When will the Liberal Party come clean about their IR policy?

NOTE: This was first published on my personal blog on Thursday 16 August

There has been a lot of talk this year about productivity, calls for more ‘flexibility’ and strong words about the balance of the Fair Work Act.

If you only read the major daily newspapers in Australia you’d be forgiven for thinking that workers were endlessly taking industrial action and deliberately sabotaging productivity.  That is certainly the view that big business lobby groups like the Australian Industry Group and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry would like to have you think, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Indeed the recent review into the operations of the Fair Work Act showed that the legislation was working as it should be working.  ACTU assistant secretary, Tim Lyons, noted in his piece on R@W News last week:

“It’s important however that we separate myth from reality on IR and productivity.  While Australia has issues with productivity it is for reasons almost entirely unconnected with labour law.”

And this

“Australia’s relatively low productivity growth is a matter for concern. However, this is a long term problem. WorkChoices didn’t fix it, and Fair Work hasn’t made it worse. Labour laws are not the cause of our productivity problems, and they’re not the solution.”

In all of the commentary around the Fair Work review and productivity, we are still yet to hear from the Liberal Party about the details of their industrial relations policy. At the 2010 election voters were told that we would be given the full details of their industrial relations policy. Instead the Coalition went into hiding on IR with Tony Abbott meekly declaring that WorkChoices was “dead, buried, cremated”.

In more recent times, a lot of things have been said about industrial relations by Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey and the Liberal Party’s IR spokesperson Eric Abetz, yet we can’t necessarily take what has been said to be policy because we’re regularly told that details will be released before the next election. It certainly reminds me of Tony Abbott’s now infamous line about not believing him unless it’s written down.

However we can start to build a pretty good idea of what the Liberal Party’s industrial relations policy may look like. The most recent commentary comes from Eric Abetz and according to reports the Liberal Party is considering changes to unfair dismissal rules that would force a worker to pay court costs if they lose the case.

But this is only one such example. There are plenty more.

Back in February Tony Abbott was telling Victorian members of the Master Builders Association that a Coalition government would return to the Australian Building and Construction Commission regime. And in July this year, Mr Abbott was busy telling the Tourism & Transport Forum that he understood their needs; their needs for more flexibility with individual flexibility agreements to be more flexible.

Not only did Mr Abbott tell employers he’d deliver more flexibility he then, a week later, declared that if the Coalition were elected at the next election, workers would find he would be their best friend. Remarkable given it was only a few years ago that John Howard was declaring he was workers’ best friend before introducing WorkChoices.

With all the talk about productivity and the Coalition’s constant reference to flexibility, it’s about time the Coalition comes clean about their IR policy.

118 comments on “When will the Liberal Party come clean about their IR policy?

  1. Alex, good article, but this is the Noalition we are talking about, they have never come clean on anything.
    I think it’s something lacking in their DNA, but I do agree, it would be nice.

    And now for something completely different ……… Honesty! 😆 😆 😆


  2. I don’t have a clue what their IR policy is and not even sure they have formulated one.

    I was against Workchoices back in 2007 and I was an employer back then. What worried me was how the employers (some) would screw their workers when the economy downturned.

    I believe Fair Work has swung too far the other way and until IR moves more to the middle I will not start employing again. The go away money that is used to get rid of white ant workers and the reverse onus of proof is just crazy.

  3. How has Fair Work Australia swung too far and what is the middle ground.

    For starters Fair Work Australia adopted a good chunk of Work Choices, and they were bits that favoured employers. Are you saying that the bits of Fair Work Australia that favour employees or are middle ground should be reworked to favour employers?

    If you look at the strikes and time lost to industrial actions since Fair Work Australia then you will find that much of that time is due to actions taken by State Liberal governments in slash and burns along with bringing in their own draconian IR legislation taking away rights of workers, much of it worse than WorkChoices. Also part of the time lost has been by employers shutting down their entire operations to punish the industrial action of part of their operation.

    Fair Work Australia does need tweaking, but not towards the employers, but in bringing forth changes that don’t allow employers to shut down an entire vital operation in an act of bastardy or to punish an entire workforce and the public for the actions of one part of their workforce.

  4. “I believe Fair Work has swung too far the other way and until IR moves more to the middle “

    How, you are aware that the PM left much of Work Choices in place.

    What is it that you want change. As an employer you should be abler to tell us what.

    The rant from the employers appear to get rid of penalty rates. Be able to fire at will and individual contracts, with no disadvantage protections.

    In other words, they will not be satisfied with any less that no IR laws.

  5. flexibility = bending, bent state or part (Oxford dictionary)
    Labour/union view = working together, adaptable, versatile, you name it
    Noalition view = work when told, for as long as we want, take it or leave it, see a lawyer if you dont like it (i.e. workchoices 2). Prepare for the new dawn if abbort slithers into the lodge.

  6. It would be nice if Tony legislated to clear out corruption in the union movement. I think he will get an enormouse mandate for such legislation considering the Craig Thompson and HSU and even Gillards antics with the AWU. Corporate Governance the same as other listed companies would be a start.

  7. Managers are to blame.
    ”The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly – it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over.”
    SO SAID Joseph Goebbels, master manipulator of the truth in Adolf Hitler’s evil Third Reich. Although not as well-known as his more famous ”if you tell a big enough lie and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it”, it more succinctly encapsulates the spin and hyperbole that is the hallmark of the debate over our economy.

    For the past few years, we’ve been bombarded by a constant theme from the business lobby groups: Australian productivity is slipping and unless we have a more flexible labour market and governments reduce regulation, we’ll all be ruined.
    There’s a sliver of truth to the argument. Productivity indeed has plunged. And labour productivity has slipped in recent years. But the real culprit in the great Australian productivity decline is capital, not labour. It is our managers who have let us down, rather than our workforce. And in any case, all the statistics have been thrown completely out of whack by the massive investment boom in our resources sector.


    For when they raise labour market inflexibility as a problem, they really mean wages or the price of labour, which has very little to do with productivity. Most business people figure, if you reduce the cost of labour, the firm will make a bigger profit and that must be a lift in productivity.
    Sorry to disappoint. But cutting wages is more likely to reduce labour productivity, which, simply put, is the amount of goods or services a worker produces. If a worker produces more, his or her productivity has risen. If the same worker’s output falls, productivity is down. Nothing to do with cost.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/ignore-the-propaganda-cutting-wages-will-not-fix-productivity-20120817-24e0b.html#ixzz23rzEfJaH

  8. What is often ignored in this heated debate is that, outside of work hours, labour usually is referred to as consumers. Your workers are also your customers.
    Reduce their income and eliminate their job security and you may well end up selling less product. On the other side of the ledger, productivity is also likely to suffer. Let’s face it, cutting wages and conditions is hardly an incentive to work harder.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/ignore-the-propaganda-cutting-wages-will-not-fix-productivity-20120817-24e0b.html#ixzz23rznMKEG

  9. http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/num_act/fwa2009114/

    CHAPTER 3–Rights and responsibilities of employees, employers, organisations etc

    This Part provides general workplace protections. (334)

    Objects of this Part

    The objects of this Part are as follows:

    (a) to protect workplace rights;

    (b) to protect freedom of association by ensuring that persons are:

    (i) free to become, or not become, members of industrial associations; and

    (ii) free to be represented, or not represented, by industrial associations; and

    (iii) free to participate, or not participate, in lawful industrial activities;

    (c) to provide protection from workplace discrimination;

    (d) to provide effective relief for persons who have been discriminated against, victimised or otherwise adversely affected as a result of contraventions of this Part. (336)

    Division 7–Ancillary rules
    Reason for action to be presumed unless proved otherwise

    (1) If:

    (a) in an application in relation to a contravention of this Part, it is alleged that a person took, or is taking, action for a particular reason or with a particular intent; and

    (b) taking that action for that reason or with that intent would constitute a contravention of this Part;

    it is presumed, in proceedings arising from the application, that the action was, or is being, taken for that reason or with that intent, unless the person proves otherwise.

    (2) Subsection (1) does not apply in relation to orders for an interim injunction. (361)

    So scaper, explain how this is “just crazy.” Perhaps something from your knowledge or experience may help me to understand?

  10. If what I just read on Paul’s link is Abbotts ambition..?….I think he must’ve had his head so far up Howard’s arse with only his ears sticking out that when Johnnie farted Tony thought it was Gabriel’s Horn and the coming of heaven!

  11. Remember enquiries in the past. Remember the bottom of the harbour. More bosses caught than unionist. Same with the inquiry into the building industry.

    Corruption is to be found in many more places than in the union movement.

    As for the HSU, we still have no idea where the corruption lies there.

    Still no charges re Thomson.

  12. Even Abbott has stopped mentioning Craig Thomson (No “p”), as it is very likely to come back and bite him on the arse ( if he hasn’t already sold it).
    Maybe you know who forged the rejected credit card, as you spell his name the same as the forgery? Just asking.

  13. They’re hoping to do a 2004 on us all over again.. That is, wait until AFTER the election before dumping their load of crap on the voters.

  14. LOL Tweed, typical anti-Unionist rant there-big on rhetoric, short on fact. Need I remind you about all the Corporate Corruption in Australia over the past couple of decades-you know: AWB, OneTel, HIH, National Textiles (owned by the brother of John Howard)-& those are the ones I can name without having to go looking for them. Were I to list every time that a company misappropriated the entitlements of its workers to continue trading-whilst insolvent-the list would be hideously long!
    As for your claims re: HSU, it’s increasingly looking like Abbott’s champion-Kate Jackson-is the most corrupt one of the lot, along with her partner, Lawler. Meanwhile the case against Thomson looks increasingly weak & pathetic with every passing day (notice how many months its been since the Coalition even *mentioned* Thomson in parliament?) As for Gillard’s “antics”, you got any evidence or are you just reporting scuttlebutt & rumor as fact? If so, then you’d do well working at any one of the newspapers in Murdoch’s stable!

  15. Our productivity ”problem” will best be solved through investment – in new and more efficient machines and in education to produce more skilled workers and better managers – not with a slash-and-burn approach to wages and conditions. That’s something you’re unlikely to hear in the coming propaganda war.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/ignore-the-propaganda-cutting-wages-will-not-fix-productivity-20120817-24e0b.html#ixzz23s4xnC73

    This means the boss has to be clever.

  16. “I believe Fair Work has swung too far the other way and until IR moves more to the middle “

    Pah, a Lieberal Party slogan. Dismissed!

  17. Over the past decade or so Australia has increasingly seen the casualisation of our workforce, so much so that I believe that we have the most casualised of all western economies.

    Common sense dictates that a casual worker does not have the incentive regarding productivity as a worker who is made to feel that they are one of the team.

  18. I believe that we have the most casualised of all western economies.

    True, Min. ‘Achieved’ under the Liberals in 2005. ‘Most casualised workforce’ is code for: ‘Record job insecurity’.

  19. Adelaide
    AUGUST 18, 2012 @ 2:53 PM
    Keep your head well tucked in the sand Adelaide. The cases you speak of are all on the receiving end of the ASIC regulations. HSU Craig and Gillards antics try to stay hidden but the “Murdock Press” whih strangely includes Fairfax and ABC. If the HSU were regulated by Corporations Law then Gillard would be doing question time from a cell.
    Craig hasn’t had much air time because there have been much juicier stuff to talk about. Give it time Craig will reappear.
    Gillard and her cronies have certainly cornered the press this weekend. For those whisperers who have Fox, Peter Van Onselen is interviewing Gillard about the misappropriation of AWU union funds and her backflip on Border protection.
    I see the Gillard policy now (after having been dragged kicking and screaming to Howards pacific Solution) is to cut off boat people who go to Nauru from the Australian legal system and appeals process. Now that is going to pull the plug on a big government funded gravy train.
    All we need now is TPVs and Towing back the boats and the job is pretty much done.
    Thank God and Tony that we are getting some sense back into our Border Policies. You can see how much Tony gets done from Opposition. Imaging how productive he will be when he is PM.

  20. Tweed, you will not get towing back the boats. For starters there is a big difference between a Navy patrol boat and a tug boat.

    Admiral Barrie, who I dare say knows a little more than most of us said not recommended.

    Plus Indonesia has restated on a number of occasions that they will not be accepting any returns.

    Plus the High Court ruling pertaining to unaccompanied minors, therefore if there are any minors on board…

    But why let a few “minor details” such as these get in the way of one of Abbott’s usual brain f*rts.

  21. I think you will find Min that the pendulum has swung back to direct action on Border Protection. Indonesia will have to anti up in return for the serious cash Australia gives it via the aid program. They accept the boats and people back or lose the cash. I think the direction on Border Protection that Tony got up, while long over due, is now heading in the right direction.
    Rudd/Gillard and Labor has been kissing arse for 4 years. Your young bloke is in the navy I recall. Has he done a tour in the Gulf of Aden where the Australian Navy has quite a reputation in turning back boats.
    FYI the polls are now running at 10:1


  22. Tweed, son is a 10 year man much decorated with 2 tours of the Gulf and 2 tours of East Timor on shore patrol with the Federal Police to his credit. He has been on the patrol boats for a number of years.

  23. Wow Tweed uses online polls stacked with wingnuts to prove a point.

    What a joke.

    Proves he’s clutching at straws and has nothing of substance to add to the conversation.

    Now wait for the blah blah blah response.

  24. I should add Tweed that your idea of telling Indonesia to suck it up sweet heart is really not the way that Australia manages international relations…

  25. Come on Moby. Fess up you found the link to slap Abbott. How far did you slap him?
    Min. I said last time you should be proud of your lad. Australia certainly is.
    Re sending the boats back. Indonesia isn’t playing the international game. They take with one hand and on the other run a corrupt people smuggling scam. The indonesian police pollies and customs would be sharing in the spoils. I don’t blame them as it is a poor third world country. They have got to be shown that there is a cause and effect for un neighborly behavior.
    Got the flu so am having a day of sloth on the IPad.

  26. Wow Tweed uses online polls stacked with wingnuts to prove a point.

    What a joke.

    Next thing he’ll be saying: “The callers to 2GB (2UE/2SM/6PR/4BC/2CC) reckon that…”

  27. Alex there are potentially two simple answers tot he question at the top of the page.

    1) The policy is whatever the ACCI (one of the largest Unions in Australia) wants it to be.
    2) Policy – whats a policy?

  28. Tweed, bribery is a well known problem with Indonesia as custom dictates that there is a certain amount of acceptability in this. However, Indonesia would be appalled if Australia did not show respect.

  29. Cuppa, I was going to mention to Tweed that although the pendulum might have swung towards “direct action”, it is not the shock jocks who should be deciding international relations. The shock jocks job is to keep ranters stirred up and to tut tut about how awful/dreadful their non-listeners aka The Others are..they appeal to their demographic….

  30. However, back onto Alex’s topic…on Abbott being the workers’ best friend. Due to as I mentioned, the casualisation of the workforce plus exploitation of school leavers via unpaid work, plus short term contracts in abundance, one bleat out of Abbott and it is certain to bring back the spectre of WorkChoices.

    On the exploitation of school leavers, there was an article a month or so ago about how so-called traineeships are being used to get temporaries in as unpaid help. Plenty of school leavers willing to “try out” to prove their worth with the promise of an apprenticeship. A couple of weeks “try out” and the young person is shown the door. This is particularly rampant in the hospitality industry.

  31. The problem is that these people are not Indonesian nationals. Indonesia, as a non-signatory to the convention has no responsibility for them.

    Indonesia sees them as our problem, as that is where they are heading, only passing through their country.

    If we took many more over the last few years, they may have a little more interest in helping.

  32. Hmm, So Tony is going to recreate something that only exists in the brain-farts of weak-minded conservatives? Even though our economic fundamentals haven’t been this good since 1964?


    The current economic data in Australia are about as good as one could expect to see.

    Australia has GDP growth of 4.3%, at the same time inflation is running at 1.3%, at the same time the unemployment rate is below 5.5% (5.2% to be precise), at the same time mortgage interest rates are below 7% (6.85% for the standard variable rate).

    Delving into the various data bases to try to match up a time when Australia’s GDP growth was 4% or more, inflation was 1.5% or less, the unemployment rate was 5.5% or less and the standard variable mortgage interest rates was 7% or less, and I came up with March quarter 1964.

    That was a few months after the assassination of JFK; Robert Menzies was Prime Minister; Arthur Calwell was Leader of the Opposition; the Beatles visited Australia; and Donald Horne’s The Lucky Country was first published.

    Clearly it’s been a long time since Australia has enjoyed these current economic fundamentals. It’s great news that we should celebrate and enjoy.

    One massively inspiring fact is that in 1964, Australia’s per capita GDP (US$ terms) was $2,250. In 2012, the IMF estimate it will be $69,000, an increase of more than 2,600%. We are a very rich country.

    If over the next 3 or 5 or 10 years, Australia can sustain GDP growth of 3.25%, inflation at 2.5% (the RBA target), have the unemployment rate near 5% and have housing affordability assisted by reasonable levels for interest rates, we’ll be doing exceptionally well.

  33. So for Abbott to re-create the supposed gold age he must send all our economic indicators backwards.

    That’s stupid in anyone’s books and a good reason not to support him even if you are a conservative.

  34. Mobius, I think that we are once again noting the alternative reality in which Tony Abbott resides – he says it, so it must be true…

  35. Economic ‘Records’ of the Coalition:

    * The biggest-taxing government in Australia’s history
    * The biggest trade deficit ever recorded
    * The longest run of successive monthly trade deficits ever recorded
    * Biggest foreign debt in Australia’s history (number 4 in the world in dollar terms)
    * Highest levels of household and business debt ever recorded
    * The lowest value of the AU$ (2001)
    * 94% of the mining boom tax windfall frittered away in just 2.5 years
    * Interest rates consistently above the OECD average
    * Highest inflation in 16 years
    * In mortgage rates, the highest interest component-to-average income level ever recorded
    * Housing affordability the lowest ever
    * Personal bankruptcies the highest in two decades
    * Government investment in Tertiary Education in reverse

  36. Without seeing an actual determination of such a case, I’d find it incredible if the tribunal would believe such a spurious allegation if the employer had correctly documented the formal counselling process and subsequent dismissal.

    Despite the fact that John’s religious beliefs played no part in the decision to terminate his employment, Section 361 requires the former employer to prove that the allegation in regard to John’s religious beliefs is not true

    The employer would have no problem showing the real reason for dismissal, regardless of what the employee had claimed. The so-called “reverse onus of proof” in this case could easily be refuted with properly documented proof of the steps that were correctly taken.

    Just because an employer organisation asserts that they reckon this is what would happen, doesn’t mean that FWA would adjudicate in that manner, or that this is in fact a consequence of the legislation. Give me an actual case where this has happened – otherwise this is just more hot air from an employer organisation.

  37. Cuppa

    Don’t forget:
    * Big government.
    * Large structural deficit.
    * National infrastructure deficit.
    * Extensive skills shortage. All the more galling as the Howard government was consistently warned over a long period.
    * Politicisation of the public service.
    * Gutting of the ABC.

  38. Ah, so yet again the Far Right trolls who infest this site have no *facts* to back their ridiculous assertions-just stupid Murdoch propaganda & unscientific online polls. Notice that moron, Tweed, disn’t bother to refute the examples of corporate corruption that I mentioned-he instead just fell back on the same rumor & innuendo as before.

  39. BTW, Tweed, I’ve been hearing claims like yours for a very long time now-& yet still no solid evidence to actually back them up. Meanwhile, the evidence of high ranking Fiberals being involved with Ashby, Jackson & Lawler continues to grow.

  40. Cuppa @2.51pm, I think Craig Thomson is a lost “Liealot For PM” cause, as is the Slipper/Ashby furphy.

    Now Godwin Grech has apparently slithered out of the dank subterranean cave he has inhabited for the last three years to endorse Liealot for PM and the rodent for GG. Grytpipe Thynne and Moriarty would be more credible and less dishonest candidates for the positions.

    Tweed @4.09pm, you’ll have to a bit better than a dumb straw poll run by a few fascists for their fellow fascists. News flash, Tweed, the clowns voting in your poll aren’t writing this country’s policies.

    As soon as the first boats start arriving, the Pacific Solution will be exposed for the farce it is, Liealot will be frantically trying to remove the wedge from his backside and the government will be trampling over his face to implement their preferred asylum seeker policy.

    WRT Liealot and the Golden Age of the Rodentochracy, I think it would be more aptly described as the Fool’s Gold Age.

    Min @7.27pm, I don’t think Mrs Rodent was useless, evil and unprincipled would be closer to the truth, imo.

    Marcus, the Liars and their barrackers are great at smear, innuendo, lies and obfuscation, but they’re not so hot on credibility and evidence. Utegate and the Grech affair are prime examples of their predictably sloppy work. So you’ll get zip from Tweed.

    And history is repeating itself with the predictably sloppy pursuit of Thomson and Slipper, with more of the clowns implicated in the Slipper/Ashby concoction. Wankers!

  41. Can anyone dig out what the opposition said it would cost to reinitialise the Pacific Solution? It was a while ago.

    I know that Morrison is currently scrambling to cover up that lie as the costs to reinitialise it now are being itemised.

    If that costing is revealed as a fabrication it will come as no surprise to any of us here. Shonky figures seems to be their SOP.

  42. Very deep comment this morning Jane.
    Gillard about to come on Australia Agenda with Peter Van Onselen. Going to tell us about her involvement in the theft of AWU funds, sacking from Slater Gordon etc …. and how it is too hard to prune the gardens and paint the shacks on Nauru.
    I’ll keep you guys posted

  43. I’ll also keep Tweed posted on the full itemised costs of Nauru and Manus, including flying the refugees to Australia for medical treatment.

    Methinks on the other hand though when the real costs are revealed, as they were under Howard, Tweed will disappear and change subjects.

  44. Gillard refused to answer questions of theft asked by Paul Kelly…. clearly everyone is wrong and Gillard is innocent of theft of AWU funds.
    Moby. When Rudd and Gillard shut down Nauru it was costing taxpayers zip because Howard’s Pacific Solution had worked and the boats had stopped. That is the fact. It is criminal that Rudd and Gillard did not maintain a taxpayer funded facility at Nauru. Simple maintainance would have kept it viable.. I suspect they chose to let it fall apart so that it could not be reopened. Well now we see they have bitten each other on the arse.
    To me it is inconceivable that we can’t deliver prefabricated self contained demountables, generators and diesel storage to Nauru.
    As to cost Moby?
    Multiply 1500 persons by $600,000 per person and you get less than $1 Billion. Do you really think it costs $600,000 to deliver a self contained hotel room style demountable? It costs $14,000 to deliver a refrigerated 40 foot container from China to Melbourne!!!
    Silly Gillard and her band of incompetents are saying it will cost more than $4 Billion. Do the maths Moby. $2.6 Million for a demountable? Don’t forget Moby, Gillard has pissed $4 Billion of my money up against the wall with her FAILED Border Protection Policy.
    One final comment Moby. Where do you think Wayne Swan’s budget Surplus sits with all this Bullshit Gillard Policy?,
    We have a bullshit bogan incompetent PM in the Lodge.

  45. Lie Tweed. Manus was costing $1m a year and Nauru $2m for one person.

    The boats were increasing and would have come again otherwise why build Christmas Island at such huge expense and keep Nauru and Manus going.

    So delusional Tweed and such bogus figures with so much not included.

    How much does Nauru get per annum?
    How much does it cost to fly the refugees back and forth?
    How much does it cost for private contractors to run the centres?
    How much does it cost for the fittings, furniture, TV’s, power generators running 24/7 etc et al?
    How much does it cost for the schooling and care of the kids?
    How much does it cost for the continuous maintenance?
    …and it goes on.

    What a laugh. You insist it’s not going to cost much but then try to infer that it’s going to blow the budget surplus. What a joke.

    If it does cost the billion or more being muted then it’s Abbott’s fault and it’s his responsibility because yet again the right wingers and he is claiming this is his doing and his policy.

    The incompetence lies purely with a gormless Abbott and his dysfunctional opposition. Their lies and not being able to elucidate more than three word slogans prove it.

  46. So Moby. Are you saying it was good to shut down the Pacific Solution? Or are you saying it is bad to reopen the Pacific Solution? Can’t have it both ways mate.
    Of course Gillard says it was good to shut down the Pacific Sloution and good to re open the Pacific Solution…… And tear up many billions of taxpayers funds in the past 4 years as she travelled between the two positions. She comfortably ascribes to conflicting positions.
    Moby. Just put you head in the cool moist sand and let all your silly contradictions wash away. Fitting out Manus and Nauru will be Gillards BER Mk 2. Market price is probably $1 billion. Gillard and her BER cronies will probably spend between 4 and 19 billion hence the question of Swannies Budget Surplus.
    Tony is right when he says Labor and Gillard’s hearts are not in Border Protection.

  47. Oh good, I do indeed hope that it is the BER Mk2 – lots of community facilities, earning $s not only during the building with employment and supply of materials but an ongoing revenue raiser for the school community itself.

  48. Yeah terrible government Tweed.

    Unemployment averaged 6.4% under Howard during unprecedented sustained boom time. Averaged 5.1% under Rudd/Gillard not withstanding GFC and greatest global downturn since Great Depression.

    If Abbott had been in and going on the policies he and Hockey offered unemployment would have been similar to the U.S. as would our economy.

  49. Wait on I’m not trying to have it both ways. I don’t want Pacific solution but regional framework and onshore processing, which is what the current policy that Abbott has singed up to is about, with Malaysia as the medium term goal.

    Oh let’s not forget the opposition in a rare show of support approved and signed off on the closing down of the Pacific Solution as proposed by Rudd.

    So whose also back flipped, especially with Malaysia and the regional framework being the current goal along with 21 other items that Abbott opposed but now accepts?

  50. Thanks Sue. Bookmarked and uploaded.

    If Morrison turns out to be right then I’ll give the opposition the kudos but if as I suspect they have yet again engaged in shonky figures, especially since they refuse to release “commercial-in-confidence” costings from a private firm, then we know they are just doing what they always do, bullshit.

  51. ME. Morrison said during the week, that he was willing to pass on all their documentation to the government. He added the rider, if the government claimed it would cost more, it would because they are lying or unable to do the job. He offered his personal assistance in the matter.

    Now we have all seen those videos. It is obviously that all has to be replaced. That it is not a matter of a few panes of glass and a coat of paint.

    The only thing that appears intact is the plumbing system.

    When the white ants move through, there is little of values left. A few pipes and a little fibro, that is nailed tp nothing.

    Has anyone noticed that in the last week, many of the boats have less than twenty asylum seekers on board. Could this be because they are rushing to meet the dead line.

    According to the Opposition, one boat yesterday with seventeen on board, proves the Houston Scheme is not working. I would expect, most of these boats have left since Tuesday. Note the low numbers on most.

    I do hope that Bowen takes up Morrison’s challenge.

    The PM this morning also challenged those making allegations to please name one thing that she has done wrong, and she will answer.

    The interviewer on Skye also said he believe it was a beat up and that she had done no wrong. The PM said that there was nothing that she could say, that would shut some up. True, as it was Bolt and co she was alluring to.

    Still seventeen old allegations with no new facts.

  52. Tweed. Paul also said, he believed the PM had done nothing wrong and it was a beat up.

    The PM also said, when they tell her what they are accusing her of, of what she did wrong, she will reply.

    The PM was very clear in her denial. She was strong in saying she did nothing wrong. No one has been gamed to say what she did wrong. The allegations all appear to be guilt by association.

    The PM has also been very clear in saying that she never lived with the man.

    Paul was unable to list6 any wrongs that it is alleged she committed.

    Something the same, as with Thomson, many allegations but proof appears to be hard to find.

    Another week, no charges from any of the many inquiries across the country. Allegations are one thing, proof that stands up in court another.

  53. Tweed, please get out the atlas and look where those islands are situated.

    The PM is attempting to keep costs down, by taking in the armed forces.

    Look at the climate and tell me simple fibro huts without air-conditioning and insulation is humane.

    Whatever way one looks at it, is going to be costly to build and costly to maintain.

    There is no cheap way of doing it. If one believes Morrison, they have lost all their marbles.

  54. How much does it cost to provide water alone which is scarce on the Island. If I would be demanding this government add to the water supply on a permanent basis,

    The Malaysian solution still makes more sense.

    This is seen as a circuit breaker and a stop gap by expert panel. A expensive one at that.

    Mr. Abbott needs to come forwarded and say to the government, stop this waste, and we will allow you to movie onto Malaysia, which is the PM’s and I believe the panel’s first option.

    That is were this exercise has to end up, to work. If Abbott gets in, he will attempt his so called Howard solution, only to see it fail and a break down of relationships with all other countries in the region.

    It will put off for decades any chance of as regional solution.

    It appears that Abbott intends to keep on with his wrecking ball of the Australian economy and all the PM attempts to do.

    He gives no consideration to the cost. Winning is the only thing that matters, in spite of it being Australia that loses.

  55. Howard’s golden age. Fran. it is not just the growth. It is what you do with it. In Howard’s golden age, it was wasted.

  56. Suggestion Insiders. retrain some of the asylum seekers to meet the labour shortage. Maybe some already have the skills.

  57. Cassidy. It has been malicious gossip and innuendo on socail media for a long time..

    Yes, and that is all it still is.

    Asylum seekers on Nauru will be free to join in all on the island. The children will attend local schools etc.

    There will be open day to the media.

    Does not sound like Howard’s day at all.

    Paris, there are no solutions, just better ways of handling it.

    Tweed, if this is dealt with in the same manner as the BER, it will indeed be successful.

  58. Let’s make this clear.

    There were 22 recommendations, of which only one was in any way similar to the Pacific Solution and that similarity is the location of the refugees.

    In just about every other aspect it’s completely different even to the point it can hardly be called a detention centre if the refugees are free to go anywhere on the island and interact with the locals. I suppose you could call it a detention island.

    So Abbott got half a recommendation out of the 22 put up.

    It also wedges Abbott in another way in that if the boats do stop coming or slow down then the government can say that it proves Howard went way too far in his Pacific Solution and that policy was inhumane and unnecessary.

    If the boats keep coming they can say the Pacific Solution is a failure and it’s time to move onto Malaysia.

  59. We have two versions of where the PM is at.

    One from Hanson-Young that says the PM was only interested in a tough decision.

    One from Mr. Abbott, that the PM is not strong enough to carry through with any tough action. I wonder who is correct.

  60. I have a suspicion that there will not be many expensive buildings on either island.

    What was made clear last week that Nauru and Manus Island are only seen as a circuit breaker and a stop gap action. No one seems to be listening to this point.

    To me, this reads, yes the boats have to be stopped. There is no way is it appropriate to leave people on the islands for up to a decade.

    Army camps will be sufficient to meet this objection.

    The facilities on Malaysia are up and ready to go.

    I see a rapid effort being made to bring the regional solution on line.
    Those on the islands will be given the choice to move onto Malaysia or other destinations they nominate. That is anywhere but Australia.

    I believe by the time this happens, pressure from the public, United Nations and other agencies will leave Mr. Abbott no option but to endorse the situation. Maybe there will even be presumer from within the Greens.

    The history of the PM shows that she does not give up. The PM just finds a new way of getting to where she is going.

    I believe the PM will not settle for less tjan a permanent fix, one that is fair as possible.

    Time will tell.

  61. Cu, I saw an article only yesterday but for the life of me can’t find it, but apparently the detention centre is in a complete state of disrepair. The article stated that the work of the reconnaisance group put a lie to Tony Abbott’s argument that asylum seekers could be sent there “tomorrow”. And of course Abbott would have known it was a lie, having been to Nauru fairly recently.

  62. Min, Abbott and co where only capable of seeing the shell, as that is all that is left standing.

    Must have been a wonderful inspection that their mob did.

    It seems it is the plumbing that is holding the walls up.

    Wonder how safe the floors are. Maybe they are yellow tongue. Maybe the termites do not like that.

    The wiring, doors and windows seem to be missing in Morrison’s pictures last year. Maybe the windows and doors fell out, as those pesty termites moved through.

    Personally, I do not believe many buildings will be needed. The PM will move onto the second stage quickly.

    Bishop once again made a fool of herself today. Claiming that Carr should resign, claiming he is lying and he needs to back up what he has been saying. That is they have no evidence that Assagne well be sent to the USA.

    The emails also made lie of the second allegation that the government was not acting on behalf of the man.

    The emails discuss what needs to be done, if the USA made move to get Assagne.

    So the email say, there is o evidence that they will be seeking him. The emails show that the government have asked. Thirdly, what needs to be done, if they do.

    Now can smote asked the younger Bishop, where is the lie.

  63. Who says so.

    August 19, 2012 – 16:09 — Admin
    By refusing to address serious allegations about her conduct at Slater & Gordon, Julia Gillard has dragged the Office of the Prime Minister through the gutter and inflicted grave damage on its reputation. The Prime Minister must be above all suspicion and she now has a clear and urgent duty to resign. The ethical questions arising from the scandal at Slater & Gordon are so great that she has a clear moral duty to fully disclose her conduct over that time and to back such disclosure with documentary evidence. Her continued refusal to make such a disclosure will only further harm the Governmen


  64. Good post Alex, and a good question.

    I linked the article to a Facebook group yesterday which is a page where Labor and Liberal supporters can debate issues on equal ground.

    The Liberalites went feral, suggesting we try looking at the Liberal Party website for the answer. Once one of the, suggested it the rest hopped on the bandwagon.

    They soon shut up when it was pointed out to them the the answer wasn’t there. Somebody actually went there for a look. As expected, no policy.

  65. As I’ve mentioned before, Joe the Goose Hockey reckons it’s not necessary to release policies this far out from an election. Has anybody told him that Abbott wants an election immediately? 🙄

  66. Good one Julia. Paul Kelly quote: I don’t have an allegation but the point is….

    The point is Kelly, is that you do not have an allegation.

  67. Min, an unfinished project…like all the others.

    Couldn’t decide where to put the backdoor so framed many out to make the ultimate executive decision.

    The back lawn is overgrown because the authorities took my pet goat away. Tried to convict me for scapegoating but the goat wouldn’t give evidence.

    Last I heard the goat was living it up on the Riviera.

  68. What’s to come then scaper that hasn’t already been fully hashed over?

    Ex-Hanson adviser John Pasquarelli drafted union man’s fraud allegations

    This from The Weekend Australian, that doyan of Right Wing bastardy.

    The Weekend Australian has examined thousands of pages of documentation and conducted numerous interviews to test long-standing allegations, referred to in last year’s statutory declaration, that Ms Gillard — as a junior partner at the Melbourne law firm Slater & Gordon — was involved in wrongdoing by her then boyfriend, Mr Wilson.

    None of the material examined is capable of supporting the claims that Ms Gillard was a beneficiary of ill-gotten funds or that she knew at the time that Mr Wilson was involved in alleged fraud.

    On the material available, the most that could be said is that Ms Gillard and Slater & Gordon provided legal advice to Mr Wilson at the time and that she was unaware he was simultaneously involved in alleged fraud.

  69. Thanks everyone for your comments. Reading through the comments there has been a very interesting debate. There is no doubt that more and more people are starting to wake up to the constant rhetoric without any substance.

  70. Over what scaper? As someone said elsewhere stop talking in riddles and just say what you mean in plain English.

    If you haven’t got anything of substance to say then don’t speak.

  71. Alex, I could absolutely guarantee that there will be WorkChoices MkII. Gina will be expecting favours returned. There has already been a big hint, that word flexibility. *shudder*.

  72. Gordon and Slater have released a letter stating that Gillard quit to take up an advisor position with the Victorian government and not because of any impropriety.

    Of course that hasn’t stopped Abbott demanding Gillard explain herself with documentary evidence.

    OK Abbott you explain your actions 27 years ago with documentary evidence proving your innocence and why you were let off a vandalism charge when you did it?

  73. “This is just warming up. Watch the media go into frenzy over the coming weeks.”

    scaper, we are indeed in another universe. Have you not noted the reaction to the malicious innuendo and rumour.

    I am now watching your source. Believe me, today he is laughable. He like Abbott, does not realise the caravan has moved on.

  74. Mobius, thank you for that one – that bears making a mental note of, just in case anyone in the future tries to drag that old subject up again…

  75. So in other words scaper you are just making it up and attempting to big note with innuendo and supposition.

    Wait and see, wait and see, wait and see. Crap.

    If you have something of substance then spit it out instead of all this run around bull.

    Tomorrow is another day and if nothing happens or no evidence produced you will just pass it by and ignore that you attempted to stir up shit. It’s something you’ve done before, throwing claims and aspersions out and then sidetracking or ignoring the outcome if nothing comes of them, until the next calumny.

    You in all honesty may have something of substance, then OK, but don’t sling a lot of shit in the meantime and post bits of cryptic nonsense in trying to big note. Either state what you have or not. Thank you.

  76. Mobius 6.21
    Saw Abbott saying Gillard had “questions to answer”. He never has, I suppose it’s just another example of the religioso/liberal double standard. Or maybe he’s a creep. Or maybe both.

  77. Telling isn’t it Bob that Abbott has many more questions to answer than just about anyone else in politics but if anyone even hints at asking them he runs away.

  78. Cuppa, I am serious. It has left the bounds of reality and entered pure comedy. It is his most outlandish effort so far. Kroger reckons all we are going to hear about this week, is the PM misdoings. Bolt says we have to tune in tomorrow. Wonder what Pyne has fed him.

    Is this what we are going to have for QT and the following censure motion.

  79. Mobius
    Yes, you could put this in an encyclopedia as a practical example of what “double standard” means.

  80. Why should I have to elaborate to the likes of you? S&G will rue their statement today. It is a matter of believing Hedley and his source or a Sunday afternoon statement authorised by whom?

    CU, you don’t have a clue and to suggest I fell for Bolt on this is the usual leftist trick of linking to establish guilt by association. You are EDITED!

    **Edited due to personal abuse: Min

  81. Where is the abuse. I thought I was offering the opposite.

    Well, scaper I have been reading all that you have been saying, or should I say inferring on that site.

  82. Tweed also conveniently ignores the fact the Wilson has NEVER been charged with anything, that Gillard wasn’t sacked and didn’t leave S&G for at least another 12 months, when she entered politics.

    But Tweed and other Liars Party morons are allergic to the truth. Brings them out in a rash.

    scaper, why will S&G rue their statement of today? Is it because it conflicts with the bullshit you’re pedaling?

  83. Liars Party morons are allergic to the truth. Brings them out in a rash.

    Too right they are Jane. They are desperate that the truth about the Liberals’ miserable agenda doesn’t get out. Millions of working poor, public health and education ground into the dust, Third World standard public services, rising consumer taxes (they have an ideological reason to raise these taxes – they hit hardest on those least able to pay), government by slogan, institutionalised religion in the schools, veneration of shock jocks and other peddlers of hate…

  84. Back to the past. Yes, it is the two year anniversary of this government. Know what, it is still here. Here and still pumping out legislation. Still here, building the foundations needed for the future.

    Tony is still in Opposition. In Opposition, still throwing tantrums. The last being yesterday, getting thrown out of the house. All because the PM dared to criticise him.

    …………………OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott has marked the two-year anniversary of the 2010 election with a commitment to return the nation to the Howard era of “reform and prosperity” if the coalition is returned to government.

    Australians knew the coalition could achieve so much more nationally because it had done so previously, Mr Abbott said on Tuesday.

    “Sixteen members of my shadow cabinet were ministers in the Howard government,” Mr Abbott said in a statement.

    “We delivered an era of reform and prosperity before and we are determined to do it again.”

    A coalition government would “restore hope, reward and opportunity, so that, once again, all Australians can face a bright future with confidence”.

    The coalition would build a stronger economy, ease cost-of-living pressures on families, improve infrastructure, help build stronger communities, secure Australia’s borders, and deliver a cleaner environment, Mr Abbott said………….


    The golden haired leader who was not only thrown out of government, but out of his seat by the voters.

  85. This is one of the companies that is a high carbon emitter and will be paying the tax.

    Packaging supplier Amcor has lifted its full year profit by 16 per cent and expects sales volumes to continue to show resilience against subdued economic conditions.

    Amcor on Tuesday posted a net profit of $412.6 million for the 12 months to June 30, up from $356.7 million in the previous corresponding period.

    The profit growth was achieved despite $222 million in costs from acquisitions and restructuring, plus a $35 million pre-tax impact from the high Australian dollar, Amcor said….

    ………’In the current year, it is expected that volumes will again be resilient and that the benefits from recent acquisitions, growth in emerging markets, cost reduction initiatives and continued strong cash focus will combine to deliver another year of higher earnings, expressed in constant currency terms.’…


  86. Why have the polls improved.

    Could not be because we are seeing the PM every day, in a positive mode,talking about what she is doing for Australia.

    Maybe, at last, the PM is coming across as a pleasant person, and people like what they are hearing and seeing.

    Maybe at last the PM is getting her message out. A message the PM is conveying with much clarity.

    Maybe Mr.Abbott is being seen as a bad loser, who is continuing with the longest tantrum in history.

    Maybe people so not want to go back to the golden age that Mr. Abbott is promising us.

    Maybe all the information, coming from all over the world, is strongly indicating that there is man made climate change, it is not in the future, it is here now.

    Maybe the Slipper and Thomson scandals have grown too long in the tooth, and people no longer believe or care.

    Maybe the simple fact is, that every time Mr. Abbott moves to policy, he blows it.

    Maybe the no carbon tax is just plain boring.

    Maybe the penny has dropped, we do have one of the best economies, on all fronts, in the world.

    Maybe they are just sick of the fear campaigns.

    Maybe Mr. Abbott has little to offer.

    Maybe people care about the future, not the past.

    Maybe the caravan has moved on, and Abbott is being left behind.

  87. Pingback: Tony Abbott and the Great Debate | Café Whispers

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