Café Talk XVIII

Café talk, Brisbane edition.

336 comments on “Café Talk XVIII

  1. Currently waiting for a response from Department of Finance and Deregulation, they must respond promptly and normally no later than February 11, 2013 (details).

    From: Margo Kingston

    January 11, 2013

    Dear Department of Finance and Deregulation,

    I request the following:

    . all correspondence to or from P Slipper between April
    2012-January 2013 concerning travel costs incurred by Slipper; and

    . all documents In relation to requests to repay travel costs
    deemed outside entitlement in accordance with what is described as
    “the Minchin Protocol”.

    Yours faithfully,

    Margo Kingston

  2. AMES Ashby has lodged an application for leave to appeal a court ruling, after a judge dismissed his claim of sexual harassment at the hands of former speaker Peter Slipper as a “political attack”.

    The former staffer lodged the application with the Federal Court today after Justice Steven Rares dismissed his case in December, saying the purpose of the case had been to “pursue a political attack against Mr Slipper”.

    In his judgment, Justice Rares also said Mr Ashby’s “unreasonable acts of instituting and prosecuting the proceedings” had caused Mr Slipper to incur costs.

    But in the first ground of appeal listed in the application today Mr Ashby states that Justice Rares erred in finding that his “predominant purpose” was to “pursue a political attack” against Mr Slipper, rather than vindicate any legal claim.

    Mr Ashby said the proceedings were, therefore, an “abuse of process”.

    If leave for appeal is refused, Mr Ashby’s application said “substantial injustice” would be caused, as the December judgment “has denied the applicant a hearing on the merits” and has resulted in an order that he pay Mr Slipper’s costs.

    In the scathing judgment of Mr Ashby, Justice Rares found that the former staffer had worked with fellow staffer Karen Doane and former federal minister Mal Brough to “advance the interests of the Liberal National Party and Mr Brough”.

    Mr Brough has been preselected as the LNP’s candidate for the now independent Mr Slipper’s Queensland seat of Fisher at the next federal election.

    He also found Mr Ashby and his solicitor, Michael Harmer, had included allegations that Mr Slipper misused cab vouchers, “for the purpose of injuring Mr Slipper and for no legitimate forensic purpose”.

    But in the application lodged with the court today, Mr Ashby states that the primary judge was wrong to find Mr Harmer intended to cause harm to Mr Slipper by including “irrelevant allegations”.

    In a statement issued on behalf of Mr Ashby, his spokesman said that Mr Harmer of Harmers Workplace Lawyers would also be seeking leave to appeal on Monday.

    “Justice Rares made separate and distinct findings regarding Mr Ashby and Mr Harmer, so each presently is being separately legally represented in this Application,” the spokesman said.

    The hearing for Mr Ashby’s application is set down for February 6.

  3. This all prompts a couple of observations.
    First, Eric Abetz should know a thing or two about hoaxes. He was the man who first produced, in a Parliamentary estimates committee, an email — subsequently proven a forgery — which purported to show then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had received mates’ rates on a car in return for favours to a Brisbane car dealer.
    The source of the information was one Godwin Grech, a Treasury official identified by other members of the Coalition as its “mole” inside the department who channelled information to them.
    Abetz was the conduit by which this libel made its way into Hansard. Which puts him rather closer to the scene of the crime than the Greens in the ANZ press release hoax.
    Second, there is the broader issue of Liberal Party spies in the bureaucracy, digging dirt on the government, contrary to all notions of public service neutrality. Sounds a lot like the means justifying the ends, does it not?
    The Grech affair ultimately played a role in losing Malcolm Turnbull the Liberal leadership, not that it would have upset Abetz a whole lot.
    The Senator, you see, was an implacable opponent of the introduction of a carbon-emissions trading scheme, which Turnbull favoured…..

  4. Where is Ms, Bishop the younger. Not acting this time. Surely she has not been put on ice after her last effort.

    No one seems to be around.

  5. Where are the comments from the Opposition. Heard one from Mr. Brandis that the terms appeared compressive. I believe he meant comprehensive.

    During the launch, there was a comment that the government had asked for cooperation from Opposition, but the impression one got, that there had been no reply. That was in relation for leglisation to allow the six commissioners to be able to hear evidence separatley. It appears the present act does not allow this.

    Yes, where is support and bioartsanship from Mr. Abbott, one somethng so important.

    Sweeping powers for abuse inquiry
    SWEEPING legal powers have been granted to the royal commission into child sexual abuse.
    WELCOMED: Victims’ groups embrace framework
    VIDEO: ‘We want your voices to be heard’
    POLICE: Call for resources to probe claims
    GRAPHIC: Royal Commission
    INQUIRER: Churches and victims give support EXPERIENCE: Inquiry chief noted for fairness EDITORIAL: Set for a huge challenge IN DEPTH: Royal Commission Show tools

  6. Mr. Howard and his office spent the day defending his government. Where was the voice of Mr. Costello.

  7. ‘Sue, I’m sure that not thinking about him was instrumental in my surprise recovery.’

    Hate is so old fashion and detrimental to good health. Luv has a positive effect on humans.

  8. The luv that Miglo has to reveal the dangers of a Tony Abbott PMship is an inspiration. It’s a shame he receives a lot of personal hate posts from some RW trolls.

  9. Migs, many other countries have similar number of firearms as the USA. I believe those countries, do not have the same gun culture.

    This is this culture, one of entitlement which leads to the disastrous situation that is occurring in the USA.

    They seem to be a people with the belief that everything can be solved with a gun.

    This belief shows up in both their personal lives and the way they deal as a nation with the rest of the world.

  10. el gordo, why you keep insisting we hate Mr. Abbott. That is not true. We just have no respect for the man, or his actions.

  11. As a reminder of how wasteful John Howard was, he decided to make Kirribilli in Sydney is home rather than the Lodge.

    “John Howard’s decision to use Kirribilli House in Sydney as his principal residence has cost the taxpayers millions of dollars since he became Prime Minister in 1996.

    This includes the $7500 it costs every time he takes the one-hour flight between Canberra and Sydney. The Howards chose the Sydney house over the traditional official residence in Canberra, The Lodge, citing the stability of their children’s education as the reason for living in Sydney. The children, now in their 20s, have long since left home.

    According to the Department of Defence’s Schedule of Special Purpose Flights for the second half of last year, the Prime Minister ordered 43 flights between Sydney and Canberra.

    Ten of those flights flew empty between Canberra and Sydney. Each flight cost $7500.

    Senator John Faulkner, leader of the Opposition in the Senate, said: “The use of Kirribilli House as John Howard’s primary residence for the past seven years has cost the Australian taxpayer dearly. There is no precedent for this living arrangement – The Lodge has always been the Prime Minister’s official residence – and that is where Mr Howard should live.”

    This extravagance continued for another 4 long years.
    $75000 for empty flights and yet msm is hyperventilating over $1000 Slipper .

  12. Exactly as the Qantas engineers predicted with Alan Joyce as CEO. Lucky 13?

    ‘Qantas only ranks 13th in the world in terms of airline safety according to a European group of airline safety enthusiasts, a far cry from the previously prized number one ranking immortalised by Dustin Hoffman’s character in Rain Man.

    Its trans-Tasman rival, Air New Zealand, ranked as the world’s second-safest airline in the same rankings, behind only Finland’s national carrier Finnair.

    Qantas’s chief rival in Australia, Virgin Australia, was ranked ninth.”

    Read more:

  13. Editor’s note: Abbott is one of Australia’s most expensive politicians. He apparently has a “liberal” attitude towards public expenditure for his own use. For instance, he claimed $345 a day expenses for every day on the 2011 Pollie Pedals ride (1-9 April, 2011) listing it all as ‘Official Business’.

    Expenses claims by Tony Abbott during his 9-day cycling trip from Gold Coast to Sydney in 2011.

    Abbott also received 11 infringement notices on his private plated vehicle — some apparently at times when he could not have been driving it himself:

    Interesting link.

  14. Don’t tell Tony what’s happening in Japan, he will choke on his cornflakes, when he reads about school halls

    “TOKYO – The Japanese government has formally approved a massive 20.2 trillion yen ($227 billion) stimulus package during a cabinet meeting on Friday morning, reports the Daily Yomuiri.

    The national government will spend 10.3 trillion yen ($116 billion), with nearly the same amount kicked in by local governments and the private sector, according to Kyodo.

    “We need to say good-bye to the shrinking economy and aim to achieve a strong economy where innovation and new demand lead to more jobs and income,” said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a press conference after the cabinet meeting.

    the stimulus package will focus heavily on upgrading ageing infrastructure and making more schools, hospitals, roads, bridges and tunnels earthquake-resistant.’

  15. Cu @ 6:31 pm

    Channelling a wingnut.

    Abbott should go, he is completely responsible for his vehicle and because he is the leader then it is his credibility that has been shot by the infringement notices.

  16. Thanks for those figures, CU. Just confirms what a low life cheat, liar and fraud Liealot is. It’s time he gets what’s coming to him and the same goes for the rest of that nest of vipers. There’s not a decent one amongst them.

  17. Joolya is doing the hard yards for tabit.

    ‘CENTRELINK has issued letters demanding 60,000 single parents cut up their pension cards as the federal government switches them to Newstart dole payments, in changes aimed at saving more than $700 million.

    ‘Single parents already reeling from cuts in payments of up to $130 a fortnight from the switch are warned in the letter they will be subjected to ”electronic checks” if they continue to use their card to receive discounts for vital services including power bills, car registrations and medicines.’

    Read more:

  18. More good news from joolya…. saving tabit the odium.

    ‘ONE million workers would lose tax breaks on meals, cars and other expenses under a sweeping plan to overhaul the federal benefits offered to churches and charities, amid fears the current rules have encouraged unfair job perks.

    ‘The Gillard government is being urged to scrap the benefits to recoup badly needed budget savings and free up funds for more pressing reforms to a not-for-profit sector that now ranks as one of the nation’s biggest employers.’

    David Crowe in the Oz

  19. Part of the PM letter to the nation.

    …..Whether you remember the past as an easier, happier time or a harder, lonelier time depends on your own circumstances and journey through life.

    But however you remember it, there is no going back there. You can’t change it or relive it. But you can plan for and shape the future.

    What’s true for individuals, is true for our nation and our world.

    We will never again live in a world without the fear of terrorism.

    We’ll never go back to a time before the internet.

    We’ll never see the global economy as it was before greed and poor regulation created the global financial crisis.

    As a result, we won’t see our nation relive days of zero savings and easy money.

    As Asia rises, we won’t go back to the days of an unchallenged and all-powerful America with Europe as a zone of sophistication and economic strength.

    We won’t go back to the days before the gender revolution, when women’s role was confined within the boundaries set by men.

    We’ll never again see a world without global warming.

    Our time is this time, in a modern world rapidly changing, where our future is never assured.

    But, however, challenging the times or rapid the pace of change, I’m a fierce optimist by nature who always believes in the best of Australia.

    Only a week into the New Year, our strength as a nation was on display in Tasmania and the fire-ravaged parts of Victoria and NSW. There was plenty of heartache and loss but incredible resilience was written on every face.

    It’s the same strength I saw in Queensland two years ago with the floods and after the Victorian fires in 2009.

    It’s the same spirit I see in the face of our Diggers in Afghanistan.

    And – in a quieter, less dramatic way – it’s the strength that every Australian family shows as they work to build a better future for their kids each day.

    Yes, we love a laugh and a beer. We’re always ready with the witty one-liner to crush pomposity. But there’s a purpose to our larrikin character – we’re tough people who live in a tough land…………….

  20. tree, what do you see in those figures, that the rest of us do not. Do not see any extreme expenditure there. If fact the opposite appears to be true.

    Then maybe we are all blind.

    At least she does not reside at Krribilli, put the nation to unnecessary cost.

  21. Hahaha what a laugh Treeman.

    Howard was by far the most expensive PM in office but worse a huge expense out of office, and Abbott promises to be worse.

    Howard is currently costing taxpayers $6000 per week, that is fully one third the cost of all retired PMs with Fraser second and the Labor ex-PMs, Whitlam, Hawke and Keating a long way behind them.

    Liberal leaders, the most expensive leaders in office, in opposition and when retired.

  22. Totals Jan 1 – Jun 30 2012

    Whitlam: $61,153.00
    Fraser: $110,225.79
    Hawke: $65,422.73
    Keating: $72,345.79
    Howard: $151,833.56

  23. Attempting to find the most recent costs but this is interestin. I’m trying to figure out why Abbott’s office costs so much more than the PMs. Probably using it to write books for personal profit and the like.

    Jan – Jun 2012 Gillard – Abbott

    Overseas Travel: $517,379.54 – $7,529.87
    Car: $114,180.41 – $59,821.14
    Office Admin: $67,946.69 – $154,619.26
    Office Facility: $48,654.53 – $89,005.22
    Family Travel: $16,821.53 – $9,694.48
    Comms: $7,911.39 – $33,100.77
    Travel Allow: $5,310.00 – $32,824.00

    Take out the understandable overseas travel in which Gillard is about average for PMs, Abbott is by far the most expensive opposition leader around.

    You can also get the expenses of the State Liberal PMs and in another indication of how bad Abbott will be his protégé in Queensland is racking up the costs like no other.

  24. Interesting. Is this the mysterious Jacki.

    ?…A source has told IA that there was a relationship between the Nagles and Ashby of at least two years.

    The following text messages showed that Ashby had confided in them to an extraordinary degree, especially given that they lived nearly 500 kilometres away from the Sunshine Coast.

    On 25 November 2011, Jacqueline Nagle sent the following Text.

    This is the day after Slipper had been appointed Speaker of the House of Representatives and had resigned from the LNP.

    At this time, Ashby had refused a job with Peter Slipper and was not employed by him.

    Ashby texted him on 24 November 2011:

  25. The mining price and export booms also provide a boost to state and federal government tax revenue.

    There remains a tantalising prospect that the federal budget may yet return to surplus this year, as higher prices boost company profits and result in the first collections for the new mining tax.

    But veteran budget watcher and Deloitte Access Economics director, Chris Richardson, isn’t popping any corks yet.

    “My best guess is that the budget is still in deficit,” he says, sticking to his forecast of a $4 billion budget deficit this financial year..

  26. Was wondering why Bishop the younger was not acting in Abbott’s job. Appears she is in the USA.

    “………… The news that social networking platform Twitter is planning to open offices in Australia isn’t exactly new — in fact, it’s been rumoured all through 2012, with one concrete indication of its awareness of Australia being its move to open a dedicated local account for itself. This article in Mumbrella, published in October, details the plans. However, what is new is the Coalition’s engagement with Twitter. Late last week Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop tweeted that she was visiting Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters, and further comments from Bishop also popped up in various media outlets (for example, see the Sydney Morning Herald’s story here):

    Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop said she understood the move was “imminent”. “That’s what they told us today — they’d be opening an office in Sydney,” she said. “Facebook has a presence in Australia and it’s clear Twitter is about to establish one.”

    Most likely like most people in the technology sector, I don’t really expect Twitter opening an office in Australia to have much impact on its operations here. We’ll likely see a bit better engagement between the company and local law enforcement officials, and we’ll also likely see a concerted push by Twitter to engage with corporates on the advertising front (so, you know, that it can make money and stuff). We may also see the social networking site engaging a little more with the political process. But by and large it won’t be a huge deal — more of a token presence by the company. This is standard practice for many large tech multinationals operating in Australia.

    Related posts:.

  27. So if it’s no big deal and standard practice what is Bishop doing visiting their HQ.

    I smell a rat and if the Liberals have their noses in it then it reeks.

  28. Wonder how many Tea Party people you find there. Is anyone accompanying her. Time for Cory to make one of his regular trips.

  29. Hunt says it is the governments fault. Hockey wants a tax that according to him, collects nothing got rid of. If it collects nothing, how can it be doing any harm?
    Bluesscope said they are restructuring. I take that to mean they are modernizing. If not, they should be.

    “….BlueScope Steel Ltd will cut 170 jobs and reduce production levels at its Western Port facility in a bid to provide significant cost savings.

    The steel manufacturer has also announced plans to restructure its cold rolling, metal coated and painted steel production.

    In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange, BlueScope said that while domestic coated steel demand had not materially declined, the reductions were part of the group’s strategy to continually find better ways to do business and remain a cost effective producer.

    “Regrettably, this change will mean a reduction in the number of employees we require to operate our lines at Western Port, with around 110 employees and 60 contractors expected to leave the business over the coming months,” the group said….”

  30. Let the facts speak for themselves in 2013

    Economists from across the spectrum roundly agree that the Government has made the right call for Australia’s future, but it still faces criticism. As we start a new year, it is time to aim for an economic debate grounded in facts, writes Penny Wong.
    A lot has been said and written in recent weeks about Australia’s economy and what the dramatic fall in revenue means for the budget.
    Much of the commentary has ranged from incorrect to bizarre, confused to misleading, continuing the well-worn tradition of never letting the facts get in the way of a good argument………

  31. Was just reading the latest essential poll, makes for interesting reading. Especially the Leader Attributes Comparisons on page 13 and it states this.

    Compared to Tony Abbott, Julia Gillard is seen as more likely to be considered good in a crisis (+11%), intelligent (+8%) and a capable leader (+7%).

    Abbott is regarded by significantly more respondents to be arrogant (+14%), narrow minded (+11%), intolerant (+12%) and erratic (+11%).

    Click to access Essential-Report_130114.pdf

  32. …arrogant (+14%), narrow minded (+11%), intolerant (+12%) and erratic (+11%).

    Just the attributes the right wingers love, it reminds them so much of themselves.

  33. And the latest Newspoll reveals that the 3%margin of error goes to newspoll for the last poll of 2012 online that enabled the Australian to have for a month the graph coalition 54 labor 46 .

    Oct 26 there was the Australian “rogue” poll at 50/50 then the next to couple at 51/49 before their now infamous 54/46. so if you use their 3% margin that
    54/46 becomes 51/49. Which only makes you wonder even about those figures especially with the December Morgan face to face poll 52.5% Labor to coalition 47.5%.

    Which takes us to the parties private polling.
    You only have to look at the tele front pages and story lines to figure that out.

  34. Fair Work Australia has issued a further 17 subpoenas seeking evidence from brothels and hotels against federal independent MP Craig Thomson.

    The action came after a dozen subpoenas were issued in early December.

    The workplace watchdog alleges the New South Wales MP misused union funds when he was the Health Services Union national secretary between 2002 and 2007, using credit cards to spend thousands of dollars on personal expenses, including prostitutes……………

    The digging goes on.

  35. Those prosecuting our client must have gone through The Daily Telegraph and picked out every brothel,” Mr McArdle said.

    “The fishing fleet have put to sea looking for a catch. That’s really appalling.”

    January 30 has been set as the date for the return of subpoenas, and a directions hearing has been set for February 1 in Melbourne…..

  36. …arrogant (+14%), narrow minded (+11%), intolerant (+12%) and erratic (+11%).

    Just the attributes the left wingers love, it reminds them so much of themselves.

  37. The Federal Government has left the way open for an inquiry into the sexual harassment case against the former House of Representatives Speaker Peter Slipper.
    CommentsAdd comment
    World News Australia Radio on YouTube
    World News Australia Radio on Facebook
    World News Australia Radio on Twitter
    The Federal Government has left the way open for an inquiry into the sexual harassment case against the former House of Representatives Speaker Peter Slipper.

    Some members of the Labor Party described the case as Australia’s ‘Watergate’ following a damning federal court ruling late last year….

  38. Treeman doing his unimaginative usual in just throwing back at the left something someone else has stated against the right.

    Just like the love of his life Abbott not an original thought in his rabid right wing ideologically closed mind.

  39. Hi Augustus.

    Nice to see you again, I’ve been thinking about you.

    Yes, it is true that the Aborigines came from India, which is something I learned in uni in 1998. Even the dingo is related to the Indian wild dog.

    The article has a few errors though. It has always been assumed that the Aborigines had been here for 40,000 years – and we hear that all the time.

    The ceiling of 40,000 was due to faults in C14 testing, which is only reliable up to 40,000 years, so everybody thought that was the oldest date. More refined and reliable dating methods are now used and the oldest archaeological remains have been dated at 63,000 years (at a rock-shelter in Qld), however it is logical that there is more older evidence buried somewhere.

    The suggestion in the article that the Aborigines arrived from India only about 4,000 years ago is dubious. I’m not convinced that is the case. There was certainly a wave of migration from India about 6,000 years ago, which is when the dingo was first introduced into the country.

    Those that were here over 60,000 years ago have Indian DNA as well.

  40. PS – the author doesn’t know a great deal about the history of stone tools in this country.

    Why on earth don’t people consult me when they write this stuff? 🙄

  41. Doing well, new job 7 months ago, been working flat out and really enjoying it, finally shifted the black dog off my shoulders and about to marry my girl of 9 years. Planning on a trip to Canberra soon to catch up with the family.

  42. he Health Servives Union’s national office is facing further investigation by the Fair Work Commission, formerly known as Fair Work Australia..

    The industrial watchdog launched civil proceedings against the HSU’s national office late last year for allegedly failing to keep financial records.

    The workplace watchdog launched the proceedings, in the Federal Court, on December 21, lodging a statement of claim outlining a series of breaches of statutory obligations under federal laws, along with infringements of the union’s own rules.

    The statement alleged the union failed to keep financial records relating to the dining and entertainment expenditure on union credit cards between October 2002 and November 2005.

    Federal MP, Craig Thomson, was the HSU’s national secretary during the period and used the credit cards to rack up about $30,903 on dining and entertainment in Melbourne in that time, according to the FWC claim,

    he union had contravened the registration and accountability of organisations (RAO) schedule under workplace relations laws to keep and retain financial records for a period of seven years, as required, the industrial watchdog said.

    Financial records relating to other expenditure, including escort services were also missing, FWC said.

    ‘The HSU, through the national office, did not, in respect of the other national office transactions, retain the financial records that it was required by section 252 of the RAO schedule to keep and retain, for a period of seven years after the completion of the transactions to which they related,’ the court documents say.

    FWC said the union was liable for civil penalties for failing to prepare an end-of-financial-year statement for 2006/07 as soon as practicable, in accordance with the HSU’s own reporting guidelines.

    ‘On or about April 30, 2009 the national office sent to the industrial registrar a document purporting to be an operating report relating to the 2006/07 financial year that was not signed or dated,’ the court documents say.


  43. Same argument that the PM used when questioned about wether it was a carbon tax or not. She made a mistake by not taking the argument up at the time. The PM was more interested in focusing on the legislation, rather than the what it was called.

  44. FAIR Work Australia has issued a further 17 subpoenas seeking evidence from brothels and hotels against federal independent MP Craig Thomson.

    The action came after a dozen subpoenas were issued in early December.

    The workplace watchdog alleges the Central Coast MP misused union funds when he was the Health Services Union national secretary between 2002 and 2007, using credit cards to spend thousands of dollars on personal expenses, including prostitutes. Mr Thomson has denied the claims. FWA is seeking a range of documents including invoices and security camera footage..

  45. I was listening to the radio where they were discussing the rise of the Katter party and the possible results for the senate. Now Katter has a lot to say and good luck to him but he is also known to abstain from voting, so I was wondering are you able to see how many times an MP has abstained from a vote?

  46. A HIGHLY sensitive investigation by Victoria Police into the union scandal that has dogged Julia Gillard for 17 years has been stepped up, with a detective travelling to Queensland’s Sunshine Coast to take a detailed statement from a key witness.

    The witness, Olivia Palmer, is a highly regarded former legal secretary who worked with Ms Gillard at Melbourne-based firm Slater & Gordon lawyers when the fraud involving the Australian Workers Union unfolded.

    A Victorian detective who arrived in Queensland on Monday spent most of Tuesday and yesterday interviewing Ms Palmer at Kawana police station near her Caloundra home. Ms Palmer – formerly Olivia Brosnahan – also provided evidence to detectives in Melbourne last week about her recollection of the firm’s role in the funding and conveyancing of a $230,000 terrace house in Fitzroy, in the city’s inner northeast.

    The Kerr Street property was bought with cash from the AWU Workplace Reform Association by Ms Gillard’s then boyfriend, Bruce Wilson, in 1993………….

  47. ……Not one, but two tall cranes have been towering over a construction site in the upmarket Sydney harbourside suburb of Vaucluse, where the new Packer compound is rapidly taking shape. Dominating this hillside site is a 1970s mansion with a modernist colonnade seemingly modelled on the stark lines of a de Chirico abstract — it could be the official residence of a Latin American potentate. The new additions to the site have more of a corporate sheen, as if their glass, concrete and steel facades had been inspired by one of James Packer’s casinos in Melbourne or Macau. The Crown logo would not look out of place here.
    With its 23-metre indoor pool, underground cinema and 13-car garage, the compound certainly has a high-roller aesthetic. The garage alone is bigger than most Vaucluse residences; Packer bought two such properties for a reported combined cost of $10.3 million, only to demolish them in order to increase the dimensions of his plot. Not only has it been an exorbitantly costly construction project but also an enormously challenging one. To excavate the cavernous underground space, the main mansion had, for a time, to be virtually suspended in the air…………..

  48. According to Liberal frontbencher Eric Abetz, the Australian Greens Party is the “epitome of extremism”. Talk about the pot calling the kettle extremist.
    Abetz was inspired to his alliterative epithet because a couple of Greens Senators, notably party leader Christine Milne, refused to condemn the anti-coal activist Jonathan Moylan, over a hoax which — for about 90 minutes, until it was discovered — decreased the value of Whitehaven Coal by more than $300 million on Monday.
    It was the simplest of hoaxes. Moylan dummied up a press release, purporting to be from the ANZ Bank, saying it had withdrawn a $1.2 billion loan for a new coal mine.
    (The trick, we might add, would not have had its effect if members of the financial media had bothered to check the veracity of Moylan’s fake press release before publishing stories.)
    Milne described the hoax as being part of “a long and proud history of civil disobedience” in Australia.
    This was, when you parse it, a pretty mild endorsement, more a statement of the bleeding obvious, really……

  49. …decreased the value of Whitehaven Coal by more than $300 million

    That’s been proven to be a lie. In the end the value was around $300,000.

    But we expect nothing less from MSM beat ups.

  50. Möbius Ecko
    JANUARY 17, 2013 @ 9:19 AM
    “…decreased the value of Whitehaven Coal by more than $300 million

    That’s been proven to be a lie. In the end the value was around $300,000.

    But we expect nothing less from MSM beat ups.”

    That’s not the point ME. Moylan should be tarred and feathered.

    BTW Janet Albrechtsen sums up Molen and Milne succinctly…
    “Just over two years ago, former Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore explained that after the collapse of communism and the Berlin Wall, the peace movement moved into the environmental movement, “bringing with them their neo-Marxist, far-left agendas. To a considerable extent the environmental movement was hijacked by political and social activists who learned to use green language to cloak agendas that had more to do with anti-capitalism and anti-globalisation than science or ecology.”

    Moore was warning us about people such as Moylan and Milne. Both deserve our contempt. And both deserve to be sanctioned by decent-minded folk who understand why, in November 1989, the Berlin Wall fell one way and not the other”

  51. Catching up quoted:

    “A HIGHLY sensitive investigation by Victoria Police into the union scandal that has dogged Julia Gillard for 17 years has been stepped up, with a detective travelling to Queensland’s Sunshine Coast to take a detailed statement from a key witness”

    Could it be about that mortgage that Julia Gillard knew nothing about…

    Dear Prime Minister. You are a liar. UPATED 16 JANUARY, 2013

  52. hasn’t michael found anything of substance yet?

    He’s been digging dirt ever since he got sacked for secretly taping his boss, and still got nothing. Perhaps he needs another hobby?

  53. It is understood that one key element of the police investigation concerns whether stolen union funds were dishonestly used to buy the Melbourne property. The establishment of the AWU Workplace Reform Association following Ms Gillard’s legal advice, which was at the heart of heated exchanges between the Prime Minister and Tony Abbott in the last week of parliament last year, forms part of the renewed police probe.

    Mr Blewitt, who admitted to The Australian last year that he was part of a fraud designed by Mr Wilson, faces possible criminal charges after telling Victoria Police of his role with the slush fund. He has alleged that the power of attorney was a false document.

    Ms Gillard, who left Slater & Gordon abruptly in 1995, fronted a media conference on November 26 and angrily denounced Mr Blewitt as “a complete imbecile, an idiot, a stooge, a sexist pig”.

    Asked about the power of attorney document and whether it was done lawfully, Ms Gillard said: “I’ve said publicly on more than one occasion that I did nothing wrong, and I did nothing wrong in the witnessing of this power of attorney. So it’s going to come down to Mr Blewitt’s word against me.

    “You can work out who you believe: the person who is standing here, Prime Minister of Australia, who has done nothing wrong; or the man who says he’s guilty of fraud and is looking for an immunity.”

    She also referred to file notes made at the time by Ms Palmer.

    Victoria Police said last month in response to a Freedom of Information application that the documents held by detectives would not be released as investigations were ongoing. A spokesman reiterated this week that “the investigation is ongoing and we will not be providing a running commentary”.

    West Australian police said they were liaising with Victoria Police and “ready to assist our Victorian counterparts”.

    A source close to the Victoria Police investigation has confirmed that several detectives are actively pursuing a number of leads and speaking to witnesses.

    It is understood that Victoria Police have also visited the builder, now retired, who renovated Ms Gillard’s Melbourne cottage.

    Ms Gillard says she paid for the renovations herself.

    Another witness, an AWU official involved in the renovation, Bill Telikostoglou, is expected to return to Melbourne from his home in Athens this month to assist police.

  54. Clearly you haven’t or can’t read and join the dots

    I read it back when it was initially posted, and he was calling her a liar then without any evidence of it (just a lot of dots)

    Nothing seems to have changed. Lots of dots that, if you join them one specific way, can be made out as anything. Along with a lot of assumptions.

    Crackpot land.

  55. Polls going bad for the Liberals, Abbott heading further south and now the least desired PM in modern history, ramp up the 17 year old smear on Gillard when not a pollie whilst overlooking Abbott’s real malfeasances whilst in office.

    Result. Abbott continuing to go backwards, Gillard unaffected.

    Right wingnuts go into epileptic dummy fits of outrage. Left have a laugh.

  56. Tabit knows he’s in trouble with the electorate and needs to lift his game coming down the straight.

    So he will probably stop attacking joolya and government policy generally and come out with some big picture items as a sweetener.

  57. Hockey does a foot in mouth.

    Claims thousands of jobs lost due to Carbon Tax but since the Carbon Price came in 43,000 jobs have been created and nearly all the major job losses have been confined to Queensland because of Newman.

    So it’s the Newman Tax that’s the problem Joe, not a price on carbon.

  58. My interest is howe much would one expect a clerk to remember after 17 or more years ago, about a document that crossed her desk. Especially one that in the scheme of things, was minor.

    The police said they would be giving a running commentary on their investigations. If this is so, how did it get into the news.

    I suggest, how does a detective justify the expense of flying from Victoria, for such a minor matter. Surely could have been done over the phone.

    Wonder who is really in the firing line. Actions of one over 17 years ago, or one making allegations today.

  59. No, I believe it might be about a power of attorney, that Mr. Blewitt claimed was not signed correctly. Then I could be wrong. I have I have trouble reading wnat is not there.

  60. Still in denial about Gillard I see. I drove from Brisbane to Perth in three days…what a journey.

    Reminds me of Brisbane 26 years ago but much more dynamic. The people here seem so happy and really friendly. I made the right decision as the people “over there” have become too PC and have lost the spirit that makes this nation so great.

    A bit lonely but Skype helps. No Skype sex as that was a running joke that obviously the stalker seized upon…a prime example of the eastern disease but I don’t care. The adventure is reinvigorating but I doubt most here would grasp that concept. Stale bottle of piss comes to mind..

  61. “Julia Gillard says she’s “never felt more ready” to blow an enormous amount of borrowed money to fund her re-election campaign in 2013.

    Gillard says after a difficult year she “felt strengthened'” by her experience as Prime Minister and says the “biggest, hardest things” such as covering up the AWU scandal and pretending that she’s never heard the names “Peter Slipper” and “Craig Thomson” are behind her.

    The Prime Minister named education and family as the areas in which she is going to make the most humungous election promises, based on throwing round as much cash as visibly as possible, no matter how much of it goes down the drain in the process.

    Re-election was a “foundation stone”, while other priorities were continuing to throw money into the black hole known as the National Broadband Network, planning for her eventual retirement, and modernising infrastructure, this time without the involvement of anyone called Bill the Greek.

    Ms Gillard said she had spent her Christmas and New Year reflecting on how she has led the most ineffective and wasteful government since the Whitlam era.

    The Prime Minister said she was inspired to fight on by her late father, who had taught her the importance of equal opportunity.

    “He taught me that it is important to have people you look up to but you must never look down on anyone,” Ms Gillard said.

    This attitude will inform a newfound respect for Tony Abbott, which will be seen in her increasingly courteous and pleasant behaviour towards him in Parliament in 2013.

    She will also be issuing an instruction to the Canberra Press Gallery to cease and apologise for their profoundly and consistently misogynist insults directed at Julie Bishop over the last decade”

    Philippa Martyr…satirist in spades

  62. Interesting that the Prime Minister is apparently going find “new found respect” for Tony Abbott..does this mean that he is actually going to DO SOMETHING other than flash the body beautiful and pose in various costumes of one genre or the other.

  63. Looks like NSW is back to the past with drunk tanks. The worse the conditions the better. Wonder how they will react after the first death

  64. ‘THE weakening employment outlook threatens to undermine the government’s economic message in the lead-up to the election amid forecasts the jobs market will worsen in coming months.

    ‘The jobless rate rose to 5.4 per cent last month following the loss of 5500 positions, while the share of the population that is employed is at its lowest point since the depths of the global financial crisis in 2009.’

    David Uren in the Oz

  65. Oh and in a promising sign across the Interwebs this is how the unemployment rate is being reported, as being Newman’s fault not the Federal governments.

  66. As to the NSW drunk tanks proposal. Failure before it’s implemented.

    I can tell you in my sailor days I’ve woken up in the worst places imaginable in some of nasty places around the globe, including several stints in monny (sic) drains in S.E. Asia.

    Not once did that experience stop me from doing it again as the NSW minister stated the experience of staying in a dirty drunk will do for their offenders.

    That comes to the next part of the failure of the proposal. The minister said the experience of staying in a dirty smelly confined room, the dirtier and smellier the better, would be a great deterrent to the drunks.

    Well no, and there are two major problems with that statement as voiced.

    Firstly, drunk or not, if the NSW government takes them into care and locks them up in a government facility then it has due care for the well being of the person they are detaining. If the tank is as dirty and smelly as the minister said they will be then it means they are a health risk and the moment one incarcerated person gets an illness afterwards then the NSW government is in for being sued.

    Secondly the drunk person doesn’t have any idea of how dirty or smelly the room is, even when they wake up the next day they will be too hung over to care and the last thing on their minds is how much of a deterrent the room they are in is.

    Then I’m not sure if I heard the minister correctly but on being asked a question on cost and staffing I think I heard him say that it will be manned by volunteers and there will be more than enough people willing to do this to help their communities.

    Ah the old Jeff Kennett encourage volunteering across all sectors so as to cut funding from those sectors. In the end when it was seen what Kennett was doing it failed for him and it will fail for O’Farrell.

  67. el gordo try yesterdays’s news. The minister was on all day.

    The minister has obviously has no contact with drunks. One behind the courts in Sydney. The other down south I believe. by staffed by a charity.

    I have never heard such rubbish or ignorance from someone in power before. Bet the police hate it.

  68. A Costello audit, which I am sure we can all trust, and deliver what Cando wants. Whether it will be good for the Queensland people is another thing. Maybe I am under estimating the man, by being so cynical.

    …Costello audit to recommend Qld power asset sale
    Published 2:00 AM, 18 Jan 2013 Last update 2:00 AM, 18 Jan 2013

    As the Costello Commission of Audit prepares to deliver its findings to Queensland’s Newman government next month, it is expected a key piece of advice will be pushing the state to sell its electricity and transmission assets, according to The Australian Financial Review.

    The audit, headed by former federal treasurer Peter Costello, is expected to make more than 150 recommendations, including a broad overhaul of the delivery of government services similar to the one undertaken in Victoria by the Kennett government in the 1990s.

    If the state’s electricity generation assets were sold it would likely deliver more than $10 billion to the Queensland government, much of which would be used to reduce the state’s debt, which is estimated to reach $82 billion by 2015/16…..Costello audit to recommend Qld power asset sale
    Published 2:00 AM, 18 Jan 2013 Last update 2:00 AM, 18 Jan 2013


    As the Costello Commission of Audit prepares to deliver its findings to Queensland’s Newman government next month, it is expected a key piece of advice will be pushing the state to sell its electricity and transmission assets, according to The Australian Financial Review.

    The audit, headed by former federal treasurer Peter Costello, is expected to make more than 150 recommendations, including a broad overhaul of the delivery of government services similar to the one undertaken in Victoria by the Kennett government in the 1990s.

    If the state’s electricity generation assets were sold it would likely deliver more than $10 billion to the Queensland government, much of which would be used to reduce the state’s debt, which is estimated to reach $82 billion by 2015/16.Costello audit to recommend Qld power asset sale
    Published 2:00 AM, 18 Jan 2013 Last update 2:00 AM, 18 Jan 2013


    As the Costello Commission of Audit prepares to deliver its findings to Queensland’s Newman government next month, it is expected a key piece of advice will be pushing the state to sell its electricity and transmission assets, according to The Australian Financial Review.

    The audit, headed by former federal treasurer Peter Costello, is expected to make more than 150 recommendations, including a broad overhaul of the delivery of government services similar to the one undertaken in Victoria by the Kennett government in the 1990s.

    If the state’s electricity generation assets were sold it would likely deliver more than $10 billion to the Queensland government, much of which would be used to reduce the state’s debt, which is estimated to reach $82 billion by 2015/16……..”

  69. Is this good news or bad. How long can the pollies ignore the fact, that planning for an extra airport needs to begin now.

    Must be good for the economy, as the rises are both national and international.

    Sydney Airport traffic rises to record levels in 2012
    Published 9:08 AM, 18 Jan 2013 Last update 9:08 AM, 18 Jan 2013

    Traffic passing through Sydney Airport reached record levels in 2012, on the back of a strong rise in the month of December, according to the group that operates the site.

    In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange, Sydney Airport Ltd said it served 36.92 million passengers in 2012, its highest annual figure ever.

    The result is 3.6 per cent high than the previous corresponding period, and was boosted by a 5.2 per cent rise in traffic during December.

    The December figure of 3.307 million was the airport’s busiest month on record.Sydney Airport traffic rises to record levels in 2012
    Published 9:08 AM, 18 Jan 2013 Last update 9:08 AM, 18 Jan 2013


    By a staff reporter

    Traffic passing through Sydney Airport reached record levels in 2012, on the back of a strong rise in the month of December, according to the group that operates the site.

    In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange, Sydney Airport Ltd said it served 36.92 million passengers in 2012, its highest annual figure ever.

    The result is 3.6 per cent high than the previous corresponding period, and was boosted by a 5.2 per cent rise in traffic during December.

    The December figure of 3.307 million was the airport’s busiest month on record……………”


  70. The investigative bloodhounds of the press have let Tony Abbott and other leading Coalition ornaments off the hook.
    There are still so many loose threads dangling off the James Ashby case it is amazing that those dedicated to holding politicians to account have let this one pass.
    Maybe they are exhausted after expending enormous efforts and entire forests of newsprint in going nowhere with the Jihad on Julia – i.e. the Prime Minister and the AWU slush fund extravaganza.
    It does seem that further inquiries should be made about the Ashby v Slipper affair and the role leading opposition people may have had in the concoction or encouragement of legal proceedings and associated publicity for a political motive.
    It is not as though there are no smoking guns, and a careful reading of Justice Steven Rares’s judgment of December 12 lays a lot of it out for us.
    First up,……………………………

    Read more:

  71. CU

    Apart that finally there is an article on the link between the coalition and ashby, its the headline
    By using “Coalition smell” the immediate imagery is “Coaltion and Rotten” quite a change in the msm.

  72. Wonder how many debates Mr. Abbott will want? Sticking to facts staying focus and saying more that three words slogans, is not his strong point.

    “……………Julia Gillard hopes an agreement with the Coalition can be reached “relatively soon” on the idea of a leaders’ debates commission.

    The concept was part of the Prime Minister’s post-2010 election deal with Independent MPs Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor.

    The commission would be responsible for deciding when and where the leaders’ debates would take place.

    Mr Oakeshott told ABC News Online last year the commission was in the “final stages of planning” and that the Government had told him it was on track to establish the body by the first quarter of 2013.

    Ms Gillard says Special Minister of State Gary Gray is in charge of developing the idea in consultation with the Opposition and the organisational wings of both parties……”

  73. Picked up on twitter, spot the difference

    Prime Minister Julia Gillard

    Prime Minister of Australia
    January 30, 2013
    11.30am – 1.30pm

    “The Prime Ministers Address to the National Press Club”

    The Hon Tony Abbott MP

    Leader of the Opposition
    January 31, 2013
    11.30am – 1.30pm

    “Address to the National Press Club”

    Yes the PM of Australia is the Hon Julia Gillard MP.
    Then with Steve Lewis as the VP of the NPC, that fact was either missed or deliberately misreported.

  74. ‘Farrell fiddles while bullets fly and bodies pile up in our streets
    From: The Daily Telegraph January 18, 2013 12:00AM
    IT looks like a bikie turf war with no end. And the politicians who we hope can save us from such violence appear to have no answers.

    Instead, they are launching “sobering up centres”.

    People continue to get shot in Sydney but Premier Barry O’Farrell and Police Minister Mike Gallacher just don’t seem to know what else they can do.

    They’ve tried tougher penalties, a police ramp-up of operations, banning bikie colours in Kings Cross, tougher ammunition laws.

    They’ve even blamed the federal government and urged federal action, but there’s no end to the shootings.

    And, instead of the good citizens of Western Sydney being reassured they can sleep without a neighbour’s house getting shot up, they’re living in fear, lest they be caught up..

  75. It’s all the more galling to me Cu in that when O’Farrell was opposition leader whenever there was a shooting he was immediately in front of the cameras, on the radio and in the headlines of the papers saying the government has lost control of our streets.

    He would get long runs in the media and his attacks on the government for every new crime reported were scathing frequent all the while saying if he were in government he would do much better and make Sydney a much safer place for its citizens.

    Yet under O’Farrell every crime statistic has gone up, including the ones that were improving under the previous Labor government.

    But the media are most mute and give O’Farrell free reign on fluff pieces and Gallacher unfettered latitude to froth and bubble at the mouth about how upset and angry he is at the increasing crime and how tough he’s going to be on criminals, only to come back a week later with more shootings and stabbings making headlines again frothing and bubbling at the mouth.

    Enough is enough. This State government has to be held to the same account the previous one was for its failures, and so far the failures of this government are over shadowing the previous government’s dismal record.

  76. The PM while there asked the people what they wanted. They said gentle rain.

    Wonder if PM is delivering. After all she is to blame for everything.

    Temperatures starting to drop in Sydney. Cool change has not yet arrived.

  77. FORMER Liberal MP Peter Shack drank himself “stupid” and “went into clinical depression” after attempts to stop his ex-wife’s family from pursuing charges against him failed, the WA District Court heard today.

    Mr Shack, who was the federal member for Tangney from 1977 to 1993, is accused of defrauding $100,000 from his mother-in-law’s estate and creating an invoice to cover his tracks. He denies the charge, claiming the money was loaned to him for an investment and that it was kept secret to prevent any family jealously.

    On day two of the trial, Mr Shack told the jury that after he and his wife Pauline had separated he “pleaded with her” for six months to not go ahead with the claims…..

  78. A former Federal MP has been found guilty of stealing $100,000 from a family trust.

    The former Liberal member for Tangney, Peter Shack, denied the charge, claiming his mother-in-law agreed to lend him the money in 2004 for an investment.

    He testified that his mother-in-law wanted to keep the loan a secret from her children to avoid any claims of favouritism.

    But today a District Court jury in Perth found Mr Shack guilty after several hours of deliberations.

    He is due to be sentenced in April.

  79. Listening to the Fraser interview. Cannot help, but to agree with much he has to say.

    ABC 24. Probably will be on again. They are repeating over and over.

  80. One Plus One

    One Plus One is ABC News 24’s weekly interview program. Presented by Jane Hutcheon, the program features three face-to-face interviews from Australia and around the world. Each week, Jane and a team of contributors bring you engaging conversations with newsmakers, provocative thinkers, personalities, writers and performers. Recent guests include screenwriter Alan Ball, singer-songwriter K.D. Lang, Climate Change Commissioner Tim Flannery and actor Robyn Nevin.

    Friday 11:30am on ABC1, 8:30pm on ABC News 24
    Saturday 5:30pm on ABC News 24
    Sunday 9:30pm on ABC News 24

  81. From the AIMN blog @ by author Barry Tucker..

    I am very disillusioned with the media response to the Slipper/Ashby verdict. The whole issue is being played down by most media outlets. I don’t know why. Here is a story that any investigative journalist would love to get their teeth into. But yet there is this apprehension from the print media and on air media alike. The Daily Telegraph reported the verdict of the case on page 17 on 13th December. That in itself is an admission of reporting bias. [Right-wing News Limited commentator] Chris Kenny stated that [Prime Minister] Julia Gillard shouldn’t get involved in this muck raking. My god. After what she has been subjected to from the Opposition and, in particular Tony Abbott, she has every reason to ask Mr Abbott for a full explanation. The Australian people deserve a full explanation.

  82. Just a reminder of what the treasurer is up to and has to say.
    “..“Just like President Obama, the overwhelmingly priority of our Labor government in Australia is to sensibly support the jobs and livelihoods of working people,” Mr Swan said, according to The Australian. “I’m deeply concerned that Europe is still trying to fight recession with one arm tied behind its back by ripping growth out of its economy precisely when it needs it most.”

    In his speech, Mr Swan added that the decisions the Labor government is making now will deliver future savings.

    “The structural savings we’ve made will deliver cumulative savings to the budget of over a quarter of a trillion dollars by 2020-21,” he said, according to The Australian Financial Review. “This has created room for big reforms in areas like health, dental and paid parental leave.”…

  83. Worth catching up with is an address by Shirley MacLaine which is being repeated now ABC 24. on journalism and their roles.

  84. Yes, el gordo, there is some good news aboard, along with the bad.

    Yes, the treasurer and PM might have been clever announcing there may not be a surplus this year. Got the headlines off their backs, accusing them of giving, up.

    Not that they have given up on a long term susrplus. Just announced no further tightening can be taken at this time. Prudent decision, I believe.

    It is also true, that deficit could be smaller this year, and closer than many think.

  85. Yes,el gordo, you as a small business person has more to gain by talking the economy up than down.

    Much more.

    If the Hockey and Abbott predictions come to fruition, you will be the first to suffer.

  86. el gordo, from your link

    “………………”Endless pessimism is in itself a risk to the global economy, just as it weighs on business and consumer sentiment in Australia’s economy.”
    “I am determined to have a positive debate in Australia in 2013 about how we lock in the gains we’ve made in the last five years, and set our economy and our community up for the next five years.”
    Stephen Joske, an economist and investment strategist in Beijing for Australian Super said the strong momentum in China showed the commodities boom, which has underpinned Australia’s economy for nearly a decade, was not over but merely shifting to a new phase.
    “The big-picture message is that all that talk last year about a hard landing in China, which was dominating thinking at one stage, was completely wrong,” Dr Joske said.

    Read more:”

  87. Funny, I now do much train travel in and aoround Sydney. It does give one a different slant on how we live.

    So do buses, but not in so much detail.

    “..F YOU want to know what it means to be Australian, just hop on the train, says Australian of the Year Geoffrey Rush.
    Speaking at an Australia Day event on Friday, Rush said he regularly marvelled at the eclectic crowd he shares his train rides with.
    ”I get some strong sense of our multi-dimensional character everyday just sitting on the train as I commute,” he said.
    ”On that train, we all quietly have so much in common – we are all texting someone else who’s not on that train.”

    Read more:

  88. I remember someone here referring that Twiggy was not fulfilling his commitment to employ and train Aboriginal Australians. That is just pure bullshit but you get a lot of uninformed crap here.

    The Gen One project is and will be successful as left to a government of any colour nothing will happen. Some very powerful people are supporting the project…one in particular is very passionate and has over a thousand employed.

    I’m in charge of the hiring and firing and will be striving to have half the staff being brothers and sisters as the company needs to grow to service the market.

  89. Late News

    ‘FEDERAL Treasurer Wayne Swan is on track to lose his seat in Queensland, a poll indicates.’

    The Daily Telegraph

  90. Yep, Swan is toast. I know Rod McGarvie who is the LNP candidate for Lilley. Asked him how much is needed for his campaign. He said half a million. He will get there…we will see who gets the last laugh and it won’t be class war Swanny!

  91. scaper, I have a son and grandson that would love a job there. Any hope. Oh, one has aboriginal blood if that helps.

  92. I remember someone here referring that Twiggy was not fulfilling his commitment to employ and train Aboriginal Australians. That is just pure bullshit but you get a lot of uninformed crap here.

    The Gen One project is and will be successful as left to a government of any colour nothing will happen. Some very powerful people are supporting the project…one in particular is very passionate and has over a thousand employed.

    Scaper, we only know what we read in the media, so it’s good to hear that in fact there are initiatives to have more Indigenous people gainfully employed. It’d be good if you could keep us up to date with the progress.

    As for Swan losing his seat, I think that’d be disappointing and undeserved.

  93. Migs, you know what, if the voters do not want Swan, that is OK with me. Just means we will have work harder in the future.

    Does not mean that the voters will be any better off though.

    Swan seems to be seen as a very good treasure from those in the field world wide.

    Maybe they are all wrong. Time will tell.

    Some nice gentle rain here. Hope it keeps up. The plants sure took a beating yesterday.

    As you said, disappointing and undeserved.

  94. Especially if that deficit is much smaller than many are expecting.

    No mention of preferential voters in the article. Yes,

    I believe he will be up against a popular opponent.

    I also agree with scaper, there will be no limited to the amount of money thrown at the seat.

    Still has over 4% margin I believe.

  95. Migs, will keep you posted but will the guys here believe me? The gravatar is distinctive, some here helped me to select it around six years ago. Reaching for the stars. Doing lunch at Mount Pleasant tomorrow with Phil who designed it. I’m so lonely but it was expected.

    CU, can’t promise anything but I will be advertising shortly on Seek and researching to find an avenue to the brothers and sisters. Thanks to the stalker you know my name even though Migs keeps deleting it…was kicked out of the other place for less.

  96. Liberals can’t even run social media fairly and resort to deceptions and underhandedness.

    Greg Hunt has resorted or is at least is supported by an army of spam bots who retweet his tweets. Could it be that he cannot find real people on twitter that like what he says?

    It’s known the Libs or their supporters run Spam Bots like LaborDirt.

    When you are that unpopular and need to resort to spam bots to get social media hits then you are low in people’s opinion.

  97. Scaper, yes me and Tim Dunlop. I do remember the many prototypes before we all agreed that this was the one. From memory, it was all about innovation, imagination and striving to do better.

    Scaper, no need to fear “the stalker”, it’s an old timer.

  98. Min,

    I’m pretty sure scaper is well aware of “the stalker’s” past blog names 😉


    Most here are well aware of your true identity, and it’s got nothing to do with “the stalker”. Posting photos of yourself and links to articles which include your name will tend to do that… 🙄

  99. Thanks Min.

    I was going through my old email folders before I set out on the adventure and found photos of you and yours. Hope all is good for yous. It might seem that I’ve crossed over to the dark side but whatever it takes to realise the vision. After all these years I see light. So much sacrifice but it was worth it.

  100. Yes scaper, the kids are fine. Youngest completing her PhD in molecular bioscience (biofuels) and son still serving his country in the RAN.

    Scaper, I would not trust those with only short term vision.

  101. Möbius, when the directive went out that Lib politicians were to be discouraged from participating on 21st century media..surely it couldn’t be because they continuously make such monumental stuff ups when they do..

  102. Min, scapette is growing up to be cuter than her mum. She wants to pursue the arts and has it all mapped out. Of all instruments she wanted to be a drummer. I blame TB for that. TB has his kit set up on his roost and she fell in love with it. Got her a Pearl Export a few years ago and she is hot. We jam which brings us closer. I miss her.

  103. Speaking of TB…went to that other place to count tumbleweeds and read something quite disturbing. I was used as an example to verify something that I found not to be the case.

    My wife is a paralegal and has a position that affords her to seek certain information that is restricted from the general population. I will not elaborate but to say I strongly contest the verification as stated by TB. I’ll leave it at that.

  104. Sounds like a can of worms you may be better off leaving unopened scaper. Apart from the fact that most would believe TB over you in any contest of honesty, there remains the problematic misuse of your wife’s privileged position – gotta be all sorts of legal problems there 😉

    Just sayin…

  105. Yep, I like TB regardless. He don’t like me much but thems the breaks. A respect thingo because he helped more than he will ever know.

    Just sayin…

  106. ‘LOOMING gas shortages for industry and households will create a sharp political divide in the coming federal election, with the Coalition advocating government intervention while Labor says market forces will address the problems.

    ‘Executives from major industrial users have told The Weekend Australian they have been unable to secure new supply contracts from 2015 onwards because gas producers are devoting all their available resources to the export market.’

    Paul Cleary in the Oz

  107. Liberals can’t even run social media fairly and resort to deceptions and underhandedness.

    Sortius has his view on their game, which he also says he will be writing on soon

  108. No surprises there Tom, that Greg Hunt has resorted to or is at least is supported by an army of spam bots who retweet his tweets.

  109. CU yesterday 4.35 pm:

    You skirted delicately around some issues that go to the essence of my mounting pissed-off-ed-ness with Swan.

    Swan is a Treasurer straight out of the neo-liberal handbook with his surplus obsession. I live in hope he might’ve taken a lesson from the way his retreat has gone almost unnoticed from those who seem to have a better grasp of economics than him.

    The problem of course for a hard lefty like me is that the alternative is too awful to think about.

    That Swan is endorsed by certain internationally recognised agencies is, in my books, evidence he is unfit for that office, as I know their antecedents. Those agencies are the authors of the austerity programmes currently tearing the guts out of of Europe.

    The cruel irony is that the harder you pursue surpluses, the more likely you are to get deficits, but deficits of the nasty kind, underpinned by unemployment.

    Whereas, if the government let loose the purse strings, got over its deficit fears, a resulting more buoyant economy would deliver a result closer to their beloved balanced budget. The “market” is hungry for any resulting debt the government may feel compelled to issue. My superfund could use some more CGS.

    Swan may realise this, but if he hasn’t got the balls to try to take the electorate with him on what is obviously a more sane path then his claim to any status as some iconic Labor treasurer is baseless.

    Migs, I’m sorry, but this “proudly left wing” blog does no service to our side of politics if we won’t put them straight on the most fundamental issues, to tell them where they’re going wrong.

  110. Mangrove, I’m not sorry at all..I give Swan the benefit of the doubt, economics-wise and suspect that the government is pandering to the MSM who have a major anti-government campaign ready to run should this dreadful/end of life as we know it thing called a deficit occur. Via educating non-economically minded persons such as myself, it provides valid points and reasoning as to why a deficit is not always a responsible course of action.

  111. Min, it is my understanding that the only time a deficit would not be a responsible course of action would be under the following conditions:

    1. We have full employment.

    2. We have a current account surplus.

    3. We had raging inflation

    We have none of these. Unemployment, or rather, under-employment is shockingly high. Tories talk (endlessly) of Labor’s “waste”, but the waste of unemployment dwarfs by a mile some mythical pink batt rort or somesuch. Try putting a dollar value on the lost wages of half a million people.

    There are basically only 3 inputs that drive our economy, household spending, private sector investment, and government spending.

    Households are saving like buggery, private investment is on hold until they see some return of confidence, leaving only government spending to keep the economy creeping forward. It’s as simple as that.

    Unemployment represents wasted lives, and for a Labor govt to be toying with policies that undermine opportunities, esp for our youth, is unforgivable.

    I’d be curious to hear what you believe are valid points why a deficit is not always a responsible course of action.

  112. There is a show showing now on ABC 24, that is worth following up. It is “The need to know”.

    Talking about how the tax system works in the good old USA, and who really pays the taxes. That is when one moves away from income tac.

  113. Joolya might lose her seat over this.

    ‘Some single mothers hit by recent welfare cuts to parenting payments have turned to prostitution and strip clubs in order to keep a roof over their family’s head.

    ‘The payment cuts came in at the start of 2013 and affect 84,000 single parents, mostly mothers who received parenting payments.’

    Read more:

  114. Mangrove, my understanding of economics is meagre indeed, however it makes sense to me that if you want to avoid going into a recession that this means jobs. Newman in Qld would be an example via his sacking of thousands of public servants. 14,000 employed persons is a lot of money being taken out of Queensland’s economy. This number of persons sacked then would have a flow on effect to a number of areas in especially local economies, the hospitality industry, hairdressers, building and construction, farmers markets.

  115. Dragonista is opposing an Ashbygate enquiry:

    … you’re seriously mistaken if you think the #AshbyInquiryNow campaign will prevent Tony Abbott from becoming Prime Minister. That IS the purpose of your campaign, isn’t it? It’s not really about Ashby and Brough colluding to entrap Slipper in a nasty pre-selection stoush for the seat of Fisher. Nor is your call for an inquiry really about the role that journalist Steve Lewis played, because Justice Rares found that Lewis was simply doing his job.

    The #AshbyInquiryNow campaign is really about pinning the whole sordid mess on Tony Abbott – isn’t it? – in the hope that …. well, what do you hope to achieve? …

    In short, you can call for an #AshbyInquiryNow until you’re blue in the face but there’s nothing to be achieved by it. The Government would have already established one if they saw it as a way to get at Abbott.

    Note her adversial tone, with her constant reference to “you” and “your.” The entire piece is almost all concern trolling.

    In the comments section, Dragonista contradicts herself when she says she does want an enquiry, just not a witch hunt.

  116. el gordo, read the article. Seems there have been up to 20 mothers.

    Oh, by the way, did you read where the mother of four teenage children was complaining.

    Have news for some. it is not unusual for a woman on benefits also to work in the field.

    Had many interesting case conferences in my working days, in welfare..

    One that comes to mind, was the local madam taking her place at the table. Funny, when we came t know her, she was the best thing her grandchildren has going for them.

    Wonder if the women, will claim the help that this government is giving them to return to work, such as childcare.

    Could not be another beat up

  117. Min,

    I’m struggling to get your meaning: “however it makes sense to me that if you want to avoid going into a recession that this means jobs.”

    I would’ve said if you want to keep jobs, don’t create a recession.

    It’s no secret that recessions are followed by surpluses. If it hadn’t been for the GFC smothering the flow-on effects of the Costello surpluses, we would’ve seen a recession in Australia, but with Howard and Costello’s fingerprints all over it.

    In a perverse way, the GFC got Howard and Costello off the hook.

    I agree totally with you about the effects of the Newman sackings, but those are second order or flow-on effects of dumb policy, at State level.

    My argument is all about why there is no case for a surplus at the Federal level given the present state of the economy, and why we do our side no favours when we quietly acquiesce in Labor’s pursuit of conservative agendas out of a misguided sense of loyalty.

    At the risk of you thinking I am totally insane, it is obvious, given the conditions I listed as prerequisites for a surplus, that our budget should usually be in deficit. A deficit should be the normal outcome, and nothing to get in a lather about.

  118. Miglo
    Don’t forget to check your letterbox

    “This first section of Canberra to have access to the government-provided system will get letters early this week telling them NBN Co has laid optical-fibre cable in their streets.

    The letters will include information about contacting NBN Co to have the service connected to homes in Ngunnawal, Harrison, Amaroo, Nicholls and Palmerston, along with some addresses in Mitchell, Watson and Lyneham.”

    Read more:

  119. “A deficit should be the normal outcome, and nothing to get in a lather about.”

    And that was the case until Howard made a beating stick out of Labor deficit in Beazley’s black hole, then demonised it from that point onward to both beat the Labor States with them and crow about his own surpluses that were not because of any good economic policy, but because of the massive sell off of assets and stumbling into the longest sustained economic growth period in global history as well as being well positioned, thanks to Labor, for the rise of Asia.

    Howard never went into the 1996 election with government debt as a problem, but certainly did so on the current account deficit, for which he used the famous debt truck. The irony of that was Howard went on to have a string of record breaking trade deficits and I don’t think he ever had on trade surplus in his decade of rule.

  120. And that was the case until Howard made a beating stick out of Labor deficit in Beazley’s black hole, then demonised it from that point onward

    Deficits didn’t seem to be an issue to John Howard as Treasurer, when he racked up government debt and deficit year by year.

    Look at how the deficit grew in his last three years as Treasurer.

    Budget deficit (underlying cash balance)

    1981-82 0.3% of GDP surplus
    1982-83 1.7% of GDP
    1983-84 3.3% of GDP

    Now compare that to how the deficit decreased during the last three years of the Hawke/Keating government.

    1994-95 2.7% of GDP
    1995-96 1.9% of GDP
    1996-97 1.0% of GDP

    Source: Crikey, 27 June 2007

  121. “On call: Tony Abbott will spend the week on the east coast, but won’t be straying too far from home. The RFS volunteer was deployed again on Saturday to fight fires in the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.”


  122. Also Australian

    Politics 2.0: Opposition frontbencher Greg Hunt has been accused of using foreign spam bots to retweet his Twitter missives far and wide. We couldn’t raise Hunt to respond this morning.

    Tantalising: The prospect of a political comeback by Alexander Downer continues to linger. Those in the know reckon there’s now a 60:40 chance he will take on the South Australian Liberal leadership. All that’s needed is the tick-off from wife Nicky, sources say.

  123. Why John Howard never made the cover of Euromoney

    John Howard’s old boss, Malcolm Fraser, has rejected claims he stopped his treasurer from coming forward with reform proposals.

    “Why weren’t submissions made to cabinet?” Fraser asks in The Australian. “No submission was rejected. If a minister is worth a crumpet … In the records of history the papers will unfold and people will see where the facts lie.”

    Those 30-year bans on Howard’s time as treasurer will soon be up. We look forward to reading the cabinet papers. In the meantime, all we have to work on are the figures in the Reserve Bank Bulletin.

    They show that John Howard is the only treasurer in Australia’s history who’s been able to engineer – simultaneously – double-digit inflation (December 1981 to June 1983), double-digit levels of unemployment (April to October 1983) and double-digit interest rates (November 1980 to October 1983).

    In the June quarter of 1983, inflation was 11.1%, the unemployment rate was 10.2% and the official cash rate averaged 12.08%.

  124. In the June quarter of 1983, inflation was 11.1%, the unemployment rate was 10.2% and the official cash rate averaged 12.08%.

    The election in March 1983 meant that Labor presided over this economic misery, even though they obviously had not created these outcomes.

    Howard won office in March 1996. The June quarter 1996 results put inflation on 3.1% (and on track to average 0.9% in the three years 1997 to 1999), the official cash rate was 7.5% (and on track to average 5.1% in the three years to December 1999) while the unemployment rate was 8.1% (and on track to reach 6.6% by the end of 1999).

    True, there was a budget deficit – but let’s put it in context. It was well on the way to being prepared at the time of the ‘96 poll. Take a dekko at the figures:

  125. An aside. Mr. Howard always blamed Mr. Fraser for his failings. The release of the cabinet papers at this time. appear to support Mr. Fraser’s stance. In other words, Howard was also a liar.

  126. “In other words, Howard was also a liar.”

    Do you think he schooled Abbott, CU, or was he born with the gift ?

  127. But back to the deficit stuff…

    Everyone understands the principles of double entry book-keeping: for every asset, there must be a balancing liability.

    Now what about a surplus ?

    Basic principles tell us there must be a balancing item, a deficit.

    Who wears a deficit when the government chalks up a surplus (that wasn’t generated from external income or asset sales like ME described) ?

    It’s the private sector folks, us.

  128. Labor continues with the building. There has been massive work done on this line over the last few years. As well as this work, all stations have been upgraded. Not sure whether state or federal is responsible for all the work.

    ….”New Line to Reduce Congestion on Sydney Rail Network Opens
    The new 36 kilometre Southern Sydney Freight Line will commence operations today, a $1 billion piece of infrastructure which will speed up the movement of trains through Sydney and improve the overall competitiveness and reliability of the nation’s Interstate Rail Freight Network.

    Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese will joined Australian Rail Track Corporation (ATRC) CEO John Fullerton onsite in the Sydney suburb of Birrong to celebrate the completion of this ambitious project, part of a much larger capital works program which will take up to a million trucks a year off the nation’s highways.

    “For many years Sydney has been the single largest bottleneck on the Interstate Rail Network, with freight trains facing frustrating delays getting into and out of the City due to its limited track capacity and the priority given to passenger trains, particularly during peak periods,” said Mr Albanese.

    “This new dedicated line between Macarthur and Chullora will go a long way to alleviating this handbrake on productivity. It will allow passenger and freight services to operate separately from one another, thereby more than tripling the capacity of this important rail corridor…..”

  129. “Who wears a deficit when the government chalks up a surplus (that wasn’t generated from external income or asset sales like ME described) ?

    It’s the private sector folks, us.”

    That’s a very important point MG, one that is always deliberately ignored by the right who praise Howard as a great economic manager.

    It’s exactly what Howard did, and if you see any graphs of personal and business debt from the time Howard took power you will see the significant rise in debt to the point of being in the lower-middle of the world pack to be the greatest per capita indebted nation on the planet.

    It was getting so bad and unsustainable Costello, as lazy as he was and as much as he let most stuff go through to the keeper, began speaking up about it and openly criticising Howard. Costello went on many times to state that household and business debt levels were unsustainable, on the government websites if you care to look, but none-the-less Howard went on to bring in more policies that had the sole purpose of getting an already heavily debt laden population to spend more, with the only way they could do that was increase their debt.

    For stuff sake there were figures out during Howard’s last term that showed how much teens were in debt monthly, and it was higher than most of the world’s adult population, and growing rapidly.

  130. “Costello went on many times to state that household and business debt levels were unsustainable, on the government websites if you care to look…”

    Credit where credit’s due I guess ME.

    He must’ve realised it was all going to end in tears when the private sector eventually decided to deleverage. I wonder how he thought he’d manage that if he was still the Treasurer when it happened.

    And it did. But it was Labor who got the hospital pass.

    We mustn’t forget that if it hadn’t been for the loose behaviour of the lenders, and the myriad “financial products” on offer from financial innovators, keeping private sector spending up, those surpluses wouldn’t have been possible…GDP would’ve flat-lined and government spending would’ve been the only alternative if he’d wanted to keep unemployment at acceptable levels.

    So it was private sector borrowing that filled in the void created by the Howard surpluses. That is, private sector Deficit.

  131. The government got this right… Albo takes the credit.

    ‘The first train line in Sydney to be paid for and built under the Rudd and Gillard governments opened on Monday, $700 million over budget and three years after it was promised to be finished.

    ‘The 36km Southern Sydney Freight Line will allow extra freight trains to run between Macarthur and Chullora in the city’s south west and will increase rail freight capacity along the entire Australian east coast.

    “This is an investment that’s been got right. This isn’t a loss to taxpayers. This is an investment that produces a return on that investment by getting it right.”

    Read more:–three-years-late-20130121-2d279.html#ixzz2IaOYHzBg

  132. Professor Bill Mitchell had an opinion piece in “The Age” on Saturday comparing all the distress over some recent job losses in manufacturing with the largely ignored massive losses of having 12.5% of the workforce either unemployed or underemployed, and suggests the federal government should counter this with larger deficits.

    All of it was worth quoting, but here’s the last 2 paragraphs.

    While tens of thousands of jobs are created and destroyed each month, at present more jobs are being destroyed than are being created. The Boral and BlueScope cuts, in part, reflect an economy-wide failure to produce enough jobs or hours of work. The Treasurer claims Australia is close to full employment but ABS data shows more than 12.5 per cent of the workforce is either unemployed or underemployed. The deteriorating labour market is exacerbating the ongoing structural shifts by making it harder for workers to find alternative employment. At present, a retrenched worker will remain unemployed on below-poverty-line unemployment benefits for an average of 44 weeks.”

    “The federal government’s obsessive pursuit of a budget surplus has caused this malaise. Private spending is insufficient to generate enough jobs for all. In those circumstances, the federal government should run larger deficits. Instead, unemployment is rising and workers are being retrenched. Some of them worked for Boral and BlueScope.”

    Read more:

  133. Seems the right is the same, the world over.

    Four years ago Inaugural Day, as the new president, Barack Obama, was making the rounds of the inaugural balls, Eric Cantor had gathered powerful members of the Republican Party at an upscale steakhouse in Washington, DC’s Penn Quarter, a private room in a restaurant called the Caucus Room. Their agenda was straightforward. Sabotage the American economy, blame it on the young President, and then retake the White House in four years.

    Paul Ryan, who, four years later, would be chosen to replace the Vice President and, thus, fulfill this agenda, was also in attendance that night. As was Newt Gingrich. And over a dozen prominent Republicans including Kevin McCarthy, Jim DeMint, and John Kyl.

    As Robert Draper discloses in his book, “Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives,” Republicans at that meeting committed themselves to what some would call political treason: an unwavering opposition to the coming Obama Presidency. Every single legislative priority coming out of the White House would be vetoed, obstructed, filibustered, or sabotaged. ….”

  134. Economics dominate every election (remember the hip pocket nerve) and doing a rough calculation the incoming government could make savings of $200 billion by putting the boot into the green machine, klimatariat and that disgusting tax on a harmless trace gas.

  135. “Economics correspondent Peter Martin doesn’t expect economics to dominate this year’s federal election campaign.”

    On the simple basis that this is a prediction by an economist there’s a 90% chance it will be wrong.

  136. ………………………..First, if you’re a business that wants to outsource jobs, you shouldn’t get a tax deduction for doing it. (Applause.)

    That money should be used to cover moving expenses for companies like Master Lock that decide to bring jobs home. (Applause.)

    Second, no American company should be able to avoid paying its fair share of taxes by moving jobs and profits overseas. (Applause.)

    From now on, every multinational company should have to pay a basic minimum tax. And every penny should go towards lowering taxes for companies that choose to stay here and hire here in America. (Applause.)

    Third, if you’re an American manufacturer, you should get a bigger tax cut. If you’re a high-tech manufacturer, we should double the tax deduction you get for making your products here. And if you want to relocate in a community that was hit hard when a factory left town, you should get help financing a new plant, equipment, or training for new workers. (Applause.)

    So my mess………….”

  137. G: Obama wants to take jobs out of China and put them back in the US and he is offering tax breaks to do it. And those US companies that don’t shut their China plants will be penalised. It’s a new form of protectionism but it will happen and we had better understand what it means. The Chinese will have to develop their internal consumption, which will not require as many resources. Our good old Canberra politicians still think life is going to go on as before. It will not. Because of our shambolic energy policies our manufacturers will hit with shortages and much higher costs – the reverse of what is happening in the US. (Painful extraction from an energy morass, January 9).

  138. MJ, Not too sure. Hope some could enlarge on whether they are talking about moving back to protectionism, or is this the way we should also go.


    “……………..The official inflation figure has come in lower than expected, raising the prospect of further interest rate cuts.

    The Bureau of Statistics Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the December quarter rose 0.2 per cent, leaving annual inflation for last year running at 2.2 per cent.

    Prices had risen 1.4 per cent in the September quarter, meaning inflation was decelerating into the end of the year.

    Economists forecasts in a poll by Reuters had centred on an inflation reading of 0.4 per cent for the December quarter and 2.4 per cent for the year..”

    Production figures from BHP and others better than expected.

  140. Yes, the lady is still standing. No, things are not the same as they were in the beginning.

    “…………Julia Gillard has now been prime minister longer that Kevin Rudd. This milestone was marked rather modestly in January but it is a milestone of some significance in this election year.

    Given how she came to the job, given the fact that Labor did not manage to win majority government in 2010 and given the fact that most commentators reckon that Tony Abbott has been the most successful opposition leader in living memory, this is a singular achievement.

    Indeed, looking back on what has been a tumultuous three years, Gillard’s survival as prime minister is a triumph of persistence, political cunning and self-belief. It took her almost the whole of this term of minority government to do so, but Gillard now appears to be comfortable in her prime ministerial skin.

    She is still disliked and distrusted by a significant, if shrinking, minority of Australians and the odds are still that her government will lose the election that is likely to be held some time in September or October. And there will always be a minority who consider her an illegitimate prime minister – just as there is a significant minority of Americans who, despite the fact he that he comfortably won a second term, consider Barak Obama an illegitimate president.

    But Julia Gillard has managed to do what many commentators thought was beyond her; survive the political savagery of her ascension to the job, survive the verbal savagery of the personal attacks on her by some leading members of the opposition, including Tony Abbott.”

  141. Cu @ 2:20 pm

    And the silence from the right is deafening as not only did inflation go down but the impact of the Carbon Price, the “tax” that was going to destroy Australia through increased inflation, was less than predicted.

    Another good economic indicator from this government, and another one the Liberal States are trying their damnedest to destroy and Abbott will if he gets power.

  142. Also, a security paper that seems to be well received. Tasks about today, not the past.

    I believe all one gets from the Opposition is cuts and refugees coming across the border..

    Sounds like welcome reform is in the wings.

  143. Economics correspondent Peter Martin doesn’t expect economics to dominate this year’s federal election campaign.

    I don’t expect it will either. The Economic debate being one of the Coalition’s numerous liabilities, it will hardly get a look-in in the Liberal media.

    Instead News Limited, Their ABC and the shock jock Liberal echo chamber will be wall-to-wall mud and smearing of the PM and Labor.

  144. Brandis on Security. Does not seem to be saying what a lot of the experts have been saying in response to the PM’s announcement. Is being questioned on ABC 24

    Anything new in that.

  145. Cuppa, if the economy is going to be avoided like the plague by the Opposition then what will Abbott run with? Surely not the *yawn* JuLiar tired, workout and somewhat tedious one-liner. I should expect that the Australian public (apart from being bored to tears by Abbott’s stunts) will expect something somewhat meatier by the way of *gasp* policies from the Opposition.

  146. Abbott and a couple of his right wing media mouthpieces have stated the election will be on the economy and this government’s terrible economic management and how the Coalition can do so much better. Apparently the country deserves to have them in running the economy.

    Yeah, pull the other one.

  147. Yes, once again looking to the future.

    “………….PM looks to East Asia, digital threat, in new security strategy
    BY: PAUL MALEY, NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT From: The Australian January 23, 2013 2:15PM 3 comments
    Increase Text Size
    Decrease Text Size

    JULIA Gillard has waved a final goodbye to the so-called “9/11 decade”, heralding a new age dominated by threats of cyber espionage and traditional great-power conflict.

    Like her centre-left contemporary Barack Obama, she is moving her party away from the preoccupations her predecessor – Middle Eastern conflicts, ballooning defence and intelligence budgets, an incessant focus on homeland security – and turning her gaze towards East Asia and the emerging threats of the digital age.


  148. “………………But it is also an approach that speaks plainly to the times. Relative power is shifting to the East and so must our security planning.

    The Prime Minister’s national security address today thus has two key points: firstly, the most serious national security in the decades ahead will be state-on-state conflict, not the transnational threat of al-Qa’ida that menaced the last decade

    Secondly, this threat must be managed on a smaller budget. The halcyon days of the last decade, where national security spending trebled on the back of government balance sheets awash with money, are over. The public debt crisis of the last few years has crunched government revenues and all areas of spending, national security included, must adjust.

    Gillard will – has – already copped criticism for this. This is unfair. The massive ramp-up in spending that followed the attacks of 9/11 and the 2002 Bali attacks was a direct response to a specific problem Australia, like most Western countries, had largely ignored.

    No such threat exists today, certainly nothing that would justify the unprecedented spendathon of the last decade.

  149. Mobius, sounds to be the technique that has been noted..that is, accuse the government of something that is oceans away from reality, and keep it as a 3-word slogan until the simple minded begin to think that it’s “a fact”.

  150. Heaven help us..while the PM is talking about global security threats and cyber crime, the opposition is talking about a few thousand men, women and children in leaky boats..

    Responding to Ms Gillard’s speech, Mr Robert suggested that if the Coalition were in charge of Australia’s security they would ”look aspirationally” at increasing defence spending and make border protection and ”safely turning back the boats” national security priorities.

    Don’t you love that term “look aspirationally”..I look aspirationally at winning Lotto, but I doubt if it’s going to happen…

  151. and those Muslims which are a greater threat than China.

    Also about a few pistols coming by mail.

    When the PM last week suggested that they all get together, to deal with the violence and shootings, she was told it was not her business and to get lost.

    Funny, most of the experts seem to think what the PM has to say, is spot on. Funny that, once again, those in the know are wrong.

  152. Not a mention about dumping an experienced Labor Senator for someone that is not even a member of the ALP? Talk about “look over there.” The captain’s call for a token Aboriginal. The first week or two of Parliament should be interesting.

  153. Min @ 9.11
    Cheer up. Your aspiration to win Lotto stands a much better chance of coming to pass than any of the coalition’s.

  154. In The Phantom Menace, Yoda expounds:

    Fear is the path of the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.

    This captures perfectly the psychology of the conservative mind.

  155. Well now we know.

    “………………………….Tony Abbott says his popularity has suffered because he’s had to deliver bad news to voters about the failings of the Labor government.

    Asked about his standing in recent opinion polls, the federal opposition leader said there’d been an element of “shoot the messenger”.

    “I think everyone would concede, even staunch Labor voters would concede, that some elements of the current government have been deeply unsettling and disappointing,” Mr Abbott told ABC radio on Wednesday.

    “When it’s your job as opposition leader to give the bad news to the public – that it is an incompetent and untrustworthy government – inevitably there is a tendency to shoot the messenger.”

    Mr Abbott said he believed he’d done a “pretty good” job at putting the Coalition to an election winning position, and that was his primary task…………………….”

    “.e was asked if he believed his masculinity might be an issue with women voters.

    “Others are going to make their own assessment of me,” he said.

    “I’ve always tried to stay physically fit. For me … it’s a part of my mental health regime.

    “This is a very stressful job politics … sometimes, after a bruising question time encounter, a trip to the gym is a kind of sanity break.”

    Mr Abbott said he believed Prime Minister Julia Gillard would lead the government to the next election.

    “I doubt very much whether the Labor party is going to politically execute a second serving prime minister,” he said.

    “It will be the coming election that will determine Julia Gillard’s fate and my own.””

  156. Joolya practices tokenism…not that there s anything wrong with that. Australians would prefer an intelligent, good looking athlete instead of a fat arsed gal.

  157. Mr Abbott said he believed he’d done a “pretty good” job at putting the Coalition to an election winning position

    Oh of course! Not that he had an unprecedented amount of help from about the most one-sided media of any democracy on the planet, no, no, no! Moron.

  158. Cu and,

    “………………………….Tony Abbott says his popularity has suffered because he’s had to deliver bad news to voters about the failings of the Labor government.

    What was that again? 😯 Tony is unpopular because the government is “unpopular” and so his unpopularity is all-Julia’s-fault. Wah wah Tony: it’s all HER FAULT, she made ME unpopular. Wasn’t it said a while ago here that a possible diagnosis is Narcissistic Complex Disorder…

  159. Cuppa, if the economy is going to be avoided like the plague by the Opposition then what will Abbott run with? Surely not the *yawn* JuLiar tired, workout and somewhat tedious one-liner. I should expect that the Australian public (apart from being bored to tears by Abbott’s stunts) will expect something somewhat meatier by the way of *gasp* policies from the Opposition.

    Hi Min. I predict the Liberal election campaign will be run on a basis of #RightWingProjection.

    By that I mean, the party that’s led by one of the most prolific liars ever seen (the Liberals – Abbott) will make an enormous beat-up about their opponent leader’s supposed untrustworthiness.

    The Liars Party will run a campaign saying it’s the other side that lies.

    For about two years now the media/Liberals have worked literally day in day out to implant in the public mind the meme that the Prime Minister “lied” about the “carbon tax”. Never mind that a “lie” is defined as telling a knowing untruth about something that HAS ALREADY happened. Therefore a broken promise is by definition not a LIE. This party of liars will run saturation advertising, with the volume turned up to full-bore, for weeks leading up to election day, paid for by some of the wealthiest people on the planet. It’ll scream “She lied about the carbon tax! Lied about the carbon tax! The carbon tax! She lied! Lied!”

    At polling booths huge long banners will be pinned onto the fences near where the voters approach to cast their ballots, with the same sort of wording in big scary letters. From one end of the country to the other it will be in voters’ faces, funded by wealthy powerful greedy people and corporations who couldn’t give a SHIT about voters.

    They’ll do the same with the claim that Labor “lied” about “delivering a surplus”. Never mind that a change of tack is by definition not a “lie”. They will say that it WAS a lie, thereby lying themselves, while accusing the other side of lying.

    See what I mean about Right Wing Projection. They will project their own intrinsic Liberal dishonesty onto Julia Gillard and Labor. With the help of the media all this time they’ve already got a significant proportion of the population believing it. It’s enough to make you yell with rage, but there it is. The Liars Party in their element, rolling in filth, lying, smearing, spinning, slurring . They know no other way.

  160. “Joolya practices tokenism…not that there s anything wrong with that. Australians would prefer an intelligent, good looking athlete instead of a fat arsed gal”

    Too bad the same sentiment wasn’t put into reality during the life of another fat arse, Senator Bob Collins, serial pedophile who passed away before he could be brought to court. The Labor member for Lingiari proposed a state funeral which was sensibly turned down by John Howard.

    Tokenism is entrenched which is exactly why we have a carbon tax!

  161. “The Liars Party will run a campaign saying it’s the other side that lies.”

    Because they have done, continue to and up up to their ears in it right to the top!

  162. Cuppa, with Abbott it goes beyond right wing projection..old Tones is a real worry in that he creates his own reality hence his tendency to do a runner or blab mindlessly when asked questions which challenge his version of reality.

  163. Therefore a broken promise is by definition not a LIE.

    Cuppa, what was the broken promise? In my observation, Gillard said she wanted a price on carbon as part of an ETS, but not a tax. In what way has she not delivered on this?

  164. “The Liars Party will run a campaign saying it’s the other side that lies.”

    Because they have done, continue to and up up to their ears in it right to the top!

    Sounds like you agree.

    Your elephant stamp is in the mail.

  165. Cuppa, with Abbott it goes beyond right wing projection..old Tones is a real worry in that he creates his own reality hence his tendency to do a runner or blab mindlessly when asked questions which challenge his version of reality.

    Min, does he really believe half of what he says? I have my doubts. For example, when he says the Prime Minister “lied about the carbon tax”, he would have to know that that is not correct.

    He’s a moron, but I bet even he knows it was not a lie. A “lie” is a deliberate untruth about something that has already happend.

    Likewise, when he said the “carbon tax” would send a wrecking ball and python through the economy, he would have to be aware that that’s not the case.

    A price-to-pollute charged on a few hundred of the country’s biggest emitters is NOT going to wreck the economy, FFS, and he knows it.

    I believe he knowingly lies, deliberately lies, studioulsy lies. And why? He’s got to do this because of the nature of what his party is about. One the one hand, to get into power, they’ve got to get the support of “everyday people”. And on the other hand, to earn the ongoing support of their backers, they must further the agenda of immensely wealthy interests who hold the welfare of those same “everyday people” in contempt.

    In other words they’ve got to fool people into voting against their own best interests. They’re sort of political conmen. You can’t be a conman by using honesty and integrity, so if they’re to ‘succedd’ they are required to lie and spin. It’s the only way they can do what they have to do. It’s what they do best, and Abbott is the Best of the Best at it.

    In saying that, I guess it’s possible that has deluded himself into actually believe his lies are reality. Maybe long desensitisation does that to a person? If so it would add weight to the perception people have that he’s not quite the full quid – In your guts you know he’s nuts.

  166. Cuppa, what was the broken promise? In my observation, Gillard said she wanted a price on carbon as part of an ETS, but not a tax. In what way has she not delivered on this?

    Yeah, that’s true Silkworm. It’s a carbon price as the initial step to an emissions trading scheme by 2015. In describing it as a “broken promise” as I did, I was being the most charitable I could be to the Liars Party. Let it never be said I’m biased. Lol.

  167. Cuppa, I believe Abbott and his ilk do believe what they say. They have this idea, if they say it, the PM will roll over and die.

    What they do not seem to understand is that the PM also has options. They seem to think she will react as they predict. Sadly for him, luckily for us, this PM has proven that is not so,

    As for the label of tokenism, there are many more are that are saying her action was right, some going further, she has righted a wrong.

    The biggest criticism seem to be coming from the two who missed out.

    Same for that Security Paper yesterday. Support from most, except the Opposition. They seem to be talking about something else.

    Does cutting the defence spending reduced security, or does it means more efficient spending.

  168. ““The Liars Party will run a campaign saying it’s the other side that lies.”

    Because they have done, continue to and up up to their ears in it right to the top!

    Sounds like you agree”

    Not renowned for intuition are you? I meant your mob!

  169. Why is there such a great divide between perception and fact.

    “……… were some other little gems from the inflation data base. In the past year, food prices rose just 0.3 per cent with lamb and goat prices actually falling 12.4 per cent and fruit prices were 19.0 per cent lower. At the same time, clothing prices fell a further 1.3 per cent, furniture prices were 1.6 per cent lower; car prices fell 1.2 per cent while audio, visual and computing equipment fell 14.2 per cent.
    And despite the hype and what is often hysterical chatter about dwelling rent, it rose a moderate 3.7 per cent over the past year, a little above the overall level of inflation, but this is the same sort of increase as wages over the same time frame. Rents really aren’t a problem – it may just be that people are looking in the wrong (that is expensive) suburbs.
    It is often enlightening to look at data and facts when making statements about the economy and issues such as cost of living pressures.
    Yesterday’s inflation report should smash the myth that people are doing it tough given it clocked up an eleventh consecutive year where wages growth has exceeded the inflation rate. It should also help put context on the electricity price debate because it simply is not that big a deal…..”

  170. I first heard this on ABC News Radio this morning:

    …In an interview with The Courier-Mail, central bank board members Heather Ridout and John Edwards said investing in key urban projects would unlock a new cycle of productivity to replace the commodity price boom and continue the 21-year
    run of growth.

    Ms Ridout said short-term considerations had led to under-investment and were holding the nation back. She called on state and federal governments to go into deficit to fund the infrastructure.”

    Accompanying editorial comment:

    “It is interesting that the Courier-Mail was chosen for the second article, suggesting rather strongly that the message was significantly for the Newman and other state Liberal governments hell-bent on surpluses.”

    Given that Edwards and Ridout are members of the Reserve Bank Board, these comments are pretty amazing.

    This should give Wayne Swan pause.

  171. Why is this government on the nose, when it has delivered the economy that apears to benefit all.

    “……………….Yesterday’s inflation news is remarkable in terms of what it means for real wages growth and cost of living issues. The 2.2 per cent annual inflation rate is the tenth lowest inflation reading in the last 50 quarters with prices for a range of goods and services actually falling with large price increases confined to a few high profile areas.

    The inflation result also validates the low interest rate environment and depending on the global, market and domestic economic indicators, gives the RBA scope to cut interest rates again. That said, the global economic and market news is so positive at the moment that the RBA is unlikely to cut interest rates even though inflation is dead in the water.

    Indeed, stock markets rose further overnight extending the bull market evidence since the middle of 2012. This is another sign of rising global confidence in the economic outlook, a point that is likely to dissuade the RBA from cutting interest rates further………………..”

  172. Tree, has not the penny dropped yet, that our “mob” do not read into all you post what you do.

    That is OK, as all are entitled to their own opinions, as indeed, so are we.

  173. Interesting?

    “.Crossin originally won the vote 115-111, but the morning after the postal vote was counted, another six ballots arrived in the ALP’s post-box. The local returning officer advised the NT party that they be counted, and the party’s administrative committee voted to do so.

    Crossin appealed to the federal party, whose returning officer, Tony Lang, ordered the NT to endorse the original count. A Sunday Territorian report on the preselection battle rumoured five of the six ballots were for Anderson — who had been supported by Snowdon.

    Had her appeal not been granted by the federal party, the ALP could have had its Aboriginal candidate over a decade ago, and one with much more administrative and policy experience to boot. Instead they’ve been stuck with Crossin, who was deeply unpopular even back then, owing to a Commonwealth car scandal. 26-year-old Jennifer Byrne, the girlfriend of Crossin’s son**, was driving the car when she was involved in an accident. Another motorist was killed, but questions of whether Byrne was authorised to drive the vehicle plagued Crossin and Kim Beazley, the ALP’s federal leader at the time..”

  174. The Liberals must be worried and internal polling must not be good for them.

    Heard on a news snippet on arriving home from work that Abbott is starting an early election campaign this weekend.

    The only reason to start an election campaign this far out and waste campaigning money, capital and energy this early is that a party is not travelling well.

    Or it’s purely to shore up Abbott, whose about as popular as a sewer rat with rabies.

  175. Yes he has sent letters out with the the conversation he had in a phone hook up with his MPs. Have posted it elsewhere. Begins ne3xt weekend. Suspect we are going to see many more family pictures and stories in the weekend papers.


  176. Seems no one asked.

    “……..It provides an opening to the Ashby saga and the Australian Federal Police investigation into whether he has breached three sections of the Criminal Code and Crimes Act.

    He suggests there is “nothing to talk about”.

    “It’s run its course,” he says.

    I bring up the series of questions a journalist from Australians For Honest Politics, among others, have been trying to get him to answer, which I whip out of my handbag.

    “I have a list of questions for you from a concerned journalist,” I say. “I’ve seen those questions,” he says.

    And then begins what will become his party line. “I’ve answered everything in relation to James Ashby.”

    I ask why he has not responded to requests for interviews. He suggests no one has asked.

    “I am available on my mobile,” he says.

    This is true. My colleagues and I had no problems reaching him to arrange the train trip.

    We leave further discussions till we get off the train. A crowded compartment is not the place.

    Mr Brough is gracious, agreeing to talk privately at the metal bench at Central Station. We talk more about rail and then switch to a topic his body language shows he would rather avoid.

    I ask if we can talk about Ashby.

    “What’s your question?” he says.

    I say he has seen the questions sent in by the AFHP, so why won’t he answer them?

    “Peter Slipper is the … has got to answer to the court on 16th or the 15th,” he says, stumbling over his words until he finds his favourite line.

    “The Ashby matter is still under appeal with Mr Slipper. I’ve said everything I have to say; there is nothing more I need to add.”

    I ask whether he thinks it is something that should be addressed with an election campaign coming up.

    “I have addressed, in full, my involvement with the matter and there is nothing further that I can add,” he says.

    I ask whether this (his addressing the matter) was before or after the judge specifically pointed fingers at him.

    “The judge never pointed any…” He stops and then continues again. “I’m not going to go with the judge, the matter is before the appeal, I have nothing further to add.”

    I ask whether he will talk about it after the appeal, but it’s a waste of time.

    “The matter is before appeal, there is nothing further to add,” he says again.

    I ask if he thinks it could affect his chances of being elected.

    “The matter is before appeal, I have nothing further to add,” he repeats.

    I say, “Come on”, he has to accept people’s concern about this issue.

    He says, “That’s it” and then adds the line once more: “The matter before appeal nothing further to add”.

    It is obvious Mr Brough is hoping his personality, his track record and the Coast love for the LNP will be enough to get him through..

  177. The muck rakers are sure put quickly on the Captain pick. She is Afghan. Accused of illegality with Education money. Will be the maid. Does not know what poverty is. Not much of a sportswoman.,

    What we do know, is that she is a high achiever. It appears that she has worked among her people.

    Wonder what tomorrow will bring.

    Who would be a woman politician in this country.

  178. Information out of Melbourne is that more than a dozen detectives on an unlimited budget are on the brink of laying charges in the AWU Wilson/Gillard fraud case.

    One reliable source has said two major law firms should expect raids within days and explanations will be demanded regarding instances of missing documents.

    More than 50 people have been, or are yet to be, interviewed including Bill the Greek Bullshit Artist Telikostoglou, (as Julia Gillard affectionately refers to him as). He missed his flight from Athens but is now expected in Melbourne next week.

    Another reliable source has said to me, “We expect to have this all wrapped up in a few weeks, hopefully no later than March, and there will be people charged.

    Could this be true, or could Pickering have lost it completely. Why so many police and no limit to the cost.

  179. The Liberals as nasty as it gets.

    What a surprise to find Morrison behind character assassination, dirty deals and a smear campaign. He is slime.

    I wish Mr Towke well, but as a commenter observed, after that experience, why would he WANT to be in the Liars Party?

    CU @6.29pm, what a Melbourne Cup double! Liar 1 & Liar 2

  180. Just have listened to report on ABC news 24 on fires. the reporter said “as the fire, over 1 km away, had to travel down a hill, the local residents were feeling quite calm.”

    Obviously no ABC reporters are aware of the latest research, when it comes to fire behaviour ridges and the vortex effect.

  181. Sue,

    There are some big gaps still in fire research.

    Whenever I see on the news, images of a burnt out house surrounded by trees, but still holding on to their browned off leaves, I know there’s a good chance it burnt because of ember induction.

    Blocky structures like houses generate internal negative pressures of as yet unknown magnitudes in the tornado-like winds that accompany fire fronts. That is, they suck. Homeowners have to learn to block up every crack, or gap that burning embers could get sucked into.

    The new building codes address sealing to some degree but it seems there’s no requirement for existing homes to comply. Ignorance abounds.

  182. And then we have the wattle….

    ‘A.dealbata (silver wattle) is also a safe option, but that is not the only reason I planted a band (copse) of this species about 30 m away and to the north-west of our house.

    ‘During one rather nasty wildfire, some years ago, I observed a group of silver wattles right in the path of the fire which was being fanned by a stiff northerly wind. Embers and flaming bark ‘arrows’ were flying along in front of the fire but were being effectively stopped or impeded by the fairly dense wattle canopies, and falling to the ground. The crowns were not igniting but were acting as efficient ember stoppers!

    Alan Gray

  183. Mangrove Jack

    the researcher part of study since the firestorm in ACT 2003.

    From that fire storm one of the most amazing pictures was of a wood of young trees all burnt and bent at right angles. the storm of fire had blown the trees but as it moved on the trees were left frozen/ burnt frozen. the symmetry of the wood was eerily beautiful but at the same time frightening.

  184. On a brighter note have you seen the article on the airlines that have made a nice bundle of money (billions) from the EU Carbon Tax. Apparently the airlines charged each and every passenger for the tax, when either they were already subsidised with credits and as is the case for flights from usa were discharged from having to pay tax for another year.
    At the same time airlines were whingeing the Carbon tax would cripple their business.

    What a shame the EU doesn’t have an ACCC making sure business doesn’t use carbon tax as way to raise profits.

  185. Liberal Lies, Part 65761

    29 June 2011: The opposition frontbencher Andrew Robb, who is in charge of policy development, said that by tomorrow, the Coalition would have 40 policies ready to go ”in the event of the government collapsing”.

    25 January 2013: …manager of opposition business Christopher Pyne said the Coalition would not announce new policies.



  186. “During one rather nasty wildfire, some years ago….”

    I’ve read other similar things EG. It’s not always as simple as “vegetation bad”. In some circumstances of course even those silver wattles could become dessicated and burn vigorously. Then it’s a radiant heat issue for which there are simple defences.

    It was the Duffy fires that sparked (sorry) my interest in this phenomenon of negative pressures. The ember storm didn’t burn every house but seemed to pick its victims randomly, and I wondered why.

    All the available research was centered on direct flame or ember attack despite lots of evidence that many house seemed to burn from the inside out.

  187. WHY?

    “……The coalition has set the stage for multiculturalism to be among the leading issues in the federal election scheduled for later this year, with the opposition’s immigration spokesman, Scott Morrison, calling for a shift away from diversity and towards a more unified national identity that does not stress social, ethnic or cultural differences, according to The Australian.

    In a speech to the Menzies Centre for Australian Studies in London, Mr Morrison outlined the Coalition’s plan to re-frame the multiculturalism debate and “restore some balance” by emphasising what Australians have in common rather than social, ethnic or cultural differences, the newspaper added..”

  188. Why?

    Because they need to distract the punters, by appealing to bigotry and insecurity.

    Then, with the punters feeling superior with themselves as Ozstrahyuns, the right-wing parties can go about their real agenda – driving wages and working conditions down to third world standards.

  189. “Mr Howard was considered by 35 per cent of just over 1000 people polled by Galaxy as Australia’s best leader of a generation.

    Just five per cent felt the same about Ms Gillard whose support from Labor voters asked who they believed had been Australia’s best prime minister in the past 25 years was almost identical to Mr Howard’s.

    Of those p……………………..”

    35%. That must mean that many liberal voters do not agree. #5% means if the maths are correct, 65% did not agree.

  190. “Whenever I see on the news, images of a burnt out house surrounded by trees, but still holding on to their browned off leaves, I know there’s a good chance it burnt because of ember induction.”

    That seemed to be true of the damage at that observatory. The burning of the buildings seem to come after the initial fires.

  191. PS. i know, as I was married to one. I now realise that there was little he could do to change things I now accept he did ;love me.

  192. El gordo, in response to your comment on the AGW other thread, dingoes have been on the continent for 6,000 years; a bit longer than the date you suggested. As for small tools:

    Lampert advanced the suggestion that the Kartan belonged to the period 50,000-30,000 years ago and was the toolkit used by the first colonists. He further believed that Kangaroo Island was abandoned around 30,000 years ago, to be later reoccupied at the time of low sea level possibly 18,000 years ago. The new occupants were not the users of the Kartan tools, but brought with them the technology which he found in the Seton site – manufacturing small flint and quartz scrapers rather than the heavy Kartan tools. (Kohen, 1995:70).

    Reference: Kohen, J. (1995). Aboriginal environmental impacts. University of New South Wales Press, Sydney.

  193. And it was all for nothing, Cuppa. They boasted a big fat surplus while ignoring our infrastructure needs.

    It’s akin to me having lots of money in the bank but no furniture in the house.

  194. The more I look into it Migs, the worse it looks.

    The biggest taxer in history,.

    The biggest spender.

    The biggest waster.

    … And that’s only as PM. His stint as treasurer was even worse.

    If we had an impartial media ready to inform people with facts and not spin, the Coalition would rarely make it out of opposition.

  195. Howard was responsible for building the Ghan Railway…his only achievement as far as infrastructure is concerned.

    But wait…it was built for $1.3B and sold off to Genesee & Wyoming for $400M plus some. I take the piss out of Robert (Managing Director) for the bargain they got but it is integral to the vision.

    Have I mentioned Project Iron Boomerang? It is a railway from west to east with all services running beside it to open up the inland. Reminds me of someone who envisioned such at Tim’s place around six years ago. Funny that.

    Just a matter of having all the players at the same table. Almost there.

  196. Britain heading for triple-dip recession as GDP shrinks 0.3% in fourth quarter

    UK economy not expected to regain peak level for another two years – marking slowest recovery in a century

    Britain could be on course for its third recession in four years after the economy shrank 0.3% in the last three months of 2012.

    The figures were worse than expected and could put pressure on the government to consider a “plan B” that would stimulate demand.”

    now what was their Plan A, cut spending, pay down debt, sack workers including defence, sell assets.

  197. Let’s not forget that Abbott has been to the UK several times speaking to the Tories and has endorsed their failing policies, policies he has stated he will implement in kind.

    Then you look at Queensland and the same policies are in play, and another government Abbott has endorsed, and another failure.

  198. scaper

    Rail vision has to contend with Big Trucking Corporations such and Linfox and Toll along with a plethora of small and individual operators. Just like renewable energy is hated by oil barrons and public transport in the USA taken over and destroyed by GMH, rail will be demonised by the trucking industry and it will never gain traction. Huge coroprations manipulate results and outcomes to achieve their aim (climate change and smoking being examples).

  199. An example of that shane is O’Farrell now allowing B-triples on the Hume Hwy instead of advocating a freight rail that would be far more efficient.

    In fact O’Farrell’s 20 year transport plan for NSW is almost entirely based on road.

  200. Sue

    Thanks for the update for the UK. I have been too busy lately to follow. The only thing that boosted the UK was the Olympics, absolutely nothing else, one little jump and there was screams of vindication by the tories for their actions.

    Now that the reality of continuing recession is the result of the terrible policies enacted, the future is looking grim.

    My prediction is that the Liberal Democrats will be decimated at the next election for allowing the tories free reign on decisions rather than being a moderating force to ensure that policies implemented were watered down from far right ideology. While the people wanted to remove Labor they did not want complete Tory rule.

    It is one thing to slow down spending. It is another to slash and burn. The QLD Newman Government being the main example of this is Australia. A slow reduction allows the economy, business and the poeple to absorb job losses. A Slash and Burn brings it all crashing down (and fast) due to fear and shock and withdrawal of spending.

  201. Mobius

    No different to the policy of Newman. Roads and Tunnels which seems the LNP way in all state and federal areas. This panders to the Oil Barrons, The Trucking Barrons, the newly privatised road construction companies, the Toll roads and simply ignores the true needs of the country. They calim to be better money managers. Then do the right thing and bring back the rail you destroyed 20 and 30 years ago from ideology.

  202. shaneinqld

    from fires to flooding rains, in the last weeks you are living the Sunburnt Country .

    I note that Campbell Newmann has said as things are under control he need not be in action this weekend.

  203. shaninqld

    you may have missed this little gem from the UK, regarding Tory govt forced redundancies on Defence (all part of the savings, fiscal restraint, paying down debt, moving from double dip to triple dip recession)

    The “lucky” soldiers going to Helmand province in Afghanistan, may avoid redundancy.

    “Army may restrict Afghanistan exemptions in new redundancy round
    With another 4,800 jobs to go by end of year, army considering whether to keep ringfencing soldiers preparing for posting
    One option that has been looked at involves exempting only troops actually serving in Helmand province on a six-month tour, putting at risk staff still months away from being deployed.

    “The pool of people is shrinking all the time and you can get into a position when you are exempting a large percentage of the army. That isn’t fair on the ones who are left,” said a Whitehall source. “None of this is easy. There is no painless way of doing this any more.”

  204. Dear…

    Thank you for sending your condolences to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister has asked me to reply on her behalf.

    The Prime Minister is very close to her family and has many fond memories of her father.

    The Prime Minister’s father was her inspiration who taught her that nothing comes without hard work. His commitment to education and its power to change lives meant he ensured the Prime Minister had many of the opportunities he was denied.

    Thank you again for your support and kind words.

    Matthew Jose
    Senior Adviser

  205. Yes Sue from fires to floods. Now just waiting to be cut off at home when the creek rises. I know 1 thing. I have been through many floods and they do not compare to a raging fire by any stretch of the imagination. I know which one I would rather go through.

  206. We all know its not Tony’s fault he is unpopular, it is all the bad news he has to deliver.

    You would think us stupid voters would realise that.

    Yep, that’s the reason

    From the top shelf of the section labelled ‘delusional pearlers’ this week came a nugget of wisdom from Tony Abbott so good you’d think it was attributed to him by one of his many detractors. An interview with ABC radio provided Australia with a deep insight of the man who would be PM, when he reasoned that his continuing low popularity among the public, as shown in a wide range of opinion polls, was simply the result of a misunderstanding. The coalition leader said his role required him to deliver bad news to the public about the failures of the federal government, and that this led some people to choose to shoot the messenger. It’s a groundbreaking political strategy, and it’s likely that in the future, many politicians will follow suit, and respond to declining voter popularity by simply blaming it on the voters. It’s genius.”

  207. Maybe this is Thomson’s fault as well.

    “Another fine mess

    As if disgraced MP Craig Thomson didn’t do enough damage to the Health Services Union through the scandal that tore the body apart last year, a review of the Victorian arm of the representative body has turned up a complete administrative schemozzle. An investigation into the union, commissioned by its newly-appointed leaders, has discovered, among other things, that members’ money was spent on items including Foxtel subscriptions and a massage chair, and that several cars belonging to the group were not even registered. With that kind of scrutiny, it makes you wonder how Thomson allegedly got away with anything at all. At least the former branch leaders, who instead of protecting workers from being taken advantage of were allegedly taking advantage of them, can comfort themselves with 24 hour repeats of The Simpsons. Branch secretary Diana Asmar said the union was determined to sort out the problem, and promised to get onto it straight away. It seems she just has to take the bus, due to some administrative difficulties with the company vehicles.

  208. Does this fit in with Mr. Morrison said yesterday, when he commented that multi-culturalism would be centre in the next election campaign.

    is it once again,. Tony telling audiences what he thinks they want to hear.

    “……………………OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott says new Australian citizens are changing the country for the better.
    Offering a message of empathy to those feeling anxious about change, Mr Abbott said it should be in accordance with Australia’s customs and traditions.
    “Sometimes, those of us who have been here for a long time get a little bit anxious about the changes that are taking place in our country,” Mr Abbott told an Australia Day breakfast and citizenship ceremony in Adelaide on Saturday.
    “It should be change in accordance with the customs and traditions of our people.”
    Mr Abbott said he cherished the cultural diversity of Australia.
    “Above all else I cherish our unity,” he added.
    “And by looking to become Australian citizens you are celebrating that which we have in common.
    “It is a proud people that you are joining.”
    Mr Abbott said Australia had come a long way from its convict past.
    “We have demonstrated to the wider world that is possible to bring unity from diversity,” he said.
    “It is….”

    Read more:

  209. Yes Cu it certainly seems he’s trying to have it both ways in that speech, diversity and unity.

    You can be diverse but as long as it’s in accordance with our customs and traditions, which he doesn’t define.

    It’s like when Howard defined Australian customs and traditions and not one was different from what was a custom or tradition in other countries, including those the new citizens came from.

  210. Sue at 12.13 am

    What’s the difference between Labor’s surplus obsession and Cameron’s austerity, but one of scale.

    Both have their roots in a flawed neo-liberal ideology.

  211. 25 January 2013: …manager of opposition business Christopher Pyne said the Coalition would not announce new policies.

    Well how about some old policies, ffs?

    Cuppa @6.40pm, not only the highest taxing government, but the most profligate. It amuses me when Neil and the other dingbats puff out their chests and boast about the $30bn bank balance they left, but studiously ignore of the fact that while they might have left $30bn, they never addess the question of wtf happened to the other $300bn, because they sure didn’t spend it on the country.

    A few flagpoles forced on some run-down public schools wouldn’t account for more than a few million, so what did they do with the all that moolah?

    Obviously, dropping the odd $300m is of no account to the Liars, but $300bn? Even the Koch brothers wouldn’t be too sanguine about a missing $300bn.

    Thinking about the UK and the Tory solution to debt, I wouldn’t mind sending Treetroll and Voyager over to sample the delights of a Liealot led government.

  212. From Alan Kohler..

    And selling Qantas, the Commonwealth Bank and Telstra were three of the best things successive federal governments did in 20 years of government.

    Which is why these entities are now so highly competitive offering consumers such excellent services.. 🙄

  213. Australians positive about economy

    That can’t be. Abbott and co have been screaming doom and gloom on the economy since the year dot so how can Australian be positive about it? We are all in abject poverty and struggling because of the terrible economic management of this government, something only an Abbott government can fix, ask Abbott or Newman.

  214. Growing calls for Cory Bernardi to resign for breaking strict rules by failing to declare links to extreme right wing group.

    Abbott’s man under fire over extreme right lobbying

    If You Like Sarah Palin, You’ll Absolutely Love Cory Bernardi

    Bernardi breaches rules over US ties

    To put some context on the implications for Abbott is that Cory is being groomed by Abbott as his right hand man in the same vein as Abbott was to Howard. If Abbott doesn’t act on these revelations or at least make a statement on them then it is yet another stark indication of Abbott’s failure as a credible leader.

  215. Firstly Bernardi made inflammatory anti-Muslim statements with Abbott promising to remove him as Shadow Parliamentary Secretary if he made further comments. Bernardi then said on the issue of gay marriage, “There are even some creepy people out there, who say that it’s OK to have consensual sexual relations between humans and animals. Will that be a future step?” Abbott did as a consequence remove him..actually Cori “resigned”.

    Mr Abbott said he did not share Senator Bernardi’s ”ill-disciplined” views and said he was ”a decent bloke with strong opinions”.

    ”Cory is a talented politician with much to contribute. But plainly he has been guilty of ill-discipline, lack of judgement and he’ll have to do a fair bit of political penance, no doubt about that,” he said.

    I wonder if Abbott will once again rap Bernardi over the knuckles with a feather duster…

    Abbott approves whole heartedly of Bernardi’s statements as they either fit in with his asylum seeker demonization program, or fit in with his Catholic beliefs. Let’s see how Abbott justifies this one…

  216. Oh c’mon right wingers you want to vote for this?

    Institute funding Cory Bernardi recently ran a two day conference entitled “Can Tobacco Make You Healthier?”

    This comes on the back of internal Liberal Party divisions against Abbott and is cohort over cigarette plain packaging. Under Abbott the Liberals are welded to big tobacco and the extreme radical right.

  217. Well Min Abbott is now attacking the racial discrimination act and will repeal key points of it under the guise of “censorship” if he wins government.

    Tony Abbott cries “Censorship!” as he starts the final leg of his race for The Lodge

    If you do a search on Abbott and racial discrimination you will see he has been attacking the ACT and the need for a law for a while.

    So as you can see what Abbott said there Min is a lie, as is everything Abbott says.

    I also note that Abbott’s start of being positive in 2013 was by saying the word positive as often as possible in between being negative.

  218. “Thinking about the UK and the Tory solution to debt, I wouldn’t mind sending Treetroll and Voyager over to sample the delights of a Liealot led government.”

    Why bother when we have the ‘ghastly gillard’ lie by default government leading by example?

  219. I hear that a challenge is mooted. here’s why

    Type in the words “Julia Gillard is a ….” make sure you put in a space after the letter a. See how Google algorithm finishes the sentence…

  220. You missed the point on big tobacco by a mile Treeman, didn’t expect anything else. Look up sponsorships and donations to political parties by tobacco and membership to their funded extreme right wing organisations.

    How about typing in the words Tony Abbott is a ….

    As usual Treeman you are extremely selective in what you chose to post and ignore what doesn’t conform to your very narrow far right wing ideological view.

  221. A prelude of how McTernan policies come back to bite…”the Turd” was Tonay Blair’s main man and has been spinning the same bullshit here since gillard anointed him…

  222. Mobius, to my knowledge the first attack on anti-discrimination came straight after the conviction of Andrew Bolt. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that sticking up for an Abbott supporter aka Bolt is the sole reason for Abbott’s interest in this issue. Wasn’t Abbott putting himself forward at one stage as “the champion” of indigenous peoples..lots of pics of him “volunteering”. Threatening to repeal the vilification section of the Racial Discrimination Act is hardly going to endear him to Aboriginal Australia.

    My understanding of the amendment (and I can’t locate the precise wording of the changes) is that statements not only have to be offensive but that the person on the receiving end must also be offended. The newspapers are appearing to suggest that it is only the latter part which is fair enough because any comment could be deemed offensive, but it requires a person to be offended.

  223. We now have a mini election campaign, which Michelle believes Abbott is still a walk in. We now have Mr. Positive.

    “……………………….The social researcher Hugh Mackay believes Abbott’s brand – being negative, destructive and dismissive – has been unchanged for so long that it has become ”indelible” and it’s hard to see him being able to break out of it.
    But one of Abbott’s senior colleagues argues: ”He’s strong on the tangibles. He’s an Alpha male. Alpha males are runners, jumpers. They build things.” He believes Mr Positive will be convincing……….”

    Read more:

    The new three words are Hope. Reward. Opportunity.

    One can find Our Plan here.

    I believe we are in for the longest campaign in our history.

    It is nice to see that Mr. Abbott is now a builder.

    When is he going to find the time to build, as he has promised to demolish everything Labor has built or put in place.

    I still believe he might be better at demolishing than building.

    His history points me to that belief.

  224. “As usual Treeman you are extremely selective in what you chose to post and ignore what doesn’t conform to your very narrow far right wing ideological view.”

    Just because Labor doesn’t take sponsorships and donations by tobacco (if indeed that is the case) The Federal Labor Govt rakes in over $5 Billion dollars in tobacco taxes each year and has mooted raising the tax. Big logs in eye, Copper calling kettle black by lizard eating tail!

  225. This we cannot afford to deny.

    “…………………………….As Sally Neighbour wrote in her piece on him in January this year — the best yet done on the man:
    “Inspired by the tactics of the Tea Party, Bernardi established the Conservative Leadership Foundation in 2009, which in turn set up the Conservative Action Network (CANdo) that Bernardi likens to ‘a Facebook for conservatives’. CANdo rallied dozens of like-minded groups and thousands of individuals to join an orchestrated ‘grassroots’ campaign — also known as ‘astroturfing’ — against the ETS [emissions-trading scheme]. Their efforts persuaded Liberal MPs to revolt against Turnbull, killing the ETS and propelling Abbott into leadership.”
    You will no doubt be surprised to learn CANdo lists as its “National Council of Patrons” Hugh Morgan and Alan Jones. CANdo promotes fear and suspicion: of government, of unions, of the nanny state, of gays, of refugees, of alleged plans to steal our property, our freedom of speech.
    Its multiple websites do this through a mix of misrepresentation and wild hyperbole. To cite an example of the former, wind farms represent a government attempt to effectively steal our property rights. To cite an example of the latter, Gina Rinehart is a “great Australian patriot” intent on rescuing Fairfax media from the “vegan, bicycle-riding, inner city elites” which have taken it over.
    We could go on detailing the long list of associations between Bernardi and the ever-expanding web of organisations with which he is in one way or another associated. Truly, you can spend hours following the links around the country and the world……………

  226. “The social researcher Hugh Mackay believes Abbott’s brand – being negative, destructive and dismissive – has been unchanged for so long that it has become ”indelible” and it’s hard to see him being able to break out of it.”

    That must give you a lot of heart CU since you’ve been doing so much spinning the negative on Abbott here!

    Still Mackay’s is but one view and relates to Abbott. More interesting is the money on Gillard loosing the next election.

    Follow the money CU, follow the money!

  227. What leaders lost the most ministers. This and Rudd are along way behind those who preceded them.

    “……….In this period — now approaching five years — there has been one departure for ethics and competence: Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon in June 2009 for an association with a businesswoman and for failing to declare expenses.
    So, departures for ministerial ethical and performance issues were:

    Malcolm Fraser
    Gough Whitlam: 3
    Malcolm Fraser: 7
    Bob Hawke: 4
    Paul Keating: 4
    John Howard: 15
    Rudd/Gillard: 1
    To these must now be added ministers caught committing ministerial breaches which warranted dismissal, but who stayed put. In any other Westminster country or in Australia at any other time, all these would certainly have had to go.
    There were none under Whitlam, Fraser or Hawke.
    In the last days of the Keating Government, Treasurer Ralph Willis was duped into releasing a forged letter he had claimed was from a state premier.
    During the Howard years:
    “Misapprehension and misinformation stand in the way of democracy as resolutely as they did in Jefferson’s day.”
    Alexander Downer misled parliament in 1996 over complaints from regional governments about cuts to life-saving aid programs. Downer said there had been none when he had in fact received several.
    Parliamentary Secretary for Industry and Resources Warren Entsch was found in 1999 to be the undeclared director and secretary of a concrete company which won a lucrative government contract without tender. Bizarrely, the PM claimed this was “an inadvertent error”.
    Assistant Treasurer Helen Coonan in 2002 witnessed a false electoral enrolment form.
    In the cash-for-visas scandal — arguably the second-worst-ever example of a resignation not demanded — Immigration Minister Phillip Ruddock was accused of issuing immigration visas to questionable applicants after being advised of campaign donations. An Australian Federal Police report later cleared Ruddock of wrongdoing, though the “report said its ability to properly investigate Mr Ruddock’s use of his powers was obstructed by the refusal of the Immigration Department and the Government to surrender relevant case files”.
    Arguably the worst was Treasurer Peter Costello who presided over losses of several billion dollars of taxpayer money in currency swaps on the foreign exchange markets between 1996 and 2001 — almost certainly the costliest blunder in Australia’s economic history — before he ended the practice.
    De-Anne Kelly in 2004 was accused of breaking the ministerial code of conduct by unlawfully approving electoral grants and misleading the Parliament.
    Philip Ruddock, again, and Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone in 2005 were shown to have failed to manage their departments adequately regarding the unlawful deportation of Australian citizen Vivian Solon to the Philippines and to the unlawful detention of permanent resident Cornelia Rau……….”

  228. So it seems Mr Abbott is backing away from his pledge to restore a budget surplus in his first term. For which he will of course be forgiven by the media should they remark on it at all.
    Which comes round to the Australian attitude toward debt & how the Liberals can manage it.
    Post GFC the words “debt & deficit” are anathema, but while we’re likely to maintain that attitude to personal debt, we may be persuadable that a bit of government debt, well hey, governments have to maintain services & it’s not like it’s me having to pay it all, is it? A greater discoverer than Cook or Magellan, Abbott will bring back tales of dire happenings in lands previously unknown & tell us we’re doing much better than them. If (& he’ll get help from the usual places) Abbott can explain that the whole deficit thingy’s Labor’s fault, they pissed all that money away, etc, then he has the opportunity to maintain vital expenditure (bribing you) with little regard for the size of the deficit which now will simply not be remarked upon.
    The Howard years policies put on the slate, really.

  229. Interesting. Are the lower income earners more honest, or are their concept of honesty different.

    “…………………..International comparisons suggest, on the face of it, that the current Australian administration has had one of the lowest, if not the lowest, number of ministerial resignations and sackings of any Westminster parliamentary administration since the early 1800s. Another contender is New Zealand’s Savage Government in the 1930s.
    Why such a significant difference? Why a surge during the Howard years, and a dramatic drop since? Does size of the parliamentary majority matter?
    Different answers will of course be offered by different observers. Some suggest Coalition ministers have greater private wealth, more shareholdings and private sector backgrounds which make them more susceptible to temptation. Labor members, in contrast, tend to be drawn more from sectors where truthfulness and propriety are requisite, such as academia and the law.
    Meanwhile, Australia’s media accuse the present “disgraceful, contemptible, corrupt government” of continuing “its ever downward spiral of lies and criminal acts”. This would seem, however, not supported by objective analysis………………..

  230. Tree, Labor is working hard to cut down the sales of tobacco. What is collected in taxes probably does meet the cost of the damages that tobacco causes in the community. One can look on the tax on tobacco, in the same light that many do on putting a price on carbon emission. .

  231. Tree, you say follow the money. Am I wrong, or is the share market at this time flourishing. Company profits are not too bad either.

    Yes, tree, one should follow the money.

    How is repeating facts, seen as spin.

  232. I have noticed that Mr. Abbott see his line up of shadow ministers, that also served in the Howard cabinet as a strength.

    It is over five years and two elections since the voters dumped Howard and his cabinet.

    It is amazing that no new talent, more suited to today, has not arisen in the Liberal party.

    We are being asked to vote for a shadow cabinet, that the voters have already rejected twice.

  233. C.U. @12.43
    The reason for keeping them on the front bench is what they’d regard as a fortunate coincidence. There really is no new talent coming up that isn’t so transparently ghastly (think Bernardi) that even the MSM would have trouble getting them elected. Plus it allows them to run the “Golden Age, which you can restore today at an election” theme.
    And various issues to do with where the bodies are buried, etc.

  234. It appears three hundred turned up for his rally.

    “………………………Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s new campaign blueprint appears to backpedal on delivering a budget surplus within 12 months if he wins government.

    Mr Abbott will launch the coalition’s mini-election campaign on Sunday with a series of television advertisements during prime time programs.

    News Limited reports the blueprint, Our Plan: Real Solutions for all Australians, has dumped references in previous policy documents to deliver a surplus ‘within 12 months’.

    The document says ‘we will get the budget under control’ but it does not mention a time frame or provide any new policy details.

    Coalition pledges include creating two million new jobs within a decade.

    Mr Abbott will deliver a speech to the National Press Club on Thursday and is expected to make new announcements…….”

  235. So it seems Mr Abbott is backing away from his pledge to restore a budget surplus in his first term. For which he will of course be forgiven by the media should they remark on it at all.

    Bob, that stood out like dog’s balls to me too.

  236. I see the carrot cruncher Treetroll is trying to imply that the current government is the only government to have received revenue from taxes on tobacco products.

    It’s no surprise he’s a Liars barracker; he has only a passing acquaintance with facts and truth, which it seems he thinks are spin.

  237. Taxes are collected on all goods and services and by governments at all levels. On the other hand sponsorships and belonging to or associating with foundations, associations and groups is voluntary and something a political party can voluntarily eschew, as Labor has done.

    Not only have the Liberals embraced the tobacco industry they have fought on their behalf. Read up on Minchin and now we have Bernardi.

    So this government uses tax revenue from tobacco to reduce smoking and for the health of the nation whilst increasing tobacco taxes as a known successful method of reducing smoking. The Liberals plan to get rid of many of the anti-smoking health measures at the behest of the tobacco industry that supports them.

  238. with success Mo, it seems. A government that is proud of reducing the rate of smoking within the population, does not back the allegations of tree.

    An another example of him saying anything to make his fallacious points. Does one expect any better of him. The name calling cannot be far away.

  239. ‘UNION access to workplaces could be wound back under a Coalition government as Tony Abbott faces increasing calls from business to take a detailed alternative industrial relations policy to this year’s election.

    ‘Coalition sources said the opposition was “seriously considering” reversing changes made under the Fair Work Act to the rules governing entry by union representatives into workplaces.’

    Ewin Hannan in the Oz

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