Tony Abbott and the March of the Miners

Last week saw Tony Abbott arrive back from his overseas sojourn to find himself well and truly wedged between the farmers who are his natural constituents and the miners of Western Australia who contribute much needed $s to Liberal Party coffers.

Media coverage of Tony Abbott being questioned resulted in as TomR put it, “the yabot bobble head moment”.

As per one of the interviewers “You’re dodging it here…this is quite embarrassing”.

Bill Shorten subsequently added:

Mr Abbott has put a sovereign risk into mining investment by backing the rights of farmers. If you’re going to upend the whole way of doing business in Australia here in the mining sector, I wouldn’t do it with some reckless, risky thought bubble. It doesn’t matter what is a popular headline on a radio show. We need foreign investment in this country.

The Liberal Party is therefore faced with contradicting policies. On one hand we have the resources super-profits tax which Tony Abbott has stated:

Well plainly, I think there are real sovereign risk issues associated with Australia today because with the mining tax and with the carbon tax the Government is seeking to change the game after it’s started. It’s seeking to change the rules after people have already committed millions and billions of dollars in these vast operations. Now, it’s just not fair to investors to have them commit billions of dollars to projects like this and then suddenly change the rules under which they operate and ultimately change the returns to shareholders. I mean investors already face many uncertainties; they face uncertainties of market, they face all the range of difficulties that businesses face and the job of government is not to make difficult situations worse.

On the other we have Tony Abbott’s call for farmers to have the right to “say no” to their land being accessed for mineral exploration. All resulting in an unlikely political alliance with the Greens, who have now supported his declaration that farmers should be able to say no to mining exploration and development on their own land.

And welcome tomorrow to the new Senate and the Greens who Abbott has stated previously that he will not negotiate with. But what about on this issue Tony?

UPDATE: How quickly can Tony Abbott backpedal, he is now saying that “it (coal seam gas miners having access to agricultural land) is a matter for the states”.

58 comments on “Tony Abbott and the March of the Miners

  1. Min, he was only talking about prime agricultural land. Mr. Abbott is silent on he subject this morning to comment. The shadow ministers out early this morning attempting to clean the mess up.

    It is lovely to hear the in depth questioning of the interviews this morning.

    Does anyone getting the impression that the media is beginning to treat Mr. Abbott and his Opposition with a little ridicule.

  2. If Tony Abbott didn’t have Andrew Bolt et al, to wipe his tail and put a fresh nappy on him, after they have cleaned up another mess he has created, then I could safely say he would be on the nose from one end of the country to the other.
    All I keep wondering is, how long is it going to be before the adults in the Press Gallery, and I’m especially looking at David Marr, are going to pull their fingers out and start doing some real Investigative Journalism when it comes to Tony Abbott and an expose that exposes him for the mendacious malevolent politician he is?

  3. Bill shorten was very impressive on Insiders. Like many of us, he’s best when he doesn’t rabbit on.

    PS Anyone seen my local member, Andrew Robb, lately? Perhaps he’s consulting other local constituents about single sex marriage, as the parliament asked him to do earlier this year. He could be locked in a cupboard going through govt expenditures/the budget “line-by-line” as Joe Hockey promised. Await their detailed response on the cuts with glee. What’s out of it for me!

  4. Tony Abbott’s ability to negotiate has lasted less than a couple of days…

    THE Federal Coalition will not support Australian Greens legislation giving farmers the right to deny coal seam gas miners access to their land.

    The Greens had been hoping to win Coalition backing for their move following comments made by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott on Friday.

    Mr Abbott said farmers had “a right to say no” if they did not want miners to come onto their land to explore and extract coal seam gas.

    But today, he said the Opposition would not support the Greens.

    “We won’t support the Greens because the Greens are just against mining full stop,” he said in Canberra.

    “They are particularly against the coal industry that they want to close down.”

    http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/coalition-wont-back-greens-csg-bill/story-e6frfku0-1226115016411#ixzz1V3AfnSMm

  5. Gloat! Oh how tragic to see the Smuggles Set exposed as the no-talent pack of empty vessels they truly are.

    I’m wondering if the reporters in Murdoch world (and by inference the rest of the forelock pullers in the msm) are feeling a ripple of fear at the prospect of an enquiry into their murky world.

    CU, if this keeps going the way it has started, even the faithful arse licker Dolt may have to ditch Smuggles, although his comment from the bunker indicates to me that he may be having a meltdown; any responsible government?

    Fancy that! Apparently we’ve all been seriously deluded; we thought Smuggles was in opposition. It appears he’s really in government. Has anyone told Julia Gillard, yet?

    FS, hopefully the msm has finally started to grow some, spurred on perhaps by a possible impending enquiry.

    Kevin, I rather like the image of Robb hiding furtively in a closet with reams of paper a candle and a calculator,

    Min, your prediction could be coming true. You don’t happen to have a lot of candles, pins and chicken feathers in your kitchen, by any chance?

    Michael J B Ward, trooble at mill, perhaps?

  6. Here’s one for us 😀 Gloat and double gloat 😀

    “THE Federal Coalition will not support Australian Greens legislation giving farmers the right to deny coal seam gas miners access to their land.”

    As the old saying goes..double backflip with pyke.

  7. And so what do we have here..this is via a friend: Tony Abbott is opposed to miners having the right to enter farm land without the farmers permission but he is also opposed to opposing the practice because the Greens are opposed to the mining industry…I know he is Mr No but this is just getting silly.

  8. Tony Abbott can do nothing other than refuse to side with the Greens. Afterall his party has labelled them extremists and he will be seen as nothing short of a hypocrite if he sisded with their proposals.

    Once again the farmers are thrown to the dustbin of conservative agenda. Yet the majority of farmers will still vote for the party that deems the Mining Industry more important than their constituents.

  9. Shane, Abbott does have the option of saying that he will look carefully at any proposals put forward by the Greens.

    Therefore Abbott is now saying that he REFUSES to support the farmers who only a couple of days ago he said he would support, and for the sole reason being ‘politics’..that he cannot support the Greens. What? Ever? Even when the policy is what he said that he would already support.

    Agreed, the farmers are not going to be happy about Abbott’s backflip.

  10. Min

    I believe he does not have the option, as he has painted the greens an extremist party or left wing nutters. To do anything other than dismiss their proposals would be to backflip on his extremist rant.

    Abbotts refusal to support the farmers is simply because of the cash in the conservative coffers courtesy of the minign conglomerates.

    Yet once again the farmers will vote for the coalition no matter what. they seem to be unable to identify when they are being screwed by the coalition.

  11. Shane, agreed..Abbott has painted the Greens as extremist nutters but he can still say that he will look at any proposals carefully. After all didn’t Abbott previously say something about a gentler kinder parliament.

    No, simply not good enough. If you see a good policy and something which you believe is good for the country then why should it count who agrees with you?

    Let me see..you have Abbott stating a policy but now he won’t agree with it because it’s going to be supported by the Greens.

    That is plain ridiculous. So..what happens if the Greens support other of his policies, is Abbott going to wipe those off the slate as well..for no other reason than to be bloody minded.

  12. shane, farmers and rural electorates have been consistently brainwashed into supporting first the Country Party and then on through the LCL, LCP and now the Coalition even though they have consistently been better treated by Labor. Go figure!

    In many ways, I think it’s like servants voting Tory in England to identify with their “betters”.

    Another dud Bishop, what a surprise, ME.

  13. Re B.Bishop..has anyone yet to work out exactly WHO an Abbott cabinet might consist of? Ms Wiggle Bottom as Foreign Minister (short course in Mandarin in the offering), and give us a break..don’t tell me, Joe Hockey is Treasurer and the rest of the shadow ministry consists of Robb, Hunt, Mirabella, Billlson (who?), Cobb (again who?), Joyce, Scullion (another who in Indigenous affairs..pardon? ..about time that portfolio was renamed), Hunt and….

    What ever happened to the team thing that the MSM were so on about not so long ago..maybe it’s because Abbott doesn’t have one.

  14. Min, who is there with even a modicom of talent? Another legacy of the Rodent-too terrified to have anyone with the slightest bit of talent, anyone whose head poked up above the horizon, had it lopped off.

    Smuggles would do the same, but thanks to his political father, they’re all as lacking in talent as Smuggles. The LIEberal party is stuffed for a long, long time, imo.

  15. Surely the BIG NEWS must be Abbott’s complete turn around. And the right wing trolls have the gall to call our PM JuLiar.

  16. I’ve been a labor supporter for forty years. I find the Juliar tag very offensive. BUT, I don’t think the LIEBERAL tag does our cause any good whatsoever.

    We need to step above these tags, and as is mostly the case, mount the arguments against this hopelessly negative opposition.

    I understand the passion, but why should we downgrade ourselves to the level of Jones et al.

  17. Handyrab, I suspect that a problem is that Abbott does not want to take a step up but is happy to coast along on the back of the shock jocks.

    Exactly..how to get the MSM to focus on policies. Be blowed if I know how.

    We in the alternative media are doing our best to call attention to what a nightmare Tony Abbott is – because of his lack of vision for Australia, because Abbott simply does not have the skills to be Australia’s Prime Minister.

  18. Min, I dislike Abbott for what he stands for, or may stand for,or will stand for , or could stand for…..
    My point was that I don’t see why we should be dragged down to the gutter (apologies to reb) and unnecessary name calling.

    The Liberal Party is a part of our two party system, like them or not. I just don’t see the need to tag them as LIEberals.

    I’d like to think we (should I say it) ‘progressives’ are above all that.

  19. Handy…I’ve seen that name LIEberals elsewhere but not on this blog. We do however indulge in names such as Smuggles and Tabbot which from my perspective are OK and are fairly mild.

    Just from my own point of view, mildly ironic name-calling is fine.

    I have seen on other blogs both LIEberals and JuLIAR and I would consider them about equivalent. This is just me, but both are tacky..a bit lazy intellectually, to throw a line without having to provide a reasoned explanation as to the whys and wherefores of that opinion.

  20. handy, I think the LIEberal tag has been adopted because they are incapable of telling the truth and the worst offender is the opposition leader. It demonstrates a complete lack of respect for them, well earned imo.

    I have no qualms using the Rodent label; after all his own party dubbed him the Lying Rodent. I feel no remorse using this name. I have never had any respect at all for him.

  21. Handyrab(bit) has a point, but I would argue on one matter. JuLIAR is used as an attack aimed at one person. It’s personal. The term LIEberals does not single out one person. It’s never delivered in the same malicious manner that JuLIAR is.

  22. Are we seriously equating nicknames given to pollies on blog sites with how our ‘respected’ ‘journalists’ refer to our current PM?

    The oo ran a piece in cut and paste recently that allegedly showed that people didn’t always refer to li’l johnny as ‘PM’ all the time to. Their examples were statements made in question time (ffs) and a couple of essays by some left wing commentators.

    Hardly the same as interviews by senior journalists directly facing a sitting PM and refusing to acknowledge her position. I mean, politics is tough, and you are going to have names called at you, but when it comes time for a serious sit down interview about serious matters, the PM should be treated with dignity. li’l johnny always was, and it’s not because he ‘earnt’ this respect, it is respect that is due to a sitting PM, like them or not. Away from direct interaction with that person, the political game is on, but when addressing them on a national stage, it is the minimum they should expect, and, in the past, it is the minimum they have been accorded.

  23. Jane, Roswell is nearly always right..not always, but close. 😉

    And a fair enough point Tom, and this includes the obnoxious “she” that Abbott and the right wing commentators use when refering to the PM…the “she” has a name – Julia Gillard or preferably Prime Minister Gillard.

  24. ‘“she” has a name’

    The cats mother ?

    Also, does anybody know the details of the current argie over mining companies rights on landowners land. I was always under the impression that they had to ask for written permission to enter land to prospect? Is this different in Queensland?

  25. Tom, my understanding that the right to enter privately owned land for exploration purposes is States’ legislation. Hence the reason that Abbott could backpedal yesterday and say that it was up to the States. The problem is the Mining Exploration Licences currently override Property Rights and this is so in Qld, NSW and SA. I’m not certain about Victoria or WA.

  26. I’m not sure that is true in SA Min, as I recently looked this up and a news article stated that the landowner has the right to deny them access (if they do so in writing within an alloted time). But then again, that was from a news article, so I cannot gaurantee the validility of the statement 😉

    It certainly sounds to be true in other states though (particularly Queensland)

  27. Tom, I’ve just had a look at the relevant legislation via Austlii and have found that under the Mining Act 1971 (SA) the only exempt land, other than residential etc is that used for cultivation – which means that grazing land is not exempt.

    The legislation specifies that it is the State Minister who must declare land ‘exempt’..otherwise it’s…

    15—Power to conduct geological investigations etc
    (1) For the purpose of making any geological, geophysical or geochemical investigation or survey, the Minister or the Director of Mines, or any person authorised in writing by the Minister or the Director, may—
    (a) enter and remain upon any land with such assistants, vehicles and equipment as may be necessary or expedient for the purposes of the investigation or survey; and
    (b) conduct such an investigation or survey on the land; and
    (c) take, and remove from the land, any geological specimens or samples.
    (2) A person exercising a power under this section—
    (a) must not recover from any land more minerals than are reasonably necessary for the purpose of making the relevant investigation or survey; and
    (b) must not unnecessarily impede or obstruct the lawful use or enjoyment of any land by an owner of the land.
    (3) A person who interferes with or obstructs any person in the exercise of any power conferred by this section shall be guilty of an offence.
    Maximum penalty: $10 000 or imprisonment for 6 months.

  28. Hi guys,

    My view on the policy probs of giving landholders the right of veto:

    http://dave55.wordpress.com/2011/08/16/rights-of-access-to-land-for-mineral-exploration-a-policy-analysis/

    The guts of it is in the final para – about 2000 words in 😦

    At the end of the day, if mineral resources are of sufficient importance to the State to justify their reservation in land grants, the decision on whether or not these resources should be accessed should also be made at a Government level, it should not be delegated to a landholder who has no incentive to act in anyones interests other than their own (or its shareholders). Agricultural productivity is also a matter that is in the State’s interest but this is not limited solely to the Class 1 and 2 flat alluval cropping lands, it extends to the key vineyard and hoticulture areas, dairies, hoerse studs etc. Guidelines are definately needed to assist decision makers in balancing the interest of mining and agriculture but the starting point shouldn’t be that the two are incompatible, it should start with the position of how can the interests of the State be maximised. If this means that in any particular situation, either mining or agriculture os considered more important, then so be it, but lets make that decision based on good science rather than political opportunism or a knee jerk reaction to an overseas documentary or situation that has little direct relevance to the Australian industry.

  29. D’55..very nice to see you here again. As I see it, current legislation has the onus on the landholder to prove if not/why not. If it was criminal law it would be called the burden of proof.

    Reversals of burdens of proof have been done in the past, so I am thinking that this is what the farming lobby should be aiming for.

  30. How clever of the truckies to spend more on fuel in a day, than they will on a carbon ‘tax’ in a lifetime, driving to Canberra to vent their spleans.

    It’s akin to driving around town all day looking for the cheapest petrol.

  31. Roswell, and of course the truckies are also lobbying big time to avoid OH&S compulsory drugs testing. Amphs and barbs, the truckies best friends.

  32. Min

    I doub t that independents could afford the time and cost involved, so if they are being supported by an organisation what is the difference between this trumped up rent a crowd, and any other ?

  33. Shane, there are truckies and there are truckies. The company men are the poorly paid ones. My ex brother in law is a truckie and races the Big Rigs.

  34. Min

    I just doubt those in the industry with their own rig and independent would be able to afford the cost of a convoy. So I am suspicious that the convoys are simply truckies supported by either their employer or their employer is beeing financially supported by their affiliation to permit the truckies to take part in the convoy.

  35. Grogs Gamut/ Greg Jericho is tweeting about THAT rally in Canberra.
    [ Not the teddy bears’ picnic ]

    TOP Tweets:- GrogsGamut Greg Jericho
    Oddly there has been no mention by any speakers about the tax cuts #noctrally

    **What I’d like to know is what are these [travel paid for] protesters smoking ??? ……and it will only get worse when the truckies arrive with their ‘yippee beans’ to keep them awake….

    http://yfrog.com/h3npzlcj “Science of AGW is not settled’

    craigreucassel Craig Reucassel @
    @GrogsGamut I hope you are in disguise. Act angry.

    craigreucassel Craig Reucassel @
    @GrogsGamut Thanks God someone has finally blamed Gillard for her role in flooding QLD.

    GrogsGamut Greg Jericho
    Was just asked if I am “from inside the Kremlin”. The woman then took a photo of me. #noctrally

    GrogsGamut Greg Jericho
    When I was young my parents would never have let me go to a Rose Tattoo concert. Now Angry is singing on a stage while pensioners cheers him

    GrogsGamut Greg Jericho
    A coffin filled with clean energy future brochures is being brought before the stage #noctrally

    GrogsGamut Greg Jericho
    Sophie mirrabella now talking. Think her job is to make Abbott seem rational #noctrally

    bennpackham Ben Packham by GrogsGamut
    The eloquent Grover tells Gillard to stick her carbon tax “where the sun don’t shine”. Sophie Mirabella: “What an inspiration.”

    GrogsGamut Greg Jericho
    Warren Truss now to excite the crowd #noctrally

    GrogsGamut Greg Jericho
    As Truss speaks cries of “treason” “communist” around me when he asks why Gillard lied #noctrally

    GrogsGamut Greg Jericho
    Truss tries to get a “no, no, no” cry up. It doesn’t work. Shifts to “election now”. Doesn’t work much longer #noctrally

    GrogsGamut Greg Jericho
    Just asked to sign a petition. Said no. Woman told everyone “I’m labor”. Other woman reassured her – I’ve taken a photo of him #noctrally

    GrogsGamut Greg Jericho
    Barnaby Joyce. Cue a Little bit of joy from the crowd #noctrally
    4 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply »

    GrogsGamut Greg Jericho
    2gb gets a nice round of applause #noctrally

    GrogsGamut Greg Jericho
    Barnaby saying people having to stay in bed because they can’t afford to heat their house #noctrally

    sspencer_63 Stephen Spencer by GrogsGamut
    #NoCTRally organiser thanks 2GB “we couldn’t have done it without you”. Not what the lawyers defending them at the tribunal wanted to hear.

    GrogsGamut Greg Jericho
    Barnaby tells the crowd the red light beeping on your alarm clock is to tell you you’ve been taxed all night #noctrally

    GrogsGamut Greg Jericho
    Barnaby being much more shouty than Abbott – much better connection with the audience #noctrally

    @mad_mode
    Alex
    @GrogsGamut sounds like Barnaby is doing everything to confirm his redneck status #noctrally
    @mad_mode

    GrogsGamut Greg Jericho
    Barnaby ” – you’re not a dial up crowd.” No just bussed I guess #noctrally

    http://yfrog.com/kk6kswvj [ poster ]

    GrogsGamut Greg Jericho @
    @TommyTudehope @sspencer_63 I’d say at least 2000. But I’m not rest on crowd numbers

    GrogsGamut Greg Jericho
    “A big poll looters tax.” #noctrally

    GrogsGamut Greg Jericho
    Oh dear. This is pathetic. #noctrally

    GrogsGamut Greg Jericho
    Now we have a Julia Gillard and Rudd impersonators. Tone has actually been raised #noctrally

    GrogsGamut Greg Jericho
    Now being told about DDT #noctrally and that the UN is equal with the worst mass murders in history

    GrogsGamut Greg Jericho
    The Galileo movement now gets to speak. #noctrally

    Poor old Galileo would be turning in his grave !

  36. Min,

    It’s got nothing to do with burden of proof re harm. The decision on whether exploration should or shouldn’t occur on land shouldn’t be up to the land holder – the exploration activities and the environmental regulation of them should be handled by the Government who should assess each development on its merits. That said, there is clearly room for consultation with the landholder about where and when the exploration activities are carried out to minimise disturbance. Compensation is also required to be paid for any loss caused (including loss of income). Gnerally, most companies are pretty good at doing this, it’s only where the landholder become obstinate and doesn’t engage that things get messy (there are a few examples of companies being beligerant as well bet even these companies cooperate with landholders who are willing to engage with them).

    This debate has some how defaulted to the view that landholders (and farmers in particular) are somehow the guardians of the environment and will not allow exploration companies to enter their land (or buy their land) if they think they will harm it – what utter BS. On an ecological and hydrological front, farming has done more damage that all mining in Australia put together. As I pointed out in my blog, there is nothing in the legislation being proposed by the Greens that will prevent a farmer allowing an exploration company onto their land if they are happy to do so. Irrespective of this consent, the exploration activities must be approved by the Government and are regulated by the government.

  37. Opposition ‘Leader’ Abbott now wants everyone to be ‘civil’.

    Good luck with that Tony, that horse bolted some time ago, and it was you that left the gate open.

    http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/abbott-urges-civil-public-debate-not-war-20110816-1ivq1.html

    Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says voters are entitled to be angry about the Labor government, but has urged colleagues to ensure the country is not reduced to “warring camps”.

    Mr Abbott’s party room address on Tuesday came as 2000 people vented their anger outside Parliament House in Canberra at the government’s plan for a carbon tax.

    At the party room meeting, one veteran female MP expressed concern about the unprecedented “intensity of anger” in the community.

    and
    Senator Brandis is planning some dirty work to enhance the Coaltion’s chances of an early election….

    Frontbencher George Brandis briefed the meeting on how the Coalition planned to progress the issue of Labor MP Craig Thomson, who is facing questions over the handling of a union-supplied credit card and the use of taxpayer funding for a community newsletter.

    A by-election in Mr Thomson’s seat of Dobell could spell disaster for the Labor government.

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/liberals-look-for-rival-to-thomson-20110810-1imwp.html

  38. Well the Liberals have been trying to get Mr. Thomson for months.

    There have been enquiries etc. For all there efforts, the allegations are not going far.

    On the Central Coast, we have a nasty lot of Liberals that will stop at nothing, especially since they got the scalp of Ms. Neal.

    Even the ABC said this morning that the Telegraph story was a beaten or words to that effect.

    Unless I am mistaken, Mr. Thomson came from HAREA, not the most powerful or militant Union in this country.

  39. Good luck with that Tony, that horse bolted some time ago, and it was you that left the gate open.

    And hit the horse on the rump, Pip.

    Craig Thomson, shades of Lionel Murphy the beat-up about Keating’s share in that pig farm and the campaign against Michael Kirby by the execrable Bill Heffernan. Pity the ALP didn’t crucify Ian Sinclair about misuse of Commonwealth cars and any other dodgy goings on when they had the chance.

    CU, the Libs have always been a spiteful mob.

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