Let the politicising begin

Let me begin by quoting Part 3, section 10 of the Public Service Act 1999 which has the heading APS Values (APS = Australian Public Service):

Committed to service

(1)  The APS is professional, objective, innovative and efficient, and works collaboratively to achieve the best results for the Australian community and the Government.

Ethical

(2)  The APS demonstrates leadership, is trustworthy, and acts with integrity, in all that it does.

Respectful

(3)  The APS respects all people, including their rights and their heritage.

Accountable

(4)  The APS is open and accountable to the Australian community under the law and within the framework of Ministerial responsibility.

Impartial

(5)  The APS is apolitical and provides the Government with advice that is frank, honest, timely and based on the best available evidence.

Number 5 is the interesting one: the APS is apolitical. For those unfamiliar with the term, our friends at Wikipedia provide a succinct explanation:

Being apolitical can also refer to situations in which people take an unbiased position in regard to political matters. The Collins Dictionary defines apolitical as “politically neutral; without political attitudes, content, or bias”.

And that is exactly how the Australian Public Service is. And this defines the code of conduct demanded of an employee of the APS. It looks like all that is about to change:

Workers at [the Department of] Industry were told on September 20 – 12 days after their secretary Don Russell was sacked by the Abbott Government on its first day in office –  to quit if they didn’t want to implement the new government’s agenda.

In other words, let the politicising begin.

It’s nothing new from a Coalition Government. From the time John Howard won office in 1996 one of his first actions was to turn the Public Service into a political ally. (Read more here about his swift move and a more recent reflection of it here). But Howard’s response was more transparent; openly replacing department heads with ones that could best be described as Howard loyalists. The latest move since Abbott took office lacks transparency. It’s sneaky. It goes against the grain of the Act.

What the hell is going on? The Public Service is apolitical. Let’s keep it that way. We don’t want the Public Service turned into an arm of the Liberal Party.

But the Government obviously has other ideas.

58 comments on “Let the politicising begin

  1. No VOYAGER, we have only seen it as a deliberate political tactic to hold onto power at all costs since Howard times, that is the late nineties onwards.

    The public service was depoliticised under Rudd, who even went as far as to appoint ex-Liberal pollies and members to key positions. Now under Abbott we will see the greatest underhanded politicisation of our APS ever. Of that there is no doubt.

    Time and again you attempt to bring in strawmen and “look over there away from the terrible Liberal Party I support.”

    It doesn’t wash VOYAGER, it’s just to damn obvious and the only trick you have, proving the Liberals really are a woeful party.

  2. Michael, the rot goes much further than their manipulation of the PS. It extends to the judiciary, and now the defence forces.

    Nothing is sacred to this government,

    They would all be at home, in dictatorship. In fact they seem to be acting, as if they believe it is what this government has.

  3. Michael,
    I was in the APS from ’71 to ’93 and even people who were known to have strong political loyalties one way or the other did the job they were paid to do 99% of the time. I know the regional secretary where I was did not like the Hawke/Keating govt one bit, but carried out her responsibilities to the letter.
    Things will never be the same, unfortunately.

  4. “As thousands of Canberra public servants face redundancy, a senior Howard-government era bureaucrat has been plucked from retirement by his old department on a wage equal to $300,000 a year.

    Despite the hiring freeze imposed on the public service, former Resources Department deputy secretary John Ryan has been hired on a temporary contract to the new Industry the Department on a Senior Executive Service pay band.

    Workers at Industry were told on September 20 – 12 days after their secretary Don Russell was sacked by the Abbott Government on its first day in office – to quit if they didn’t want to implement the new government’s agenda.

    Mr Ryan, who is understood to have worked closely with of Industry Minister Ian McFarlane when he was last in Government, will provide “strategic policy advice” across the department, according to Industry spin doctors.”

    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/public-service/howardera-mandarin-appointed-despite-public-sector-hiring-freeze-20131129-2yfw9.html#ixzz2lzueJAJN

  5. Politicizing began, when being employed in the PS was not seen as a job for life. When casual work and contracts became the way to go.

  6. I was in the Public Service when Howard got rid of the Commonwealth Employment Service and privatised job finding. I worked in DSS when it became Centrelink and it was a traumatic time for many people. We were told to accept the changes or our jobs would be outsourced to India. I told my superiors that any Australian Government that outsourced Australians’ confidential records overseas would not win another term. The threat was simply to get us to accept unpalatable changes and no doubt came from Howard’s lackeys.

    Prior to Howard’s changes it was longstanding practice to offer the opportunity for a dissatisfied client to contact their local member of parliament. Many people were so pissed-off at Howard’s changes that they were inundating Liberal MP’s offices with complaints. Before long the word came through that we were to stop telling people to call their MP if they were dissatisfied. As it is every Australian’s right to contact their MP over any matter many of us happily ignored this unenforceable directive. Unfortunately, many new staff members came in at this time on temporary contracts and they toed the line as they were fearful for their jobs.

    One, no doubt, unintended consequence of Howard’s politicisation of the Australian Public Service was an increase in membership for the CPSU and I am confident that this will continue under Abbott.

  7. “As some people might have noticed by the spike in depression rates in Newtown and Northcote, Tony Abbott is now Prime Minister of Australia.

    But what will he really be like? As usual, it is left to me to reveal the truth. In yet another extraordinary exclusive, the Joe Hildebrand column has obtained the top secret daily itinerary of Tony Abbott, Prime Minister, as written by the man himself.

    Its contents, as always, will shock and amaze…” ….oh guffaw 😀

    http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/joehildebrand/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/exclusive_a_day_in_the_life_of_tony_abbott_prime_minister/

  8. Michael, John Howard not only put his puppets in the APS, but also the ABC & anything else he could to make sure that he had control over the propaganda that is needed to keep the general populace dumbed down. Now it is starting to become obvious that TA & his mob are going to take it to an even higher level.

    The ALP don’t have to do anything to point that out because they wouldn’t get the light of day (as per the last 3 years MSM coverages NOT). It is plainly obvious for all to see & now the MSM are starting to pick up on it (well some of them anyway).
    Oh the joy to see that starting to happen.

    I would love to see the people of Australia come together & start protesting louder & louder by the day. Rolling civil disobedience would at least show the rest of the world that we, the people of Australia don’t like what is happening to this wonderful country of ours. We had started down the path of good co-operation with all of the neighbors in the Asian region, all done with the grace & good management under the ALP only to have it completely wrecked in less than 3 months by TA & his mob.

    They are the worst government I have ever had the misfortune to live under in all my long years. I just hate what has happened in such a short time, all because of some ideological stupidity of the conservatives.

  9. Politicising the APS and the Judiciary the police (AFP and state) and putting your mates in significant places of power is Corruption pure and simple. I think we all agree who is better at it, and that the practice seems to be on the increase in this country.. Having principles is too high a price for Tones as it would restrict his actions . They behave more live manic destroyers than thinking people. the “inmates are running the asylum”. ( With apologies to inmates)

  10. No, the inmates are not running the asylum, they are ion the process of dismantling it.

    One must take heed, to listen to what is not being said. What is being said, means little. Just a smoke screen.

  11. Another court case, among many this week.

    .This week, the High Court will begin hearing the Commonwealth’s challenge to the ACT’s Marriage Equality (Same Sex) Act 2013. But don’t expect lofty rhetoric about equality; the case is really about the inconsistency of laws, not human rights.

    In addition to the Commonwealth and the ACT, Australian Marriage Equality (AME) has also applied to be heard in the proceedings. Interestingly, no state has decided to intervene.

    Commonwealth arguments.

    https://theconversation.com/same-sex-marriage-and-the-high-court-previewing-the-arguments-20888?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+2+December+2013&utm_content=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+2+December+2013+CID_050d527b13d1946029655bdbac7ff9ad&utm_source=campaign_monitor&utm_term=Same-sex%20marriage%20and%20the%20High%20Court%20previewing%20the%20arguments

  12. I wish they would cut out the rot, on MSM including the ABC.

    It is unlikely, that Abbott will get a DD election with only one bill, Unlikely he will get it, so close to new senators taking their seat.
    That is reality.

    The GG does not have to assent. Abbott still has to prove, Parliament is unworkable.

    It is more likely that Abbott will be told to wait until the new senators take their seats.

    This is another stunt by Abbott, same as the debt ceiling exaggerations.

    Abbott is trying to create a parliamentary crisis, in saying parliament is being made unstable by the actions of Labor.

    This is bullshit. Labor has just as much of a so called mandate, to vote as they see fit, as Abbott does.

    Labor is behaving according to the constitution,.

    Abbott is not, when he claims the has been given a mandate to pass all, with the Opposition runner stamping it.

    This goes against the Constitution.

  13. Great, give the two states and Territories what they want, with no strings attached, is sure a easy thing to do. I am sure they would have pushed Labor over in the rush for that one.

    Yesterday, Hockey fell over on GrainCorp.

  14. By the way, was it not Howard that was big on tied grants and money.
    Even when it came to NGOs.

    They were prohibited from even advocating on behalf of the people they worked for.

  15. Mr Abbott said the decision meant the government was ‘more than keeping our commitments’.

    …………’We want to keep our commitments in spirit as well as in letter,’ he said.

    Funding for the Gonski signatory states would be distributed in the same way as previously planned.

    But conditions placed on NSW, Tasmania, South Australia, Victoria and the ACT won’t apply to the other three states.

    Education Minister Christopher Pyne said the government would amend the Australian Education Act in 2014 to ‘dismantle the regulation and red tape that made the model virtually incapable of being implemented’.

    ‘Every student in Australia will be treated exactly the same way regardless of what jurisdiction they’re in,’ he said.

    Mr Abbott said the mid-year economic and fiscal outlook due in December would make it clear how the government would account for the $1.2 billion.

    ‘We have identified appropriate savings over and above the savings that we identified prior to the election,’ Mr Abbott said.

    The government will review the schools funding system in 2015, in line with legislative requirements………….

    http://www.skynews.com.au/topstories/article.aspx?id=930100&vId=

  16. ……….Lawyers for Craig Thomson say some of the charges against the former federal MP over the alleged misuse of union credit cards should never have been filed in Victoria.

    Thomson, 49, is charged in Victoria with more than 200 dishonesty offences after allegedly using the credit cards to withdraw cash and pay for escorts, hotel rooms and cigarettes while he was national secretary of the Health Services Union (HSU) and a Labor MP.

    His defence barrister Greg James QC told the Melbourne Magistrates Court many of the charges related to NSW and Queensland, and were not within the Victorian jurisdiction.

    “None of these external matters are matters which attract the jurisdiction of the Victorian courts,” Mr James told the court on Monday.

    But prosecutor Lesley Taylor SC said the fact that the HSU was based in Melbourne made the charge applicable to Victoria.

    “The intention of Mr Thomson when he hands over that credit card in NSW or Queensland or wherever is that the HSU in Victoria would pick-up the tab,” she said.

    Thomson’s summary hearing is expected to begin on Tuesday…

    http://www.skynews.com.au/topstories/article.aspx?id=930045&vId=4252876&cId=Top%20Stories&play=true

  17. ” Contrary to conventional wisdom, Coalition governments have never once delivered a year where there was a cut in real government spending. Not the Howard government, not the Fraser government, not the McMahan or Gorton governments have delivered a real spending cut” …. ” In terms of the tax take, the final budget outcome for 2012-13 showed that it rose by 0.6 per cent of GDP to 21.6 per cent on the back of a slight upturn in economic growth through the year. This is a staggering 2.6 per cent of GDP, or $40 billion per year, below the peak level in 2004-05 and 2005-06 and some 1.8 per cent of GDP ($27 billion in 2012-13 dollar terms) below the average tax take of the Howard government, which looks like holding onto the record for the highest taxing government in Australia’s history for a while longer.”
    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/9/30/economy/no-urgency-budget-emergency

  18. More than politicising the public service, Abbott is systematically wiping every report of the previous government. Entire commissioned reports, years in the making and at great cost are being completely expunged from the government records. For example search for Gonski and you won’t find it, Abbott has had all records of it and the massive report that led to the education reform removed.

    Gonski’s gone: school funding review struck from record

    This is not a government that is about ruling this country but one that is all about removing every little piece of what the previous Labor government achieved and recorded out of history so it can rewrite its own history.

    There has never been a government as bad as this, and it’s terrible in every way.

    And how bad it is can be seen in the comments and opinion sections of many online news sites and forums. Hardly a right winger to be seen defending this government in anyway except in the rabid right fora where they still sprout the same inanities they always have. Ashamed they have disappeared en masse.

  19. One of Howard’s major reasons in setting up not just the public service but the High Court of Australia with his people, was to ensure that any future incoming Labor government would be continuously facing brick walls in trying to implement any policies. No thought of the efficient running of the country..it’s politics all the way.

    This time around it’s different. Everything is at a standstill. There is no plan and no direction. Normally when a new government is installed it’s business as usual with a gradual refocus on priorities. An example is the threat of mass sackings..this is irrespective of policy focus and irrespective of needs. But most important of all is that there is no leadership coming from anywhere..it’s as if the entire ministry is too busy Christmas shopping to bother with minor details such as running the country.

  20. Mobius, I suspect that this has been happening for some time now. When attempting to find links for a topic, continuous was “this article is no longer available”. Only the other day Michael checked a link which had been in a draft topic, and it was gone.

    The thought police have arrived…

  21. That more than anything is what’s so terrible about this government Carol.

    Yes it’s an inept leaderless government bumbling from one disaster to another and going whichever way the public opinion and their business masters’ winds blows them, but worse than that it’s neo-fascist in its behaviour, governing in secrecy, restricting parliamentary democracy and expunging whole public records. Almost Orwellian.

    That’s scary.

  22. It took 95 years to build this great Nation up to the egalitarian vision our forebears wished for their Children, and less than ten years for John Howard’s pet Apparatchiks to destroy it.
    Shows how fragile a great dream can be, when you fail to care to protect it from savages.

  23. Mobius, I agree absolutely, it’s difficult to believe but Abbott and his government are even worse than many of us predicted. Perhaps that’s their reasoning, if you cannot do the job that you promised, then make damn certain that nobody finds out about your incompetence. Next on the censorship hit list will be the social media.

    The Murdoch media remains eerily quiet..if this continues, the Murdoch media in particular will be reduced to writing headline stories such as The hidden dangers of getting a manicure and Bruce Lee’s jumpsuit for auction..oh wait, that is today’s headlines…

  24. Why Hockey and the Coalition cannot fin any fat to trim. They cannot deliver what they promises, because they got it wrong.

    .. .The federal bureaucracy under Labor copped its largest staff cut since the late 1990s, as years of efficiency dividends finally began to bite into the workforce.
    The latest State of the Service Report shows the job losses were fuelled by redundancy payouts, which reached a 13-year-high in 2012-13, while resignations collapsed to their lowest level since 2000, as public servants clung onto their jobs or held out for a golden handshake.
    The report, tabled in Parliament on Monday afternoon, shows the Australian Public Service shrank last financial year for the first time since 2004. It was biggest decline since 1999.
    Advertisement
    Public Service Commission data shows 2679 staff were retrenched while natural attrition slumped: just 4437 bureaucrats resigned, a 13-year low.
    Overall, the workforce decreased by more than 907 employees to 167,257..

    Read more: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/public-service/public-service-copped-large-staff-losses-under-labor-new-report-shows-20131202-2yllk.html#ixzz2mMAZK3UT

  25. Even Menzies respected that the Opposition had policies worth adopting, that not all that is good lies with him. As a young adult, I can remember Mr. Caldwell whinging, that it was not fair, that Mr. Menzies, after the elections, had nicked his policies. Cannot remember what the policies were.

    This government only concrete aim, seems to be to eradicate all that was Labor.

    Not do, as most government before, try to do,. to amend and hopefully improve previous government legislation.

    When one demolishes, one should have something to put in the empty space.

  26. I love Pyne’s deal. You hand out money with no conditions attached. None at all. I am sure all would knock Pyne over in the race, to sign such a agreement.

    Money for nothing.

  27. Commenting on all reports that are disappearing. National library have come to the rescue with their archives. The place to look is, called Trove,

  28. Why has not Abbott saved the aluminum mining and manufacturing at Gove. Paul Howes is in the north now. It appears Rio has breached their lease that was signed with the Indigenous people. Where is Abbot and Co.

    Demanding the NT take action.

  29. This is the only promise that Abbott is seeming to make lately. Yes, to spend more, everywhere one looks.

    …..And so to Question Time, where the objective of the Opposition was to try to extract a commitment from the government that no school would be worse off under the latest policy.
    Question after question, the Opposition hammered away, trying to get an straight answer out of the secret government. To no avail.
    Asked if he would guarantee that no school would not be worse off, Abbott said his guarantee was that they would “spend more money”..

    ……….So, did this mean the non-signatory states could simply cut their education budgets, and make up the shortfall with federal money?……….

    http://www.theglobalmail.org/feature/we-just-got-schooled-in-political-expediency/763/

    Wonder where our visitors, our friends nave disappeared to.

  30. ..If you are thinking like a liberal, you accord greater significance to empirical information. But if they can load you up with enough conflicting info – by suggesting, for example that Treasury has been cowed into making dodgy forecasts, or is simply inaccurate – you might be left unable to reconcile the ambiguity. And thus more prone to suspect things really are as crook, economically, as the Opposition says.
    (If you currently find yourself in such a state of ambiguity, I would suggest having a quick read of this recent piece by economist and Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz. The headline on it is Australia, you don’t know how good you’ve got it, and it is quite scathing about the Opposition’s debt-and-deficit scare campaign.)
    The stoking of the asylum seeker issue, while it is a real and pressing problem, is also one just about perfect for exciting the primitive little conservative, sitting deep in temporal lobe.
    The same applies to the relatively modest impact of the carbon tax. It applies, indeed, to the Opposition’s muddying of the waters generally on climate change. And to its scare campaign on the mining tax, which is at worst ineffectual.
    It applies in particular to the assertion that the current government’s budget difficulties are due to excessive spending.
    The result of this spending, if you believe Tony ‘Amygdala’ Abbott, is that Australia is now in a state of “ budget emergency ”.

    http://www.theglobalmail.org/feature/are-you-scared-yet-the-mugging-of-the-australian-electorate/691/

  31. Back to NBN Co. Report is to be handed down today.

    .He says there is a risk in underestimating the demand for higher speeds.

    “We can build an FttP network or an FttN network – there are risks either way,” he said.

    “You can run the risk of building more than Australians want or need in the future, or less than they want or need in the future.

    “That latter risk exists because an FttN network cannot be easily upgraded to FttP in an NBN environment.”

    During Mr Quigley’s time in charge, the network faced difficulties with missed forecasts but he made no apologies for the ambitious targets.

    “This wasn’t a project where hedging our bets, sandbagging and conservatism was going to work,” he said.

    “The NBN Co management team was not naively optimistic, but collectively had a good deal of experience in building large telco networks.

    “Did we think it was likely that we were going to hit all of the targets we set ourselves, given the complexity and scale of the project, and a number of issues that were beyond our control?

    “Of course we didn’t.”..

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-03/former-nbn-boss-quigley-warns-not-to-rewrite-history-with-review/5130256

    Maybe this government should drop their attempts of re-inventing the wheel, in many areas, and just get on with good governance.

    Make adjustment s, yes where if and if the previous government got it wrong.

    Put the demolition machinery away. Waste of time and money.

  32. Phonetic spelling, Mr. Pyne.

    ……Our descendants will be unable 2 join teh rest of teh world in teknologikal development, because they were not edyoukated enough, 2 even spell proparlee’, writes Sean Biggs.

    TONEY ABERT wants 2 see wimmen treated like 2nd rate citizens, but he is a pale reflekshun of teh opinions held by a “majority” of teh voting populayshun. Teh sadest part of all this, is teh removal of ministerial posishuns, which represent akountabillytea in govurnmunt. Were our voting system not based on pre-determined preferences that give advantages 2 parties that form cemented alliances, we would not have backwards-assed shit-bucket wankers like Toney Abert come in2 powar.

    Teh current system is an insu.

    http://www.independentaustralia.net/life/life-display/the-ironic-and-phonetic-future-of-australias-declining-educational-standards,5947

  33. Not much havening here

    …. Prosecutors have outlined their reasons why criminal charges against the former parliamentary speaker Peter Slipper should not be dismissed.

    Mr Slipper has pleaded not guilty to dishonestly using Cab Charge vouchers to visit Canberra wineries in 2010.

    Yesterday his lawyers asked the ACT Magistrates Court to dismiss the case on the grounds it violated parliamentary privilege.

    Today the prosecution argued against the stay, saying Mr Slipper’s trips to the winery were not covered by parliamentary privilege under the Act and that his trip was clearly not on parliamentary business.

    But Mr Slipper’s lawyers rejected that, arguing that only Federal Parliament can deal with the case.

    Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker has adjourned the hearing until Wednesday morning.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-03/peter-slipper-court-case-adjourned-in-act-magistrates-court/5131008

  34. States still not happy.

    ..There is still state dissatisfaction over the Federal Government’s schools funding model, because the extra money has only been guaranteed for four years.

    The states that have existing agreements still want all six years of funding pledged by the previous Labor government to be honoured, but the Coalition has only ever promised four years.

    Tasmanian Education Minister and state Greens leader Nick McKim says the original arrangement should stand.

    “Well look, it appears to be good news on the surface of it,” Mr McKim said.

    “But there’s been nothing but megaphone diplomacy this week from Mr Abbott and Mr Pyne.

    “And the Tasmanian Government signed an

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-03/states-want-abbott-to-honour-original-education-funding-model/5130408

  35. Abbott is threatening to keep Parliament sitting beyond this week. Is he going to lock them up, until he gets what they want. This announcement coming out of party meeting.

    No matter what he wants, the sky will not fall in, if he waits until July.

    What may happen is the lies, spin and conning he is in the process of, might just be revealed for what it is.

    Many by then, might realise the $500 dollars is illusory, will not happen.

    Many might also decide, that the toxic tax is doing what the want. Yes, addressing man made climate change.

    Time for Abbott, to stop bullying, and focus on good governance.

    I believe that Abbott believes, if he does not get everything signed now, it will all unravel quickly.
    Is unraveling, as we watch.

    Yes, they are splitting those many CEF bills in the senate.This means all have to be debated on their merit. No rushing through as one bill.

  36. “We are going to keep the promise that we made, not the promise that some people thought that we made, or the promise that some people might have liked us to make.”
    Would you like to read that again so you can make some sense of it?
    “We are going to keep the promise that we made, not the promise that some people thought that we made, or the promise that some people might have liked us to make.”

    http://thehoopla.com.au/promise-promise/

    What did we get yesterday, Maybe neither but a lie on a lie.

  37. Abbott is claiming that Shorten is about what you want, we are against it. Talk about the kettle calling the frying pan black.

    On with Morrison. Whinging about TPV.

    ABC 24

  38. Mr. Burke was not handing out perm,and visas. They were only getting bridging, to then wait until those ahead of them in the region came here.

    Yes, yes was a strict disadvantaged test, that ensue they would be lucky to get one in five or six years.

    They have come up with a new one. Complementary Temporary visas.

    I thought the present arrangements, are that none who get on the boats, do not enter the country. Why the need for TPV.

    Abbott. The parties should sit and do their jobs. That is supporting the policies the people voted for.

    If they do not, they will not be allowed to break for the Christmas period.

    You sign, or we will biff you.

  39. Some of the 224 fraud and theft charges against former federal MP Craig Thomson could be dropped after a magistrate ruled a Victorian court did not have the jurisdiction to hear all the alleged offences.

    Magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg ruled on Tuesday that Melbourne Magistrates Court did not have the legal authority to hear some of the charges because the alleged offences did not happen in Victoria.

    Mr Thomson is accused of misusing Health Services Union credit cards for personal use, including sexual services at brothels and escort agencies, while he was the union’s national secretary from 2002 until his election to Federal Parliament as a Labor MP in 2007.

    Mr Rozencwajg’s decision means the prosecution might now drop some of the charges. It is understood about one-third of the charges could be withdrawn.

    However, prosecutor Deborah Mandie said the Office of Public Prosecutions required time to consider whether to appeal the magistrate’s ruling.

    Ms Mandie said prosecutors wanted a day to consider their options and Mr Rozencwajg’s ruling, but the magistrate said the case would resume at 2.30pm.

    ‘‘We are running out of days,’’ he said.

    Ms Mandie said if the OPP decided against an appeal and proceeded with a case, she would deliver the prosecution opening in the absence of lead prosecutor Lesley Taylor, SC, who was unwell on Tuesday and not in court.

    But Ms Mandie said Ms Taylor was keen to question the first witness in the summary trial, HSU official Chris Brown.

    Mr Thomson, 49, is accused of using HSU credit cards to pay for $28,000 worth of personal expenses when he was not authorised to do so.

    He was elected the Labor member for the NSW seat of Dobell in 2007 but became an independent MP last year after his suspension from the ALP over the credit card allegations.

    Mr Thomson stood as an independent in September’s federal election but gained just 4 per cent of the primary vote, and the seat changed hands to Liberal Karen McNamara.

    Ads by Google

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/many-charges-against-craig-thomson-could-be-dropped-20131203-2ynnw.html#ixzz2mNUBgKJD

  40. If carbon tax is not responsible for this industry closing down, why is it so for all others, as Abbott claims?

    ….RIO Tinto boss Sam Walsh has said the carbon tax is not to blame for the closure of its Gove alumina refinery in the Northern Territory.

    Mr Walsh, speaking in Sydney today after an investor briefing, said that while the carbon tax had obviously put pressure on energy-intensive industries, it was not the driver of its decision to close Gove.

    Describing the decision to close the refinery outside Nhublunbuy as the hardest decision he has had to make in his life, Mr Walsh said the economics of the operation were hit by other factors such as the high Australian dollar.

    “Carbon tax is pressure on any energy intensive export industry,” he said.

    – See more at: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/carbon-tax-not-to-blame-for-gove-closure/story-e6frg9df-1226774413600?from=public_rss&utm_source=The%20Australian&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=editorial&net_sub_uid=5083888#sthash.YynM8fxO.dpuf

    Drum After the last couple of days, I would not believe anything this government says. Morrison under attack. Has he gone that one step too far.

    Bruce Haig.

  41. Time for this circus to finish. If the police cannot get it right, that is their problem, not Mr. Thomson.

    …Prosecutors want to adjourn their legal fight against Craig Thomson until next year, after 79 fraud-related charges against the former federal MP were dropped on Tuesday.
    Magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg ruled that Melbourne Magistrates Court did not have the legal jurisdiction to hear some of the 224 charges against Mr Thomson because the alleged offending did not happen in Victoria.
    Mr Thomson, 49, is accused.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/court-drops-79-of-the-charges-against-craig-thomson-20131203-2ynzp.html#ixzz2mOg72GTk

  42. Describing the decision to close the refinery outside Nhublunbuy as the hardest decision he has had to make in his life, Mr Walsh said the economics of the operation were hit by other factors such as the high Australian dollar.

    If the RBA dropped the cash rate the $A would fall, but orthodox theory says that would increase the risk of inflation.

    Whilst-ever this myth can be kept aloft Glenn Stevens has a job, unlike 10% of the workforce (currently un/under/employed) that could be making a much more useful contribution (than Glenn Stevens).

  43. Will wonders never end. Look where obsessions lead policians, especially when they cannot get their own way.

    ..Prime Minister Tony Abbott has raised the prospect of Australia leaving the United Nations refugee convention after a key plank of the government’s border protection plan was scuttled in the Senate.

    The Labor opposition and Australian Greens voted in the Senate late on Monday night to overturn temporary protection visas (TPVs).

    Mr Abbott, who has been under significant pressure on federal schools funding, described Labor MPs as “wreckers and vandals” who were giving the Australian people a “two-fingered salute” by blocking government bills.

    He threatened to make the House of Representatives sit until Christmas to pass new yet-to-be-revealed laws to make up for the axing of TPVs, as well as to repeal the carbon and mining taxes and raise the debt ceiling to $500 billion.

    Advertisement
    “I don’t think the Labor party should get a free pass at Christmas time if it’s not prepared to accept that the people voted a certain way,” Mr Abbott said.

    The r

    http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/pm-puts-refugee-convention-in-spotlight-20131203-2yol1.html

    Still the Declaration of Human Rights, to get around.

  44. “Mr Abbott, who has been under significant pressure on federal schools funding, described Labor MPs as “wreckers and vandals” who were giving the Australian people a “two-fingered salute” by blocking government bills.”

    Love this one.

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