Waste, all we hear from the Opposition. What is waste? Is it like beauty, in the eye of the beholder?

Mr. Robb has once again said it is possible to cut government waste.  Mr. Robb said this while defending his bogus pre 2010 election audit.

I would be surprised if any government did not attempt to keep waste to a minimum.

What is much harder to decide, what waste is and what is prudent spending.

Not spending can lead to greater waste.  Health and Education over the last few years is a good example of this.  The Labor Government has increased spending in these two areas many hardly made a dent in the backlog of maintenance and upgrading that is necessary.

Spending the money over the preceding couple of decades would have been cheaper and wiser.  The adage is still true, a stitch in time save nine.

When parties like the Liberals talk about waste, they are really talking about their priorities and ideology.

Mr. Rudd showed how spending in the GFC can work.  Other countries went down this track with less success.  Most were too late and relied on such measures as tax cuts.

The amount of stimulus money is not an important component.  What is important is how quickly the money begins circulating.

The Coalition problem was not the amount of money.  They said they would spend nearly as much.  They did not agree with who got the money and how it was distributed.

They wanted to rely on precedence by doing this by tax cuts.  This has always failed, and led to costing more in the end.

You have to keep people in work.  It is too late once the unemployment rate is climbing.  The figures so, that after every economic downturn since the middle of the last century, it has taken longer to get unemployment down.  It costs much more to get people back to work.

Mr. Rudd, firstly by the $900 hand out and pension rises to low and middle-income earners ensured the money was spent immediately.  This kept the economy moving until the second phrase was begun.  This included spending money on schools, roads and other government activities.  All spheres of government were involved in this spending.  Further money was put into circulation through the Insulation Scheme and the many investigations have shown it to be money well spent.  I know my home is warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

Money was given for emergency housing and many other worthwhile activities.

The Labor government did not make the mistake of withdrawing the assistance too early.

Yes, when money is spent quickly, it can cost a little more to build the infrastructure.  This needs to be balance against the money that the stimulus saved.

Mr. Rudd and Mr. Swan have proved stimulus can work, if put in place early and giving money to those who spend it immediately.

Now, Mr, Robb, and those in his party claim this is money wasted.  I do not agree with them.  If they had their way, more would have been spent in the end with much more damage caused to society.

We did not have massive unemployment and bankruptcies.  We have schools, parks, roads, and new ports among other things that we can be proud.

Our economy is strong.  We have little debt.  Our pensioners are receiving pensions much higher than they have in the past.  People have reduced their debt and are saving more than they have for decades.

There are extensive opportunities for our young to be trained to meet the workforce of today and tomorrow.

Now, this could be the most wasteful government ever, but I ask one to nominate what money should not have been spent.  Nominate what you believe the next government can cut.  I would like to know why you consider it waste.

What I am asking, what is government waste?

Maybe some might see much of what this government has done, as being worthwhile.  If so, what is their most worthwhile endeavour?

184 comments on “Waste, all we hear from the Opposition. What is waste? Is it like beauty, in the eye of the beholder?

  1. A very sobering point, any funding not handed to the middle class or big business is considered waste by our royal opposition. As you say the insulation worked for you but the other 999999 recipients seem to have forgotten it, rather like JC and the Lepers when only one came back to say thanks. Means test the health rebate in fact cancel it and put it directly into health, dentistry and mental health.

  2. Good post, CU. I certainly agree that there are productive and non-productive ways for governments to spend money to stimulate the economy.

    Tax cuts is not the way. for a couple of reasons and I’m sure others will think of more reasons.

    Cutting tax deprives the government of revenue needed for vital infrastructure and other programs.

    Cutting tax in a recession is one of the dopiest things a government can do; a tax cut is neither use nor ornament if you don’t have a job or don’t earn enough to pay tax. And it sure doesn’t help to stimulate the economy.

  3. Cu, I recall your earlier comment on a different post when you said that you need to spend in order to save. Which is so very true, and I think of your example of emergency housing. If one spends on emergency housing, one saves in the long term via the avoidance of homelessness and associated social problems.

  4. Jane, tax cuts do not go to those who have to spend it. Those who benefit most, do not spend. The aim is to get money circulating.

    Tax cuts are also too slow.

    I like visiting my grand kids schools. I find the electronic equipment fascinating.

    I love it that each classroom is equipped. It is nice not to sit in the cold or heat anymore.

    I liked the way my pension has nearly doubled.

  5. Yes Min, when one listens to the Opposition, you would believe that the money was only spent only on Pink Bats and BER. (Mine by the way were high quality yellow UK bats).

    Have a look around your community, at the local park, road work with the signs that say stimulus. The list is endless.

    The money was spread throughout the community.

    The question, is, was the money wasted.

  6. Jane, I agree. If I remember correctly there was a tax cut provided but it did nothing to stimulate the economy as the $s were either saved or went to pay off debt. Both saving and paying off debts of course are excellent in themselves, however do not stimulate the economy.

  7. Cutting tax deprives the government of revenue needed for vital infrastructure and other programs.

    Jane ! You have not been keeping abreast of your Billy Mitchell ! Taxation funds nothing…it is just how government keeps a brake on aggregate demand.

    We are told on an almost hourly basis that tax funds spending, because (if we believe that) it makes it easy to convince us that the government has to fund deficits by borrowing. When you understand just how the monetary system actually works, you realise that is nonsense.

    You are quite right however to suggest that direct spending is much preferable to tax cuts. The reason lies in something called the “multiplier”, or “bang for buck” to give it the more correct technical term. Taxpayers will always save something out of their tax cut, but government spending is 100% spent. After a few rounds, the expansionary effects of the tax cut will be much less than the direct injection.

    That’s my understanding of how it works. Here’s a Bill Mitchell link on the subject:


    Rudds cash handouts went to folk who were unlikely to save. Remember how it was said they’d just blow it on the pokies ? Well, talk about the velocity of money ! Spent in 5 minutes !

    And CU, you are absolutely right to emphasise the wastefulness of unemployment. Nothing is as wasteful as a life of enforced idleness. The lost time can never be made up, and the downstream social costs are horrific. It disgusts me how the Reserve Bank uses unemployment as just another tool which which to fight its imaginary inflation dragons and keep the workforce disciplined so that even more of the pie can be apportioned to the “more deserving”.

  8. Dreamers. Swan has spent $240 billion more than he collected in taxes over the past 4 years….plus Costellos nest egg.
    A billion last year and probably $2 billion next year supporting the indonesian boat people traffickers business plan. Two new taxes (Carbon and Mining) that Gillard had no mandate for which strangely cost more than they collect. Nice one again Swan. If the Coalition can’t mop up $70 Billion of Labor waste out of the $240 Billion they have pissed up against the wall then I will bare my arse in Bourke Street.
    You guys should get out into the real world and run a business that employs people and has to find the money to pay for wages for the employees and the cost of all this leftie bullshit.
    Get a proper job you drongoes.

  9. Cu, re the opposition refusal to answer identify where lies the waste they likewise refuse to state how they themselves would spend it.

  10. Min, they cannot. That is why they will not present their promises for budget honesty scrutiny.

    They are not going to tell us who they have in line to pay the price of their cuts. When they say waste, we need to reply. what waste?

    Anyone can cut budgets. The trick is to do so without destroying the economy of hurting those who are vulnerable.

    I believe that Mr. Rudd, Mr, Swan and the Treasury were brave to do what they did.

    If they miscalculated, it could have come unstuck. It is easy to be clever in retrospect.

    I recall hearing Mr. Keating say after his economic crisis, that he wished he went in earlier and stronger.

    We hear so much about the European countries being in trouble because of government spending.

    I read somewhere, but cannot remember where, that this is not true. It was private debt that has led to the strife the countries are in. The government is left holding the debt baby.

    Maybe it is as well that Australians, after decades of spending, are now saving. This can only hold good for the future.

    It appears that people are not spending because they have no money but because they are saving.

  11. Of course the mining and carbon taxes have cost more than what they have collected. They haven’t started yet. 😯

    Your advanced intellect is far too great for most of us.

  12. I agree completely, Cu. it was the speed in which Swan acted in getting the stimulus package into people’s wallets that was the trick to staving off the GFC.

  13. “I have to carry you passengers.”

    My suspicion is that the rest of us are carrying you. It is my experience, as as old woman, that those who blow their own trumpet are generally found wanting.

    Now I could be wrong in your case, but I will not be losing any sleep worrying about it.

  14. Catching up,
    Quite right. Swan was pointing out this afternoon, the number of apprentices which weren’t sacked. It’s these young people, now tradesmen who are now the qualified workers we needed. Let’s not forget the skills shortage courtesy of John Howard’s Liberals.

  15. Don’t forget the reduction in the number of doctors trained. The rationing of Medicare numbers.

    Has the doctor numbers improved since Howard’s day? Do not hear so much about shortages now.

    My local member has informed us that the NBNCo rollout will be beginning soon at the Entrance and near Gosford on the Central Coast. This is good for me. I will not have to wait as long as I expected.

  16. Excellent post Cu.
    The old proverb, ‘money’s made round to go round’ was what saved Australia from failed businesses, massive unemployment queues, mortgage defaults, shattered families and homelessness.

    Repaying the fiscal stimulus

    Click to access Waste.pdf

    Phil Hagan and Nicholas Gruen
    18th August 2010

    If you hadn’t spent the money, there would have been waste. . . .
    You would have had high unemployment, you would have had
    capital assets not fully utilised – that’s waste.

    So your choice was one form of waste verses another form of waste.
    And so it’s a judgment of what is the way to minimise the waste.
    No perfection here. And what your government did was exactly right. So,
    Australia had the shortest and shallowest of the downturns of the
    advanced industrial countries.

    And your recovery actually preceded . . . China. . . . Your preventive action, you might say pre-emptive action, prevented the downturn while things got
    turned around in Asia, and they still have not gotten turned
    around in Europe and America.

    Joseph Stiglitz, 2001 Nobel Laureate in economics, 2010

  17. Australian Government
    Economic stimulus Plan


    NSW Government Science and Language Centres finished

    The NSW Minister for Education and Training, Ms Verity Firth, today announced the NSW Government had finished its 118 science or language centres funded under the Science and Language Centres for 21st Century Secondary Schools component of Building the Education Revolution. Read more

    NSW BER Resolved 73% of Implementation Taskforce Complaints

    After working closely with school principals and Managing Contractors, the NSW BER Program Office has resolved 105 of the 143 complaints received by the BER Implementation Taskforce. Read more

  18. Thanks for the links Pip.They sum things up good.

    My father was born 1900 and left school at about 12. He was a share farmer then a wheat cocky. He was also a loner, not a very sociable chap.

    He was also very good at maths. He was not a man that liked to spend money, my mother would have said tight.

    He used to say that there would be another great depression, which thankfully never came.

    What amazed me was his understanding of economics, in spite of not being a reader. He used to say it was impossible to waste money.

    According to him, it was made to go around. While it was going around, every thing is OK. It was only when it stop circulating, things become bad.

    The likes of the Opposition’s negativity and continuous talking down of the economy does nothing to keep that money going around.

  19. You guys should get out into the real world and run a business that employs people and has to find the money to pay for wages for the employees and the cost of all this leftie bullshit.

    I run my own business I pay wages and taxes and employ people and find the money to pay for it all. Just because I am not a right wing selfish, greedy, idealist does not mean I do not have a job or a business.

    Your ranting just shows your inability to sensibly debate an argument but rather resort to name calling and bile. It is poeple like you who are making humanity such a nasty, intolerant, selfish, spiteful, venemous, indifferent species. I believe in Karma so one day your nastiness wil turn and bite you, when you least expect it.

  20. Mangrove Jack raised an interesting point, which was held in stark contrast against an article I read in the oo this morning about about how great we are as a country at debating economics [sic]

    When you understand just how the monetary system actually works, you realise that is nonsense.

    from the oo’s article

    Compared with many countries, the Australian media gives a great deal of coverage to the economy and policy; a wide range of commentary, admittedly of variable quality, is also carried.


    This, from a paper that didn’t know what ‘shelve’ means in a business sense when a mining company reassessed it’s project. 😯

    One that ran a campaign AGAINST the stimulus, only to now state what they do in my next point.

    Yea, I guess we know where the ‘variable quality’ comes from then.

    You guys should get out into the real world and run a business that employs people

    Yes, remember the BER. Remember the totally flawed, biased and inaccurate campaign run by the oo against the BER. Wonder how many businesses benefited from that? I also bet they (and their rusted on readers) don’t even recognise the level of stupid this raises them to

    By contrast, the wind-down of the government’s school-building and social housing programs meant the economies of Victoria and South Australia contracted in the quarter, while NSW eked out growth of only 0.5 per cent.


    It is reminiscent of the NBN. They cried foul about it for months, no-one will use it, use wireless (mines a red one). Now they cry foul that it isn’t getting out fast enough.

    And your recovery actually preceded . . . China. . . .

    Looks like it was a good idea to keep all those people working and employed, so that when the mining sector recovered from its own self imposed recession, the work force was still there ready to roll.

    And the Government has done all of this against a tide of inarticulate abuse from within a concerted campaign from the mouths of a legion of abusive shock jocks; the weight of the mindless rantings of the current affair shows; and the totally false and biased reporting aided and abetted by the vast resources of murdoch empire.

    Personally, I reckon the whole party should be wearing a Smirk by now. 😉

  21. Tom this is the lose/lose I’ve been iterating for a while now.

    Many ask why the government can’t get its message out and why it can’t articulate its vision or successes.

    You have shown why Tom.

    No matter what this government does, no matter how it does it and no matter how how successful it is the media in this country, and that includes the ABC on the back of or ahead of the opposition, will spin it as a failure, even if this means the media contradicts itself one month to the next. And they don’t even care when these blatant contradictions or falsehoods are revealed, they just move onto another put down of the government.

  22. Many ask why the government can’t get its message out and why it can’t articulate its vision or successes.

    Precisley ME.

    And in the a complete 180, every stuff up by the opposition (such as LYING to public over their costings) is buried, if not ignored altogether.

    And our poor old media is complaining about how hard it is for them in todays environment

    Here’s a thought


  23. “When money is spent quickly, it can cost a little more…”
    When money is withdrawn quickly, as Tones & Joe propose, it ultimately costs a damn sight more.

  24. ” BER. Wonder how many businesses benefited from that? I also bet they ”

    There would have been many saved because of BER. There appears to be problems in NSW in the private system, where big business took advantage of the small contractors.

    This scheme was allowed to run it’s course.

    The other much maligned scheme, the so call pink bats, was curtailed early in the piece.

    There was great damage done to these businesses by the media onslaught that led to the scheme being prematurely disbanded.

    Not supporting the scheme and Mr. Garrett was one of Mr. Rudd’s biggest mistakes in my mind.

    It was downhill for Mr.Rudd from that time.

    The scheme was worthwhile and manage with due care.

    New Health and Safety rules were soon developed and put in place.

    Training for the installers was also made mandatory.

    It was found that the industry had no guidelines for safety rules. These were quickly put in place.

    It is telling that experience bosses took advantage of unsuspecting workers, putting their lives at risk.

    The scheme should have been allowed to run it’s course.

    The industry was made much safer because of the scheme.

  25. Except for the Pink Bats, the Labor government resisted all calls to curtail the stimulus early.

    It had inbuilt end dates and it is no coincidence that the economy is beginning to falter as the stimulus spending is coming to an end.

  26. Well there is a certain RWDB poster here, whom I suspect posts under different monikers, who likes going on about the government’s dire polling, whilst ignoring Abbott’s abysmal polling, and who might like to read this.

    Polls show winning potential of a post-carbon PM

    It was always going to be Abbott’s big problem and he and the Liberals knew it. Once the Carbon Price was bedded in, behaving something more like a benevolent GST, and it turns out the world doesn’t collapse, millions of Australians aren’t thrown into poverty whilst businesses en mass collapse around them, then the opposition (and their media mouthpieces) scaremongering was always going to fail.

    As Rudd pinned everything onto an ETS as the greatest challenge of our time, then reneged, which cost him his popularity and his leadership, Abbott’s greatest stated challenge was the bringing down of a GBNT as it would destroy Australia. He has failed miserably and his fortunes as a leader are going down with that failure. And when the price is bedded in and his bogeyman scare the population turns out to be a harmless shadow in the corner, then his leadership like Rudd’s was is also doomed.

  27. I seem to recall an estimate that it would cost umpteen billion $s to stop the NBN. The conclusion must be that any Abbott government is going to cost us a substantial amount of the money for doing absolutely nothing.

  28. This scheme was allowed to run it’s course.

    Exactly. And, even though the oo is today decrying it’s withdrawal in the poor performance of some states, doesn’t stop them, and other commentators with ideological barrels to push, to forget this fact when they jump on the oppositions bandwagon and argue that it should have been pulled back earlier, pretending that it would actually save money (or ‘waste’, as CU notes they call it)

  29. Re This scheme was allowed to run it’s course

    The problem was the rorters. I believe that this practice of rorting became so rife that the government had no option but to stop the scheme. This included collusion in pricing, basically ripping off the government – the price for installation was always the same, irrespective of the size of the job – the government $s and a little more on the top.

    There was also problems with job inspections with people discovering upon going into the roof, that the ceiling had been only partly covered with batts. There was also the problem with rorters mixing top quality batts with cheap Chinese imports.

    Clearly the government cannot be in every ceiling in the nation, so the scheme had to be cancelled.

  30. CU @7.10pm, my point exactly. Tax cuts to the low paid are next to useless because they amount to very little per week and even if they put aside that paltry amount at the end of the year, it wouldn’t even buy a decent Christmas lunch.

    And of course, tax cuts take a dog’s age to provide any sort of stimulus to the economy. And the only ones who really benefit are the well heeled, who will buy themselves a new pair of Manolos or Jimmy Choos or some such.

    However, the new tax free threshold should be a real boon to low and lower middle income groups.

    And as you rightly point out, unemployment does the greatest and most disastrous damage to the economy and the psyche of the nation and takes the greatest time to recover from.

    Keeping the workforce employed and spending their hard earned is far better than to allow wholesale unemployment, which, from their constant whining, has to be the Liars Party and their cheerleaders, preferred method of tackling a slowing economy.

    I believe they would welcome a recession because they could then reintroduce an even more draconian version of SerfChoices, so that there would be a vast army of poorly paid slaves for the likes of Gina, Twiggy and Clive to exploit. That is what Phone card is up to, after all.

    @8.41pm, you drongo. Unless you’re a big polluter, which you probably are judging by what you wrote, you won’t be paying the emission pollution price, nor will you be paying MRRT, but will be a beneficiary. Too much for your tiny mind to grasp?

    You should stop sucking in the verbal pollution from the likes of Anal Jones and his tribe of illiterates and acquaint yourself with some FACTS! I trust you actually know what a fact is?

    Oh and do try to grasp what a mandate is. When a government is elected, it has a mandate to govern; it doesn’t have to have an election for every piece of legislation it introduces.

    But while you’re bleating about mandates, did the Rodent have a mandate to slug the country with all those levies we were paying for years to bail out his brother and his mates in big dairies? Bet you didn’t even know you were coughing up the dough, because Costello hid them from prying eyes.

    And as a fellow self employed business operator, what shaneinqld said @6.19am, in spades.

    CU, the so-called pink bats scheme was pulled and Peter Garrett crucified by the braying of the Liars Party and Rupert’s Rag, because of the deaths of those four unfortunate young men.

    No mention of how many young men met their deaths installing insulation prior to the scheme. No baying for blood by the Liars Party over them! No accusations of murder in the Parliament by the coward Liealot!

    No thanks that the previously unregulated insulation in Queensland is now regulated and the cowboys have been given their marching orders! And I should also note, precious little thanks from the tradies whose jobs were saved by the quick action of the government.

    At times I think perhaps the government should have let the buggers swing in the wind of unemployment!

    I agree that the treatment of Peter Garrett by his colleagues was disgraceful! He acted quickly to rectify the faults brought to his attention and could not be held responsible for the deaths.

    All four deaths have been investigated and at least one was found to be the fault of the employee, who directly breeched his employer’s safety requirements, by using banned metal staples. The rest were laid at the employers’ feet, mainly for OH&S reasons.

  31. Jane, the reactions from the media and the opposition over the home insulation scheme amounted to supreme hypocrisy. First the scheme was a waste of money. Then they had those unfortunate deaths and the unfortunate public hanging of the Minister. The scheme was canned and what do we hear about? All those poor contractors who would now miss out on income.

    Given the latest of those complaints, one would have thought that the scheme would have been initially welcomed because of the income it would produce for the contractors and help employment.

    But no.

  32. Miglo
    Bad luck, you’ve touched a hair trigger here & all must now wear the consequences. I think the whole Pink Batt thing is one of the lowest acts in a collection of low acts designed to unseat this government.
    As I posted here once before, a perfect description of the program’s difficulties is “This is how Australians behave when you give them money & trust them”.
    Nary an iota of investigation into the actual miscreants (shonky installers being part of the bread & butter of 6.30 television for example) every single problem was the personal fault of a couple of government ministers. The lack of coverage of this amounts, I think, to some sort of conspiracy at least by default.
    I’ve also said & will say again that too close a focus on this aspect of the program would interfere with our national perception of ourselves as military & sporting heroes, not grubby little chancers.
    The media did their best to turn the entire stimulus program into either a bit of a giggle or a catstrophe.
    It’s hard to find any positive information on the success stories of the program, the increased comfort & energy savings, that would be to go against the collective theme of disaster.
    Abbott’s ludicrous accusations of criminal liability obligingly broadcast for him, little mention of this applying equally to his responsibilties as Health Minister.
    The whole fabrication now turned into an ongoing insult & criticism.

  33. BSA, one thing that I’ve always wondered is why the manufacturers of ‘pink batts’ didn’t kick up a stink about their brand of batts being bandied around, aka The Attack of the Killer Pink Batts by Abbott.

    Then there are the DIY retailers such as Bunnings. Why the silence on this issue? If batts are so dangerous why is Bunnings able to sell them DIY.

    The only thing that I can think of is that Bunnings are the largest employers of sub-contractors – then we have the problem of inadequate training.

  34. Another thing that pissed me off about Junk Media’s coverage of the stimulus was their scouring the globe to find characters like Mrs Schatt, currently resident of Buttcrack N.S. or somesuch, technically deserving & therefore a recipient of the $900 handout. A smarmy little creature, overjoyed at its unexpected 5 minutes of fame, would be wheeled out to say something like “Thank you Mr Rudd for this money I’m going to spend elsewhere” & be treated as a mini hero. Not for them the “ripoff merchant” tag applied to those more conventional spongers on society. They were a necessary part of the narrative & were treated with due respect.

  35. Exactly, Bob. That person had paid tax in Australa and therefore was qualified to receive the $900. If she had a real issue then she was quite welcome to return the money or better still, send it to me.

  36. BSA, how very true. And who can forget school council member Mr. Jack Goff telling the breathless interviewer that, that fkn school hall. I could have got them bricks 20% discount from Herry Pitts & Co.

  37. We were having a discussion on the Rudd Stimuli in the last week at work. The general consensus is that it was really clever. Give most a $900 cheque and they will “blow it”. Without getting moralistic even shoving it down the throat of a Pokie is assisting the economy as there are people employed by the clubs who kept their jobs, those that bought the new TV kept “The Good Guys” receiving money and then spending it on wages which the employees then spent to live and so on.

    Once that that flushed through the system, people were offered home insulation. While some state legislation was found wanting, there were millions using less fuel for heating last winter. As an aside – the owner of the firm that was responsible for the death of a 17 year old in Cairns is now in jail as a consequence of a WH&S Division investigation. I don’t know the outcomes of the investigations in other states.

    That gave time for the design and development of the BER program. This program kept numerous architects, engineers, builders and sub contractors in business and paying taxes, buying groceries at Woolies, cars, houses etc for the last 3 years. The local BER projects were well designed, well built and in the case of the one I know how much it cost – fantastic value for money. I’m a building construction project manager so most of these accounts of remaining in business were related first hand. These same people are now ringing me looking for more work as the tail end of the BER program flushes through the system.

    The proof is in the pudding. What is the only developed country in the world not to have gone into recession in the past 10 years?

  38. I think Canada implemented similar measures to us with similar results.

    I don’t think it was a matter of one copying the other as the stimulus measures were different, just the idea was similar.

  39. Min at 6.14
    How much of the criticism of stimulus projects came via disgruntled failed applicants for the work? They could of course have built twice as much twice as good for half the price.

  40. BSA, now that reminds me of a story and for the life of me I can’t remember the precise details. Some big business person saying that they could do it for half the price. This might be it…the computers in schools program and Harvey Norman.

  41. GDP growth 1% last quarter

    And of course the last of the stimuli package finished in the last quarter, which was why government spending was down.
    “Public investment slipped 7.2 per cent as stimulus building projects wound up.”

    Look to the figures for Vic, which went backwards by 0.1%.
    “‘Victoria stalling in the September quarter as the Baillieu government slashed investment spending in a bid to shore up its budget.
    Of course Bailleau blamed the previous govt.

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/business/australia-surges-victoria-stalls-20111207-1ojb6.html#ixzz1fvePmveG

    A good example of what would happen if Abbott got in, Slash, Cut, Stall and go Backwards

  42. My bank just announced a drop in interest rates. Joe Hockey would be so happy for me. Thank you Joe, but you had nothing to do with it.

  43. Min at 6.58
    From memory Stephen Conroy suggested Gerry should put in a tender, which he neglected to do. Now he’s out & about criticising people who buy stuff cheaper than he sells it.

  44. Min
    Set top boxes, was the issue. If you remember with the scheduled wind up of analogue TV. The govt did a trial of the switching off. In the trial, pensioners low income people could get a set top box installed and instructions on how it works, by a registered installer. All the cost etc were in a budget a couple of years ago. When in the 2010 (?) budget the set top box was ramped up, the Murky press and Gerry Harvey cried foul, the extravagance, the waste, the usual.
    Only later did the facts emerge and part of the facts was that the opposition had insisted on the assistance package. But as usual facts would have interferrd with a good bash on the govt.

  45. Hockey might be happy for you Roswell if you were one of his loyal constituents from the leafy north shore. But more tellingly, Joe wouldn’t have a clue why your bank did, or didn’t.

    Joe thinks that Labor’s deficit puts upward pressure on the cash rate. He thinks the government borrowings “crowd out” the private sector in the competition for loanable funds.

    But here it is, falling ! Quelle horreur !

  46. MJ, I’m about as far removed from Hockey geographically as I am politically, and from his recent dealings I might add ethically too.

  47. Peter Martin on radio, comparing our banks and their massive profits, to the UK 5% , USA 3%.
    Aussie banks should not get too clever as Swann is looking to tax reform and our 4 banks would fall into “super profits” area.

  48. The goverment is what u call waste. They waste taxpayers money to feed their fat asses. Look at Gillard. She needs 2 seats on a plane which cost more. The desal plant is waste. Myki system is waste. Their pay rises is waste. Their frequent travel is waste. Troops i Afghan is waste. The insulation bats was a waste. Smart meters are a waste. Do i need to continue?

  49. Roswell et al, I see elsewhere that someone is rather critical towards your favourable response to the $900 stimulus payment. Don’t let this deter you from commenting freely on matters of interest.

  50. Quite so Migs.

    King Arthur: a window into the the mind of the ratbag right. The place he once occupied in kindergarten would also seem to have been a waste.

    On banking: Mike Smith (ANZ) is saying that in future the bank will make it’s rate decisions independently of the RBA. He also said something like it would be good if there was a wider public discussion and understanding of banking operations.

    He should be careful what he wishes for. If the public had any idea of the actual mechanics of banking I think they would be truly amazed.

    Maybe Peter Martin could be encouraged to break ranks with his economics journalist cohort and write something about how banks leverage loan creation off their capital, and how it’s got almost nothing to do with reserves, our term deposits, etc. Truly a licence to “print” money.

  51. Sue @9.40pm. Thank you for that, it was indeed the set top boxes which Gerry Harvey said he could do for half the price. I remember being somewhat amused as I cannot recall when Hardly Normal’s has done anything cheaper..ever…

  52. There’s a lot of funny and completely wrong messages floating around in the ether at the moment in regard to the banks’ reluctance to “pass on” the RBA’s decision to drop the cash rate, starting with the Treasurer.

    Firstly, from my understanding, there’s nothing to “pass on”.

    The commercial banks don’t borrow from the RBA to create retail loans. In emergencies they may borrow overnight from the RBA to top up their Exchange Settlement Accounts, if they can’t get funds from other banks in the overnight market, but that’s an entirely separate issue.

    Given the enormous leverage banks can apply to their capital base to create loans, it seems to me that the rate they charge is a number they pull out of their arses.

    We all think it’s got something to do with term deposit rates but not so.

    We’re also told their return on assets is something like only 2%. Again, irrelevant and deliberately misleading.

    Notice how, in concert, they’ve all matched the drop in the RBA cash rate, but are saying they’re doing that because they recognise times are tough and they want to do their bit.

    They buckled because they want to perpetuate certain myths. Why is the public so mis-informed and ignorant of something as basic and important as our banking system ?

    Meanwhile, as Swan berates the banks for holding out, he’s tightening the fiscal screws in his pursuit of a surplus.

    It’s no wonder folk get confused.

  53. MJ
    On the Drum last night the ring wing apologiser was shouting apologies for the banks, saying they have to “borrow” overseas and the costs were high. When asked the percentage of the borrowings from these markets, he had no idea.
    A percentage was the only thing he could say.
    When the small banks/credit unions moved quickly it was reported that they raised their capital within Australia from deposits.
    So possibly, part of the public information campaign on the big 4 banks and their costs, could be what percentage comes from overseas and for what type of products.

  54. I seem to recall that he was also asked why he did not tender. Probably because it was more than just providing the box.

    Was it not the continuation of an Howard policy?

    I do not think that many would qualify for the box anyway.

    Another storm in a tea cup.

  55. I might feel some sympathy for the banks if their profit was not so high. That is the only figure that one can trust.

  56. Cu, probably because Gerry Harvey was talking through a hole in his head and couldn’t do it half price as he had stated.

    Harvey was just carrying the Liberal Party line as this being a government of ‘waste’.

  57. More words on the Slash, Cut ,Stall and go Backwards of the Victorian (and possible Abbott ) economic management. Or how to waste away your state.

    “FRESH evidence has emerged suggesting Victoria is holding back the national economy, endangering budget forecasts.

    One day after national accounts figures showed demand in Victoria stalled during a quarter when it rose in four other states, employment figures showed Victoria losing 30,200 jobs at a time when every other state was hiring.”

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/victorian-economy-stalling-one-day-lagging-the-next-20111208-1oleo.html#ixzz1fygNEvGS

  58. Sue at 7.33 am

    I’m sorry I missed that Sue. But perhaps it was best as I might’ve thrown something at the tv.

    The last time I looked at RBA data offshore funding was less than 50% and falling. Banks were happy to get their funding domestically.

    What strikes me as odd though is that the interest rate regime offshore (unless you’re talking about Greece etc) is decidedly on the low side. But perhaps there are hedging costs to offset the risk of currency volatility that we don’t understand.

    At the end of the day, the discussion centres on relatively small movements in the RBA’s cash rate (which are almost irrelevant) against a backdrop of obscene profits the banks generate by leveraging off their capital base.

    That leverage varies (according to the risk weighting of the loan) but it’s in the order of 20 times. A bit like borrowing on a 5% deposit I suppose, but coming from the other direction. Like I said, a licence to print money.

    In banking “capital” is not money we give them to lend out, it’s the value of their shareholders’ equity, what’s at risk if the bank goes belly-up.

    And similarly misleading terminology for “assets”. They’re just the value of the loan contracts, backed up by our collateral. But you’ll hear financial journalists apologising for bank profits by talking about the low return on “assets” (hope Ross Gittins gets to read this)

  59. MJ, any organization that has a return on assets (or return on equity as I like to call it) of only 2% would be better off closing down and putting their money in a bank for a much higher yield. They’re pulling our legs if they say they’re getting 2%.

  60. Dead right Migs.

    Their return on equity I think is closer to 20%.

    A couple of reporting seasons back Ross Gittins did actually write in the SMH something like that. I remember wanting to put him straight but there was no comments thread for the article.

    Banking is full of misleading terminology. I can think of 4 different ways to describe “reserves”.

  61. Roswell et al, I see elsewhere that someone is rather critical towards your favourable response to the $900 stimulus payment. Don’t let this deter you from commenting freely on matters of interest.

    Migs and Roswell I am gathering data to debunk the critics.

  62. Shane, I think the fact that Australia escaped the GFC is an indication that Swan did things right. Travelling through Europe and America recently the praise I heard for the way Australia handled the GFC was very glowing. Envious, actually.

  63. Migs

    I agree, however the rusted on right wing like to throw figures and numbers, so I am collecting the relevant data in a number of areas to throw back.

  64. Shane there will be a book written down the track.

    It will be about the phenomenon of a country turning against a government that delivered the best economy in the world during a GFC.

    It will consist of two parts. One describing how a stimulus can work, as long as it is quick and gives the money to those who will spend.

    The second will be the voters unexpected response, leading one to believe they do not vote through the hip pocket.

    Maybe it is true that in today’s world, one wants entertainers not politicians.

    Personally I would rather have someone who can do the job, regardless the width of her backside. I want someone who tells it as it is, even if the words sound a little dull.

    If I want to be entertained, I will turn on the TV to a comedy or a movie.

    I want most of all, a PM who is game to say what has to be said, regardless of the fact the media and opposition will do all in their power to twist and ridiculed what is said.

  65. The only reason Swan could do what he did was because we had no Federal govt debt and unemployment at 4%.

    Just imagine if we hit the GFC with debt at 50% of our GDP.

    And of course you lot condemned Howard/Costello for running surplus budgets rather than spending the money.

    by the way, labor keeps saying that our debt is low and manageable. well lets see them pay it off

  66. Neil, welcome, expected you before this.

    I am not that interested in what the Howard government did or no do. It is immaterial to Labor’s success.

    I would guess they would have done, as the Opposition has been and demanding.

    If so,we would be in the same mess as the rest of the world.

    As for the debt, there is no reason it will not be paid back.

    The important thing is that is is paid back in such a way that it does not hurt the economy. There is no reason to rush the process.

    What is more important for the government to deal with the presence world crisis and the multi-speed economy.

    The Government is establishing a retail council of Australia, to look at the many changes facing the retail markets. Six percent of sales are now on line. This is in reaction to a Productivity report released today. Once again this Government is dealing wit today’s and tomorrow’s problem, not yesteryears.react

    Yes Neil, it is today and tomorrow that warrants our our intention, not the past.

    Now if you do have some new aspect, that maybe interesting.

    Mr. Shorten is now on ABC24 with a lot of interesting things to say.

  67. “I am not that interested in what the Howard government did or no do. It is immaterial to Labor’s success.”

    That is a total insult.

    Labor has been in twice since 1970 and not once did unemployment finish lower than what they were handed.

    It may not be possible for govt to affect the unemployment rate but if it is Labor is useless. They have no idea how to create a job.

    Labor success?? Unemployment was at 4.3% in 2007 and it is now at 5.3% and looks like increasing.

    Labor success?? Six people in detention in 2007 and we now have 6,000 refugees locked up.

    And Labor will never pay back the debt they are handing future generations. They are nothing but criminals.

  68. Neil of Sydney..still spruiking Liberal ‘lines’. Don’t forget, when the GFC stimulus was being worked out, the Coalition was only a few billion behind Labor’s figures, The bigger difference would have been in how they spent it.

  69. Sky is speculating that Gillard is going to reshuffle Cabinet. Abbott then countered that if Bill Shorten is promoted then it will be a win for the ‘faceless men’. By the look on Abbott’s face, I think that he is worried about what happens next..especially the prospect of having Shorten promoted.

  70. Abbott, look over here at Labor, whatever you do do not look at Turnbull and stop reporting on him, anyone would think he is doing publicity stunts with all the times he has been in the media lately.

    Turnbull is wasting MY time !!!!!!!!!!!

  71. Sue, absolutely. Plus Abbott made not one single comment on the issue of retail sales, but it was straight into attacking the guvmnt.

  72. What over this time, Min? Insulation, BER, the stimulus payments, or has he added something new? Canberra bus routes, ice bergs, shoe fashions?

  73. Yes Pip, it is how the money was spent that counts. The exercise has been tried before without success.

    Neil. I care less whether you feel insulted or not. I have not noticed that you spend most of your time, handing out insults, often in the form of misinformation. You offer nothing but running down this government.

    I thought it would be good housekeeping to review the roles of government ministers at least once a year.

    Mr Abbott has good reason to be worried, he is fast approaching his use by date.

    As he said of Mr. Slipper, the party will have no further use for him.

  74. Migs, you are correct.

    I missed this one but he would have had nothing new to say.

    That in spite of the fact that Mr. Shorten did.

    One thing the PM does is keeps on releasing something new every few days.

    No matter what is released, Mr.s Abbott does not involve himself but continues with his well rehearsed spiel. He manages to do this, no matter the question asked.

  75. I just saw Hilary Quinton on the TV. she has her hair pulled back as she just got out of the shower and a ugly green garment on. Does that distract from what she has to say.

    I believe that our PM did the wrong thing by attempting to cater to those who condemn her for what she wears.

    I believe she would have been better to do as Senator Wong has done, keep to a few simple shirts and pants and forget about those who condemn her dress style.

    As least she will be able to feel comfortable, if not fashionable.

    We do not all have figures that accommodates high fashion.

  76. Migs @12.27pm, nothing else other than ‘this is a baaad guvment’. The sum total of Abbott’s input.

    Abbott was straight into attacking Shorten, which probably means that there are some rumours are floating around about Shorten being promoted. No substance to the rumour about any reshuffle as yet, so far.

  77. And of course the rumour of a Cabinet reshuffle has brought about secondary rumours about Kevin Rudd, that the promotion of Shorten could trigger a leadership challenge from Rudd.

    Has anyone done a head count on how many of these ‘leadership speculations’ the MSM have run?

  78. And of course you lot condemned Howard/Costello for running surplus budgets rather than spending the money.

    What utter garbage.

    I condemn them for providing tax cuts to the rich of which they could have used to build infrastructure and if those tax cuts had not existed, the revenue stream for the government would not be under the stress it is currently under.

    They could have still made their same surpluses and diverted tax cuts to infrastructure as the majority of the popluation requested when polled. But then again polls only count when the ALP is not leading and the policy is Coalition policy and we demand a fresh election when we are not in power. 🙄

  79. I am not that interested in what the Howard government did or no do. It is immaterial to Labor’s success.”

    This is a total insult. Howards good handling of the economy has everything to do with Labors “success”

    I hate it when the ALP reports how low our debt is. When in Opposition they opposed every measure of the Howard govt to reduce debt.

    The ALP are just big taxers and spenders. There most successful program is the increase in the number of people in detention and building new detention centers. They have the record for that. Record for the most number of children locked up.

    Everything else is a total failure.

  80. Ah, the Faceless Men!
    Surely the best known Faceless Men in recorded history, this line has become yet another slogan with which the media & their coalition allies bash Labor by dint of its sheer repetition.
    I skim read a bit by Samantha Maiden last Sunday where she mentioned (I think) Shorten, “one of the faceless men…”. For that you can read “one of the low life, backstabbing, duplicitous, lying, Labor voting & generally non-coaliton types that people of good taste such as yourselves would recognise as a blight on the earth.”
    The Great Unhinging rolls on.

    P.S. Maybe “duplicitous” was a bit big for the Murdoch Sundays, but you know what I mean.

  81. This seems to be the standard of the right wing troll types..

    Peter Slipper’s electorate office on the Sunshine Coast has been vandalised.

    Graffiti appeared this morning after Mr Slipper, known as “Slippery Pete” wrote to his constituents defending his decision to defect from the Liberal National Party to take up the position of Speaker in the Federal Parliament.

    The insults “grub”, “slimeball”, “loser”, “wanker” and “rsole” have been spraypainted on the glass windows of his Buddina electorate office. Devil horns have been drawn on pictures of the local member for Fisher.


  82. But no

    The favourite word of the Noalition and their cheerleaders, Migs.

    BSA Bob @4.17pm 8/12, beautifully summed up.

    Min @5.11pm, it’s a puzzle, isn’t it considering most of the insulation installed was foil, I understand?

    Migs @6.07pm, or to me, a far more deserving recipient. 😀

    What is the only developed country in the world not to have gone into recession in the past 10 years?

    Yes, 2353. Further proof that Wayne Swan and this government are appallingly bad managers of the economy and wastrels of biblical proportions!

    Neil, of course the Rodent is immaterial to Labor’s success in riding out the GFC. The Rodent and the Liar’s Party has only ever operated in favourable conditions.

    As such the unemployment rate should be low; that it is only marginally higher atm, is no credit to the rodent but to this government.

    Had the Liars Party been in government when the GFC hit, their only well spruiked solution would have been tax cuts, which are as much use as tits on a bull if there is mass unemployment. Nice try but still no cigar.

    Perhaps instead of chanting Liars Party crapaganda, you tried educating yourself, there would be more respect for your opinions. You could do a lot worse than to read MJ’s comments and he can certainly direct you to sites where you can learn how economies work.

    Of course you hate it when Labor reports that our debt is low, considering how much has had to be spent to keep the economy afloat in difficult circumstances. And frankly I’d rather that they forget about useless surpluses and keep spending to keep people employed.

    Good debt and bad debt, Neil. Good debt keeps the economy ticking along. Bad debt, like useless tax cuts, does nothing to keep people employed.

    High unemployment is disastrous for any economy; it’s knock on effects are appalling economically, psychologically and in increased recovery time.

    And judging from the Noalition’s braying, they seem to think mass unemployment is not too small a price to pay to keep their useless goddam surpluses!

    Actually, I’m sure they’d welcome it, because they’d be able to enslave the workforce with SerfChoices Mk III which Phone Card has been working on for the last 18+ months. Speaking of faceless men………

    Oh, sorry. I was supposed to look over there at asylum seekers, wasn’t I? Once again, nice try, but no cigar.

    CU, the government has also overhauled the regulations wrt credit cards.

    BSA Bob @1.18pm, they’re singularly unsuccessful at being faceless aren’t they?

  83. Min, what’s the bet that the culprit/s won’t be found ?

    Oh I don’t know, Pip. Anybody caught listening to Anal or Hadley would be viable suspects.

    I don’t think Slipper will bother standing again, even as an Independent.

  84. Jane, I believe the Coalition welcome unemployment as a way of keeping the worker in line.

    That really is a nasty comment. It is one of the reasons I would find it hard to vote for the ALP. It is composed and supported by nasty people.

    Since 1970 neither Whitlam or Hawke/keating had any effect on the unemployment rate. If it is possible for govts to do something about unemployment and it may not be possible, the ALP has had no success.

    Gough doubled the rate from 2% to 4% and Hawke was handed unemployment at 8% and Keating finished with 8% with 30 months of double digit unemployment in between.

    I bet you lot still voted Labor when we had unemployment over 10% for 30 MONTHS from 1991 to 1994.

  85. Neil and That really is a nasty comment. It is one of the reasons I would find it hard to vote for the ALP. It is composed and supported by nasty people.

    Sorry Neil, wrong again..we’re all cute and fluffy. 😀

  86. I wonder if Neil recites these things in his sleep:

    …Gough doubled the rate from 2% to 4% and Hawke was handed unemployment at 8% and Keating finished with 8% with 30 months of double digit unemployment in between..snore, snortle…Treasury subsequently acknowledged a calculation rate of 4.9 per cent..snortle, snortle…you lot, you lot, you lot…zzzzzzz

    And here is Neil. 😉

  87. Neil, if it is nasty to state facts, then we are indeed nasty.

    I also find it nasty to blame and punish those unlucky to be unemployed. All their policies where unemployment is concern, is to dish out punishment such as work for the dole etc.

    The unemployed are not out of work because of laziness. Unemployment is the result of economic policies.

  88. But they are not facts. It is just your opinion.

    To say that I welcome unemployment as a way of keeping the worker in line is indeed nasty and dishonest.

  89. Neil, you are well aware that others here provide relevent links to explain their opinions
    You should try it sometime.

  90. Neil re I bet you lot still voted Labor when we had unemployment over 10% for 30 MONTHS from 1991 to 1994.

    One should always put the raw stats in the social context. What was happening in in the ’90’s.

    Australia suffered under the weight of an economic recession in the early 1990s, sparked by the 1987 stock market crash. Inflation rates increased and unemployment hit record highs of 10 percent. Australians were forced to curb their spending, in stark contrast to the frivolous, free-spending society of the 1980s.


    Throughout his term in power, Keating introduced Aboriginal Land Rights legislation…

    Sometimes it’s not just about money….

  91. One should always put the raw stats in the social context. What was happening in in the ’90′s”

    Yes but Keating would have us believe it was a bad recession. I had a look and it was mickey mouse. It lasted about 7 months worldwide and unemployment in the US never reached 10%. Germany and japan actually prospered.

    It was made much worse by Keating govt policies. I think that is why this time Ken Henry went go early, go households. It was an admission that Treasury/Keating got their polices wrong last time.

    Guess what?? I think Treasury/ALP got it wrong again.

  92. There is a recession, therefore the Government got it wrong

    There is not a recession, therefore the Government got it wrong

    Beer goes better with nil 😎

  93. Why? That’s a strange statement. I am probably the only person on this blog to have run for elected office, plus won. (any others, how is your chance to ‘come out’).

    So tell me how such a twee statement can make sense..remember Neil you are speaking with someone who has been on the deciding end of government.

  94. How to turn a blog into a piece of dumb shit.

    Just read what Neil is saying yet again and again and again and again…..

    I know, I know – I’m guilty of playing with him at times too 😳

  95. Bacchus, we all are. Sometimes it’s good to have someone to put forward, shall we say, alternative opinions. Will Neil ever be any different than he has been for the past 3+ years..I suspect not.

  96. Yeh I know Min – just weary after a difficult week & finding Neil up to his usual…

    I’m sorry – more music:

  97. Same here Bacchus, it was a choice of arguing with el gordo’s twee bit about ratty at the gutter, or playing music with you.

    Some more Eric Burdon..baby do you understand me now..

  98. Bacchus.thank you..you’re playing all of my favorites. Here is one of mine. I’ve played this one (heaps) but it’s a never-fail kitchen dancing song (Min waves to Joni).

  99. Notice: Yes they’ve done it again. Once again I do not have incoming mail from Telstra. Once again to technical difficulties.

    The recorded message from Telstra is: Here at Telstra we really want to know what you think of us…

    Yes..I could manage that…I would quite happily tell Telstra what I think of them.

  100. My his list of failures is enormous, at least as big as his over inflated ego.”

    The Howard govt was one of the better govts this country has ever had. Better policies and better programs and better everything. It will be a long time before we see a better one.

    Rudd/Gillard are only good at building more and more detention centers. Perhaps it should be called the detention center revolution.

    Nothing of value will be left by this wasteful govt.

    It would not surprise me if the only current good Federal govt programs are those left by John Howard

  101. It would not surprise me if the only current good Federal govt programs are those left by John Howard.

    Neil, would you care to name one?

  102. Bacchus
    Thanks for John Lennon & Chuckles. I was more a Stones person, but I always liked the Beatles “Rock & roll music”. I thought it got along pretty well.

  103. Well I know two good programs Labor has cut. Primary Connections which was a program developed by the Academy of Science and funded by the Howard govt will no longer be funded.


    “NOBEL laureate Brian Schmidt will use $100,000 of his prize money for a primary school science program the federal government has stopped funding.”

    Labor has also stopped funding The Australia learning and teaching Council started by Howard.

    Scientists in Schools program is a good Howard govt program Labor has yet to abolish.

    You could even say the Northern Territory Intervention was a good program Labor has yet to abolish. But I know nothing about Aboriginal matters

  104. You could even say the Northern Territory Intervention was a good program Labor has yet to abolish.

    It was a bad program that Labor has continued. They’ve made improvements, but I was never in favour of it from the beginning even though I have worked on it.

  105. The income management aspect of it was open to abuse. People were given shopping vouchers for which only food could be purchased. As reported by the Army, people were selling $50 vouchers for $20 cash so they could buy booze. Rudd introduced a card system that could only be used for food; the good thing about it was that it couldn’t be passed on or sold.

  106. I would imagine this wouldn’t have been one of BSA Bob’s favourite Stones songs, but I quite like the contrast to their more usual fare:

  107. The income management aspect of it was open to abuse.”

    Still didn’t say why it was a bad program. All new Federal govt programs have initial problems because things happen that nobody thought about when the program started. You mentioned an improvement.

    But you said it was a bad program that you were against. ie you were against the intervention because it was bad policy.

    Is this correct???

  108. Neil, I was against it for two reasons.

    First, it was a political move by Howard in an effort to win popular appeal and thus votes. He had 11 years to do something but waits until the eve of an election.

    Secondly, and more importantly, the intervention disempowered people.

  109. Neil, if you really wish to debate this with Migs, read The Little Children are Sacred report and then consider how the NT intervention response relates to the report. (particularly the recommendations)

    IMO, the response was a political one, designed to pander to the prejudices of a racist electorate. As usual with the perverted Howard government (especially in the later years), everything was about the next election, not what was the right thing to do.

    Sending in troops FFS – how %^$#ed is that?


  110. Bacchus, sending in the troops was the lowest point up to that time.
    Shameful and wrong. Humiliating in the extreme for it’s victims, and Mal Brough is in his corner with Bonsai, waiting impatiently for his preselection.

  111. Mr Brough lost his seat Pip. I never did look into why that was in the context of the 2007 election. Perhaps a run for leader in the future will bring the reasons to the fore…

  112. Miglo, even Howard wouldn’t have tried the Intervention on white people !”

    My understanding is that the Intervention had ALP support. So your heroes supported it also.


    “Writing in February 2008, Aboriginal academic Marcia Langton forthrightly rejected arguments that the Intervention had been a “political ploy” and argued that the policy in fact marked the death of a “wrong-headed male Aboriginal ideology”:[25]
    “ There is a cynical view afoot that the intervention was a political ploy – to grab land, support mining companies and kick black heads, dressed up as concern for children. Conspiracy theories abounded; most were ridiculous.

    Those who did not see the intervention coming were deluding themselves.

    It was the inevitable outcome of the many failures of policy and the flawed federal-state division of responsibilities for Aboriginal Australians. It was a product of the failure of Northern Territory governments for a quarter of a century to adequately invest the funds they received to eliminate the disadvantages of their citizens in education, health and basic services. It was made worse by general incompetence in Darwin: the public service, non-government sector (including some Aboriginal organisations) and the dead hand of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) all presided over increasingly horrible conditions in Aboriginal communities.”

  113. Miglo & Bacchus
    Thanks for the clips. The piano in “Rock & Roll” sounds a bit like Jerry Lee himself. I think I’d still have my vinyl copy of AfterMath. For my money the best Stones album was “Beggar’s Banquet”.
    Eveybody knows “You can’t always get what you want” from “Let It Bleed”. I found out recently that Al Kooper did the French horn intro. I suppose that’s why it sounds so good.

  114. How about what the authors of the report have to say Neil:

    We delivered the Little Children are Sacred report to the Northern Territory government in April 2007.

    For a while there was silence; and then in June 2007, the then Prime Minister and his federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs announced the “emergency intervention” into the Northern Territory.

    There were many elements of the intervention announced that day. Not all of these were wide of the mark: there were moves to restrict alcohol availability, enforce school attendance, increase policing, and ban p-rnography.

    However, no one needed an inquiry to tell them that these measures were needed — there had been broad agreement for a long time about exactly these kind of actions.

    Critically, however, our recommendation about working with Aboriginal communities was ignored.

    Where we emphasised the need for resources and for flexible processes of engagement with Aboriginal families and communities, the intervention emphasised external control and “blanket” provisions affecting all Aboriginal people.

    The majority, and the “headline” elements, of the intervention, were deeply problematic.

    They included compulsory health checks of Aboriginal children to check for evidence of abuse, blanket quarantining of welfare payments to all Aboriginal people (leading to the suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act), the compulsory acquisition of Aboriginal townships, and the scrapping of the permit system that allowed Aboriginal people control over access to their land.

    These proposals were accompanied by a “get tough, quick fix” rhetoric that made it abundantly clear where the problem lay: it lay with us, it was Aboriginal people who were to blame for the conditions in which we lived.

    What we needed was a good kick up the bum, and then the non-Aboriginal state would just have to come in and fix it all for us, as we were obviously incapable of doing so ourselves.

    So, where was the evidence-base for this radical re-shaping of policy, for this return to a paternalistic approach to problem solving?

    Simply: it was absent.

    There was no attempt to justify the policy by reference to evidence. There was no attempt to address the fact that the vast majority of the evidence pointed in exactly the opposite direction to where the policy was going, towards approaches based on empowerment and inclusion rather than imposed solutions and paternalism.

    There was no recognition of what had been achieved in some places, or of a history of attempts by Aboriginal people and organisations to tackle the complex health and social issues in their communities.


  115. Bacchus, there was a 10.32% swing to Labor in the seat of Longman.
    From the bits and pieces of news since then I don’t think Brough is over it yet.

  116. Miglo at 1.19
    Thanks for that. The things you learn….
    Unlike the rest of you, I have to sleep sometime. Goodnight.

  117. I had heard around the traps that the female vote deserted him Pip. Not sure of the veracity of that or of the potential implications for his future. He’ll win Fisher at the next election – it’s what happens after that that becomes interesting…

    IF Abbott is still leader (which I doubt), he’ll be very wary of Brough getting ready to plunge in the knife, aided and abetted by the ghost of parliaments past (JWH).

  118. ‘night Bob.

    Bacchus, Bonsai has been supportive of Brough in the fights for Slippers seat, and I agree, it’s what happens after that will be worth watching.

  119. Libs set Turnbull up to fail: Brough

    NATIONAL: Malcolm Turnbull “cared only about Turnbull” and some Liberals supported his leadership only because they wanted to set him up to fail, former Howard government minister Mal Brough told US officials.

    This was gleaned via wikileaks.
    A confidential cable – dated June 26, 2008, and provided to the WikiLeaks website – relates a conversation in Canberra between Mr Brough and the then US ambassador Robert McCallum.

  120. I’m afraid I’m going to have to love you and leave you Pip. Maybe a friendly “westerner” might pop in to keep you company 🙂

    Perhaps a lullaby 😆

  121. Me too Bacchus, that’s a lovely note to finish on..

    Mal Brough leaves home for a new start by: Jamie Walker From: The Australian May 02, 2009

    THERE may be no going back for Mal Brough.
    The architect of the Howard government’s indigenous intervention has not only turned his back on politics, he has moved work and home from the state that launched his once-promising political career.

    He thinks that leaving Queensland, for now at least, might help his cause should he eventually want back in to national politics.

    “It actually makes it easier,” he insisted. “I am not into the Queensland LNP and I think the LNP has lost its way. I am not quite sure what it stands for. As for the Victorians … I have always had a strong association with the party here.

    “And if I am of a mind to do it at some stage I am probably in a stronger position to make a contribution from Victoria than from Queensland, strangely enough.”

    Looks like that didn’t go so well.

  122. Neil when one names a programme disbanded by Labor, please mention what Labor has replaced it with and why.

  123. You know what is the real waste? Reading Neil’s crap and listening to anything coming from Liealot and his cheerleaders.

  124. Miglo, that is not nice but I fear it maybe true.

    Lke Mr Abbott saying today there is nothing wrong with his front bench.

    I would say most are wasting the space they occupy, including Mr. Abbott himself.

    The first one to go should be the deputy, who pretends to be shadow FM.

    I believe there would be few, including Liberal supporters who can name who they are.

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