Open Thread X

We’re up to our tenth page already.  Keep talking.

Here is the link to the previous Open Thread page:

Open Thread IX

433 comments on “Open Thread X

  1. The girl with the pearls loves Andrew :mrgreen:

    Rinehart: Andrew Bolt is one of our best journalists

    Mining billionaire and freshly-elected Channel Ten director Gina Rinehart has pleaded with Andrew Bolt to continue hosting The Bolt Report in 2012 despite the show’s dismal ratings performance.

    Speaking after Ten’s annual meeting in Sydney, Rinehart said Bolt was “one of the best journalists, radio people and now TV people in Australia so I hope if his time permits, he continues,” Fairfax papers report today. “He has a lot of pressing things on his time and I really hope that he still finds time to give Ten some time next year as well.”

    …upchuck !

  2. Mining billionaire and freshly-elected Channel Ten director Gina Rinehart has pleaded with Andrew Bolt to continue hosting The Bolt Report in 2012 despite the show’s dismal ratings performance.

    I thought a directors responsibility was to their shareholders and making them a profit. Well that is what we are pounded with by the conservative extremists on a consistant basis whenever we throw morals into the mix. If any other show had the abysmal ratings of Bolt it would have been canned ages ago.

    Looks like our TV stations are going to run at a loss in the name of political manipulation by the mega wealthy as well.

    There goes the rest of our media.

  3. Shane, whoever controls the information will also control the people. Her agenda is thus simple. Power isn’t enough.

  4. Tony Abbott on marriage, for time immemorial marriage has been between man and a woman and has been about family.

    Well Tony also from time immemorial has been the stipulation of Dowry, from cattle to kingdoms is this also included in your ideas of marriage, man, woman, family or have your values changed.

    I wonder how the frank and full discussions went with Malcolm in the room today and now Malcolm can explain it to his constituents.

  5. Here is another NSW govt ALP minister fronting up to the ICAC.

    “Former NSW planning minister Tony Kelly faces the prospect of criminal charges for forgery after the Independent Commission Against Corruption found he acted corruptly over the purchase of the former union retreat Currawong.

    Mr Kelly will be expelled from the Labor party after the opposition leader, John Robertson, wrote to the NSW general secretary, Sam Dastyari, requesting that his membership be terminated.”

    It is amazing that the people of NSW still kept voting for these people. It looks like they treated their time in govt as a vehicle for getting wealthy.

  6. Roswell, I think that we’ve had previous examples of this (Sue, Jane, Pip, Cu et al help appreciated)…where a wealthy business person tried to push his agenda via a somewhat has-been media identity but came adrift. A total failure, a complete flop.

    Now Gina might think that Bolt is very sexy and is prepared to throw mega $s his way.. but Bolt and television just isn’t going to happen…

  7. And of course Liberals are always all above board. What a hypocritical joke.

    Good piece by Corinne Grant, yes the comedienne.

    And what craps me off most about Neil’s blinkered ideological stance is that he overlooks the fact that it was the left and center left who were the greatest critics of the NSW Labor government.

    Can we expect Neil to be equally fair in scrutinising the failing State Liberal governments?

    That was a stupid question with a self evident answer.

  8. Neil, it was the previous Labor Premier that referred the matter to the ICAC for investigation.

    Neil, there have been many on the Liberal side that have found themselves in the same position, including the Premier that set up ICAC.

    The man still has to be convicted, but you are likely right that he will be.

    Your belief that criminals are only found on Labor side of politics is sadly misplaced.

    I do not see Labor members supporting him.

  9. Tony Windsor has a great way of describing a cities

    “Mr Windsor argued that the NBN reverses the normal economics of service delivery, by offering a way of doing business without having to sacrifice the lifestyle benefits of living in the country.

    “Previously the most efficient way to deliver the greatest number of services to the highest number of people at the lowest unit cost was to put them in a feedlot,” he said.

    “It’s driven people into larger centres.”

  10. Sue, that is excellent news. Another one is that because of the NBN regional universities will become more competitive. At present only the big city universities have super fast broadband, a necessity. Having regional universities connected will also help stop the brain-drain to the cities.

  11. Corinne Grant’s article (and The Hoopla in general) has some stuff that is worth reading – Lyn over at links to it occasionally as well. The really unfortunate thing here is that Governments of all political tribes use the compassionate spirit of nurses, doctors, teachers and service providers in general to avoid a realistic level for their labour and instead pay the “realistic” levels to those that write policy and procedure.

    While in my experience, those that write procedure have in the past practised what they preach, those that write policy usually don’t have a clue on how it’s really done.


    Years ago I read an article about some internet based company that also cottoned on to the lower cost of living and greater sense of community that living in a regional centre can deliver. The owners of their business worked out there was some small town in NSW that was a junction point for a number of backbone communications cables and if they could locate within a certain distance of that junction – they would get lightning fast Internet which was essential for their business. Apparently they approached Optus and Telstra for the location of the junction only to be told to go away.

    To cut a long story short – they found the location, set up shop and have been a raging success, not only lining their pockets but that of the hitherto depressed towns original residents who sell the groceries, petrol and services to the companies employees. The only downside here is can’t remember the name of the town or the company – must be “old timers” creeping up on me.

  12. The only downside here is can’t remember the name of the town or the company – must be “old timers” creeping up on me.

    You too, hey? 😦

  13. Too true Migs – now for the edits to prove it!

    2nd line 1st Par – Lyn is at The Political Sword
    3rd line 2nd par – “bit are seen to have more ‘influence'” should be added at the end.
    1st line 3rd par – Should have a reference to Tony Windsor’s article, suggesting that Tony really does have an understanding of the communications economy and it’s impact of regional Australia/
    And last – I think the town was near Bathurst.

  14. 2353,

    I know Lyn well. We keep in touch occasionally via Twitter or email. She has been a good friend of the Café and I appreciate the way she promotes us when we have something of interest to the Swordsfolk.

    Near Bathurst you say. I know a motel owner out that way.

  15. It is amazing that the people of NSW still kept voting for these people. It looks like they treated their time in govt as a vehicle for getting wealthy.

    Yes I too was amazed at the length of the ALP in office in NSW.

    Regarding getting wealthy that applies to most politicians of all politcial persuasions. If it didn’t they would be paid the average wage of Australian Citizens.

    Would be nice to read the history of those charged with criminal activities over the last 50 years from all politcial parties. I think the results would show that criminal activity is more related to the character of the individual rather than the banter and usual partisan catch cry of the ALP being full of crooks by the rusted on conservatives.

  16. Plus, after Howard gained control of the Senate nobody wanted to hand the Liberals any more power. Several stale Labor state governments were subsequently re-elected.

  17. Neil, hollow criticism considering Phone Card, Downer and the Rodent all remained in Parliament despite their fingers in telephone tills, children overboard, illegal invasion of Iraq despite knowing there were no WMDs, Cornelia Rau, Mamdouh Habib, Mohammed Haneef, Vivien Solo and bribery scandals.

    Pots and kettles, Neil. and perhaps we could draw your attention to Robert Askin.

    Re Ltd News and bias, the link below is of interest and provides the means to tell the new CEO of the changes we expect to be implemented under his stewardship.

  18. Min or Migs, I’ve done it again. Provided a link to my inbox instead of Newsstand.

    Can you fix, pretty please with sugar and I’ll get the right link?

  19. Speaking of coffee, Pip, it must be time to head downstairs for another latte. I have a Public Service tradition to uphold.

    What am I talking about? I am downstairs having a latte. Guess I better order another.

  20. Oh you have to love Keating sometimes. This gem on Howard, who by the way is rightly being heavily criticised, even by some right wing commentators, on his stupid comment on teachers and climate change.

    ‘You’ve always got to be worried when you hear the word ‘practical’ from this government. It’s like an anti-matter particle which obliterates the noun it’s meant to describe.’

  21. Just a note. For those on Facebook, a group which we here would recommend is:

    Report left winged radical hate groups is run by a flamin’ idiot!

    This group works hard to try to eradicate all forms of Hate Groups, especially those of racial and gay vilification. There is often not much that can be done about these Hate Groups as they move around a lot from site to site, however if people go to the trouble of reporting these, they are usually swiftly removed.

  22. That’d be right Migs, after all public servants don’t work hard do they ??

    Or, and this is my opinion, public servants are entitled to a coffee
    break 🙂

  23. Playing politics in the asylum seeker debate

    This week in Australia, two Liberal state governments are predictably trying to incite fear and get political mileage out of asylum seekers being released into the community. What they don’t mention is that asylum seekers have lived in the Australian community for some time now and that evidence in Australia and internationally has shown that problems associated with community release and the possibility of absconding are minimal.

    An inquiry into immigration detention in Australia in 2009 noted that:

    Community-based options do not lead to increased rates of absconding as long as relevant assessment measures are used. Further, appropriate support and information may in fact stabilise a person or family in dire circumstances, enhancing their ability to navigate and make realistic decisions within our immigration system.

  24. “It is amazing that the people of NSW still kept voting for these people. It looks like they treated their time in govt as a vehicle for getting wealthy”

    Neil, why did you not read the link you gave. It is clear that the Minister is not being accused of making any money out of the deal. Further more it is clear that the developer lost money.

    Yes, it was stupid action of the man but do not read into a story what is not there.

  25. This toxic government and its mining tax you can see by this report that this bad government is making things worse for the economy. As Tony said with his blood oath he will stop this toxic tax before it is too late..

    “Resources and energy exports are expected to hit a record $206 billion this financial year, official figures show.
    The Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE) Resources and Energy Quarterly for December shows a 15 per cent increase in export earnings for the year, boosted by iron ore, coal, oil, gas and gold.

    while metallurgical coal exports are forecast to be higher as production conditions improve in Queensland”

  26. While the main stream negativity trolls were banging on about a naughty word,
    Delimiter got down to the real business of the National Press Club.
    A bottle of red perhaps, Migs?

    Technical “dead-end”:
    Conroy smashes Turnbull’s NBN policy

    In particular, the speeds envisaged by Turnbull would require bonded copper pairs to be used — which were not present in the current copper network owned by Telstra, Conroy said. “We simply do not have the copper available for speed or performance of what Turnbull is claiming,” he said.

    In addition, Conroy said, much of the equipment needed to build a FTTN network would be rendered obsolete in future as bandwidth needs forced the government of the day to examine the case to further roll out fibre to the premise.
    This was the advice which the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission had repeatedly provided to the Government, he said

  27. So many people are non-stop drunks at this time of the year. I don’t know about you lot, but I seem to be encountering them on a daily basis.

    What gets me is that many of them are nice people under normal circumstances but get a few drinks in them and they become very aggressive.

  28. Miglo, they’re on the roads and in the shops, aggressive, abusive, tailgating, queue jumping and flipping the bird,

    Oh wait, that happens all year round. :mrgreen:

    They’re hard to ignore but best given a wide berth !

  29. Oh dear, we’re certainly under a spam attack tonight. At least it takes me only a fraction of the time to delete the rubbish as it does for the spammer to write it.

  30. During his 20-minute launch speech, Professor Plimer criticised climate scientists for being allegedly part of a “political movement”.

    Yet in virtually the next breath, he told the audience “one of the aims of this book is to maintain the rage, because we have an election coming.”

    So much for spreading ideology and taking the politics out of science?

    Plimer and Howard maintain the rage with climate science denial

    Targeting school children and teachers (at least superficially), Plimer told the audience: “These children are being fed environmental propaganda and these children are too young to be fed ideology”

    Yet the book – How to Get Expelled From School – is being supported by the Institute for Public Affairs, a think-tank that exists to do little else than spread its own free-market ideology.

    Not only that, but Professor Plimer, a geologist at the University of Adelaide, was actively fundraising for the IPA just last month when the Federal Government’s carbon price legislation was passed.

    A recent “research” paper from the GWPF criticizing the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change contained a foreword from former Australian Prime Minister John Howard, in which he described climate change campaigners as “zealots”.

    Last night, Mr Howard was the star attraction at the Sydney launch of Professor Plimer’s book at the Sydney Mining Club. The IPA was again a supporter, as it will be for the launch in Brisbane later this month.


    Why else would he go and launch a book by Professor Ian Plimer called ‘How to Get Expelled from School: A Guide to Climate Change for Pupils, Parents and Punters‘?

    The book, which the Herald-Sun says has been billed as an ‘anti-warmist manual’ gives a bunch of ‘questions’ to throw at teachers. Plimer states that if teachers can’t answer them, ’it shows that our schools have been captured’.

    Right. By what? Shape shifting Space Lizards? Illuminati Jihadists? Gays? Greens?

  32. Teach the controversy: former PM Howard takes a leaf from the creationist playbook

    Several years ago the creationist movement in the US brought out a rather silly little film called “Expelled: no intelligence allowed”.

    It claimed – ludicrous as this sounds – that a) Darwin’s theory of evolution lead to the Holocaust and b) the scientific establishment was suppressing alternative views due to its left-wing/materialistic world view.

    Sounds like Nick Minchin’s declaration that climate change is a left-wing conspiracy.

  33. At least, that seems to be former PM John Howard’s point of view. The goose.

    Very descriptive Pip 😉 (from the Mike Stuchbery link)

  34. Barrel of Lies is upset the cat is out of the bag

    “IT could be seen as a hint of things to come – RailCorp has been forced into an embarrassing backdown after letting slip that the $8 billion North West Rail Link could be run by a private operator.

    Locals were also confused, with the The Hills Transport Working Group’s chair James Fiander saying the claim was a “betrayal of the residents, commuters and businesses” of north western Sydney.

    “Using a fee for access model on the line as indicated in Mr Mason’s memo will raise the barrier of entry and would be a disastrous outcome for commuters,” he said.

    “Having a private operator involved in this project, operating under an access model in the same way as the failed Sydney Airport Link is completely unacceptable for the 300,000 residents of North Western Sydney.”

    The voters obviously didn’t read his election promise fine print.

  35. As much as I dislike the government’s treatment of unaccompanied minors and I have also written about Indonesian fishermen/people smugglers, I dislike the Opposition’s even less.

    THE federal government has come under renewed judicial attack over the way it treats unaccompanied teenage asylum seekers.

    And the Opposition’s attitude:

    The Greens welcomed the ruling. The opposition immigration spokesman, Scott Morrison, said that the Coalition’s policy of issuing temporary protection visas would prevent minors from later sponsoring family members and this would deter unaccompanied teenagers from making boat journeys as ”anchors” for their families.

    Therefore what the Opposition is saying is that they will use children as a deterrent…

  36. O’Farrell, the Premier that keeps on taking and breaking. Taking money from public servants like nurses, teachers and police and breaking promise after promise.

    He’s going to sting road users because his promise to fix the road and public transport systems are failing big time. Every measure has gone far worse under his watch, and as much as his ministers attempt to blame the previous government it doesn’t wash. The dramatic increase in declining roads and public transport have occurred under his stewardship and were never has bad under the previous government.

    Parents are fully backing the teachers as he breaks another promise, not just on cutting their pay, but now it looks like on the teacher transfer system, which he vowed he wouldn’t touch.

    And now his promised $300 million surplus has been adjusted to a $300 million deficit, and that’s predicted to be far worse than he’s letting on.

    It’s like Cameron failing badly in the UK, as his plan to shift employment and productivity to the private sector is not working, and the UK employment figures and economy are tanking, and just like O’Farrell and his ministers here, Cameron is blaming the previous Labour government.

    Just how long does O’Farrell think he can keep blaming a previous government for his broken promises and failed policies, well in most cases failure to implement any promised policies to fix things. The longer he allows things to crumble around him the bigger his, correction, a future Labor government’s debt will be to fix it all.

  37. In Howard’s defense, which is a rare response from me, he did admit that he was handed an economy that was in good shape. I don’t recall him ever going on about the deficit he inherited. He left that to Neil.

  38. Howard’s words were along the lines of, “I was handed an economy better by half than I thought possible.”

    After cutting some rail fares and making a huge song and dance about it O’Farrell is putting up public transport fees across the board, and get this, he is doing it by adding last CPI figures to the current CPI to give a double whammy.

    Of course that’s Labor’s fault.

    The longest ever blame game, apart from our resident blinkered ideologue, was by Kennett. He kept blaming Labor to the end of his second term, to the point that even the right wing media got jack of it and began highlighting it as a negative. We then had Kennett’s famous shovelling dirt over a reporter (cameraman?) because of the negative press he was garnering.

    As much as the media have attempted to molly coddle O’Farrell and either ignored his growing list of failings, or play them down, it is becoming so bad the general public are now increasingly beginning to loudly grumble so the media has to report on them.

    It is also good to see the opposition slowly getting more air time and being able to counter the nonsense being peddled by O’Farrell’s ministers. Still no where near the air time O’Farrell and his shadow ministers got when in opposition, but at least they are no longer being totally sidelined.

  39. I have good news and bad news.

    The good news, for me, is that from next week I’m being promoted at this stage until the end of January to manage a large project, while it gets kicked off the ground. The promotion could actually last until the end of June, but I won’t know until mid January.

    The bad news is that from next week I won’t be around much for a few weeks at least. I’ll get some new threads up over the weekend before I go offline.

    I’m sure that most of the authors here will have plans over Xmas so it’s hard to say what will happen here over the break. Shane hopes to put up a thread, and naturally any of the authors are free to do so unless they have other plans.

    I’ll still post comments when time permits.

    Thanks to everybody’s support during the year. I reckon this blog site has the best group of bloggers one could wish for.

  40. Congratulations Migs.

    Will be around the same as usual.

    Christmas does not make much difference to me. Thinking of something new to put up is a little hard but I am sure something will arise.

    Have a funeral next week but will be free after that.

  41. Just saw a series of news bulletins on ABC Breakfast about the Victorian Premier Baillieu’s broken promises.

    They showed him in an interview during the election saying he will not cop the innuendo from the Labor Party about slashing the public service. No public servants will be cut under his government, not a single one, that’s a promise.

    He has just out of the blue announced the slashing of 10% of Victoria’s public service over the next two years. 3,600 jobs gone.

    He is also going to slug motorists with hefty rego rises, another broken promise.

    And in a direct breaking of a core election promise, he will not publish the location of hidden speed cameras. In his budget update he has already factored in the extra $23 million in revenue that will raise.

    All this, and I gather more broken promises to come, so he can have a surplus in 2015.

    Then immediately on the back of the litany of Baillieu broken promises came a piece about the surging crime rates in WA.

    Barnett went to the WA election on a platform of law and order and on how tough he would be, promising to bring down crime in that state.

    Another big fail.

    And then the Liberal supporters wonder why State Labor get elected for a decade or more, even when they are incompetent. The answer is simple, State Liberal is so much worse.

  42. Thank you good people for your kind words. I’m still around for a few more days, and after that will still get the chance to drop in a comment or two. 🙂

  43. Congrats on the promotion Migs.

    Does that mean you won’t be getting the Latte’s for everyone any more, or is that still part of the gig?

    Cos, as we all know, under the new, lefty, politicised PS, Latte’s are a right of passage. (What did they drink when Gretch still roamed the corridors I wonder?)

  44. Hi Tom,

    Silly, isn’t it? I drink lattes all day then win a promotion. Must have been the main criteria.

    When I was in private enterprise my job description was play golf and attend drunken luncheons. All my deals were sealed over a game of golf or a bottle of wine.

    Now it’s coffee. 😦

  45. Or a topless restaurant. The Japanese businessmen when in Adelaide insisted on dining at a topless restaurant.

    Against my wishes, of course.

  46. insisted on dining at a topless restaurant.

    But, on the upside, if you spill your drink, you won’t stain your shirt 😉

  47. Ok for mature comments only when Lieberals in control

    “Mr Baird said he wanted to see a ”mature discussion” about deficits but could not rule out more cuts across government on top of the planned $8 billion in savings announced in the September budget.”

    Now in December, at the mid-year economic review, we hear this from NSW

    “Releasing the half-yearly budget review….
    “as new figures revealed global economic turmoil has turned a string of surpluses foreshadowed in September into deficits”

    BUT Baird that should be the Quarter year Review, Budget September, review December. Hockey, Joe Hockey the NSW Libs are doing a Cr@p job, come on tell them. Where is Joe.your NSW mates need help, they cannot even see that Sept to Dec is 3 months. Can they do maths?

    Read more:

  48. And how come it is the world’s woes for the Liberals failing in fiscal policy but all Labor’s fault, and now excuses allowed, when they fail in fiscal policy?

    At least Baird isn’t blaming Labor like the rest of his ministry is and the Liberals in other states are. Still telling though as O’Farrell said there would be no excuses under a government he leads but all we have seen since he got into power is excuses and blame shifting whilst he continues to break promise after promise.

  49. Interesting view on renewable energy. It is said that in the long run, they will be cheaper.

    “Green politicians and environmental groups welcome the new focus on cleaner energy, but want quicker progress away from fossil fuel and nuclear power, especially after Japan’s nuclear disaster earlier this year.

    “It’s more or less the same if we go for business as usual or for more ambitious scenarios which involve a lot of renewables,” Oettinger told a news conference on Thursday.

    A leaked draft last week already showed that converting to a lower-carbon economy would increase electricity prices until around 2030, because renewable energy technology requires high start-up costs. They would fall after that, because fuel sources such as sun and wind are free.”

  50. ME @ 9.57

    Wrong about not blaming labor,Baird says it is the Federal govts fault (they brought forwards spending on highways)

    “This is due to a decision by the federal government to bring forward $690 million in road funding for the Pacific Highway and Hunter Expressway. The same decision contributed to a forecast $600 million turnaround for 2012-13 from a $292 million surplus to a $321 million deficit.”

    Read more:

  51. Now for something different,, a progressive health trial in the ACT

    “Australia’s first program to train illicit drug users, their families and friends to reverse overdoses is being rolled out in Canberra.

    Naloxone is a prescription-only medication currently administered by paramedics and hospital emergency department staff to reverse overdoses of opiates like heroin and methadone.

    The ACT Government has partnered with health advocates and community groups to fund and implement a two year training program to make the drug more widely available.

    Two-hundred ACT residents who inject drugs, their families and friends will be trained to respond to drug overdoses.

    This will include the injection of naloxone if needed, ”

  52. Of all channels, Channel 10 hoeing into the O’Farrell government, having a go at them for using the excuse of Labor for their growing failure in public transport and then slugging commuters with a double year fare hike.

    Every measure has gotten way worse under O’Farrell. Even using Labor’s rigged measurement for on time running of trains they are 35% slower since O’Farrell won power. Buses are even worse.

    The transport is dirtier and less reliable and infrastructure has deteriorated whilst costs have blown out.

    Remember these are all things O’Farrell promised he would fix as a priority yet has not made one move to do anything about, except blame Labor.

    When a right wing owned news service openly criticises a conservative government they campaigned into power then you know that government is on the nose and failing.

    I was certain O’Farrell would get two terms and then be ousted like Kennett but at his current performance and growing dissatisfaction amongst even conservative supporter then I won’t be surprised if he is ousted after one. Even if he’s not I’m fairly certain his massive majority will be severely reduced.

    And thus goes NSW politics. Same as always with Labor and Liberal being peas in a pod but at least Labor, as bad as they can be, are better socially.

  53. The Bankers and their lies. All this week the bankers have been giving the Treasurer a lecture, that they the bankers, the market, will set interest rates in the future. Their PR machines have used the excuse of Europe to cry the cost of money is rising but this from M Pascoe:

    “The AGMs are hearing the truth about foreign funding becoming more expensive, but the telling seems to be a little selective

    Bank reliance of foreign funding is down to around 20 per cent. A year ago it was 28 per cent. Westpac, to use one example, has been able to fund all its new loans from local sources for a couple of years now. And domestic deposit growth continues to spring well ahead of lending growth anyway

    Yes, there is turmoil in the international term funding trade – but when the present freeze thaws, Australia and its big, rich, stable and well regulated Gang of Four will be relative safe havens for those with money to invest”

    Read more:

    Keep the public pressure up and stick it to them Wayne,

  54. Poor Tim. He couldn’t make it to the badge draw at the club on Thursday night and his number was called.

    He missed out on $100,000.

    He was a little disappointed. 😦

  55. Bacchus, I live on an exchange ‘rim’ so I can’t get ADSL2+. Sometimes I’m lucky to get dial up speeds. My area is next in line for the NBN roll out so I say bring it on.

  56. What you get when you vote out an incompetent NSW Labor government and replace it with an even worse Liberal one.

    Parker moves to amend NSW logging laws

    This is the woman who said logging protects koalas and has utterly bungled, and I use the word correctly in this case, the Orica leaks.

    If she had been the Environment Minister under the previous government O’Farrell would have almost daily been calling for her to be sacked, and coming on the back of his promise to immediately stand down incompetent ministers in his government, his continued support of this incapable minister says a lot about the low character of O’Farrell.

  57. I have been following Murky news carry ons in the UK and the predominant theme for Murky is the ROGUE reporter defense. Now one of Barrel O’Lies new mates is using the same terminology and this on an environment issue.

    “Pollution trail to megadump
    IAN MALOUF,, acknowledges pollution lapses by his waste empire. But he blames them on ROGUE employees and waste transporters.

    Mr Malouf – who with his wife has donated almost $40,000 to the Liberal Party in recent years

    Alexandria Landfill and Boiling are yet to complete the clean-up ordered at the Alexandria sites.

    Mr Malouf said the property on Red Hills Road at Marulan was cleaned up at his own expense. He said it was inadvertently contaminated with asbestos

    Read more:

  58. The universe is a mysterious place. At times it is beyond comprehension.


    UFO sightings throughout history have been more prevalent over war zones. The sightings during WW1 and WW2 spiked considerably, as they did during during regional skirmishes such as Vietnam.

    A new book about UFO sightings during wars suggests they are not extraterrestrial but from our future, popping in to see history as it is being created.

    Yes, it is far fetched but not without some doubt.

    However, if it were true then we could expect that more and more UFOs are visiting war zones with the passing of time. The skies would become very crowded.

    I clearly think too much. I need to stop.

  59. Roswell, I have always considered that all theories are valid. Consider how the earth was supposed to be the centre of the Universe, this was a mix of religion (how could the birthplace of JC be otherwise) plus all available least the science of the Western world. Space travel itself was beyond the imagination only a hundred or so years ago, so who knows what the next hundred years might reveal.

    Your thoughts could also indeed explain..and I think that this is right, that identical UFOs have been documented as appearing in different cultures in differing periods of time.

  60. Are visitors from the future not humans too?

    Maybe, maybe not … did humans live with the dinosaurs? :mrgreen:

  61. I refuse to answer that question for fear of ridicule.

    Most people think humans evolved from apes. They ignore all the other evidence.

    Anyway, calling it a night. Have a long drive tomorrow.

  62. Roswell @9.30pm. One thing that I’ve always wondered – and this is just an impression of mine – why the sudden evolutionary push and yet since the ‘invention’ of modern day man, this evolution seems to have suddenly stopped.

  63. Min, nothing stops evolving.

    It would be an interesting exercise to postulate what the human being would look like in one million years. We would have to take into account predicted environmental and climatic conditions.

    Last night I commented that we are still primitives. We call ourselves a highly advanced species which is a label I dispute. Can a species that creates wars, manipulates the poor and disadvantaged and rapes the environment be called highly civilised?

    TB, do some research on ooparts – out of place artifacts. You’d be surprised about what turns up.

  64. Roswell, humans certainly do have the potential to evolve for example the sections of the brain used only on the subconscious level.

  65. Roswell I read a scientific piece a little while ago that more or less contended that humans have mostly stopped evolving except for growing in height, but that was more due to dietary change than an evolutionary one.

    Humans are allowing the unfittest to survive in giving them artificial aids. You only need look at the number of people around the globe with glasses to attest to that. Humans now have poor eyesight as compared to most other front of head placed eyes in the animal kingdom.

    Humans are also becoming more susceptible to diseases as everything is disinfected in the environments they live in, that is their homes. Kids don’t eat dirt like I did when I was a toddler, and dirt eating was a method of gaining immunities.

    You no longer have to be fit to survive and in fact it is the smartest or those with access to wealth who do the best in human societies. So we might be evolving, evolving into a race of Bill Gates.

    There is another human trend that is not evolutionary, and that’s the slow disappearance of fair skinned, blue eyed, light haired people around the globe. This is because of interracial relationships in which non-fair skin/eyes/hair races dominate. This will eventually lead to blondes either becoming extinct or very rare, with the world being dominated by light to medium tanned skinned peoples having brown eyes and light brown to dark brunette hair.

  66. It’s still evolutio Mobius, whatever the environmental impact. However, the ones cited are all short term.

    For a person to suggest that evolution has stalled because of whatever reason, is akin to el gordo’s argument that global warming is a furphy because it was cold last week.

    I agree that children are wrapped in cotton wool these days, which inhibits the development of the immune system. I similarly note that it is expected that the average IQ will start to fall with the next generation because people no longer need to think.

    Here I was hoping that humans would evolve into something higher.

  67. Roswell, I am wondering about the statement that people no longer need to think. Perhaps the opposite is true, that our ancestors had very little thinking time due to needing to spend most of their days performing physical work. However, today a great many people spend most of their days ‘thinking’, writing and reading as examples.

  68. Article by Susan Metcalfe:

    It’s the people-smuggling kingpins we need to go after

    If the Coalition genuinely wants a policy that deters boat arrivals and ensures the safety and rights of refugees, it should work with the government to ensure the security of anyone returned to Malaysia.

    The only Coalition policy that could result in a reduction in boat arrivals is the forcing back of unseaworthy vessels. But the last thing we need is a policy that will further endanger the lives of asylum seekers on the sea.

  69. Found this when searching for an Abbott/Tanner interview on Lateline: Its been a week when the Prime Minister pulled off the best-kept political secret of the year – a major reshuffle of his cabinet Howard favourite Tony Abbott is the new health minister and as weve – 3 Oct 2003

    Note the difference in the reporting of a Howard reshuffle (apparently no bungled) and Gillard’s reshuffle.

    And no matter how many times you point out these glaring differences between the reporting on different governments, there are still those who have a go for our pointing out the blatant bias of the MSM.

  70. Bacchus, well said. One of my ‘favorites’ from Morrison…pardon but WTF!…our borders of values, give me a break!!

    Speaking to the Federation of Ethnic Community Councils of Australia conference, Morrison said: “In our nation, we must never compromise our values, by agreeing with those who suggest that even their definition is an instrument of exclusion. We must protect the borders of our values.”

  71. Roswell, I haven’t noticed this from your comments 🙂 In some ways, but perhaps people will due to computers, evolve into much faster data processors.

  72. Another perspective Roswell – computers don’t “think”. They do however, provide access to overwhelming amounts of information. The skill of the present, and more so the future, is to learn to process only the information relevant to your point of interest at the time. FOCUS.

    People don’t need to remember any more, but they need to have the ability to think, to process information, at least as as much as they ever have before…

    On Scott Morrison – I made the mistake of watching him on 7:30. Not good for the blood pressure! He really is a prize pratt – this parliament’s embodiment of a combination of Peter Costello, Alexander Downer and Peter Reith 👿

  73. patriciawa

    have a read of this article. I am sure you could write a pome with material like this.

    “PETER Slipper is hoping for a free ride at the next election.

    The newly elected Speaker of the House is relying on the Westminster System, on which the Australian Constitution is based, to skip the wrath of his electorate.

    He made the bold assumption during an interview while discussing why “no one in Canberra wants Mal Brough elected to parliament”. “People have said to me from both sides it is important to keep the world’s biggest ego out of federal parliament,” Mr Slipper said.

  74. We all know how fond Abbott is about shoring up his own position “Westminster Tradition”. I look forward to him supporting Slipper on this one.

  75. Off to a good start for Bill Shorten considering his new job was part of that misjudged cabinet reshuffle.

    “The deal was hailed by the Workplace Relations Minister, Bill Shorten, who is off to a flying start in the portfolio, having brokered a detente last week between waterfront unions and a stevedoring company owned by Chris Corrigan.”

    “The secretary of the the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association, Steve Purvinas, said the government and Mr Shorten had played an important role in the two sides reaching a deal.

    ”The kind words or pressure or whatever it may be from some of the government ministers who phoned through have maybe convinced Qantas it may be best to wrap up an agreement,” Mr Purvinas said.”

  76. Sue, I haven’t forgotten your suggestion above from 20/12/11 about
    Peter Slipper and Mal Brough. I need an event to trigger it for me, though like you I find that situation fascinating politically and personally with those two characters.

    I suspect that Peter Slipper is nothing like the slippery Pete he is portrayed as, but the name and his looks make him vulnerable to insult especially from enemies like Brough.

    Brough, of course brings to mind ‘rough, slough, gruff, tough etc. Of course there is his style and military bearing which gives him a good public persona compared with Slipper. Any personal anecdotes about him would be welcome!

  77. Patricia,

    Here’s a thought. Mal Brough in Federal Parliament. It would be nice to have someone dumber than Julie Bishop to watch during question time.


    Buy all of them they won’t be wasted, you might be though. 😉

  78. The funny thing about this article is that it is not Labor politicains being investigated. It is as we knew all along, dodgy business men.

    “..Numerous financial institutions across Australia have been raided as part of ongoing investigations into Labor’s botched home insulation program.

    The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has targeted “numerous financial institutions”, The Australian reported on Tuesday.

    The raids come after the AFP executed 35 search warrants and seized documents and computers from home insulation installers across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in March.

    An AFP spokesman told the newspaper that the additional searches had retrieved “significant amounts of documents and electronic evidential material relating to the alleged fraud”……….”

  79. The media has always claimed that pink batts cause house fires. Why pray tell are they still being sold? Or is this too obvious a question.

  80. Min, thanks to the programme and Mr. Garrett’s efforts there are now fewer fires.

    The regulations put in place by Labor, for the first time have ensured this.

    The same goes for the number of fatalities that were caused by employers ignoring basic Health and Safety rules.

    The number of deaths also fell under this scheme.

    Many opponents have to ignore many inconvenient facts to keep up their ridiculous campaign.

    Same as for BER, which was about much more than school halls.

    Ber was also about science and language lab.

    It put interactive whiteboards in ALL classrooms.

    It ensured that these same classrooms had sufficient computers for the class.

    Many schools had their libraries upgraded, with more computers and equipment.

    Cover was provided to protect children from the sun.

    Our schools were bought into the twentieth century. They are now nearer to entering the twenty first.

    Of cause this is all a waste of money. Why would we expect children to have a better environment to learn in than we ensure we have in our own work place.

    There does appear to be some corruption emerging in the Catholic system but I am sure the media will do their best to ignore this. Many sub-contractors appear to have been ripped off, but that us different and probably will be seen as Labor’s fault.

    It is a fallacy that Labor has not achieved much. The opposite is true. it has been a extreme productive government and deserves praise for it’s efforts.

    “……Minority government may be the making of Gillard

    But having said all that, I now have to highlight a qualification. At the end of its fourth year, Labor has now amassed an impressive list of achievements. Leaving aside its remarkably effective response to the global financial crisis, we have: paid parental leave, equal pay for community workers, plain packaging for cigarettes, the foundations for a national disability insurance scheme, a price on carbon, the likely passage of the minerals resource rent tax, and the continuing pursuit of compulsory pre-commitment on poker machines. (Admittedly, the mining tax was butchered and Labor’s health and hospital changes fell far short of their billing.)

    Some of the items on that list may not greatly appeal to you, but they would to the Labor heartland. And it’s noteworthy that some of the items wouldn’t have been there had it not been for the insistence of those whose votes Labor has depended on to stay in government. On the carbon price, in particularly, Gillard had no choice but to press on with its early introduction. See what’s happened? The circumstances of minority government and the ferocious opposition of Abbott have left Gillard with no option but to take principled positions and stick to them through thick and thin. If her improvement in the polls proves lasting, it will be because her failure to win a majority has forced her to exhibit all the impressive qualities she seemed not to possess. Her steadfastness and ultimate achievement may be we winning her the grudging respect of the electorate……”

  81. Here we go again. Bernard Keane has a list of Crikey’s best and worst politicians, and as usual the contradictions against the government abound, like not being able to communicate for one, where it’s not the government or individual ministers at fault, but the media who refuse to allow them to communicate and then misreport anything that is communicated.

    But this takes the cake as the biggest contraction, one made by every media outlet.

    Then there was the reshuffle, as badly-thought-through and clumsy a reallocation of portfolios from a government as we’ve seen in many years. Rather than shoring up her position, it merely set up 2012 as the year when the Rudd-Gillard tensions look set to be resolved one way or another. It was a spectacular, wholly unnecessary error.

    Yet if you go through his piece he praises the positions given in the reshuffle and names those who deserved to be promoted.

    Right across the media we have this contradiction of them calling the reshuffle clumsy only because the media says it is whilst at the same time praising as appropriate the promotions and positions given.

    Go figure.

    And yet again we have the non-existent Gillard-Rudd tension being played upon. And note how he puts Rudd first, either being subconsciously anti-female/pro-male or putting a minister ahead of the Prime Minister, in other words having the leader being subordinate.

  82. Mobius..groan..absolutely hopeless from Keane. How one can name Abbott Politician of the Year, masterful tactics but pity about having no policies. How one can have no policies and be worthy of this title is beyond my understanding.

    My Politician of the Year goes to Peter Windsor, outstanding performer all round. A thinking person’s choice, a pragmatic straight-shooter, knows where he’s heading to and sticks with it.

  83. What the media fails to understand is that the reshuffle includes Machinery of Government (MoG) changes so that services can be better delivered. Ministers are awarded portfolios who can best administer those services. It is more than where a person sits in the house of Parliament. I suggest those critics reserve their judgement.

  84. Mr. Abbott has not had one success this year.

    The PM is still there.

    The PM is now in a stronger position than when she began the year.

    There has been no election. There is no likelihood of an election.

    He has slipped in the polls.

    He has had more censure motion than any other Opposition Leader since Federation. All failures.

    He has not stopped or amended any legislation.

    No, Mr. Abbott has not had one win.

    He has continued to talk down the economy, with some success, I am afraid.

    Mr. Abbott is still acting and saying exactly the same three words slogans as he began the year.

    He is actually in a weaker position, he has been wedge on the migration bill.

    The PM has reshuffled her ministry, which I believe will target Mr. Abbott, putting him in his place.

    The PM is now ready to take him on.

    The PM concentrated on the year of decision and delivery. Now it is time for a the second phrase of her rule.

    Thanks to the bright spark, deputy opposition leader, the FM is now a lesser threat to the PM.

    It will be a year of confusion and disappointment for the Opposition Leader.

    It will be a easy job for the PM, as Mr. Abbott can only cope with one thing at a time. The PM is at home dealing with multiple tasks at one time.

    I do not know if the PM will bother playing games with Mr. Abbott’s mind, as he does not seem to have one.

    I believe the PM will be in her element and will enjoy this year. Mr. Rudd’s legacy has been dealt with and from now on it is the PM’s game.

    Well above is a nice probability.

  85. Strange article…that Wayne Swan has had to ‘defend’ the budget described as a ‘vote-buying spree’.

    The Greens have won $10.275 billion – headlined by the $10 billion clean energy fund – while Queensland independent Bob Katter scored a $335 million renewable energy promise a day after backing the Coalition.

    In one vote-buying spree last month, Labor spent $320 million securing three lower house votes to allow its mining tax package to pass.

    At least one promise has blown out, with the $75 million pledged to Mr Oakeshott to expand Port Macquarie Hospital rising to $96 million.

    Mr Windsor, who was promised $20 million for Tamworth Hospital but has since scored another $120 million, said his efforts had won important money for the regions and improved the outcome of key policies.

    This ‘spree’ also includes Port Macquarie and Tamworth Hospitals.

  86. With thanks to Jen 🙂

    Abbott calls Malcolm Turnbull and says, “Please Mal come over here and help me. I have a killer jigsaw puzzle, and I can’t figure out how to get started.”

    Malcolm asks, “What is it supposed to be when it’s finished?”

    Abbott says, “According to the picture on the box, it’s a rooster..”

    Malcolm decides to go over and help with the puzzle.

    Abbott lets him in and shows him where he has the puzzle spread all over the table.

    Malcolm studies the pieces for a moment, then looks at the box, then turns to Abbott and says, “First of all, no matter what we do, we’re not going to be able to assemble these pieces into anything resembling a rooster.”

    Second, I want you to relax. Let’s have a Nice cup of tea, and then .” he said with a deep sigh, ….

    “Let’s put all the Corn Flakes back in the box.”

  87. Glad to see Mr. Howard’s dental scheme for the rich receiving the attention it needs.

    I was able to benefited from this scheme. I got a referral from my doctor and immediately had the dental work done,.

    My ongoing illness was named as sinus, causing mouth ulcers. Otherwise I am healthy seventy year old.

    I was unable to obtain under the scheme a new denture. This was because I have a double cleft palate and the dentist was reluctant to take the job on. It was back to the long line at the state dentist service. I, thanks to intervention from my local member, did not have to wait to long.

    The scheme in my mind does indicate that it is not that hard to create a scheme that meets the needs of all.

    Funny how the dentist like this scheme but are violently against a Medicare like scheme.

    I wonder if it is for the same reasons that doctors fought so hard against Medibank and later Medicare. Could it be because the government has some idea of how they operate.

    I believe that a dental scheme, along with a disability insurance are on the top of the PM wishes for the New Year.

    We can only hope that the PM continues her success with legalisation and succeeds .

    The media, Opposition and many of the public are too busy hating our PM, to notice how much she is getting done.

  88. This is certainly gratifying to know, no nuclear war heads aimed by the US.

    The proposed words for an announcement to parliament are included in the cabinet submission. It states, “I wish to inform the House that the Government has agreed to

    the US request and that two test launches will occur in January/February 1984. I would emphasise that the tests do not involve warheads as such and the missiles will not contain any nuclear material. The missile launch point is to be Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The flight path does not pass over the Australian mainland or Tasmania. The nearest point to the Australian mainland will be some 220 kilometres east of Cape Pillar in Tasmania.

  89. Min,
    But even the clear terms of reference of the award make you wonder how on earth John Howard crept in. The terms refer to a subject of the Crown who has rendered exceptionally meritorious service ‘towards the advancement of the Arts, Learning, Literature, and Science or such other exceptional service as We are fit to recognize.

    To ingratiate himself to his big neighbor Indonesia he was indifferent to the plight of West Papuans and the Australian Government’s eventual rescue mission in East Timor was followed by a characteristically selfish ‘ the powerful takes most’ division of oil resources in relation to that impoverished country.

  90. The advancement of learning! They have to be kidding. He did his best to dumb down the nation by making it harder to attend university.

    The Queen has clearly lost her marbles.

  91. Pip, that one left me a bit perplexed too. An award for literature..err..his autobiography.

    The subject of East Timor always brings to mind a friend David Bradbury.

    In 1977 Bradbury smuggled himself into the border area of Papua New Guinea and Irian Jaya (West Papua) and bought out Super 8 footage, photos and the first ever interview with the Free Papua Movement (OPM) in their guerilla struggle against Indonesia.

  92. This award is restricted to a limited number.

    Dame Sutherland died, leaving a vacancy, that maybe needs to be filled by an Australian.

    The Queen’s people looked around for a replacement and came up with Mr. Howard’s name.

    Maybe the Queen’s husband who top the list was happy with the choice.

    It maybe that simple.

  93. Min, thanks for the David Bradbury link, a good read 🙂

    I tried the poke pronunciations, and lo, nobody home but myself, and I pronounced all perfectly. 😳

  94. Once again the man that drives semis made a fool of himself with lack of knowledge about what he is spruiking about.

    “………….In summary, I have to say that I am pretty disappointed with Tony Abbott’s knowledge of the National Broadband Network debate, as demonstrated during the radio interview with Tim Webster on 2UE yesterday. At several points, Abbott uttered statements which were pretty much in direct conflict with his own party’s voter research and policies, his comments about NBN Co salaries are highly debatable, and on several points — buying services from the NBN and the price of doing so — he made clearly factually inaccurate statements…….”

  95. Nothing Pip. 2012 going on the first few days is to be a rerun of 2011.

    Lot of frantic spruiking by the man who drive semis, while the PM gets on with the job.

    The outcome, come next Christams will also be the same.

  96. Prominent Navajo Code Talker dies in Arizona

    (Reuters) – A prominent veteran of the Navajo Code Talkers, who confounded enemy combatants in World War Two by using the Navajo language as a battlefield cipher in the South Pacific, has died, a veteran’s association said on Wednesday.

    Keith M. Little, 87, served in the Marine Corps 4th Marine Division in the Pacific and was president of the Navajo Code Talkers Association.

    The code talkers used a unique cipher based on the Navajo language to encrypt messages sent by field telephones and radios throughout the Pacific theater during the war.

    It was regarded as secure from Japanese code breakers as the consonant-rich language was only spoken in the U.S. Southwest, was known by fewer than 30 non-Navajo people, and had no written form.

  97. Cu, the PM was asked at the cricket today what advice she would give Oz captain Michael Clark……her answer was “don’t sweat the small stuff….”

    She doesn’t! 🙂

  98. Nice one, Pip.

    Guess who I met at Woolies this evening? And when I told him who I was I was bedazzled to see him smile in acknowledgement. It was Grog. The giant of blogging. And there was me next to him, the minnow.

  99. Pip, I remember an old movie about the Navajo code talkers, Charles Bronson playing a Native American..a good one on this occasion.

  100. This comment comes from Mungo MacCallum:

    And we cannot start the New Year without congratulating John Howard for being made a member of the Royal Order of the Brown Nose by Her Majesty. He will no doubt keep it on his desk next to his boy scout woggle for Janette to dust every morning. And alarmingly, he claims it is a tribute not just to himself but to his country.

    No, Johnnie, it was just for you. Most of us like our honours to be Australian.

  101. I doubt that many here would doubt that Tony Abbott’s intention is to bring back WorkChoices. In spite of a few feeble protestations to the contrary, he keeps giving the game away with statements such as:

    Mr Shorten said the rate of industrial disputation was far lower in Australia than a decade ago – a claim challenged by the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, who spoke of his pride in the Howard government’s record on industrial relations.

  102. No Stress or Strine at this Test for Julia!

    Last year they said that Julia was to blame;
    If she’d been here we’d have won the Ashes.
    Those commentators! They’re all the same,
    Looking for bad news and headline splashes.

    This year should be good for the PM’s name.
    There she was, smiling and in the pink,
    When Clarke made history in our national game.
    Has any journo paused to stop and think?

    Where was Tony Abbott? He’d want to claim
    To be like Howard, the cricket tragic,
    Something obviously denied that dame.
    He’d want photo ops, to share the magic.

    But he was out of state, out of the frame,
    Far from his home town and the SCG,
    Driving a giant rig to wide acclaim,
    Well planned, he’d thought, for great publicity.

    How desperately this man was seeking fame
    With a stunt to show him high behind wheel!
    Then the PM attends a cricket game
    Where fortune smiles on her and plants its seal.

    (with illustrations

  103. Min, the “pink day” is now a regular feature at the SGC Test match, in aid of the McGrath Foundation which raises funds to provide carers for breast cancer sufferers.
    There were burly blokes with pink beards, hats, various outfits, all in pink 🙂

  104. Nice pome patricia, Abbott ‘out of state, out of frame’, gee that sounds good, should happen more often.

    WHY exactly does he need to have a ‘combination’ licence, and is that a full truck licence.
    WHY does he need to get a truckies licence at all when he could be working in is own electorate for a change.
    Maybe he’s in the wrong job 😀

  105. Pip, no maybe about that.

    As Menzies House said, ridicule is the name of the game.

    It is a shame that Mr. Abbott, does that to himself. Talk about home goals.

  106. Min @ 8.04am, Abbott says whatever suits on the day and each day can mean something different as we have noticed.
    Eventually, the big shots will win the day and he’ll either give up his current stance, or he’ll be rolled IMHO.
    Corrrigan and Reith and others have observed the Qantas tactic and will test the government and FWA to the limit.

    It’s been clear for a while that Reith led the way back via The Drum mainly, spruiking for the very impatient Workchoices supporters, and their voices are getting louder

  107. Pip, earlier this week Menzies House was talking about taking the country back. They were calling on their supporters to help.

    One method was to ridicule all that the Labor government does. (Tea Party methods).

    My point is that we do not have to do this to the Opposition. They are already ridiculous.

  108. Cu, it becomes more obvious, that Bernardi’s lessons from the Heartland Institute have been passed on to his various groups/websites….often word for word with the Tea Party….bloody sick !

  109. It is the exact words that irk me most. “Take the country back” was used more than once during the Republic Primaries going on now.

    Along with pay no taxes etc.

  110. It being a very quiet Saturday evening I thought to play some music…but re quiet that’s so far anyway, however the night is but yet young so who knows what might eventuate.

  111. Message from Erin..her much loved Pusskins has been bitten by a snake..he’s paralysed and on IV. The things you do for love….

  112. Methinks Min it is Ltd News reading the winds and giving Abbott a warning.

    The silly pictures and cheeky grabs failed ages ago and never really worked. It was just the media like the Tele that made out they did and never questioned Abbott to any degree. Abbott’s continuous woeful polling is evidence of that and I think Ltd News have always known this and realise they cannot continue to carry the Abbott Clown Show.

  113. Möbius I think that the Murdoch media is issuing Abbott a warning…you are running the risk of becoming boring.

    I doubt if they give two hoots if it’s policies, the Daily Tele knows that their main readership is of the Toddlers & Tiaras standard.

  114. With thanks to Jenny M* for pointing out the article..

    This is with due respect to the serious issue of shark attacks in Australian waters, but one cannot but help smile. The pic says it all..

    A SHARK has been sighted at a Sydney beach moments after Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott got out of the water.

    Mr Abbott had just ended a press conference at Manly Beach today when the shark alarm was sounded and swimmers were ordered out of the water.

  115. What happened to the budgie smugglers.

    Bright new long leg cossies and smart blue top

    Well covered up for Mr. Abbott.

    Santa must have taken pity on him or is this the look for 2012.

  116. To the spammer from Brisbane who hides behind silly names, I didn’t compare myself to Grog. Stop lying. I said this:

    Guess who I met at Woolies this evening? And when I told him who I was I was bedazzled to see him smile in acknowledgement. It was Grog. The giant of blogging. And there was me next to him, the minnow.

  117. Miglo, you little minnow you… If I were you, I would dump/block that silly spammer. ‘what’s’isname’…..he/she seems to have a problem with comprehension!

    and a nasty streak…

  118. Cu, I would have felt sorry for the shark if poor shark had the misfortune to catch Tony Abbott. Some people are very indigestion inducing.

  119. Roswell

    Bungee Jumping over anything is illogical to me. I see no point in flinging myself off the edge of a great height while hoping like hell that a giant rubber band will take my weight and fling me back up and down a number of times.

    Rubber bands snap at my office every day, either stinging my hand or flinging to the ceiling. Thats enough for me to have no faith in them holding anything bigger than a manila folder 🙂

  120. Actually, Pip, it wasn’t a comment caught up in our spam filter but it was a comment from one of the well known village idiots from another blog site. This particular low-life is from Brisbane and has had four ISPs blacklist him for spamming. He says he’s from Melbourne.

    Spammers! Name me one person who likes them.

  121. I can’t help but wonder. If she ended up in crocodile infested waters, how come a crocodile didn’t eat her.

  122. Thank you Deb M* for this comment 🙂

    Tweet: Today we remember all those who have died from not forwarding chain e-mails on to their ten closest friends before midnight.

  123. If one feels like a little comedy, look up The Project on Ch 10.

    First we have Mr. Abbott being interview at a race he entered yesterday in Victoria. He was explaining that one dressed for the occasion. Sometimes speedos were appropriate, to day it is black rubber. (Words to the effect)

    Later we see him entering and leaving the water for the race. While laughing at his antics, take time to look at the older men around him.

    There was a interesting interview with a 88 year old at the same event.

    There was another short interview about the shocking accident up north.

    Mr. Abbott as expected demanded the government spend the money to fix the road immediately.

    Did not explain why he and the previous government did not address the matter while in office. Mr. Abbott could not help himself and went onto say the money wasted on the NBN would be spent on the road. .Mr. Abbott did not take the time to offer sympathy for the families involved.

    We had Mr. Abbott interviewed today after a shark alert at Manly I think.

    Once again no speedos. Also no mention of what the press conference was about.

    Now is this the important things he had to do, that prevented him from attending the Queensland memorial services toonight and tomorrow.

    Are budgie smuggler no longer to appear. Pity he did not also dump the black rubber, or as Mr. Negus said, put your clothes back on Tony.

    Mr. Abbott entering the water is a classic, I assume we will see it on the net.

    Three interviews in the one show, all poking fun at him.

  124. Cu, possibly Abbott couldn’t face the thought of having to explain to Queenslanders, why he objected to the tiddly flood levy !

  125. I wonder whether Mr. Abbott will ever learn that where there is a tragedy, politics should be avoid when commenting.

    The general consensus seems to be that there has been decades of neglect on these roads and they cannot be fixed any faster than what is occurring now.

    The NSW government’s explanation of why they withdrew the speed cameras for political reasons leaves much to de desired.

  126. More like he could not be bothered.

    He would not be centre of attention.

    There are teachers I believe on this site. Does Mr. Abbott remind one of kids with attention span disorders or ADHD.

    Wonder if he is on medication. I suspect not.

  127. Cu, that depends what counts as ‘medication’. 😯

    Maybe the sort that put Tones to sleep when he should have been in the Parliament for an important vote some time back.

  128. What a difference choice makes.

    “About 200 schools around Australia have applied to replace their religious chaplain with a student welfare worker, under an overhauled federal government program.

    The school chaplaincy program was changed in September to let schools choose if they wanted the funding to pay for a religious chaplain or a youth worker……………….”

  129. I often wonder why we as a society to not question private, religious and other education outside the public system.

    Why don’t we take a minute to ponder whether the needs and rights of the child are being respected.

    Is it in the best interest of any child to have a segregated education apart from other children.

    “……………….It’s not just that a segregated education system entrenches comparative privilege or disadvantage from one generation to the next – that it allocates educational resources differently not according to the merit of the child but the merit (or fortune) of his or her parents.

    It’s also that having separate educational regimes, like home-schooling, exposes children to creepy and destructive indoctrination when they’re supposed to be receiving a comprehensive, neutral education……………..”

  130. Is Mr. Griener the most piwerful manm in NSW politcis. Is he worth the money that NSW taxpayers expend on him. Wht is he not more in the public wyw in the role he is playing.

    “….HE IS said to be the most powerful man in NSW, the state’s “infrastructure tsar”.

    But the head of Infrastructure NSW, Nick Greiner, has cost taxpayers millions over the past 20 years because of entitlements given to former premiers who have served for at least four years.

    According to figures released by the Department of Premier and Cabinet as part of a freedom of information request, Mr Greiner has claimed the most in entitlements over the past three years. He is followed by Neville Wran and Bob Carr………”

    Read more:

  131. Cu, I home schooled son for one and a half years as he could not cope with the school environment. All children below school leaving age who are home schooled (I only know of NSW) must follow an approved curriculum. In son’s case all learning materials came from the Distance Education Unit in Port Macquarie. Therefore I would disagree with the blanket statement that all home schooling ‘exposes children to creepy and destructive indoctrination’.

  132. Cu, possibly Abbott couldn’t face the thought of having to explain to Queenslanders, why he objected to to tiddly flood levy !

    Come on, Pip, don’t you know it was a great BIG NEW TAX?

  133. Sorry Min, I did not mean to make it a blanket statement.

    My daughter did the same with my granddaughter after a expensive Catholic school failed. Home schooling was bigger failure. I suspect the school was not the problem.

    The question I am asking is it in the best interest of the child. I am not saying it is bad.

    Min, in your case it was.

  134. Cu, I probably worded that badly I most definitely meant the article quoted. I doubt if my son would have survived if I hadn’t taken him out of regular school. It was worth it, I was determined that he should get his Year 10 certificate so that he could have a future.

  135. Experts are calling for more RBA Interest Rate Cuts to kick start business and property sales and construction.

    Banks adsvise they will no longer pass on the reductions of the RBA.

    So if the Banks no longer pass on rate cuts. (They have this power since the sale of the CBA from public ownership which used to keep them honest and their profits in check) what avenue does a government have to speed and slow inflation or the economy in the future ?

  136. what avenue does a government have to speed and slow inflation or the economy in the future ?

    Nothing except for public pressure really 😦

  137. Thank you Stella Young for the link from Twitter

    The Disability Support Pension’s False Crisis
    By Peter Horbury Ramp Up 12 Jan 2012

    *There are perfectly good reasons why the number of people on Disability Support Pensions is increasing and none of them have anything to do with people cheating the system, writes Peter Horbury from Social Security Rights Victoria.

    It is now a lot harder to get and stay on the Disability Support Pension (DSP).

    DSP recipients 35 years and under are being targeted while the growth in numbers of DSP applicants and recipients are the baby boomers.

    **There is no crisis in DSP numbers escalating. The Government’s changes are unlikely to stop the growth in the number of DSP recipients and are highly likely to leave some of our most vulnerable at the mercy of an often ruthless bureaucracy.

    The Prime Minister Julia Gillard placed the DSP reform as a panacea for ALP values. “Welfare reform and workforce participation is an area where the facts of our economy, the demands of our society, new progressive policy and core Labor values can truly come together in a virtuous circle,” she said.

    It seems there are some members of our community who simply do not fit into this new, virtuous circle.

  138. Are we seeing Hockey’s first play for the leadership for the year…

    THE Coalition is facing internal divisions over economic policy, with senior Liberals including Joe Hockey vowing to defeat a push to maintain Labor’s big subsidies to the car industry, and drawing ”a line in the sand” in their party’s drift towards populist economic positions.

    Mr Hockey is expected to ”strenuously” resist a proposal for the Coalition to rethink its policy of slashing $500 million in grants to the car industry.

  139. With approximately 50,000 jobs in the car industry, the Liberals are going to have a lot explaining to do.

  140. Anthony G what is more important, the MSM is now beginning to report the many rifts within the party.

    There are many, IR and the Murray Valley among the least of them.

  141. Catching up,

    Also, the criticisms of Abbott started to swing in towards the end of last year with several articles saying that Abbott would have to do more this year than just say no. Where is Abbott BTW, he must be still on holidays.

  142. The Bank of England has left interest rates at the record low of 0.5% in order to stimulate spending. Obviously all is not rosy in merry old England.

  143. Nearly every night on The Project, ch 10, they manage to send him up.

    Yes he is on holidays but it is a big secret. Two lots of holidays in a few months! I am only joking.

    Noticed all the reports last week showed him running out of the water BEFORE shark alarm but no mention of what the conference was about.

  144. Roswell, not rosy anywhere but here it seems.

    Another 30 billion project over three years for the Northern Territory. Another failure I would say for this government.

  145. Oh no! Arnott’s biscuits have snobbed Tasmania.

    The island state is missing from a box of Australia-shaped biscuits, just one of a range of goods being flogged like a First Fleet convict in the lead-up to Australia Day.

    While Tasmania can be seen on the Arnott’s Shapes box, it is not on the biscuits inside – unless you count the odd crumb.

    I think the title of crumb fairly well sums up Tasmania.

    Read more:

  146. Miglo, that was a bit rough. I quite like Tasmania and Tasmanians. The people are the most welcoming in the country.

  147. I have rellies in Hobart and they are very pleasant people. No matter where one goes (even Albury) there are exceptions. 😉

  148. And more on the car industry…

    During the protracted battle over tariffs, the Productivity Commission used to delight in putting a dollar value on the bonnet of each locally made car, suggesting that any assistance to the car industry was just a handout to the manufacturers.

    But what the commission never said was that the assistance afforded the car industry was always recouped by government, simply by having 60,000 people (in the past many more) employed in high-skilled, well-paid jobs.

    All those people pay income tax, GST, stamp duty and whatever else in their day-to-day lives, revenue that would not be flowing to government if they were unemployed. In fact, the flow would be the other way when unemployment benefits are taken into account.

    The Coalition is right to start rethinking manufacturing policy. If there is much more dithering, there may soon be no need for one.

  149. All is rosy in the Coaltion?

    “……….Less than a week after the leaking of some details of the Mirabella/Macfarlane review of the Coalition’s auto industry plans – namely, its commitment to trim $500 million from the existing Automotive Transformation Scheme – Tony Abbott’s policy unit is under growing pressure to continue subsidising the industry at current levels.

    Two senior Liberal voices joined the pro-assistance lobby yesterday – Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu and South Australian Liberal Treasury spokesman Iain Evans both urged the federal opposition to remember the importance …..”

  150. No debt under the Liberal. Just like interest rates are always lower under Liberals.

    The proof is in the eating.

    “….The annual interest bill on WA Government debt is poised to top $1 billion – enough money to buy a new sports stadium every year.

    And the total amount of debt is set to balloon further after Treasurer Christian Porter junked Premier Colin Barnett’s pledge to keep total debt below $20 billion.

    The growing debt is causing friction between Treasury officials and politicians, with bureaucrats worried that the Barnett Government is focusing on projects which are politically popular but yield a questionable return for the State.

    State debt was $9.9 billion on June 30 last year. It is expected to rise to $14 billion within four months and hit $19.9 billion in 2014.

    A few weeks before Mr Barnett became Premier, it was $3.6 billion….”

  151. Well we know now that Mr. Abbott cost the taxpayers over half a million dollars for his stunts in the first half of last year.

    As he does not travel overseas often, I assume most is amassed by his daily continent hopping to find new backgrounds for his photo ops and stunts.

    I do not know if this includes his use of the government plane, which he also uses.

    Minister Roxon cost us under $200.000 for the same period.

    I assume that a senior minister has more expenses, both in carrying out her role and for office upkeep than an Opposition Leader does.

    These figures are for six months.

    “…….Serving and former parliamentarians are entitled to hundreds of thousands of dollars in allowances a year for domestic and overseas travel, office fit-outs and family travel expenses. For example, Mr Abbott was paid about $590,000 in entitlements for the first half of 2011, according to the department’s report, and Ms Roxon claimed about $190,500 for the same period..”

    Read more:

  152. Is Robb correct. Maybe he is talking about the structural budget debt that Mr. Costello was supposed to leave behind.

    “..Prime Minister Julia Gillard says the opposition is being “deeply irresponsible” by talking down the Australian economy while markets are skittish over the European debt crisis.

    Federal coalition finance spokesman Andrew Robb told The Australian newspaper that growth in Australia’s indebtedness since Labor came to power has been outstripped only by Iceland and Ireland.

    Mr Robb said the nation’s structural deficit as a percentage of GDP was more than double that of Germany, worse than Italy’s and on a par with France’s.

    But touring the Ford car-making plant in Melbourne on Tuesday, Ms Gillard said Mr Robb was “engaging in deeply irresponsible conduct”…..”

  153. Catching up @ 4.19pm, this post from yesterday gives the facts, as against the silly statement of Mr. Robb. Unfortunately I can’t remember who posted, but I thank him 🙂

    the Beautiful Inspiring Set of Numbers – BISONs

    and this from a tweet by Mr. Denmore.

    I don’t know where Mr. Robb obtained his figures, in fact I wouldn’t even hazard a guess!

  154. Watching an interview with Tony Abbott about the poker machine legislation..I could catch only snippets of what he was saying, but from the tone of his voice he certainly sounded somewhat hysterical.

  155. Cu, from my links @ 8.39am, some facts and figures that the Press gallery don’t write about.

    @MrDenmore tweeted these figures.
    Mr Denmore
    Dear Andrew Robb, this chart shows Australia’s public debt relative to other major economies. The data is from the CIA.

    101 Economic Fundanmental

    1. Unemployment 5.3%

    2. Inflation 2.3%

    3. GDP Growth 3.5%

    4. RBA Interest Rate – 4.25%

    5. Govt Net Debt – 6% GDP

    6. Total Public Debt – 20% GDP (IMF) Vs UK/France/Germany 80%, USA 110%, Italy 120%, Japan 200% BRIC (66/11/71/33)

    7. Trade Surplus $22.4 billion last financial year – easily the biggest surplus in raw terms for the past 40 years of records compiled by the ABS

    8. Sovereign Rating – Australia one of just 15 countries to hold the top AAA Rating from all Agencies

    9. Currency – AUD/USD 1.02, AUD/UK 0.67 AUD/Euro 0.80 – The floating of AUD is the single most important economic reform introduced by Labor. It acts as a shock absorber to external economic conditions

    10. Australia is in Asia, the growth engine averaging 6% and part of the Asian Century

  156. Pip, it’s a great story isn’t it.

    I think that Abbott has that semi-hysterical look about him because he knows that he is on a loser…again….

  157. Pip, great articles

    “This is a government that will double-cross anyone and everyone if it suits its political purpose,” Mr Abbott said”

    Pot meet kettle, should read

    “Abbott that will double-cross anyone and everyone if it suits his political purpose,”

    I must admit life has been very boring whilst Abbott was on holiday’s, just couldn’t find a good enough of a laugh anywhere.

  158. I note the ‘Juliar’ meme getting a good run in todays papers. Al from a story concocted by journalists.

    This I think sums it up to perfection

    ‘If this story was a pie, I’d send it back. It’s drowned in unidentifiable sources.’</I.

    Meanwhile, the media pack continue to write stories based on their own 'intuitions'

    Yet for all the articles, for all the words, something’s missing.


  159. Tom, I was going to put up a couple of links and gave up.

    ABC24 begins with “there’s been a lot of speculation”. That’s true!

    Various speculations 1. Wilkie was prepared to allow the legislation to wait till 2015 or 2016 = Wilkie back-flip

    2. No, wilkie actually said the Clubs were wrong to suggest that he had changed his mind; he says he isn’t prepared to wait or whatever, = Wilkie backflip on his back flip

    3. Third day running, the PM says she won’t engage in “running commentaries” –

    Even if the PM had something new to add there would be precious little space for her
    on the hamster wheel today.

    4. Sen., Xenophon has been making serious pronouncements for days.

    5. Abbott is back banging on about “trust”.

    All in all, a good day to leave the tv and radio turned OFF

  160. Boring, nothing has changed with Mr. Abbott except that he has given up ignoring the growing bald spot and has had his hair cut very short.

    As for backing down on the poker proposals, maybe it is time that the PM told those who believe that they can use millions to mount a campaign against legalization they do not want, that those days have come to an end.

    The PM must go ahead with legislation that assists those addicted to poker machines.

  161. Finally, in print, a fuller quote from Mr. Wilkie.

    Wilkie denies backing down over pokies

    “There’s any amount of detail that we discuss and negotiate and you never get exactly what you want, so I need to be very careful here,” he said.

    “On the one hand I need to be prepared to walk away and maintain my good name and my integrity, but I also need to balance that with the fact that this is an historic opportunity, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get meaningful poker machine reform.

    “So it’s not up to me to be selfish and just walk way too quickly or too easily. So long as I can get meaningful poker machine reform, then that’s what I’ll grab a hold of and pursue.”

  162. “So it’s not up to me to be selfish and just walk way too quickly or too easily. So long as I can get meaningful poker machine reform, then that’s what I’ll grab a hold of and pursue.”

    nicely put Mr. Wilkie, his first real lesson in politics, things take time, a long time, but persistance and patience will see his reform introduced maybe not as he may have invisaged in the onset but all the same reform.

  163. It seems that someone has had a word in Wilkie’s ear about consequences. If it had been up to me I would have pointed out to him that unless he compromises then any poker machine reform will go the same way as Fielding’s alcopops tax.

  164. Mr. Wilkie also said that if he walked away from the PM, it did not mean that the government would fall over. A truth that he should not have had to point out.

    It would have been nice to hear Mr. Abbott’s view on poker machine addicts, the damage they are doing to the productivity of the country and what he suggests should be done.

    Mr. Abbott has not even said if he believes there is a problem. This in spite of the report issued by the Productivity Commissioner.

    Contrary to what has been spread in the media, many more than Mr. Wilkie have acknowledged that something has to be done, long before the the PM agreed to back Mr. Wilkie in his effort.

  165. Yes PIP, they are hoping to get a backflip, no matter what happens.

    Personally I would like to see the one thing the big boys do not want, that is a capped on the amount that can be bet with each pull. $120 per hour seems much better than $1200.

    It is my understanding that the legislation will only involve high tensity machines.

    I have noticed on other sites, people complaining that they will have to get a licence to wager $20 per year. If they stick to the normal machines, I do not believe this is correct.

  166. I will be very disappointed ( to say the very least) if Julia Gillard backflips on the pokie reforms. Sometimes you have to stand your ground no matter how hard the attack.

    I also think Andrew Wilkie needs to stand his ground. He would be far more respected by his constituency if he did.

    I have a sister addicted to poker machines and she has lost eveything as a result, even down to her home. She cannot control her addiction, she refuses to admit her problem.

    Yet there are those who maintain that laws for reducing the losess on poker machines to less than $1,000 an hour is being a nanny state. They are nothing short of blind and ignorant. There are times in society when the welfare of citizens and their families overides corporate greed and so called depravation of freedom.

    In my opinion this happens to be none of them.

    What I fail to underastand is that over 60% of those polled still want action taken against poker machines.

    If this promise is reneged on, then Julia and the ALP have lost my vote, and that is a promise I intend to keep.

  167. I don’t think Jullia Gillard plans to renege, Shane. But it may not be possible to get that legislation through, which is something quite different. One senses from Wilkie’s recent comments and activities that he has come to understand that at last! Let’s hope that something is achieved from the evident good will that still exists between them

    I imagine it would take a revolution to bring the pokies industry undone entirely which is what really needs to happen. There is something foul in the air in eastern states pubs and clubs with their row on row of machines dominating space and the atmosphere. It is the one great plus of life in Western Australia that by some miracle those pokies have been confined to where they belong – our one Casino.

  168. Shane, email the PM and Mr. Wilkie, along with Mr. Abbott, saying what you have here.

    I agree, it is time for a stand to be taken.

    I believe that the public are beginning to see the PM with guts. If the PM backs down on this, she will not recover.

  169. Shane, that’s one thing that comes to mind with me also..surely $120.00 per hour is quite enough to lose, why would anyone need to lose any more than this.

    I am extremely doubtful that Gillard will back down on the poker machine reforms, the latest seems to be that she wants another 2 years for their gradual introduction. This would be in line with the arguments from Windsor and Oakeshott who were both concerned about the financial costs for small town venues in having to change their machines.

    Mind you, I am sceptical in the extreme about this ‘financial cost’…when they brought in the machines with no coin payouts which meant having to hire far less staff, the clubs and pubs were very quick off the mark.

  170. I haven’t been keeping up to speed on what’s been happening on the pokie reforms so I’m not qualified to comment. However, I do feel confident in saying that the position taken by the opposition in this all along has been disappointing. You’d think it’s an initiative that would have the full support of most politicians. But sadly not.

  171. Migs, it’s just Abbott doing his Abbott-thing. If there is a chance that there might be something positive about it for government, then Abbott will find any excuse that he can dredge up to say No.

  172. Mihgs, nothing much has happen except for the media making up their own stories to fill the void.

    Sadly they will become to be seen as facts.

  173. This would be in line with the arguments from Windsor and Oakeshott . . .

    It’s hilarious, Min, that people elsewhere ridicule you for showing support for their position. Just another example of shooting the messenger by an individual who lacks the intelligence to fully grasp your statement.

    Fortunately this blog site caters for bloggers who display far greater intellect.

  174. Migs, I should have put in a link..doubtless some are easily confused.

    From today’s Armidale Independent:

    The Independent Member for New England, Tony Windsor, has expressed concerns about the workability of a mandatory pre-commitment for poker machines and its impact on community based clubs in country areas if the reforms proposed by his fellow cross bench colleague, the Member for Denison Andrew Wilkie, are implemented.

  175. Roswell, then it might help if you read the article 🙂

    The link courtesy of Cyenne certainly calls it as it is:

    Discussions are ongoing.

    Legislation is still due by May 2012.

    Everything else is conjecture

  176. Also by Cyenne:

    Wilkie has indicated that the implementation of poker machine reforms may be put back to 2016 (from 2014); this is consistent with the recommendations of the Productivity Commission. I always thought the 2014 timeframe was aggressive. But legislation will still need to be in place before the halfway point of this year.

    I should make mention that Cyenne’s blog is devoted to “gambling reform & problem gambling awareness”.

  177. Listening to the Drum. The government back a week and already in crisis.


    Since when has media conjecture based on no facts became a govenment in crisis.

  178. Losing skin daily because she will not make conjecture at where the talks are at.

    What they mean is that she should tell all, including what has not been decided so they can pull her apart.

    The PM is sensibly staying mum until the talks are completed and decisions are made.

    Somehow that sounds prudent to me.

    Talk about a load of shit on Drum.

    Nothing about th harm that poker machines cause and how to deal with the matter.

    To finish off, which we have had all day is a report that says we might have problems with online gambling.

    That is not now but down the track.

    This is the red herring that the opposition keeps mentioning.

    How can something be bad that over 60% still support?

  179. Cu, and anyone with half a brain which the MSM clearly do not, would realize that negotiations remain confidential until finalised.

  180. would realize that negotiations remain confidential until finalised

    So neither party in the negotiation ‘leaked’? If so, it would be a (recent) historical first, given the way politics are played these days.

  181. Just looking about, it’s been a smorgasbord of anti Gillardisms today. A pity that in order to run the prevailing “scheming bitch” line they’ve had to sideline the “tail wagging the dog” theme. I daresay Ltd News is working on it.

  182. On the poker machine issue: One thing that I personally find the most disgusting is the way that the clubs raffle food.

    How ironic, we’ll take your weekly wages..but here is a sausage and a lamb chop.

  183. I don’t know if it is deliberate, in fact, I don’t think it is, but Gillards refusal to discuss the issue while negotiations are in progress (nothing new there for her), is that, now the initial outrage from the msm has dissipated, is the voice being given for hte supporters of pokie reform.

    Previously, these were seldom heard in the cacophony of noise raised by the clubs, but now, in what seems to be an attempt to paint Gillard as a habitual liar, pokie reform advocates are getting more print space to air their ‘betrayal’, and, at the same time, put forward their stories and facts. Not such a bad outcome imo

    Unfortunately for Gillard, I also think that she is in a no win situation.

    If she does back away, she will be exposed for the sham she is. And will lose respect from just about everyone, myself included.

    If she goes ahead with the initial agreement, or a something similar (the most likely outcome), it will obviously be due to the pressure put on her from these ‘vested interests’.

    Either way, she will painted as a ‘weather vane’, even if the final decision is precisely what she has stated from the start.

    As they said about Whitlam, if they saw him walking on water, they’d complain that he couldn’t swim. The same is sadly true in the media’s relationship with Gillard

  184. One thing that does not make sense is WHY should Gillard withdraw on poker machine reforms when she has always been adamant in her support for these.

  185. Plus of course there’s the “Quixotic fool, pressing ahead with legislation Blind Freddie could see won’t be passed” line that would be run as & if necessary.

  186. We’ve already had the martyrdom meme, the tugging of forelocks about how country towns will be rooned if good country folk can’t throw $1,200ph into a poker machine..

  187. Do not forget the plea from the media that once again this PM and government cannot explain their message.

    No acknowledgement of the multi million dollar, intensive campaign by those opposing any change to the poker machine scene that is fully backed by the media.

    No concern from the same media that continues to spruik, she cannot sell or explain anything, while they continue to produce nothing but conjecture, with no facts.

    Maybe the PM’s message would come across, if the media and the Opposition started to say what is said, not what they think is said or what they believe should be said.

    Just print facts, as the PM said, that cannot be hard.

  188. Re your comment CU, I laughed last night when, on the the Project (if memory serves) a guy from the clubs complained about two marketing people who were offering their services for free for the pro pokies campaign, declared that the last thing this ‘debate’ was a lot of meaningless noise.

    Not very self aware that one.

  189. “Tony Abbott is on his way to Adelaide, where he will spend the next three days at Tour Down Under-related events.”

    Another plane fare that the taxpayers provide so he can continue his pleasure pursuits.

    I wonder if he will out do the expenses he incurred prancing across the country on a daily basis, searching for photo ops, that he run up last year.

    I question whether his party should be picking the bill up that is incurred in his electioneering and pleasure jaunts.

  190. “We are there to tell the government what we will support: the restoration of the policies they abolished.” Mr Morrison told The Australian.

    So,, they are not there to negotiate (or ‘horse trade’, as he so delicately puts it.

    They are there to run the country their way (even against the mountains of evidence that ‘their way’ can not work)

    2012 is beginning to resemble 2011 already 😦

    Gillard accused of lying without any basis, noalition trying to run things their way, or no way.

    sigh 😦

  191. Cu, “I question whether his party should be picking the bill up that is incurred in his electioneering and pleasure jaunts.”

    That’s a very good question Cu, but don’t hold your breath
    waiting for an answer. :mrgreen:

  192. PM must come clean on Speaker change: Pyne

    The prime minister needs to come clean with any prior knowledge she had of Harry Jenkins resigning as Speaker on the last sitting day of parliament, the opposition says.

    Senator Xenophon stated yesterday that he had heard rumours weeks before about the change of Speaker.

    Senator Xenophon was careful not to name names…….

  193. Mr. Abbott press conference on ABC24. With nearly tears in his eyes, talking down the economy.

    We got it all. Carbon tax, Thompson and how bad the world economy is.

    I forgot, another day gone by and the PM is still not saying she is committed to pre-commitment. Andrews contribution.

    Oh, and the Private Health Insurance. Lets hope that the government is successful this time in means testing rebates.

    Nothing about the Aboriginal Constitutional question. Had to be asked. Mr Abbott’s reply was a lot of tripe, no answer, except welcoming report.

    Car industry. Scrap carbon tax.

    Refusing to answer any more questions on the car industry. The reporters must have hit a sore spot.

    He is being asked many questions for a change.

    New slogan repeated, that is the one that the PM duds.

    Debt problem.

    Nothing new said by the man.

    Oh, the tears are so close. We are now in a worse condition pre 2008. We survived that thanks to Mr. Howard.

    Rein in debt, what is this government doing.

    Put forwarded the $50 billion of debts they put forwarded at last election.

    Problem with the 2008 was too much too soon. Pity the experts do not agree with him.

    What was the danger of reining in too soon. I suspect the economy would come to a halt.

    Mr. Abbott was asked this question.

    Big story, no new jobs created last year. No mention of the unemployment figures going down.

    Plenty of fear mongering and talking down the economy.

    Sorry for the rambling thoughts.

  194. PS, he did not have Pyne with him. He comes from SA, does he no.

    I do hope he recovers from his fear for the country’s economy and enjoys the three days of cycle racing.

  195. Don’t be sorry Cu, that was an accurate account of his brain farts, the last of which was a “number three”, 😯
    “Change of government” ….

    Same old same old….

  196. One should watch both the press conference of Mr. Abbott and Mr. Shorten.

    They are like chalk and cheese. One talks about where Australia is and what is needed. The other talks rot.

    Mr. Shorten said that the unemployment figures are softening but hours worked and full time jobs are increasing.

    We need to remember there were no new jobs created but there was also no lost of jobs.

    Mr. Shorten said that the Australian economy is not a one trick pony. We are dealing with a two speed economy, which the Opposition manages to ignore. Mr. Abbott has problems if this is the case, he is definitely a one trick pony. He has shown no ability to do more than one thing at a time.

    Mr. Shorten also said that that this government is moving towards a surplus faster than any government in history.

    To listen to the man, one would think that the spending is going on willy nilly.

    Mr. Shorten said that yes Europe does affect the Australian economy but also what happens in Asia is important. A fact that the man ignored.

    I do not care what the man thinks personally of the PM, that is his business.

    I do care about what he thinks of her policies and what he would do in her place. I also would like to know why he thinks as he does.

    I do not care if the PM has no charisma. I do not want a comedian as an Opposition leader.

    I am not interested in the time wasting empty three word slogans. I am not interested in lies misrepresentation being continually being repeated.

    I am interested in what the man wants for Australia and how he will bring this about.

    I am not interested in criticism without giving reason based on fact, conjecture, innuendo and fairy stories.

    I definitely would like to see a stop to talking down the economy.

    Many believe, as I do, psychology plays a big part in the health of the economy.

    Surely Mr. Abbott does not believe he has ti destroy Australia to have any hope of reaching his childhood dreams. His action prove otherwise. He must believe that is the only chance he has of becoming PM.

    That is sad.

    New slogan

    No net new jobs, calendar 2011. Little more than three words this time.

    Jobs numbers did fall for the month. Also I read somewhere yesterday that here has been a rise in NSW job ads.

    The government in the budget papers have predicted a rise in unemployment. What is new in the figures announced today.

    Mr. Shorten did not promise a rose garden but he did not predict the gloom that the Opposition has cottoned onto.

    We need to be aware that Mr. Abbott today used the economy to launch a new fear campaign, which if successful will damage the economy.


  197. Cu, Abbott was very adamant about “no new NET jobs”, which proves that he knew he was misleading the public.

  198. This is a sad day for the blogosphere. Feral Skeleton from TPS has called it a day. There comes a time when continued personal attacks take their toll. That day has arrived for FS. I’m sure you’ll join me in wishing her all the best.

  199. FAAARK

    They cut him off?

    They have 24hrs of news to fill, and they cannot let the guy who has been verbalised and misconstrued all week in reams of pages have his say to set the record straight.


  200. Tom ABC24 does this all the time …I agree, FFS!!

    Then the two journalists generally discuss between themselves…”at taxpayers expense”.

  201. Tom R at 12.15
    Didn’t see that, what I did see was a reflexive circling of the wagons when Shane Warne dared to criticise some of the reporting that goes on. They just can’t take criticism can they, not even the supposedly irreverent crew on The Project.

    At 4.14
    Do you mean to say that the ABC cut Wilkie off???
    That’s worth remembering, if all this current shit comes apart it’ll be evidence that they literally weren’t letting the facts get in the way of a good story. In any case it’s both rude & spectacularly poor journalism.

  202. Min at 5.24
    And whatever happens, they’ll all tell you they were right all along. Either that or ignore it

  203. That’s a pity about Feral Skeleton. I liked her. She often came under a lot of ridiculous heckling that certainly must have wore her down. The wrong person gave up blogging in my opinion.

    If people get their fun out of playing the man and not the ball then I’m sorry for them.

  204. Bob, isn’t it amazing how when it’s the Libs it’s ‘reached a compromise’ but when it’s the government or anything remotely positive for the government it’s folds or reneges.

    **I was going to write “when Abbott reaches a compromise”..however, this is a feat that he is yet to attempt.

  205. Min, are you asleep and dreaming.

    I thought you knew he was infallible. After all his father believed he would make a good pope as well.

  206. Do you mean to say that the ABC cut Wilkie off???

    Yes. Granted, he had spoken at length. But he had just begun answering questions, where he was setting the record straight on much of the lies that been put out (his words).
    Guess the answers weren’t what they were looking for.

    I don’t think it was anything malicious by the programming. I reckon they just think their audience can’t maintain their attention that long to listen to the actual participants too much, without the actual ‘show’ getting back in on the act.

    Disappointing really. They have the resource and the technology to let us see the entirety of the process, but cannot resist cutting it of and instead giving us their interpretation.

    I just want to see the actual event, not hear what some journo thought it all meant.

    I remember that they did the same when the Government did one of their cabinet meetings at a local high school. It was fascinating. Then they cut away, and filled in the remainder through their journalists lenses. I want reality, not interpretation.

  207. Tom, that is just so true. It used to be And here is the 6 o’clock news and what we received was just that, it was the news.

    Now it’s 10 minutes of news and 15 minutes of dumbed down journos mouthing not much more than waffle. It’s hardly even worth discussing because the journos have already told us what our opinions should be.

  208. Hi Miglo, time is a problem for me at the moment, but I thought I should comment on your comment re TPS. I haven’t noticed any personal attacks there on FS. Her work was always appreciated for its brilliance, which was well deserved. Obviously there were under-currents which outsiders can never really know the truth of.

    Ad Astra asked for feedback on continuing with the site so I’ve taken time to give him my views. Inevitably that meant responding to FS and her letter of resignation. So I’ve done that too.’s-‘I-have-a-dream’-speech.aspx#id_d066870d-9a93-4c9d-9724

  209. Media release from the Honourable Simon Crean,
    Minister for Regional Australia

    Babbling Barnaby confirms Coalition’s return to regional rorts

    The ANAO found Coalition Ministers routinely approved funding for projects for which no application had been made and demanded Department officials fast-track applications without scrutiny.

    “Regional communities missed out and worthy projects that stacked up were simply not considered.”

  210. What did Mr. Wilkie say. According o the headlines, he would not be supporting the governments propose cutting back of the Private Medical Insurance level.

    They made great play of this being vengeance or pay back.

    This is what he said.

    “….But those plans are now jeopardy after Mr Wilkie’s declaration he would not support means testing private health insurance.

    ‘Because a lot of time has passed since then, I now need to look afresh at that issue and look afresh at the evidence I had then and see if there is any new evidence,’ he told News Ltd..”

    Sorry my computer decided to go silly and I have lost the link. Will attempt to find it, that is after I pull this damn machine into line.

    I thought he was saying that because of the lapse of time, he would like to look at any up to date evidence. Did not read where he was opposing the means testing. Surely this is a prudent thing to do.

  211. Interesting news conference now on ABC24. Disputes most of what the clubs are saying.

    The supporter for the Poker Machine legislation appears to be getting their act together. Appears to be a formidable body.

  212. We now have a very, very angry Mr. Albanese on ABC 24 defending his actions on the Pacific Highway and Mr. Oakeshott.

    It is about time we seen Labor standing up for themselves.

    Federal government does not do planning on roads. It is up to the states. Mr. Albanese said the money is there for the planning to go ahead.

    No planning has occurred in relation to Urunga. Money is there for planning.

    Press conference once again cut short while Mr. Albanese was answering questions.

    The media obviously could let Mr. Albanese continue to place the blame where it belongs, that is with the State government.

  213. Beginning of every news broadcast on ABC24 and I assume all other channels. “The PM agreed to pre commitment but appears to be backing away from the proposal”.

    I think it is about time they added how the PM is backing away.

    The PM has said it might be difficult to get the legislation through.

    How is stating a fact backing away.

    It is Mr., Wilkes proposal and it is up to him to get the numbers.

    The PM continues to support his efforts.

    I believe that there is public support and now their voice is becoming louder in the publican.

    The PM is very smart in sitting back, allowing Mr. Wilkie room to bring others on side.

    I do hope that behind the scene, the PM is working hard. Passing this legislation will be a feather in Labor’s cap.

    I believe the PM will be blamed and not forgiven if there is not success.

    Maybe at the end of the day, the high tensity machines will disappear and a $1 cap will be imposed, leading to smaller prizes.

    Most do not play or have anything to so with these machines.

  214. I believe the PM will be blamed and not forgiven if there is not success.

    Exactly. It is like they are setting her up for a fail

    I noted this in an article the other day

    When federal parliament resumes next month, Labor must introduce and pass the nanny-state laws through both houses of parliament otherwise Wilkie has promised to withdraw his support from the government.

    Compare that with the actual agreement

    If required the Govt will support Commonwealth Legislation through the Parliament by Budget 2012.

    This is what happens when you allow ‘journalists’ with an agenda to try and tell you what they thought was said, rather than what was actually said.

    Chinese whispers through our media lense

  215. Tom, I’ve popped up a link to your blog on Migs’ FB discussion groups..hopefully this will help earn a few extra hits for you.

  216. The club industry sure knows how to run a honest poll.

    “Let’s kick off with the Clubs Australia research. They engaged the services of pollsters Textor Crosby to run a survey, which contained only one question:

    You may be aware that the Federal Labor Government recently increased its numbers in the Parliament due to the Labor Speaker stepping down and being replaced by a former Coalition member. This means that Andrew Wilkie’s stated position to withdraw support from the minority government if they do not tackle problem gambling would not necessarily bring down the government. With this change in mind, what do you think the Labor Government should do with poker machine reform? Should they…

    – Carry on with the introduction of mandatory pre-commitment of poker machines regardless

    – Introduce a scheme to tackle problem gambling, but renegotiate an alternative approach so it has less effects on clubs by, for example, making it a voluntary system

    – Abandon poker machine reform altogether

    – Don’t know / No opinion / None of these

  217. Let remember the pork barrelling and roets of the past.

    “”To make things worse, some of the Regional Partnerships projects shut up shop a few months after cashing the cheque and some didn’t even exist.”

    The list of regional rorts includes:
    •$1.5 million grant to dredge the Tumbi Creek in NSW was announced days after heavy rains had set it flowing again;
    •$5 million to fund a steam train that ran out of steam. The Beaudesert tourist railway in Queensland went bankrupt;
    •$1.3 million to a milk company in Queensland that curdled it went bust just days after the grant was announced;
    •There was half a million dollars for a pub in Atherton, Queensland that specialised in bikini babes and Wacky Wednesdays;
    •Matildas Bakery in Eden, NSW, closed in June 2005 after three years of unsuccessful trading. It received $1 million in funding and promised to create 46 new jobs; and
    •In December 2000, the Sea Horse Inn at Boydtown was granted half a million dollars for refurbishments, and it promised 43 new jobs. The inn closed for refurbishment and never reopened.

    The full ANAO audit can be found at


  218. Cu @12.25pm when I first read this I thought that it was some sort of joke.

    I think that the government should..

    Carry on with the introduction of mandatory pre-commitment of poker machines regardless

  219. Min, I believe it is fact not a joke.

    Maybe it should be put on facebook.

    The stupid thing is that any legislation will not affect many club members or poker machine players.

    I suspect also that many clubs will be not be affected.

    The Casinos and big clubs definitely will.

  220. I would like to add, that the clubs will slowly replace the lower tensity machines with the ones that gobble up the money and the members will find themselves with little choice.

    It is in the interest of the poker machine player to support pulling the industry into line.

  221. the clubs will slowly replace the lower tensity machines with the ones that gobble up the money

    I read this on the pollytics blog this morning, and it got me wondering

    Under the proposed scheme, venues will have the option to install low-intensity machines, which are $1-a-spin machines configured to limit average losses to around $120 per hour and have a maximum $500 jackpot, if they do not wish to participate in the pre-commitment scheme.

    So only these high intensity machines will need the pre-commitment software installed. The figures put out about the cost are always about ALL machines being replaced. Yet the quote from Xenophon says if they don’t want to put the pre-commitment on, just use low intensity machines.

    I wonder if all estimates on the cost are ‘rubbery’? Or do they take this into account?

  222. Results of the poll.

    “Mr Wilkie will be in Sydney today for the launch of the Stop the Loss campaign by a coalition of pro-reform campaigners who have banded together to counter the pokies lobby’s anti-reform push.

    The group is releasing research it says quashes the clubs industry’s claim the set-up cost of mandatory pre-commitment and $1 bets would be $2.5 billion to $5 billion.

    Clubs Australia is also releasing results of an 800-person poll by Crosby Textor which found 55 per cent support for the government to renegotiate poker machine reform to lessen the impact on clubs.

    The survey found only 19 per cent of respondents thought a push to mandatory pre-commitment should continue.”

  223. Tom R, I did not read it anywhere.

    It makes sense to me. Look how hard it is now to find a older machine with just a few lines in any club.

    They appear to be replaced with linked machines a numerous lines.

    They encourage one to spend more than what they intend. No one likes to just bet say three lines and see a jackpot on the fourth.

  224. Wonderful..the very excellent Tim Costello is on Sky blowing away a number of the furphies. Example, NSW with the highest number of poker machines spends the least on non-professional sport.

  225. Nice to see the club representative getting a little of the heat.

    Still saying all machines have to be changed. I question that, as it only applies to high tensity machines.

    How many high tensity machines in your local club?

    I am a little out of the scene now, but I have never been the fan of machines that have more than twenty lines.

    Personally nine lines would suit me. I do not expect to win, therefore do not like feeding them.

    Anthony Ball sounded very indignant. just like someone caught out.

    The clubs need to be careful, they might end up with that $1 cap.

  226. Min, that is how far I am behind the times. It does backup my claim that the clubs will slowly replace the low intensity machines if a stand is not taken.

  227. Cu, they are very quick to replace machines if it means more $$s in the coffers. The whole argument that clubs will not replace machines is plainly ridiculous. Clubs spend millions of dollars refurbishing so that they can squeeze in additional machines. If you walk into any number of clubs tomorrow you will find new machines. this time they can do it to assist problem gamblers.

  228. Ball is saying that 50% of machines will have to be replaced because they are too old. Over 6 or 7 years as I can make out.

    The other 50% will have to be altered.

    Are they saying they intend to replace outdated machines, which I assume would mainly be low intensity with high intensity machines, leading to all being high intensity. That is the only thing that makes sense with their figures.

    Mr. Ball said it is a complicated matter to alter the machine. Did we not know the card would have to interact with the player.

    Now I might be wrong, but does not the present membership card do a similar thing.

    It records what I play, giving me bonus points. It pays money out at the till.

    It identifies me when I partake in the entertainment many clubs have to entice people to play the machines.

    I am not saying it will be as complicated as the pre-committed card but I do believe it will be in the same ball park.

    According to my reasoning, Mr. Ball is telling us that the clubs aim to have 100% high intensity machines.

    The clubs have indicated that they are happy with voluntary cards, which would mean the machine would also have to be altered.

    What is the difference. According to trials in Canada, voluntary does not work. That would serve the clubs nicely. Addicted gamblers in Canada, according to the documentary I watch, are calling for it to be made mandatory.

    They are willing to update the machines for a scheme that does not work, but will fight mandatory scheme up to the next election.

    Mr. Ball already want more counselling. Does not that now exist or are those phone numbers plastered over the machine there for decoration.

    Do not the clubs claim they assist problem gamblers now. It appears not to have worked.


  229. I hate being lied to and treated as a fool.

    To say the technology will be very complicated and hard to install on machines that a mainly computers is beyond me.

    I would be surprised if there are many machines that are not computer driven around

  230. I was just reading that England’s casinos are permitted to have 150 poker machines, I know of numerous clubs just in this area, which have at least that many – each.

  231. One thing about Abbott aka the Clubs mouthpiece’s idea about more counselling. Precisely who is going to pay for it?

    Or is the idea that the clubs keep their mega profits and it’s the addict who has to pay out for counselling? Or is it the taxpayer?

  232. Premier Barry O’Farrell’s mates at the Clubs will be pleased !

    Election Funding Law Watch
    Bruce Hawker | January 19, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    Last year I raised concerns about the slant of legislation introduced by the New South Wales Government to change election funding rules. The changes proposed by the conservative government would ban donations by industrial unions to a political party, read Labor.

    The laws would also ban donations from corporations.

    Thus the clubs, pubs, tobacco, oil or whichever other big corporations, can spend as much as they like campaigning on behalf of themselves and their mates in the Coalition.

  233. O’Farrell hits back at donations overhaul critics

    The State Government wants to allow donations only from individuals listed on the electoral roll.

    Under the plan money from companies, trade unions or not-for-profit groups would not be acceptable.

    O’Farrell’s plan could not be clearer, although he says this,

    “I, along with most members of the community, don’t think you should be able to buy elections,” Mr O’Farrell said.

    No, Barry, but what about the big end of town paying multi millions to campaign against the government?

  234. Min at 6.00
    Both your suggestions have their attractions for the clubs.
    Addicts won’t be able to pay for counselling, therefore won’t take up the offer & won’t be on record as wanting it.
    If the taxpayers pay, the money’s guaranteed & that’s what matters.

  235. Senator X back in the frame, being photographed & photographed & photographed some more as he stands by the side of whoever’s being photographed, nodding & agreeing.

  236. Bob..I don’t know about other states, but at least in NSW and Qld all machines have a label Do you have a gambing problem? Contact…. As evidenced by the growing gambling addiction problem, counselling has not been successful, and as stated by Tim Cosello and Andrew Wilkie these are only used when it’s all too late – and certainly not before the gambler has lost sometimes 10’s of thousands of dollars.

    Will a gambler spend money on couselling? Will a smoker spend money on patches? Answer: only when they firstly recognise that they have a problem, stop blaming others for their problems and make the decision to seek help. How many years do smokers smoke for thinking that they can quit anytime they like? Same for gambling.

    I am likewise getting a little bit of Me-tooism coming from Senator X.

  237. Maybe the question that needs to be asked, do we need these machines and what good do they do.

    Do most poker machine players want them?

    Or is the answer that greedy or lazy clubs and pubs want or need them.

    Can the needs of community only be met by fleecing of poker machine addicts?

    There appears to be a question mark hanging over how much the community benefits from the machines.

    How do the same groups in WA survive without the machines?

    Are club members happy to see this situation continue?

  238. According to Mr. Abbott, it is OK to give offence as long as you meant none.

    Maybe it is also OK to apologise if one gives offence.

    I might be wrong, but I was under the impression that area of the world has had some of the worse tragedies with refugee boats sinking.

    Mr. Abbott reckons Labor should loosen up.

    Has anyone any thought what the response would be if it was the PM sitting in that interview, not Mr. Abbott.

    It is not what was said that is most important, it is the fact he said it.

    One wonders what the man would say in private with world leaders, if he is incapable of being careful with what he says in public.

    One should be concerned that the man is unable, unwilling or incapable of admitting when he has made blunder or mistake.

    The final thing is that he is giving one the impression, that he see is the plight and fate of the refugees as a big joke, something he has no concerns about, except what he can milk politically.

  239. Will he?

    I am sure that Indonesia will meet his demands.

    “….Mr Abbott says a Coalition government would instruct the navy to turn around ALL asylum-seeker boats that are found to have started their journeys in Indonesia.

    The Opposition leader says he’d make it a priority to tell the Indonesian president Australia would no longer accept boats from that country.

    The move would require more naval vessels patrolling our waters.

    But Mr Abbott has told The Weekend Australian that’s what’s needed to stop people smugglers in their tracks….”

    Is this why we have a Navy for.

  240. I cannot see how any reputable newspaper, after falling for the crocodile tear hypocrisy of the opposition complaining about the ‘inhumane treatment’ of asylum seekers in Malaysia can be granted a scrap of credibility after that statement CU.

    Lets see them forensically examine that avenue shall we?

  241. “He emerged smiling from a two-hour meeting with Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Community Services Minister Jenny Macklin in Melbourne”

    Are the headlines once again to be proven mistaken.

    I would say tat the Mr. Wilkie has delivered what the PM might have demanded of him, proof of public support and action.

    Not there is competition to the club. pubs and Casinos advertising. It is now a more level playing field.

  242. I cannot see how any reputable newspaper…

    There still are reputable newspapers in this country Tom? 😯

  243. My bad Bacchus.

    I woke thinking I was in another time, another place. 😦

    Unfortunately, reality is slowly creeping back in


  244. Sky News has said that Mr. Wilkie will only contemplate technical changes.

    My guess at the announcement that will be made in the next couple of days.

    The bill for mandatory pre-commitment will go ahead, to be introduced in 2014..

    Within this bill will be the option for a limited trial to be run immediately in say the ACT.

    The aim of this trial will be to iron out any bugs in the propose scheme.

    It will also look at the best way of extending the scheme across the nation in the most efficient way, within the time frame nominated.

    I also expect that there will be new money for assisting the addicts.

    It is my opinion that like cigarette plain packaging, we are talking more about preventing people from becoming addicts than we are about curing those who are already addicted.

    This is NOT about a “nanny state” imposing it’s will on how and when people gamble.

    It is about protecting the economy, which is the duty of governments.

    The Productivity Commission had identified the damage that is being done to the community.

    The public should not allow very limited support to community groups to out weigh the damage done to the community in general.

  245. I have been hearing since Christmas that the PM is going to ditch the poker legalisation. The PM is going to stab Mr. Wilkie. Are going to drop him. Going to drop mandatory pre-commitment etc. All putting the PM in a negative light.

    The Opposition overall refrained from being a part of this campaign. Why, I am not sure. Maybe they are just not interested or believe that reform is necessary.

    When the PM releases her plan, the reaction was immediately negative. The media did their job well.

    All we have heard is the “PM’s ditched plan, that is used to introduce any comment on the PM.

    Is this actually true, has the PM ditched plans to bring in reforms in the poker machine industry. I say not.

    Has the PM ditched Mr. Wilkie’s plan, actually no.

    Has the PM reneged on her plan?

    Well the PM has not struck literally to Mr. Willkie’s plan but she is to introduce most of what he requested.

    Is it a broken promise or back room deal?

    Whose broken promise?

    Back room deal with whom?

    If one believes that, the PM is given the mandate to govern, and therefore the duty to make decisions that are in the best interest of the country, not an individual MP, the PM has done what is required of her.

    Maybe it is time one looked at the scheme that is being introduced. The question that I would like to see answered, is the best scheme that has a chance of becoming a reality. Will the scheme do what it sets out to do?

    Would Mr. Wilkie’s scheme be better? Is it possible to get Mr. Wilkie’s scheme enacted, especially when he says that he has the numbers, as some of the Coalition will cross the floor.

    I wonder who is leading Mr. Wilkie on.

    The question is whether the deal has been honoured. I say that in spirited, it has.

    Mr. Wilkie has said that he would support extension of the time line.

    The only demand that has not been met is a definite starting date. Mr. Wilkie is free to move an amendment to put a date in the legalisation. If he has the numbers has he says, I believe that the PM would support him.

    What does Mr. Wilkie want? Mandatory pre-commitment that will begin from 2014. That is the after the next election. That means that the next PM can and will probably ditch the scheme anyway.

    What do we have? I believe that Mr. Wilkie has much of what he is demanding. In some areas, he has more.

    From an ALP weekly, update email.

    “…..Tackling Problem Gambling in Australia

    The Gillard Government today announced its plan to tackle problem gambling, helping the five million Australians affected by problem gambling in this country.

    This plan means the Gillard Government will do more to tackle problem gambling than any Commonwealth Government in Australia’s history.

    The Government will act to:

    Undertake a large-scale trial of mandatory pre-commitment;
    Expand pre-commitment technology to every poker machine across the country, that could then be used for mandatory pre-commitment if it is supported by a trial.
    Rolling the technology out to every machine now ensures that we will be ready to flick the switch to a best-practice mandatory pre-commitment system, if the trial results support it.
    We believe this evidence-based pathway to help problem gamblers and their families will gain the necessary support to pass the current Parliament….”

    Yes, they have said that after the trial, the mandatory pre-commitment will go ahead if successful. Well it would be amiss if they promise to put it into operation if the trial proved a failure.

    What is also to happen, from next year all new machines will have the technology to be hooked up to a national grid and ready to start by 2016? A strong move that ensures that the intention is to introduce a mandatory scheme or at least something similar by 2016.

    Note it is now ALL machines that are being targeted, not just the high intensity machines.

    This is only part of what the PM intends to introduce. There are actions being taken to deal with sport betting and on line wagering. Also the amount of money that one can withdraw in a club and I imagine pubs are being tightened up.

    The PM is acting in accordance with the Productivity Commissions proposals on how it should be introduced.

    What has not been addressed is the proposal for $1 bets. Maybe it needs to be put back on the table. Mr. Wilkie was not asking for this.

    Let’s stop “the PM ditched poker machine reforms” and begin discussing the reforms that she has put forwarded.

  246. Absolutely right.
    Wilkies policy idea was doomed to fail at any rate…
    If she had pushed on, abbott would have said once again that it was an independent tail wagging the Labor dog, so i think with a negative press, Julia was in a lose/lose position
    I think that her plan is a step in the right direction, that may even get through the house of reps…
    All the betrayal talk is just a smokescreen…

  247. Wixxy, to add..if Gillard had gone ahead with the original proposal and lost, as was inevitable the media still would have called it as a Massive Loss for an ‘failed’ government. Tony Abbott of course would have promptly demanded another election because SHE LIED.

  248. wixxy, the PM would certainly been criticise for introducing inferior legislation.

    I think Mr. Wilkie should take sometime to sit down and look at what he has achieved. I believe he will be happy at his results.

    This talk of trashing democracy and back room deals is infantile and the sign of a bad loser.

    Talking to other MPs within the parliament is not back room dealing.

    I believe no politician expect or gets everything they want.

    The word back flip is still being used. Where is the back flip.

    We blame the media for the troubles that Labor face.

    We need to remember the media is only successful if we latch onto what they are saying to feed our own bias and prejudices.

    Policy should be what is important, not politics.

  249. wixxy, he might be having fun, but for a government in such a perilous state for the last year or more, it is still going strong.

    Mr. Abbott has been powerless to make any changes in the government or policy.

    Fun is all he is having.

    I feel that Mr. Thompson putting his head over the parapet this morning might indicate that he feels safe from any wrong doing findings of the investigations going on.

    Not so sure that others in the union are going to survive the investigations smelling like roses..

  250. Speaking of Abbott and fun….
    Another person was confirmed dead on the Italian Cruise Liner overnight…
    Abbott must be having a hoot at that news, roll on the bad taste jokes Tony…

  251. Link to Wilkie agreement. Note most of the long agreement has been delivered.

    I imagine he has a bigger laught when boats carrying refugees go down in the same region.

  252. Has Carr summed it up correctly. I believe so.

    Mr. Wilkie is allowing hismself to be encourage by the media, to make comments that arebetter unsaid.

    “………….Call it a tantrum.

    Wilkie’s proposals for mandatory precommitment cannot get a majority on the floor of the House of Representatives. They couldn’t get a majority because he couldn’t persuade his colleagues, the other independents. He saw the Prime Minister examine and test his proposals in good faith. And – remember this – he was still going to withdraw his support from her government if she had stuck to every detail of his proposition, delivered every Labor vote for it and gone done to defeat because the rural independents refused to back it! What outrageous self-centredness.

    That monstrous egotism not only discredited him but tainted the notion of a minority government maturely working with the cross benches in a hung parliament.

    His better response would have been to express disappointment, recognized the value in the ACT trial and declared he would continue to fight for an issue he believes in.

    Meanwhile Julia Gillard has deftly got the monkey off her back and added resolution of this to the passage of carbon…..”

  253. Additional comment from Carr that most are ignoring. That is the unreasonable threats that Mr. Wilkie is making.

    Tony Windsor reinforced this in comments today – that they would not have voted for the legislation. Wilkie said that even if every Labor member voted for his reforms and it failed he would withdraw his support from Labor. Now that IS outrageous

  254. Cu, Wilkie has turned out to be just another politician, no different to any other in spite of his self promotion.

  255. Cu, precisely. As I’ve said before both Windsor and Oakeshott would not have supported the legislation as proposed by Wilkie, therefore the government chose a compromise.

    I must say that I’m disappointed in Wilkie, he would have been fully aware that the government wouldn’t have been able to get past the House of Reps without Windsor and Oakeshott. He also did a lot of threatening earlier on which to my mind is not the way to negotiate.

  256. Listening to the Greens MP.

    He has pointed out that the Victorian Government has already lowered the limit from $10 to $5.

    This means that the states have the means to lower the maximum bets.

    Why do they who want reform, put pressure on the states as well.

    They are the ones responsibility now.

    Oh. there are so many lies in this debate,

    Maybe they should also focus on the Coalition. The PM is willing and I am sure would change her mind if Mr. Abbott came to the party.

    There is also division among those demanding more be done.

    There is two arguments going on among them.

  257. I thought that the PM rooned the beef market. I do not know how I could be so wrong. I am sure the media will knock one another over in their haste ti tell us they were wrong. Pigs might fly as well.

    …………..It is looking like a good year for Australian beef production and exports despite Indonesia’s dwindling interest in our live animals, because other markets will pick up the slack.

    Industry body Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) on Monday released its bi-annual forecast for the sector, predicting beef and veal production will grow to a record 2.197 million tonnes (carcase weight) in 2012..

    ‘Total beef exports are predicted to increase, driven by expansion into Russia, the Middle East and the most southern Asian markets,’ MLA economist Tim McRae said in a statement.

    The boost in production makes up for the expected decline in live cattle exports this year, which has been driven predominantly by Indonesia’s decision to cut import permits from more than 520,000 to only 283,000 head.

    The move, meant to promote Indonesia’s aim of self-sufficiency, is likely to drag down Australia’s total live exports by 16 per cent in 2012 to 570,000 head.


  258. Has anyone listened to Mr. Pyne on ABC 24 Lyndal. It is a long interview.

    It is a classic interview. One of the most outlandish I have heard.

    He is too angry, disgruntled and red in the face to have any agreement with Mr. Wilkie.

    He only shows the Coalition’s desperation.

    It is the greatest whinge of all time, or should the word be whine.

    The core action on asylum seekers was not mentioned as such. All the others options are now on the table as well, according to Mr. Pyne. That must mean that Nauru is now needed. Another day, another policy. Maybe Mr. Pyne was not made aware of Saturday’s effort.

    By the way the Navy will act as their duty demands. I think he was saying, they will do what they are told.

  259. Cu, whiny Pyne is full of it…

    He should have a chat to the Defence personnel who would be expected to carry out Herr Abbott’s orders.

  260. Pip, we need a new word. Today he was red in the face with indignation. I can call it nothing else.

  261. Cu, we’re working on a new word 🙂

    I didn’t see the program but I can easily imagine the incensed, puce-faced Mr. Pyne.
    A long interview you said…. on ABC24…..of course it was.

  262. C.U. at 2.33
    Carr makes a very good point. Wilkie’s idea was that Gillard deliver his reforms no matter what. The eventual impossibilty of doing so mattered not. As many (including yourself I think) said there’s nothing to stop him putting up the same legislation. The only side required to be 100% clean is as usual this government. Wilkie was until the other day regarded as a bit of a well meaning loose cannon. The fact that Abbott’s lot have voted against what is temporarily classed by the media as a Good Thing isn’t held against him & the media certainly won’t examine its own selective opinionising. Apart from some half hearted reporting of the new pokies legislation they’ve not strayed from the “broken promise” line.
    I see also that space is now being cleared for a resumption of the Craig Thompson & Petr Slipper themes.

  263. Bob Brown has already said that The Greens will be putting up an amendment to include $1.00 betting limits presumably in the Senate, therefore what is stopping Wilkie from doing similar. Bloody mindedness?

  264. I believe we are in for a very dirty year. I believe we will see politics that out shine the Whitlam years.

    I do not understand why the Opposition is coming across as being so angry.

    Also there appears to be no coordination among them. They all appear to be doing their own thing.

    Mr. Abbott appears unable or capable of putting forwarded any thing new.

    Mr. Abbott appears unable to deal with the matters that are in the public domain.

    We have had the poker machine scheme, changes to the Medicare subsidy and unemployment.

    None of these addressed by Mr. Abbott.

    All we get is a rehash of Thompson and we will stop the boats.

    Neither current issues.

  265. Min, that is what I have been saying for days.

    The PM cannot and probably would not stop other MPs acting on their own behalf.

    It is not up to the PM to put what they want in parliament, to test Mr. Wilkie’s and the Green’s belief. They have the power to do it themselves.

    How is the PM trashing democracy if this is the case.

    The PM is refusing to do their dirty work. Fair enough.

  266. PS The PM is using her authority.

    This means that she is free to make her own decisions.

    There is no law, rule or convention that a PM must do what the media, opposition and other MPs demand she does.

    The PM is free to say yes or no.

    I am sick of the constant screams that keep saying “she must do this or she must do that”.

  267. Just watching 7.30 as Heather Ewart asked if all this would damage the Gillard government & then scoured the land for the usual predictable lot who’d say it would, I thought of what pisses me off so much; the absolute refusal to actually bring Abbott into this. Given all the time he wants to be critical, never a question as to why he votes the way he does on this (or any other) issue.
    Pokies reform is suddenly such a wonderful thing, Mr Abbott himself attacks the demise of the legislation but nary a mention of the fact that it would’ve passed had his side voted for it.

  268. Exactly right Bob. If Abbott is so appalled about the legislation not going through in the form originally mooted, why then didn’t Abbott say that he would back Andrew Wilkie in order to have it passed.

    But of course to the media it’s all Julia Gillard’s fault.

  269. Min thanks for that, I have trouble putting this into words but it’s the feeling that Gillard & the government are targeted & there’s no rules beyond that, the sole aim is to find an angle to criticise from.

    Plus, of course, here’s the chance for them to whack the final nail in the government’s coffin. Produce the bloody numbers! Nobody seems interested in making that effort.

  270. Min, I believe that Mr. Abbott cares less about the legislation, any legislation.

    Mr. Abbott shows no interest in current political issues that arises each day, unless it can be used to slam the PM.

    Mr. Abbott is only interested in his own little circus, and shows annoyance if asked anything else.

    If he does answer, it somehow linked to this shocking PM/she/her and bad bad, now tainted government.

    No issue is dealt with by Mr.Abbott on its own merit.

    Mr. Abbott lives in his own world.

    Maybe another would look as good. Gambling addicts good for jobs. .


  271. Min and Bob, at least Mr. Abbott could say whether he supports the bill.

    If not, he could let us know what steps is he going to take to make it better.

    Mr. Abbott could at least feign some interest in what occurs in parliament.

  272. The dirt and the games begin. I wonder how Mr. Abbott is so sure that there is going to be a negative outcome in relation to Mr. Thompson.

    Surely the shadow attorney general does not have inside information with either the NSW or Victorian police.

    …..WITHIN 48 hours of Andrew Wilkie withdrawing crucial support from the Gillard government, Tony Abbott has started building the argument to move a no-confidence motion against Labor on the grounds of maladministration and integrity.

    The Opposition Leader is not going to rush to move a motion of no-confidence in the Gillard government when the parliament resumes the week after next, but the campaign to build the conditions for a successful no-confidence motion and early election has begun…….

  273. Cu, i’d say Abbott has nothing new on Thomson. He huffed and puffed about it being an ongoing police case in two states over several years. Which is a heap of nonsense and for me demonstrates how little else he has.

    If only media commentators would do their job and pointed out how phoney Abbott’s moral outrage is over the pokies legislation! It is the Coalition which would be voting it down if the government did put it up.. Does all this wringing of hands about poor Wilkie’s betrayal mean Abbott is coming round to the idea of reform?

  274. My feeling, knowing Mr. Thompson and working with him years ago, I find it hard to believe he would behave as alleged. He was young when I knew him.

    What does worry me that he might be a little naive and has not been as careful or alert as one should be.

    I also know that there is much intrigue in the unions involved. There has been much structural change within this union because of the changing work place,

    What does puzzle me is that FWA, the NSW and Victoria police do not appear to have found anything after this length of time. If he was as guilty as alleged, surely something would have been found by this time.

    After all Mr. Brandis did give the NSW and Victoria police the evidence. Which I assume came from others in the union, that have had a ingoing feud, over a number of years with Mr. Thompson. People who did not go to the police themselves, until Mr. Brandis became involved.

    Mr. Abbott needs to remember there are only allegations. One is still innocent until proven guilty.

    As for the above grounds of maladministration and integrity, I am under the understanding that the PM is doing what all PM have done before when when faced with a similar situation.

    Mr. Thompson is entitled to sit in parliament unless convicted of a crime, and sentenced, I think to more than 12 months.

    The man has not been charged. The police are still searching through thousands of documents.

    Surely Mr. Abbott is not going to claim that the PM’s integrity is at risk because she did not agree with Mr. Wilkie one hundred percent.

    What does worry me a little is what they have dragged up or going to accuse Mr. Slipper of.

    One thing for sure, we know that the Coalition and Mr. Abbott is loose with the truth, or at the very least, is not afraid of a little manipulation of facts.

    Remember the same man hounded Ms. Hanson to prison and has shown no remorse for doing so.

    I feel that it is Mr. Abbott who is trashing our democracy. Why cannot the man just wait.

  275. Patricia, I do not think that Mr. Abbott has voice much outrage over the poker machine decision.

    I do not think he has ever given it much thought.

    Since Christmas, all we have heard from him is Thompson. The media up to today, have been taking little notice.

    What the turn back boat was about on Saturday, when he knew it was probable that an announcement would be made on poker machines, attempting to take the attention away from the PM.

    It was a stupid announcement, at a stupid time. The only explanation I can think of, that he did not like the meetings that the PM engineered before Christmas over the offshore processing proposals. I believe he was looking for a way to take Nauru off the table. The alleged policy only seems to have survived one day.

    Turning the boats back was introduced as a core policy. We been there before.

  276. Mr. Abbott is reported as saying that no confidence motions should not be taken lightly and only for serious matters.

    This from a man that has censure motions in parliament nearly on a daily basis. A man who has called for more of these types of motions than any opposition leader since Federation.

    The other gem today is the news that Ms. Mirabella is meeting the heads of Toyota to discuss their plight. According to Ms. Mirabella, the only thing causing them problems is the carbon tax.

    Hey, that tax is still a long way off and as they are not a high carbon producer, I see little problem in this regard.

    I do see the high dollar and the economic woes in other countries having some effect.

    Maybe Ms. Mirabella is correct and all other experts have it wrong.

    I wonder when Ms. Mirabella is going to wander off to Holden and Ford.

    So I take it to mean that Ms. Mirabella is going to console the workers losing their jobs with a lecture on the evils of the non existent carbon tax.

  277. It was said that Mr. Abbott was in Sydney, in meetings all day. They seem to have been sucessful for Mr. Abbott.

    ………..A whistleblowing union official dreams of integrity in politics:

    THE National secretary of the Health Services Union, Kathy Jackson, has urged independent MP Andrew Wilkie to support a no-confidence motion if Labor MP Craig Thomson is found by Fair Work Australia to have misused union funds.

    “I believe that if Mr Wilkie is genuine in what he has said and accountable to the public and, if it is found that Craig Thomson has misused and misappropriated union funds, then that would be an example of serious misconduct,” she said yesterday.

    The Opposition dreams of timely justice from Fair Work Australia:

    Opposition workplace relations spokesman Eric Abetz has written to Fair Work Australia demanding to know why its investigation into Mr Thomson had taken more than three years. The Opposition Leader said it was clear the process was not operating “fairly” or “justly”.

    (Paywall protected.)………………. ”

  278. Does anyone in their wildest dream believe that Mr. Slipper would take any action to harm thai government or PM.

    I so not believe that Mr. Slipper is known for altruistic actions.

    ..LIBERAL defector Peter Slipper has refused to guarantee support for the Gillard government if he is forced, as the Speaker, to break a deadlock vote of no-confidence

    Read more:

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