The message is simple

Café Whispers has reached a number of milestones over the past two weeks.

First we recorded our 100,000th comment, followed by our best ever week ever as far as visitors go and then yesterday we welcomed our 700,000th visitor since opening our doors.

The best news was learning we are now the 442,049th most visited web site in the world and 6,356th in Australia. A year ago we were something above number 5 million in the world rankings.

I think we’re being told something and the message is simple: keep attacking Abbott.

Yes, we’ve been told! Expect nothing less.


116 comments on “The message is simple

  1. The message is very simple, keep telling the truth, challenge the lies.

    Keep up the good work.

    We even have to be thankful for the trolls. They make our task easier.

  2. Abbott thought he was so clever
    When he swore that would never
    Invoke a false class gender war.
    That’s not what the party chose him for.

    But Julia Gillard should be shamed,
    Severely criticized and blamed.
    Julie would love to do all that.
    As Deputy she should go in to bat.

    Why waste the Leader’s precious pearls
    Of wisdom? Leave that to the girls.
    Both undermine him, make him ill.
    Both are bossy and so damn shrill.

    In most fights only one can win.
    If both of them could get done in,
    I would have it made, thinks our Tone.
    That’s the trick, two birds with one stone!

    Hi Miglo! Congratulations on all these lovely stats! You inspired me to throw a few verses together. But it needs a punch line – and I’m nearly asleep. Anyone else have ideas on how to show how the sexist bastard comes undone?

  3. Patricia, something along the line of conduct unbecoming. Love that phrase of his.

    Wonder the media and cartoonist did not pick up on it.

  4. Migs, you’re a legend!
    Congrats mate, well done. 😎 😎 😎

    Cheers 😀


    But Julie suffers foot in mouth
    With Tony’s numbers still heading south
    As misogyny is his stock in trade
    In the poll that counts he WILL be flayed.

    Just a quick thought.

    Cheers 😆 😀 😆

  5. THE final parliamentary week of 2012 was dominated by the stunning political persona of Julia Gillard – fierce, feminist and unrestrained – whose will-to-survival is Labor’s last, best but highly dangerous hope.

    The real Julia is unleashed in her self-righteous fury and calculated aggression. Her voice now bounces across the summer landscape invading homes, hotels and workplaces. Her arch opponent, Tony Abbott, is traduced as sexist, relentlessly negative and an agent of smear as the nation divides between those who applaud Julia and those appalled by her……..

    Yes, the message is very simple. I suspect the rest of the rest of this article behind the pay wall is not as truthful.

    After going behind the pay wall, I was correct, the article is another put down of the PM. Well so be it, there introductory paragraph is spot on. It is the resat they may have wrong.

    We only need one major change governing media in this country, it had to be truth, and they have to prove it.

    A minor change that opinion and news has to be clearly labelled, in big letters.

    If they see that as government attempting to regulate or threatening the freedom of the media, so be it.

    I see it as not allowing the media to be above the law.

  6. …But girls will be girls, and boys will be boys
    And Abbott for all his growling noise
    Showed that when it comes to the crunch
    He is at the bottom of the bunch.

  7. Last chance. Pick something intelligent to discuss or just go to the ALP website and slobber there. Pathetic. I’m gone.

  8. ‘…and the message is simple: keep attacking Abbott.’

    Doubt it.

    ‘…followed by our best ever week ever’

    This requires deeper analysis and I’m genuinely interested in a rational answer. And as curry suggested…it has nothing to do with the unintelligent posts.

  9. ………..In any week, and not just the last, these would have been important signposts of progress benefitting the Australian people.

    The really shocking news is that many, if not most, of the advances made by the Parliament on behalf of the nation were bipartisan decisions. The minority Government needed the support of the Opposition to get through its biggest legislative projects.

    .Yet the public’s appreciation of last week would generally be limited by the spectacle of politicians engrossed in themselves, directing all energies into personal wars of self absorption and neglecting their duties to the electorate…………

    I would like to point out, itr is the media that chose what they print. It is them that puts the rubbish above the important, not the reader.

  10. last week 11 bills were passed by the House of Representatives and Parliament that dealt with some of the most significant issues of the century so far

    Yep, CU

    Amid the most toxic political atmosphere probably ever seen in this country – whipped up by Dr No and the shitpeople of the media – is operating one of the most effective governments this country has ever seen.

  11. …..It was a busy week, and it has been a busy year.

    In 2012 Parliament passed 195 bills which included new laws changing dental benefits, introduced paid parental leave, offered families money to help send children to school.

    The long-term consequences of non-partisan legation such as the NDIS preparations will eventually dwarf machinations over the ancient history of the AWU.

  12. Might be best ever week for Cafe Wispers
    but worst ever week for parliament and Ms Dullard.
    Good to be able to post without being abused and sworn at,
    Can you make that a New Years resolution please.

  13. ….Unfortunately, there is an obsessive preoccupation in some quarters of politics and the media with things that really are not important to Australians – or at the very least don’t qualify as ‘big’.

    When this emphasis becomes obsessive and unfailingly partisan it does the country a gross disservice.

    What we are seeing very clearly in our public debate right now is a calculated campaign aimed at eroding goodwill in the highest offices in our country.

    Because those waging this campaign know that with goodwill, you can deliver reforms that will span the generations – but they are not interested in seeing those advances being made on our watch….

  14. The Coalition is progressive and has no intention of taking us back to the Dark Ages, unlike Ms Dillard and her dullard supporters.

  15. So discussing why Mr. Abbott will make the better PM is not an intelligent topic.

    I am inclined to agree, as it seems no one knows the answer of why he is.

    Yes, Curry, an unintelligent topic,

    Much more fun and productive to slag the PM.

  16. Right Wing Projection:

    The Coalition is progressive and has no intention of taking us back to the Dark Ages, unlike Ms Dillard and her dullard supporters.

    The NOalition (with their media mouthpieces, without whom their destructive mission would be impossible) are seeking to poison political debate and perceptions, so as to minimise the chance of long and lasting reforms being made.

    They offer nothing but negativity, slogans and lies.

    LNP: Lies Not Policies.

    The only ‘policy’ they are committed to (though they will deny it) is WorkChoices – to impose Dark Ages working conditions and way of life onto coming generations. The Noalition would hand over Australia’s future (and finite resource wealth) to some of the wealthiest and most powerful people on the planet. They even work against us cleaning up the air we breathe, again to placate billionaires and moguls.

  17. I would like to add a special note of thanks to all our other Admin and Authors plus of course our wonderful contributors..even the trolls. 😉

  18. Cu, it seems that the right whingers are completely unable to mount a logical argument as to why their boy would make such a you’beaut PM. In typical bogan style the only known response is: Duh, but wadda ’bout yoose, eg Ms Dillard and her dullard supporters

  19. That’s RW Projection Min.

    Right Wing Projection: The deliberate political tactic whereby right wingers seek to distract from their faults by ascribing them to their opponents.

  20. Oh look, when the moronic Right have nothing of substance to offer, they fall back on name-calling. What’s the matter Voyager & el gordo,has “JuLIAR” lost its punch due to over use, so now you’re resorting to the even more infantile epithet “Dillard”? Why don’t you go beyond the pathetic name-calling & sloganeering championed by your Lords & Masters in the Noalition, & actually offer up some substantive debate? Oh, sorry, that would require some *intelligence* & something beyond a kindergarten level of education-something that the kool-aid drinking supporters of Tony Abbott have proven they lack. The reality is that, in spite of Abbott & Co’s desperate bid to drag us back into the 1950’s, this Minority Government has succeeded in passing over 150 pieces of progressive legislation. That must just burn all those morons who predicted the government wouldn’t last 6 months!

  21. I know one thing, el gordo, they’re certainly not coming here to bask in your “scintillating” personality. Liberal Party drones apparently require all the personality to be sucked out of them, otherwise they might be too questioning of Abbott’s stupid behaviour.

  22. El gordo, it’s the networking that attracts outsiders. Would you believe that some of our topics have just as many comments on Facebook than they do here where they are first published? But it’s encouraging to note that you no longer consider that we engage in groupthink. That is a giant step for this blog.

  23. I AGREE!!

    Trigg should have gone, along with anyone involved.

    It is also a fact that I am no longer a one-eyed Crow supporter. They have joined the rest of the muck with this. I had always liked them as much for their fairness in their approach as the fact that they are the local team. They have now lost that, and, by keeping Trigg, appear to condone that.

    A sad day indeed.

    Tippett is good, but not that bloody good.

  24. abbott on tele at Disability

    the basis of his talk : lets not talk about you lets talk about me

    this year I rode a bike for charity and the charity was carers and i pledge next year we will ride for disabilities again, but i hope that next year when you talk to me you will be able to talk to a PM not an opposition leader

    yah de yah de yah

    that should convince everyone how he understands disability

  25. The PM’s strong words and commitment by her government:

    “But be in no doubt about the commitment I bring to the NDIS.

    As the 12thbiggest economy in the world. We will fund it.

    As a nation with a big and generous heart. We will fund it.

    As a government that gets the big things done. We will fund it.

    And if you hear people saying the NDIS is a cruel hoax, or we have jumped the gun, or we’re raising un-meetable expectations, then those saying such negative, bitter words will simply be proving they are policy weaklings, who lack the capacity or will for a change this fundamental.

    As a government of purpose and strong policy commitments, we won’t be distracted by their weakness and negativity.

    On this, the International Day of People with Disability, I tell you and the Australian people, we will deliver this historic reform and we will deliver in all its parts.”

  26. Curry @ 8.09 Pick something intelligent to discuss

    Well, that leaves all discussion of tabots ‘policies’ out doesn’t it 😉

  27. Does a personal commitment equate to committing a coalition government to NDIS, or is that his escape hole for “budget allowing” or “aspirational scheme in the future when budget balanced and have years of surpluses”.In other words is Tony committing to do his bit by doing annual charity rides.

    ‘When it comes to the National Disability Insurance Scheme, I am Dr Yes.”

    Mr Abbott pledged his ”personal commitment” to do all he reasonably could to support people with disabilities. He said that this year, his annual charity bike ride, Pollie Pedal, was in support of Carers Australia – and that he would ride for the organisation again in 2013.

    Mr Abbott observed that his cauliflower ears were not just due to his former boxing career. In part, they were the result of the way carers had ”chewed my ear” about disability support, Mr Abbott said.

    Read more:

  28. Imagine sitting in that audience an Abbott gives you that little gem:

    (Do you reckon you have problems)”, my cauliflower ears are a result of all you carers chewing my ears off about disability support.”

    Yeah that would go down well.
    I think the conference is being held in his electorate, as well.

  29. Treeman, nice little parody a pity you could not give us one one for the gifts from Tones but a big black hole does not encourage any gifts as it is all take, oops I forgot he will only give after he takes over the lodge so we will have to wait for your alternative input next christmas but only if the general public takes complete leave of its senses. Merry christmas to you and don’t go chopping down too many trees or the greens will get you

  30. ‘Why don’t you go beyond the pathetic name-calling & sloganeering….’

    You lot started it. How many ways can we vilify Tabit?

  31. ‘That is a giant step for this blog.’

    Indeed, CW is now robust.

    And clever networking is clearly important.

    How do you feel about knocking Jo Nova off the top spot?

  32. Well done ,people……….the work you do is terrific and sorely needed to offset the crap the MSM feed us !! Long may you continue…….. onward and upward !!


  33. el gordo,l we do not have to vilify Mr. Abbott, He does a good enough job of that himself.

    All we have to do is repeat what he says, and how he acts.

    Very easy.

    We do not have to use our imagination to make things up.

    Mr.Abbott , alone provides us with plenty of copy.

  34. Jo Nova was the winner of the Blog Awards for NZ and Australia.

    I didn’t realize they had a category for fruitcakes ❓ 😯

  35. Curry (the type that gives you the perpetual shits)
    DECEMBER 3, 2012 @ 8:09 AM

    Awesome..on ya little troll bike 🙂

    Catching up
    DECEMBER 3, 2012 @ 2:50 AM
    The message is very simple, keep telling the truth, challenge the lies.

    Keep up the good work.

    Here Hear..Echoed..great work Migs..Fact is at odds with Rightie Neocon trolls, you demonstrate they cant lie strait in bed.

    el gordo
    DECEMBER 3, 2012 @ 12:12 PM
    ‘Why don’t you go beyond the pathetic name-calling & sloganeering….’

    You lot started it. How many ways can we vilify Tabit?

    I think you were asleep this year..the year of the Noallition Floposition.Can I just poit out to you that the Noalition Smegma Smear fear Year, has yet to bless us with a single policy?

    Off hisTreeman
    DECEMBER 3, 2012 @ 9:45 AM
    Merry Christmas Whisperers!

    Hope Santa delivers you a policy wrapped in a bit of truth….
    The way things are going I thought the front bench of the Floposition only supported the NDIS as they have Phoney Tony as a handicap. And wasn’t that a wonderful speech today…I ride, I peddle and you can trust me, despite no position but being wrestled kicking and screaming to an NDIS. which would have no hope under the Fiberals…

    DECEMBER 3, 2012 @ 10:19 AM
    abbott on tele at Disability

    Sue he is a Disability

    DECEMBER 3, 2012 @ 9:09 AM
    Cu, it seems that the right whingers are completely unable to mount a logical argument

    Phoney Tony is an ass selling Fake.

    el gordo
    DECEMBER 3, 2012 @ 8:50 AM
    The Coalition is progressive and has no intention of taking us back to the Dark Ages, unlike Ms Dillard and her dullard supporters.

    RONFLMAO…NBN, Price on Carbon, Murray Darling, Awesome Economic management with a AAA credit rating and one of the lowest debt to GDP ratio’s in the world, NDIS, Green Energy initiatives, redressing tax avoiders….
    And the Noalition? are absolutely nowhere with negative slogans, rhetoric and Smear….Progressive? They should rename Menzies house Pig Iron Bobs Place.

    Congratulations MIGS on an excellent forum that highlights the incompetency of the one of the worst Flopostions in Australian political history. I tip my hat to you. 🙂

  36. Treeman – congratulations what a post, even Labor’ ites would laugh at that .
    And why dont I call her JULIAR – its now a fact known by Australian Voters , she
    can lie and cheat – probably her strongest point (untill you come unstuck)
    Just think Ms Dullard – well she dresses mighty dull even speaks dull
    and Ms Dillard – well she has that special touch , she manages to stuff up
    just about anything she touches . Even capable of falling over in an Indian garden!
    Not leadership material.

  37. I suppose we will now have the press telling the electorate that they are WRONG and OBVIOUSLY didn’t understand the importance of their’s and Tony’s smear campaign against PM Gillard. How else to explain the Essential poll results.

  38. ‘Are they a political blog?’

    No, but they lean to the right.

    ‘didn’t realize they had a category for fruitcakes’


    Nova’s CC platform is successful because she has good network ….with other sceptical blogs.

  39. Listen to the Right Wing Projection:

    Just think Ms Dullard – well she dresses mighty dull even speaks dull

    1) It’s actually Abbott who’s the “dullard”.
    2) He dresses “mighty dull” – well, inappropriately. Prancing about in underwear Speedos is hardly conduct becoming of someone who wants to be PM.
    3) He “speaks dull” … notice in this video he can’t answer a simple question and goes into brainlock repeating the same word like a stuck record …

  40. ‘NBN, Price on Carbon, Murray Darling, Awesome Economic management with a AAA credit rating and one of the lowest debt to GDP ratio’s in the world, NDIS, Green Energy initiatives, redressing tax avoiders….’

    The carbon tax, MDB plan and Green Energy initiatives are massive fails, while the others require further consideration.

  41. ……That will require some tough decisions – but government is about setting priorities.

    We can have responsible economic management and invest in the new services our nation needs.

    This work is underway and will continue in earnest over the summer break and into the New Year. And we will have more to say on this important question in the Budget ahead of the launch of the NDIS in the middle of next year.

    We’ll fund the NDIS in the same way we’ve funded landmark reforms like our historic pension increase and paid parental leave: by making tough decisions which also happen to be the right choices.

    Just as we have done by means-testing the private health insurance rebate.

    Just as we have done by closing fringe-benefits loopholes and getting rid of tax concessions on superannuation for high income earners.

    Just as we have done by eliminating tax breaks for golden handshakes.

    We also need to work respectfully with the States and Territories on what might be an appropriate share for them to contribute, and those discussions are underway right now.

    But be in no doubt about the commitment I bring to the NDIS.

    As the 12thbiggest economy in the world. We will fund it.

    As a nation with a big and generous heart. We will fund it.

    As a government that gets the big things done. We will fund it.

    And if you hear people saying the NDIS is a cruel hoax, or we have jumped the gun, or we’re raising un-meetable expectations, then those saying such negative, bitter words will simply be proving they are policy weaklings, who lack the capacity or will for a change this fundamental.

    As a government of purpose and strong policy commitments, we won’t be distracted by their weakness and negativity.

    On this, the International Day of People with Disability, I tell you and the Australian people, we will deliver this historic reform and we will deliver in all its parts.

    The legislation, the rules and the public sector framework. The Agreements with the States and Territories. The training and sector development. And, yes, the funding as well.

    To those who say the country cannot afford this reform, I say we cannot afford to any longer tolerate a broken system. A system that condemns almost half a million of our fellow Australians to a kind of second-class citizenship.

    NDIS is the right thing to do. Now is the right time to do it. And led by me, we will get this great thing done.

  42. Miglo wrote about Jo Nova “It feels good, el gordo. But please tell me who they are” and “Are they a political blog?”

    Michael you’re even more naive than I thought!

    Tom R wrote “Jo Nova was the winner of the Blog Awards for NZ and Australia. I didn’t realize they had a category for fruitcakes ”

    Spoken like a true watermelon. Joanne Nova leaves this site for dead in quality of posts, relevance and the high level of intelligent comments.

  43. For those that don’t know about Australian history, here is a condensed version:
    Australians originally existed as members of small bands of nomadic hunters and gatherers.

    They lived on kangaroos on the plains during the summer and would then go to the coast and live on fish and mussels in the winter.

    The two most important events in all Aussie history were the invention of beer and the invention of the wheel. The wheel was invented to get man to the Beer

    These were the foundation of modern Aussie civilization and together were the catalyst for the splitting of Australians into two distinct sub-groups:

    1 Liberals, and

    2 Labor.

    Once beer was discovered, it required grain and that was the beginning of agriculture.

    Neither the glass bottle nor aluminium can were invented yet, so while our early Aussies were sitting around waiting for them to be invented, they just stayed close to the brewery. That’s how villages were formed.

    Some men spent their days tracking and killing animals to BBQ at night, while they

    were drinking beer.

    This was the beginning of what is known as the Liberal movement.

    Other men who were weaker and less skilled at hunting, learned to live off the Liberals by showing up for the nightly BBQ’s and doing the sewing, fetching, and hair dressing. This was the beginning of the Labor movement.

    Some of these labor men eventually evolved into women.

    They became known as girly men.

    Some noteworthy Labor achievements include the domestication of cats, the invention of group therapy, group hugs, and the concept of democratic voting to decide how to divide the meat and beer that the Liberals provided.

    Modern Laborites and Union leaders like imported beer (with lime added), but most prefer white wine or imported bottled water.

    They eat raw fish – but like their beef well done. Sushi, tofu and French food are standard Labor fare.

    Another interesting, evolutionary side note: most of their women have higher testosterone levels than their men.

    Most social workers, government workers – state and federal, personal injury lawyers, journalists (especially at The Age), ABC staff, and group therapists are Laborites.

    Liberals drink domestic beer, mostly Carlton or XXXX.

    They eat red meat (rare), and still provide for their women.

    Liberals are big game hunters, forestry workers, construction workers, firemen, medical doctors, police officers, engineers, corporate executives, athletes, members of the military, airline pilots and generally anyone who works productively.

    Liberals who own companies, hire other Liberals who want to work for a living.

    Laborites produce little or nothing. They like to govern the producers and decide what to do with the production.

    That is why most of the laborites created the business of trying to get more for nothing – and usually plead for government money to fund their unproductive, parasitical activities.

    Here ends today’s lesson in Australian history.
    It should be noted that a Laborite may have a momentary urge to angrily respond to the above before forwarding it.

    A Liberal will simply laugh, and be so convinced of the absolute truth of history, that it will be forwarded immediately to other true believers and to more Laborites – just to piss them off.

    And there you have it. Let your next action reveal your true self.
    I’m going to have another beer and light the BBQ.

  44. Treeman what ever it is you are main lining with? I want some. What ever it is, it would appear to be better than L.S.D. Delusional nirvana.

  45. “the intelligence on this blog is only being tarnished by the right-wing commentators.”

    You make me laugh…the self righteousness and arrogance of this blog is what tarnishes it…guess that’s why you can’t see the logs in your eyes!

  46. Jesus I nearly pissed meself laughing “Girly men” Yea right Poncey Pyne and Kevin Andrews are clones of Arnold Scharzenegger, I dont think so .I presume you have just had another hit. Feels so goooood…

  47. The message is simple, the media forget.(OR MISLEAD) when they fail to publish the part of the poll that says the media has overreached

    “A NEW poll shows the federal Liberal-National coalition may have over-reached in its attack on Prime Minister Julia Gillard over the Australian Workers’ Union “slush fund” affair.

    The Essential poll released on Monday found 49 per cent of voters believed the opposition had “poorly” handled the matter, while only 20 per cent rated the coalition’s performance as “good”.

    Read more:

  48. ‘… you will absolutely detest the one I’m working on.’

    Please no….for Xmas sake…something besides why I hate the monk.

  49. Off his Treeman
    DECEMBER 3, 2012 @ 5:49 PM
    For those that don’t know about Australian history, here is a condensed version:

    Right about then my eyes glazed over….what a low IQ wankfest….

    Voyer troll – Sydney
    DECEMBER 3, 2012 @ 3:08 PM

    Maybe you better set your course for reality.

    Praise The Tony
    DECEMBER 3, 2012 @ 4:22 PM

    Point of Order!!! Speed’ohs are fine for a futuristic Coalition Government ..

    Yeah mate maybe at Gra time on Oxford..My mates a drug councilor I’ll drop you his number.

    Off his Treeman
    DECEMBER 3, 2012 @ 5:58 PM
    “the intelligence on this blog is only being tarnished by the right-wing commentators.”

    You make me laugh…the self righteousness and arrogance of this blog is what tarnishes it…guess that’s why you can’t see the logs in your eyes!

    Please feel free to fuck off at any time your a loathsome, repetitive, factless, predictable bore who hates the truth.Self righteousness and arrogance personified is posting fact deficient bullshit in someone elses blog to get a raise.

  50. “Please feel free to fuck off at any time your a loathsome, repetitive, factless, predictable bore who hates the truth.Self righteousness and arrogance personified is posting fact deficient bullshit in someone elses blog to get a raise”

    Ad homs are the benchmark of low intellect or the lack of ability to argue reasonably.

    Firstly the Australian History bit was a joke…in the spirit of “we also like to have a bit of fun” Secondly, that your please feel free response has not been edited is telling.

    Miglo, by not snipping RJP’s comment you encourage a poor level of debate.

  51. tree, have you not notice, the owner of this site snips little. No need to, leaves it up to the reader to make their own minds up. No need for gatekeepers here.

    As for the level of debate, if it is below your expectations, or anyone else. One can always piss off.

    Are you requesting protection, if not, what are you expecting from Migs.

    As for “Firstly the Australian History bit was a joke”, it is hard to say, as much of what you pen comes across as a bit of a joke, as you say.

    No, I did not take it seriously. Yes, I did not think it was much of a joke. Fell flat.

  52. CU, you seem a little more prickly than usual…even succumbed to a “piss off”

    As if I would be looking for protection…I don’t care in the least what people write and think, least of all ricky jankawick…

    I guess we’re jokers all, I see the seriousness and arrogance here as a joke and you see me as same.. for we are jolly good fellows!

  53. Migs I pointed out the most popular blog in this part of the world is a sceptical climate change blog.

    This has a broader effect and gets more visitors because Jo is linked to other sceptical blogs all around the world.

    CW is not in the same league, but as the weather is so weird it might be an interesting experiment to do a post on climate change with a twist.

    Weather watching can give us clues on CC.

    So a tentative title for the post: What’s happening with the weather?

  54. Treeman
    DECEMBER 4, 2012 @ 8:33 AM
    Ad homs are the benchmark of low intellect or the lack of ability to argue reasonably.

    I reiterate, you want to don’t debate. Posting Bolt and the telegraph as a measure of fact is OPINION..
    So again please feel free to fuck off and argue somewhere else.

  55. Bedfellow, never. I am very picky about who I go to bed with, Even at my age.

    Just get a little fed up with the rubbish that is recycled over and over and over.

  56. ….This week I deliver to the public my final reports as chairman of the Council of Australian Governments Reform Council. Fittingly, the reports mirror the journey I have travelled as founding chairman – one tells of progress to date on the COAG reform agenda and the other closes the first chapter on the Seamless National Economy reforms. Both reports give cause for celebration as well as pause for thought.

    The reform agenda is ambitious and wide-ranging, encompassing social, economic and environmental challenges. We are certainly seeing some progress but the inconsistency of that progress means we can neither claim it as outright success nor disregard it as abject failure.

    We’ve had pockets of great headway being made – reading and numeracy in primary schools and closing the gap on indigenous child death rates are two standout examples – but there are also areas where we have fallen behind. Our top levels of reading and mathematical literacy, affordability of medical and dental healthcare for some Australians and affordability of housing for low income households are just some of the areas of concern.

    We have seen in this agenda what can be achieved by collaboration and a desire for change in the name of the national good. The Seamless National Economy National Partnership Agreement was designed to meet the challenges of an Australian economy that suffered from fragmentation and duplication. While there remain areas that cause business and government frustration, the seamless reforms have given a central focus for those concerns as well as a vehicle for change.

    Governments should be commended for the 26 seamless reforms that are complete or on track to be completed on time. But there are 15 reforms overdue or at risk of delay, with eight of those in danger of non-completion and four for which the council has particular concerns – OH&S, mine safety, chemicals and plastics and directors’ liability. By way of example, OH&S reform could reduce compliance costs by about $480 million per year for multi-state businesses. If not completed, businesses will face $850 million in one-off transition costs and fail to reap the savings benefits. Added to that, the delays in the OH&S reforms are slowing the completion of the mine safety reform and with mining being such a big driver of the economy, the delays can have far-reaching consequences.

    The suite of 17 regulatory reforms alone equates to substantial benefits for the Australian economy to the tune of $5 billion each year. As we now navigate the uncharted waters of economic transformation, an annual boost to our economy of $5 billion makes completion of these reforms a compelling argument.

    If reforms are not succeeding, COAG members must ask themselves why. I make no apology for placing the responsibility for the fate of the agenda at the feet of our political leaders. Their decision-making powers and willingness to work across jurisdictions are the keys to success or failure.

    We must implement this worthy and ambitious reform agenda. It can give so much to so many, and particularly improve the lives of Australians who battle disadvantage. It is a reform agenda that invokes a creed of collaboration and yet there is a crisis of confidence in the federal system which, by its very nature, relies upon intergovernmental cooperation. The latest results in the Griffith University Federalism Project survey are proof of Australians’ disillusionment, with two- thirds of respondents believing the federal and state governments are not working well together.

    Dramatic changes over the last 30 years – in our economies, our technology and our communications – mean that not only have issues that were once local become national, but the national has become global. If we are to succeed in today’s world Australia must have a high-functioning federal system and a solid framework for collaboration must therefore be its cornerstone.

    All governments know the challenges we face as a nation – Australia’s place in the Asian Century, the productivity of our nation, the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the implementation of the Gonski education recommendations. These 21st century challenges and opportunities plead for collaboration between state and federal governments. Without it we risk those challenges and opportunities overwhelming us or overlooking us.

    The COAG reform agenda promises a fairer, stronger Australia, but it is only effective federalism which can deliver it.

    Paul McClintock is the chairman of the COAG Reform Council.

    Since we have seen Mr Hockey out with a big grin on his face, rubbing those hands with glee, being able to deliver what he sees as bad news. Yes, doing his best to talk the economy down.

    Yes, much of what he says has some basis in truth. His solutions do not.

  57. Who is right. If one follows accounting that appears to be in Mr. Costello’s school. Hockey is. If one follows conventional accounting, the government is.


    ………….Hockey writes today: “The government’s call on present and future taxpayers in the year just finished was nearly 26 per cent of gross domestic product. That is higher than in any year of the previous Coalition government. The average for the Coalition years was 23.4 per cent. The average for the five years of this government will be 25.5 per cent.”

    Meanwhile, in the house of Labor, assistant treasurer David Bradbury has been burning the midnight oil and crunching numbers, while his boss Wayne Swan snores heavily and dreams of mining tax revenues and a budget surplus.

    Bradbury issued at statement last week arguing that it’s Hockey who’s dreaming: “Mr Hockey is the one who is ignoring reality – when the Liberals were last in office the tax-to-GDP ratio was 23.7 per cent. Under the Gillard government the tax-to-GDP ratio is now 22.1 per cent in 2012-13. Tax as a proportion of GDP is now lower than it was at any time under the Howard government.”

    So which figure is right? Tax-to-GDP of 22.1 per cent or 26 per cent?

    The answer hinges on what you believe is off-budget (or off-balance-sheet, as it were). Borrowing to invest in national infrastructure – like that NBN-thingy – doesn’t count towards a budget deficit, because it’s expected to make a financial return for the government.

    Indeed, there are many assets that do this. Hockey conveniently lists them in his piece today: “In recent years the government has clawed $500 million in dividends from the Reserve Bank, $300 million across four years from the Australian Reinsurance Pool Commission and $850 million across three years from Medibank Private. In the latter case, just in the past year alone, policyholders who thought they were paying for their private health insurance cover have effectively contributed $250 each to the government’s coffers.”

    The idea that the NBN won’t make a financial return just doesn’t stack up – it’s a monopoly that specifically excludes competition in all areas of wholesale internet except for pure mobile network wireless, which can’t provide real competition because of bandwidth constraints. So it too is certain to ‘claw back’ money………………………

  58. ……………..That gives voters a clear choice at the next election – a government running a ‘tight’ fiscal policy that raises only 22.1 per cent of GDP in taxes, but manages a highly geared, and probably not very efficient Australia Inc on the side … or one that shuts down quite a bit of Australia Inc, and runs an even tighter fiscal policy.

    It sounds like a no-brainer – surely we don’t need to keep borrowing to build inefficient state-owned enterprises? And if we sack a few thousand public servants and use the money for tax cuts, won’t that money be spent by the private sector on investment/consumption?

    That’s all pretty good in theory. But Hockey’s plan brings with it one enormous risk – that returning money to taxpayers will simply allow them to deleverage a bit faster. Robert Gottliebsen detailed yesterday how new home buyers are reluctant to load themselves up with debt (Young buyers tear up the housing plan, December 3), and shocking retail figures show that their parents are also lacking the confidence to spend money, and also wish just to pay down private debt.

    We will know more about which path is best for the Australian economy next year – particularly after the pre-election fiscal outlook documents are prepared ahead of the election.

    The risk is that stripping out huge amount of public demand from a weakening economy will plunge us into a downturn. On the other hand, Labor’s propensity to rack up debts in relatively good times does, as Hockey argues today, expose future taxpayers to liabilities they won’t want.

    Both scenarios could turn into nightmares, depending on the economic data returned in early 2013. Until then, best get some sleep……………..

  59. ……………Turnbull has convinced me personally – and no doubt many other Australians – that the Coalition has a solid, workable and achievable broadband policy. But it’s not the best policy out there. That policy belongs to the Australian Labor Party, and that’s the Coalition’s real battle right now – to convince the everyday joe on the street that what it’s offering is better than what the next guy is. That, after all, is what politics is all about. Not showing that you’re good enough — but that you’re better.

  60. So how “ambitious” (to use Warren Truss’s words when introducing the book) is Mr Abbott’s target?
    Now firstly, any desire to create jobs is to be applauded, but when throwing around numbers, it is always good to get some context. For instance, creating over a million jobs over a five-year period is not an unusual occurrence. It occurred first during the Hawke government and again during the Howard government. It has also occurred during the period of which the Rudd/Gillard Government was largely in power – from March 2007 to March 2012, 1.002 million jobs were created:………..”

  61. ………..f we start from the most recent jobs data for October 2012 (new figures are out tomorrow), there were 11.513 million jobs. To get to at least 12.513 million would require a growth of around 8.7 per cent over the five years (I realise this suggests Mr Abbott’s five years starts now rather than in mid-2013, but I want to start with actual numbers rather than estimations).
    To put that into context, over the past five years, jobs grew by 8.2 per cent – and that includes the entire period of the GFC and its aftermath. In fact, 8.7 per cent growth over five years is historically a rather low level of growth:….

  62. The Liberal Party also of course pledges to get rid of the mining tax – which will have little impact on jobs growth even if the tax was destroying mining (which it isn’t) as we have seen mining jobs have grown at near record rates with little impact on overall employment growth. This leaves only removing the carbon tax (the cure-all for everything according to the Liberal Party), the ubiquitous “getting rid of red tape” and “work for the dole and other measures to keep people in the workforce” – something which might make those people who hate “dole bludgers” feel good, but which has not been proven to do much for increasing job growth.

    Labor is just as bad, with relying on the RBA to reduce interest rates to stimulate the economy.

    We need to move past the obsession that both parties have with surpluses. They are not an economic measure, It is pure politics that could harm the country.

  63. comment from the above article sums up Abbott’s spin.

    RayS :
    06 Dec 2012 7:58:38am
    Abbott drives an unloaded semi with an automatic transmission down the Pacific Highway, pledging federal funding to complete the highway upgrade to the tune of 80% to the NSW government contribution of 20%, even though the NSW budget is in clear surplus.

    Abbott’s $5.6 billion pledge includes $3.56 billion already allocated by the Gillard government, plus the redirection of $2.08 billion that had been earmarked for Sydney’s Parramatta-Epping rail link.

    Under John Howard, the funding arrangement was 50:50 yet Abbott calls 80:20 “traditional”.

    Smoke and mirrors is a mild euphemism for what Abbott does.

  64. Melissa Clarke
    On @BreakfastNews now: Hockey says RBA doing all the heavy lifting to pick up economy…. but then says Govt should cut more spending…
    Reply Retweet Favorite

    Yep, Hockey wants Swan to cut harder. Of course he does, he needs the economy to collapse to fit in with Mr. The Abbott’s election campaign of Australias being broke, to succeed.

    One needs to remember, there is now a truth that is hard to deny, once unemployment rises, it is hard to bring down.

    After each financial crisis, it takes longer to turn it around, unemployment that is.


  65. …………In response to Gillard’s announcement on the weekend to stop network gold plating, Shadow Climate Change Minister Greg Hunt again tried to get the focus onto the carbon tax as the driver of price rises stating, “The carbon tax was designed to increase power prices.”
    Actually, I thought the carbon tax was “designed” to increase the cost of emitting CO2. As a by product it increases electricity prices because we currently get most of our electricity from high emitting coal, but that’s not its specific design. If we got more electricity from gas or renewables then the price rise would be negligible. And that’s really the point – it’s not to make householders switch off the lights and turn down the heater, it’s really about encouraging the use of different technology by major emitters.
    If the carbon tax was specifically designed to increase power prices then one could also say establishing gas liquefaction plants were also “designed” to increase power prices. Rail lines from coal mines to ports that increase the price of coal for domestic power stations – again these are “designed” to increase power prices. The propping up of Alcoa’s Point Henry smelter and also Port Pirie? Yep, that’s Labor at it again deliberately trying to increase electricity prices.
    In fact to take it one step further you could even argue that Tony Abbott’s own Direct Action policy is “designed” to increase power prices.
    What else does Tony Abbott and Greg Hunt think would happen if they paid Hazelwood to close (as Hunt has been promising)? Does he think that all the other generators in the NEM sitting above Hazelwood in the merit order would just generously adjust their market bids downwards to keep prices the same?
    I suppose he thinks that gas producers will kindly hand out a long-term contract to a new gas power plant at $2 a gigajoule when they’re asking northwards of $7 from everyone else because they can export it to Asia as LNG. If a gas powerplant were to replace one for one the output of Hazelwood paying the LNG netback gas prices implied from current contracts – have a guess what wholesale power price you’d require to just cover its operating costs (ignoring the cost to construct the plant)? Based on ACIL Tasman costings it would be the same or even substantially greater than the wholesale electricity price we’re paying with the $23 carbon price.
    All of this is a continuation of their effort to have people think that that the only way you might reduce emissions is to give things up, rather than doing things differently or, heaven forbid, actually innovating.
    As Tony Abbott put it,
    “The tax doesn’t work if it doesn’t hurt. It has to make turning on your heater more expensive and make using transport more expensive to work.”
    No doubt this came out of a bit of focus group testing where a few participants would have thought the only way we could reduce emissions was to go without.
    Now it might be conceivable that Abbott could believe this tripe, but Hunt? He did a master’s thesis on how environmental regulation via markets can harness innovation.
    But it’s getting worse because now Hunt looks like he’ll extend this rank populism to a scare campaign on the roll-out of time of use pricing,
    “If the Prime Minister’s solution is ‘we’ll give you a carbon tax to increase your power prices and then we’ll increase power prices at dinner time’, then I think we ought to know that today.”
    All of this is essentially a gamble on people’s stupidity and ignorance.
    But there’s some evidence emerging that while you might be able to fool some of the people some of the time, you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.
    Gillard has remarkably managed to get the media to look a little deeper into what might be the underlying causes of power price rises. We now even have breakfast television host, Karl Stefanovic, putting the heat on Abbott and even mocking him to his face:…..

  66. Yes, it does cost to demolish anything.

    ……….Killing projects early usually doesn’t leave much of value. Think of a city skyscraper that is barely built to street level. A huge amount of money has been spent in digging the hole, setting foundations and forward ordering long-lead time items. If the project is abandoned, it can’t even be sold for land value: it will cost a new owner dearly to demolish what’s there and restart.

    This is an important contingency and one that NBN Co must plan for in detail before the 2013 election. Hopefully by the time the polls are in the fixed wireless and satellite components will be fully deployed, or already paid for and able to be completed. Regional backhaul is already in place and the 121 Points of Interconnect (PoI) must be in construction now.

    Another thing to keep in mind is whether the Gillard government will allow NBN Co to publish, in whole or part, its contingency plan for a Coalition funding pause.

    I hope communications minister Stephen Conroy allows this as it may influence some voters: the wilful destruction of a once in a generation infrastructure refresh and deliberate waste of some billions is an “interesting” political act. To some, it will be as heinous and long-remembered as Meg Lees backflip on the GST, the cause of the demise of the Democrats.

    Any NBN Co statement will need to answer an important question: How much value is the Coalition prepared to destroy for the sake of an ideological position?

    Given the Coalition’s current bout of economic rationalism one would assume that the deliberate waste of up to $10 billion of public money, just to win political points, would be unthinkable.

    Turnbull could, but on past performances don’t expect it, conduct talks with NBN Co prior to the 2013 election on how to maximise their value under a Coalition administration. That would show real concern for minimising waste of public monies, not blindly following an ideological position.

    This is an edited version of a blog post originally published on December 5. Steve Jenkin has spent 40 years in ICT in wide variety roles including large and small software projects, 7 years writing real-time Exchange software in a Telco and Admin, Software and Database work on PC’s Unix/Open Source software and mainframes.

  67. Listening to shadow spokesman, leads one to believe the PM might have scored a home run. That is another whine that Mr. Abbott will not have to forgo.

  68. Yes the PM was ‘forced ‘ to come around to the position the states wanted at the last COAG.

    I think the shadow spokeman must have been at a different COAG. My memory was that the states refused to sign up, well until they got the biggest and fast backlash ever!.

    Where are TONY and JULIE, that’s right they are trying to improve their images by hiding from the media.

  69. Who is running the Liberals? Is Credlin in hiding too?

    Brandis, Robb, Abetz all mia.
    Has Joe been out for his usual doom and gloom on the economy?

  70. All Spin, No Substance…

  71. Deputy opposition leader Julie Bishop has defended the coalition’s approach to foreign investment in Australia, particularly from China, while on a trip to the Asian nation, according to media reports.

    The deputy opposition leader was quizzed on the coalition’s policy, according to The Australian Financial Review, in the wake of comments made by opposition leader Tony Abbott earlier this year.

    Mt Abbot said in China in July that it would rarely be in Australia’s national interest to allow foreign government or their agencies to control Australian businesses.

    However, Ms Bishop said the coalition would not depart far from the current Australian policy, which has seen 380 Chinese investment applications approved in the past few years.

    “That’s a record the coalition would continue with,” she said, according to the AFR.

    On the same trip, Ms Bishop said a coalition government would introduce greater transparency around the Forgiven Investment Review Board, according to the Wall Street Journal.

    She said the party would not codify the existing national interest test, but it would make changes to the existing approval process.

    “We have no intention of changing the national interest test, but we do believe there are opportunities that make the thresholds that trigger FIRB analysis clearer and more consistent,” she said, according to the WSJ.

    “We also believe there’s an opportunity to improve the expertise of the FIRB itself, so our focus will be on making the rules clearer in terms of the thresholds and giving the board more expertise particularly in the areas of agricultural business and agricultural land.”–pd20121205-2NTZU?OpenDocument&src=is

    Mending fences, is indeed hard work.

  72. Pingback: The ‘Right’ to be heard: what we heard. | Café Whispers

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s