Tony Abbott and Tuff!

This morning’s Sky News provided the following announcement:

Tony Abbott has vowed to get ‘even tougher’ on asylum seekers if he becomes Prime Minister

One has to wonder why Tony Abbott has had this sudden “look over there” moment when according to all the popular; or should I say the populist press, he has already placed his bets, and won on the poker machine issue.

A sneaking suspicion from yours truly is that all is not well in Tony Abbott’s paradise on the issue of poker machine reform. The clubs are threatening to throw in millions.  The clubs will be weighing up the odds.

Meanwhile, and it would seem for no particular reason whatsoever here is Abbott on this morning’s Sky News.

So we now have it, here at last is the Liberal Party’s Policy on asylum seekers:

  • ALL asylum-seeker boats that are found to have started their journeys in Indonesia are to be turned around.
  • A Liberal government will TELL the Indonesian president that Australia will no longer accept boats which embark from that country.
  • More Navy vessels patrolling our waters.

The above clearly comes  from Tony Abbott’s Little Book of How To’s, and is filed under the letter S for Stop:  How to Stop People Smugglers. 

This could easily have been filed under the letter N for No, however that section is becoming rather chokka and in somewhat of a disarray.

Tony is clearly adamant that this is this will work, as he has described this as not just a deterrent – no, not just that it will stop ’em – but will stop ’em ” in their tracks”.  He however has conceded, repeating his previously stated proviso, that it may not always be safe to turn around every single boat and that he “would rely on advice from Navy commanders in each case”.

The logistics of the latter are yet to be ascertained, however on the face of it, it appears that firstly Navy commanders on interception of a SIEV will firstly have to launch boarding parties so as to assess the vessel’s seaworthiness.  Navy personnel will relay their assessment to the Commander, who will then contact the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister will then provide the Yea or Nay. 

By which time half of the crew will be fully engaged in a rescue operation as the SIEV would have sunk.

It is also likely that should Australia turn back boats as a matter of policy, that it would have breached its duty of care as a boarding party’s actions could be interpreted  as having been “taken into custody”.  

However, and I believe important to this issue is Abbott’s attitude towards our neighbor Indonesia.  I would suspect that Indonesia would be quick to reiterate its previous comment that future ‘returns’ will be unacceptable. 

This issue has (so far) received a one-liner from the Murdoch media:

A radical policy departure, this has far-reaching and unpredictable consequences for Australia-Indonesia relations.

I should add, that even if acceptable to the Indonesian government that this tactic of Tony Abbott’s is likely to run the risk of moving the problem sideways – that future SIEVs will not embark from ports in Indonesia, but that people smugglers will choose another country on which to focus for their operations.

219 comments on “Tony Abbott and Tuff!

  1. Mr Abbott has ruled out supporting Labor’s Malaysian plan, which he says would be cruel for asylum seekers

    Obviously, forcibly turning asylum seekers back on the open seas to whatever fate awaits in a country that has openly declared it will not accept them back (particularly without ANY UNHCR oversight such as was available in the Malaysia proposal) wouldn’t be ‘cruel’?

  2. “A radical policy departure, this has far-reaching and unpredictable consequences for Australia-Indonesia relations.”

    A departure? I would label this as a rehash off his previous utterances.

    This is all that the man has to offer since day one.

    Maybe he should offer his assistance to the Italian government, they are having a similar problem with refugees in boats.

    I feel the media needs to purchase a dictionary. They are having terrible problems with the meanings of simple words.

  3. Well Tony Abbott has just got my vote. At least he’s one politician who is trying to do something about the flood of illegal immigrants started by Hansen-Young and the Greens.

  4. Jarl, and I am sure he has lost many more with this re-announcement.

    A vow that he can not possibly keep or put into operation.

  5. At least he’s one politician who is trying to do something

    You mean like saying NO! even when his favourite island destination is (sadly) offered up by the Government. 😯

  6. How can it be anything BUT derision CU

    He will not agree to a framework agreed to by sovereign nations. Instead, force his barbarism onto others who have already said no to it.

    I am waiting for the condemnation of this by our msm. Will I be waiting long?

  7. Please make sure that you continuing eating in the mean time.

    I have a feeling this is one effort, the first of many that will flop for the “man”.

  8. I’ve said this before, & will say it again, that should they choose, all Indonesia or any other country has to do is to play the part of a roadside garage. Check the oil, sell ’em some gas & vittles & wave ’em out the drive.
    Direct confrontation such as Abbott proposes might encourage this attitude.
    Anyway somewhere in his statement will be the universal getout “where possible”. It won’t be possible in most if not all cases but he’ll have scored the votes of people like Jarl & that’s what matters to him.

  9. he’s one politician who is trying to do something about the flood of illegal immigrants started by Hansen-Young and the Greens.

    So many wrong assumptions and misunderstandings, one doesn’t know where to start. So I won’t waste my time.

    But keep up the comedy.

  10. Jarl, doing something is getting a regional solution off the ground.

    Doing something is bringing to and end what is causing people to flee.

    I am sure that what is now incurring in Burma might go a little way down this path.

    Saying you are going to turn boats back solves nothing.

    Saying “no” to refugees does no good at all. It is a VOW he cannot put into operation or keep.

    I will go further, the “man” is talking bull shit, and he knows it, but does not care.

    The “man” wants the boat to keep coming, like he is happy to see the economy fail.

    He will even go further and work towards this happening.

    Mr. Abbott is only interested in things failing. He will not lift a finger to give assistance.

    Mr. Abbott believes that the only way he can achieve power is to destroy everything the government does or attempts to do.

    Mr. Abbott gives no regard that this does to us or the country. The only game in town in Mr. Abbott’s world, is him becoming PM.

    Mr. Abbott obviously believes he cannot win on merit, otherwise he would behave differently.

  11. I agree with Tom. 😯

    It’s OK to have people drown or taken by sharks, but it’s not OK for them to be kept in Malaysia, where, they might get beaten up.

    Personally, that prospect is in itself a beat up.

  12. After Abbott taking part in the ride for cancer in Adelaide and joking
    on radio about the uncomfortable seat, all i can say is that it affected his tiny brain….

  13. Min, from Tony’s Little Book of How To’s, this could be from the John Wayne section…he’s got the walk down pat.

  14. Roswell, the connection is clear, but did he ‘stop’ to consider taking some lessons in diplomacy or Foreign Affairs? NO !

  15. Pip, I thought that walk had other causes. Maybe he is aping King Kong?

    It does not appear so pronounced now.

    What surprised me was the small amount of money one in his position was able to make for the Cancer body..

    He is also demanding national screening for bowel cancer.

    Is this a new thing, I know I have been sent a couple of kits over the last few years.

    It is also very easy for one’s doctor to ensure you have one..

  16. What danger are our borders really under from a few boat people.?

    Are they coming to blow us up or take over the country?

  17. Cu, I thought there was already a screening program for bowel cancer.

    Daughter also suggested a reason why Rabbott completely disappears from view on his holidays, and overseas trip last year.

    Skin peels take a week or so to heal 😆

    His face still moves so it probably not botox….

  18. Cu, I don’t believe our ‘borders’ are in any danger at all, but doesn’t this line sound like a Great Big Dog Whistle?

  19. From Paul Kelly’s article, shadow Immingration, Scott Morrison is back to his usual about illegals but determined to ahow he has a heart, all in on paragraph…

    The Coalition envisages a maximum 3750-quota applying both to boat arrivals and those who arrive legally and then make a refugee claim. The latter will have priority under the quota. Boat arrivals would be last in the new queue.

    Mr Morrison is bent on reversing the consequences of Labor’s policy where offshore places have fallen because of permanent places given to boat arrivals. He says those refugees who cannot get a boat are typically frail, unable to work and too poor to pay smugglers.

  20. So Mr. Morrison is to introduce a scheme similar to the PM’s with a few lesser in number.

    I assume those knocked back will be left on Nauru for many years.

    What happens when Nauru fills up?

    I would say those who cannot get on the boats, are those whose money has run out while they wait now in Indonesia.

    There must come a time when there is no choice but to get on the boats.

    What is the Liberals going to offer these people while they wait.

  21. “boat arrivals and those who arrive legally and then make a refugee claim”

    Sorry, are not both lots legal.

  22. Cu, “What is the Liberals going to offer these people while they wait.”

    As my Mum used to say…”what Paddy shot at..”

    They will be offered nothing.

  23. Pip, we well know what happened last time people where left stranded on Nauru for an extended time.

    Why would it be any different now.

    There is a difference, I do not believe a Abbott government would react to genuine public outcry, as the man is never wrong.

  24. I am reluctant to give this site air, but I could not resist it. Mr. Abbott going to Indonesia as a friend is laughable.

    Once again bully politics. Maybe Indonesia will turn off a few taps, starting with beef cattle.

    Are the lunatics taking over the asylum or is it that they are becoming desperate and losing reality.

    “…If elected prime minister, the first nation Mr Abbott will visit is Indonesia. He will go as a committed friend, but tell Jakarta that Australia will no longer

    …..Bravo Mr. Abbott. It’s about God damn time someone had the intestinal fortitude to confront the source of the problem – Indonesia. I’d go a step further and tell Indonesia that if they don’t play ball then the $1 billion aid tap gets turned off….” House%28Menzies+House%29

  25. Laurie Oakes has a shot at both our leaders.

    Oakes: Tony Abbott just doesn’t get it

    The incident brought to mind previous Abbott lapses of judgment, particularly in the 2007 election campaign.

    His notorious attack on terminally-ill Bernie Banton, who was fighting for compensation for asbestos disease sufferers, springs immediately to mind.

    Many of us thought Abbott had grown up since then. But apparently not.

    Just for ltd news style ‘balance’,

    It drives home the point that a good political attack dog might not necessarily make a good PM.

    This matters because, while many issues will drive federal politics this year, the leadership question will be crucial.

    At this stage, Gillard’s problems in that area are certainly more obvious and more serious than Abbott’s. She’s not trusted, largely as a result of the broken “no carbon tax” election promise. And she is seen as weak, primarily because of the compromises made necessary by a hung parliament.

    That’s exactly right Laurie, the PM said truthfully, that there will be no carbon tax, as reported by “Editor at large” Paul Kelly and Dennis Shanahan in The Australian.

    Julia Gillard’s carbon price promise by: Paul Kelly and Dennis Shanahan From: The Australian August 20, 2010

  26. Jarl and “the flood of illegal immigrants started by Hansen-Young and the Greens.”

    Oh really? And what makes you think that asylum seekers are “illegal”. I would love to know your interpretation of this.

  27. Tom and..

    forcibly turning asylum seekers back on the open seas to whatever fate awaits..

    Imaginary scenario. A SIEV is detected by Border Patrol and intercepted. A boarding party is launched to ascertain the seaworthiness or otherwise of the vessel carrying 120 persons including women and children, many ill from seasickness and dehydation, some of the women appear to be very pregnant.

    The boarding party, on instructions from Prime Minister (choke, choke) Tony Abbott has instructions only pertaining to the vessel, but no instructions concerning the people on board.

    The boarding party must include (my guess) a Leading Seaman with expertise in vessel assessment (is there such a person in the RAN and on every Patrol Boat?) and a munitions expert (**disclaimer, this means my son).

    The vessel is assessed to be seaworthy. Does this mean current conditions, but what about the impending gale which the SIEV might be facing should the boat be turned back?

    And what about the people? My guess that is that a majority of Commanders would be telling Abbott, Sorry but the vessel is unseaworthy. Who would want that sort of responsibility, to send people including women and children out to unknown fate at sea.

    To Tony Abbott these people might be just political point scoring, but to the seamen and the Customs personnel they are real people, they are physical live human beings.

  28. On the more paranoid side, is this the opposition actually agitating Indonesia in the hope that they, in turn, will simply allow, or encourage, more boats this way?

    An upsurge in boat arrivals will certainly help distract an easily distract media away from more yabot brainfarts

  29. Tom R, you might be onto something. The boats seem to have slowed.

    Personally I have not seen any evidence that support the Oppositions allegations that relationships with Indonesia have soured.

    Maybe Liberals live in a different world from us.

  30. Wilkie withdraws support for Gillard government. What does that mean?

    Could not Mr. Wilkie now bring a personal bill to the parliament, testing the matter?

    Is the PM’s announcement really that big of back down> Is it a more feasible option?

    Are the clubs right to be so happy about the what is happening.

    I believe if the public keeps the pressure on, Mr. Wilkes wishes be achieved.

    Mr. Wilkie added that what has happened is not too bad and we do have poker machine reform.

  31. It appears that Mr. Wilkie withdrawal of support goes to not having to support budget matters. It means that they cannot depend on him.

    Mr. Wilkie can still test his belief by putting forwarded changes to the bill when being debated.

  32. Wilkie will no longer be guaranteeing support for government budget measures, ie., the changes to the Disability Support Pension.

  33. Wilkie should be thankful for small mercies…his pokies reforms are on the way… slowly slowly catchee monkey

  34. Min
    I don’t know much about vessels but I should think it wouldn’t be too difficult to make one unseaworthy. Plus of course the poor bastard doing the onsite assessment knows he’ll carry the can if anything subsequently goes wrong.
    Folks at the sharp end wouldn’t be too happy?
    This must surely be pretty shonky, interesting that Abbott talks so matter of factly about doing it while legitimate requests for asylum are still called “illegals”
    Wixxy’s right, it was a good post.

    Tom R at 2.48
    It’s possible, Howard started his PMship annoying other countries for domestic political gain.

  35. Pip, do you think that is going to make much difference to the government. Cannot imagine him supporting much of what Abbott puts forwarded.

  36. Mr. Wilkie is also giving the PM credit.

    Mr. Mr. Wilkie has literally got what he wanted, he just cannot see that now.

  37. Cu, he also added that the PM is in breach of her agreement with him, and has broken the trust of the Australian public.

    Wilkie is convinced that the numbers are there to pass the legislation if the PM says so [ to the Labor MPs ].

  38. Politics still is and always has been the art of the possible.

    The voter cannot have it both ways.

    They cannot demand that the poker machines be left alone while demanding mandatory pre-commitment be introduced.

    Today’s action is far from a back down, as much as many would like it to be.

  39. So what do we have here..

    …opting for a trial of the gambling restrictions.

    The year-long trial will only take part in the ACT and will start on January 1 next year but, in the meantime, all new gaming machines will have to be fitted with technology that requires people to set their own betting limits.

    I know that I might be labelled as an apologist, but I’m trying to assess this scheme on it’s own merits.

    1. We have a trial starting next year in the ACT where people will have to set their own betting limits.

    2. That all NEW machines will be required to be fitted with technology requiring people to set their own limits.

    This could work as it means that people will have to take personal responsibility for how much they spend, this being something which those addicted are extremely reluctant to do.

    The fact that ALL NEW MACHINES throughout Australia will be required to be fitted with the technology means one heck of a lot more than ‘just a trial’. I’m not certain how often machines are rolled over, but I would think at least every six months. New Machine = a machine which requires the player to set his/her betting limit.

    Isn’t ‘requiring people to set their own limit’ equivalent to pre-commitment anyway?

    I should imagine that the technology will mean you pre-commit to say $50.00 and when that runs out you go home….

  40. Notes from PMs announcement

    New gaming machines will have to be fitted with pre-commitment technology ahead of trial.

    ATM limit at pokies sites will be $250

    Pre -commitment laws for poker machines to begin on 1/1/2013

  41. Mr. Wilkie also said that Opposition members would cross the floor. The other independents are clear that they would not support him.

    Many grey areas.

    We will be getting reform.

    The way is open to extend the reform.

    Mr. Wilkie can work towards making changes to the legalisation. If he has the support he says, he will be successful.

  42. Further to Min’s comments about our Navy personnel @ 2.18pm,
    And what about the people? My guess that is that a majority of Commanders would be telling Abbott, Sorry but the vessel is unseaworthy. Who would want that sort of responsibility, to send people including women and children out to unknown fate at sea.

    Abbott’s boats pledge ‘reckless’: Gillard

    PRIME Minister Julia Gillard has labelled as “reckless” Tony Abbott’s policy a Coalition government would instruct the navy to turn around asylum-seeker boats on the water and return them to Indonesia.
    “This is a dangerous and reckless approach,” she told reporters in Melbourne today.

    “Turning a boat around is not worth the risk of losing an Australian life.”

    Ms Gillard said senior defence officers had advised against the idea.

  43. Pip. I very much doubt it.

    He is well aware he cannot trust the man.

    What policies of Mr. Abbott is he likely to support.

    If he did, he would be left with no credibility.

    Mr. Wilkie would just be seen as the same as any other opportunist politician.

    I think when he takes time to reconsider, he will find it better to spend his time, building up support for what he wants.

    At least much of the groundwork will be laid.

    If he is genuine, he will spend the time to the next election ensuring that there is strong public support. That the war against gambling and poker machine is in the forefront, that no party can ignore it, regardless of the fight the industry puts up.

    Mr. Wilkie’s main enemy is not the PM but the club and poker machine industry.

  44. Additionally, from the link as above:

    The government will also move to introduce a $250 daily withdrawal limit from ATMs in gaming venues, excluding casinos, by 1 February, 2013.

    Excellent idea. Those who overdo it on the pre-commitment will not be able to withdraw more than $250 from the club’s ATM anyway.

    And this is an excellent idea because gambling addicts act on impulse, they do not think. Plus they act on habit.

    Their habit is to front up to the club or pub at X time, take with them X amount of money with X time alloted before they have to be home to cook dinner etc.

    If anyone knows a gambler, they will know how p*d off they are when they are forced to have to veer one iota from their routine.

    A limit of $250.00 from the ATM means a method of breaking the habit, plus importantly an acknowledgement of how much they are spending. One thing that gambling addicts hate the most is to have to acknowledge how much they have wasted doing sweet BA other than pushing a button and watching the pretty pictures go around and around.

  45. Cu, I wonder did man of integrity Wilkie challenge the government over the DSP changes before he waved them through while disagreeing with them.

  46. Min, the addict does not see it as taking more money from their account.

    They see it as temporary borrowing, that they will put straight back when the win they know is in the next pull occurs.

    An addict can rationalise anything. I am not sure the amount should be small. I know this could cause problems.

    I live in an area that the closest ATM is in a club. I hate using it, as their charges are also higher.

    It does not look good having all ones withdrawals within a club.

  47. Cu, @ 3.39pm I put the question with Tony Windsor’s account in my mind, of his discussions with Abbott after the election. 😯

  48. Pip, I believe we are in for much…

    We have proposed plans that will make a difference. The industry has been silenced.

    I do hope members look around the types of machines that their clubs are installing and start demanding more low intensity machines,

  49. Cu, absolutely. The gambler spends X dollars and so in order to balance the books has to make money via other means…so as to ‘balance the books’.

    And so the other means is just a method of feeding the addiction.

  50. The PM could have gone along with Mr. Wilkie and allowed the bill to be introduced.

    If it was defeated, the cause would have been put back indefinitely.

    Nothing would be achieved if this happened.

    The PM would have been seen as keeping her promised and no help for addicts attained.

  51. Cu, Tim Costello declared that the Clubs will be very happy with today’s news, and I agree with you, we’re in for much bullsh., from the clubs and their supporters but they will meet with some real opposition.

    Anti-pokies group goes postal

    A coalition of anti-gambling groups is launching a major push to counter the gambling industry’s multi-million dollar advertising campaign against poker machine reforms.

    The Stop The Loss Coalition will begin its campaign by sending 1 million letters to homes in marginal electorates across the country, arguing in favour of mandatory pre-commitment technology.

  52. Well Mr. Abbott has taken some of the4 heat off the PM by creating a diversion with his stop the boats.

    A clever party would have kept their heads down this weekend, and left the field clear.

  53. Back to Min’s excellent post…

    An opportunity to point out to Mr. Abbott the predictable loss of wonderful new citizens under his planned regime.

    Some Great Australians… Who Happened To Be Refugees

    I thought it was funny the other day when Tony Abbott was pictured on the television news services having a discussion with a small business owner… a greengrocer from an Asian background. It turns out the small business owner came to Australia in the 1980s on a boat as a Vietnamese refugee.

    The reality is that refugees contribute a hell of a lot to our country, both economically and culturally. Not only is accepting them the compassionate thing to do, and the right thing to do. It’s the Australian thing to do. We have a great country built on multiculturalism. Why is everyone scared of a few hundred desperate people running for their lives?

  54. “Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has flagged using navy resources to turn back all asylum seeker boats to Indonesia.

    Mr Abbott has adopted a radical hardline policy on border protection, The Australian reports.

    He told cabinet colleagues the issue is a ‘test of wills’ and Australia has lost.

    ‘What counts is what the Australian government does, not what it says,’ he said.

    ‘It’s time for Australia to adopt turning the boats’ as its core policy.'”

    “core policy”

    This clever policy by passes his need for Nauru.

    Very clever, he does not have to talk about offshore processing, that is now off his agenda.

    Very clever.

  55. It can also be address by a slogan, turn back the boats.

    No need for him to have to explain any thing else.

    Very simple message.

  56. And I’ve also written to the PM and Mr Emersen (local member) letting them know I’ve also withdrawn my support 😈

  57. Bacchus I am sure if the pressure is kept on, with the likes of Getup and Stop the Loss, it would not be hard to bring the proposed legislation into line.

    It would only take a couple of small changes.

    An introduction date would just about fix it.

    All that needs to happen is the government to be more frighten of the voters than the club industry. Give some of the alleged nervous nellies a shake-up.

    I suspect the PM would love the excuse to go further.

    It is not prudent to throw the baby out with the bath water.

    It is clear that the Coalition is never going to come to the party.


  58. It is hard to know where Mr. Wilkie was to get his numbers from. Maybe some in the Coalition were kidding him along.

    “The reforms are one vote short after Mr Wilkie, who predicted a deal within days, has only been able to secure crossbench votes from Greens MP Adam Bandt and himself. Mr Oakeshott had been considered undecided but yesterday fleshed out his position.

    He called for a trial of the technology and expressed doubts to Ms Gillard and Mr Wilkie that they would be able to provide detail before the Budget.

    Mr Oakeshott said he would not vote on a “blank sheet of paper”.

    “It is critical we have the detail on whether mandatory pre-commitment can work,” he said.

    West Australian Nationals MP Tony Crook said this week he remained undecided, while Tony Windsor and Bob Katter are considered to be unlikely to vote for the reforms. At the Stop The Loss campaign launch, anti-pokie campaigner Tim Costello blamed NSW politicians for stifling the debate.

    “The MPs who are spooked are largely in NSW,” he said…”

  59. Cu and “The PM could have gone along with Mr. Wilkie and allowed the bill to be introduced. If it was defeated..”

    Clearly the bill was going to be defeated without Windsor and Oakeshott’s support.

  60. letting them know I’ve also withdrawn my support

    I have to admit, it is sounding like an idea.

    I have no idea why the Government wouldn’t just try and get the initial agreement through? Even if it failed, all they needed to do was try.

    After that, they would have been free to do what they are proposing now.

    And, this will really put the nail in about Gillards word. She has trashed her remaining credibility with this. There was an argument before. Now, that is hard to maintain.

  61. Call it “keeping the pressure on” as CU puts it Tom…

    And I agree – credibility shot to pieces. Sorry Ms Gillard, I can no longer support your government. At this stage it’ll probably be Greens, Independents, Liberal, then Labor last (unless there’s some real loonies like One Nation in Rankin.)

    I’m not even sure a backflip due to pressure brought to bear could change my mind at this stage – extremely disappointed 😦

  62. Tom..I suspect that we will all have to read Julia’s memoirs to find out..

    Who says that Gillard has ‘trashed her word’? The MSM that’s who.

    I am probably the sole representative here, having been an elected representative. It’s not as easy as it seems.

    Fine and dandy for people to bleat from the sidelines about what one should do or not do. No, I’m not an apologist just a bit pissed off about people expecting the impossible.

    Give us a break, it’s a minority government..if Gillard accomplished any more than what she has already accomplished then the Ascended Masters would be carrying her up to the other realms.

    I think that I’ll play music…bum, bum, bum, bum….

  63. Wow, surprise surprise. Wilkie has only been threatening to do this for the past umpteen months.

    Have a look at what Gillard is proposing. Not good enough? Ok so Wilkie is going to do a Fielding and get nothing.

    I personally would have thought that introducing a $250 withdrawal limit on ATMs PLUS that all NEW machines will be required to be fitted with technology requiring people to set their own limits would have been a substantial step in the right direction. Not good enough? I think that I’ll play music.

    Something nice and mellow…

  64. How creative is the ALP that they couldn’t find a way out of this mess.

    Agree with TOM R and Bacchus, Giilard has lost lot of cred with this decision,

    So very disappointed.

    BTW I think that mandatory pre-commitment is a load of crock and just a raft of measures recommended by the PC.

  65. Bacchus, I think many of us are disappointed.

    Not because of the decision made, as I think it has value.

    I am upset that once again it has been proven by launching a attack with unlimited money and based on lies can succeed.

    Once again powerful bodies, willing to spend unlimited money, have once again been able to undermine our so called democracy.

    Once again Australia voters have allowed themselves to be taken in.

    We need politicians to stand up o this kind of attack.

    I do not believe that in the long run the clubs, pubs and casinos have won.

    I think they may feel the same when they look at the fine print.

    We do not have to accept the outcome. We can work to have a couple of amendments to the propose bill.

    The first is a starting date after the trial. The proposed bill appears to lay the groundwork for that. That is what I expected would have happened today. A trial to iron out any problems and a starting date.

    The PM can also agree to support such amendments with the proviso, if they are not successful, the original bill will stand.

    It will be up to Mr. Wilkie to produce the numbers that he believes he has.

    I do not believe the fat lady has sung yet.

  66. Sorry, CU, Gillard entered into an agreement with Wilkie. Spin it any way you like but it looks bad and will be reported as such.

    I can’t defend this, except to say that I hope the final outcomes are worthwhile.

  67. We need politicians to stand up o this kind of attack

    Yes, YEs and YES!! CU. That’s why the disappointment. I was looking for the Gillard government at long last to stand up to one of these highly funded lobby groups, especially on an issue that has majority support in the community.

    Spend some $$$ countering the Clubs Australia advertising, argue your case strongly in every way possible… But once again, they’ve gone to jelly and wimped out!

    I really don’t think they’ve played this one at all well politically…

  68. Rabbit et al..grrr..

    Gillard says: A limit of $250.00 from the ATM PLUS that all NEW machines will be required to be fitted with technology requiring people to set their own limits.

    Now tell me what’s wrong with this.

  69. rabbit, I think if you look again most has been delivered.

    Mr. Wilkie still has the opportunity to mount amendments to the proposed legislation.

    There would only need to be a couple to get what he wants.

    If the numbers are there, he will be calling the PM’s bluff.

    The PM since Christmas has given Mr. Wilkie ample opportunity to deliver the numbers. I believe he has not been able to do this.

    It needs to be pointed out that the other independents are not giving support.

    It is strong proposals that will be put in place. The groundwork is within the proposals to be easily extended. The fact that all new machine must have the technology, indicates this is what is intended.

    The agreement between Mr. Wilkie and the PM would still have meant the final stage of pre-commitment would have not been introduced until after the next election anyway.

    Why have a political fight if it is unnecessary. For the clubs etc to keep the battle up until the next election would only have benefited the Coalition.

    Nothing else would have been gained.

  70. Thanks Min…

    Nothing at all wrong with the initiatives taken – just doesn’t go far enough. The problem in the end comes down to the politics of it all. They could have and IMO, should have, done better. In fact, it was imperative for good government that they took this chance to do better, and be seen to be doing better. They are unlikely to get a better chance before the election…

  71. To get a clearer idea of what happened today, it is worthwhile listening to the press conference in full, not what are saying was said.

  72. Nothing else would have been gained.

    Disagree CU – credibility would have been gained. Might have made other cashed up lobbyists think twice about spending their money too…

  73. From my experience, Min, most problem gamblers don’t have $250 in a savings or cheque account (except maybe on pay/pension )day . They use a credit card that can’t be accessed at pubs or clubs, other than casino atms. So they can easily ‘load’ up before entering a venue. And usually there is an ATM not far from the venue. If it’s too far to walk, hail a cab, and hope for all hell there’s some money available.
    I’ve seen people standing at ATM’s in casinos waiting for the clock to tick past midnight..that’s when limits are reset …heaven!

  74. I am amused that the Coalition wants to keep the focus on the asylum seekers and the PM’s relationship with Indonesia.

    They appear to have nothing to say on the announcements by the PM.

  75. It isn’t a question of if the new arrangement is better or not imo Min. What was wrong with Gillard simply taking Wilkies proposal to Parliament, losing, then putting this through.

    As Wilkie said, he has supported policies he hasn’t agreed with, with the understanding that Gillard would support his. And, I don’t really see how Gillard would have lost any more skin by putting it through, even if it was destined to fail. Her agreement only covered putting it to parliament, it never covered it actually passing. All she needed was this symbolic gesture. It is truly bemusing, and more than a little disappointing.

    This was all she had to do, and we could have all moved on. Perhaps, in pure policy terms, her position may be best. But in a political sense, and how it looks to the public, it is a terrible look. And, also, imo, not a very good way to treat Wilkie.

  76. rabbit, they are not all pensioners. At least the ones playing the high intensity machines.

    Of course they will find ways around it, after all they are addicts.

    What it might do, stop others from becoming addicts.

    Prevention, I believe is the name of the game.

  77. Bacchus and “should have, done better”,

    How? A $250 withdrawal limit from club ATMs and that all new machines will have to have technology where people have to set their own limits.

    Where does personal responsibility click into the equation. Sure Joe Blooper can spend his $250 at the club’s ATM and stagger down the street to withdraw from the ATM at Woolies. But isn’t that up to Joe Blooper to decide?

  78. Bacchus, I agree credibility might have been achieve.

    At least among the likes of us.

    I fear that the opposite might also occur, that the PM is the lapdog of the independents. I

    I am sure the media would bot be giving much credit.

    Maybe hindsight will see that the right action in the circumstances has been taken.

    We seem to have a PM who is more interested in getting things through, despite hurdles.

    This means we have a PM who is willing meet people half way.

    The question is, does the PM take this too far.

    Are the results the PM obtain all wrong.

  79. CU, sorry I didn’t mean to imply that pensioners are the only ones who have problems with gambling.

    The issue here, I believe, is that Gillard has refused to put a bill before parliament, contrary to her agreement with Wilkie.

    This whole thing has not been thought through very well and makes the ascension of slippery pete to the speakers job all the more suss.

    Sack her advisors!

  80. ““Frankly, a deal’s a deal and it must be honoured. Our democracy is simply too precious to trash with broken promises and backroom compromises. So I will walk, take my chances and so be it.”

    One should go ahead with every deal made, no matter the outcomes achieved.

    One should stick to a agreement even if a better option raises it’s head.

    One should stick to the agreement even if success is unlikely.

    I find that hard to swallow. Yes one should keep their agreements but there is nothing that says they cannot be renegotiated.

    If the agreement will produced the promise outcomes, then sticking to it makes sense. It is stupid to believe one must stick to something that cannot be delivered.

    Maybe Mr. Wilkie should have taken a step back, went along with the PM but insisted on a starting date after trial proved it was feasible. That could still be open to Mr. Wilkie.

    Why is it that the PM is the one that is always expected to give way.

  81. Rabbit, ‘refused’ according to whom? The Murdoch media?

    It’s the same old, same old..speculation about what a piece of legislation might contain courtesy of Murdoch.

    Gillard states the specifics about what it does contain and she gets howled down by BOTH the Left and the Right.

    Sorry folks, but I’m out of here. Adieu for now.

  82. ” Perhaps, in pure policy terms, her position may be best. But in a political sense, and how it looks to the public, it is a terrible look”

    It appears that the PM choose the policy option.

    We now have a PM criticised for not putting politics first.

    I take it that one believes the policy is OK.

    As I said, if she went along with Mr. Wilkie, she would be accused of not being in charge.

    If the PM chooses what she believes is better policy, that is wrong, she should have kept a promise made nearly two years ago, and cannot be implemented.

  83. The SMH has published a more balanced view of what happened. It lacks the squeal of The Age. As I’m on my iPad I can’t post the link. 😦

  84. Mr. Wilkie seems to be saying he has to withdraw his support because he said he would. I sense from that, if he had not said that, he would not be doing so today.

    I am listening to his press conference. Mr. Wilkie appears confused about how he feels about what happened today.

    He is congratulationing and condemning the the PM at the same time.

    Mr. Wilkie is the only one that believes he has the numbers.

    Who in the Coalition has been kidding him along. Some obviously have.

  85. Sorry Min, but I don’t read the Murdoch press. But I haven’t seen any evidence otherwise. But, I’ve been wrong before. :(:

    I guess I have to get up to speed on the details…

  86. Has anyone thought about the agreement that Mr. Wilkie is tearing up.

    It was a long agreement that contains many things.

    It is my understanding that most of the agreement has been delivered.

    Even in relation to the poker proposition, much of that is being delivered.

    The only thing missing is a definite starting date for mandatory pre-commitment into legislation before the trial period.

    Mr. Wilkie had agreed that it would not start until the next election. Under Mr. Wilkie’s agreement. there was no certainty that a new government would have abandoned the plan. It would be likely if Mr. Abbott came to power, that it would be one of the first things dropped.

    The Productivity Commission propose the timetable that th PM is following.

    The Coalition has much to say today, but nothing about this matter.

    It is my understanding that pre-commitment is still on the agenda.

  87. Migs and “As I’m on my iPad I can’t post the link”.

    Push down until the bubble thing appears and then press copy. I’m talking about your iPad BTW…

  88. Min, BTW, a great post, unfortunately derailed by the days events.

    No one here wants to see an Abbott PM but I have serious concerns about Gillard…..

    Night all.

    (Another pun day tomorrow, Migs?)

  89. Rabbit..the problem is that our opinions about Gillard are obtained from the popular press.

    Imagine the mince meat which could be made of Abbott if the media chose to treat him the EXACT SAME as Gillard.

    I am sure to be called an apologist, but I just want the facts laid on the table:

    This policy versus That policy.

    Cut the crap and stop treating the public as if they’re in the audience for a combo of Toddlers & Tiaras and The Biggest Loser.

    I think that I’ll play music…

    I’m just a gal which cain’t say no 😉

  90. Rabbit and “Wait till he gets his lycras off.” Me either… mean Abbott? No he can keep them on, all the rest of you blokes, it’s off with your lycras.

  91. According to Clubs Australia, Australia already has a low number of problem gamblers.

    I must say that is great news. That must mean that nothing needs to be done, as there is no problem.

    Funny thing is that the experts do not agree.

    Funny that.

    Next thing they will be telling us, that Australia only has small numbers of poker machines, especially the ones no one else seems to allow, the high intensity machine that allows one to lose only $1200 per hour.

  92. What about all the promises that have been kept. I believe greatly out number the alleged couple that have been broken.

    As for Abbott, he is a lost cause. He looked lost on the news as well.

    Cannot keep the little hair he got struck down.

    I am waiting for the time when Mr. Abbott keeps all his promises.

    The trouble is, it will be hard to know

    Maybe we will have to concentrate on the vows he makes.

    Like turning the boats back. No offshore processing. No processing whatever, just turn the boats back.

    That is now his core policy.

    Are we back to Mr. Howard’s core and non core promises.

    I would rather stick with the PM breaking agreements when they can no longer be implemented.

    I see little point in wasting time going through the motions just to prove a point and then putting in place what has been put forwarded today.

    Just waste of time and effort and probably money.

    I know I will be supporting both Getup and Stop the loss.

    This is how democracy works. The government of the day is free to put up it’s legislation. The voter is free to campaign with the hope of changing the governments mind.

    Members of clubs who are unhappy with what happened today can challenge their clubs and demand that they support pre-commitment. After all they have the power to do so.

    It is hard to expect your local member to risk lynching while you do not let them know they have your support.

    The clubs, as the miners are using money to get their own way, but this can only work if they can get enough voters on side.

    It is time we stop loading all the blame on the PM and started to play our role.

    The poker industry have been able to flex their muscles because voters have listened to their lies and not questioned their agenda.

  93. supports the Stop The Loss Coalition.

    tackling problem gambling in australia – my analysis

    Where this announcement goes further than the original proposal (from May last year) is that it places pre-commitment on EVERY poker machine. Sure, it will be rolled out over the next four years and will remain optional until the trial is complete… but again, we’re talking about ALL poker machines, not just some.

    And, importantly, that is consistent with the recommendations of the Productivity Commission report that everyone refers back to sooner or later. The Commission recommended a comprehensive mandatory pre-commitment system, nation-wide, following a large-scale trial to proof its effectiveness and fine-tune the technology. That is exactly what we are seeing now.

  94. When one takes the time to look at what has been proposed, there is little difference from what Mr. Wilkie wanted.

    We have had a concentrated campaign during the last week or so with the rumours and innuendo to ensure whatever the PM decided would be seen in a bad light. no matter the worthiness of her proposals..

    Where is the demand that the Opposition put forwarded what they will do. No one has even bothered to ask whether they agree with Clubs Australia and that we have a low problem gamblers problems.

    What was clear today, is the belief that if Labor does not deliver, no other government will.

  95. I think there would have been a different outcome if the opposition weren’t so obstructionist. Sorry to say it, but this has been a win for Abbott. All he’s had to do is say NO.

  96. Roswell, he has done nothing to help.

    Why did he try to divert attention away from the PM today.

    Does not make sense. Unless he does not wish to talk about gambling.

  97. Interesting though, that while it treats itself to the usual “broken promise” stuff the commentariat doesn’t directly quesion Gillard’s rationale. That the numbers just aren’t there. Because they’ve been saying much the same thing themselves for a long time now.
    Abbott’s idea for a naval confrontation with Indonesia, meanwhile, is waved through, not even reported by the ABC bulletin I saw.

  98. “A sneaking suspicion from yours truly is that all is not well in Tony Abbott’s paradise on the issue of poker machine reform. The ..”

    Could be on to something. Mr. Wilkie said more than once that there were some in the Coalition that would support him. He would not give names when asked.

    Also there is the possibility he was being led on, to lure the PM into putting the legalisation up.

    What is true, the actions of Mr. Abbott and Mr. Morrison is puzzling today.

  99. Bob, Mr. Morrison popped up a few times. A couple when other videos were expected.

    Maybe Mr. Abbott Attending the bike race interfered with his abilty to cope with politics today. We all know he can only deal with one matter at a time.

    Maybe no one prepared the three word slogans, After all he has a new ones to deal with, turn back the boats and core policy,

  100. Hallelujah and thank you Bob, if I might put that one in bold..

    Interesting though, that while it treats itself to the usual “broken promise” stuff the commentariat doesn’t directly quesion Gillard’s rationale.

    Precisely. Is there nobody about, is there not one single person who isn’t just following the MSM line that it’s ‘a betrayal’.

    Hell, I’ve tried to take this on factual information and nary a comment about the specifics of what Gillard is proposing.

    Go for it, call me an apologist. I’m not. I just want the specifics addressed and for someone to tell me what is wrong with Gillard’s proposal. No takers?

    And so it’s goodnight from me. A wonderful evening to all.

  101. The PM was described as being her usual pragmatic self today.

    That is correct, the PM does often take the pragmatic path.

    As for questioning her rationale, there is a good reason for that. it is hard to fault the rationale for what she does.

    The only weapon they have is to attack the PM personally.

    The PM appears reluctant to play politics.

    This confuses the media and the Coalition,.

    This is why they often get it wrong when they say she will do or say something.

    They expect a political response, which she rarely gives..

  102. I am with you Jarl. Gillard’s “Border Protection” debacle has to be reversed. I liked the 3750 quota for refugees with the boat arrivals going to the end of that queue. Also the proposed Temp Visa conditions mean is that the person can never bring any family in and if they leave the country they can’t come back.
    What Gillard never got was that for a policy to work you need to be able to control who comes, how they come and when they come. It’s the Deterrent Stupid.
    Abbott will just move from one item to the other on Gillard’s smorgasbord of cockups.
    What a cockup it has been since 2007. Time to bring back some sanity. Not many sleeps now guys.

  103. Gillard’s Rationale is that an ill conceived, poorly analysed deal with Wilkie inevitably came back to bite her on the bum. Wilkies MPC was technically never deliverable. Gillard signed on Wilkies bottom line to secure ONE vote in parliament and is heading to lose 6-8 seats in clubland. Brilliant strategy Gillard.What was she thinking!!!!!
    Mim you are in NR area? You have seen the outrage from the people who frequent the clubs.
    This is why Gillard back flipped (again). 1 Vs 6-8 …hmmmm let me think about it.
    Even though the clubs as of last night have taken down the most targeted advertising against MPC and Local Labor MPs, it is a flick of a switch for it to be cranked up again.
    This whole Wilkie thing just exposes Gillard’s poor judgement.
    Wilkie was always a goose so I have no sympathy with him.
    You lay down with dogs you get up with fleas.

  104. Geoff “Also the proposed Temp Visa conditions mean is that the person can never bring any family in..”

    Which resulted in women and children being loaded onto boats…

  105. It is a pity the Clubs figures do not stand up’ Who are the biggest liars?

    The PM has promised a lesser scheme than that demanded by Mr. Wilkie. The PM has remained true to the Productivity Commission’s recommendation. Should this be a hanging offence.

    Can any PM or for that matter political party live up to the heights that are demanded of our present PM. Should we demand such standards of them.

    It it OK to expect a PM never to change their mind, even when common sense says it is the right thing to do.

    Should not we be judging the policy introduced, not whether it is not 100% promised over a year ago.

    The policy does go a long way to meet Mr. Wilkie’s demand. The problem is that many others, who have a vote in the matter do not agree with Mr. Wilkie.

    Who would benefit most if the PM struck blindly to the agreement?

    Why are we not attacking Mr. Abbott’s role in this matter. He has sided 100% with the clubs and against the interest of those addicted and the economy.

    Why are the clubs and media allowed to get away with the lies that have been the main basis of their anti poker machine legislation campaign.

    Some things to remind one self of. This contributer to another site puts it better than I am able. I hope they do not mind me borrowing their efforts.

    This is a mistake for Julia Gillard to back out of this initiative.

    It is also yet again a massive fail for Australian Journalism. The Cubs Association $3billion dollar lie that the media have been happy to fling around is offensive. The fact is that there are fewer than 200,000 poker machines in Australia with an average cost of $12,000, so the total replacement cost all of Australia’s poker machines is only 2.4 billion dollars. This is way short of the 3 billion dollars that the clubs have been declaring.

    What is wrong with our journalists? Are they so stupid that they can’t do basic research and primary school arithmetic???

    This is what the whole thing is about……..


    I am not saying the PM is 100% correct, as time will only answer this question.

    What I am saying while the PM is being unfairly and unquestioning criticised, the media and Opposition is allowed to get away with murder.

    Yes criticise the policy but at least admit that the PM has to make decisions I am sure she would rather not make.

    Whether we like it or not, politics is the art of the possible. There is no sense putting forwarded what you know will be defeated.

    The PM has two options at this time between policy and politics.

    The PM choose policy and I do hope when the beat ups are over, people judge the policy.

    The PM has delivered nearly 100% of what was agreed to with the Independents and the Greens, does not this count.

  106. Was this outrage justified, as it was based mainly on lies.

    Can one condemn the PM being forced to change her mind because of the outrageous campaign that has been challenge by no one in the media.

    Why do we expect the PM to take action that has no chance of success and will lead to her downfall.

    If the PM did, you would be first in line stating the the PM has no political judgement.

    I do not believe hat only thing that counts is winning as Mr. Abbott does.

    What I do believe it is the policy put forwarded should be judged at this time.

    Is not sticking to a policy 100% breaking ones word.

    There still is strong policy to be introduced. The groundwork has been laid to extend the policy.

    No one would have expected the strength and success of the campaign launched by the clubs when the agreement was made. A campaign that the voters responded to.

    Sadly this is democracy at work. One would rightly criticise if a politician did not respond.

    What is needed is for those who support the Wilkie changes make louder noises.

    It is not the end of the line, and if the voters stand by the PM, mandatory pre-commitment, along with other actions, we evolve..


  107. Mr. Abbott has a new asylum seeker policy. His “core” policy is to turn back the boats.

    That is a blast from the past. Surely Mr. Abbott can move past the Howard era and come up with ideas and ideals of his own.

    Mr. Abbott also proposes that we will take under 4000 per year asylum seekers. I am sure that is many less than we take now.

    Mr. Abbott has said that these people will only be given temporary visas. As there will be none that come by boat, as he will turn them back, this must apply to all we allow in.

    As Mr. Abbott will be increasing the Navy to turn back the boats,

    Nauru is no longer necessary, as there will no longer be any offshore processing. It appears we will not be doing any processing at all..

    I wonder if Mr. Ruddock’s preferred refugees from Africa will go to the top of the line, bypassing any from the Middle East. I suspect so.

    I suggest that this new policy does not add up and is political fix to get Mr. Abbott out of the hole he has dug himself in over not supporting offshore processing and opposing the PM’s bill.

    It is not a reasonable proposition and does not pass scrutiny.

    It is a little like his policy on poker machines, sounds good but does not deliver.

    PS: I wonder where the non core promises or vows as he now says kicks in.

  108. Cu, I always got the feeling that Ruddock’s ‘prefered refugees’, that is those from Africa was almost entirely political. That is, here are ‘real’ refugees compared with the ‘illegals’ who arrive by boat.

    Mind you, that didn’t stop a scare campaign against African refugees.

  109. Does this sum up Mr. Abbott and maybe the PM.

    Lots of big words but they do seem to make sense.

    Simple, Mr. Abbott has no imagination and can only cope with one matter at a time.

    This helps explain his lack lustre display yesterday.

    The question is can he change and deliver, I think not. He just does not have it.

    ….The opposite of homophily is heterophily. This requires one to step outside ritual boundaries to take meaning from or communicate meaning to those with a different set of values or beliefs.

    Monomorphic thought leaders tend to focus on a single issue. The alternative to a monomorphic thought leader is a polymorphic thought leader – obviously, one who is comfortable being across a variety of issues.

    Abbott has accumulated several of the important characteristics of a thought leader – great exposure to news media; broad interpersonal networks; extensive contact with change agents; and the capacity to always be ''on the edge'', which means he is not on top of things but acts as a broker between groups.

    These characteristics are representative of a homophilous monomorphic thought leader, which is not a bad thing in a business or corporate head. But it can be dangerous for a political head.

    Read more:………………"

  110. Min, I must admit the limited contact I have had with a few has been positive.

    One observation in Narellan did raise concerns how well they are capable of fitting in.

    One thing for sure, is the young seen to be thriving.

    Funny, I have only had direct contact with males. I am impressed with their ambitions and the interest they take in politics in this country,

    What worries me more is what I am hearing from the USA candidates that is playing in the background.

    I am only glad that we do not have to choose among them.

    I even prefer Mr. Abbott over them, and that is saying something.

    I would like to remind people we do not have a Coalition government. We have a minority government that is able to govern with the limited support of three Independents and one Green

    I would like to put in context what has happened yesterday.

    There are two other MP’s and now Mr. Wilkie that are supporting neither major party.

    The limited support is not to vote against budget bills and refrain from censor votes.

    The second one is limited in itself. They reserve the right to do so in serious allegations of illegality or a abuse.

    If Mr. Wilkie is an honourable man and sticks to his word, the government would have to commit some enormous mistake to earn his wrath.

    In other words, little has changed.

    All politicians at the end of the day, have to play the cards dealt to them.

    One can make promises in good faith, only to find out one cannot deliver.

    I am sure that all have found themselves in this position now and then. If not, you have been very lucky indeed.

    One is more likely for this to happen in a minority government. There is not much manoeuvre room.

    I feel that this is not a bad thing and can lead to better solutions.

    Having the structured trial will lead to any unforeseen errors being identified before the national grid is put in place.

    Is this a bad thing.

    The plan is to have it up and running by 2016. Yes a little later but with less mistakes I believe in the long run.

  111. Cu, although Wilkie has stated that he has withdrawn support for the government I cannot imagine which one of the Coalition’s policies that Wilkie would in fact support. And anyway that option was always there and will always be there, for any Independent, to vote for what they perceive is the better of the ideas irrespective of which of the major parties.

  112. Australian politics is like some bizarre kafkaesque joke right now. I am severely disappointed to see Gillard cave in and break her agreement with Wilkie though I saw it was clearly coming from the moment Slipper slipped into his new seat.

    As for Abbott, well, frankly, what can you say?

    Australian voters have never been so devoid of good choices in leadership & Government as they are now IMO.

    Here in QLD we shortly have a choice between an incumbent who ran the state into the ground and almost out of water despite being in power for over a decade and an Opposition that makes Ronald McDonald look serious and could incredibly manage yet to engineer defeat from the open maw of victory.

    If anyone took off their sun-baked and blinded Blue or Red hats for a second, Bob and the Greens have never looked so good or so sensible…

  113. Hi Damo, how very nice to see you here again.

    I could see it happening the moment that both Windsor and Oakeshott expressed severe misgivings about the legislation. You could be right there, that Gillard knew all along that these two Independents would not support the reforms that she wanted to get through, plus also knew via Wilkie’s previous threats that the government could be put in a bad position. So, thank you Peter Slipper.

  114. I dunno. I come from that old-skool ‘ a deals a deal’ background.

    Honestly I’d have been happier to see her honour the agreement and test it in parliament. If it lost, it lost. No harm, no foul. Honour retained.

    Dont forget Labor wouldnt be in Government at all without him, never mind in a bad position.

    To swinging / unsure / disillusioned voters like me it just smacks more and more of a lack of integrity and backbone.

  115. No harm and honour retained..but no legislation passed either. Just me personally, but I would much rather see something done than nothing at all.

    A something can be built upon at a later date, but a nothing goes nowhere.

  116. Min, I for one believe that the PM does want this legislation and it has little to do with Mr. Wilkie

    The PM could have gone through the motions and let the chips fall where they may.

    This is the track that Mr. Howard took with the Republic debate.

    Instead she will be putting the policy in place, albeit with a different time frame.

    The PM is also attacking sport betting and has signal that there will be some type of pre-commitment on Internet betting. Not actually the actions of someone who is not serious. As the PM said the machines will be ready to turn the switch once the trial is completed.

    What does puzzle me a little is the clubs reaction to the policy. They have not won.

    Far from it.

    A very similar scheme will end up in place of the Wilkie option. I believe the signs and ads came down immediately in the clubs.

    Could this mean that they have been feeling some heat from members and maybe even staff.

    I do believe that the majority of members do more than tolerate the machines at the best. Most members do not play.

    We are all hearing about the PM losing faith and letting the voters down.

    What about the many who opposed any action being taken, do not they count.

    Maybe they do not feel let down.

    Min, I agree, what likelihood is there of Mr. Wilkie siding with Mr. Abbott in any serious situation. I am sure he will on minor matters and the media will be deafening in their outrage, demanding an election. What’s new?

    I do not believe that Mr. Wilkie is in the same class as previous MP’s such as Harradine and the DLP that held the balance of power.

    I believe he does have some sense of honour. Only time will tell.

    The bottom line is that none can support the “man” without hanging themselves.

    Not much future in that.

  117. They have not won.

    That is certainly interesting CU

    The clubs are proclaiming at a victory, but, if you look at what Gillard is actually putting though, it really isn’t

    Unfortunately, no matter how it is painted, Gillard broke her promise. That is a simple fact.

    I don’t think the media will care about this too much as a) it is a promise to a politician, and we all hate them anyway and b) they all think the clubs have won. So maybe it won’t harm her too much. Although, I think, in the long game, it will

    For here personal rating, I think she has just trashed it. It almost looks like she has already given in for the next election, and is just going to push through as much as she can

    Sad, really, as I thought they were in with a real chance, until this. The odds have just shortened (???) considerably

  118. Personally, I have never given two hoots about the pokies legislation because it doesn’t affect me. But I didn’t let a little thing like that from stopping me from getting into a raging argument over it yesterday.

    People were carrying on that the government shouldn’t tell them how much they can gamble. I responded that there were people who needed help and these were the people that some elements of the government wanted to protect.

    Their response was typical. If these people can’t help themselves then that’s their problem. It is a problem they should be able to control.

    OK, I said, what if you were speeding, had a smash, and lay there dying. As it was your own fault perhaps we shouldn’t bother helping you. Perhaps the public hospitals shouldn’t worry about you because you should have had better control of your car. You shouldn’t have been speeding.

    There’s a move in England from doctors that they shouldn’t have to operate on smokers because they brought their conditions on themselves. Same principle, I said.

    Governments, I argued, influence our behavior. For example, since RBTs were introduced we have become a lot more socially conscious and responsible with our drink driving.

    I can’t for the life of me work out why I was on my own with this argument.

    Maybe I’m different to most people. Maybe caring about others is old fashioned.

  119. “she has already given in for the next election, and is just going to push through as much as she can”

    At least the PM will be remembered by history for doing something.

    Winning maybe important, but that is for the next government.

    I for one believe that one should also govern while in power, not just concentrate on getting re-elected.

    Yes it will be sad if the PM is not re-elected. Sad for the country as well as the PM

    It will be up to the voters whether they put personality before what has been achieved. In the long run, if they make the wrong choice, it will be their lost.

    I disagree that the PM has not put the policy in action. The end results if successful will be the same. There will be ore-commitment., If another govern chooses not to follow through, that is not the PM’s fault.

    Mr. Wilkie’s option would not have come into play until after the next election. Mr.. Abbott has already said he will axe it.


  120. Tony Abbott unlikely to back $1 bet limits

    Read more:

    Stone the crows, Abbott won’t support $1 bet limits….

    but he will continue his campaigning for an election in 2012, with helpful questions from ltd news.

    Asked if he would seek Mr Wilkie’s support to call for an early election when Parliament resumes, Mr Abbott replied: “Let’s see wait and see what happens when the Parliament comes back in a couple of weeks’ time.”

  121. Migs, I wonder what the greater numbers are, those who want Wilkie’s proposal, those who want no government interference or those who support yesterday’s scheme.

    One thing for sure, the PM cannot please all.

    There is a fourth group, as Migs pointed out, those who do not care.

    I suspect this is the largest number.

    Much ado about nothing.

  122. A few more details on the specifics of the new legislation.. The online gambling one is additional to what Wilkie wanted and I think is a VIP one given the growth of that industry.

    The package in question includes a trial of the controversial mandatory pre-commitment technology to start in 2013, probably in the ACT, after which it could be phased in around the country.

    The Government will also require every new poker machine made from 2013 to be capable of supporting the pre-commitment technology.

    Every poker machine in the country must be linked in to a state-based pre-commitment system by the end of 2016.

    The reform package also bans the promotion of live odds during sports coverage, cracks down on online betting and funds extra counsellors to work with problem gamblers.

  123. Yes Min, one would think nothing is happening. It is a strong package.

    It is now up to the public to keep the pressure on if that is what they want.

    Even Mr. Abbott would be likely to dismantle if if the public support is there.

    Either way, it was not to be introduced until after the next election.

    Mr. Abbott has said that he would demolish Mr. Wilkies anyway.

  124. There is new poll today. It is unbelievable. It is not being compared with the latest poll but with March 2011.

    Amazing results. The government is now more on the nose than last March.

    I was under the impression we all knew that.

    I am also under the impression there was also a ever so small improvement for Labor.

    Polls are genuine?

  125. Cu, that’s the way that the media are playing it..they are working on the word ‘renege’ and, at least as far as I’ve been able to acertain have avoided any scrutiny whatsoever of what the legislation does contain.

    Perhaps one journo might psyche him/herself up into looking at the legislation and providing some sort of critique..instead of just regurgitating the usual headline-grabbers.

    Bob Brown is saying that The Greens intend to put up an amendment for a $1 betting limit. Therefore he is inferring that the legislation is acceptable, but wants the additional item included.

  126. tt is also open to Mr. Wilkie to put up an amendment. It would only take one, a starting date.

    I think everything else is there that e wanted.

    Mr, Wilkie did say he was open for the timeline to be extended.

    I sure it will only need to be one sentence.

    The argument is over very little.

  127. Finance Minister Penny Wong said that the government could “do nothing, or get the job done, …get results”, “we’ve chosen to get results”.

    Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Mike Kelly said it is

    “the best crafted policy package I have ever seen” because it took the evidence-based approach recommended by the Productivity Commission.

    Read more:

  128. “Tony Abbott doesn’t deserve to make any political capital out of this because his position has been both shameful and shameless,”: Nick Xenophon.

  129. What seems to be overlooked in all the guff and nonsense put forward by Abbott and ltd news who are salivating at the thought of an election, is this,
    Mr Wilkie has indicated he will vote for the package as a first step to reform.

    Craig Thomson must be in every Abbott dream,

    Mr Abbott said the Government had returned to the perilous position it was in before it installed former Liberal MP Peter Slipper as speaker in November.

    He said Labor’s parliamentary majority now rested on backbencher Craig Thomson, who is under investigation for allegations he misused credit cards while heading up the Health Services Union.

    That must be the cue for wily lawyer at large, Senator George Brandis to appear very soon.

  130. Mr. Abbott has no responsiblity to see good leglisation through parliament.

    He has no responsibility to heed what the voters want.

    Please, why does he bother turning up to parliament then.

    But he also accused Mr Abbott of being ‘missing in action’ on the issue.

    Mr Abbott indicated he would not support $1 bets, saying it was a matter for the Greens to sort out with the prime minister

    What is he being paid for.

  131. That sounds right Miglo, given that’s all he ever does, even to the advice of the head of the Navy.

    Tony Abbott has ignored the advice of the Australian Navy over the safety of repelling asylum boats

    TONY Abbott is refusing to abandon his pledge to turn back asylum-boats, defying the advice of Australia’s most senior naval officer that it is unsafe to do so.
    The Opposition Leader said he wanted to retain the option in government of turning back asylum boats in the right circumstances.

    “The navy has done it before, it can do it again,” he said.

    When was that Tony, please, refresh our memories…remind the public of what a dangerous egotist you’re turning out to be!

  132. Pip and..

    Mr Abbott said the Government had returned to the perilous position it was in before it installed former Liberal MP Peter Slipper as speaker in November.

    Abbott said…Abbott said… but the reality is what Wilkie has said that he will not support any trivial motions of no confidence and that he expects the government to run it’s full term.

    And this is how the Murdoch media interpreted this..

    Government spin doctors seized on Mr Wilkie’s pledge not to back a no-confidence motion that could spark an election unless serious misconduct or corruption was proved, arguing this was similar to his original deal with the PM.

    Government spin doctors? The only one who is spinning is Tony

  133. Asked if he would seek Mr Wilkie’s support to call for an early election when Parliament resumes,

    I am not sure that I have heard Wilkie asking for an early election. All he has said is that he is not guaranteeing support for the Government. He has pointedly remarked, on many occasions, his preference to Gillard over tabot, even after this back-flip

  134. I wonder what Mr. Abbott has lined up for. Slipper. One thing for sure it will not be nice.

    Mr. Abbott has not had much success stirring up the Thompson so call scandal since Christmas.

    Labor might have been in a perilous position but it has been beyond Mr. Abbott’s ability to shift her off the pole.

  135. A thought: I wonder where Tony Abbott is going to get these extra Patrol Boats from, plus the trained personnel to man them.

  136. Hi Migs. I was readin assorted unintelligible drivel on twitter about this this morning and thought, hmmm, I’ll go vent my spleen on cafe whispers. Its been while lol. Good to see you all still here with intelligent debate. Peace

  137. A thought: I wonder where Tony Abbott is going to get these extra Patrol Boats from, plus the trained personnel to man them.

    Min, I’m glad to see someone’s thought of that.

  138. Abbott will likely propose blowing the boats out of the water next. The scary thing is, it would likely be popular with the kind of fools who think he is more than a toad.

    It was interesting to read about Migs getting into it over the pokie reforms. Reminded me of sitting at a BBQ with about 10 no longer friends going skept-bansai about global warming being ‘bullshit’. They all of course run 2-3 4WDs and think two additional fridges outside the house are normal…

    Like Migs, I dont gamble so this legislation wont affect me either but the reality is that where it does affect people, its usually not the gambler. Its usually the gamblers Husband or Wife or kids who are getting turfed out of their home, power cut off or just seriously into debt. The vitriol that has come out of the pokies lobbyists makes me ashamed to be Australian. They are truly a disgrace.

    From what I can see the reforms werent that big an issue. So you sign up, set limits and then gamble away. Whats the travesty in this? Before I moved out here I remember having to join a casino in the UK and not being able to enter for another 24 hours. The reforms proposed here are hardly this kind of inconvenience.

    I feel deeply sorry for Wilkie. He’s an honourable man using his position to do something good for others. What are the rest of the shower of shite we call Government (Opposition included obviously) in Australia doing other than feathering their own nests & protecting their own interests/jobs?

  139. By the way, I saw it yesterday and if you havent yet seen it, I’m pretty sure Tinker Tailor, Soldier, Spy will be right up everyone here’s street. Absolutely superb

  140. Damo, I’ve yet to hear any credible proposal coming from the Opposition as to an alternative policy. I don’t think that Tony has said a word. One Liberal mentioned ‘more counselling’..quickly countered by Tim Costello/Andrew Wilkie.

    The description was from one of them (sorry have forgotten who), was that counselling was akin to putting an ambulance at the bottom on the cliff instead of building a fence at the top.

  141. @Min You weren’t seriously expecting anything from the Opposition on this were you? They couldnt care a stuff.

  142. Yet, Damo, we have members of the opposition demanding that the NBN be rolled out in their electorates first, after being appealed to by the constituents.

    Meanwhile, back in Canberra, they continue to oppose it.

    Maybe people turn funny when in Canberra. 🙂

  143. Damo, and this is why the Opposition is so p’ weak on this and so many other issues. One bleat of contradiction and they receive a quick rap over the knuckles from Abbott. If Tony had his way, the Opposition would consist of only 3 people…me, myself and I.

  144. It is true that Mr. Abbott has no interest in addicted gamblers or any other problem that the voter may face.

    He has one interest only, how to get into power.

    I do not believe he cares less about the people or his call to protect borders pr anything else unless it can be used to make the PM look bad

    I believe getting one up on the PM is his only goal. Nothing else matters to the man.

    It has been said he is paid to say no. I will add also to utter bad bad government.

    What else has he contributed to the running of the country.

    He may as well go on holiday until the next election campaign. He has nothing to offer and will not be missed.

    Some others in his party might be allowed to shine. There must be some talent there.

  145. Cu, if there is talent there, they’re certainly doing an excellent job of hiding the fact. There is Turnbull but we’ve been receiving little else other than deathly silence from him in recent times.

  146. I’d like to think that the next Liberal PM is not yet in Parliament, Turnbull being the exception.

    There’s not much talent, as people have been saying.

  147. Min and Migs, there must be but I must admit when you have Mirabella out at the head of the pack, it does make one wonder.

  148. “In press gallery land, the story isn’t about how a thuggish and self-interested clubs industry – trumpeting the interests of the ‘ordinary bloke’ – had f**ked over the wider population with a $20 million advertising campaign and threatened a few marginal seats. No, this was about “Ju-liar’s” capacity to keep a promise. This was about the ‘wider issue’ of how the government was faring………….

    When you get down to it, the truth is Australia is governed by a handful of extremely powerful interest groups: The miners, the bankers, the “gaming” industry, the media. Journalists employed by mainstream media companies can’t tell you this, because they are part of the power structure themselves. They can’t take a step back and analyse the institutions that foster the very apathy that allows narrow interests to pursue their advantage unmolested. They want you to believe that the vital contest is between Team A and Team B, when the real power structures are unexamined.


    This does ring true.

  149. It actually shits from both ends. As a person with an interest in cryptozoology this is indeed an unusual find.

  150. Geoff
    Wandering down the aisles selectively picking out disconnected facts & dates & seiving them through your own opinions as you did in your first paragraph at 8.09 yesterday can produce any conclusion you want. It’s arguable that Gillard made the same mistake this government’s made since its election, that is underestimating the sheer size of the force that vested interests would deploy to bring it down. Agreed that the numbers weren’t there, I said so myself but that wouldn’t have been obvious when the deal with Wilkie was struck.

    If you’re still reading, do you have any big, & I mean seriously big, excavating equipment I can borrow? I mean to go looking for Abbott’s declaration that he’d always take political pragmatism over policy purity.

  151. And here is the truth of the matter on Tony Abbott’s ‘turn back the boats’ policy.

    A FORMER defence chief has declared naval officers would disobey orders from a future Abbott government to turn back all asylum-seeker vessels, saying commanders would always put safety ahead of policy.
    The Opposition Leader today maintained the controversial policy was the most effective strategy to secure Australia’s borders and prevent mass drowning of asylum seekers.

    But Admiral Chris Barrie (ret), who served as Chief of the Defence Force at the time of the Tampa crisis, said government policy could not override international law.

  152. wixxy’s post is aptly titled “Tell me Lies”.

    That is all we are getting from News Ltd.

    There are so many repeats by the media minions of the latest lie I don’t know where to start.

  153. This is a prime example of why one model on Australia becoming a republic should never happen. We do not want the Commander in Chief of the armed services to be the Prime Minister, irrespective of which political party.

  154. “……….TONY Abbott’s push to turn back all asylum-seeker boats to Indonesia has been greeted with dismay by the navy, which fears people smugglers could routinely set fire to their vessels to ensure they are unseaworthy.

    The concerns in the military surfaced as leading political scientists in Jakarta warned such a policy could inflame tensions with Canberra. “If such policy was ever imposed, it’s not only going to put the Australia-Indonesia relationship in bad condition, it will also give Australia a bad name as an international citizen,” said Ikrar Nusa Bhakti of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences…”

    Laughting stock of the world. That could not be true.

  155. Min 2 12.25pm,

    But Admiral Chris Barrie (ret), who served as Chief of the Defence Force at the time of the Tampa crisis, said government policy could not override international law.

    Abbott is a law unto himself!

  156. While Tuff Tony is wheedling his way around the obstacles to his move into The Lodge, Prime Minister is getting on with her work…as usual….

    Builders welcome proposal for students studying trade to be offered HECS-style Govt loan

    A Federal Government plan to offer HECS-style loans to students studying a trade or technical skill has been welcomed by building groups.

    Prime Minister Gillard said:-

    “We will ensure that students have the same right to borrow so they can study, to get a loan they can pay back from increased earnings,” Gillard says

  157. A while ago now there was a pop song, not in particularly good taste, about Idi Amin.
    It went something like
    “Idi, Idi, Idi Amin
    The most amazing man that the world has seen
    He’s de General, de President, de King of de Sea……”

    This little ditty frequently pops into my head as I reel off Mr Abbott’s accomplishments.
    So far he knows more than the scientific community on climate change, the physics of information transmission, he knows & they don’t that Carbon Monoxide doesn’t weigh anything.
    He knows so much more than the economics community that he can dismiss their opinions out of hand. He & he alone knows when a tax is a modest levy & vice versa.
    On matters of diplomacy he’s grasped the essential fact that all South East Asia was put there in his Almighty’s scheme of things to act as an impenetrable barrier to those who would seek to trangress upon these shores now that we’re here & safely set up.
    And now we have the Great Admiral, his genius alone being all that’s required for the defence of our nation, none of this namby pamby stuff about obligations as practised by these effete “professionals”, no bloody Sir, send the boats in!! right after they’re built!!!!

    There must be other talents of his that escape me at the moment, but having listed these I’m thirsty.

  158. Min, from Tony’s Little Book of How To’s, this could be from the John Wayne section…he’s got the walk down pat.

    I put that down to the bike seat, Pip. 🙂

    ……….remind the public of what a dangerous egotist you’re turning out to be!

    …turning out to be?

    I’d amend that to always has been a dangerous egoist in every sense of the word. He would plunge this country into chaos, huge unemployment and enormous debt to get his way. He has never given a toss about the welfare of this country or its citizens, with the exception of the uber wealthy.

    WRT the pokie legislation, I’m with Min 100% on this. I don’t care that Gillard has altered her position. From what I’ve been reading, I think the new legislation goes further and is better than what Wilkie wanted.

    I’m also surprised to find myself agreeing with Xenophon, even if it is only about Liealot’s lack of principles.

    And he can always propose amendments as the Greens have done. Ultimately, I think he will see that his agreement has been more than honoured with better,more far-reaching legislation.

    And which Liealot most likely will be unable to demolish, if I know the PM’s attention to Liealot-thwarting detail.

    Also, in the long run, I think the clubs will realise that their great victory is in fact a Phyrric victory as the new machines and the $250/day limit are phased in. Then we’ll hear some squealing from some very fat pigs.

    I note with interest that Geoff’s bullshit is down to his normal subterranean standard. Nice to know that some things never change, I suppose. Liars Party talking points revisited-totally lacking in sense or facts.

    BSA Bob @4.03pm, rofl.

  159. Jane, yes one can put forwarded amendments and in a minority parliament have a good chance of getting them through.

    One of the results of the agreements leading to the formation of this government, were new rules to make it easier to do so.

    There is so much shit being written about the PM being a dictator. The PM simply does not have the power to be in this environment, even if that is her desire.

    Mr. Abbott has made it easy for her by ignoring parliament and the legislation put forwarded.

    A clever Opposition leader could make it hard for her, but they would have to take an interest in what is going on. not continually plotting her downfall.

  160. As you say CU. There’s nothing to stop Mr Wilkie putting forward amendments or even a Private Members bill, if he feels so strongly about it. I hope he does, then he’ll know what actual support he can count on. In fact, it would be interesting to see how the Liars and the msm would spin that!

    As for the hints that members of the Parliamentary Liars Party will cross the floor to support the bill, I find that unbelievable to say the very least. In fact, i just spotted a flock of pigs flying overhead.

  161. Photoshop, botox, or skin peel ??
    Keeping in touch with the common man…

    Abbott wears his conservatism for GQ

    “We showed him references to Robert De Niro and Barack Obama but he was pretty adamant about wearing the suits he had just had made.

    “He also wanted to wear a tie he had just bought from Hermes. He knows his labels, which was pretty surprising.”

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