untrue that any summons had been issued to his client..

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/police-admit-to-errors-over-thomson-arrest/story-fn59niix-1226568163718

  73. Sue, yes I’ve just seen it. To my knowledge you cannot just grab people in international waters without a strong suspicion that a crime has been committed or is about to be committed…which of course, seeking asylum is clearly not.

    Interesting is where does Morrison think that he is going to get the additional patrol boats from, plus of course sufficient crews to man them.

  74. Higgs, which begs the question as how did the media knew to be waiting. Normally if a person is to be arrested the most important item for a police officer is NOT a television camera.

  75. ‘therefore the price on carbon for the big polluters hasn’t been a disaster’

    Not to them, they passed the cost onto me.

  76. Why are the polls so bad. In fact if one goes back and check, they have been up and down for months.

    What I do hope, is that the Greens are successful back into the public eye.

    Why this should be so is a puzzle. As Gillard rightly claimed last week: ”As the global economy still splutters, unlike the rest of the world we have managed our economy so we have low inflation, low interest rates, low unemployment, solid growth, strong public finances and a triple-A rating with a stable outlook from all three of the major ratings agencies.”
    I’ve said elsewhere that part of the reason for this yawning gap between perception and reality is that many people’s perception of how well the economy’s being managed proceeds not from independent observation but from their political alignment. Once I know who I’m voting for I then know whether or not the economy’s travelling well.
    Advertisement
    But there’s another part of the explanation: the public’s inability to distinguish between cyclical and structural factors. Most of the bad news we heard last year was structural in nature, meaning it changed the shape of the economy rather than its overall size, adversely affecting some parts but favourably affecting others and having little effect on most.
    But such analysis is too subtle for most punters. To them, all news is cyclical: good news means the economy’s on the up and up; bad news means it’s going down and downer.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/why-voters-believe-the-economy-is-in-trouble-20130203-2dsgp.html#ixzz2JtMRGrZe

  77. Ironically, the budget deficit is a case where a cyclical (temporary) problem has been taken to be a structural (long-lasting) one.
    But Labor has to accept much of the blame for this bum rap. Rather than standing up to the nonsense the Libs were talking, it took the path of least resistance, purporting to be just as manic as they were. Then came Gillard’s foolhardy decision to take a mere Treasury projection of the budget outcome in three years’ time and elevate it to the status of a solemn promise.
    By now, the voters’ majority perception that the economy’s in bad shape and Labor isn’t good at managing it is deeply ingrained

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/why-voters-believe-the-economy-is-in-trouble-20130203-2dsgp.html#ixzz2JtNUSEav

  78. ‘The planet is cooling. Global warming is crap. It’s snowing in Siberia.’

    True.

    ‘Smoking Reform, Murray Darling Plan, Marine Parks’

    The smoking reform is okay and they should extend that into alcohol, label all the bottles ‘this stuff is poison so be careful how much you drink’.

    Also large signs outside all the fast food joints, ‘too much of this food is injurious to health and will definitely shorten your life’.

    Scrap the Murray Darling Basin Plan… designed during a drought which they assumed would never end.

    Marine Parks are fine, top marks.

  79. I agree, Min, and instead of seven the police could have sent two officers dressed in riot gear for protection in case Thomson responded in an extremely violent manner.

    Oh lawdy lawd! I don’t believe what is happening.

  80. CU
    There are just too many happy coincidents between the police and ray hadley.

    I wonder if Dyson is ready for retirement and what’s one more favour to the press.

  81. designed during a drought which they assumed would never end.

    What a load of rubbish

    Nobody said the drought wouldn’t break. Unless of course you decide to mis-represent what Tim Flannery said

  82. Yes, there is much more good than bad.

    ………….“Chaos” and “disarray” of course are political no-noes, particularly during election campaigns. Recall “chaos” was the key prediction of many at the start of this parliamentary term — minority government couldn’t be expected to produce anything other than a mess. The government has delivered plenty of chaos — relying on Peter Slipper, welshing on its deal with Andrew Wilkie, belatedly dumping Craig Thomson, having a leadership spill — but the Parliament also churned out hundreds of bills, including a carbon price that both sides had previously promised and not delivered, cuts to middle class welfare and superannuation reforms.

    Indeed, what’s the broader economic achievement of this “chaotic” minority government? Low inflation, low interest rates, low unemployment, a massive investment boom, a “safe haven” currency, growing labour productivity, a sharemarket up nearly 20% since a carbon price commenced. If this is the product of “chaos”, long may it continue.

    “Chaos” and “disarray” are media judgements, right or wrong, about politics, not about real world outcomes. The more journalists view everything through an election campaign prism, the less interested they appear to become in real world outcomes..”

    http://www.crikey.com.au/2013/02/04/chaos-or-how-to-see-the-world-like-a-political-journalist/

  83. Higgs, I suspect more for dramatic effect than anything. Would 2 cops or even 7 cops minus the Live As It Happens photos received the same amount of publicity…

  84. A load of rubbish el gordo? Perhaps like this..

    South East Queensland floods, January 2013 (Conan Whitehouse, via abc.net.au)

    One of Australia’s seawater desalination plants is providing critically needed drinking water supplies for cities during floods.

    Gold Coast Desalination Plant at Tugun, Queensland (water-technology.net)
    South East Queensland Water reports that its Gold Coast Desalination Plant at Tugun is now operating at 100 per cent to meet critical shortfall being experienced during the floods as some Brisbane suburbs otherwise faced the prospect of running dry from today.

    With water supplies from other sources running out across the region due to flood damage, the desalination plant has proven how desal is climate-resilient (flood or drought) insurance for Australia’s water security.

    http://desalination.edu.au/2013/01/desal-plant-providing-critical-drinking-water-supplies-during-queensland-floods/

  85. Stephen Conroy elected Senate Leader

    Congratulations,now if he can reciprocate and make us all happy by getting rid of Mark Scott

  86. Did anyone listen to Ms., Bishop this morning. It seems Sri Lanka is a wondrtful place for Tamils. If so, why are they risking lives on those boats? ABC 24. Gave an address.

  87. Sixteen members from the Howard government sitting on the shadow front bench. This is the best they have.

    I believe many are old enough to have better long term memories, that short term memories.

  88. The latest count is 10 opposition members quitting at the next election.

    So by their own logic and that of their mindless supporters this means they are in chaos and disarray.

  89. Morrison and Bishop ranting on about Srt Lanka.

    I believe as far as the boat people go, that it not a big problem at all. Many are already being returned.

    How many arriving at this time?

    For all that elaborate press conference, he is promising, what Labor is now doing. returning Sri Lankans.

  90. He will continue to embarrass the PM all the way to the election.

    These two leaders have been political animals since university days, so it will be fun to watch their strategies.

    The polls in the run up will determine whether joolya takes Labor to the line.

  91. Oh Oh

    Newman better get Costello back to teach his treasurer how to read the accounts.

    The qld Treasurer, Nicholls, after whinging that the federal govt was withholding funds has been told the money had been paid in advance however qld just has to follow up with the proper paperwork

    “But Mr Swan says the disputed funds have in fact already been paid to Queensland in advance.

    In a letter in response to Mr Nicholls, he has said the claim that Commonwealth funds have been withheld is “entirely incorrect”.

    “Advance payments were made by the commonwealth to assist Queensland with cash flow and make sure that reconstruction works were able to be done as quickly as possible,” he has written.

    “As you’re aware advance payments of this nature are unusual, but the commonwealth government agreed to make payments early to Queensland because of the magnitude of the disaster, with the undertaking that the state government would provide proper documentary evidence following reconstruction.

    Mr Swan said the commonwealth was now following up on the administrative paperwork required to finalise the claims in question and “acquit them against the funds already paid”.

    Read more: http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/national/temporary-village-for-bundaberg-residents/story-e6frfku9-1226569741233#ixzz2JvbYY4Ui

  92. As to Qld councils whinging about new deal on flood relief, they have Xenophon to thank for that. He would only pass Flood Levy with provision states and Councils had to have disaster insurance.
    And if they think that is bad just remember back in 2011Abbott and Cando didn’t want Qlders to be have a benefit from a flood levy

    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/queensland-must-take-out-flood-insurance-as-part-of-xenophon-deal-with-gillard-on-flood-levy/story-e6freoof-1226015337753

  93. Abbott, once again, back to the past and Abbott. Does this man have one original thought?

    “…………….Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has vowed to under promise and over deliver just like John Howard if he is elected as prime minister.

    Mr Abbott made his promise on The Project during his first appearance for well over a year.

    He had not appeared on the Ten Network program for 468 days, leaving shadow treasurer Joe Hockey to represent the coalition on the show.

    The program’s presenters had launched a Facebook page and a twitter hashtag #talktoustony to try and woo Mr Abbott back to the airwaves.

    On Tuesday the opposition leader returned saying: ‘I thought if I kept you waiting for a while you’d be grateful to finally get me’.

    ‘Joe does so well on The Project… it took me a while to get permission off Joe to come on the program.’

    Mr Abbott said people wanted to be proud of their prime minister.

    ‘Just like my mentor John Howard I want to under promise and over deliver.’………”

    http://www.skynews.com.au/national/article.aspx?id=842790

  94. “The program’s presenters played clips of Al Gore dismissing the coalition’s direct action plan as a real alternative to the carbon tax.

    Mr Abbott said Mr Gore may know a bit about the United States but not necessarily Australia.

    The opposition leader said the coalition was ‘fair dinkum’ about climate change.

    He chortled about vision of himself and his deputy Julie Bishop walking down the aisle from a morning church service on Tuesday.

    ‘People might have thought that we were pretty involved,’ Mr Abbott said.

    ‘It’s a terrific political marriage but it doesn’t go from the party room to any other room.’”

    http://www.skynews.com.au/national/article.aspx?id=842790

    Of course, he would not stray, would he?

    Mr. Gore might not know much about Australia, but he has a high regard for out PM, as many do overseas.

  95. The Federal Opposition will steer away from controversies surrounding the Gillard Government when Parliament resumes.

    Instead the Coalition will focus on more positive issues, its manager of business has promised.

    MPs have returned to Canberra for the start of the new parliamentary year with both major parties looking to consolidate their standing with voters ahead of the September 14 election.

    Senior Liberal, Christopher Pyne, says the Opposition has moved into the third phase of the parliamentary cycle, after holding the government to account and developing new policies..”

    http://www.skynews.com.au/politics/article.aspx?id=842614

    Sorry what are they out doing today. It sounded to me, that Mr. Morrison was doing his best to create another scandal for the PM. They mist mean, ignore what we do, it is what we say that is important.

  96. It was not exactly the Dreyfus Affair – the near-impenetrable cause celebre that split France in the latter years of the 19th century when an unfortunate army officer named Alfred Dreyfus was wrongly convicted of treason for selling secrets to the Germans – but it seemed at least curious.
    The first question to be lobbed at Mark Alfred Dreyfus in his new role as Australia’s Attorney-General had nothing at all to do with Australian law.
    No. Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop wanted to know his attitude to Jewish settlements on the West Bank.
    It seemed unlikely that Mr Dreyfus would have been asked such a question if he happened to be, say, a Baptist named Smith.
    Advertisement
    And as Ms Bishop is the Opposition’s foreign affairs spokeswoman, you might have imagined she’d have directed her question to the Minister responsible for foreign affairs in the House, Craig Emerson.
    Ms Bishop, if we were to be generous, may have been genuinely seeking a long-range legal view of Jewish settlements in West Bank from Australia’s first law officer in some estoteric belief he had jurisdiction.
    If so, she proved mistaken. Speaker Anna Burke ruled the question out of order after strenuous objection from Labor’s frontline scrapper Anthony Albanese, with Mr Emerson vainly waving his hand for the question to be re-directed his way.
    Mr Emerson later tweeted that ”as Trade and Foreign Min rep I’ve never received a question from JBishop. It’s 1093 days since I got one from Opposition”.
    Mr Dreyfus, of course, is neither a Baptist nor a Smith.
    He happens to be Jewish and he’s spent some days in a fury over the Opposition yapper Christopher Pyne’s comparison of the Gillard Government’s recent difficulties with a movie scene about the demise of Adolf Hitler.
    The Opposition, in retaliation to his complaints about Pyne’s comments, has all but accused him of hypocrisy because he once compared Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s anti-carbon tax campaign to Joseph Goebbel’s Nazi propaganda.
    Mr Dreyfus lost three of his German great-grandparents to the Holocaust and his own father was sent to Australia to escape the Nazis.
    All of which might or might not offer some context to the reason why an Australian Attorney-General might be greeted to his new job with a peculiar question about Jewish settlements..
    The original Dreyfus Affair, which ran hot for 12 years, complete with anti-Semitic baiting and the scalding J’Accuse, a still-famous letter by the novelist Emile Zola attacking Dreyfus’s accusers, led to the formal separation of church and state in France.
    Australia’s rather paler Dreyfus affair ended with Julie Bishop arguing with Speaker Burke – and being tossed out of the Chamber.

    Read more: http://www.watoday.com.au/opinion/political-news/a-dreyfus-affair-of-julie-bishops-making-20130205-2dwhy.html#ixzz2K4FzL6GS

  97. The strange case of the national delusion on cost of living

    The opposition and their mass media mouthpieces have done their job, convinced Australians they are financially suffering and worse off when they aren’t.

    The right wingers here mindlessly ape the misinformation but that’s to be expected from zombie trolls who can’t think for themselves and need to have propaganda fed to them to unthinkingly regurgitate as fact. Without it they would be little lost sheep wondering around in the dark running into every fact and not knowing what to do with them. This way with the right wing media machine and misinformation they don’t have to worry about things like facts.

  98. Tony Abbott has played down a leaked discussion paper which reveals Coalition plans to create a new economic zone in northern Australia and to move thousands of public sector jobs to north of the Tropic of Capricorn.
    ”It’s not our policy,” Mr Abbott said. ”It’s a draft discussion paper which had a reasonably wide circulation and obviously someone’s decided to share it with the media.
    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/tax-plan-a-sop-to-katter-after-hung-parliament-20130207-2dzw2.html

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/abbott-hoses-down-tropical-tax-zone-plan-20130207-2dzkf.html#ixzz2KBQ0Rn3y

  99. Ince again, no MSSO.

    Analysis
    The Coalition is considering offering $10,000 rebates to taxpayers in ”selected” remote regions to boost their economies – a plan first mooted in negotiations with independent Bob Katter after the 2010 election.
    The idea has also been strongly advocated by mining billionaire Gina Rinehart’s ”Australians for Northern Development and Economic Vision” policy think tank – which supports a special northern economic zone, possibly offering lower personal income tax or tax rebates.
    The discussion paper suggests a new northern development zone north of the Tropic of Capricorn. This immediately raised eyebrows within the Coalition, where sources cited constitutional questions as well as equity questions since states like Tasmania and South Australia record lower than national average economic growth, while states like Western Australia that could benefit from his plan have been growing the strongest.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/tax-plan-a-sop-to-katter-after-hung-parliament-20130207-2dzw2.html#ixzz2KBQnUfUV

  100. Ross Gittins
    The Sydney Morning Herald’s Economics Editor
    View more articles from Ross Gittins
    Follow Ross on Twitter Email Ross

    Emerson blasts Top End plan
    Craig Emerson criticises Coalition plans to create an economic zone in Northern Australia

    Lenore Taylor: Tax plan a sop to Katter in power talks
    The Pulse Live: Katharine Murphy blogs live from Parliament
    Don’t worry, the federal Coalition’s dream of moving a lot of Australia’s population north of the Tropic of Capricorn ain’t gonna happen. It’s a crazy idea practically, politically and economically.

    Presumably, it’s a kite Tony Abbott is allowing to fly for a day or two to show how positive he is in his vision of our future. It’s an idea some in the National Party would dearly love, but most in the Liberal Party will be appalled by.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/tropical-tax-zone-plan-destined-to-be-a-grand-failure-20130207-2e03z.html#ixzz2KBRTeDov

    Opposition Leader Tony Abbott in Queanbeyan. He has hosed down talk of a tax zone in northern Australia. Photo: Andrew Meares

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/tropical-tax-zone-plan-destined-to-be-a-grand-failure-20130207-2e03z.html#ixzz2KBS0mwG9

  101. Why do the wealthy need so much super help.

    “……………………….The Australian Institute has produced figures which show that the top 5% of income earners currently receive $10 billion of the $30 billion in tax benefits given by the concessional tax treatment of superannuation. They say:

    ‘When in government the Coalition turned superannuation into a rort for the rich. The forward estimates show super tax concessions will be worth $45 billion in 2015-16. 37 per cent of that goes to the top five per cent of taxpayers’ said David Richardson, senior fellow at The Australia Institute.

    ‘Someone on $250,000 receives a tax concession worth $6,750 on their contributions alone. That compares with low income earners who get a rebate of up to $500 which the Coalition wants to scrap’ said Mr Richardson..”

    http://enpassant.com.au/2013/02/06/superannuation-for-the-rich/

  102. MPI on super, now on in Lower House. Who was it that made the most changes to super. I seem to remember that was the norm under Mr. Costello’s. Yes, busily protecting the rich once more. Appears they cannot have uncertainity. I suspect the lower income would welcome some certainty, something they are not used to.

  103. I suspect some on the other side of the house, have had drama classes during the break. They are now putting into play, what they learnt,

    Talk about concocted.

  104. A little reality for a change, Yes, some need to grow up.

    “…………….I don’t think it’s in the interests of the Labor Party. Those colleagues who do that sort of thing undermine the government and they undermine their colleagues’ chance of being re-elected.’

    Senator Evans, who last weekend announced his resignation, says all political parties are suffering from a growing culture of leaking to journalists.

    ‘The Liberal Party does it,’ he says.

    ‘The National Party does it.

    ‘I think the culture of politicians leaking and backgrounding has really developed in a way that I think is unhealthy and not good for politics in this country.’

    The former Senate leader also backs Ms Gillard’s decision to draft Olympian Nova Peris to the upper house, but expresses sympathy for the woman she will replace.

    ‘(The ALP) has not been able to bring itself to preselect an indigenous person in a winnable seat in 100 or so years,’ he says.

    ‘It was a disgrace. It was a blight on the party and the Prime Minister fixed that.

    ‘I’m a great supporter of Trish’s, and it’s very unfortunate what’s occurred in terms of her career, but it is something that needed to be addressed by the party.

    ‘To be fair to the Prime Minister, the party machine have been unable to fix that wrong, and she’s fixed it.’……..”

    http://www.skynews.com.au/politics/article.aspx?id=843606

  105. Who agrees. Refuse to talk about the diaries.

    “Former Liberal government minister Mal Brough says he has nothing to be ashamed over his involvement in a failed sexual harassment case against former Speaker Peter Slipper.

    A Federal Court judge late last year found Mr Brough had worked in ‘combination’ with Slipper staffer James Ashby to publicly damage the MP’s reputation.

    Justice Stephen Rares found that Mr Ashby’s sexual harassment claim against Mr Slipper amounted to a ‘political attack’.

    Court documents showed Mr Brough, who has been preselected as the Liberal National Party candidate in Mr Slipper’s seat, exchanged emails and texts with James Ashby before he filed the claim against his then boss Mr Slipper.

    In his first interview on the subject, published on ABC Online on Thursday, Mr Brough says his involvement in the matter has been fully canvassed and there’s nothing more to add.

    ‘All of the discussion, the text messages – of which there is about half a dozen at most – are all there for anyone to read. I have nothing to be ashamed of or would change,’ he says.

    He says the total of his involvement was telling Mr Ashby to see a lawyer and police.

    ‘A person (James Ashby) came to me for assistance. I suggested that they go and get legal advice. I suggested they go to police if they believed a crime had been committed.’

    Mr Brough said he was not party to the court action and was not being judged by Justice Rares’ findings.

    He would not comment further when asked if it was wrong or illegal to see Mr Slipper’s diary.

    ‘Mr Slipper’s now about to face court next week and be charged … on criminal offences relating to allegations of misuse of travel (entitlements),’ Mr Brough said.

    ‘I think that’s the right and proper place for such matters to be decided, so it would be entirely wrong of me to make any comment whatsoever about such issues.’

    James Ashby and his lawyer Michael Harmer have both lodged applications for leave to appeal the court ruling.”

    http://www.skynews.com.au/politics/article.aspx?id=843456

  106. Some headlines,

    “.Not fussy: Tony Abbott non-stop election campaign took him to Queanbeyan’s Strip Pizza and Pasta Bar yesterday. We’re not sure why, but he wasn’t there for the food. Which is lucky, according to some who’ve dined at the establishment and posted their reviews on tripadviser.com.au.

    Sexist?: How would Julia Gillard react if Tony Abbott referred to her weight, or the colour of her outfit? We’re not sure, but Abbott would be right to be wary following her misogyny speech to parliament. Not so the PM, who has made jibes about Joe Hockey’s weight loss and Tony Abbott’s tie in parliament this week. Christopher Pyne was not amused: “The Prime Minister should not be commenting on either the shadow treasurer’s weight or the colour of the Leader of the Opposition Leader’s tie. Of course that is a sexist statement and she should withdraw it.”

    Good book: As predicted, Tony Abbott is clutching his Real Solution’s “policy” document wherever he goes. It’s more sturdy than it looks, and useful for patting away pesky suggestions of policy inertia. Abbott seemed to confirm yesterday he’d continue to carry it around in the absence of actual policy detail. Reporter: “Mr Abbott, I can’t help noticing that you’ve been cradling that book there throughout this doorstop. Is that going to be your sandwich board for the next eight months?” Abbott: “Well, Mark, I’m proud of this Real Solutions Plan.”.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/capital-circle/drugs-cloud-over-sport/story-fn59nqgy-1226573146405

  107. “……………………….
    Of course there are arguments that superannuation should be ‘left alone’ but that reasoning is flawed. It’s a ‘live’ system and many of the troubles emerging now were never envisaged by its creators.

    At their worst Paul Keating introduced a compulsory system that left the gates wide open for industry manipulation, while Peter Costello added elaborations that moved the system towards a complexity that was often only useful to financial planners and sophisticated investors.

    Indeed with a powerful switch towards internet-enabled direct investing where superannuants make more choices for themselves, and with the rise of DIY super (now representing one in three dollars held in superannuation) more people than ever are at risk in an imperfect system.

    What might be done? It would be reasonable for the Gillard regime to cancel the co-contribution scheme (where high earners can improve household tax bills by ‘helping’ lower income spouses). That concession is an anomaly. Separately, there could be a review of the ‘re-contribution’ strategies allowed under the current system, which at their very worst line the pockets of adult children of wealthy superannuants………………………..”

    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Julia-Gillard-super-contribution-cap-reform-tax-pd20130208-4PQVD?OpenDocument&src=sph&src=rot

  108. I could post this in the right wing hypocrites thread as O’Farrell made such a huge deal out of every shooting and stabbing or bit of street violence when he was in opposition. Every single one was blamed on the government of the time, and he with the MSM following put out headlines of the State government losing control of the streets. (Sound familiar, “losing control of our borders”).

    So today I read this:

    The number of shootings in NSW since the Coalition came to power is expected to surpass a staggering new record of 200 this month.

    Most of the other crime statistics since O’Farrell came in have also risen, some significantly so, especially the more violent crimes. Indeed as they have for the other State Liberal governments who all got into power on the back of promising to reduce crime and be tough in law and order.

    Of course you won’t see headlines of O’Farrell losing control of the streets just as you won’t see the losing control of our borders if Abbott is PM when the boats keep coming.

    That’s hypocrisy on a grand scale, and the right wingnuts here will go right along with it excusing or ignoring the things the Liberal governments are failing at whilst always canning the Labor governments for far less or just making things up to can them with, the same things they excuse the Liberal governments on.

    That’s also hypocrisy on a grand scale.

  109. And even the great Tory hold out of WA is waning for the Liberals.

    They still hold a commanding lead but it has shrunk and continues to shrink, yet just like his counterparts in the other Liberal States Barnett is on the nose.

    On personal ratings, Mark McGowan is up seven on approval to 51% and steady on disapproval at 26%, while he has closed the gap on preferred premier to a remarkably narrow 44-40, sharply down from 48-29 last time. Colin Barnett on the other hand is down two on approval to 47% and up five on disapproval to 42%.

    By the way Barnett is another of the Liberals who scaremonger campaigned heavily on law and order, and getting tough on crime that was a big part of him getting elected. He is another that has failed miserably on his much vaunted promises.

  110. Don’t you just love how things like loyalty mean nothing to gillard.

    Take a look who is the is the current National Co-Convenor of EMILY’s List Australia. She has represented the Northern Territory in the Senate since 1998 and is the first woman elected to federal parliament from the Northern Territory. Trish is Chair of the Senate Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee and Deputy Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Rural and Regional Indigenous Communities. She was formerly the Deputy Opposition Whip in the Senate from 2001 to 2004.

    Trish has been a member of the ALP since the early 1980s and is currently President of the NT Branch. Prior to her election she was a teacher and a union official. Trish joined EMILY’s List Australia as a foundation member in 1997.

    http://www.emilyslist.org.au/our-women/emilys-list-australia-current-members-of-parliament

  111. Oh FFS Treeman do you have to continually prove the hypocrite by putting up faux concerns for Labor members. It’s a pity you never show a modicum of concern for the plethora of Liberal and National members screwed by their leaders and party.

  112. “Does anyone have a handle on the spate of Tweets going on about orange and botox for Abbott?”

    is that the best you have now? What a laugh the cutting edge leftist blog reduced to tweets on botox and oranges.

    As for putting up faux concerns for Labor members…did you miss the bit about gillards loyalty? get your nose off your tail mobius!

  113. Treeman, throwing up Youtube vids proving Hockey a goose, and in the wrong thread?

    I asked a genuine question Treeman. There are a whole bunch of Tweets going around about Abbott being orange and botox but no link to any source or what’s it’s about. So yet again you prove the clown you are.

  114. And O’Farrell continues on his merry way slowly but surely wrecking the state and has happened with the previous Liberal governments Labor will have to step in and fix it all taking the brunt of the backlash as the Liberals that caused it crawl back under their rocks.

    The state’s planning assessment commission is considering an application by Apex Energy to extend the time within which it can drill 16 wells in the Sydney drinking water catchment area.

    Apex wants a new expiry date set at 3 years from the time the first bore hole is drilled…

    Last year it was revealed there were fears for oversight of the catchment area after the O’Farrell government appointed a former federal Liberal Party treasurer and former mining company ddirector, Mark Bethwaite, to the board of the Sydney Catchment Authority.

    Seems the cancelling of the Camden CSG project amid real risks to the water supplies for the area hasO’Farrell allowing them to move to other pristine water supply areas whilst they say it will be safe.

  115. OK found the reference. It’s as stupid as them going on about Gillard’s glasses or arse, seems to be normal TV make-up.

    It has twitter all a-tweeting, dubbed “Tandoori Tony“, the botox, eyeshadow, the pink lipstick, all drew comment.

    This image from Tony Abbott’s NPC address (1 February) confirms, Tony is all about appearance, not substance. How about a policy or two?

    It does look odd, especially the orange face with pink lips but nothing to go overboard about.

    Sorry picture not linking. Look though the images of Abbott at the NPC address.

  116. 2030: Abbott’s Vision Goes Blurry

    So, the first parliamentary week of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s year of positivity has ended in deficit. Deep deficit.

    Not only was he resolutely negative about the government; more surprisingly he was negative about his side’s alternative vision for the future.

  117. The PM’s achievement in NZ. Little more than asylum seekers.

    “……………………….The two leaders also agreed to give new powers to telco regulators in both countries to cap mobile roaming rates, to put an end to exorbitant bills for trans-Tasman travellers.

    New legislation will enable Australia’s Competition and Consumer Commission and NZ’s Commerce Commission to investigate and take action over calling, texting and data costs.

    If telco providers fail to reduce their prices, the regulators will have the power to set price caps.

    It could pave the way to lower roaming costs elsewhere, such as in the United States and European Union.

    Other announcements include:

    further streamlining trans-Tasman travel, with the Australian government to spend $A8 million ($NZ9.8m) on a trial to fast-track automated technology at Australian airports, and NZ’s trial of new ‘Smartgate Plus’ technology.

    both countries will contribute $A2.6m to a joint effort to develop a rheumatic fever vaccine.

    new retirement savings portability arrangements to come into effect from July.

    work on a reciprocal student debt recovery scheme.

    Ms Gillard also announced a new $A5 million Australian Memorial to be built in Wellington in time for the ANZAC centenary in 2015.

    Designed by Australian architecture firm Tonkin Zulaikha Greer, the memorial will be comprised of 15 columns of Australian red sandstone, symbolic of the Australian ‘red centre’, and will be surrounded by eucalypt trees.

    Later on Saturday, the leaders will lay wreaths at the Queenstown War Memorial, before visiting nearby Arrowtown.

    Ms Gillard flies back to Australia on Sunday……”

    http://www.skynews.com.au/topstories/article.aspx?id=843961&vId=3800925&cId=Top%20Stories&play=true

    Asylum deal not important in numbers, but in regional cooperation. Yes, the PM is out doping, what Mr. Morrison demanded of her today. That is building a regional answer to the probblems.

    It is sad that Mr. Morrison cannot get his mind past deterrent.

  118. This is one of the countries that the Opposition asked the government why they can do it, and we cannot,. Maybe we do need to take a page out of their book,.

    “If Washington sincerely wants to reduce the budget deficit and national debt while protecting the broader economy, it should learn from other nations which have succeeded. One country stands out: Norway.
    Norway has the largest budget surpluses in the developed world, no net national debt, citizens enjoy a robust safety net, and unemployment is below 3%. (1) (2)
    What is Norway’s secret, other than refusing to join the European Union?
    Before the discovery of off-shore oil in the late 60s, Norway’s lackluster economy earned the nickname ‘Europe’s ugly duckling’. But Norway’s subsequent success has as much to do with public policy as their fortuitous location near petroleum reserves.
    Norway’s overall tax as a share of GDP is among the highest in the OECD–for corporations, it is the highest. Norway’s corporate tax revenue as a share of GDP is above eight percent—the highest in the world and four times higher than the US. (3) By comparison, the US is the third lowest taxed country and the second lowest for corporations. (4) In other words, if a US company sought lower tax rates by relocating to another country, as they regularly threaten, there is only one country in the world they could go: Iceland. (5) Contrary to the myth of job creators, high rates have not crippled Norwegian entrepreneurs. In fact, Norway produces more successful business start-ups than the US. (6)
    By far the largest source of Norway’s tax revenues is from off-shore oil and gas development. In addition to the 28 percent corporate rate, the government collects 50 percent surtax on oil and gas profits for a combined tax of 78 percent. (7) The majority of oil revenue is saved in a sovereign wealth account estimated at $640 billion—the largest in the world. (8) Norway limits the amount of oil revenue that can be spent on the annual budget to no more than 4 percent of the fund’s returns, although the government broke the rule during the global recession to prevent a collapse in spending…”

    http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/14434-us-fiscal-debate-could-learn-from-norway

    Same question here as for the USA.

  119. El gordo likes to go to other sites condemning CW. Such as this:

    My criticisms of the cafe are well founded, its a chat room.

    El gordo has done her best to disrupt and derail every post ever published here, and when she is confronted she then runs away and complains.

    All el gordo’s future posts will be subject to moderation. If they are not on topic then they will not pass the test.

    Sorry folks. I know that some people here like to engage with her, but it’s very hard to run a blog when there are some people who are intent on destroying it.

  120. “My criticisms of the cafe are well founded, its a chat room”

    I suggest el gordo is right, Miglo but to be fair you allow comments that don’t fit the mould of “proudly leftist” which is great.

    The problem with escalation of ad homs and denigration is that much of it comes from your side!

  121. Treeman, you’re joining el gordo on the moderation list. People have been at me for ages to get rid of you. Now I’m finally listening.

    If your comments are worthy of posting, then I will release them from moderation.

  122. Mr, Rudd has made many claims this day. I am not going to talk about those, but does not similar accusations relating to Mr. Brough be seen in a similar vein, that they are also criminal matters.

    What I am saying, is the theft of the contents of Mr Slipper’s diary, is also a crime.

    “…………..Mr Rudd’s office has agreed to multiple FOI consultations seeking full access to these and many other documents and will continue to do so. Mr Rudd also requested through FOI all documents relating to the AFP investigation and the assistance of the Attorney General’s Department to assist in responding to a number of queries from journalists.’’

    Mr Rudd said today his interest was seeing justice done.

    “The bottom line is that this was a significant event in Australian politics, it involved the theft of Commonwealth property in the documents I have FOI’ed from both the Federal Police and the Attorney-General’s Department their conclusion is that a crime against the Commonwealth Crimes Act has been committed and this involved the theft of Commonwealth property. That is a serious matter and we should get to the bottom of it,’’ Mr Rudd said.,,..

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/kevin-rudd-admits-he-leaked-afp-letters/story-e6frg6n6-1226574458454

  123. Truer words have never left the mouth of Ms.Bishop the younger. It would be a toss up whether Ms. Bishop’s hatred of the PM is stronger than the PM’s dismissal of Ms. Bishop, as having any ability as a politician.

    “…………Ms Bishop said she did not have much of a relationship with Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

    “I have an easy rapport with a number of people on the Labor side but that doesn’t include the prime minister.

    “I’ve certainly gone out of my way to strike up some sort of conversation but it seems I’m not Julia Gillard’s favourite politician.”….”

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/bishop-open-to-rudd-appointment/story-e6frf7jo-1226574762665

  124. but it seems I’m not Julia Gillard’s favourite politician.”….”

    I wonder if accusing the PM of criminal behavior (without any evidence to support the view) would influence that at all :?:

  125. Abbott actually doing some work. Introducing personal; bill into the lower house. All is being shown on ABC24. Wonder will the answers to what he is saying also be seen.

    Yes, Steve Lewis is on clue with hos article once again rehashing the AWU allegations. today.

    Mostly as attack on unions.

    Did acknowledge that Labor has already tightened the rules.

    Mostly an attack on the PM.

    Now we have Mr. Morrison with another members bill bringing back temporary visas.

    Things changing in Sri Lanka. I believe he is right, and that is why this government is sending many of them straigth back.

    In other words. Morrison is saying, they will never be welcome here.

    At least he is taking credit for the failed system we now have.

  126. Mr. Abbott should ask Mr. Katter for some tips. Mr. Katter is now on his fourth go at private members matters This is the fourth issue he has raised in a row. There was one each before this from Abbott, Morrison and Brandt.

  127. Ringo is touring Australia. Last time he was here with the Beatles, he was egged by Bob Katter. Katter’s excuse at the time? He was making an intellectual protest against Beatlemania. Katter an intellectual? Ha ha ha ha ha.

    “I am the eggman,” said Katter.

  128. Two more Fairfax political writers jump by Michael Body, The Herald Sun.
    Taylor is hired as the online venture’s political editor and Murphy as deputy political editor for the digital edition of the

    UK newspaper in Australia. A press release confirmed Guardian Australia will “launch in the coming weeks”.
    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/…/story-e6frf7jo-1226575161457

    http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2013/02/10/Why-does-the-Coalition-choose-to-live-in-an-imaginary-world.aspx#id_8d1f0f2b-c918-41b6-9e20-b61b1d6f111d

  129. “………………Commonwealth Attorney-General Nicola Roxon’s decision to step down leaves some unfinished business for her successor Mark Dreyfus, including proposed changes to the Native Title Act (NTA).

    The Native Title Amendment Bill seeks to “streamline processes” for Indigenous Land Use Agreements, provides that in some circumstances parties may agree to disregard extinguishment, and sets out new provisions on “good faith” negotiation, with this last element likely to attract the most opposition.

    The amendments do not go as far as Greens Senator Rachel Siewart’s private bill from earlier last year, which contains some similar provisions but also proposes changes to the very narrow requirements for recognition of native title and explicitly provides that rights may be commercial in nature……..”

    http://newmatilda.com/2013/02/12/native-title-needs-good-faith

  130. “…………………….Brandis’ characterisation of the proposed good faith changes as having the potential to “significantly [rebalance] the negotiating position as between claimants and respondents, in particular by removing the obligation to negotiate in good faith which in our view would allow claimants to game the system”, is instructive on two counts.

    First, note the suspicion of any amendments which might actually benefit native title claimants, and the implication that such gains would be somehow illegitimate. Second, given the bill provides that all negotiation parties would still be obliged to negotiate in good faith, the Senator’s reference to a removal suggests that he has not yet read it very carefully.

    The right to negotiate, and the requirement that negotiations be in good faith, are not widely understood, and it is worth setting out these proposed changes and why they matter.

    Native title groups cannot veto activities on their claimed or determined land. Rather, with respect to certain acts, such as the grant of a mining lease, they have the right to negotiate. This right is burdened by limitations imposed by the NTA itself and the way in which it has been interpreted, but is one of the few things standing between native title parties and unfettered development, and provides a chance to influence both the direction that projects on their claimed land might take, and any compensation they might receive..”

    http://newmatilda.com/2013/02/12/native-title-needs-good-faith

    Yes, there is much more going on in this government than deficits and MRRT/

  131. George Brandis says regime installed by the Howard government doesn’t need change
    BY:EXCLUSIVE: PATRICIA KARVELAS From: The Australian February 06, 2013 12:00AM
    I

    THE Coalition will vote against Labor’s native title reforms, arguing Labor’s legislation will allow claimants to “game” a system that is not broken.

    Opposition legal affairs spokesman George Brandis says the regime installed by the Howard government in 1998 does not need to be changed.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/indigenous/george-brandis-says-regime-installed-by-the-howard-government-doesnt-need-change/story-fn9hm1pm-1226571158665

  132. Education bill being debated. Pyne attempted to get it postponed, without success. Has moved extensive amendments, which gives us some insight to at least one policy. Defending strongly the status quo.

  133. Meanwhile a new perspective on gillard’s vitriolic misogyny speech which got ten percent in comparison, coining a new phrase that gillard is ten cents in the dollar.

    Queensland teens’ viral dance The Harlem Shake generates 20 million hits on YouTube


  134. Australia’s greatest PM’s? Fisher, Curtin, Chifley and Whitlam.

    What is amazing about this collection. Why is it, that it is always Labor PM’s that come to mind. This is spite of the fact, the liberals have given us the longest serving PMs.

    “SINCE THE TIME of Federation Australia has had four great Prime Ministers: Andrew Fisher, John Curtin, Ben Chifley and Gough Whitlam.

    Is there anyone who could raise a rational argument against this point of view? Is there anyone who could raise a rational argument that the rest have been nonentities?

    Now, for the first time in Australia’s history there comes a woman with a chance to join the list above and truly define her own plans for the nation. Ether we trust her or we don’t. On their own past record, we cannot trust the Opposition.

    This is the challenge awaiting Julia Gillard in 2013. Is she up to it? She is not an Iron Lady like Margaret Thatcher of England, who bumbled her way through a series of disasters that everybody now regrets. Julia Gillard is a well-educated and determined woman, called by her own ambition to a mission that no other woman in Australian history has ever dared.

    The Labor Party’s history is one of perpetual challenge. Sometimes it has seemed to be its own worst enemy. It needs a strong leader.,,”

    http://www.independentaustralia.net/2013/politics/greatest-australian-prime-ministers/

  135. More positive news. Poor Mr Hockey.

    ……………Consumer confidence has risen to its highest level in just over two years, on a surge in optimism about the economy.

    The widely watched Westpac – Melbourne Institute consumer sentiment index rose 7.7 per cent in February to 108.3, the highest level since December 2010.

    An index level above 100 indicates that optimists outnumber pessimists………

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-02-13/consumer-confidence-jumps-to-two-year-high/4516242

  136. Yes, there are other things going on in the parliament besides those amazed that super profit based tax, collects nothing, when the super profits disappear.

    …………………………………..Prime Minister Julia Gillard has paid tribute to the courage her predecessor, Kevin Rudd, showed five years ago in apologising to the stolen generation.

    Speaking to the Act of Recognition of indigenous people on the anniversary of the apology, Ms Gillard said the Parliament was only able to consider constitutional change now because of Mr Rudd’s action.

    The recognition Bill is intended as a precursor for a referendum to remove racist elements of the constitution.

    Ms Gillard said while there was a decade of deliberation about the constitution, no indigenous people took part in its drafting.

    ‘They had no opportunity to vote for it, and yet all were affected by what it said and what it failed to say,’ she told Parliament.

    The Prime Minister said the current push for change shared the idealism and dreams of the successful 1967 referendum which allowed indigenous people to vote and be counted in the census.

    The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Recognition Bill 2012 has a two-year sunset clause as a way of ensuring it doesn’t replace constitutional change.

    ‘The Bill gives the Parliament some of the tools it will need to build the necessary momentum for constitutional change,’ Ms Gillard said………………

    http://www.skynews.com.au/national/article.aspx?id=845269&vId=3808320&cId=National

  137. Signs of things to come under Abbott.

    …..Angry protesters have turned their backs on the Northern Territory Chief Minister as he tried to explain dramatic funding and job cuts in the public service.

    More than 200 gathered on the steps of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly to rally against the government.

    Around 50 firefighters in uniform – around a quarter of all NT firefighters – waved placards at the rally.

    Many of the protesters turned their back on Chief Minister Terry Mills when he tried to explain the cuts.

    ‘As a fellow Australian – I respect your right to be here and express your point of view,” he told the crowd.

    ‘I and my team have made a decision to come here so we can hear your voices.

    ‘I would ask you to consider that there is more to this story than meets your eye – because sitting behind us is an issue that has taken a number of years to establish, and that is the cost of living … as well as the growth of debt in the Northern Territory.’

    Mr Mills ended his brief address – to booing and chanting – that he had heard the calls of firefighters, and would listen to them.

    A senior firefighter braved backlash from the government by speaking out against policy change at the rally…………………………

    http://www.skynews.com.au/national/article.aspx?id=845012&vId=3806701

  138. Why can we not have the PM, addressed as PM Gillard, not Ms. Gillard. PM is her correct title.

    Cannot remember, but did we get Mr. Howard, or PM Howard.

    It is like the word “madam” which the Speaker has asked to be dropped, it can be pronounced in a way, to put one down. In fact, some used the word to convey that message.

    Neither role, that of the speaker, of the Prime Ministership, do not need gender distinction.

  139. Yes, the country is indeed being bought to it’s knees.

    “…………….ASX200 passes 5000 and holds gains on CBA profit, consumer confidence
    BY:DAVID ROGERS From: Dow Jones Newswires February 13, 2013 5:31PM
    Increase Text Size
    Decrease Text Size
    Print

    THE stockmarket pushed past the key 5000 level for the first time in almost three years and stayed there, after strong earnings results and a surge in consumer confidence suggested deep interest-rate cuts were doing the job of bolstering the economy.

    Bank shares surged after Commonwealth Bank of Australia, or CBA, posted its half-year result – a record net profit of $3.66 billion – and gave a rosy outlook stateme………

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/markets/asx200-passes-5000-and-holds-gains-on-cba-profit-consumer-confidence/story-e6frg916-1226576885038

  140. Profit reporting season seem to be saying, our business is travelling well, like the economy.

    Record profits seem to be the norm.

  141. Cu, according to protocol, the Prime Minister may be addressed orally as either Prime Minister or Ms Gillard.

    Mind you I did have problems when I became the first woman chair-thingy. The term is Chairman. I thought that the alternatives offered as being a ChairPERSON or a Chair were kinda stupid. Chairperson? It definitely did not have a ring to it. I also decided no, I am definitely not a chair..a comfortably stuffed sofa maybe.. I eventually decided on being addressed as Madam Chairman.

  142. Min, I hare the word madam, which many have made sound like a derogatory term.

    I like the speakers answer better. Speaker, is all that is needed. Why does gender have to be noted. That is what Mr. Mrs. Ms and Miss does.. With women, it is not only gender bit their age and marital status.

  143. The death of an Australian/Israeli spy in a secure prison may lead to some questions within the Liberal Party to question the abilities MP Julie Bishop as their foreign affairs shadow minister. Especially the Liberal party heirarchy in Victoria. Have a read of this transcript from May 2010, then consider what is in the news today, that Zygier may have been about to tell about the use of Australian Passports.

    here is the full transcript http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2010/s2909112.htm

    Special emphasis:
    “JULIE BISHOP: There is no actual proof that the Israeli Government was involved. There is an assumption. And in the absence of actual proof I believe that the expulsion of a diplomat is either an overreaction or a calculated political decision.”

  144. Sue, I am doubtful whether J.Bishop has a clue about her own portfolio as after all she rarely comments on it..probably an excellent choice: never comment on something which you know so little about.

  145. That’s right Sue, MP Julie Bishop was given a briefing by Foreign Affairs, and then went and blabbed to the media.
    Is Bishop culpable in the death of Zygier?
    She has many questions to answer but given her comprehensive media coverup team, they won’t even be asked.

  146. Min

    trouble was Julie bishop as shadow FA was given a confidential briefing. she then broke protocol, went to the press and tried to make political mileage abt israeli/arab.

    “The Federal Government is furious with the Opposition’s foreign affairs spokeswoman Julie Bishop. It says she accepted a security briefing on the expulsion but ignored what she was told to accuse the Government of base political motives. The Foreign Minister Stephen Smith says he’s shocked by her statements and that Ms Bishop is not fit to occupy a position of trust.”

    Remember this is May 2010, and this was in the papers February 2010

    “ASIO is investigating at least three dual Australian-Israeli citizens whom it suspects of using Australian cover to spy for Israel”

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/world/asio-in-fresh-israel-spy-probe-20100226-p949.html#ixzz2KujZAe1p

    and Zygier was arrested February 2010
    “According to an unnamed Australian security official who spoke with Fairfax Media, Mr Zygier was arrested in February 2010 before he had the chance to disclose what he knew to the Australian government or the news media. ”
    http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/2013/02/15/06/53/zygier-planned-to-expose-israel-s-deadly-passport-plot

    This is what I am getting to Bishop either did not listen or was incapable of understanding the gravity of the briefing. Bishop should stand aside from foreign affairs portfolio.

  147. Julie Bishop claims Kevin Rudd has been keeping her informed on Foreign Affairs. Is Rudd running a protection racket for Bishop?

  148. Sue, I would suspect that J.Bishop did not understand the gravity of the briefing. This would be a common trait another example being when she was told specifically at diplomatic level that Indonesia would not be taking any returns, the boats which Abbott claims he will turn around. Bishop ignored the advice and persisted in running with the story.

  149. We hear nothing, but the bad week the PM has had. I must be seeing a different person. She has reign, in parliament, while Abbott parrots on about at he MRRT, a tax he did not want, saying it would destroy the industry, which it has not.

    A tax which is designed to collect from super profits, which are not there at this time. The Opposition has made a great noise about the spit prices on ore rising. One would then expect the future collections of this tax to be higher.

    The Tax, at the most is expected to raise 2 billion. I suspect this is only a small, Very small part of expected revenue.

    At the same time. All other announcements in relation to the economy have been positive. Even the MRRT appeared to be higher than expected before Christmas. I believe there was an improvement in the second quarter of last year.

    What have we had from Abbott, three leaked announcement of yes, discussion papers, papers that Abbott has disowned much of. Papers that make little sense.

    One hundred dams, that is not going to coast the government nothing. We have moved on from the magic pudding economics, into one I cannot think of a name for.

    We have watched the Opposition fight hard for the rights of the wealthy, throughout the week. That is whether it is the miners, education or super.

    We have seen unnecessary private members bills introduced to get at union members and further blacken the name of the P<. This in spite of the fact, that Shorten long ago, toughen the rules in this case. In spite of the fact that the present those union officials that allegedly have broken the law are facing jail
    sentences.

    We have Mr. Morrison private members bill, in relation to the asylums seekers. Demanding the PM already do, what she has done in a harsher way, re-introduce the Pacific solution.

    Today, Abbott said what he will cut, will be unpopular. Yes, he did mention much of what will need to be cut. He then said one word will fix things up. He is going to take us back to the wonderful years of growth during the Howard years.

    Funny, all I seem to remember is high personal debt and low growth.

    What little growth we did have, came from the Keating reforms.

    From what he said today, I would say, another feather int he PM's cap, for forcing him out into the open.

    Another interesting article.

    Which leaves just four in the grand final of Australia’s Got Prime Ministerial Talent – Curtin, Menzies, Hawke and Gillard. Now any of those would be a Winner you could argue for, give a standing ovation to, and I reckon you, my fellow judges, might easily disagree with me. Curtin is there because he seems by any measure one of the most decent, and was the only one faced with stopping Australia being invaded in wartime in face of the self-interest of UK and US. Menzies, not because I think much of him (or his over-rated wit), but because you simply can’t ignore 18 years in The job. Hawke, again not because I think much of him but because, in contrast to Whitlam, he put together an extraordinarily good team, arguably the best in Australian history, and kept the public and media onside

    But, drumroll, my Winner is, on the basis of consistent performance overall – Julia Gillard. Yes, I know, I was surprised too. I fed all the data back into my PM “Difference Engine” (the very latest from Mr Babbage), and waited while the cogs whirred and spun, differences calculated, levers pushed for carries. Yes, it was still Julia by a nose. Do the calculations yourself (and get Ms Lovelace to double check, be analytical) I am sure you will agree.."

    http://davidhortonsblog.com/

  150. So, what did the print-out show? That she’s really the only one who has had to deal with complex minority rule (Curtin did briefly in simpler circumstances). That she has had to deal with an Opposition determined to smash parliamentary conventions, and also in extraordinarily unprincipled moves force out two members of parliament to try to destroy the majority.

    She has had other problems shared with other PMs, for example family difficulties (eg Hawke, Chifley), a persistent rival (again Hawke, plus Howard, Gorton), virulent press opposition (Whitlam, Keating, but I’ll come back to this), difficult world financial circumstances (Keating, Hawke, Rudd, Chifley), but no one else has faced them all simultaneously. Nor carried them off while remaining calm and pleasant and working well with all her colleagues except her predecessor and several of his supporters, and succeed in passing record amounts of legislation, much of great importance (carbon price, NBN). A number of them have given fine speeches, but none perhaps as significant as Gillard’s now world famous “misogyny speech”, the response to the constant nasty misogyny from the Opposition, outraged that a woman dared to be in charge.

    Oh, look, I am no longer the starry-eyed boy who has political heroes like I once did (Jim Cairns, JFK). Julia Gillard is no Chifley or Whitlam in terms of Labor values. Her lack of interest in environmental matters is stunning. Her approach to asylum seekers leaves Fraser gasping. Her hard line on unemployed and single parents would have had her thrown out of Chifley’s cabinet. Her unconscionable pursuit of the Religious Right, in such matters as same sex marriage and school chaplains must have Whitlam and Hawke shaking heads. And so on and so on. Some of that has been forced on her by circumstances, some seems to be flaws in her thinking. But then all of them have had flaws of various kinds. If there is to be the perfect PM we haven’t quite found him or her yet.

    So, best PM in 70 years, but there is another unique feature that distinguishes Ms Gillard from all her predecessors. No, not the size of her ear lobes, her hair colour, her clothes, her voice, her glasses. Give in? She has been subject to more personal abuse, vilification, hatred, death threats, than all of her predecessors put together.

    At the same time she has been subject to the most one-sided unfair media coverage and constant virulent media attacks we have ever seen. The move by John Howard to not merely “neutralise” the ABC, but move it so far to the Right as to be able to run in harness with News Ltd has been decisive. As has the role of other media barons, their tame shock jocks, and their supportive “think tanks”. Not a government decision goes damningly uncritised, not a move is fairly reported, not a motive nastily unquestioned, not a fake leadership challenge left unturned. At the same time, the most incompetent, secretive, and low target Opposition in our history, has been not only left unchallenged, unquestioned, but praised in glowing terms, given dream runs, soft interviews, prominent soapboxes, on media outlets.

    Both media and Opposition are determined to remove a vaguely left wing government and replace it with a hard right one which will undo all the advances Gillard has made and turn Australia into a ground as fertile for big business profit as America. If they succeed, and I reckon the chances are they will, then the baker’s dozen will end with her, a unique sequence come to an end. If Tony Abbott seizes the top job, then we will have not only taken on Tea Party politics from America, but their roller coaster leadership sequence in which some excellent, or at least above average, Presidents, can be succeeded by real dickheads, people who struggle to read a children’s book about a pet goat.

    Anyway, over to you. Have I gilded the lily, overegged the pudding?

    http://davidhortonsblog.com/

  151. Expect Abbott to be out shouting from the housetops. That extending HP vaccine to young boys will lead to them being prematurely sexually active. Wonder if he ever allowed his daughters to be vaccinated.

  152. Would love to remind Mr.. Abbott, that WorkChoices did not improve productivity.

    I believe the greatest productivity rises occurred in the Hawke/Keating days, in the days of the Accord, where unions and bosses pulled together.

    One thing noticed during the GFC, was the bosses reluctance to shed jobs, and the workers flexibility in allowing them to be kept on. Yes both pulled together.

    I would also point out to Mr. Abbott, that a decade or more, across the western world, of removing benefits from the lower incomes, and decreasing the tax on higher incomes, have not led to the nirvana he promises. It has had the opposite effect.

    Did I hear Mr. Abbott say during that speech this morning, that he asked his advisers what he should say. He then said they handed him a bit of paper, with one word. Productivity. So, I take it from his own mouth, is is still about sticking to the script.

    It is a worry, when one who wants to be PM. has to ask what words he should used.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-02-15/abbott-hitches-coalitions-economic-strategy-to-growth/4520876

  153. Sorry, the words he used was “growth” You know what we had under Howard. Not as I believed. high personal debt and low productivity, leaving behind structural deficits in the budget.

  154. Trial on hold over legal aid row
    By court reporter Sarah Farnsworth
    Updated 5 minutes ago

    PHOTO: The trial has been adjourned indefinitely. (7pm TV News VIC)
    RELATED STORY: Law Institute intervenes in legal aid dispute
    MAP: Melbourne 3000
    A Supreme Court judge has put an attempted murder trial on hold because of cost cutting at Victoria Legal Aid.

    In an unusual move, Justice Lex Lasry has ruled the trial cannot go ahead until the man’s defence team gets a full-time solicitor.

    Victoria Legal Aid has restricted its funding for criminal trials to a barrister and an instructing solicitor for two half-days after recording a $3 million deficit last financial year.

    The barrister for the accused, who cannot be named for legal reasons, argued his client would not get a fair trial under the current arrangements.

    He argued the man,……………………….

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-02-15/trial-put-on-hold-over-legal-aid-row/4521058………………………………

  155. Min,he did say, he would not allow his daughters to be vaccinated, if my memory is correct.

    At least the lovely Mirrabella is being asked questions.

  156. First lie. We are facing the biggest deficit this country has ever faced. No, we are not, the size of the deficit has been coming down.

    The peak has been reached, the size of deficit is narrowing.

  157. Please Mr. Dutton, let us in on your secret, when the states continue to cut, as the Feds increase spending?

    …………..The Australian Medical Association (AMA) says hospital performance has not improved, despite a 10 per cent increase in federal funding between 2008 and 2011.

    The AMA’s latest snapshot of hospital performance found about a third of patients in emergency departments are not seen within a half-an-hour target, and the number of beds has remained the same despite increasing demand.

    It says elective surgery waiting times have increased, with patients waiting an average of 36 days last financial year, up from 27 days a decade ago.

    AMA vice-president Professor Geoffrey Dobb says health reform in Australia has stalled.

    “What we need is a re-energising of health in Australia and the resources to do it,” he said.

    “The AMA have said that we need more beds, every health worker knows that we need more beds.

    “We now have a once in a generation opportunity to provide those beds because we have enough doctors and enough nurses to staff them.”

    Professor Dobb says the blame game continues between the Commonwealth and the states.

    Federal Opposition health spokesman Peter Dutton says increased funding has not been spent in the best interests of patients.

    “The Coalition would not prioritise bureaucrats ahead of beds and patients,” he said.

    “The Coalition wants to make sure we get money into elective surgery, that we can reduce waiting times in emergency departments, make it easier to see a GP.”

    Federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek says the Commonwealth’s extra investment has made a difference in the health system…….

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-02-15/ama-says-hospitals-missing-targets-despite-more-money/4521902

  158. Who says so? Wonder how hard would this MP fight to keep his own out of jail?

    ….. A Northern Territory Government politician says some Aboriginal people support imprisonment because jail gets the younger generations sober, fed and keeps them safe.

    Overnight, the Legislative Assembly passed amendments to the NT Sentencing Act, allowing for mandatory sentencing of violent offenders.

    Labor opposed the bill and raised concerns it would continue to see Indigenous people locked up at an alarming rate………….

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-02-15/bess-price-jail-is-good-for-you-nt/4521152

  159. This one could be interesting. Wonder if Pandoras box will be opened.

    Do we have 7 state crowns, along with one federal. Or did the fed crown override the states..

    One never knows where these case end up.

    …………………….Julia Gillard to fight Andrew Forrest’s court move on MRRT
    BY:ANDREW BURRELL AND MICHAEL MCKENNA From: The Australian February
    THE Gillard government will defend a High Court challenge to its mining tax next month by arguing that the states are free to alter their royalty rates — despite Wayne Swan’s threats to slash funding to states that hike mining royalties.

    In documents lodged in the High Court in response to a challenge by Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Metals Group, the government rejects the miner’s key claim that the minerals resource rent tax is unconstitutional because it is levied on miners unequally between states.

    The legal moves come as Julia Gillard faces growing pressure from the Greens and independents to abandon her agreement with miners under which royalties can be deducted from a company’s MRRT liability.

    And in a reprise of the Treasurer’s war against Mr Forrest, the government submission suggests the High Court should see the challenge as an example of Fortescue attempting to evade paying the MRRT.

    “In the end, this case should be seen for what it is,” the submission says. “The plaintiffs do not like the MRRT Act because they may have to pay more for the ability to harness above-normal profits from carrying on mining in Australia.”……..

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/julia-gillard-to-fight-andrew-forrests-court-move-on-mrrt/story-fn59niix-1226578255032

  160. seen this on Laurie Oakes. A car pulled up left Tony out and remained there for the whole stunt. High level police were present. One high ranking officer campaigned for Tony.

    Not too sure what one should be more angry about. Breaking the law in parking one’s car or NSW police being rolled put to campaign on behalf of the coalition.

  161. Oh, Abbott was there to talk about law and order, It appears the PM is to blame for the increase in NSW.

  162. CU
    I didn’t see the press stunt, however i was told about the police helping out. why did the police let abbott park in disabled spot, that should require an explanation.
    says a lot about “liberal” law and order.

  163. Come to think of it, that is where the police were standing when they pulled up. I suspect there was available legal parking nearby.

    What is amazing, that the likes of Oakes and The Project are reporting such behaviour. Would have like to see that video go further, as one on Nine did.

  164. Robert Oakeshott MP
    ‏@OakeyMP
    nationals candidate in lyne today said the June 2013 rise in tax-free threshold will “make people worse off”. ABC radio this morni

    ?uid=17353325&iid=f28c9a9d-212e-4513-8bc8-f07dc9564159&nid=12+138+20130215

    How can this be so.

  165. Details
    15 Feb Shane Wright ‏@swrightwestoz
    @OakeyMP I have to ask. How does lifting the threshold make people worse off?
    Details Reply Retweet Favorite More
    15 Feb Robert Oakeshott MP ‏@OakeyMP
    @BernardKeane Our figures for Lyne: 31,000 receive a benefit between $3 and $600 per annum. 4,000 removed from tax system altogether.(2/2)
    Details
    15 Feb Nellie ‏@woolkebb
    @OakeyMP @BernardKeane this MUST be fact checked and challenged immediately on ABC Mid-North Coast radio
    Details

    ?uid=17353325&iid=f28c9a9d-212e-4513-8bc8-f07dc9564159&nid=12+138+20130215

  166. Robert Oakeshott MP ‏@OakeyMP
    @sallie6youtube + 4 the regions,they also said this week they will remove uniform wholesale pricing in NBN. Increased cost to internet

  167. Breaking the law in parking one’s car or NSW police being rolled put to campaign on behalf of the coalition.

    Not the same police that decided to VERY publicly arrest Thom(p)son just as tabot was failing to answer questions?

    Something is rotten in the state of Australia.

    Can you imagine the outrage if this ad been the PM’s car?

  168. “Like many people, I am appalled at the hypocrisy of Tony Abbott and the LNP.

    His three word slogans are designed to brainwash, not to inform, but when he holds up Howard’s time as a golden age and then sloganeers “Stop the waste”, you should know that the man (?) just isn’t serious, and his slogans are just that (slogans) and nothing more! But taking my lead from Abbott, here is my own three-word slogan: Stop the Abbott”

    http://michaelsmithnews.typepad.com/.a/6a0177444b0c2e970d017ee88eda59970d-pi
    I guess that makes two word slogans OK…

  169. Dad & Dave saw an ad in the daily newspaper and bought a mule for $100.

    The farmer agreed to deliver the mule the next day.

    The next morning the farmer drove up and said, “Sorry, fellows, I have some bad news, the mule died last night.”

    Dad & Dave replied, “Well, then just give us our money back.”

    The farmer said, “Can’t do that. I went and spent it already.”

    They said, “OK then just bring us the dead mule.”

    The farmer asked, “What in the world ya’ll gonna do with a dead mule?”

    Dad said, “We’re gonna raffle him off.”

    The farmer said, “You can’t raffle off a dead mule!”

    Dad said, “We shore can! Heck, we don’t hafta tell nobody he’s dead!”

    A couple of weeks later, the farmer ran into Dad & Dave at the local grocery store and asked.

    “What’d you fellers ever do with that dead mule?”

    They said, “We raffled him off like we said we wuz gonna do.”

    Dad said, “Hell, we sold 500 tickets fer two dollars apiece and made a profit of $898.”

    The farmer said, “My Lord, didn’t anyone complain?”

    Dave said, “Well, the feller who won got upset. So we gave him his two dollars back.”

    Dad & Dave now work for the Gillard government.

    They’re financial advisers to Wayne Swan Australia’s finance minister.

  170. WHEN governments stuff up in a democracy we think the solution is obvious: toss ‘em out and give the other lot a go. But if you want a democracy that also delivers good government, it ain’t that simple.
    For too long, the private partisanship of those who want to see good economic policy lead to good economic outcomes has blinded us to an obvious truth: if you look back at the reform we’ve implemented, you find almost all of it happened because it had the support of both sides.
    It’s been too easily forgotten that all the potentially hugely controversial reforms of the Hawke-Keating government – deregulating the financial system, floating the dollar, phasing out protection and moving to enterprise bargaining – were supported by the Coalition.
    Amazingly, the last big move to slash protection came during the depths of the recession of the early 1990s, when unemployment was on its way to 11 per cent. Dr John Hewson’s big criticism was that Labor should have been bolder.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/abbott-must-share-the-blame-for-tax-stuffup-20130217-2el60.html#ixzz2LEHREPHj

  171. tree, at least they did make money. Is not what capitalism is about.

    Did not know that many from Abbott’s camp worried about the means.

    Are you sure you have the party correct. Sounds more like Abbott’s fantasy economics.

  172. Another Abbott policy found wanting.

    Chaos: Coalition a total shambles on NBN policy

    opinion Up until now, I’ve been willing to give the Coalition the benefit of the doubt when it comes to national broadband policy, due primarily to the intelligence and experience of its Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull. But events last week starkly demonstrated the Coalition is currently a complete mess when it comes to this critical portfolio.

    Regular readers of Delimiter will know that while I have long had doubts about the Coalition’s alternative vision to Labor’s flagship National Broadband Network, I have also been willing to acknowledge some of its strengths.

    When Turnbull first substantially detailed the Coalition’s rival NBN vision in a major speech to the National Press Club in August 2011, I wrote that the policy was “90 percent” win, as it outlined a “credible, fiscally responsible and less disruptive” alternative to Labor’s big-spending NBN vision.

    In December I wrote that although Labor’s NBN vision was still fundamentally a better policy, the Coalition’s alternative still represented a “solid, workable and achievable broadband policy”. And just a fortnight ago, as Opposition Leader Tony Abbott firmed in his support for Turnbull’s fibre to the node-based policy and virtually confirmed the Member for Wentworth as his future Communications Minister, I praised Turnbull’s “tenacity, intellectualism and continued engagement with the telecommunications industry over the NBN”.

    But what a difference two weeks can make.

    Two weeks ago, from an outside perspective, the Coalition more or less appeared to have overcome the internal disagreements which have plagued Tony Abbott’s front bench about the future of the NBN. Turnbull’s vision of an expedited, more inexpensive upgrade of Telstra’s copper network to fibre to the node technology, using the bones of NBN Co to do so, and maintaining existing HFC cable infrastructure as well as much of the satellite and wireless components of the NBN, appeared to have gained ascendancy over the “demolish the NBN”, “white elephant” rhetoric of less technically minded Coalition politicians such as Abbott and Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey.

    Today, we’re right back where we started: In complete chaos. Turnbull is demonstrating his technical and commercial ineptitude by pitching a technology to the electorate which most Australians have considered deprecated for most of the past decade, and Abbott is back on the bandwagon about how expensive the NBN “white elephant” is, despite the fact that it is actually slated to deliver the Government a long-term return on its investment.

    Last Thursday, Turnbull gave what most in the telecommunications industry would consider an extremely disturbing interview which called into question the whole basis of what many had believed to be an increasingly stable and coherent Coalition NBN policy. Earlier that same day, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy had raised the troubling question of whether Turnbull’s fibre to the node upgrade policy would initially ignore vast swathes of metropolitan Australia which are already covered by the HFC cable networks operated by Telstra and Optus; infrastructure which few use due to the difficulty, often impossibility, of getting it connected and its inferior technical nature.

    In an interview with Lateline that night, Turnbull naively played right into Conroy’s hands; confirming these areas would be initially ignored by the Coalition’s fibre to the node vision, and even going so far as to appearing to raise the question of whether those areas would receive the fibre to the node upgrade at all; effectively meaning that up to a third of the electorate would remain locked on existing HFC cable and copper (ADSL) broadband with no future upgrade path at all from what they currently have.

    Turnbull’s comments rightly caused instant uproar in the telecommunications sector.

    The Competitive Carrier’s Coalition — representing most of the non-Telstra carriers — demanded Turnbull abandon what it described as his “HFC fantasy”, criticising it on commercial and technical grounds, as well as the long-term interests of consumers. ““These comments ignore the reality that such a proposal would mean that for 30 percent of the population there would be no effective competitive broadband market.” said Matt Healy.”

    The condemnation of Turnbull’s plan extended online, where hundreds of Australians published comments on media outlets such as Delimiter, broadband forums such as Whirlpool and even on Turnbull’s own site, condemning the Shadow Communications Minister’s comments and highlighting the fact that for much of the electorate, Turnbull’s approach would mean little to no improvement on their current broadband situation under a Coalition Government.

    Then there are the inconsistencies within Turnbull’s Lateline interview itself……………………………….

    http://delimiter.com.au/2013/02/18/chaos-coalition-a-total-shambles-on-nbn-policy/

  173. ……………There is also Turnbull’s claim that NBN Co is not prioritising its rollout on “the neediest areas”, despite the fact that NBN Co is prioritising rural and regional areas first in its rollout, through Australia-wide satellite access and wireless services in certain areas, as well as its ‘outside-in’ rollout structure agreed upon with the Independents at the 2010 Federal Election, and its explicit focus on broadband-starved areas such as Tasmania and the Canberran suburb of Gungahlin.

    So while Turnbull was sticking his foot in his mouth, pushing deprecated and unpopular technologies and ignoring commercial and technical reality last week, what was Tony Abbott doing?

    As many readers have already noted, Abbott was back on the campaign trail making misleading statements about the NBN’s finances. “If we don’t go ahead with the National Broadband Network in its current form, that’s about $50 billion less that the Commonwealth will need to borrow,” said Abbott in a major speech to the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia. “So, we will get government spending sustainably down and most importantly, ladies and gentlemen, we will get productivity up.”

    And on ABC Radio, Abbott said: “Obviously I don’t think we need to borrow as much as the current government is borrowing for the National Broadband Network. I think we can get faster broadband, more accessible broadband without doing all of this. We are planning to give people faster broadband much more quickly and much more affordably than is the case under the NBN. The thing about the NBN is that it’s not really a broadband project, it’s a infrastructure project, which basically involves digging up every street to put fibre to the home. Now fibre’s a very important part of our communications system. You don’t need fibre to just about every home to have a better broadband system than we’ve got now.”

    Once again, Abbott was back on the same bandwagon last week. Claiming that cutting the NBN can save money, despite the fact that the NBN is currently on track to make a modest return on the government’s capital investment in it. Labelling NBN funds as “spending”, despite the fact that accounting standard account for those funds as an investment; a completely different class of money. Claiming that consumers will pay more to use the NBN, when there is so far no evidence for the claim. Claiming that the construction of the NBN will involve “digging up every street”, despite the fact that NBN Co has signed a deal to re-use Telstra’s existing pits, ducts and pipes for its fibre infrastructure…………………………………………

    http://delimiter.com.au/2013/02/18/chaos-coalition-a-total-shambles-on-nbn-policy/

  174. Turnbull I think has kicked an own goal here.

    Turnbull supports user-pays fibre NBN

    Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said that he would support a scheme where users on a fibre-to-the-node National Broadband Network (NBN) could pay to get their premise upgraded to fibre.

    Turnbull made the comments following a speech at Kickstart 2013 on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, this morning. He pointed to BT’s fibre-to-the-cabinet, fibre-to-the-premise (FttP) mixed network in the UK currently trialling extending fibre out to premises under the FttC rollout to customers who are willing to pay for the privilege. Turnbull said that he would support the same proposal for an NBN network under the Coalition.

  175. Yes Paul, another policy that shows they know what they are doing.]

    is that three out of three this week. No I believe it is four. Forgot about Direct Action which Hint had problems selling last night.

  176. So this is another plan, the people who have the money can have internet, the poor who cannot afford to get connected get left behind again.

  177. Qld premier hits back in Caltabiano row

    Caltabiano is suing for unfair dismissal as well. A Liberal using a long standing Labor IR rule that the Liberals have constantly attacked since its inception.

    Now there’s Schadenfreude.

    the wheels keep falling off the Newman government and you must remember that this is a government fully endorses and has stated wants to follow.

  178. HE, hear the ABC 24 news. Ir appears the PM is on the way out.

    They even manage to have Maxine McKew on the Drum, Now there is a great friend of the PMs, She performed as one who is never going to give up a grudge.

    Just like a couple on these sites.

    The Drum could not have done a better hatchet job on the PM, if they set out deliberately to do it.

  179. Obviously does not have a clue about the economic cycle. Remember clowns like you saying the economy was tanking only a few months ago when I mentioned it was starting to pick up.

    You were blaming the Qld Government and the coalition when anybody with a clue would understand that the economy is not influenced by governments. As a so called economic junkie you have not surpassed the BEX stage…no appreciation of how the game is played!

  180. In contrast, they are giving Abbott a dream run, They are using what Milne said to the hilt.

    It is time to sell off the ABC.,Will help fill that black hole in the budget. It is not much good for anything else.

  181. ‘No, cos that’s just what they want. It just needs to adhere to its charter’

    Fat chance of that happening any time soon.

  182. CU,

    Those august institutions only have the influence they do within Aunty due to the management, starting at the top with Mr Scott.

  183. BTW, did I mention I’m pissed?

    You did appear to be more lucid than usual Migs. I wondered what the explanation might be.

  184. Is this a sign of the times. We not only get Abbott, we also see the rebirth of the DLP. Talk about a trip down memory lane. Not surprising when one recalls that his mentor was Mr. Santamaria.

    “Mr Tony Abbott becomes Prime Minister, what sort of Senate he has will be crucial for handling the carbon tax and much else. At present the Greens have the sole balance of power but if there was a strong swing to the conservatives, right-leaning senators John Madigan and Nick Xenophon could become key players.

    Madigan, from Victoria, is the first DLP senator since the party was swept from federal parliament in 1974. Elected in 2010, he is a fixture for the coming term. If he found himself with a share of power, how might he seek to use it? A speech he will deliver tonight at the Sydney Institute titled “Integrity in Politics” may give the Liberals some food for thought and Labor some potential ammunition.

    Madigan takes an uncompromising pro-life position. He does not believe in abortion even after rape. He is scathing in his speech about politicians who fail to follow their conscience.

    “There is more to me and the DLP than [the pro-life] issue but… it is an issue I will not shy away from”, he declares in the address.

    “For those…”

    http://theconversation.edu.au/abortion-hardliner-could-pose-problems-for-abbott-12281?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+20+February+2013&utm_content=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+20+February+2013+CID_3b9ff6886bfc47740983c3b4dcbdc2dd&utm_source=campaign_monitor&utm_term=Abortion%20hardliner%20could%20pose%20problems%20for%20Abbott

  185. After years of stonewalling, and having failed at the his core job description, turnbull now has the absolute balls to argue this

    ”You go out to the Coolum Industrial Park [on the Sunshine Coast] and ask them how they feel about waiting five or six years. That park could be empty by then if there’s no broadband upgrade.”

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/government-it/too-slow-coalition-will-accelerate-nbn-roll-out-says-turnbull-20130219-2eon6.html#ixzz2LNi3adPc

    ROFL, the roll out it too slow. Yea, better get it done before abbott gets his hands on treasury, cos that’s when it stops.

    I also note that his latest brain fart on their latest change to their ‘plan’ is to ignore HFC rollout areas, falsely claiming that it is ‘good enough’.

    http://www.technologyspectator.com.au/turnbulls-hfc-folly

    Now, I’m not up on this completely, but it is my understanding that Foxtel runs on HFC. So, in other words, is the libs plan to basically protect Foxtel from the NBN for all of those places unfortunate enough to already have it?

    Protecting murdochs interests, that’s the libs for you. It’s the least they can do after all murdochs done for them.

  186. I thought the miners always win. Looks like their luck might be changimg.

    .Australia: Federal Court win by Yindjibarndi means Fortescue must negotiate with them
    On Tuesday February 12, the (YAC) won a huge outcome in the Federal Court with Justice Neil Kerracher stating that only the YAC are authorised to negotiate with mining companies over certain Yindjibarndi Country. The claim area includes the vacant Crown land where Fortescue Metals Group is developing the Firetail mine site.

    This is a massive blow to Fortescue who have been securing access to the site through the controversial Wirlu-murra Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation (WMYAC) which is not a federally prescribed negotiating body and which was allegedly contrived into existence by Fortescue and who are funded by Fortescue, which Fortescue admits.

    Justice Kerracher’s decision has changed the Native Title …………..
    http://intercontinentalcry.org/?wysija-page=1&controller=email&action=view&email_id=195&wysijap=subscriptions

  187. Not to mention Tom R that speeding up the roll out will significantly increase the cost, something the Coalition and especially Turnbull have been railing against from the start.

    Seems they want to have their cake and eat it too, yet somehow this is all going to cost less and the $100+ billion in unfunded liabilities can all be paid for by sacking 16,000 public servants.

  188. yet somehow this is all going to cost less

    I don’t argue that it would cost less, when you consider that they are now planning to not deliver it to anywhere under Foxtels existing footprint.

    But I’ll bet that the bits they do will cost a hell of a lot more than what those bits will currently cost under the existing plan.

    And I’ll also bet that no MSM will pick up on it (although the ABC have been pretty good in their technology section. Why do they not link to that when they spout turnbulls rhetoric?)

  189. Not everyone has jumped the ship. Would not have the Greens moved away at this time anyway. It was never an alliance, but an agreement. Most of what was agreed to has been dealt with.

    KEY Independent MP Tony Windsor has declared he will remain formally tied to Labor through to the election, as business groups attack the Greens for accusing them of controlling the parliament.

    Mr Windsor said he expected the Greens to eventually make the announcement to end its formal alliance with Labor, “otherwise they were going to have to marry each other”.

    But he said he did not feel the need to do the same, as he had freedom in his agreement with Prime Minister Julia Gillard to vote on individual bills while supporting the government.

    Fellow NSW independent Rob Oakeshott did not return call

    http://www.news.com.au/national/windsor-sticks-by-labor-as-greens-jump/story-fncynjr2-1226581414591

  190. Well, it appears that, after threatening, promising, declaring and demanding that the PM be replaced/stand down, it has come to pleading. Anything in order to try and prove that THEY WERE RIGHT ALL ALONG

    Take this chance to end the grieving over your dream of what Australia could have been had you managed just a few extra months.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/dear-julia-its-time-for-a-dignified-exit-speech-20130219-2epdo.html#ixzz2LOHfPfJ9

    it is absolute drivel, and it is a glaring example of what is wrong with the msm

  191. This is what one gets, when you leaver broadband up to the markets, Did not Howard have up to 14 failed attempts before being thrown out. Labor soon woke up when it’s first attempt failed.
    Unlike the USA, we are not going backwards.; Well at least while Labor remains in power, we will not,

    “……………..here have been some interesting discussions recently regarding the status of broadband in the USA.

    On the one hand there are those who maintain that most people have access to high-speed networks, in particular HFC services based on the DOCSIS 3.0 standard. Theoretically, the standard can deliver speeds of 100Mb/s, or higher, but in practice most customers subscribe to, or have access to, far lower speeds.

    On the other hand, people point to the semi-monopolistic position of the cable companies that is keeping prices high and hampering innovation, and to the relatively large number of Americans who do not have access to good quality – let alone high-speed – broadband.

    In many situations, therefore, the issue is less about theoretical access than affordability. In most cases high-speed services of between 25Mb/s and 50Mb/s – if they are made available at all by the providers – are relatively expensive (between $50 and $100 per month) and the majority of Americans cannot afford those prices. At the same time, one can question whether at this stage there is actually a demand for such high-speed services………………………”

    http://www.technologyspectator.com.au/us-broadband-story

  192. wixxy has reminded us that the problems asylum seekers are facing still needs to be addressed.

    We need to remind ourselves, that it was this disaster that led to the PM taking the action she did.

    It is time all were bough back to the negotiation table. The present situation cannot be allowed to continue.

    …………………..We hear the slogans like “Stop The Boats”, we hear the terms like “queue jumpers” and the completely false and deliberately misleading “illegal arrivals”. We hear the politicians on all sides accuse the others, all pointing the fingers of blame.

    Unfortunately, what we don’t seem to see in the papers, see on the news, or hear the politicians tell us are all the facts, only what suits their spin. This is true of all political parties.

    We all know that the boats are leaving from Indonesia to come here, we hear about it every time that Tony Abbott forgets to mention to Indonesian politicians his plans to break international laws and turn boats back……………………..

    http://wixxyleaks.com/2013/02/20/learnt-my-lesson-well-2/#comments

  193. Tom R, thanks for that link. That Jannette Cotterell is some shifty Abbott sympathizer. Good on the mediator for exposing her as one of the “Election now!” crowd. Her comments should have been written down, because they need to be picked apart and analysed piece for piece for the slimy bullshit that it is.

    PS She is married to Glenn Milne. Ba ha ha ha ha.

  194. Fed up, I do not think that Milne has the political nous of Bob Brown..the ability to see the big picture. Milne might think that as Labor is a sinking ship that she might pick up votes by disassociating the Greens with Labor, however there is the saying who is not with us is against us. Therefore the thought comes to mind, what do the Greens think that they’re going to gain by siding with Tony Abbott?

  195. Min, I think she might believe she is wedging the PM. Not even Abbott has been able to do that.

    It is time for them to move away from one another.

    It was never an alliance as some try to make out. It was an agreement, that enable the PM to govern, in exchange for certain policies being introduced

    Most issues have be addressed. Milne is not moving away from her agreement to support the budget bills, enabling the PM to go full term.

    That is how Fraser bought Whitlam down. It would not matter now if she reneged on the deal. The process would take the government nearly to the planned day anyway. I also believe that Mr. Frazer bought in legislation to make it harder to do so, I am sure this government has a plan B if it did occur,

    I do hope that the senate enquiry goes ahead on how the MRRT came in to being. Swan does not seem to worried. Might even clear the air, as far as Labor is concerned occur. No, Milne is just making some noise, to make out she is being tough. Just politics.

    I

  196. I do hope that the senate enquiry goes ahead on how the MRRT came in to being.

    That would actually prove interesting. It might remind voters, who are now (apparently) angry that the miners haven’t paid enough, of the rabid campaign of lies and intimidation run by the miners, the liberal party and the media, and which might explain why we ended up with a less than perfect outcome.

    But, we had an outcome, which alone is better than no outcome.

    I also wonder of the headlines should the MRRT have raised its projected value, and then all of the bad news of losses etc being shown by miners now have come about.

    Pretty sure where the blame for their losses would have landed then ;)

  197. “The Liberal campaign in WA has been a chaotic mess, with Colin Barnett’s Labor challenger Mark McGowan running well. Think the Liberals will be handily re-elected? Look closer.”

    The wheels are falling off every State Liberal government, as they always do, and the result?

    Long term Labor governments that because of their longevity become incompetent after good starts. Yet despite their growing failures people are reluctant to vote Liberal on the memory of the damage they last did in power. It takes a fairly long time for the memory to fade and a concerted media propaganda campaign to get them in, but once in they immediately fall back into their ingrained slash, burn and screw the people ways whilst feathering their own nests and helping the wealthy mates who supported them into power.

  198. Let’s see all of the doomsayers come out of hiding now after going off half cocked. Actually, pretty sure this will be kept real quiet

    ”People are screaming that the revised tax is a disaster because it has hardly raised any money. But they would have been screaming more if we had the original tax – it would have cost the government money,” Mr Richardson said. ”Much of the bad press about the revised tax has been overdone. Yes, it was a hurried compromise, but any super profits tax would be struggling to make money at the moment because the miners aren’t making super profits.

    …….

    ”Over the long term the original tax would have raised more than the redesigned one, there’s no doubt about that. For one thing, it had a higher rate,” he said. ”But the revenue would have been more variable. Right now, the government would have been helping miners out.”

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/original-mining-tax-would-cost-billions-20130220-2erqk.html#ixzz2LTXzFj46

  199. That’s always been my point Fed up and why I never ever bought into the Rudd return argument. Even if on the very long shot he won his challenge he would be in all kinds of shit now with the media and the opposition pounding him.

    Labor never seriously considered that returning Rudd would magically have the media become benevolent to them and turn their attention to Abbott’s considerable failings. It was never going to happen plus the media would have the added attack of Labor ousting a leader and then reinstating them.

  200. Now NSW is nowhere near as bad as Queensland yet in incompetency and failing government but give it time. Then imagine this multiplied when Abbott gets in and you will have a real incompetent Federal government not a projected by the Right one.

    Something Stupid

  201. Nothing like a few facts to throw light on most matters.

    “…………….Original mining tax ‘would cost billions’
    Date
    February 21, 2013

    Greens funding threat
    Greens issue threat over mining tax. Greens Senator Larissa Waters and Nationals Senator Fiona Nash discuss government instability.
    Autoplay ONOFFVideo feedbackVideo settings
    Collapsing commodity prices have hit BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto so badly that if the government had stuck with the original version of its mining tax, it would be up for billions.

    BHP’s profit has more than halved. Rio has lost $3 billion. Under either version of the super profits tax, they would owe the government nothing.

    Any super profits tax would be struggling to make money at the moment because the miners aren’t making super profits.

    But under the tax originally proposed by Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan they and other mining companies would also be entitled to a refund of the royalties they had already paid state governments.

    In Western Australia alone, iron ore royalty payments amount to $4 billion a year. This would have been paid to the companies whether or not they owed any super profits tax, meaning they would have received a cheque from the government.

    Advertisement
    ”Would the government have been worse off in the past six months with the original resource super profits tax? Yes. That’s a big fat yes,” said Chris Richardson, a former Treasury economist now at Deloitte Access.

    The tax was revised after Mr Rudd lost the prime ministership in a cabinet room negotiation between the heads of the three big mining companies, the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, the Treasurer, Mr Swan, and the Resources Minister, Martin Ferguson.

    ”People are screaming that the revised tax is a disaster because it has hardly raised any money. But they would have been screaming more if we had the original tax – it would have cost the government money,” Mr Richardson said. ”Much of the bad press about the revised tax has been overdone. Yes, it was a hurried compromise, but any super profits tax would be struggling to make money at the moment because the miners aren’t making super profits.”

    Mr Richardson is quick to point out that the unconditional refund of state royalties wasn’t a design fault of the original tax, it was a design feature. The original tax was intended to make things easier for miners in bad times and to grab more of their cream when times turned good. It was announced at a time when they had plenty of cream. In May 2010, the iron ore price was $US160 a tonne. By September last year it had fallen to $US86 a tonne.

    ”It wasn’t just that prices collapsed, it was that the dollar held up as well,” Mr Richardson says. ”Miners were hit both ways. But since then, prices have climbed back. We are about to enter a phase where the original tax probably would have raised the government more money than the redesigned one. I am not quite sure that we are there yet, but we are getting there.”

    The minerals resource rent tax raised just $126 million in its first six months and is not expected to make anywhere near the $2 billion the government forecast, but Mr Richardson said the rise in the iron ore price meant the government should make more in the second half of the financial year, bringing the total earnings to about $700 million.

    ”Over the long term the original tax would have raised more than the redesigned one, there’s no doubt about that. For one thing, it had a higher rate,” he said. ”But the revenue would have been more variable. Right now, the government would have been helping miners ou…”

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/original-mining-tax-would-cost-billions-20130220-2erqk.html#ixzz2LVfARQNh

  202. Great Article from the ABC on the comparison broadband policies, it is a must read article.

    The vast differences between the NBN and the Coalition’s alternative

    The Coalition’s broadband policy slogan states that they will “Complete the current NBN cheaper and faster.” This simply isn’t true.

    We’ll continue to cover the sketchy claims of being ‘faster’ and ‘cheaper’ in other articles but for now we’ll focus on the supposed similarities and differences.

    The Coalition’s NBN alternative is different by almost every measure. It uses different technologies to connect the bulk of the country; it has different uses and applications; it affects Australia’s health service differently; it provides different levels of support in emergencies and natural disasters; it requires a different amount of power to operate; the cost of maintenance is different; the overall cost, the return on investment and the re-sale value are different; the management, ownership, governance, competition and monopoly factors will be different; it has a different life-span and upgradability issues; the effect on businesses (of all sizes) and GDP is different; the effects on television are different; the effect on Senior Citizens is different; the viability and potential for cost blowouts is different; the costs of buying broadband will be different; the reliability is different; the effect on property prices will be different; the timescale is different; the legacy is different. Ultimately, it has completely different aims.

    In just about every case the Coalition’s alternative compares unfavourably to the current plans – and usually in dramatic fashion. That’s based upon the facts and the information currently available in the public domain.

    There are few similarities: it appears that the Coalition’s plans for Fixed Wireless technology and Satellite technology in rural areas may be similar (there’s an near-total lack of detail in the Coalition’s plans and much information is gathered through ‘reading between the lines’) but there are big questions regarding the differences in funding. Ultimately, the only obvious similarity is that people should be able to download web pages and videos a bit faster.

    http://www.abc.net.au/technology/articles/2013/02/21/3695094.htm

  203. Good one paul.

    I wonder how hard it is for Turnbull to go around trying to sell a turkey whilst bashing an eagle. He has invested in overseas fibre optic networks so knows the truth of it, yet solely because of his ideology he goes against the truth and what is best for Australia.

    What a terrible party to belong to, especially under Abbott.

  204. OK the right wing apologists who continuously go on about debt being bad are you going to now criticise the State Liberal governments at least as equally as you constantly bash Labor?

    During the Western Australian leaders debate, the issue of the state’s 18 billion dollar debt was put to premier Colin Barnett several times. Towards the end of the debate, he said:

    “Yes, debt is an issue because we’re building this state for the future. We’re taking advantage of this unique time in our history. For health care, for education, for industrial development, for public transport. And if we don’t do it in this decade, we won’t have a chance. That’s not arrogant, that’s seizing the opportunity.”

    This seems to be completely at odds with Tony Abbott’s spruiking that all debt is all bad all the time.

    It comes on the back of O’Farrell using almost the same words last year to take a surplus and go into debt, which was at odds during his time in opposition when he also spruiked Abbott’s mantra of debt always bad all the time.

    And what about the Liberals’ failings, are you going to rightly criticise them here as you make up things about supposed Labor failings, most taken directly from the OO?

    On the back of O’Farrell’s massive rail cost blow outs and delays, something he said would not happen under a government he led, comes this from Barnett:

    From what started off as an estimated $150 million dollar project, ended up costing $550 million. Plans have changed, time was extended, making it 3 years behind schedule.

    …and this:

    The West Australian Barnett government has flagged the boom state’s first deficit in 13 years, sparking calls for a complete review of capital expenditure programs.

    Now this is in the State that is the greatest beneficiary of the boom and has significantly increased royalties at the cost of the Federal MRT. So just what the hell is it doing with all this windfall.

    I can tell you, they are doing a Howard, but unlike Howard who had the luxury of a lower Australian dollar, record revenue from being high taxing on the back of the longest global economic growth period in history, the Liberal states who are attempting to emulate him are on the back of a GFC they and the Federal opposition say didn’t happen.

    You want a great big list of failings that might not be as big as the entire www (whoever stupidly said that) but is still considerable in size, then look at the Liberal States, and their list of failings is still growing.

  205. Another Labor achievement that is in danger of extinction.

    “………………………The Labor government is not often celebrated for its policy achievements, but there has been one area where it deserves some recognition – early childhood education.

    It started reforms to the sector in 2007, and has made gains towards a better

    But given recent polls, it looks as though we could be heading for a change of government in September. With this prospective change, it seems uncertain where the reforms – far from complete – are headed.

    After all, it’s a difficult policy area that needs energy and commitment, and if the political will diminishes the momentum could be lost.

    In star……”

    http://theconversation.edu.au/kindergarten-cop-out-early-childhood-reforms-must-continue-11899?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+22+February+2013&utm_content=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+22+February+2013+CID_1dc720e15d0b0696442ba3fbcd426851&utm_source=campaign_monitor&utm_term=Kindergarten%20cop-out%20early%20childhood%20reforms%20must%20continue

  206. I think I know what the last week in politics has been about. There has been some chatter on the blogosphere about something big going down that would severely damage the Libs. Some have speculated that is has something to do with Ashbygate, but as far as I can tell, their perfidy will start to come out in May, likewise with the Thomson “affair.”

    By last night, the leadershit challenge had all but died down, so I was primed to observe anything this morning that might be a potential embarrassment for the Libs. It was downplayed somewhat, but it came in the guise of Wayne Swan talking about the need to introduce legislation to hold parties accountable for election costings. Swanny directly called the Opposition dishonest in their costings before the 2010 election, and this charge went unchallenged by the MSM, or even by the Libs. All we heard was Hokey saying “bring it on.”

    The Libs and their allies in the media have known this was coming, and have engineered, I believe, both the Rudd leadershit challenge (yawn) and the shonky poll that puts a polish on the Abbott turd.

    In any case, Swanny’s announcement has pushed the leadershit debate off the front page.

  207. Swanny directly called the Opposition dishonest in their costings before the 2010 election, and this charge went unchallenged by the MSM, or even by the Libs.

    kind of hard to defend something so obvious ;)

  208. ……..Expect to see political interference in the work of the Human Rights Commission – the national guardian of our human rights – under an Abbott Government.

    Likely Attorney-General Senator George Brandis this week hinted at what might be in store in an interview with The Australian. He said the HRC was not doing its job ‘unless it spends as much time promoting freedom and libertarian rights generally as it does promoting equality or egalitarian rights’ (Brandis eyes speech, press rights – Oz paywall).

    Naturally he cuddled up to mainstream media organisations, declaring that at ‘a time when, in Australia in the past 18 months, we have been having a very vigorous public discussion of freedom of speech and freedom of the press, the HRC has done virtually nothing to promote the rights recognised in article 19 of the ICCPR, that is, freedom of speech and expression, while it spends an enormous amount of time advocating other rights, in particular in the anti-discrimination area,”…….

    http://australiansforhonestpolitics.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/fight-for-freedom-like-ipa-brandis-to-human-rights-commission/#comments

  209. Just listening to the RBA boss senate hearings. All economic figures good. Not exactly the end of the world as some here and Mr. Hockey alleged. Pity they cannot get Mr..Stevens on side.

  210. “Just listening to the RBA boss senate hearings. All economic figures good. Not exactly the end of the world as some here and Mr. Hockey alleged. Pity they cannot get Mr..Stevens on side.”

    May be it is prudent to count ones chickens after the eggs have hatched.

  211. Gillard is perfectly correct, not a chance of Abbott implementing educational reforms. Abbott’s excuse is that it’s “unaffordable” which of course begs the question that if it’s not the educational needs of Australia’s children which is important to him, then what is?

    The Greens are also wrong on this one, who state that they want the majority of funding to go to disadvantaged schools. But that is one of the reasons why the current funding mess came into being in the first place, location aka working class areas which no longer are, “poor” private schools which no longer are. Gillard’s idea of disadvantage equating with poor English skills, disabilities and geographical distance is the superior idea.

    Prime Minister Julia Gillard has warned that if Labor loses this year’s election, the opportunity to implement the Gonski plan for school funding will also be lost.

    Speaking at an Australian Education Union conference in Melbourne this afternoon, Ms Gillard said Australia could not afford to leave the current funding model in place, arguing some students are being left behind.

    Under the Gonski plan, each school would receive funding based on how many students are enrolled, with extra loadings for educational disadvantage, including students with poor English skills, disabilities or geographical distance.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-02-22/gillard-warns-on-gonskis-future/4534488

  212. Min, Pyne has gone further than Mr. Abbott. he has said he sees nothing wrong with the present system of funding education and wants to extend the present system,.

    Pyne sees Gonski as an attack on the private schools.

    There will be no Gonski under Abbott.

  213. Fu, we can’t have the wealthy paying higher fees for their little darlings to have every advantage in this life..far better that those with poor English skills, disabilities or those disadvantaged by distance do-without instead..

    However, opposition education spokesman Christopher Pyne, who believes the reforms would lead to higher private school fees.

    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/coalition-to-dump-gonski-reforms-pyne-20120725-22qy6.html#ixzz2LgMmr4hP

  214. The federal government is cracking down on the 457 visa scheme for temporary overseas workers, saying it has evidence the program is being used to discriminate against Australians.

    Immigration Minister Brendan O’Connor says the 457 visas will be tightened to ensure they are only used to address genuine skills shortages, and that local workers are getting a ‘fair go’.

    Under the changes, employers will be required to demonstrate they are nominating a position where there is a genuine shortage of workers, while English language requirements for some jobs will also be raised.

    Mr O’Connor said compliance and enforcement powers would also be boosted to stop employers who are rorting the system.

    ‘It has become clear … that the growth in the 457 program is out of step with those skills shortages, and the government has evidence that some employers – and I emphasise that word, some – are using 457 visas to discriminate against locals,’ Mr O’Connor said in a statement.

    ‘We do not want to punish those employers who have genuine skill shortages and who are using 457 visas in the way that the system is intended.

    ‘But my message to those employers who are either flouting the rules or deliberately overlooking local employees is that the government will not accept these practices.’

    http://www.skynews.com.au/politics/article.aspx?id=848457

  215. Nothing here about carbon tax, I see.

    The Queensland government says it will consider subsidising electricity charges in an effort to stop double-digit power increases.

    It was revealed on Friday that the state’s electricity prices are set to rocket by up to 23 per cent after recommendations by the Queensland Consumer Authority (QCA).

    Premier Campbell Newman says the government is shocked by the rise and will be addressing the problem.

    Speaking in Brisbane before flying to Bundaberg for Australia Day 2 celebrations, Mr Newman said a subsidy was one option clearly on the agenda.

    ‘We just can’t have double-digit increases,’ he said.

    However, when pressed about the cost Mr Newman said it was a matter being reviewed and no figures were available yet.

    Asked if the subsidy would be only for lower income earners, Mr Newman replied, ‘Just wait and see.’

    Mr Newman said Queenslanders had benefited from several cost cutting initiatives in the first year of his government.

    There had been an electricity price freeze, rebates on water and restrictions on car registration increases.

    The QCA recommended electricity price rises of 23 per cent for single-person households and 19 per cent for six-person households.

    The rises would start in..

    http://www.skynews.com.au/politics/article.aspx?id=848465

  216. In this morning’s Financial Review I’ve highlighted a serious problem we have with big multinationals using loopholes to avoid paying a fair share of tax in Australia.

    Every year Australia misses out on significant amounts of tax revenue from these global corporations while they use our taxpayer funded roads, staff educated in our schools and universities and our ever improving communications infrastructure to underpin their profits.

    If you’re on Twitter, can you tweet using the hashtag #payafairshare so we can let the multinationals know what we think of their tactics?

    If you’re not on Twitter, can you forward this email to friends and family so they know what’s happening?

    We’re not the only country facing this problem, but we are taking action to put a stop to it. The Government has been tightening our rules on tax avoidance and profit shifting and we’ll amend the laws to make sure there’s transparency around how much tax these corporations are paying.

    There also has to be international cooperation and the Treasurer last week worked with the G20 on a commitment to develop a global action plan.

    The companies are dodging their responsibilities with complex global structures and transactions like the “Double Irish Dutch Sandwich” and that puts an unfair burden on ordinary Australian workers and small businesses.

    Thanks,

    David Bradbury
    Assistant Treasurer
    http://campaigniq.communityengine.com/em/mail/view.php?id=1792604772&a=26848&k=6be7052

  217. Tweets Top / All / People you follow
    3 hrs jonnie gijon ‏@jonniegijon
    big multinationals using loopholes to avoid paying a fair share of tax in Australia. we need to fix this #payafairshare
    Expand
    3 hrs Jugador Apuestas ‏@JugadorSydney
    big multinationals using loopholes to avoid paying a fair share of tax in Australia. Fix this and make them Pay up….#payafairshare
    Expand
    11 hrs Emma Maiden ‏@egmaiden
    @DavidBradburyMP opposes tax evasion by global companies in the Fin. Good start to a conversation re our growing inequality. #payafairshare

    https://twitter.com/search/realtime?q=%23payafairshare&src=typd

  218. Don’t forget Abbott has been to the UK several times to take a leaf out of their bo

    George Osborne under pressure as Britain loses AAA rating for first time

    Chancellor vows to stick to course after downgrade by Moody’s, which blamed subdued growth and rising debt burden

    ok.

    Austerity is failing in the UK and failing badly as the Tories tax everything they can, including a bed tax for stuff sake, whilst cutting all and sundry, including massive cuts to Defence, normally untouchable under a conservative government.

    And what is all this achieving. A ratings downgrade, greater debt and a failing economy, all as predicted.

    Osborne’s response. More austerity.

    Compare that to Australia under Labor where we have achieved the triple for the first time ever.

    So now you have a double to see where Abbott will lead Australia, the failing Liberal States and the UK. All Abbott has praised and stated he would follow.

  219. What is noticeable, is the positivity of Lara and the look of contempt on the faces of some of the media.

    Of course, they had to get back to polls. Lara pointed out that the public is turning off media.

  220. Was just browsing the Liberal web site and found this, I summarizes the Howard govt’s achievements to two paragraphs.

    Achievements in Government

    From 1996 to 2007, the Howard and Costello Government eliminated more than $96 billion in government debt, restored Australia’s AAA credit rating and delivered more jobs. During this time Australia experienced the lowest unemployment rates in 33 years and lower inflation, lower interest rates, a lower tax burden.

    Australian’s benefited also from higher wages, more productive workplaces, higher pensions and better living standards. A strong focus was placed on more funding for health, education, defence and transport.

    Now, is this bullshit or what.

  221. Talk about rewriting history paul.

    It’s like the values they had written on their site during Howard’s reign. Howard’s government was the opposite of what it stated.

  222. Did they say how he arrive at that position.

    Did they mention the sell off of public institutions.

    Did they remind us of the transfer of debt from government to the people by the introduction of user pay.

    What about all the money they pulled out of such things as health and education.

    Did they remember that the world economy was good.

    The most important event that was occurring, that the results of Keating actions was bearing fruit. The economy was improving.

    There was the closing down of many departments, such as the CES, loading the problems onto the private sector.

    Then there was the GST.

    Of course, they forgot the years on continuous interest rate rises, along with the tises in housing prices, leading it to becoming affordable.

    At the end of the day, they left serious budget structural deficits that Labor has had to work hard to turn around, while dealing with the GFC.

    How does one believe the Liberals would have dealt with the high Australian dollar?

  223. It is not good enough to say it is bullshit. We are only sinking to the level of those from the right. We need to say why.

    This is where we have it over them, they cannot back up their insults and innuendos.

    We just have to keep repeating facts, and keep the focus on what counts.

  224. Has anyone seen Abbott out with his little Redbook, or has it already been thrown into the trash can of history. Short life that one.

  225. The federal government says the Victorian government’s jeopardising support for state students by walking away from a national school funding model.

    Premier Ted Baillieu has announced a new school funding plan for Victoria to implement the Gonski reforms, saying the state government will do a better job for its own education system than the commonwealth’s one-size-fits-all approach.

    He says the state plan is more focused, fair and effective and better able to address the needs of disadvantaged students.

    But Federal School Education Minister Peter Garrett has dismissed the claims, saying students will be best served by a national needs-based funding model.

    Mr Garrett says Victoria’s producing a new pick and choose funding model which is less than the amount they would receive under the Gonski reforms.
    http://www.skynews.com.au/politics/article.aspx?id=848494

    I believe the decision one will have to make on Sept 14 is whether we march onto the future, or do we do a 180 degree turn back to the past.

  226. Julia Gillard trapped as an agent of the union movement
    BY:PAUL KELLY, EDITOR-AT-LARGE From: The Australian February 23, 2013 12:00AM

    THE Labor Party’s fixation on a Gillard-Rudd popularity contest testifies to a party in denial about its core problems and in a trajectory of decline until it embraces fundamental cultural and structural change.

    Julia Gillard’s Labor Party was on display this week – the Prime Minister and Wayne Swan on the Gold Coast at the Australian Workers Union conference, winning declarations of support from Bill Ludwig and Paul Howes with pledges the AWU would mobilise its members in marginal seats, drawing upon Obama campaign techniques. It was union power on Labor’s behalf, an idea that has had its day.

    Gillard is more dependent on trade union support for her internal position as Prime Minister than were Gough Whitlam, Bob Hawke, Paul Keating and Kevin Rudd. The irony of modern Labor is that as trade union coverage of the workforce has declined dramatically, its influence within the Labor Party has only grown. What does this convey?

    The current polls permit only one conclusion: that beneath criticisms over election timing, Craig Thomson, ministers quitting, the mining tax and abandoned budget surplus, Labor is tarnished as a political brand with voters unwilling to trust the party as an institution. The crisis of confidence has penetrated to identity.

    Labor is on the edge of an existential crisis that is repeatedly deferred by the mindless mantra of “just do something”, or waiting upon another Tony Abbott blunder or some good news that gives a temporary poll boost. Yet the reckoning day is getting close………………….

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/julia-gillard-trapped-as-an-agent-of-the-union-movement/story-e6frg74x-1226583838239

    Who says so.

    Is not the union an arm of the Labor movement.

    Could not one say that Abbott is captor of big business and MSM, especially Mr. Murdoch.. Ther is plenty of evidence to back that up.

    I would say, that the scenario of Abbott and big business makes more sense.

    The PM’s narrative seems to be jobs, families, education and training leading to a stronger Australia.

    What is Mr. Abbott’s narrative.

  227. Has anyone got an answer as to why the media is continuing with its concerted and over the top effort to force the PM into ceding to Rudd.

    To take such action would lead to the demise of Labor.

    Whose interest is it in for the PM to take such advice.

    It is not in the interest of Rudd. Not in the interest of Labor. Not in the interest of the nation.

    Do they believe this is the only way Abbott can win. That he is not up to a fair contest.

  228. http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/local/adelaide/201302/r1076243_12748339.mp3

    PM Gillard said the community Cabinet held last night in the Federal seat of Boothby brought to light several issues that local residents were concerned about, including youth violence, mental health, refugees and asylum seekers.
    “The messages I will take away is people are very concerned about a number of things involving our young people, particularly young people that drift away from school,” Prime Minister Gillard said.

    http://www.abc.net.au/local/audio/2013/02/21/3695185.htm

  229. The media want Rudd because they can attack him as they did the moment he became PM, unlike Gillard who has taken everything they have thrown at her and remained stalwart and at times given it back.

    They are also using the false Rudd takeover to draw attention away from Abbott, especially when he stuffs things up. If you look back at every Rudd speculation it has inevitably come on the back of internal Liberal troubles, an Abbott stuff up or polls going backward for Abbott.

    This being an election year the media is trying double hard to paint Labor in turmoil.

  230. This over on the liberal web site on the rise of electricity prices in Queensland,

    Gillard fails yet again on power prices

    22/02/13

    Prime Minister Julia Gillard has failed yet another test, this time her personal commitment to reduce electricity prices, Shadow Minster for Energy and Resources Ian Macfarlane said.

    “Queenslanders are set to face double-digit electricity price hikes, despite Julia Gillard’s claim just a few months ago to have come up with a package that would reduce power prices.

    “Late last year Julia Gillard suddenly discovered that power prices were on the way up and decided to pick a fight with the State Governments to distract attention from the impact of her Government’s carbon tax – a policy designed specifically to force up power prices.

    “Then in December the Prime Minister claimed to have a solution for rising electricity bills – including a power price watch panel.

    “But despite the empty gestures and rhetoric, Queenslanders are now facing a substantial power price hike.

    http://www.liberal.org.au/latest-news/2013/02/22/gillard-fails-yet-again-power-prices

    Now this article from the Brisbane Times,

    Electric shock: power bills to soar up to 23 per cent

    Electricity prices are set to soar up to 23 per cent with the Queensland Consumer Authority laying part of the blame at the Newman government’s feet.

    The people who use the least amount of electricity are set for the largest bill hikes as the QCA tinkers with tariff 11 after the state government froze it last year meaning the average household’s annual bill will rise from $1184 to $1437.

    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/electric-shock-power-bills-to-soar-up-to-23-per-cent-20130222-2ex2z.html

    So the Liberals put all the blame on to the Gillard Government and not on the QLD government.

  231. The Greens are also wrong on this one, who state that they want the majority of funding to go to disadvantaged schools. But that is one of the reasons why the current funding mess came into being in the first place, location aka working class areas which no longer are, “poor” private schools which no longer are.

    Min, you are grossly misrepresenting the Greens’ position. Here is what Christine Milne actually said:

    With the government failing to fix the mining tax we are worried that there will not be enough money to fund the full implementation of Gonski. Indeed there are likely to be other programs with long delays due to the resistance of the government to raise more revenue. If this is the case, then the additional funds available must be prioritised to where they are needed and that means they must flow to our most disadvantaged public schools.

    Sounds to me like the Greens want the full Gonski reforms implemented.

  232. Migs, maybe you could come up with a good reason why Rudd would make a move at this time.

    For the love of me, I cannot think of one that makes sense.

    If he is deliberately setting out to make trouble, the only explanation could be to avenge and to bring the party down.

    Now I do not believe Rudd is stupid. I am sure he does not see the PM as the enemy, but the whole party save a handful of MPs.

    With the toxic media we have, one cannot be sure that Rudd is as guilty as they portray.

    Yes, Labor has to find a way to harness his so called popularity.

  233. Silkworm, agree but politics is about the achievable, not necessarily what we want.

    At this time, getting as much on the books as possible before the election should be the aim.

    If it is short of what is desired, at least it is there to build on. Any new government would have to take obvious action to demolish.

  234. Silkworm, I was quoting from the article..plus I stand by my opinion that I would rather money go to schools whose students are non-English speaking, those schools who accept students with disabilities and schools which due to distance do not have the facilities readily available. These schools may not necessarily be “the poorest”.

    The Greens strongly support the Gonski plan, but want the legislation amended to prioritise the country’s poorest schools for extra money.

    And also from Minister Garrett..whom I tend to agree with given that there is no chance in Hades of the Libs supporting any reform.

    With the current funding model due to expire at the end of 2013, Mr Garrett said it was ”absolutely critical” that the parliament passed legislation to allow funds to flow to schools in 2014.

    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/opinion/political-news/garrett-slams-greens-over-gonski-delay-threat-20130222-2ev8t.html#ixzz2LhcUohK7

  235. If the Greens were a little cleverer, and had the ability to look ahead, we would have had both the MRRT and price on carbon.

    Maybe neither was perfect. Things can always be improved on down the track This happens with most legislation.

    We probably would still have Rudd and won the election by a big margin.

    Abbott would not be there.

  236. Fed up, I am a realist also..things may not be perfect, but it’s a start and a start can be built upon in the future PLUS a start means that it’s far more difficult for Abbott to dismantle.

  237. The same argument holds true for asylum seekers.

    Not perfect but a damm lot better than we have now.

    The Greens would have been i a strong position to humise what we ended up with.

    The result is what Abbott wanted, only harsher and crueler than anything Howard was connected with.

    The most terrible thing is, that it does not work.

    The Green need to understand a glass half full is better than an empty one.

  238. In MHO, the Greens have to work out who they want to win when it comes to leglisation.

    Labor or the Coalition.

    Up to now, there actions have handed it all to the Coalition on a silver tray.

  239. Fed up, I have a feeling that the Greens are trying to shore up their place in the Senate by casting themselves as aligned with neither the LNP nor Labor.

  240. Gina won’t be happy..but Tony will fix all that for her..

    The federal government’s cracking down on the 457 visa scheme for temporary overseas workers, saying it has evidence the program is being used to discriminate against Australians.

    Immigration Minister Brendan O’Connor says the 457 visas will be tightened to ensure they are only being used to address genuine skills shortages, and that local workers are getting a “fair go”.

    http://www.theage.com.au/national/visa-scheme-for-overseas-workers-tightened-20130223-2exsw.html#ixzz2Lhh5DAsp

  241. Min, I fear that Milne has failed. She appears to have put all offside. One only had to listen to Lara Giddings today, who is in coalition with the Greens..

    Could it be that Milne is fighting for her own job.

  242. Min that’s an important story that should have been all over the media yet has barely been given a whimper except for a short piece on ABC I’ve seen.

    There were accusations of rorting 457 visas under Howard and industry were calling for the guidelines to be relaxed to included semi-skilled workers like truck drivers and abattoir workers.

    Abbott should be bailed up on this and asked what he will do with these visas and companies attempting to replace Australian workers with foreign ones. He should be put on the spot but more importantly the media should be headlining this story of industry attempting to rort the system to the detriment of Australians and Australia.

  243. Could stories like these be the reason they are trying to dirty the PM connection to the unions.

    Do they fear a rerun of 2007.

    For a PM accused of dumping labor values, she sure ain’t acting as if she has.

    The PM has this week stood proudly beside the unions and her working class roots

    Maybe we need to do the same. Be proud of the party and whence it came.

  244. Mobius, the other loophole apart from Howard’s “skills shortage” as meaning piano tuners, hairdressers and cooks was the fact that 457 temporary workers could be paid at a much lower rate. Hence the 457 Visa’s popularity with the mega miners. Labor previously changed this so that workers had to be paid the going rate. There were actually several prosecutions over in the West I believe where miners/construction outfits had to reimburse their severely underpaid Filipino employees. Having to pay 457 workers at the going rate produced something like a 60% drop in people entering Australia on these visas.

    Gina has already said that in order to compete that Australians would have to be content with being paid $2ph..I’m certain that Tony will oblige her.

  245. Min, that boss is clever. It will be the last thing Turnbull wants. One does not have to be Robinson Crusoe to know the answer.

  246. Prime Minister Julia Gillard lunches with Advertiser Political Editor Tory Shepherd at George’s on Waymouth St, Adelaide. Picture: Dylan Coker Source: adelaidenow

    Will Julia Gillard be sweet, or will she get her just desserts? Time will tell. For now, the PM enjoys a meal at George’s, in Waymouth St, with Political Editor Tory Shepherd.

    ————————————————————————————————————————————.

    TORY SHEPHERD: The election – are we going to see a bit of you here in South Australia?

    JULIA GILLARD: You certainly will … I do like getting home to Adelaide because it gives me the opportunity to see my family and I will actually take some time tomorrow to see my mum and my sister………

    http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/national/having-lunch-with-julia-gillard/story-fndo6d4b-1226583847546

    A nice interview with the PM

  247. ……………………S: In a lot of high-pressure jobs there are a lot of people who every now and then just lose control and become completely ineffectual.

    JG: That’s not me. I’ve always been a calm, even-tempered person. I just think human beings are built differently and if this is a normal sort of state some people tend to oscillate around it (gestures wildly) and I tend to oscillate that way around it (small gestures). I’ve always been like that.

    TS: You’re like a one-woman rebuttal of the redhead stereotype.

    JG: The whole fiery redhead thing … I can be very firm as people would have seen me be in Parliament, but angry in a sense of lost control anger? I’m never like that.

    TS: The most passionate and angry I’ve seen you is the misogyny speech. Was it rehearsed?

    JG: No. I expected Question Time to be on issues associated with Peter Slipper and the obnoxious emails so I expected Question Time to be raising issues about sexism so I took in a series of Tony Abbott quotes, things that he said about women, so I had them before me, but the rest of it I just did straight up.

    TS: Parliament House is a bit of a boys’ club…………..

    http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/national/having-lunch-with-julia-gillard/story-fndo6d4b-1226583847546

  248. The Northern Territory Country Liberal Party’s Central Council meeting winds up today, with some in the party predicting a possible vote of no-confidence in Northern Territory Chief Minister, Terry Mills.

    Mr Mills has angered some in the party with a recent decision to raise electricity prices in the Territory by 30 per cent, and there’s been a big swing against the CLP in a recent by-election.

    Yesterday, sitting member Natasha Griggs was preselected to again contest the Lower House seat of Solomon at this year’s federal election.

    Senator Nigel Scullion was also re-endorsed for the number one spot on the CLP’s Senate ticket for the Northern Territory.

    http://www.skynews.com.au/national/article.aspx?id=848675

  249. You may be surprised to hear that there is actually a shortage of piano tuners Min ;) A close friend is in the business, and there is more work than available tuners.

    As with many trades, the problem will come home to roost when the current crop retire – the crux of the problem is new tradesmen aren’t being trained.The solution is not 457 visas, but trades training…

  250. Skill training, the centre piece of the PM’s non existence narrative. I would also say, a basic Labor value, which she is accuse of moving away from.

    What do we have in the states. Cuts to TAFE and skill training.

    Remember how Howard cut the doctors training places, restricting access to Medicare which left us with a shortage of doctors.

    There is nothing like the doctors unions, to ensure the numbers are kept low, to keep profits up. Competiton is not welcomed.

  251. New tradesmen are being trained, I’ve trained four in the last dozen years and am about to take on two trainees for the company I contract to.

    Over here the WA government pays a bounty of $10K for every trainee taken on in the trades.

  252. MUCH too little scaper. Electricity companies, Telstra, Australia Post, Mt Isa mines… used to all takes on hundreds of apprentices each year. Now they rely on sometimes dodgy training providers, TAFEs that are being gutted by short-sighted conservative state governments, and universities to provide fully trained staff for them. They don’t invest in their own futures as they once used to…

  253. http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/news/audio/pm/201302/20130222-pm8-budgetprograms.mp3

    TIM PALMER:

    The Prime Minister has renewed her commitment to make significant budget cuts to fund two of the Government’s most ambitious and expensive programs.

    Julia Gillard says she’ll find the money to overhaul the country’s school funding system and implement the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

    Many in her party believe the Government’s chances of re-election hinge on those two plans. All the same, questions remain about exactly where the money will come from.

    From Canberra, James Glenday reports…………………
    http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2013/s3696422.htm

    Schools will be asked to give a back-to-basics reading program which could involve the use of phonics, Prime Minister Julia Gillard says.
    RELATED
    Combet writes off leadership talk
    Gillard’s Green embrace fatal: Abbott
    Gillard takes on states, Greens
    States have time to find Gonski funds: PM
    Children in the first years of their schooling will be the focus of a reading blitz under new learning measures announced by Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

    The program will use the teaching of phonics, which involves sounding out letters to children to help students develop basic reading skills, as part of measures to improve literacy levels……………………………….

    http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1740384/Schools-to-conduct-reading-blitz-Gillard

  254. I don’t know enough about phonics to say whether it is a good or bad thing, but it is not part of the Gonski Report.

  255. Does it claim to be a part of the Gonski Report. It is not against though.

    I believe that the report says money should be distributed according to need, That is what is happening in this little scheme.

    Phonics is a method of teaching reading by sounding the letters. They alternative is teachintg word recognition..

    I suspect what is occurring now,m is a mixture of the two methods.

    I get the impression while observing how my granddaughter was taught in kindy, it is indeed word recognition, along side phonics.

    Like most things, there are horses for courses. Both methods have pluses and minus.

    Whatever method they uses, it has been successful. She is now in first grade and has reading skills beyond what was expected in the past.

  256. Ex News Junkie Geek
    ‏@geeksrulz
    Never understood the 3rd of 5 Pillars of Conservatism. http://is.gd/KXwUIe Thanks to the Mad Monk I do. http://is.gd/uurUzc #auspol
    Reply Retweet Favorite More
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    8:50 PM – Feb 23, 2013
    Tweet text

    ?uid=17353325&iid=a1b4f20c-772a-49f3-abfa-f0deaeb00469&nid=12+133+20130223

  257. Re Gillard and education. There’s been some good developments and some bad ones. The development of s National Curriculm under the leadership of Professor Barry MCGAW is a masterstroke and the benefits will be realised in the years and decades ahead. A truly professional effort, but I’m not sure that Abbott et al will not try to prostitute the process.

    On the downside, there is the silly notion that some teachers should be granted ‘merit pay’. No understanding of how schools work. Imagine if doctors were subject to ‘meiit pay’. ‘Survival rates’ following operations? We might have doctors who only operate on healthy patients? LOL What about police officers who receive merit pay on convictions achieved?

    Absolutely stupid!

    As for Gonski (read Ken George Boston, the real architect), it has no chance of a ‘life’. Should’ve been done in the first term, Now history.

  258. …………………………I’m an undisguised supporter of Tony Abbott. He got Kevin Rudd’s scalp. The real story of the last three years is that if anyone other than Tony Abbott had been leading the Liberal Party, Kevin Rudd would have remained leader of the Labor Party and would have won the last election, in my opinion, with a clear majority.”

    Mr Howard also said independent MPs Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor “don’t deserve” to be re-elected because their electorates support the opposition…………….

    http://www.news.com.au/national/john-howard-expects-kevin-rudd-to-run-for-labor-leadership-ahead-of-2013-election/story-fncynjr2-1226584610674

    Why was not Howard asked,.if the electorates support the opposition, why did not the voters there vote for the Opposition..

    Could it be, because they did not support the Coalition but the independents. We often hear this stupid claim.

  259. On the downside, there is the silly notion that some teachers should be granted ‘merit pay’. No understanding of how schools work. Imagine if doctors were subject to ‘meiit pay’. ‘Survival rates’ following operations? We might have doctors who only operate on healthy patients? LOL What about police officers who receive merit pay on convictions achieved?

    Agree Col. And it’s only teachers that are asked to undertake this, why not all those on the public purse, most especially politicians.

    If the current opposition where on merit pay they would be giving the tax payer money as would the State Liberal governments.

  260. Is the Gillard Government pursuing this ‘merit’ pay? If so, that needs to be dumped quick smart. There is already too much politics at the school level, This will only intensify it.

  261. I thought that I would share an example of the better of the spam..

    From spammer Christie..yes Christie our large thumbs are often upward. :lol: :lol: :lol:

    I recently reached this unique site not long ago.
    I was actually captured using the bit of assets you’ve got here. Large thumbs upward to make such wonderful blog web site!

  262. Could there be an connection?

    “…………..NEIL CHENOWETH AND MICHAELA WHITBOURN

    Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid Photo: Rob Homer

    Australian Water major shareholder Nick Di Girolamo Photo: Wolter Peeters
    The president of the NSW Liberal Party, Arthur Sinodinos, has abandoned a claim to a 5 per cent shareholding, worth up to $3.75 million, in infrastructure company Australian Water Holdings after revelations that linked the company to Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid.

    Senator Sinodinos, who was chairman of Australian Water and is now Parliamentary Secretary to federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, told The Australian Financial Review he would not pursue the share stake.

    He was responding to questions from the Financial Review on how Australian Water became one of the largest donors to the NSW Liberal Party within days of Mr Obeid’s ­family contracting to buy a $3 million stake in the company in November 2010.

    Australian Water’s value jumped by up to $65 million after it signed an exclusive 25-year deal with the state-owned Sydney Water, after the Liberals took power from Labor in the March 2011 state election, offering what would be a $15 million windfall profit to the Obeids.

    Donor records show that in the months before the election, Australian Water gave $73,803 to the Coalition parties and would have been the NSW Liberal Party’s fifth-largest donor that year. But many of the donations were not reported by the Liberal Party.

    A spokesman for NS……”

    http://www.afr.com/p/national/sinodinos_shares_giveaway_o5xWRppoc3rKXezM6mRM2J

  263. Of course,it is not the present system that is at fault. It is the fault of the teachers.

    “………….A coalition government would make teaching quality its first priority in improving education, opposition education spokesman Christopher Pyne says.

    There are elements of the Gonski school funding review Mr Pyne wants to implement but he says simply adding more money is not the best way forward.

    ‘Apart from the funding model and settling that down, the first thing we would do is address issues of teacher quality in our universities,’ he told ABC radio on Wednesday.

    ‘We would immediately instigate a very short-term ministerial advisory group to advise me on the best model for teaching in the world.’

    Mr Pyne wants to see a return to more traditional, practical teaching methods rather than the child-centred learning he says has dominated schools for decades.

    He’s defended the socio-economic status (SES) model now used to calculate federal funding for non-government schools.

    The Gonski review found the system was unnecessarily complex, lacked transparency and was based on an outdated model.

    Mr Pyne rejects that view, saying the SES system is needs-based.

    But he accepts recommendations of additional money to schools for individual disadvantaged students, whether indigenous, disabled or from low-SES or non-English-speaking backgrounds.

    Mr Pyne likes the proposal for funding to follow the student regardless of whether they attend a government or non-government school.

    ‘There are good things that we can do with……………”

    http://www.skynews.com.au/politics/article.aspx?id=849772

    Prof. Davis, Chairman of Uni Australia on NPC ABC 24

  264. …………………….Labor MP Laurie Ferguson says people who think Prime Minister Julia Gillard is at the centre of the party’s problems are in dreamland.

    Laurie Ferguson, who has represented the region federally since 1990 and in the NSW parliament prior to that, says many people still see the change from Kevin Rudd to Ms Gillard as illegitimate, ‘no matter how incorrect that notion is’.

    But he says it’s juvenile to claim Ms Gillard is the reason for the party’s persistently poor standing in opinion polls.

    He noted Labor had been going badly in the polls even when Ms Gillard was ahead of coalition leader Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister.

    This week, Mr Abbott overtook the prime minister on that measure in a Newspoll for the first time since July.

    ‘To say this is all about her … a lot of people are just in dreamland,’ Mr Ferguson told ABC Radio on Wednesday.

    ‘There are deeper problems for the party.’

    ‘The party has to basically decide whether it’s serious about winning, whether it’s serious about unity or whether we’re basically going to tolerate people just spending their whole time undermining the party.’

    Next week Ms Gillard plans to pitch her government’s plan for jobs, education and innovation to the voters in the former Labor heartland of western Sydney, where some of the nation’s most marginal seats lie.

    Mr Ferguson said Labor couldn’t expect a turnaround in public sentiment in just one week but it was a start.

    ‘If people actually meet her, engage with her, she’s actually quite normal compared to most party leaders in this country,’ he said. – AAP.http://www.skynews.com.au/politics/article.aspx?id=849745

  265. It is said that this man could hold the balance of power in the senate after the next election. Look at the power the shooters party in NSW has manage to wield in NSW.

    “………………..
    DLP senator John Madigan will introduce a private member’s bill on Wednesday seeking to remove Medicare funding for abortions ”procured on the basis of gender selection”.
    Senator Madigan, who could hold a balance-of-power vote in the Senate after the September election, told Fairfax Media he would ”seek support from other politicians who are on the record as being pro-life”……………………..”

    Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/political-news/senator-pushes-to-remove-funding-for-abortions-20130226-2f46s.html#ixzz2M4iZ1FyS

  266. Yet another Liberal controlled State economy tanks. An additional sign of how things will go downhill under Abbott.

    This week’s Auditor-General’s report on problems in the NSW budget hampers the chances of the state hanging on to its coveted triple-A credit rating.

    To put this in context O’Farrell, like the other State Liberals did when in opposition, promised the things would be better under a government he leads and he will improve the economy being so badly handled by Labor.

    Like every other State Liberal government, FAIL.

  267. AFP suspends probe on Brough ahead of appeal by Ashby
    Kathy Sundstrom 28th Feb 2013 5:44 AM

    » Slipper’s cold shoulder ‘an unfortunate oversight’
    » Peter Slipper shows signs of setting up to go round again
    » Ashby has three months to mount appeal against Slipper
    » Labor to target Brough in long lead-up to election
    » PM’s election call leaves Labor one short in Fairfax
    » Sportsbet has Coalition taking 91 seats at election
    » QR tells commuters: There’s not much we can do to help you
    » It’s a long ride to Brisbane as pollies hear people’s voice
    » What the pollies learnt on the train
    » Regrets over frivolous texts but Mal stays mum on Ashby
    » Train with pollies aboard cops 30-minute delay
    » A wee win for commuters as govt moves on train toilets
    » Only three MPs will go the journey
    » ALP’s Bill Gissane prepared for early vote action
    » Roxon denies penning letter linking Brough to Slipper drama

    Mal Brough
    Warren Lynam
    MAL Brough’s day in court for his alleged “political conspiracy to harm Peter Slipper and the Federal Government” may yet happen.

    The Federal Member for Moreton, Graham Perrett, received a letter from the Australian Federal Police yesterday saying the investigation was “suspended” until after James Ashby’s appeal on May 30.

    “As the facts surrounding the appeal are consistent with your referral, the AFP has suspended its evaluation of the matter until the outcome of the appeal has been finalised.”

    Mr Perrett wrote to Federal Police Commissioner Tony Negus on December 21 requesting he investigate whether Mr Brough, James Ashby, Karen Doane, Christopher Pyne, Julie Bishop and Mark McArdle had committed a crime by their involvement in the James Ashby sexual harassment case.

    Mr Perrett told the Daily yesterday he was “disappointed” with the AFP’s decision, particularly given the political timing of events.

    “Time is such a crucial element. It is 199 days till Peter Slipper goes to the electorate. Every day this cloud is hanging over him is a bad day.”

    Mr Perrett, a former lawyer, said normally an appeal did not present new evidence and the “matters of fact” Justice Rares presented in his damning judgment against Mal Brough and others had not been stepped away from.

    “Mal Brough has not stepped away from them, Tony Abbott has not stepped away from them,” he said.

    Mr Slipper said it was “clear that the AFP is taking Mr Perrett’s complaint against Mr Brough very seriously and this must be a concern for the LNP”.

    He also argued that only one party, Michael Harmer (James Ashby’s lawyer), had sought leave to appeal Justice Rares’ findings.

    “To my knowledge Mr Brough and Ms Doane have not sought leave of the court to challenge the adverse findings of Justice Rares against them.

    “I would be very surprised if Mr Brough is still the LNP candidate at the election on September 14.”

    Mr Brough declined to comment.

    http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/afp-suspend-brough-probe-mal-brough/1773332/

    Wh? Mr Ashby has only sought leave to appeal.

  268. It is not clear exactly what issues are fuelling your apparent displeasure with the Gillard Government, but can I point out a couple of issues that you may wish to consider in terms of things that actually matter to you, your family and businesses.

    Around 40 per cent of you have a mortgage. Have a look at the interest rate you are paying now versus the rate prevailing 4 or 5 years ago. The average standard mortgage interest rate is around 6.4% at the moment. In 2008, it was 9.6%. On an average Sydney mortgage of around $375,000, that is a saving of around $800 a month or close to $10,000 a year in mortgage repayments. Recall that this is a saving in after tax earnings. This is a quite massive boost to your purchasing power, simply because interest rates are low.

    There are similar interest savings for the small to medium business sector borrowers.

    According to various surveys, over half of you drive to work, no doubt covering many kilometres along the way. I would note that car prices have actually fallen by around 5% in the last few years and by the look of the recent news on the number of car sales, most of you will be driving nice newish vehicles. That is a good thing. Add to that the fact that the price of petrol is only a fraction (around 5%) higher than 5 years ago, the cost of owning and running a car has been well contained which is no doubt very helpful for the average household budget./…………………..

    http://www.marketeconomics.com.au/2340-a-letter-to-the-people-of-western-sydney

  269. Health cuts were due to Baillieu’s mismanagement

    Yet I see the media blaming the Federal government for this, including the ABC.

    Another more recent example is Newman blaming the Federal government for not giving enough compensation to Queensland flood victims when the truth is it’s Newman who has significantly reduced payouts and the Federal government is giving record increased amounts.

    Yet in every case the wingnuts will still blame the Federal government for their deficits whilst ignoring the failings of the Liberal States and their direct role in causing the deficit.

  270. …..Abbott to seek 2016 IR mandate
    BY:BEN PACKHAM From: The Australian March 01, 2013 7:47AM
    I
    Tony Abbott will order a wide-ranging investigation of the Fair Work Act and embark on months of consultations before taking proposed changes to the 2016 election.

    Long road: THE Productivity Commission would be charged with overhauling the nation’s workplace laws if Tony Abbott wins power – but major changes to the Fair Work Act would be delayed until after the 2016 election under a plan being “actively considered” by the federal Coalition.

    Ewin Hannan writes: TONY Abbott and his frontbench remain spooked by the ghosts of Work Choices…

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/capital-circle/abbott-to-seek-2016-ir-mandate/story-fn59nqgy-1226588110785

    Has one noticed that Mr. Abbott is not making any promises of substances.

    He has found a new way to have non core promises. He is saying that there will be enquiries after the election, that will lead to what action he takes.

    The other ploy is that we will not know if we can afford his promises until after the elections.

    The only promises of substance he is making, is to demolish.

    Yes, the great demolisher wants to govern.

  271. NSW government.

    Road maintenance. Massive fail according to latest report. Threatening to hand over to the private sector.

    Hospital waiting lists. Failure.

    Hospital emergence waiting times. Failure.

    Trains . Failure.

    Traffic . Failure.

    Police. Failure.

    Guns in national parks . Failure.

    These are only things mentioned in the news during the last couple of days.

    We have a shooting a day. We will be paying an extra $300 per year fir fire fighters, which was the responsibility of the insurance companies.

    Lack of school accommodation on the North Shore.

    Big electricity rises.

  272. It appears that Mr. Sinodinos had more to do with the Obied family than those mentioned in the Federal Labour Party.

    Now could it be guilt by association, which the opposition put so much faith in, where there smoke, there is fire.

    Funny, the on;y omnes he forgot, are ones that one would be embarrassed to be associated with. How many millions is he ceding.

    ………………Senior Liberal Arthur Sinodinos’ failure to declare six directorships is a ‘very murky matter’, the prime minister believes.

    Senator Sinodinos admitted to parliament on Thursday that he had been forced to update his pecuniary interests register with six directorships, following inquiries from the media.

    He described the failure as an innocent oversight but Ms Gillard believes the matter is more serious.

    ‘This is a very murky matter,’ she told reporters in Tasmania on Friday.

    ‘It’s not one for me, it’s a question of leadership for Mr Abbott and how he will respond.’

    Opposition Leader Tony Abbott conceded Senator Sinodinos should have declared his pecuniary interests earlier.

    ‘Obviously, there are rules and people should comply with the rules,’ Mr Abbott told reporters in Brisbane.

    But he rejected a suggestion his colleague was tainted by his involvement with a company linked to Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid, who recently appeared before the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption for allegedly trying to influence a coal mine approval.

    ‘There’s a world of difference between exploiting an official position for personal gain and inadvertently overlooking to declare a couple of not-for-profit directorships,’ Mr Abbott said.

    Finance Minister Penny Wong said she could not understand how Senator Sinodinos could forget six directorships.

    ‘It doesn’t really pass the person-in-the-street test,’ she told Sky News, pointing out that Senator Sinodinos wasn’t new to parliamentary processes, because he served as chief of staff to former prime minister John Howard.

    He is also a former NSW Liberal Party president.

    Senator Sinodinos also confirmed to the Senate he had abandoned a claim to a five per cent shareholding in Australian Water Holdings, the company linked to Mr Obeid.

    He says he only became aware of the Obeid family link after he joined the company and had been ‘shocked and disappointed’ when he found out about the connection. – AAP

    http://www.skynews.com.au/national/article.aspx?id=850428&vId=3837539

  273. Dennis Atkins, Courier Mail, 02 March 2013:

    Tony Abbott has had a shocking week. One of his shadow ministers was sacked by local pre-selectors despite the Opposition Leader’s vociferous support and for two days there was policy confusion on the Coalition’s marquee plan to scrap Labor’s carbon pricing scheme.

    [...]

    A week ago Abbott was batting for Gary Humphreys, a veteran Coalition figure in Canberra, Senator and shadow parliamentary secretary for legal and defence policy. This counted for nothing when local Liberals dumped him for local assembly leader Zed Seselja.

    No sooner was this embarrassment in Abbott’s in-tray than details of dumping the carbon tax and unwinding the emissions trading scheme accompanying it had the Coalition leadership in knots.

    The man who would be treasurer, Joe Hockey, had to correct himself when he claimed wrongly the Coalition would compensate businesses adversely impacted by Labor’s carbon policy.

    While he was brushing this gaffe aside, Abbott put his own foot in it by saying the Coalition carbon policy was all about incentives and had no penalties – contradicting the Direct Action plan which clearly states recidivist polluters would cop effective fines…

    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/abbott-off-the-hook-but-for-pm-its-all-poll-destroying/story-e6frerc6-1226588702624

  274. I think that’s not the first Liberal Abbott has heavily backed for preselection that has been dumped despite Abbott’s support and probably because of it.

    It’s another proof Abbott is nothing more than a tightly controlled brain farting figure head of the Coalition with very little power in it. I’ve lost count of the amount of times he’s been contradicted by someone in his Party.

  275. One hass to be careful when answering that one.

    Mr. Howard was very generous to self funded retirees. I believe he seen them as being worhty of extra assistance, something along the line of entitlement for being able to save to look after themselves.

    it was the those who had to rely on a full pension, that were not so lucky.

    I do not know if anyone has done a comparison between the the two groups under Howard. I believe the extra goodies even began while they were still working.

  276. Mr. Robb was asked this morning, will a Abbott government do as Howard did, remove all department heads. Mr. Robb point blank refused to answer the question. He was asked in many different ways.

    So one must assume, all department head will change under an Abbott government .
    Is this in the spirit of the Westminster system.

    Once again we will have departments, running around like headless chooks, unable to give the government the advice, they exist for.

    What we will not have is a fearless public service. I tyake public service to mean serving the public not the government.

  277. EXCLUSIVE: SECRET tapes lifting the lid on confidential dealings and payouts behind the police command crisis have rocked the Baillieu Government.
    More than four hours of digital audio recordings and documents have emerged revealing former adviser Tristan Weston – who quit in the wake of an OPI report into the split between top cops Simon Overland and Sir Ken Jones – was paid $22,500 by the Liberal Party.
    The payments were made after Mr Weston was forced to resign as an adviser to Deputy Premier and Police Minister Peter Ryan.
    The tapes also reveal that Mr Weston was repeatedly offered help in finding a new job by the Premier’s most senior adviser, Tony Nutt – actions at odds with Ted Baillieu’s public assurances that his office was not assisting the former adviser.
    - See more at: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/ted-baillieus-top-aide-tony-nutt-pledged-support-to-former-adviser-tristan-weston/story-e6frf7kx-1226589569246#sthash.i2pc3Bao.dpuf

  278. PM Julia Gillard has Queensland in her sights as she moves to stop government gag orders on not-for-profit groups
    BY:RENEE VIELLARIS From: The Courier-Mail March 04, 2013 1:00AM

    THE Prime Minister will today try to shame Campbell Newman into removing gag orders that stop community groups from criticising government decisions.

    Julia Gillard will reveal laws will be introduced this month that will outlaw the Commonwealth from linking gag-orders to financial support.

    Ms Gillard will write to all premiers and chief ministers to demand they follow her lead but her main target is the Newman Government, which has been accused of trying to silence not-for-profit groups…….

    ……………………Described as “hush money”, critics said contracts or grants had included a clause that prohibited them advocating for state or federal legislative change if more than half their funding came from the State Government.

    Health Minister Lawrence Springborg last year defended the clauses, saying taxpayers’ money should be used for services, not political advocacy.

    Finance Minister Penny Wong will tell an UnitingCare Not-For-Profit Reform Forum in Brisbane today that the Not for Profit Sector Freedom to Advocate Bill would enable the sector to have a strong voice.

    “We know that not-for-profit sector needs to be independent and it needs to be able to advocate for change,” she will say…………

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/pm-julia-gillard-has-queensland-in-her-sights-as-she-moves-to-stop-government-gag-orders-on-not-for-profit-groups/story-e6frg6n6-1226589428968

    This was something that Mr. Howard introduced.

    It prevents charities and community groups from criticising the government. It also stops them from working on behalf of their clients, for a better future.

    If they speak out, they lose their grants.

    Is thts democracy, or free speech that those on the right spruik about all the time.

  279. Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan has used new government modelling to claim the average family in western Sydney could lose up to $2,300 a year under a coalition government.

    Labor says the modelling, based on Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data, shows the coalition would inflict ‘brutal damage’ on the region’s families by raising taxes and cutting government payments.

    However, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has cast doubt on one of Labor’s key claims – that the coalition would scrap the tripling of the income tax-free threshold from $6,000 to $18,200 last July.

    ‘No, don’t assume that,’ Mr Abbott told the Nine Network on Monday.

    ‘We’ll fund them out of savings to unnecessary and wasteful government spending, and we won’t do it with a carbon tax.’

    Mr Swan says every person earning up to $80,000 a year would see their taxes increase, most by $300 a year.

    That would affect 565,000 people in western Sydney.

    The treasurer cited the example of a Penrith family with three school-age children where both parents work bringing in a combined income of $118,000, the median family income in the area.

    One parent earning $70,000 would pay $253 more in tax while the other on $48,000 would pay $303 more tax.

    As well, they would lose $1,640 in the schoolkids bonus and $108 in household assistance payments.

    The latter is compensation for the impact of the carbon tax, which the coalition has vowed to axe.

    ‘This is an unacceptable assault from Mr Abbott on the families of western Sydney,’ Mr Swan said in a statement.

    Mr Abbott said Australians would receive funded tax cuts and pension increases without having a carbon tax to raise the revenue to pay for such measures.

    ‘It has been taking money out of one pocket to put in the other pocket,’ he said.

    ‘Under us, you will get much of the compensation without the carbon tax.’

    Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the various payments were practical measures that helped with the cost of living.

    She expected Mr Abbott would find himself having to do some explaining when he spent time in western Sydney.

    ‘I think he’s going to meet a lot of people who say to him, ‘Actually that schoolkids bonus money does help me … and that tax cut did help me, Tony, and why do you want to take those things away from me and my family?” she told the Nine Network.

    http://www.skynews.com.au/national/article.aspx?id=851190

    Can we afford Abbott.

  280. ………..Families would pay higher income tax and lose payments worth up to $2500 a year if Tony Abbott became prime minister, according to new government modelling.
    Ms Gillard will use the information on the effects of Mr Abbott’s plans to scrap the carbon and mining taxes in her pitch to the hip pockets of low- and middle-income families………………………..

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/a-vote-for-abbott-will-hit-your-hip-pocket-pm-20130303-2fepj.html#ixzz2MXXJdSQp

  281. …………………….The modelling uses Bureau of Statistics data applied to a range of typical western Sydney households, although many of its findings would be common across the country.
    But its key assumptions and conclusions have not been subject to external audit and do not include the savings in lower household energy costs that would accrue from abolishing the carbon tax.
    Separate Treasury calculations put the average benefit of scrapping the carbon tax at $515 a household, including $172 a year from lower electricity prices and $78 from lower gas prices. The government’s new modelling finds the removal of tax breaks brought in as part of the carbon tax, and the promised scrapping of the schoolkids’ bonus as a benefit of the mining tax, would mean many households would lose between $1500 and $2500 a year. In western Sydney, it suggests 150,000 families would lose the bonus, which pays $410 a year for each primary school student, and $820 a year for each secondary student.
    But that figure is dwarfed by the number hit by higher income taxes, assuming an Abbott government held to its promise to remove carbon tax compensation, which increased the tax-free threshold for those earning less than $80,000 a year from $6000 to $18,200.
    The government says that change would hit 565,000 individuals in western Sydney, including 45,000 part-time workers……………..

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/a-vote-for-abbott-will-hit-your-hip-pocket-pm-20130303-2fepj.html#ixzz2MXbaIn5G

  282. Who pays for this? My emphasis.

    ……………..Let’s have a look at what both leaders have said so far this morning. Both popped up on morning television to explain to people what it is they are doing in western Sydney. The PM said: “What I’m doing here right now is talking to people and listening to them about the things that matter to them.” For Mr Abbott it’s “business as usual”. He explained that he had planned to be in Sydney “anyway” and would also be travelling to Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/the-pulse-live/politics-live-march-4-2013-20130304-2ffa2.html#ixzz2MXegeziT

  283. Another good sign that the Government is doing a good Job.

    A leading unofficial measure of inflation shows price pressures are being contained, paving the way for official interest rates to remain low.

    Last month, price rises for fruit and vegetables, petrol and tobacco were offset by falls in the cost of clothing, footwear and holiday travel and accommodation.

    As a result, the inflation gauge by TD Securities and the Melbourne Institute recorded no growth in February.

    On an annual basis, inflation stands at 2.4 per cent, which is well within the Reserve Bank’s target range.

    The head of Asia-Pacific research at TD Securities, Annette Beacher, says benign inflation means interest rates should remain low.

    “We are seeing an exceptionally low number for February, and in fact if we trim out food and fuel, which is what a lot of the other nations do when looking at core inflation, it actually went backwards by 0.04 per cent,” she said.

    “So we’re really not seeing any broad-based inflation so far in the early months of 2013.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-03-04/inflation/4551592

  284. What has occurred, is that all single parents are now treated the same.

    Many are entitled to other benefits, and are being transferred to more appropriate benefits.

    The figure that I have not seen is how many are under the post Howard grandfather clause.

    That is how many single parents pre to this announcement have already been transferred to New Start when the child turned 8. No one seems interested in their plight.

    How many are there beside those protected by the grandfather clause.

    What are the age of the children in the ones now being bought into the main group, of those protected by the grandfather clause.

    What is the total number of single parent families within the community.

    AN analysis of government data reveals 60 per cent of single parents transferred from the Parenting Payment to the lower Newstart Allowance on January 1 were already working and 10 per cent of the single mothers were caring for a child or adult with a significant illness or disability.

    The analysis reveals that as the government prepares to launch its disability support scheme, it is financially punishing the very women who take care of some of the most disadvantaged people in the community.

    The data also reveals one in every 10 of the single parents has major barriers to employment including mental health problems, injuries or homelessness.

    The figures show one in 10 parents – 6895 people – provide daily care for a child or adult with a significant illness or disability and are receiving the Carer Allowance of $115 per fortnight.

    The data shows 1320 parents are caring for one adult, while 81 single parents are caring for two adults with a disability. There are 5224 single parents caring for one child each with a disability and 462 lone parents caring for two children under 16 who have disabilities………………………….

    ……………………..Since January 1 there were 1894 parents who transferred to alternative payments – 470 single parents had been transferred to the higher Disability Support Pension and 1224 moved to the Carer Payment. A small number transferred to the age pension and 132 moved to Austudy, a payment for mature age students.

    The UN’s special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights wrote to the government in October following its decision to move about 84,000 parents to the Newstart Allowance when their youngest child turns eight………

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/single-mothers-of-disabled-kids-hit-by-welfare-reforms/story-fn59niix-1226590274692

  285. Still plenty there to cut. Will free up money for NDIS and Gonski. Both which will assist low income families.

    Is not it about better targeting of welfare, or what I would like to call it, entitlements.

    “……Family tax ripe for budget axe, NATSEM modelling finds
    BY:PATRICIA KARVELAS From: The Australian February 28, 2013 12:00AM 58
    ROLLING back family tax benefits extended to mostly single-income families could save the federal budget $2 billion a year, new economic modelling has shown.

    As the Gillard government considers a range of deep budget cuts to pay for its multi-billion-dollar disability insurance and school funding reforms, the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling has identified massive savings from tightening eligibility for Family Tax Benefit Part B.

    Under the $4.5bn payment, single parents – and couples with children where the primary earner earns up to $150,000 and the second earner no more than $25,600 – receive up to $150 a fortnight.

    GRAPHIC: Family seats in firing line

    NATSEM’s modelling shows that removing the payment for families with combined taxable incomes of $100,000 onwards would save about $500 million a year. Applying the same new participation rules that apply to parenting payments when the youngest child turns eight, for single parents, and six for couples could save an additional $1.5bn a year..

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/treasury/family-tax-ripe-for-budget-axe-natsem-modelling-finds/story-fn59nsif-1226587257174

    http://resources.news.com.au/files/2013/02/27/1226587/219420-130228-seats.pdf

  286. A Liberal seantor being challenges. That is not the question I asked. I find your stance confusing and so on. Still no answer.

    First, excuse. State of budget after election. Carbon tax.

    Question was, are you going to buy those planes.

    The one I like best, what are those costs you are going to cut.

    Yes, she is demanding what the cuts are going to be. Answer. I do not knowe how deep the hole is. Furher waffling.

    Capitol Hill. got the impression, the interviewer was not too impressed.

    Bring it on. We can do more of this.

    Just a nice gentle vpice, saying , that is not what I asked. You have not answered the question. I am confused too with your answer.

    And the best ,what are you going to cut.

  287. As usual. Abbott lives up to to his reputatuion of having more than one view on any topic.

    “……………….In January Mr Abbott told News Limited it was not good enough the WestConnex project did not include an expressway through to the city.

    “The WestConnex project is still evolving but we’ll ensure there’s an expressway-standard road from the west to the city as part of our commitment. It has to be in there,” he was quoted as saying.

    Asked today whether that remained his position, Mr Abbott sidestepped the question and instead focused on Ms Gillard’s announcement.

    “What the Prime Minister was doing yesterday was not committing to get it built, she was committing to have a fight,” he said.

    “She was setting up yet another stage-managed, carefully choreographed, world championship wrestling-style fight with a state government.”

    When pressed twice more to explain his position, Mr Abbott responded: “Obviously we want to see the best possible infrastructure but we want to see something happen soon………………………….”

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-03-05/abbott-sidesteps-questions-on-westconnex-cbd-link/4553190

  288. THE Coalition has promised to match Labor’s tax cuts as it also used the western Sydney showdown to rehearse manoeuvres for the September 14 national campaign.
    “The Coalition will also fund a tax cut without a carbon tax because we understand that many Australians are doing it tough,” said Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey today.
    The Prime Minister’s five-day visit to outer Sydney – which will be interrupted Tuesday by the Melbourne funeral for former Labor Speaker Joan Child – has become a campaign dry run for both sides.
    And the Coalition has been preparing for a week to unsettle the Labor trial, just as it would in a genuine campaign.
    This morning the Liberal Party practised a mobilisation of its candidates in all 10 western Sydney seats by sending them to railway stations to hand commuters leaflets headed “The 18 [Labor] Broken Promises of Rooty Hill” ( http://tiny.cc/k58dtw ) .

    Read more: http://www.news.com.au/national-news/coalition-promises-to-match-labors-tax-cuts/story-fncynjr2-1226589862273#ixzz2MhKFgxsx

  289. So much for the Liberals being stable governments.

    Three Liberal State governments are embroiled in leadership issues at the moment.

    In the NT the conservative government that has only been in a short time is definitely in the midst of a leadership spill.

    In Victoria there is talk of ousting Baillieu over his office’s involvement in the Weston affair.

    In WA the story is that Barnett will step down after the election but is not telling the voters that.

  290. At the NPC right now, Julie Bishop embarrassing herself over Gillard’s anti-misogyny speech. Upsetting audience of women.

  291. One might have to move to ABC 1. I believe Bishops are uncomfortable, if one observes her body language. Tanya is clearly saying little.

  292. Bishop tries to set standards.

    Meowing at the PM and making claw actions with her fist, is indeed a high standard.

    That is seen often withing the lower house. That and much more similar actions.

    This lady leads the attack, along with Mirabella.

  293. Yes, about the body language. I first thought she was puffing her chest up as a sign of bravado, but you’re right, she’s uncomfortable.

  294. Notice Bishop keeps bringing it back to Abbott and politics. Allt he others speaking about women in general.

    Bishop is out of her depth. When Tanya mentioned topics, she reminded Julie that she raised the topic.

    Waiting for questions. It’s going to be interesting. Notice some old feminist in the audience.

  295. Crisis cabinet meeting in Vic Premier Baillieu’s office over Tim Shaw.

    I remember the right wingers crowing when the LNPs starting winning the State elections and how much better these Liberals would be. Every single one is sending their states backwards, losing ministers and on most indicators are worse than the governments they replaced.

  296. Tanya in her quiet way has all the answers.

    This is the second time this week, Julie has been found wanting. Monday, Qand A, and today.

  297. What has 457 visa have to do with woman’s issues. When are they going to shut Julie up, when Tanya is talking.

  298. This court action could open a Pandora’s box Forest and the states just might not like.
    As for the government, if they lost, would give them the chance to go back and rewrite the leglisation.

  299. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=5CisHakr5yg

    ..Brains trust: Joe Hockey ventured into western Sydney yesterday with Liberal candidate for Parramatta Martin Zaiter, a local accountant. So taken was he with Zaiter, he deferred to him in a press conference on the financial benefit of Labor’s tripled tax-free threshold, which the Coalition is looking at axing. Zaiter clearly knows his stuff. “A family with a single income earn on 80,000 is $3 better off under the changes to the rules,” he said. Hockey: “Three dollars? That is what you said? Three dollars.” The exchange was mysteriously absent from Hockey’s official transcript of the doorstop. This could be because most lower income earners get back at least $300 from the measure.

    Exciting times: Tony Abbott took a break from shadowing Julia Gillard yesterday, travelling to the outer-Melbourne seat of La Trobe. He was joined by Jason Wood, the former local member who lost to Labor’s Laura Smyth at the last election. Wood, an ex-cop, is backing up for another shot at the seat. Voters in the electorate probably remember Wood’s speech on “genetically modified orgasms”, but Smyth should email this video to her constituents just in case……..

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/capital-circle/single-mums-work-concession/story-fn59nqgy-1226591214609

  300. Wonder how many women appreciated Julie Bishop attempts to turn a gender debate on International Women’s day debate into a defend Abbott debate.

    It backfired on her, as she not only made a fool of herself, but open the door for Tanya to put on record all the this PM has achieved.

  301. Malcolm Farr has stated that the State Liberals are as bad as the Labor governments they replaced.

    I will contend they are worse. Certainly all the indicators and stats show they are.

  302. The Australian economy grew close to trend in calendar 2012, after a jump in exports during the final three months of the year.

    The national accounts released on Wednesday showed production expanded by a seasonally adjusted 0.6 per cent in the December quarter, for an annual rate of 3.1 per cent.

    The result was close to market economists expectations but fell short of the 3.5 per cent annual rate forecast last month by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA).

    Treasurer Wayne Swan said it reaffirmed Australia’s position as one of the most resilient economies in the world.

    ‘Australia has managed to achieve solid growth in the December quarter at a time when around half of all advanced economies contracted, including five major advanced economies,’ Mr Swan said in a statement.

    The annual growth rate was more than four times the average of other nations in the Organisation for Economic Development (OECD) in the year to the December.

    ‘This is a pretty impressive outcome,’ he told reporters in Canberra.

    Net exports – exports minus imports – added 0.6 percentage points to gross domestic product (GDP), after growing by 3.3 per cent during the quarter, which was the second fastest increase in almost a decade.

    ‘What we are starting to see here is the upswing in the next phase of the mining boom … as projects ramp up and go into production,’ Mr Swan said.

    However, overall conditions remained patchy and households were still cautious.

    Household consumption grew by just 0.2 per cent in the December quarter, taking the expansion to 2.8 per cent for the year to December.

    ‘The recent uptick in consumer confidence, if sustained, may provide support to consumer spending going forward, along with the impact of low interest rates,’ Mr Swan said.

    As well, price pressures remain subdued, showing inflation is not a threat at present.

    He said expenditure figures between private and public spending were somewhat distorted by the Victorian government buying an infrastructure project………………..

    http://www.skynews.com.au/businessnews/article.aspx?id=852005

  303. Liberal/National governments stable and functional, bullshit.

    It’s a good laugh listening to the projection from the Liberals, their cronies and the right wing MSM that controls them as they attempt to paint the Gillard government as unstable despite the fact by any measure it has been more stable than the Howard government and any of the State Liberal governments by a country mile.

    Across the board the Liberal governments are not just unstable but dysfunctional and inept as well. And this is what is in store for the entire nation if Abbott gets in.

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