Open Thread XIV

A new Open Thread to talk about whatever you fancy.

Here’s the link to the previous thread.

Open Thread XIII

414 comments on “Open Thread XIV

  1. Roswell, that’s why I don’t let the threads run forever. Once they get over 350 comments (or thereabouts) they are slow to open. It’s horrendous on a mobile device.

  2. I got your “flat earth” reference LOVO. At this time of night Migs can be a bit slow 😉

    I’m guessing the “awards” on that site are a function of the forum software they’re using – vBulletin rather than WordPress – but Migs may correct me there (in the morning 😉 )…

  3. Son could probably answer that Migs, but he moved to his own place a couple of weeks ago. I have no technical brain on-hand to ask anymore 😦

  4. From Joe Hockey. Unsustainable industries? Does Hockey have any particular ones in mind, or is he just going to lock up shop completely. And as far as retraining and relocating, might he have some ideas as to retraining to do what, and to relocate to where.

    In a warning to those in the Coalition advocating protectionism, Mr Hockey said it would not be propping up unsustainable industries….

    While they could be eligible for such assistance as retraining or relocating workers, ”we should not, however, be in the business of propping up industries that for many reasons do not have a sustainable future in Australia”, he said.–hockey-20120307-1ukiq.html#ixzz1oT4VkuGC

  5. This is how the Herald Sun are running the story..headline:

    Hospitals face $170m hit from sick carbon tax

    Hospital catering costs will rise by $131,000 from next year, while Victoria’s ambulance service will have to find an extra $334,000 as higher energy and aviation fuel costs flow through.

    Therefore it is not the carbon tax but fuel cost rises flowing through..

    Hidden down the bottom of the article is:

    A spokesman for federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek said the costs of health services were forecast to rise by just 0.3 per cent – 10c a week for the average household – according to Treasury modelling.

    The Government will provide increased family payments and pensions to counter the effects of the carbon tax on family living costs.

    The Herald Sun then poses the question:

    Will carbon tax cause you financial hardship?

    Yes indeed, that 10 cents per week is going to be a huge imposition.

    Of course, how foolish..there is of course nothing wrong with the way that the MSM report the news in this country, it’s a mere delusion by a bunch of left-wing groupthinkers.

  6. With thanks to Jan BC..

    In a powerful video aimed at YouTube and social media, Dhalulu Ganambarr-Stubbs, a Yolngu scholar and artist from Yirrkala, Northeast Arnhem Land, says that in 2012 the Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory are suffering.

    But she says that after five years of federal intervention, begun by the Howard Government and continued by the Rudd and Gillard Governments, the policy has failed, with indigenous imprisonment up 41 per cent, lower school attendance, inadequate housing, a 38 per cent rise in the number of children removed from their homes by social services and a doubling of cases of self-harm and suicide.

  7. If you have to make a stat. dec., make sure you used a Commonwealth form. A judge does to jail for a similar crime. This man does not get charged.

    March 2011]

    On the other hand we have an O’Farrell Coalition Government that did not suspend this government member when he confessed to the Deputy-Premier and, a parliamentary political party which did not expel him and continues to publicly support him despite his admitted wrongdoing.
    A category of wrongdoing which is included in the Criminal Code and an act which a reasonable person might say brought State Parliament into disrepute.
    Then in 2012 we have a NSW Director of Public Prosecutions who decides to ignore the fact that the false statement was made to a state agency in order to gain a benefit and refers the matter to the Commonwealth – because the statutory declaration form used was apparently one created under the C’wealth Statutory Declarations Act 1959 and not the NSW Oaths Act 1909. Mr. Cansdell apparently having elected not to use the form sent out with the NSW Office of State Revenue State Debt Recovery penalty notice. [NSW Attorney General and Minister for Justice in Hansard,7 March 2012 and NSW Office of State Revenue,2012]

    According to The Daily Examiner on 7 March 2012; Late Wednesday the NSW Police Media Service released the following statement: “After receiving internal legal advice, the NSW Police Force will tomorrow hand over the brief of evidence in the Cansdell matter to the Commonwealth DPP. The office of the Commonwealth DPP declined to comment.

  8. Min, alternative view.

    he best estimate from Treasury is that the carbon price will impose a one-off rise of 0.7 per cent in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). In other words, for every $100 currently spent on household items, prices in total will rise by 70 cents.

    One of the popular and certainly headline-grabbing ways that opponents of the price on carbon try to demonise the issue is to create an impression that there will be a huge impact on electricity prices and therefore household budgets will be under increasing pressure. Spending patterns of the average household based on the weights in the CPI show that this issue is massively exaggerated given what else the average householder spends their money on.

    When the facts are examined, it’s hard to see how the average Australian will “do it tough” when the price on carbon takes effect given what else we spend our money on. The upcoming rise in electricity prices, which builds on what have already been large increases over the last few years, is small beer in the scheme of household expenses.

    According to the weights and items in the CPI, spending on electricity accounts for 2.1 per cent of all household spending. Sure, it is usually a one-off quarterly bill that makes most of us gasp, but did you know that the average household spends more on beer (2.2 per cent of all household spending) than they do on electricity? Throw in wine and spirits, and total household spending on alcoholic beverages is 4.7 per cent of household spending – well over the double the amount we spend on electricity.

    While some may jokingly argue that a few beers and the odd chardonnay are essential items, it puts in perspective the impost that the carbon price will impose on the household sector. Most Australians face a First World Problem of having to pay a few dollars extra each week for their electricity, whilst simultaneously spending twice the amount they spend on power on a few beers and the odd gin and tonic.

    But it’s not just beer that we spend more on than electricity.

    The average household spends 2.3 per cent of their hard-earned income on tobacco. Give up the smokes and you can double your use of electricity and be financially better off! I dare say spending on health would also decline.

    Again the electricity issue is put into some perspective given that “meals out and takeaway foods” account for a whopping (or is that a whopper?) 5.4 per cent of household spending. In other words, the average household spends two and a half times more on restaurant and takeaway meals than they do on electricity.

    In addition to that, 1.0 per cent of household expenditure is on “snacks and confectionary” with an additional 0.9 per cent spent on “waters, soft drinks and juices.” Together, spending on mars bars, chips and bottled water account for almost as much as what is spent on electricity.

    Finally for now, 4.9 per cent of household expenditure is on holiday travel and accommodation, split roughly half between domestic adventures and overseas sojourns. Another First World Problem it seems which again puts in context the rise in electricity prices and the overall price level when the price on carbon kicks in.

    I suspect the price of electricity generates an emotive response because prices have risen dramatically over the past five years or so. What’s more, the electricity bill is a large one-off amount that creates a shock when it comes in, unlike spending on beer, confectionary and the odd takeaway chicken tikka masala which is a few dollars here, a few dollars there, and spread out over time.

    Oh, of course there’s the compensation to most households that will be delivered as a result of the carbon tax. The bulk of households will soon be getting an increase in their social security payments or cuts in tax rates, paid for by the revenue received from the carbon price. This means that most households will in fact be better off when the carbon price comes in, even if spending patterns don’t change.

    Imagine how much better off we all could be financially if we spent a little less on the booze, cigarettes, burgers and soft drink? I wonder what all the fuss is about?

    PS.. Abbott is sure pushing his parental scheme. Big play on welfare allowance and getting paid on your wage.

    The Coalition proud to have for the last two years. Those who are against it, in Mr. Abbott’s eyes are not in the Coalition. Senator Cash once again standing up for all women.

    1000 places for refugee women with children. No extra places though.

    Why is he politicising International Women’s Day. ABC24 MC

    Does not Mr. Abbott realise that not many women share Senator Cash’s views. In fact she turns many off.

  9. Lets spread the facts, not slogans, as Mr. Abbott is only capable of.

    Critically, the 2012-13 budget outcome can be announced in August 2013, about the time the starting gun for the 2013 election is fired. A surplus will give Gillard additional economic credibility during the campaign, which will be further enhanced by the delivery of 1 million jobs.

    Gillard knows that the Coalition has rarely focused on facts when discussing the economy, instead talking of great big new taxes, the government being addicted to spending and other unsubstantiated bluster.

    Gillard has to use facts to change the electorate’s perception. It will be a tough task. The way Gillard has stumped up in recent weeks, Abbott should be worried that she just might get her message through.

  10. From your link, Cu, it is interesting that the author says Labor are coming of age. He is clearly referring to politics, not policy. In my opinion there has never been an issue with policy.

  11. Cu, also from your link:

    Gillard knows that the Coalition has rarely focused on facts when discussing the economy, instead talking of great big new taxes, the government being addicted to spending and other unsubstantiated bluster.

    It’s refreshing to see some acknowledgment..

  12. On the carbon tax debate and away from the Murdoch minions..

    The carbon tax will help pay for an ambitious scheme to connect great swathes of the Australian landscape and protect endangered species, under a proposal before the government.

    A draft wildlife corridors plan – seen by The Age – proposes a national approach to connecting the landscape across national parks, indigenous land and private properties to better protect biodiversity.

    It is expected any wildlife corridor plan would be mainly paid for under a $1 billion biodiversity fund being set up with revenue from the carbon tax, due to start in July.

  13. Today is International Women’s Day (IWD), celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women.

    Just thought all the knitters here would like to know. 😀

  14. Miglo, there are many great male knitters. They even take prizes at the Sydney Easter Show.

  15. I see that the OO has trotted out Neil James for an opinion about Steven Smith.

    Neil James, from the Australia Defence Association, said the minister’s criticism of Commodore Kafer was driven by political motives.

    The Australian Defence Association is BTW a lobby group and in no way represents anyone except their own interests.

    Neil James has also previously sought to excuse the behaviour of some (male) cadets..this is from last April.

    DEFENCE Minister Stephen Smith today raised concerns over Commonwealth liability in the academy sex scandal, with a senior defence figure earlier claiming young cadets were “fit as mallee bulls” and looked for a sexual outlet in their high-pressure environment.

  16. Gillard gets A-plus on International Women’s Day

    Prime Minister Julia Gillard has been given the tick of approval by an executive leadership expert on International Women’s Day.

    The Australian Graduate School of Management’s Executive Education executive director Rosemary Howard has given Ms Gillard an A-plus for conflict management, legislative change and re-engaging with the public service in Canberra.

    Ms Howard says Ms Gillard has managed a complex minority government to achieve a large amount of legislative change in a short period of time.

    But it says she is struggling with voters because she lost their trust over the mining tax and carbon tax, and double standards are being used to assess her leadership.

    According to Ms Howard, Ms Gillard is being judged more harshly than her male peers.

    Well done Prime Minister.

    Oh, for an International Opposition Leaders Day…. I’d like to see Mr. Abbott’s report card.

  17. Cu and It is nice to see that today’s unemployment figures have cheered Mr. Abbott up. It has been a while since we have seen a smile on his face.

    I have never seen such a person who is always so overtly happy about other people’s doesn’t bode well for other than the billionaire’s club should he ever become prime minister.

    I’m thinking of all of his photo ops, too numerous to mention but there he is Big Cheesy’re all going to be thrown out of work/pay more because (insert Tony’s favorite issue of the moment).

  18. It is nice to see that today’s unemployment figures have cheered Mr. Abbott up. It has been a while since we have seen a smile on his face.

    Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says he will only believe that the government can return a surplus when he sees one.

    Wayne Swan is sticking to his guns to deliver a surplus in his 2012/13 budget, due to be handed down on May 8, despite the latest national accounts showing the economy grew by just 0.4 per cent in the December quarter.

    In November’s mid-year budget review the government forecast a $1.5 billion surplus in 2012/13, which would be a massive turnaround from a predicted $37.1 billion deficit this financial year.

    But Mr Abbott told reporters in Melbourne he would ‘believe it when I see it’, noting Labor had not delivered a surplus since being elected in 2007.

    Instead it was responsible for the four biggest deficits in Australian history, racking up $167 billion worth of budget shortfalls.

    Using the projected surplus for next year, Mr Abbott said: ‘It would take a 100 years of Swannie surpluses to make up for just four years for Swannie deficits.’

    Secret Report CH 10..News. Sky scandal. Gives more cover for Steven Smith.

    Her room was not sprayed with shaving cream. It was jiff cleaning liquor.

    The girl is banned from talking.

    Maybe Mr. Abbott might just have a little egg on his face.

    Looks like Smith has been vindicated

  19. Min @ 4.39pm if Neil James doesn’t want to be accused of being [in his own words] a “sexist troglodyte” then he he should go home and reconsider his own attitude.

    Mr James’ said he was unaware of allegations the woman’s previous sexual history was being raised to discredit her and said he didn’t regard it as relevant. It’s understood he contacted the minister’s office this week to strongly deny the ADA was involved.

    Then he blew his denial with his next comment:-

    “But it’s my understanding she’s a little bit of a troubled lass,” he said.

    Where, then, did he hear the “troubled” story?

    A federal MP has detailed to the Sunday Telegraph a brutal attempt by Defence personnel to smear the female cadet in the scandal as “promiscuous, a slut”.

    The federal MP, who asked not to be named, said he was contacted by phone and email by parents of fellow cadets, ADFA personnel and other Defence staff to paint the teenager as “a wild child”.

    “There was a character assassination attempt,” the MP said. “They said,’This girl is a problem, promiscuous, in breach of regulations’. Absolutely it worried me, enormously. It’s standard operator procedure. Shoot the messenger.”

    Defence Minister Smith is right to maintain his stance.

  20. Pip, Mr. Smith was right. He did say yesterday during the long PC that he and the army had difficulty agreeing to what could be released.

    It appears that tonight, secret findings were leaked to channel 10 news. This backed up Mr. Smith’s stance.

    By the way, it is true that the room was not sprayed with shaving cream. It is true that is was sprayed with jip cleaner.

    CH 10- believe that there are many in the forces do not agree with what was released, leading to the leaks. The girl concerned has a gag put on her by the army.

    The concern seem to be that no one spoke to the girl about how she felt about the disciplinary hearings going ahead. It was simply not appropriate.

    What I picked up yesterday, there was more time spent clearing the army chiefs and little concern given to the girl. The only comment I recall is that she should have went through official channels, not the media. We know from history were that leads, nowhere.

    The officer concerned did nothing illegal, but whether he acted ethically, is another matter.

    He did not have to go ahead with the hearings. They could have been postponed. I do not believe they were hanging offences.

    Uhlmann. Dissent in Mr. Abbott’s camp. He must be wrong. 7.30 ABC 1

  21. Cu, and By the way, it is true that the room was not sprayed with shaving cream. It is true that is was sprayed with jip cleaner.

    I’m a bit behind the news at the moment..but what is jip cleaner?

  22. Cu, @ 8.49pm, did you wonder about Minchin putting his head over the parapet on 7.30…..that’s unusual for him and I’d like to place a small wager on Abbott getting rumbled soon.

  23. The point is that the release report is very selective in what it says. No wonder Mr. Smith is a little pique.

    Is should have been released before Christmas, but there has been disagreement over what could be released. That was clear from yesterday’s MC.

    Maybe at last we have a minister that runs the forces, not the other way around.

    Public opinion appears to be a little over half in favour of Smith. That says something.

  24. Pip, I really think he is gone.

    With all the so called strife the PM is supposed to be in, Mr.Abbott has not improved his margin this year. I notice the Greens are going down a little.

    I really believe people are now taking an interest in what is going on.

    Why is Abbott flogging the parental scheme. A scheme that would only appeal to Liberal voters anyway. A scheme that leaves low income earners worse off.

    Most women earning the money he is appealing to, would already be covered by industry schemes. Most others would be covered by government schemes.

    The ones not covered, are low income and irregular workers.

    The only thing that would appeal to those on lower income, is the six month cover. This can easily be covered by extending the present scheme.

    Does not make sense. There is nothing in it for the Liberals. He must think that women are stupid.

  25. Prime Minister Julia Gillard has confirmed her support of embattled Defence Minister Stephen Smith amid calls for him to apologise to the head of the Defence Force Academy (ADFA).

    Mr Smith has been under pressure since he refused to back away from criticism he made of Commodore Bruce Kafer and his handling of the so-called ADFA Skype sex scandal.

    In 2010, a cadet known as Kate alleged she had been filmed having sex with a fellow cadet while others watched via Skype in another room.

    Kate was facing disciplinary proceedings for a separate matter at the time, and Mr Smith was strident in his criticism of Commodore Kafer who allowed a disciplinary hearing to go ahead.

    An inquiry into the matter found that, overall, Commodore Kafer did not make an error of judgment and there was no legal basis to prevent him returning to the academy.

    Despite the inquiry’s findings, Mr Smith has refused to express his confidence in the commodore.

    “It’s not a matter of me having confidence in him, it’s not my decision. It’s a decision of the Chief of the Defence Force,” Mr Smith said.

    “He and the Vice Chief, his commanding officers, have made a decision that is absolutely open to them given the Kirkham inquiry.”

    PHOTO: Commodore Bruce Kafer will resume duties this week. (Australian Defence Force)
    But Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says that is not good enough and he called for the Prime Minister to get involved.

    “He spent weeks taking public pot shots at a fine officer who has now been revealed to have acted in an exemplary fashion at all times,” Mr Abbott said.

    “I think there should be an apology to Commandant Kafer. It should be immediate, it should be unreserved, it should be unqualified.

    “It should be made by Minister Smith now, and if Minister Smith lacks the decency and the humility to do it, the Prime Minister should do it.”

    ‘Full confidence’

    A spokeswoman for the Prime Minister says Ms Gillard fully supports Mr Smith’s attempt to improve the Defence Force culture, and has full confidence that the findings are being appropriately implemented.

    But Mr Abbott has questioned if there are any systemic cultural problems within Defence.

    “When bad things happen, justice should be done as quickly as possible,” he said.

    “I have to say though that I am very reluctant to conclude that there is anything fundamentally wrong with Defence culture.

    “I’d like to think that our Defence Force personnel represent the best of us, not the worst of us.

    “I think we should support them and work with them to make our Defence Force is everything that people in the tradition of the Anzacs should be.”


    AUDIO: Smith under fire over criticism of ADFA head (PM)
    Mr Smith says the bulk of the reports released on Wednesday on the need for cultural change show standards must improve.

    “I’m very pleased with the document that the Chief and the Secretary tabled yesterday about the need for cultural change, the need to accept frankly that in the past Defence has not met the highest standards required, accept frankly that in the past there has been sometimes a tendency to turn a blind eye to inappropriate conduct,” he said.

    “Those days are over and inappropriate conduct will now be viewed thorough the prism of the pathway to cultural change prepared and tabled yesterday by the Chief of the Defence Force and the Secretary of the department.”

    Retired General Jim Molan and the Australia Defence Association have both been highly critical of Mr Smith and his relationship with the Defence hierarchy.

    But Mr Smith says their views should not be taken to represent those of existing service members.

    “I’ve seen references to difficult conversations. There’s a difference between a difficult conversation and a conversation about dealing with difficult issues,” he said.

    He says he has a good working relationship with the current Defence leadership group.

  26. Cu, Maybe at last we have a minister that runs the forces, not the other way around.

    Public opinion appears to be a little over half in favour of Smith. That says something.

    there have been many discussions over the years about the Defence Dept., being a law unto themselves…. so they wouldn’t like having a Minister who stands up to them….

  27. Abbott’s attitude to the events described above seem to be of the “just kids having fun” variety. A line used by Howard, akin to dog whistling, to let everybody feel that THEY were OK. Looking for the Defence vote. Plus of sourse it’s something Labor’s done & must be opposed. No doubt there’s the draft of a “Labor doing nothing while this outrage continues” speech in his office in case Smith hadn’t done anything about it. Perhaps 4Corners could look into the matter.

  28. Isn’t it great to see all those young people who like Cafe Whispers? It certainly squashes the allegation that this place is full of old ducks.

  29. Cu and Bob,

    7.30 transcript

    Liberal party unease enters spotlight

    A paid parental leave scheme is the signature policy of the Federal Opposition but spending promises are sparking questions within the Liberal party.

    CHRIS UHLMANN, PRESENTER: The recent ructions in Canberra have focused political attention on the disunity in the Labor Party, but Tony Abbott is facing dissent in his ranks as well. Today the Opposition Leader reaffirmed his commitment to a parental leave scheme which would give new mothers six months fully paid leave with business made to pay for it. He’s called it a signature policy, the defining mark of his leadership. But some in his party are alarmed that too many spending promises are risking the Opposition’s economic credibility. Political editor Heather Ewart reports.

    When Liberal Party heavy Nick Minchin speaks up Tony Abbott should pay attention if he knows what’s good for him!

    HEATHER EWART: The Opposition claims to have 40 of its 49 policy areas completed and costed and the business community for one is keen to start seeing some detail.

    PETER ANDERSON: We would like more policy information and we would also like more information about some of the aims and ambitions for economic management if they were in government.

    Mr. Peter Anderson is the chief executive of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry,

    As for the Coalition having some of their policies completed and costed
    the big question is, who did the costings?

  30. Fair Work says it can’t help HSU probe

    Fair Work Australia (FWA) says it is legally prevented from sharing the results of its investigations into the Health Services Union with Victorian police.

    Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has urged the workplace watchdog to cooperate with police investigating the union but Workplace Minister Bill Shorten says FWA is entitled to do its job independently and without political interference.

    Well Tony, the attempted political interference is coming from you and your Shadow Attorney-General!


    Mr Abbott told reporters in Melbourne on Thursday the workplace watchdog appeared to be “engaged in protecting the government”.

    “I call on Fair Work Australia to cooperate with the police investigations, and I demand that the prime minister state where she stands on this,” he said.

    “Here we have a law enforcement agency of the commonwealth (FWA) … refusing in an absolutely unconscionable way to co-operate with police.”

    FWA general manager Bernadette O’Neill said in a statement on Thursday that as a statutory officer she could only use her powers and functions for the purposes prescribed by industrial laws.

    “It would be inappropriate to voluntarily disclose information obtained through the exercise of a statutory power or function in aid of some other unrelated exercise (such as a police investigation),” she said.

    Tony Abbott is judge and jury and he wants an election now.

  31. Treasury
    Coalition promises audit body to wield axe on waste
    by: Dennis Shanahan, Political editor
    From: The Australian March 09, 2012 12

    TONY Abbott has committed the Coalition to establishing an audit commission to review government spending “top to bottom”, rein in waste, identify where taxpayer funds should be spent and start “with a clean slate” on government spending.

    The Opposition Leader has committed the Coalition, if elected at the next election, to take practical, positive steps on the economy, including a national commission of audit that would look at spending priorities without compromising government’s core business. “After beginning the carbon tax repeal process, and giving the navy new instructions for responding to illegal boats, establishing a commission of audit will be an incoming Coalition government’s most urgent task,” Mr Abbott will say in a speech to the Victorian Employers Chamber of Commerce and Industry today.

    I’m beginning to think Mr. Abbott is barking mad!

    Who will the Coalition hire this time to do their “audit”?
    Willl more Liberal Party mates be called on to add up the Hockeynomics numbers?

    Who will turn the boats around for Mr. Abbott?
    Dog-whistling on that subject is a no-brainer.

    Abbott’s ‘send boats back’ policy under attack at home and abroad
    Tom Allard, Jakarta and Kirsty Needham
    January 24, 2012.

    TONY Abbott’s plan to send back all asylum-seeker boats has drawn fire from Indonesia’s police as well as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees as dangerous and in breach of international law.

    The expressions of alarm came a day after The Age reported former Australian Defence Force chief retired admiral Chris Barrie saying it would be close to impossible as well as expensive to send all the boats back.

    Not to worry Tony, Shananagans will continue to write up your hare-brained ideas.


  32. Arachnophobes move on….nothing to see here 😯

    Spider army on the retreat from NSW floodwaters

    Amazing photo ….

    Arachnophobes beware. There is a silent army on the move in flooded New South Wales.

    Floodwaters have stirred up what appears to be millions of spiders around Wagga Wagga and the creepy crawlies are heading for higher ground.

    Residents taking refuge from flood and spider in the Red Steer pub say you cannot walk down the road without swarms of tiny brown spiders crawling up your legs, and in their escape they have left entire paddocks and trees swathed in silver silk.

  33. Can Michelle Grattan be any more blatantly biased, and obsessed with the politicking games the media play? She gives no consideration to Defence Minister Smith’s concern for the young woman in the Skype incident, or indeed, for the young woman, and finishes her story with the notion that he may not have found himself in the current predicament … if

    Only defiance from Smith, but in the end he has no choice

    If events had taken their expected course last week, Smith and Hurley would not have been standing uncomfortably side by side yesterday. But for Julia Gillard overriding Smith’s opposition to Bob Carr, Smith would have been foreign minister, and a new defence minister could have flicked off Smith’s April attacks on Kafer. The military would have been glad to see the back of Smith and he of them. Now they are stuck with each other, all elbows and bristles, probably until the election.

    And the Kafer affair might not be quite over. In the normal course of events, Kafer, who has been a commodore since 2005, would soon be in line for promotion. If he gets one, it will be a sharp message from the military to the minister.

    Sooner or later, hopefully, Michelle Grattan and her cronies will receive a “sharp message” of their own.

  34. Defence Minister thrown report lifeline
    Dylan Welch
    March 9, 2012

    DEFENCE Minister Stephen Smith, under fire over his handling of the Skype affair, has been thrown a lifeline by the leaking of an inquiry document that reveals strong criticism of a senior Defence official involved in the case.

    This week, Mr Smith and Defence chief David Hurley released some details of the Kirkham inquiry findings, and they appeared to broadly support the actions of Commodore Kafer.

    But yesterday Channel Ten obtained the original report by Mr Kirkham, and it told a different story. ”Commodore Kafer could and should have foreseen that [disciplinary charges would be served on Kate] at a time when [she was receiving] medical treatment and had recently been advised of the Skype incident, and further that such service could cause her upset.”

    Mr Kirkham’s report also found that Kate suffered unnecessary distress because of Commodore Kafer’s actions, and that he failed to inquire as to whether Kate wanted the disciplinary matter to be delayed.

    ”The inquiry finds this failure unfortunate … such inquiries would have been a sensible and appropriate course of action.”

  35. Pip

    It would appear that Abbott is prolonging the Pong at ADFA

    Kafer will return to work this week, meaning everyone involved in the Skype scandal – minus the victim and one alleged perpetrator – are all still at ADFA
    Read more:

    “But Mr Abbott has questioned if there are any systemic cultural problems within Defence.”

  36. Hate media is at it again…

    ‘Investment in wind turbines will fail to cut enough greenhouse gas emissions to justify their cost, economists warned yesterday after a detailed British analysis released this week.

    ‘The conclusions challenge a cornerstone of Labor’s climate change policy as the federal government pours taxpayer funds into wind projects using direct subsidies, a planned $10 billion investment fund and renewable energy targets.’

    They don’t seem to realise that money is not everything in life…what about the planet?

  37. El gordo, the planet will rejuvenate after human extinction. In the meantime let’s continue to rape and pillage it and make the most of our short stay.

  38. ‘…and make the most of our short stay.’

    But what about those who follow after us? There are many here with grandchildren who need to know the troof.

  39. Does my memory mislead me, but I seem to recall that in the case of the 18 year old, the army came to the conclusion that NO crime had occurred. It was only after the media was involved, that the army referred the matter to the police. The

    This matter is not about having sex, but having it recorded and live time shown to other cadets.

  40. THE Planning Minister, Brad Hazzard, has agreed to consider proposals for a state or Sydney-wide levy on ratepayers to raise money for parks, libraries and other community facilities in new suburbs.

    Once upon a time, at least in Victoria when a new subdivision went in, who was it who provided all those things – the developer – after all it was he who was going to be making mega out of the development. Therefore Council insisted that some facilities be provided, parkland and community facilities. Councils had learnt the hard way, especially in the isolated new developments that minus community facilities, it was a recipe for social problems especially amongst the young.

    Not anymore it seems, the developer makes the mega and the ratepayers help him to sell it by paying for facilities.

  41. el gordo, I am afraid I do not understand your concerns. How can wind farms hurt the planet.

    They are widely found across the Northern hemisphere in communities for decades with no harmful effects.

    There is no evidence whatever that they affect peoples health.

    The cows and other animals in the Scandinavian countries still seem to milk and breed.

    Wind and solar have many other benefits, apart from reducing carbon emissions. One, they are renewal. Two, they can service small towns and cities without hundreds of kilometres of lines and power grids etc..

    Thirdly, they do not produce any emission’s of any kind.

  42. Pip, the question of who was going to do the coatings was asked of them earlier in the week.

    The questioner pointed out the Opposition do not trust Treasury or the public services, who were they going to rely on.

    As usual, there was no answer given, except, do not worry, we will fix that up, or words to that effect.

    There policies are now in place, but I am sure I heard Mr. Robb say this was not the case. Once again, an answer for every audience.

    I for one do not trust the Opposition, and believe that anyone that does is a fool.

  43. At the time, Mr Smith described Commodore Kafer’s decision as ”completely stupid” and ”almost certainly faulty at law”.
    This week, Mr Smith and Defence chief David Hurley released some details of the Kirkham inquiry findings, and they appeared to broadly support the actions of Commodore Kafer.
    But yesterday Channel Ten obtained the original report by Mr Kirkham, and it told a different story. ”Commodore Kafer could and should have foreseen that [disciplinary charges would be served on Kate] at a time when [she was receiving] medical treatment and had recently been advised of the Skype incident, and further that such service could cause her upset.”
    Mr Kirkham’s report also found that Kate suffered unnecessary distress because of Commodore Kafer’s actions, and that he failed to inquire as to whether Kate wanted the disciplinary matter to be delayed.
    ”The inquiry finds this failure unfortunate … such inquiries would have been a sensible and appropriate course of action.”
    The unedited findings of the Kirkham report will provide support to Mr Smith’s position. Since Wednesday, and despite strong criticism from Defence, he has refused to back away from his criticism of Commodore Kafer.
    Yesterday Mr Smith also appeared to question the decision of General Hurley to return Commodore Kafer to the defence academy.
    ”There are risks associated with him going back, because it may well be the controversy follows him and ADFA. But that’s a judgment which, in the end, the Chief of the Defence Force made,” Mr Smith said. ”I don’t take a backward step from the very strong point I made at the time that it’s wrong in principle to bring into play the character of the innocent victim of an alleged serious sexual assault and I won’t repent from that.”
    The latest revelations may not stop supporters of Commodore Kafer criticising Mr Smith. In an article in The Age today, former army chief Peter Leahy writes that despite the release of the Kirkham inquiry summary, Mr Smith has been ”unable to accept he was wrong’

    Read more:

  44. “Fair Work Australia (FWA) says it is legally prevented from sharing the results of its investigations into the Health Services Union with Victorian police.

    Pip, the legalisation was introduced by Mr. Abbott when he was minister. It was transferred to FWA.

    As Mr. Shorten said, if one has complaints about the duty of the General Manager, take your complaints to Mr. Abbott.

  45. Ahh…yes…for the sake of humanity a few generations on. That’s simply not good enough, we must do something.

    Adaptation to any climate variable looks safe.

  46. Except that at one stage the human race was reduced to a few wandering tribes somewhere in Africa..that vision of the future somehow doesn’t appeal.

  47. Once upon a time, at least in Victoria when a new subdivision went in, who was it who provided all those things – the developer

    Min, I can remember moving to suburbs such as Wentworthville at the end of the 1960’s.

    There was no sewer and very few sealed roads or footpaths.

    It was very costly to retrofit these services after the homes were built, and the developer long disappeared with is profits.

    The home owner pays either way.

    This is what many do not understand.

    To put the services in up front is the cheapest way to go.

    Not requiring the developer to meet these responsibilities will not release more affordable land.

  48. If the union movement spent more time worrying about its members and less time campaigning for the Labor party and worrying about its preselections, we’d have a better country.

    I take it that Mr. Abbott believe that the union was not considering their members when they took on the fight against WorkChoices.

    I do not agree with Mr. Abbott that the boss needs a more flexible workforce. With nearly half of workers employed on a casual or short term basis, how much more flexibility does one need.

    The numbers of awards have been contracted to a few.

    I believe what Mr. Abbott and employer groups are seeking, is the right to hire and fire at will, with wages and conditioners that deem as fair.

    The Constitution does state that there has to be some type of IR arbitration for workers.

  49. Cu, that was definitely earlier on. However, Councils learnt that it didn’t take that many years before the population built up and residents started demanding amenities, that new schools had to be built but that Councils had not had the foresight to set aside land for these.

    We therefore ended up with Developer Contributions where X amount of land was set aside, or if the development was too small cash in lieu was added to Council’s development fund.

    The NSW government it seems, wants to return to the old days of ratepayers meeting the costs of developments rather than the developer themselves. Of course the developers are going to LOVE IT!

  50. Cu and I do not agree with Mr. Abbott that the boss needs a more flexible workforce. With nearly half of workers employed on a casual or short term basis, how much more flexibility does one need.


  51. Migs…its all very well for you to be sarcastic on such an important issue. As you know I take CC very seriously.

  52. Well…yes, Tom, but as we have an arrangement not to speak on such matters with any clarity, I thought I might test Poe’s Law in a hostle and alen environment.

  53. but as we have an arrangement not to speak on such matters with any clarity,

    We have no such arrangement. Go on, back that statement up too.

  54. Min, maybe we could adapt to eating Tom….. in the future there will be no fat people….. they’ll get eaten first, soylent green biccy anyone……

  55. in the future there will be no fat people….. they’ll get eaten first

    lol. I was thinking Zombieland, and one of his rules…Cardio!!

  56. I believe that the denialati will be the first to be eaten.

    You want me to try and eat something it is obvious I cannot stomach.

    That’s just plain cruel Min 😉

  57. Treading carefully with my new found freedom, lets go back 20,000 years to the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM).

    In this cold phase the dust from way outback had spred east to the foot of the Blue Mountains, yet a small family group can be seen hunting at Lake Mungo.

    Soon the lakes there will dry up and life would become even more difficult.

    How close were they to extinction?

    A genuine Terra Nullius.

  58. El gordo, I believe that there was a lot more to the dust from outback Australia landing in swimming pools in Adelaide, than just a “cold phase”. It was a lot more to do with farming practices such as overgrazing and the impact of feral animals.

    For example, bunny rabbits. In their native climes, even though they are prolific breeders as we all know the rabbit population was kept under control by TWO factors, natural predators and the climate.

    Why the climate? It’s because rabbits dig burrows which in wetter climates are regularly drowned. Hence the reason that rabbits thrive in the outback and have bred to plague proportion in Australia.

    Rabbits = eat everything = dust storms with which SA and now Melbourne residents have become increasingly acquainted.

  59. El gordo, as the blog master I allow sarcasm on this thread. I even allow groupthink. I just don’t tolerate trolls, of which you are not one.

    The LGM, by the way, was about 9,000 years ago.

  60. Catrching up @ 9.17am, the current Shadow Fianance and Treasury team remind me of another Joe who used to say “don’t you worry about that…”

  61. The LGM was in fact 18,000 years BP and I mentioned 20,000 because it tied in nicely with the Mungo footprints.

    Sloppy journalism or poetic license?

    You are probably correct in thinking the lakes eventually dried up around the time you mentioned, the last melt water from the Australian highlands.

    The creek that feeds the lakes took water uphill, such was the force.

  62. Back on the ground at 18,000 bp there wasn’t much ice melt, the same around the world, but because of the coolness there was little evaporation and the lakes would probably have remained a good place to camp.

  63. Gosh. Do you mean to say that my university studies in Aboriginal archaeology were a complete waste of time? 😦

    I can see that the text books will need to be re-written.

  64. El gordo, the LGM was closer to when you said, but the ice melt didn’t end until the period I mentioned, ie, 9,000 years ago.

  65. That’s right Miglo, “thats when we worry”!
    Coalition finance wizards muck up, journalists cover up, the public need to wake up.

  66. Rinehart warned children of bankruptcy, documents reveal as court lifts lid on family feud
    March 9, 2012 .

    •Read Ginia Rinehart’s statement in full
    Australia’s richest person, Gina Rinehart, told her children they could be bankrupted unless they agreed to let her continue to control the family’s multibillion-dollar trust.

    Mrs Rinehart, who is worth $17.1 billion, emailed her son and three daughters just days before the trust was to vest, warning they each faced a potential capital gains tax liability of $100 million.

    The iron ore magnate told the children that in order to avoid financial ruin, they were to sign a new deed, which would effectively give her long-term control of the trust, her lawyers say.

    The three eldest children, John Langley Hancock, Bianca Hope Rinehart and Hope Rinehart Welker, launched urgent legal action against their mother, claiming their mother’s behaviour was “wrongful”.

    They say the email and its attachments were sent one business day before September 6, 2012 – the 25th birthday of the youngest sibling, Ginia, and the trigger for the trust to vest.

  67. Pip. I seen the end of the interview. The Senator seems to be doing a good job.

    Now that Mr. Abbott woken up to the fact he is not going to be offered the job on a silver plate, he needs to do some work.

    That will be hard for him. He is a natural lazy man, who is happier putting the boot in than doing anything constructive.

    This means that the shadow boxing is over and there is now something for Labor to attack.

  68. Cu, wise lady. That’s Tony Abbott precisely, he is too lazy and too egotistical to take any action, expects everything to be handed to him on a silver platter.

    This in the past has been highly successful, minimal effort for maximum effect.

  69. ‘I can see that the text books will need to be re-written.’

    You are best man for the job and the documentary which follows will be a stunner.

  70. The established narrative by the press gallery on the Gillard government is that it’s hopeless, that everything it touches turns to custard

    I put a link up in the media watch about an article by Barrie Cassidy which might help explain why the gallery might have taken this ‘narrative’.

    If it is the case, then the media have a lot to answer for.

  71. Cu, bunnies do not so much thrive as survive in their natural environment of Europe and the UK. Correct me if I’m wrong here but the plague rabbit in Australia is Oryctolagus cuniculus, the European rabbit and not the English cotton tail rabbit.

    My interest in the climate change debate is environmental. As far as I can see, we can waste hours upon hours debating the ‘whys’ and ‘ifs’, but it’s what we should do about it which is important. I don’t even know if anything such as a climate tax might work, but I do know that we human beans are the species on this planet which can effect change. If we do not effect change, then it’s taking nature for granted. We humans have come severely adrift in the past due to this attitude.

  72. Min, still a climate that can be wet and I believe cold.

    They thrive here because we do not have the wolves and fewer foxes.

  73. Introduced species are a huge problem, the cane toad comes to mind.

    The thrust of my argument is that we should prepare for any likely eventuality, warming or cooling.

    Scientists are not infallible (sic).

  74. El gordo, I can’t see any problem whatsoever with this opinion. I tend to go with the opinion that if we don’t do something about causing an imbalance via CO2 emissions that we are in diabolical trouble.

    There is the contra opinion that CO2 is just a harmless gas and so what if there’s too much of it, so what..humans will adapt anyway.

    I would rather be a doer than a do nothing-er.

  75. The thrust of my argument is that we should prepare for any likely eventuality

    I think this just may be the only sensible thing el gordo has ever said in reagrds to CC 😯

    Now the real reason for my change of attire – off to visit the gasto-dude 😦

  76. Cu, actually it’s due to the dry climate. We have sufficient predators due to the introduction of foxes, feral dogs & cats and to a lesser extent dingoes. However, the prime killer of kits in European climes is the drowning of the burrows due to the far wetter climate. This is the reason why we see rabbit plagues in Australia during periods of drought.

  77. Julia is doing something, unfortunately its wrong headed.

    The ‘precautionary principle] should be adopted in a bipartisan way.

    Adaptation….do I have a second?

  78. Scientists are not infallible

    I AGREE!

    In fact, right now, there is a cadre of geologists who appear to disagree with everyone else over the validity of the Greenhouse Effect. 😉

    Anyway, I’m outta here, time to go and kill worms with the kids

    Enjoy the weekend everyone, no matter what you do, or where you are.

  79. Cu, the “shadow boxing” smudgy buggler and his financial wizards will have do more than evade and recite slogans from now on….

  80. Pip and Cu, I haven’t been completely with it on the news scene for the past day or so..what’s the goss!! What’s the catalyst which has changed things.

  81. And fear not. El gordo has about as much chance of converting us to the dark side as Port has in this year’s premiership race.

  82. Just listened to Mr. Abbott’s speech. Nothing new, except his way of cutting PS is to add new departments, to do what another is already doing. He is going to find waste he believes exists. As I said nothing new.

    What he did say at the end, that one might notice a change in tempo of the Coalition. It appears that they are giving speeches.

    He is just going to do it better.

    It was a boring speech.

    As they said, he is doing a Howard. Back to the past once more.

    Lower taxes and I assume lower services. That is unless Mr. Abbott has found that magic pudding.

  83. Cu, maybe the Coalition have realised what many have been saying about the slogan tactic.

    There are more lib types speaking up now along with business leaders who aren’t just saying they’re not happy about some govenment policy, although
    other s are saying they can work well with the government.

    I thought the Finance Minister spoke coherently on the topic, with a competence and confidence that is missing from the Libs.comments on economc matters.

    Abbott’s speech was a poor effort the idea of cutting “waste” and putting tens of thousands of public servants out of work might suit the IPA types, but its a brainless idea at best, and very damaging to the communities which rely on public services

  84. Speech very light on in detail.

    I believe that this government keeps a very tight rein on spending. It has to, because of it unnecessary economic but political necessary drive to get back to surplus.

    I do not believe he will find much waste.

    Was not the growth in PS because of the armed forces.

    Business world does not seem to be welcoming Abbott with open arms.

  85. All it shows is Mr. Abbott now realises there is not going to be an early election.

    He is also aware that time is on the PM’s side.

  86. Cu, well that only took how long?..for Tony Abbott to realize that there was NOT going to be an early election.

    Such is the complete and utter stupidity..why would any Labor government want an early election when Tony is ahead in the polls.

    Tony, if you want an early election then get your friends in the media to run polls showing that Labor has gained substantial ground. THEN you might have a chance of an early election.

  87. Miglo, I believe there was no sympathy from another FB friend 😯

    Have faith
    Yes Pip, the bottom eight.

    Port can’t sit at the bottom of the ladder forever …can they?

  88. ABC24 discussing the Defence Minister’s response to the Kirkham report,

    Abbott and Defence Association’s Neil James demanding that he apologise to the the Commandant, while no-one mentions the article yesterday about the leaked documents to Channel 10, which tell a different story…

    Having talking heads for every occasion is a useless exercise when no-one talks in straight facts and everyone is spinning furiously for their own side.

    Waste. of. time!

  89. I laughed when Sindenos or whatever his name is said it the PM continues to flat-line etc.

    Surely he has noticed that Mr. Abbott is also flat-lining.

    The speech is still slogans and motherhood statements. No detail.

    Noticed that the camera did not take in the audience. It was like he was talking to the camera and empty room.

  90. There is little doubt that Yabbott is stoopid at times, this is a prime example of shooting himself in the foot. He’s no populist.

    ‘The Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, also criticised Mr Smith’s handling of the matter and challenged Mr Smith’s assertion that there was a problem with defence culture. ”Bad things happen in all walks of life,” he said.’

  91. El gordo and:

    He’s no populist

    Definition: populist: A supporter of the rights and power of the people/an advocate of democratic principles.

    You’re certainly right there..that’s not Tony Abbott, and that’s for certain.

  92. Maybe this describes him best.

    abbott is a mad hypocrite….

    Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has set his sights on government departments, saying he will significantly restrain spending and streamline their operations if he wins the next election.
    Mr Abbott is promising to set up an audit commission to look at every line of government spending and report within four months.
    He has declared, however, that his paid parental leave scheme will be spared such scrutiny.
    The Government has labelled the audit “a chamber of horrors” and is demanding Mr Abbott spell out where he would slash public spending.
    Ah the little hypocrite takes us for a bunch of fools!!!: I would suggest he snips his own shadow cabinet first… Second he thinks that Aussies are idiots and he’s probably right… But that is not an excuse… Wielding the axe through the public service and the government spending in this fashion reminds me of firms who went from profitable to bankrupt in a jiffy, JUST BY CUTTING STAFF to save money on the bottom line. it’s the classic syndrome where investments in people and projects get cut till no-one is able to perform anything viable… This little dork has no business sense, no public service idea and should be THROWN OUT by his own colleagues. We should realise that to analyse government projects WITHIN FOUR months is impossible, which means that he has already a slash and burn wish list which we know is to cut everything from the NBN to your rights at work…

  93. Miglo, And what a brainwashed young lady she must be.

    hmmm, nope that’s definitely not it …

  94. ‘After beginning the carbon tax repeal process and giving the navy new instructions for responding to illegal boats, establishing a commission of audit will be an incoming coalition government’s most urgent task,’ Mr Abbott told the Victorian Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Melbourne on Friday.

    Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott, who represents the country’s top 100 company bosses, said this was an important step at a time when greater fiscal discipline is essential.

    While welcoming cuts to the defence bureaucracy, Australia Defence Association executive director Neil James is sceptical, telling AAP both Labor and the coalition routinely promised to cut the top-heavy department when in opposition and then failed to act in government.

    ACT Liberal senator Gary Humphries agreed that public services should be looked at but said claims of huge waste within the commonwealth public service are ‘exaggerated’.

    ‘I don’t think we see as much waste as we once did,’ he told ABC radio.

    Earlier this week, opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey set out his plan for the budget, committing the coalition to delivering a surplus in its first year in office, while vowing not to follow Labor in rolling out a stimulus package in the event of another global economic downturn.

    Completing the coalition’s economics team, opposition finance spokesman Andrew Robb will soon deliver a speech focused on the vulnerabilities facing the economy.

    The coalition has already committed to ditching the Department of Climate Change and including its essential functions into the environment department.

    Mr Abbott said an audit would question whether the federal health department really needs all 6000 of its current staff when the commonwealth doesn’t run a single hospital or nursing home, dispense a single prescription or provide a single medical service.

    He also questioned whether the federal education department really needs all 5000 of its current staff when the commonwealth doesn’t run a single school.

    ‘(Do) we really need 7000 officials in the Defence Materiel Organisation, when the United Kingdom, with armed forces at least four times our size, gets by with 4000 in the equivalent body?’ he said.

    But Community and Public Sector Union national secretary Nadine Flood said Mr Abbott’s staff numbers are wrong.

    ‘He should get his facts right before his starts slashing jobs and services,’ Ms Flood told AAP.

    ‘Frankly, his comments are offensive to the hard working people in these agencies who are already being hit by deep budget cuts.’

    Finance Minister Penny Wong pointed out that the opposition needed to fill a $70 billion black hole in its costings, the equivalent of four years of Medicare payments to Australians, ‘not a few health bureaucrats’.

    ‘I am always interested when Tony and Joe just throw around numbers as if it is easy to sack people and easy to find the sorts of savings that are required,’ Senator Wong told reporters in Adelaide.

    At the last election, the coalition pledged to shrink, through natural attrition, the public sector payroll by 12,000.

    ‘This would still have left commonwealth employment at higher levels than in the last days of the Howard government when former finance minister Lindsay Tanner threatened to take a meat axe’ to the public service,’ Mr Abbott said.

    Can he find 70 billion.

  95. CU, I watched Arthur Sinodinos, quietly spoken former Howard chief adviser, stick the knife in, and you’re right, he didn’t compare the two Leaders polling, oh no, just the Prime Minister “flat-lining”, exactly to the Lib/Murdoch script.

  96. ALEXANDRA KIRK: The Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury’s gone on the attack.

    DAVID BRADBURY: Far from being a commission of audit this is more like a chamber of horrors.

    What he is asking the Australian people to do at the next election is to give him a key to unlock and unleash $70 billion worth of nasties that lie within this chamber of horrors. And the reason he won’t tell the Australian people what is contained within this chamber of horrors is that the sight would be so ghastly that no-one would ever vote for him.

    ALEXANDRA KIRK: But if he is going to commission an audit, an independent audit, how is it that at the same time you request he, or demand, that he say where the cuts are going to be because that would do away with the need for the audit commission?

    DAVID BRADBURY: Well and that’s why he has created this mechanism, this tool that is the chamber of horrors that is the commission of audit.

    They need to come clean with the Australian people.

    ALEXANDRA KIRK: Are you worried about what a commission of audit might find?

    DAVID BRADBURY: That’s not something that is going to happen unless Tony Abbott gets elected. And am I worried about Tony Abbott getting elected? Well I am. And Australian people should be worried about a government coming to power that has secret plans to rip away services to the tune of at least $70 billion but is not honest enough to be up-front about what services, which schools, which hospitals, which programs are going to be cut.

    ASHLEY HALL: The Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury, our reporter Alexandra Kirk.

  97. Have we not heard this all before, nearly word for word, more than once, I believe.

    He also questioned whether the federal education department really needs all 5000 of its current staff when the commonwealth doesn’t run a single school.

    ‘(Do) we really need 7000 officials in the Defence Materiel Organisation, when the United Kingdom, with armed forces at least four times our size, gets by with 4000 in the equivalent body?’ he said.

    But Community and Public Sector Union national secretary Nadine Flood said Mr Abbott’s staff numbers are wrong.

    ‘He should get his facts right before his starts slashing jobs and services,’ Ms Flood told AAP.

  98. Cu, from your link’s worth repeating..

    Mr Abbott is promising to set up an audit commission to look at every line of government spending and report within four months.

    He has declared, however, that his paid parental leave scheme will be spared such scrutiny.

    What on earth is Tony suggesting..that government departments do not already go through extensive audits, where every ream of paper doesn’t already have to be accounted for.

    But his paid parental leave scheme will not have such scrutiny? Therefore he is saying, waste what you want as long as it belongs to his “pet department”.

    I thought that the Wilcox cartoon was excellent:

    Interviewer: Why should some mothers get more maternity pay than others?
    Abbott: To teach babies their place in society.

  99. Cu, I remember the Howard slash and burn, cuts that dug very deeply into fabric of public services, i remember that Tony Abbott told us himself that he lies, and I believe that he would be worse than John Howard was.

    Remember this one:-

    John Howard’s interest rate lies
    Posted by Christopher Sheil
    on Sunday, August 5, 2007

    and this:-

    Tony Abbott, we are sick of your lies
    Sunday, 19 February 2012

    and this

    Abbott’s amazing amnesia on insulation inquiry
    Thursday, 16 February 2012’s-amazing-amnesia-on-insulation-inquiry.aspx

  100. James Delingpole in the Commentator…

    ‘Something extraordinary is happening in the great Climate Wars. I had a taste of it just the other day on an LBC talk show. The producer had only booked me in for a ten-minute slot, in case the listeners weren’t interested in my boring new book about that tediously hackneyed subject Man Made Global Warming. But the switchboards were jammed and the station ended up keeping me in for a full hour to reply to all the calls.

    ‘There was one big problem though: “We can hardly find ANYONE who disagrees with you,” whispered the show’s host, Julia Hartley-Brewer. This was true. By the end, things had got so desperate that I found myself accidentally picking fights with callers who were on my side. An easy mistake to make for someone on my (sceptical) side of the debate: we card-carrying Satanic “deniers” are so used to being vilified at every turn it really feels kind of weird suddenly to be in tune with the popular mood.’

  101. El gordo, there are no climate wars. It’s a few people getting their faces on day time television and making a hefty sums from telling people what they want to hear.

  102. Have just switched over from Internet Explorer to Firefox which is a big improvement. But tell me, why instead of Refresh is it called Reload. 😯

  103. Union says Abbott unfairly targeting public sector
    Updated March 09, 2012

    The Public Sector Union says Tony Abbott’s plan to find budget savings unfairly targets the public service which is already struggling from recent cuts.

    The Opposition Leader says if he wins the next election he will appoint an audit commission to examine every element of Federal Government spending.

    But the Government has been quick to dismiss that suggestion as a smokescreen to hide the precise detail of spending cuts.

    The Labor MP for the seat of Canberra, Gai Brodtmann, says the 1996 spending review had a devastating effect on the national capital.

    “We went into recession. The rest of Australia was growing and Canberra went into recession, thousands of people left town, thousands of people lost their jobs, businesses closed down, the local shops closed down and house prices plummeted,” she said.

    “It took years for us to recover.”

    Ms Brodtmann says the efficiency dividend cannot be compared to the Opposition’s audit plans.

    “The efficiency dividend is designed to improve efficiency, not cut jobs. With Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey, the only growth industry that will be in this town will be in removalists,” she said.

    She says the Government has a working group to monitor the impact of the savings program.

    This Liberal MP will find himself on the back bench….

    Earlier, Liberal Senator for the ACT Gary Humphries told the ABC’s Ross Solly he did not think there was a lot of fat to cut.

    “I don’t think we see as much waste as we once did,” Senator Humphries said.

    “I think agencies that used to have a lot of fat often have much less fat than they did.”

  104. Once it used to be teacher bashing, look at all those holidays they get for doing sweet bugger all. It’s been public servant bashing for a long time, an easy target but god help us all if one single miner loses his job.

  105. Mr. Abbott could begin by getting his figures right and finding out what they do. He could also take an interest in what Labor has been doing, and the cuts already made.

    Nadine Flood, the head of the Community and Public Sector Union, says those examples are misleading and offensive.

    “He used the example today of education, which is actually the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations,” she said.

    “They’re about to have 3,800 staff – they don’t have 5,000 – but they do critical work like the GEERS scheme (General Employee Entitlements and Redundancy Scheme) which actually makes sure that when companies go bust, workers get their entitlements.

    AUDIO: Union slams Coalition plan to find public sector savings (PM)
    “That is a service that people in our community rely on. It’s like [Abbott] thinks there’s 5,000 boffins sitting in Canberra working out what people should do in schools. It’s just not true.”

    Ms Flood says the Commonwealth public service is already struggling with the Government’s decision late last year to increase its savings program, or efficiency dividend, to 4 per cent.


    “You can’t just keep cutting and expect that you’re going to deliver high quality services to every Australian.”

    When the Government announced the increased efficiency dividend, Finance Minister Penny Wong said the strong expectation was that it could be met without forced redundancies.

    Today she acknowledged that is a difficult task.

    “I make no bones about that. This has been a significant measure and a measure that has meant departments will have to find their efficiencies,” she said.

  106. Min, I gave up IE as well. This time I have settled for Google Chrome. Very simple and a good spell checker.

    The problem seem to be Flash in some.

  107. Miglo,

    Thanks mate. I hadn’t gone very far. I read as much as I have time for, always informative opinions. You’re doing a great job.

  108. Cu, I kept getting error messages with Internet Explorer such as cannot download the webpage. Firefox is a lot faster and so far no error messages at all. I still keep Google as the search engine and it’s working the same as on IE.

  109. By the way, reload is probably the correct term. That is what happens, the page is reloaded.

  110. They’re our resources, and it’s time miners paid more to dig them up

    It’s time to recognise that the watered-down minerals resource rent tax fails to address the problem first identified by Henry – that we are not collecting enough of a return on our non-renewable resources. We only get to dig them up once, and at significant ongoing cost to the local environment. We deserve a fair share of the windfall prices being paid for our mineral wealth.

    Mining companies will always argue against bearing a heavier burden of taxation. No business wants to pay more tax. But mining companies are not like any other industry. Ultimately, they are service providers to the owners of the minerals they extract – you and me.

    Our mining magnates got rich because state governments sold rights to extract Australia’s minerals and didn’t, as it turns out, charge enough for them.

    It’s not too late to get some back.

  111. Tough Tony or Working Man Tony, it all depends on his location!

    Toughened times in the United States of Tony

    In the discontinued television series United States of Tara, Toni Collette played a woman who displayed different personalities when under stress.

    Sometimes she was a wild and willful teenager, sometimes a prim homemaker and sometimes a loud Vietnam vet.

    Like Tara, Tony Abbott has presented us with an array of political personalities.

  112. Mr. Abbott is promising with his Audit Commission to do what I thought all reasonable governments would be doing all the time.

    Funny, I thought governments done this every year with the run up to the yearly budget.

    What Mr. Abbott is ignoring is that Labor has been cutting back on debt for some time. I believe more than any other government has done in the same time period.

    The argument is not about whether we have money or not. It is about the priorities one chooses to spend the money on.

    Mr. Abbott obviously believes that high income mothers are more important. The PM believes id is time we looked after our disabled.

    There is much said that the GFC and the strife many countries are in, is caused by government debt. For most is this true, or is it private debt that has led to their downfall.

    I believe Greece is the odd man out. It is government debt that is the cause of their troubles.

    We have the promise of surplus every year. This is just not possible or desirable.

  113. Let’s suppose the world’s legitimate scientific institutions, academies, climate scientists, and most of the world’s governments are wrong.
    Maybe, as some people have argued, they’re involved in a massive conspiracy to impose a socialist world order. Maybe the money’s just too damn good. It doesn’t matter. Let’s just imagine that they’re wrong, and that the polar ice caps aren’t melting and the climate isn’t changing. Or, if you prefer, that it’s happening, but that it’s a natural occurrence — nothing to do with seven billion people spewing carbon dioxide, and other pollutants into the atmosphere.
    Would it still make sense to continue rapidly burn the world’s diminishing supply of fossil fuels? Does it mean we shouldn’t worry about pollution?
    We could pretend global warming isn’t happening, or that humans aren’t a factor if it is. That would be crazy in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, but even if it weren’t, there would still be no reason to continue down the road we’re on.

  114. Another great rebuttal to the deniers came in a recent article in the New York Review of Books by Yale University economics professor William D. Nordhaus. He said his article, “Why the Global Warming Skeptics Are Wrong”, was “primarily designed to correct their misleading description of my own research; but it also is directed more broadly at their attempt to discredit scientists and scientific research on climate change.”
    The misrepresentation of Nordhaus’s research is typical of the Orwellian doublespeak deniers employ, but scientists and researchers are calling them on it.
    Armed with credible information, we can challenge those who misrepresent science, and spread confusion. If nothing else, we’ll be able to breathe easier!

  115. One of the reasons that drawing conclusions on temperature trends is tricky is that the historical temperature series is highly volatile, as can be seen in the figure. The presence of short-term volatility requires looking at long-term trends. A useful analogy is the stock market. Suppose an analyst says that because real stock prices have declined over the last decade (which is true), it follows that there is no upward trend. Here again, an examination of the long-term data would quickly show this to be incorrect. The last decade of temperature and stock market data is not representative of the longer-term trends.

    The finding that global temperatures are rising over the last century-plus is one of the most robust findings of climate science and statistics.

  116. Cu, the anti carbon tax brigade, the deniers, are backed by the likes of Gina Rinehart, the coal and oil industry.

    My faith is placed not in them but in the various disciplines of the climate scientists.

    The deniers camp often use the line that the climate scientists are in it for the money which brings me to Ian Plimer and a certain Lord Muck from England.

    Reports that Gina Rinehart is looking to increase her political influence by increasing her stake in Fairfax media sent a chill down my spine yesterday.

    Rinehart is buying influence, and no doubt hopes control of the media will give her that.

    It is more than likely she has the IPA in her pocket as her unofficial ministry of propaganda – hence the reason for its dramatic increase in funding.

    The question is why.

    If you want a picture of the future – at least one envisioned by the likes of Ian Plimer, Gina Rinehart and their paid mouthpiece the Institute of Public Affairs – then consider a future in which wealthiest individuals lock up over a third of the Australian continent in a “special economic zone”.

    Rinehart is pouring her monies and effort into the very Orwellian sounding Australian for Northern Development and Economic Vision (ANDEV).

    Lead by Rinehart its members also include her favorite pet “climate sceptic”, Ian Plimer.

    In this playground of the rich and rotund, companies will be able to operate freely from inconveniences such as “high taxes” and “red tape” and “high wages”.

  117. Gina Rinehart appoints youngest daughter and climate sceptic Ian Plimer to key company
    by: Rebecca Lawson
    From: PerthNow February 16, 2012

    MINING magnate Gina Rinehart has continued her boardroom shuffle, appointing her youngest daughter and a controversial climate change sceptic to a key company.
    Australia’s richest person earlier this week notified the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) that Ginia Rinehart and Professor Ian Plimer to the board of Hope Downs Iron Ore (HDIO) Pty Ltd.

  118. Defence Minister Stephen Smith is apparently the subject of a little campign by ADFA retirees.

    This article is highly critical of the Defence Minister, yet the cause of the fuss, the criticisms by the Defence Minister of the handling of the Skype sexual assault case, makes no comment about the way the victim “Kate” was treated.

    Something to do with old attitudes and culture perhaps?

    Lack of respect cuts both ways with Minister
    March 10, 2012.

    The Defence Minister appears to merely tolerate those in the armed forces, writes John Cantwell.

    It’s all about respect. Does the Defence Minister, Stephen Smith, respect the men and women of the Australian Defence Force? Regrettably, the answer appears to be ”no”.

    The newly arrived cadets are very young and do stupid things.
    Males in particular often don’t develope any sense of risk assessment until well into their twenties. Whether they ever learn about decency and respect remains to be seen.

    The author Mr. Cantwell on the other hand is well past that stage yet he shows no respect for the woman in this case, in fact he may not have even given her a passing thought judging by this article.

    Yes Mr. Cantwell, respect should cut both ways!

  119. Pip

    let’s give the adfa retirees something to think about . how about a royal commission with broad terms of reference. , lets clear the air. let them look at gender bias, warts and all

  120. A genital warts and all inquiry would provide an opportunity to clear up the hundreds of complaints that also surfaced when the ADFA story broke.

  121. ‘The finding that global temperatures are rising over the last century-plus is one of the most robust findings of climate science and statistics.’

    Yes CU, on that score there is no debate.

    The actual cause is another matter and blaming CO2 was simplistic and opportunistic.

  122. Of interest is that antioxidants such as vitamin C and vitamin E have been found to reduce the damage caused by free radicals.

  123. Min, I also believe that truth and facts will also overcome the damage.

    Free radicals are indeed a worry.

    There are many that say Gina’s children if they want more money, should earn it. There is the allegations that the money from their lifestyle comes from mum’s pocket. So what.

    Are they suggesting that the children have no right to have expectations that they share some of mum’s wealth.

    As for the trust fun, what is ignored, it is their money, not mum’s.

    They are asking for the right to control what they own.

    The question one could ask, is why has mum not given them a place in the many companies she owns.

    It is common for one to look after family.

    Is Gina saying none of her children have the ability to be hired by her, unless they do as she demands.

    It appears that Mr. Abbott’s parental scheme is not supported by the productivity commission,. They have recommended against much of what it proposes.

    Over fifty percent of the companies that he is going to levy, already have very generous schemes for their own workers.

    Maybe Mr. Abbott can tell us why many PS in the Federal sphere are not needed. Does he really believe they are not fulfilling a role for government.

    Mr. Abbott keeps telling us this is a wasteful government. It is now time to identify where the waste is. He should not need a enquiry or commission to know. If he cannot, does that suggest he is either lying or guessing.

    He has been minister in a past life. and have some idea of what is occurring.

    Let Mr. Abbott point to the budgets papers to prove his utterances. Otherwise let him shut up.

  124. Yes. luna, I believe we have seen the forces mount a cover up of their organisation.

    That officer should not have been returned to the Academy. It signals business as usual and no change, or even acknowledgement that change needs to occur.

    The press conference seem to be aimed at the fact the young girl went to the media and this is not on.


    This is the question that should be asked. The answer is that nothing would have occurred if she did not.

    Mr. Smith needs to hold his ground. It would have been much easier for him to make the demanded apology. It would have been wrong for him to do so.

    Where is the media’s disquiet at the alleged abuse that has been revealed/ Where is the media’s concern for an 18 year old girl.

    Where is the support for the minister standing up to the forces.

  125. The thing that Abbott is going to try to avoid like the plague is providing precise details about where the cuts are coming from.

    FINANCE Minister Penny Wong has warned Australians to expect massive cuts in services under a Coalition government, demanding that Tony Abbott disclose how he intends to cut $70 billion out of the federal budget.

    But with government budgeting hardening as a political issue leading to next year’s federal election, the Opposition leader has ignored the pressure, using a speech in Melbourne to invoke the “golden age” of the Howard era and renew his promises to cut taxes, reduce government spending and encourage greater productivity.

    The “golden age” of the Howard era? The you’beaut time when the guts were ripped out of public hospitals, public schools and trades training, where a university education was returned to the halcyon days of being available only to the wealthy (or at least at a discount price to the wealthy), and to where sweet ba was done by the way of nation building.

  126. Yes, the era of user pays and a widening of the gulf between rich and poor.

    Yes, the lowering of taxes for the rich.

    Yes, the cut back in welfare for the poor.

    Yes, the run down of our infrastructure.

    Yes, this is what Mr. Abbott is promising

    Yes, there was a deficit under Mr. Keating, owing to world wide economical blues.

    It is also true, when Mr. Keating lost government, this deficit was on the way down.

    Mr. Abbott and co are promising something that is not possible, probable or necessary good.

    Mr. Abbott is promising that the budgets be always in surplus. This is a dangerous promise, that ignores that sometimes responsible government needs to borrow and be in deficit.

  127. Warning bells go out whenever Tony Abbott uses that phrase “increase productivity”…he means “flexibility”, he means WorkChoices.

  128. One needs to remember, polls can change over night. It does not help the man that he can not get his candidates to to the starting line because allegations and in some cases, proof of wrong doing.

    LNP leader Campbell Newman says a Labor smear campaign explains the latest poll showing he has fallen behind his rival Kate Jones in the seat of Ashgrove.

    A Galaxy Poll conducted for The Courier-Mail shows Labor’s incumbent Kate Jones would win the seat of Ashgrove, denying Mr Newman entry to state politics to lead a Liberal National Party (LNP) government if it won the March 24 election.

    The poll of 800 voters had the two lead candidates in Ashgrove at 45 per cent on the primary vote.

    But based on the distribution of preferences at the 2009 election, Ms Jones would win on a two-party preferred basis 51.5 per cent to 48.5 per cent.


    Mr Newman again refused to reveal who would lead the LNP if the party won government but he did not win Ashgrove, despite the second poll in a week indicating he will struggle to take the seat from Ms Jones.

    He said, however, his political career would be over if he failed in Ashgrove and he would not be parachuted into a safe seat to keep his political and leadership ambitions alive.

    ‘If I don’t win Ashgrove I don’t believe we will win the state election,’ Mr Newman said.

    ‘In terms of what I said about my own personal set of circumstances, I won’t be going further in politics.

    Of course non of these bad numbers are his fault.

    PS The PM is not doing as bad in Queensland as we are led to believe.

    The worse state for the PM is NSW, and I suspect, is still as patchy as the last election proved. There were seats that held against the trend,

  129. Cu, precisely. Latham was a shoo-in until the famous handshake.

    Andrew Bolt is a convicted racist, he has nothing to say that could possibly add anything to any debate.

  130. Mann sees himself as part of the intelligensia and I fancy Bolt likewise….so they are equally matched.

    My money is on Bolt.

  131. Manne is a professor of politics, his grandparents are holocaust survivors. I hope that shock jock Bolt can at least put up a credible argument, so as to not waste Manne’s time. Bolt might find that eye-rolling does not constitute debate.

  132. And Beasley until the children overboard.

    Menzies had the Petrov Affair.

    All incidents based on lies. That is except for Lathan.

    Sometimes I think his action was worth losing an election for.

    It used to annoy me the way Mr. Howard would grab hold of a hand, pumping them for minutes, with the victim trying to pull away, with his eye on the camera, not the person he was talking to.

  133. “Mann sees himself as part of the intelligensia and I fancy Bolt likewise….so they are equally matched.”

    el gordo, you have gone to far this time.

    Intelligensia, a uni drop-out because he believed there was nothing they could teach him.

    His media world is fast disappearing, in fact going broke.

    My money would not be on Bolt.

    I do hope it is on the side of fairness and justice.

  134. Min, by the way, there is much in his parental scheme that the Productivity Commission does not support.

    Min, what would the experts know.

  135. “Mann sees himself as part of the intelligensia and I fancy Bolt likewise….so they are equally matched.”

    el gordo, they are not equally matched.

    Mann is part of the intelligensia. Bolt walked away from it, as he sees himself above it.

  136. At the end of the day, being threatened with legal action because someone else does not like what you have to say, does not fit in with what they claim free press is.

  137. Cu @12.55pm that does bring back memories..the little squirt trying to act the big man.

    And you are right, who cares which side as long as the end result means fairness and justice. Going on past performance, I don’t expect much from Bolt in this regard.

  138. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but from the comments on Bolt’s blog I don’t get that they’re all that bright. Take an ounce of prejudice, stir the pot for a few years and out pops an opinion.

  139. If I don’t win Ashgrove I don’t believe we will win the state election,” Mr Newman said.
    “In terms of what I said about my own personal set of circumstances, I won’t be going further in politics.
    “I will return to the private sector and pursue another career.
    “My career in politics will be over.”

    Read more:

    I believe he will not be alone. There will be many in his party that joins him.

    Maybe it will show, when an election campaign is in progress, the voter is more interested in what they are voting in, than what they are voting out.

    Well I do hope that is true when they come to the next Federal election.

    It is not prudent to replace a so called bad government with a worse one.

    That can be the case.

    I would say it is the case when it comes to Mr. Abbott.

  140. This is a worrying finding, if there is truth in the story. We are getting too clever in what damage we are able to inflict on the planet.

    A series of small earthquakes in Ohio late last year was probably caused by activity from fracking, a controversial oil and gas drilling technique, a state review has concluded.

    The Ohio Department of Natural Resources said its review of the quakes in northeast Ohio last December appeared to be caused by a rare confluence of events in which waste water injected into the ground triggered seismic activity in an unmapped fault area.

  141. Bolter’s rabble are not generally from the professions, only the colour of the lower classes.

    Sometines I say sumthin’ just for fun, because the traffic is all going in one direction….to the right.

    I’m sorely tempted to test Poe’s Paradox over there….

  142. el gordo, please do not judge us the so called lower classes from what you hear on the shock jocks, including Bolt.

    Their audience is just not that large.

    The PM, Mr. Carr and many others come from that strata of society.

    Mr. Keating, Mr. Howard and the PM all went to lower class state schools.

    Did not hold them back.

  143. For the most part Australians are reasonably well infomed and educated, this is a big plus for democracy.

    The Bolter rants and raves in the eyes of the hard left, that’s to be expected, its to do with perception.

    His small number of followers see him differently, but without doubt his biggest fumble has been his South African baggage.

  144. “fumble has been his South African baggage.”

    Are you sure.

    I believe his parents were Dutch who settled in SA or somewhere in the outback.

    I wonder what happened at the schools where his father taught or was headmaster, to put the chip on his shoulder, which he does not seem to be able to see past.

  145. I like Henningham.

    ‘John Henningham, a former newspaper and broadcast journalist who founded Brisbane’s Jschool of journalism, says … this partially reflects a political drift within journalism schools from “Centre Right to Centre Left” during the past decade, leading to more strident criticism of “big media” and in particular the country’s largest media player, News Limited…’

    That’s so true.

  146. El gordo, what do you mean by “lower classes”. It’s an extremely long time since intelligence was measured by class distinction.

    The thing that Bolt did was to vilify people based on their ethnic origin. That is, Bolt claimed that they were using their Aboriginality so as to claim “unfair advantage”. Bolt then added that these people weren’t real Aborigines based solely his own personal assessment, that is – skin too fair.

    And even then Bolt got it wrong. He claimed that Larissa Behrendt’s father was German, not so. Larissa’s paternal grandmother was one of the stolen generation.

    It’s just poor form full stop. What is to be gained by that sort of vilification? Notoriety?

  147. From the article in question which is Andrew Bolt’s blog..which I seldom bother to read, mostly because it’s full of complete shizzer not even worth consideration..but here goes.

    Your claim that nine Aborigines charged me is false. The complaint was lodged by one. I was not “charged”.

    That is false and misleading information. There were indeed 9 claimants, but as per standard procedure represented by one.

  148. This one is really worth looking at. Ok, we now have where Tony Abbott plans to slash spending and it’s: health, defence and education.

    However, presumably he is still going to give millionaire mums a bit of time off work when the wee tot comes along.

    But the one that stands out is his statement that cuts will specifically target those who..

    ..scrutinise the states’ spending of federal money to ensure the money is not wasted

    So therefore Abbott is going to make cuts to the areas where the people ensure that money is not wasted. Something doesn’t quite make sense here…

  149. Cannot help but agree. Everything Mr. Abbott touches turns to pure politics. Nothing is sacred to this man.

    Yes he is very good at moral outrage, which I believe is closely connected to moral panic. Something else that Mr. Abbott is bringing from the past.

    To understand Mr. Abbott and where he is coming from. one has to dig deeply into the past.

    This page considers what some observers characterise as sporadic ‘moral panics’ (incidents of mass hysteria, often directed against minorities) and others argue are merely manifestations of media irresponsibility and aggrandisement by interest groups rather than a mass panic or irrational outbreak of concern about morals and public safety.


    Societies appear to be subject, every now and then, to periods of moral panic. A condition, episode, person or group of persons emerges to become defined as a threat to societal values and interests; its nature is presented in a stylized and stereotypical fashion by the mass media; the moral barricades are manned by editors, bishops, politicians and other right-thinking people.

    Tony Abbott really is disgusting. No, really, I find myself offended every time he opens his mouth.

    He is determined to exploit every single issue in order to gain some kind of political advantage. Whether it’s blue-collar workers out of a job or wretched asylum-seekers on a leaky boat, he just cannot help himself.

    Picture: Andrew Meares, Fairfax

    Today, he had a go over the hullabaloo surrounding Stephen Smith’s handling of the ADFA sex scandal. Abbott says that the “serving men and women of the defence forces” don’t want Smith as their minister, and that the government has “poor relations” with the defence bureaucracy and personnel.


    t is extremely easy to whip oneself into a confected moral outrage over the treatment of Australia’s defence force personnel (Abbott does it all the time, and over much less significant issues). Yet I find it utterly unfathomable as to how Abbott justifies his thinking on this, not only to us (because the media doesn’t seem particularly bothered about making him do so), but also to himself.

    It is beyond me as to how this man can even refer to the “women of the defence forces”, when just a few days ago he dismissed widespread claims of sexual harassment at ADFA

  150. Now, Stephen Smith might not be the greatest Defence Minister this country has seen. He might not be inspirational on troop visits and he might not be particularly personable. He’s certainly no John Faulkner. But all that is beside the point.

    Because, once again, Tony Abbott isn’t interested interested in a debate. He isn’t interested in the big issues. He has no ideas about how to reform defence, about how to win over the chiefs, about how to prevent sexual harassment, about how to better execute Australia’s role in Afghanistan. He’s just interested in scoring cheap political points, out of a situation that is, in the end, really quite miserable.

  151. Is there an ooh ahh? or just a strange coincidence from a planet far far away?

    “Yesterday General Cosgrove said he was “relieved and delighted” that Commodore Kafer had returned to his position.”

    “General Peter Cosgrove has retired as chairman of the Council of the Australian War Memorial.”

  152. Min, if you watched that speech yesterday. It was held in total silence, with the camera at all times on Mr. Abbott.

    Even at the conclusion, the applause was constrained.

    There were no questions from the audience.

    It was tedious to watch. I rerun the speech, because of the build up, I was under the impression I had missed something.

    It was worse the second time around. It was indeed empty of any detail.

  153. Where is the waste that Mr. Abbott suspects is there. I say suspect, as he has not named one programme or incidence of waste.

    ”It does not seem to be an efficient use of resources to employ public servants to check on other public servants,” he said.
    The Gillard government, which has been squeezing the public service in recent years with annual enforced savings targets known as ”efficiency dividends”, ridiculed Mr Abbott’s speech.

    Read more:

  154. A canary down the mine shaft moment for Australian democracy is when retired, senior, right wing military officers decide it is time to blast an elected government.

    History has plenty of examples of elected democratic governments who have been pushed aside by the military. Think it can’t happen here?

    Just ask yourself what Abbott would say if a group of wealthy Australians approached him with a proposal (backed by the military and federal police).

    Would Abbot grab power?

    Well, would a cow lick Lots wife? (Genesis 19:23 KJV for you unenlightened).

  155. Roswell, naturally king.. I like to buy eye fillet in a piece so that you can cut it as thick as you like. Coles and Woolies aren’t exactly renown for being generous with their cuts.

  156. Justin Pulliam gets a guest post at Watts…on Monckton’s trail…

    ‘Lord Monckton, sternly but sadly, told those who had raised their hands: “You know, from the plain and clear demonstration that I gave during my lecture, that the IPCC’s statistical abuse was just that – an abuse. Yet, perhaps out of misplaced loyalty to your professor, you raised your hands in denial of the truth. Never do that again, even for the sake of appeasing authority. In science, whatever you may personally believe or wish to be so, it is the truth and only the truth that matters.”

    ‘That pin, if you had dropped it, could have been heard again. Many young heads were hung in shame. Even their professor looked just a little less arrogant than he had done throughout the proceedings. Quietly they shuffled out into the darkness.

    ‘That night, the Gore Effect worked overtime. Temperatures plummeted to 14° F……’

  157. How’s this for some additional excitement..

    Kyle Sandilands now ready to reveal all in an autobiography

    I won’t give the game away by providing a link..but I’ll give a hint, it’s a Headliner on a newspaper first initial D.

  158. Migs, you’ll just have to wait for Kyle’s book to come out, it’s bound to be on a par with Toddlers & Tiaras fot excitement and adventure.

  159. el gordo, I am a little perplex why you gave this link. The professor seems to be saying the dangers of CC seem to be underestimated.

    This seems to fit in with a link I gave a few days ago.

    There is still much not known but there appears to be agreement that man made cc exists and is a danger for future generations.

    It appears that melting snow and ice can lead to colder temperatures under certain conditions in nearby continents..

    It appears we may have extreme in weather. Yes, the dry has come to an end, after being one on the longest in record record time.

    The danger is that we experience more often.

  160. ‘The danger is that we experience more often.’

    Yes the dry will return one day, but drought in South-East Australia probably won’t return for at least a decade and will be modest. Australia will not experience more drought because of industrial CO2 and I dare anyone to prove otherwise.

    With Tom’s link I pose the question is the ABC biased on CC?

    They try to be fair but are criticised from all sides.

  161. Do many agree with what Mr. Swan has said in his essay, or should we allow the rich to flourish at their will. Allow them to decide what they owe society.

    Why is corporate greed seen as OK, but welfare is seen as waste and greed on behalf of those less able to demand subsidies pay to those down the ladder, to allow them to survive. (eg Medicare subsidy) Is this reverse class envy.

    It is class envy for those who can manage on their own, to demand the same

    Is it class envy to criticise them.

    It is a disgrace that the debate about this critically important issue has been debased by slogans, superficial arguments, and debunked economic theories, and is so bereft of thoughtful, well-argued dialogue based on facts and figures. Find if you can one decent article or editorial that argues a cogent case. What hope is there for an equitable society when the antagonists to Swan’s contentions are incapable or unwilling to mount a convincing case, and our media sit back with almost nothing to contribute but ‘he said, she said’, and trite mantras that miserably fail to address the simple point that Swan’s essay makes: “… if we don’t grow together economically, our community will grow apart.” What do you think?

  162. Someone should remind the Major-General that Kate, the eighteen year old, is also in the forces.

    Mr. Smith appears to be the only person that remembers this fact.

    Recently retired Major-General John Cantwell added his voice to that criticism over the weekend in a scathing article published by Fairfax newspapers.

    Major-General Cantwell accused Mr Smith of showing no respect to Australia’s troops during a visit to Afghanistan.

  163. Min, from your link @ 9.53am,

    But if Kate was not subject to vilification or abuse, if her consistent and detailed accounts are unreliable, Kirkham offers no explanation as to why the day after the story broke, deputy commandant Paul Petersen felt it prudent to move Kate ”away from her peers” to accommodation in the officers’ mess. Kate has always acknowledged and been thankful for the defence staff who helped her. Those who gave her shelter in the mess, she said last year, were ”nothing but supportive”. Kirkham must have uncovered evidence to back her word on that one. He found ”ADFA staff … provided her with exemplary support during this period”.

  164. Pip, it seems to me the usual, that women should just “get over it”..the harden up girlie attitude.

    And what was Kate told to do..

    Kate’s account that she was advised to apologise to her cadet peers for going to the media..

    Anyone who has ever been the victim of abuse of any description will relate to this, to be told to go and apologise to the abuser. I’ve had this happen to me, and the effect is devastating.

  165. I am sure she was asked why she consented to the sex, among other personal questions.

    She was told that she was wrong to go to the media, and has been gagged from doing so again.

    Has anyone noticed all the response form the forces have been from males.

    Why were not the males removed from the academy, not the girl. I think that says it all.

  166. Cu, precisely. Why were the males in question not asked why they initiated sex rather than asking the female why she consented.

    Oh that’s right, we have Neil James from the Defence Force Association explaining that men need sex.

  167. Min, the sex was not the problem.

    It was consensual.

    The problem is that they put it on Sky in real time and watched in a room a couple of doors away.

    Before the media was involved, the decision was made that no crime was committed.

    We need to remember that.

    I is said that it was other women who leaked the full report,

    There is no way that the girl contributed to this incident in anyway, except for agreeing to have sex with the male.

  168. Min, Pip, Cu

    and the facebook page? what does tony and the defence peoples think of that, especially with the attitude shown towards kate.

  169. Cu, it was the attitude to having sex which mattered. The males were told, and endorsed by Neil James from the Defence Association that they were entitled to have sex, but the female cadet was subjected to harassment and vilified to such an extent that she had to be moved to the officers quarters.

  170. Min and Cu, Neil James article turned out to be a “look, over there!”‘

    After several paragraphs it came down to the stats on other professions, including jourmalism, but nowhere did he mention how sexual harassment
    and assualt reports were handled in other professions as a comparison with the ‘Skype’ case. when it has been the management of the ‘Skype’ incident that is being discussed.

  171. I have cut and pasted this in full. What is not mentioned here, is that Mr. Abbott’s scheme is indexed on a wage increase that is higher than Labor’s scheme. Labor will increase about 1.5% per year. Mr. Abbott’s around 4.7%.

    TONY Abbott’s paid parental leave would ultimatly affect more companies than the carbon tax, writes Samantha Maiden.


    HERE’S a surprising fact about Tony Abbott’s paid parental leave plan that hasn’t attracted much attention: the new levy to pay for the scheme would hit more companies than the carbon tax.

    Surprised? Consider the numbers. Julia Gillard’s carbon tax will be imposed on about 500 of the nation’s biggest polluters.

    Abbott’s tax levy would hit an estimated 3300 businesses with a 1.5 per cent levy.

    Isn’t that a great, big, new tax coincidence, to deploy Abbott’s favourite mantra ?

    Let’s set to one side the world-class hypocrisy of Labor turning up its nose at the politics of “class welfare” on the schools funding debate while simultaneously diving in to slag off what it calls Abbott’s “Richie Rich” program for cashed-up working mums.

    Much of the criticism of Abbott’s scheme is indeed centred on that generosity to a handful of wealthy women.

    It would offer women a full replacement wage for six months funded by taxpayers, up to an eye-watering $75,000 for women earning $150,000 a year.

    But even Labor concedes fewer than 500 women would gain access to the scheme that would not under their existing means-tested parental leave scheme paid at 18 weeks at the minimum wage.

    Less attention, however, has been paid to the size of the Abbott scheme and the potential cost impacts for consumers.

    Would a 1.5 per cent paid parental leave tax on electricity generators, for example, drive up power bills? By how much? Would Woolworths and Coles increase the price of milk and bread?

    Is it possible that some low-emission, high-profit companies such as banks and retailers could actually pay more upfront under Abbott’s parental leave plan than the carbon tax? Wouldn’t that be hoot.

    If the Coalition argues the cost impact would be modest, how does that stack up with their claims the carbon tax will be catastrophic?

    And what happens if Abbott is elected prime minister but a hostile Senate dominated by the Greens will not allow him to wind back the carbon tax?

    Would companies be forced to pay both the $5 billion carbon tax and the $3 billion paid parental leave levy? So many questions.

    According to the last mid-year budget update, the carbon tax will raise $25 billion over three years, including an estimated $7.6 billion over the first year.

    That’s substantially more than Abbott’s $3 billion paid parental leave scheme, but bear in mind there’s no compensation to cover cost-of-living impacts. The carbon tax by comparison will raise a lot of cash but it will also distribute $5 billion in tax cuts and welfare payments as compensation.

    As the Coalition policy documents show, it would cost taxpayers a whopping $4.5 billion a year to run Abbott’s parental leave scheme.

    It would be paid for by a 1.5 per cent levy on businesses with taxable incomes over $5 million.

    There are also savings from rolling in the baby bonus scheme and family tax payments and replacing Labor’s scheme.

    Don’t get me wrong. It was high time low and middle-income women had access to a paid maternity scheme. Abbott’s scheme is more generous for many families than Labor’s 18-week minimum wage scheme.

    It’s a sign “the Coalition gets it when it comes to the modern Australian woman”, Abbott spruiked this week.

    There are great arguments why parental leave should be a workplace entitlement, not a welfare cheque. By encouraging women to participate in work as a result of generous maternity provisions, there’s a strong argument that it’s a productivity measure.

    In a win for women’s retirement savings, the Coalition paid parental scheme also includes the payment of superannuation contribution payments at the mandatory 9 per cent.

    But if you think it’s cheeky that Abbott wants to bang on and on about the impact of the carbon tax while introducing a $3 billion levy on business to pay for parental leave, you are not Robinson Crusoe.

    Samantha Maiden is the Sunday Mail’s National Political Editor

  172. It should be remembered that Neil James represents nobody, he heads a lobby group. The name Australian Defence Association sounds impressive, but it has no legal standing nor endorsement from any of the defence forces.

    Neil James has been around for at least a decade lobbying for one thing or another.

    Let’s have a proper look at Neil James’ claim about far lower rates of sexual harrassment in the armed services.

    This comparison to the one serious incident among some 200 to 250 female cadets at the academy has unfortunately been ignored by most journalists and too many Australians.

    I am lousy with numbers, but isn’t this 1:200 females in the armed services have had a “serious incident”.

    How does this compare with the general workforce? Does this mean that when we are are Coles or Woolies that 1 out of the female workforce in every 2nd store has been sexually assaulted?

    Read more:

  173. Turps used to compere QClub on occasions back in the late 60’s/early 70’s..way before he started to compere those awful game shows.

  174. Sue, I haven’t seen the Facebook page…. and I don’t plan to after reading about it…

    Another gem from Neil James
    10th april, 2011

    Throughout this sorry affair the military chiefs have been stoutly defended by the small community-based Australia Defence Association, run by former Lieutenant Colonel Neil James, who has maintained a drumbeat of criticism against Stephen Smith. James has sought to portray the cadets involved in the Skype incidents as being “as fit as Mallee bulls” and the woman involved as “a little bit of a troubled lass” who should be taken away from ADFA for a semester.

    This absurdly reductionist analysis was unworthy of an organisation that seeks to be taken seriously on defence issues. But it reflects unerringly at least part of the Defence mindset in what is now an ongoing crisis in Australian civil–military relations.


  175. Prime Minister Julia Gillard urges nation to learn a trade

    JULIA Gillard will urge Australians to tool up and train for a trade, predicting it could be worth a cash windfall of $400,000 over a working life.
    Warning that millions of workers are missing out on higher wages, the Prime Minister said a TAFE certificate or diploma could be worth up to $10,000 a year.

    The Sunday Herald Sun can reveal the Gillard Government’s new jobs and skills blueprint will demonstrate 4.1 million Australians are missing out on the minimum trade skills that could deliver better pay.

    The Prime Minister’s skills statement also will warn that 70 per cent of new jobs created over the next five years will require a Certificate III TAFE qualification or higher.


    “I want to break down the financial barriers that prevent people from getting better skills.

    So, for the first time, all Australians will have access to loan arrangements that will enable students to obtain a training qualification for a job and not have to pay for it upfront.

    This is an excellent scheme because many people simply cannot otherwise afford the costs of training qualifications.

  176. With thanks to Steve O* and others..the cartoon, well says it did we annoy people before the avent of the iPhone?

    CLIVE PALMER? Clive PALMER? A National Living Treasure? What on earth can the National Trust have been thinking? And what has happened to that organisation, anyway? When I think of the National Trust, I think worthy, staid, genteel, old world, traditional, revered, trusted and valuable. I do not think of them as an organisation that would hand over the voting procedure of such an iconic list as Australia’s National Living Treasures to the 10,000 readers of Woman’s Day who bothered to fill in the voting form –

  177. Hi, Catching up, good comment on the Defence/Skype sex scandal from James Higgins, wasn’t it?. He has a good head for one so young (19!) and writes very well indeed. I sometimes take issue with him, but not on this one until his comments section where he shifted ground slightly to meet the strong objections of one Patrick Meaney who had served under Kafer and thought him a fine officer!

    My response in brief to Meaney was that whatever Kafer’s reputation with the troops generally his behaviour in pursuing minor charges against a young female cadet who was complaining of extreme sexual harassment was hardly humane or decent. Tony Abbott’s joining the chorus of complaint against Minister Smith was to be expected. One could almost hear him dismissing in his mind the harassment case with a phrase which in another time he could have said out loud, “Shit happens!”

    I am so glad that Stephen Smith is there to rein in Defence on cost and culture.

  178. Pip, that’s fine..but when did a TAFE Certificate, Advanced Diploma cost $1,500..

    For example a Certificate III in Beauty Therapy would cost over $700.00.

    And in many cases the certificate, even though costing an arm and a leg isn’t worth the paper that it’s written on.

  179. And in many cases the certificate, even though costing an arm and a leg isn’t worth the paper that it’s written on.

    .. and while I can’t really argue with that (there are many shylocks in all business fields) … for any job in the “beauty” industry, particularly, you need that certificate for OH&S purposes, Department of Health and workplace registration … so don’t apply for a job unless you have one …

    … I’ve been fighting shonky training and particularly assessment since 1992 …

    … (I made a promise not to discuss shonky teaching in schools) …

    … but I was an RTO for 16 years … and the first RTO to “resign” my records to the Qld State Government … (the State Governments all administer the National Training System) …

    … BTW, it’s not a Technical And Further Education Certificate (TAFE) … each state has its own TAFE and rarely do they communicate but they are all, Recognised Training Organisations (RTO’s) , as are the private RTO’s who “compete” with TAFEs (TAFE has far more money – supported by governments!) …

    … Vocational Education & Training (VET) organisations, RTO’s, can issue …

    Statements of Attainment
    Certificates I, II, III, IV
    Advanced Diplomas
    Associate Degrees

    Universities take on:

    Graduate Certificates
    Graduate Diplomas
    Master’s Degrees
    Doctorates (Phd)

    … AND if registered, VET qualifications … a lot do now … $$$$$$$

    BUT only IF they are registered to do so …

    … the National Training System was established by Paul Keating (in Brisbane where I met him) in 1992 …

    (Note: many hiogh schools also include Cert I, II, III … units as part of their curriculum … it is assessed as part of their H/S scores …

    Just sayin’ 🙂

  180. This link might help …

    You’ll notice that all education, training and development qualification from High School on are National from VET through to Universities … a standard approach …

    … then have a look at the mish mash of high school graduating qualifications …

    … we live in a country … lets’s start acting like one and give our population a fully integrated NATIONAL learning system …

    … did I mention that trainers and assessors are qualified under the National Training System … unlike teachers and a National Education System … (apologies but relevant)

  181. TB, true enough. When is a TAFE not a TAFE. A TAFE in Victoria used to provide an equivalent to a degree qualification, and therefore an advanced Diploma was equivalent to a degree. However, in NSW I discovered that a TAFE was often little more than a hobby course.

  182. A couple of things, Min …

    Only universities have EVER been able to offer degrees … you might want to have a look at my link (above) for the AQF (Australian Qualifications Framework) … here ’tis again …

    The highest award from TAFE before the National Training System was introduced was a four year, Associate Diploma … (I know ’cause that’s what I did three years of before being advised to apply for a degree) …

    … and more importantly — I don’t have gout (yaaaa) … although I’m still struggling with a seriously torn tendon (Migs, commented on it the other night BTW – its not the achilles but one that stretches from behind the knee, around the ankle and across the toes … any mediscs here might know it) .. I see my doc, another Yorkshire born lad … on Thursday …

  183. How was I to know that?

    You weren’t, R, but Min and I have been posting “together” for over six years …

    … so she thinks she knows all about me … 😉

  184. Quick thought before, The Minister, calls me for dinner …

    Absolutely zilch to do with gout…

    Where I was born … that would be …

    “Now’t to do wi’ gout!” Don’t ya love rhyming dialect! 😆

  185. TB, at least in Victoria if you went for a job then a Degree would have been considered equivalent to an Advanced Diploma. This is giving due regard to the fact that in Victoria, schools which were Technical Colleges which used to cater solely for 14yr+ students became Universities..for example, Swinburne Tech became Swinburne University of Technology.

    Let’s just say that you’re in for a few surprises. The Minister knows 😉

    Yes old Turps has died..not speaking ill of the dead, but what a sleeze bag he used to be at QClub!

  186. One of the issues with the Defence Force student issue is dealing with teenagers …

    Don’t be too quick to condemn … the ADF management …

    If that was my daughter I would be furious …

    … and because posters here don’t know me … my son attended a mixed gender, military trade training facility at the age of 17 … later in his career we took on the ADF and Comcare and won in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal …

    (I also served for two years in the ADF)

  187. And for those who don’t know me here, my son serves in a mixed gender military’s called The Navy. A 10 year man now, believe it or not.

    For Adrian, and Aye to matelots.

    TB, from your link, I think that the point is:

    Every male student from a floor of a wing at the University of Sydney’s St John’s College was suspended indefinitely after allegedly confronting the woman in the hall and telling her she could not leave..

    That is severe intimidation. We ladies are made of stern stuff, but not when you have a gang of men confront you in such a manner.

  188. One for Min, who often comments when another Abbott brain fart suggests sending all the unemployed to work in the mines:

    Mining jobs not easy to unearth with jobs boom still three years away

    BRETT Bailey has spent almost $5000 on courses and certificates and written hundreds of applications in a bid to get a job as a haul-truck driver in the state’s mining industry.

    Mr Bailey, 52, a married father-of-three, stopped working as a panelbeater in July last year to concentrate on making himself job-ready for the mines.

    But so far Mr Bailey can’t get a look-in, and he’s found out he’s far from alone. He was one of about 10,000 hopefuls who showed up at a government mining jobs expo on the Gold Coast last year.

    Mr Bailey has worked as a panelbeater for more than 30 years, has had his heavy-vehicle truck driving licence for more than 20 years and is willing to work in mines anywhere in Australia.

    Since last July, Mr Bailey has spent $230 on a medical certificate, $980 on a mining induction course and $3500 training to get his haul-truck ticket. He is now doing a free TAFE resources course.

    “I love driving trucks. I’ve had my HC licence for over 20 years. I’ve obtained the required tickets and medical certificate and I’m willing to travel Australia-wide.

    “Even so, I have not progressed to the interview stage and I’m constantly told, despite my resume, I don’t have the minimum six months’ experience.

  189. Min, I am talking about a long time age. but the certificate and diplomas in welfare were of a high standard in TAFE.

    I started off doing one term of the certificate at Blacktown Tech as it was at the time.

    This allowed me to proceed to what is now Western Sydney Uni to do a diploma and later to obtain A Social Science Degree,

    I went down this path as a mature age student who left school after the Intermediate certificate, (year 9).

    The TAFE certificate and diploma did not get the respect it merited.

    I worked as hard for that one semester of the certificate as I did for any semester at uni, which included Macquarie and Western Sydney.

    I talked many to by passing TAFE for this reason and go to Uni. Not because of the standard of TAFE, but because of the money one could earn with an Degree..

    I will be ever thankful for the grounding that Blacktown Tech gave me. It allowed me to flourish at uni.

    It was only years later that one got any credit at uni completed at TAFE.

  190. Bacchus, it’s the age old dilemma for job seekers. They can’t get a job without experience yet how can they get experience without a job.

    I’d urge any kid to get an education.

    Even a degree isn’t enough in some vocations. There’s so many graduates these days with Honours or Masters and they get a better showing than a kid with a BA.

  191. I’ve often wished I’d done a PhD. I just missed out on a scholarship, getting a ‘mere’ 2nd class Honours. I needed 1st class to get a scholarship. But that’s another story.

  192. Bacchus, thank you. You see I’m not talking entirely through a hole in my head (mostly).

    I could have told Mr. Bailey that. In order to get a start in the mines you have to be a dual tradie eg fitter/electrician with at least 5 years experience FIFO (fly in/fly out).

    Some single tradies such as instrument fitters (trades qualified, not just a certificate) “might” get a start but not without a minimum 5 years FIFO.

    TWO HUNDRED “expressions of interest” are supposed to equate with 200 jobs on the pull the other one.

  193. Migs, E*’s PhD scholarship for 3+years is $200pw..not quite enough to live on…fortunately she is a vegetarian and doesn’t cost much to feed, especially given that rental accommodation in a share house in Brisbane amounted to $80pw, then add bus fares etc etc. Thank you R*, here..have my daughter!!

  194. Could not agree more. Maybe for the first time in years, there will be cut back in the next budget. If not, there should be.

    No minister has ever been able to pull them into line, they think they are a law unto themselves

    This minister is shaking them up, he should not back down and most Australians agree.

    He is not attacking the the fighting arms of the forces he is attacking the hierarchy for their attitude, this would not be tolerated in ordinary life in Australia!

    Discipline is a key word in the forces and it’s about time their leaders showed some and obeyed their government.

  195. A year ago already

    Red Cross response in numbers
    The first Red Cross team responded two hours after the earthquake.
    46 medical teams responded on the first day of the disaster.
    896 Red Cross medical teams and 161,876 of our volunteers were mobilised to support disaster survivors. This does not include those attending Fukushima.
    More than 83,000 patients were treated by Japanese Red Cross medical personnel.
    Around 25 per cent of Japan’s medical resources were utilised in the disaster response.
    600 trained support staff assisted 14,000 people with their emotional well-being in evacuation centres.
    More than 200,000 relief items were distributed by Red Cross staff and volunteers, including 30,000 emergency kits and more than 130,000 blankets.
    Red Cross also provided 126,504 appliance sets, including stoves and washing machines to displaced families in temporary housing across affected prefectures.

  196. Yes Min, it should transfer to other plants I believe.

    We have so much marginal land that have become unusable because to the rising water table which is very salty.

    By the way, the problems has not been helped by the clean falling of trees etc..

    Nature can be very cruel when man upsets the balance of nature.

    I can still remember my social science text in fourth and fifth class, with all those pictures of erosion and washed out gullies.

    Did not need the book worse luck, just had to look a\out the window at where the mallee was cleared.

  197. Grim findings on atmospheric pollution

    At the CSIRO’s Cape Grim remote monitoring station in north-west Tasmania scientists are detecting invisible toxic pollutants that are circling and fouling the world’s atmosphere. Persistent organic pollutants include things like DDT, pesticides and dioxins. And as the name suggests, they don’t dissipate easily

    and from the transcript:-

    CONOR DUFFY: This is one of the most important research sites for persistent organic pollutants in the world.

    And while people may never heard of them Melita Keywood, a senior scientist with the CSIRO, says it’s important to keep monitoring them and eliminate new dangerous compounds, just like Agent Orange was banned.

    MELITA KEYWOOD: They can have quite a bad impact on human health. For example, they can result in reproductive problems for people and they can also impact people’s respiratory and health and heart function.

  198. Abbott’s audit will find all the cuts he won’t make

    That Abbott wants the cheers for promising to abolish the two taxes but not the boos that would go with abolishing the goodies they pay for is the first reason to doubt his status as a macho-man spending slasher.

    His reluctance even to put a figure on the size of his savings task – let alone produce a list of his intended cuts – is the second reason.

    But on Friday Abbott unveiled the magic answer to his disclosure problem. He calls it a ”commission of audit”. A long-experienced election spin doctor from the other side calls it ”the giant asterisk”, which is used to prove the Libs’ promises are ”fully funded”. Follow the * to the fine print and you read: ”details to come after election”.

  199. Something to think about.

    People sometimes talk about eHealth in technical terms, but when I spoke to parliament about it a couple of weeks ago, I found that the best way of understanding eHealth was to realise Mrs Douglass’ experiences of being treated without electronic health records.

    Mrs Douglass, who still lives independently, had a fall in the street near her home and acquired a brain injury. After her fall, Mrs Douglass was confined to hospital for 10 weeks. After undergoing rehabilitation she returned home, but none of her regular doctors knew that she had been in hospital. None of her doctors knew about her injury or how she had been progressing. Similarly, the hospital was unaware of Mrs Douglass’ regular health requirements. Any information on normal medicines or routine check-ups that Mrs Douglass might have required during her time in hospital was not available to the doctors at Calvary.

    Mrs Douglass told me that she thought it was a bit ridiculous that none of her doctors could share information about her previous conditions or about her current conditions. She wanted all of her doctors who look after different aspects of her health to be fully informed.

  200. Pip, and Eddie @ 10.51am, we know which side Barnaby’s bread is buttered on !

    Damn these new glasses, I’m certain that I read “which side Barnaby’s head is buttered on…”.

  201. Pip, his audit, like that of Mr. Howard does not tell us about waste. It only identifies what is spent.

    It does not give one any information as to whether the proposed cuts are not being made to worthwhile programmes.

    It is not about having enough money. It is about what priorities, and what one chooses to spend the money on.

    I wish politicians would be honest about that fact.

    Mr. Abbott is setting up an organisation, probably headed by failed premier, Mr. Griener, to do the same work that is already been done by Dept. Heads, Treasury and the Productivity Commissioner.

    Talk about faceless men. And they are all men, not a woman in sight.

  202. Min @ 1.58pm,
    Damn these new glasses, I’m certain that I read “which side Barnaby’s head is buttered on…”.

    Judging by what comes out of his mouth, something has been done to his head!

  203. A little truth would be appreciated.

    On Friday, The Australian newspaper dedicated front page coverage to a United Kingdom study that claimed that, in Britain, using wind turbines to cut emissions costs 10 times the price of a gas-fired power station. Such a claim is not correct for Australian circumstances. But what I find remarkable is why The Australian considered such a study to be front page news.


    f they had bothered to pick up any single one of these studies they would have found the claim of a tenfold cost difference to be profoundly exaggerated.
    Yet the paper decided a study analysing UK conditions and prepared for a lobby group (The Global Warming Policy Foundation) that is obviously dedicated to undermining the case for action to reduce carbon emission, was not just news, but front page news. I would have perhaps understood such a response to an international study if it had been prepared by the International Energy Agency, or the OECD, or the UK’s peak scientific body, the Royal Society. But the Global Warming Policy Foundation?


    It would be entirely legitimate for The Australian to point out that there are cheaper ways of reducing emissions in Australia in the short-term than deploying wind power. But instead they chose to prominently publicise a costing from the UK that is wrong, and for which there were other better sources of information readily available.


    Dr Pachauri was sufficiently unimpressed that he wrote a letter to the newspaper stating:
    “I am writing to convey my deep disappointment at the news report in your newspaper…Nothing that I said in my telephone interview with Mr Matthew Warren implied or even remotely conveyed that I supported or opposed the Australian Government’s policies on climate change. I am surprised that a very general opinion that I expressed without reference to any country was twisted around to create the impression that I supported the current government’s stance on climate change.”
    And in an editorial on April 4, 2011 and another article by Graham Lloyd on April 9, they cited a report I co-authored to suggest the Renewable Energy Target be dismantled. Graham Lloyd stated,
    “Despite some wildly enthusiastic claims, present renewable technologies are not yet advanced enough to replace fossil fuels for base load power.
    And government programs to promote them are either too clumsy or poorly targeted …This is particularly the case in Australia where a report this week by the Grattan Institute lifted the lid on how the hundreds of millions of dollars promised by government for renewable programs is being recycled rather than spent.
    The report found that, on average, for every $1 million the government has announced under its $7 billion of grant tendering programs, only $30,000 of operational projects result within five years and only $180,000 within 10 years.”
    Yet what the report I wrote actually found was that the Renewable Energy Target was one of the very few success stories in Australia’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions. And the grant tendering programs Lloyd was citing as evidence against supporting renewable energy for the most part allocated money to support fossil fuel projects not renewable energy.
    Why do they commit such obvious errors? An editorial on January 14, 2006 provides a critical insight,
    “.. support for Kyoto cloaks the green movement’s real desire – to see capitalism stop succeeding.”
    Unfortunately, it appears that The Australian has fallen victim to the ‘global warming as communist plot’ syndrome, which I wrote about last week (Why is climate change seen as a communist plot?, March 5). These ideological blinkers cause them to look at climate change issues in an irrational, mistake-ridden manner.
    Tags:Australia, media, renewable energy, The Australian, wind farms, Environment
    Comments on this article
    look it’s raining ha ha ha – Login Or Register To Post Comments
    Submitted by Mike Hansen on Mon, 2012-03-12 13:06.
    Timothy Northcott – yes Australia is a big country.
    “In 1989, at a presentation to the Prime Minister’s Science Council, Dr Graeme Pearman of CSIRO summarised a scenario of climate change for Australia in 2030. He said there would be:
    higher summer rainfall over northern Australia and extending further south.
    possibly drier winters in southern Australia
    more intense rainfall.”

    Read the article and find out what was actually said as opposed to the current round of “gotcha” journalism from Bolt et. al.
    SE Australia is still getting below average winter rainfall.

    Bias is no surprise – Login Or Register To Post Comments
    Submitted by Michael Hassett on Mon, 2012-03-12 12:47.
    The role of The Australian in its promotion of climate scepticism and attacks on measures to restrict emissions is regretabbly one of its defining attributes. Robert Manne’s Quarterly Esssay #45 ‘Bad News’ analyses this in depth, pointing out that between 2004 and 2011, it’s articles hostile to climate science and action outnumbered those in favour by 4 to 1. This is a facet of Rupert Murdoch’s far right agenda attacking progressive reforms whether they be social justice (‘politicly correct’), economic reform (‘politics of envy’) or environmental (‘climate alarmists’). David McKnight’s book ‘Rupert Murdoch’ paints a sobering picture of Murdoch and his grip on media and politics.
    Damian Mcmahon, I’m sick of – Login Or Register To Post Comments
    Submitted by Peter Lang on Mon, 2012-03-12 12:46.
    Damian Mcmahon,
    I’m sick of these forums dominated by vested interests of Renewable Energy and social engineering (justified on the basis of one predicted catastrophe after another) looking to shoot down anything rational.
    As a democracy – Login Or Register To Post Comments
    Submitted by Philip Impey on Mon, 2012-03-12 12:45.
    As a democracy, we elect people better equipped to make these decisions – not polls or politics.
    Totally agree Robert. In a democracy we elect people based the committiment they give us, the people, to do or not do things once we have voted for them.
    And we expect them to keep their part of the verbal contract.
    Things like at PM saying “uh, there will be no carbon tax under a government I lead.”
    A solemn committment (repeated by Swan and Wong) which was scrapped for the sake of gaining power.
    That’s democracy.
    And,”people better equipped to make these decisions”.
    In who’s opinion? The opinion of vested interest groups who lobby and donate to the campaign coffers of the ruling party? Be it well-funded green lobby groups like Greenpeace, Get-up etc. or the likes of Rinhart and Forrest- all of them can call upon “experts” to influence government policy. And somehwere in between, there’s the mug punter who just wants the truth-as Gillard once said (and on this I will agree with her) – just don’t write crap- and that includes the whole AGW bandwagon,including some of the articles in this publication- all a matter of crap and counter-crap.
    Advocacy of renewables and CAGW is far left ideology – Login Or Register To Post Comments
    Submitted by Peter Lang on Mon, 2012-03-12 12:18.
    This article just provides more confirmation that CAGW alarmism and renewable energy advocacy are part of the far loony Left ideology.
    And it also shows that Tristan Edis, editor of Climate Spectator, is a far left ideologue.
    Climate Spectaort seems to have gone even further Left since the editors changed from Far left Giles Parkinson to farther Left Tristan Edis.
    However, at least Tristan Edis does dane to post the odd, carefully selected, article arguing that nuclear will have to be part of our energy mix if we want to reduce emissions..
    Reds under beds? No, Klingons on the starboard bow! – Login Or Register To Post Comments
    Submitted by Damian Mcmahon on Mon, 2012-03-12 12:18.
    Well said Robert.
    Now if the mainstream media could only do their job we can have a sensible debate and move on . I’m sick of these forumns dominated by vested interests of coal and gas looking to shoot down anything progressive.

    In today’s SMH (pg 2) we have – Login Or Register To Post Comments
    Submitted by Bernard Walsh on Mon, 2012-03-12 12:09.
    In today’s SMH (pg 2) we have a story whereby the “experts” are predicting a surge in floods, however, only a few years ago the “experts” were predicting a surge in droughts. You can’t have it both ways
    Actually, Timothy, you can.
    In fact, that’s just what the scientists have been predicting for the last few decades (not years, decades).
    A warmer atmosphere means more capacity for holding moisture. Which means when it’s hot & dry, evaporation can be much worse than ‘normal’, due to both hotter temperatures and the ability of the air to soak up more moisture. And when it’s humid enough to rain, there’s a lot more moisture available in the atmosphere to rain out.
    Theoretical? Nope. It’s been measured – the atmosphere holds, on average, about 4% more moisture than it did 30 years ago. And have you noticed that lately we’ve been going from severe drought (such as most of Australia was experiencing for most of the last decade) to extremely heavy, even record-breaking, rain & floods (such as we’ve experienced over the past few La Nina years), with little in between?
    It’s far too early to call this the ‘new normal’ (just not enough data yet), but it is what climate scientists expect to happen as the globe warms.
    @Timothy, climate is a – Login Or Register To Post Comments
    Submitted by John Molloy on Mon, 2012-03-12 12:02.
    @Timothy, climate is a chaotic system. If you add more energy to a chaotic system you increase the probability of extreme events. Notice how many, varied climate records are being set world wide. So we are likely to get both more droughts and more floods.
    Reds under beds? No, Klingons on the starboard bow! – Login Or Register To Post Comments
    Submitted by Robert Waddell on Mon, 2012-03-12 11:55.
    The Australians piece (of what, you ask), perfectly illustrates how an uninformed, politically motivated media have had no positive contribution to make in the Green Energy discussion. Their propensity to seize on the absurd and hold it forth as gospel would be laughable were it not for theimportance of the matter. To exacerbate matters, they fail to consider Australian cicumstances.
    Little wonder that Joe Blow is confused, and has become sick and tired of litening, Government must ignore popular scepticism, and the ill-informed media and show gumption. As a democracy, we elect people better equipped to make these decisions – not polls or politics. Let’s get on with it, I’m bloody sick of these polluters and fools.

  204. Cu, from your link,

    Totally agree Robert. In a democracy we elect people based the committiment they give us, the people, to do or not do things once we have voted for them.
    And we expect them to keep their part of the verbal contract.
    Things like at PM saying “uh, there will be no carbon tax under a government I lead.”

    Why is it that those making this claim never give the full quote?

    A solemn committment (repeated by Swan and Wong) which was scrapped for the sake of gaining power.
    That’s democracy.

    There is no democracy in the actions of an aging journalist, bloated with his own self-importance, [looking at you Laurie Oakes], whom we now know was receiving leaks from the Rudd camp,

    Mr. Oakes played a deceitful word contest with PM Gillard in which he insisted that she say “tax” when in fact she had said repeatedly that she would put a “price” on carbon and she did not want a carbon tax.

    It was the Rudd government which deferred the ETS. and if readers are patient enough to search all the old news items they won’t find any evidence
    for the “she lied about the carbon tax” narrative; quite the contrary.

    The public,so dumbed down and uninformed by the msm have been led a merry, lying dance on this subject.

  205. Anyone interested in the difference between Universities, CAEs and TAFEs … before the Hawke/Keating reforms* from the 1990’s … may find this useful …

    I attended Brisbane CAE and South Australia CAE (that eventually became the the University of South Australia, UniSA) … when I graduated I was asked if I wanted my degree endorsed South Australia CAE, or, UniSA … I chose the latter … to avoid later confusion … 😀

    (The National Training System stopped a lot of shonky training organisations from issueing one day Diplomas and Certificates …these rogues just waltzed in and out … took the money and left nothing for it … eventually they brought in state laws and the last time I looked it was $3000 for issueing illegal awards …

    Why do I know? … as an early RTO many of us often reported non RTO’s issuing illegal awards …

    … being registered as an RTO cost a lot of money and time in complying with government audits …

    … as a consultant I assisted a number of training companies to become RTO’s … one of my ex-clients now owns and operates a three campus arts college, I first met her in her garage at home, running an arts class for a dozen ladies … another was a coal mine in central Queensland who issued its own Cert II & III … The Aboriginal Performing Arts Centre was also a client … they became an RTO and offered an Advanced Diploma in Perfoming Arts, that we developed for them …

  206. Beware. One only has to look back to the past, to be frighten off what an Abbott government could mean. The next time around will be worse. There was some talent on the Liberal side back in those days. There is none now.

    Abbott says the heritage of his plan for a full and arguably independent audit of government books lies with John Howard and Peter Costello back in 1996.

    But this is merely part of his strained claim to a direct connection with what he calls the “golden period” of economic management under the former Coalition administration.

    Actually it was Greiner, NSW Liberal Premier from 1988 to 1992, who created the Commission of Audit concept as a vehicle to support implementation of long-held economic policy and philosophy as a matter of urgency.

    In large part it also was an excuse machine for brutal fiscal action and deferment of promises, and Tony Abbott might need it if he gains government.

    Events back in 1988 showed Abbott what such a device could do for him.


    But even now it is difficult to justify claims of large areas of waste in the public service, as Liberal senator for the ACT Gary Humphries keeps telling Tony Abbott.

    “I think they will find some (but) personally I think it’s exaggerated,” Senator Humphries told Canberra radio on Friday.

    “I don’t think we see as much waste as we once did. Agencies that used to have a lot of fat often have much less fat than they did.”

    That could mean that the only option for Wayne Swan and possibly later for Tony Abbott will be to cut services.

    We cannot afford Mr. Abbott’s grandiose parental scheme or his expensive, wasteful direct action to deal with carbon emission.

  207. Does this seem unreasonable.

    FWA general manager Bernadette O’Neill, who initially refused Victoria Police’s request for help, issued a statement on Sunday saying that since FWA’s investigation was almost complete, ‘further advice has been sought from the Australian government solicitor as to whether it would now be appropriate to assist the police’.

    Mr Wood’s legal advice has been included as part of that request, Ms O’Neill said.

    In his advice the barrister says there’s ‘nothing in the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act which would prevent a good faith disclosure’ of information that suggests a crime might have occurred.

    Mr Wood also notes that the president is expressly empowered under the separate Fair Work Act to disclose information if he believes it i

  208. Look at these 2 quotes from General Hurley. to me the second does not back up the first.
    “It’s not the Defence organisation or Defence Force’s job to dismiss ministers,” he said. My job is to follow the direction of the government of the day and bring the ADF and help the secretary bring Defence in line to implement government policy. That’s what we’re about.”

    “,,we will often start with different points of view for where government might think they’re going and what we might think relevant. You’ve got to bring those views together. That’s what the business is about.”

  209. Quite enjoyed Q&A tonight. Malcolm did quite a good job at pitching his leadership credentials 😉 Bolt will be livid 😆

  210. Bacchus, plenty of rumours going around that a challenge is soon to be mounted, but it ain’t Turnbull. A Pyne/Hockey ticket has everyone’s tongues wagging.

    Pyne is a frightful prospect.

    Numbers are being counted.

  211. Basically, I hate them all. But I can never get over how the “Juliar/ broken promise” crowd are so obviously prepared to overlook the massive backslidings, turnabouts & policy rejiggings required to accommodate a Turnbull leadership.
    I might’ve mentioned this before, but the scariest political article I’ve read in years concerned this. It was by Mark Kenny in our very own Advertiser a year or so back. Oakeshott & Turnbull had been sighted having dinner together, thereby prompting a round of leadership speculation. The idea went that with Turnbull at the helm, the Lieberals would embrace carbon pricing & with the new won assistance of the Independents be back in government. A minor piece about a scenario that didn’t happen, but the obvious ease with which these turnarounds looked like being waved through just blew me away.

    Then again, maybe Turnbull will emerge as a born again anti carbon pricer if that’s what it takes. It works both ways.

  212. Can we afford this man. I hear Pyne wants the job. I believe the PM would have problems keeping a straight face in QT.

    I would keep an eye on Morrison.

    According to the Australian Parliament website statistics link, in 1963 (an election year) the House of Representatives sat for 53 days and the Government was asked 968 Questions Without Notice during Question Time.
    In the following year 1964, the House sat for 65 days and there were 1,557 Questions Without Notice recorded.

    In 2010 (an election year) and 2011 the House sat for 55 and 64 days respectively, taking 948 Questions Without Notice in the first instance and 882 Questions Without Notice in the second instance

    It seems that Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s grandstanding is actually ensuring that other Members of Parliament are being given fewer opportunities to apply that very Australian maxim – keep the b@stards honest.

    If it’s Thursday it must be censure time is not quite so funny a phrase when one remembers that, every time he rose to his feet and uttered the words I move that so much of the standing and sessional orders be suspended as would prevent the Leader of the Opposition from moving forthwith the following motion, voters were denied an opportunity to hear their own elected representatives raise important national and local issues.

  213. Catching up, I hear Pyne wants the job. I believe the PM would have problems keeping a straight face in QT.

    Cu, the whole country would be in hysterics!

  214. I can’t say I like any of them either, Bob. I have levels of dislike. Some I despise, some I hate, and the rest are just plain unlikable.

  215. On Turnbull and Oakeshott..buttering up the Indies me-thinks. That is, to provide proof in an area where Abbott has shown himself to be a dismal failure, negotiating with the Indies. But that scenario is unlikely to happen unless there is a narrowing of the polls (not necessarily the ones which they let us read), and negotiating with the Indies is seen to be needed as insurance to ensure a Liberal win.

  216. Miglo at 2.18
    There’s a lot of them, far too many. So I’ve seen fit to standardize. But I pay some a lot more attention than others.

  217. I will be advertising this over the next couple of days:

    I have created a new page called FYI, which you can find above our header image. Access to this page is password protected as the page will contain information some people might find offensive.

    Anybody wishing to obtain the password can either email me or just leave a message here on the blog and I will email it to you them.

    The page hasn’t any data in it at the moment, but it should be populated within the next 24 hours and once active you will be able to leave comments if you wish.

    The page will contain some very explosive information. I will be happy to share it with the Café crew and other select individuals.

  218. CU, who needs evidence? This is the latest brain fart from Can(“t) Do the Liars Party’s latest pinup boy, isn’t it? Evidence? I spit on your evidence!!! Ptooii!!

    Have to go; I have a dressing table to give its second coat.

  219. Cu et al, I have always had a problem with the concept of “boot camps”..lots of abusive language, lots of slaps around the back of the head..hey, these kids may as well have stayed at home.

  220. Roswell,

    I’m pleased that you asked. I think that I know the story, it’s from back in 2010. I know that my email was freely given. I arrived here from Matthew Price’s blog where I used to post under the name of Zippo.

  221. miglo
    I’m with roswell, intrigued
    but do you have my email? if not i could be left i wonderiiiiiiinnnnggggg

  222. Jane, well there you go, you learn something new every day. Rabbits are not native to England but brought over by the Romans and nor are mice which arrived via neolithic man in about 1,000BC.

  223. Now the word onomatopeia isn’t a word that you hear every day..from Kismet:

    To a world too prone to be prosaic,
    I bring my own panacea –
    An iota of iambic and a tittle of trochaic,
    Added to a small amount of onomatopoeia.

  224. Jane, I have never given much thought to the origins of rabbits. They obviously did not cause as much harm as they have since introduced to Australia.

    It is sad to see some or should I say one trying to stir up a little racism on this site.

    I would like to say nothing has change much since this photo was taken.

    An iconic image showing Aboriginal rights activist, Gary Foley with a placard reading, “Pardon me for being born into a nation of racists”. It was part of a protest against the South African Springboks rugby tour of Australia in 1971 during apartheid.

    Read more of the fascinating story of that time here.

  225. Has either Abbott or Gillard got the guts to clean this one up. One of the many time bombs, Mr. Howard left behind.

    I will never forget March 1, 2001, when John Howard – unpopular, making heavy weather of the GST, and harried beyond belief over rising petrol prices – called a press conference.

    His announcement was truly startling. Having explained incessantly over the preceding months how irresponsible it would be for him to make a one-off reduction in petrol excise to help motorists, he proceeded to announce just that – a 1.5c excise cut. But he went further. He abolished the twice-yearly indexation of petrol excise that had been in place for nearly 20 years, with the result that petrol excise – the amount of money from every litre of petrol we buy that goes to the Government – has been frozen at 38.143c ever since.

    It was, politically, an astounding moment. And in the intervening decade, that decision has become a budgetary depth charge. Every year, the gap between the revenue the Government would have collected under the old system and the revenue collected under the excise freeze widens. It’s now at about $5 billion a year, which means that Wayne Swan is paying heavy compound interest today on the price of springing John Howard from political prison in 2001.

    Not that Wayne Swan is entitled to complain too loudly. When John Howard and Peter Costello launched their doomed bid for re-election in 2007 with a staggering $34 billion promise of future tax cuts, Mr Swan and his leader Kevin Rudd matched them with barely a murmur…

    Full article.

  226. I missed the last part of Question Time today.Did Abbott do he’s usual and call ‘suspension of standing orders’?

  227. Eddie i can’t help either , but they spent most of QT banging on about the Defence Minister.

    Lateline also did a piece on the Cantwell article and Defence Minister Smith’s response.

    Former Defence Minister Brendan Nelson spoke in Smith’s defence and a dill called Iggledon ended the piece by saying there is “rivalry” between FM Bob Carr and Stephen Smith.

    Sadly, the journalists just get worse by the day!

  228. No MSSO today. QT went to 3.20, which is over the new schedule.

    There was a few condolence by the PM and Mr. Abbott at the beginning, maybe this is why.

    Mr. Swan and the new minister were sat down.

    Dull MPI followed.

  229. Sorry Eddie – ABC pulled it before it was finished. Mr Smith was answering a question about his visit to Afghanistan as misrepresented by a former Major-General, John Cantwell…

  230. Pip, Mr. Smith said he asked for Defence when Mr. Rudd was given the job. He said he is proud to still be doing it.

    Mr. Smith comes across as a decent bloke and I see no reason not to take what he says at face value.

    Everyone who knows him, seems to think likewise.

    He did appear a little hurt at what some offers were saying. he also defend the young girl strongly once again.

  231. There will be more on gina and the kids tomorrow. could be trouble with asic, certain company documents have not been filed, son has complained etc, etc

  232. Sue,

    Magnates’ trusts in Labor spotlight
    Paul Osborne, AAP Senior Political Writer
    March 13, 2012.

    Treasurer Wayne Swan is under caucus pressure to take a fresh look at the tax arrangements surrounding family trusts, as a legal stoush between mining magnate Gina Rinehart and three of her children continues.

    and today’s funny from Tony Abbott

    Meanwhile, as a Newspoll showed the opposition maintaining an election-winning lead, Mr Abbott told a coalition joint party room that Labor was acting like an “alternative opposition” rather than a government.

    “This relentless negativity must stop,” he said.

    Ms Rinehart has failed to lodge financial reports for 2010/2011 for Hancock Prospecting …

  233. Barnaby Joyce asked to explain Gina Rinehart link
    From: AAP March 13, 2012

    INDEPENDENT MP Tony Windsor has called on National Party Senate leader Barnaby Joyce to explain his involvement in the legal battle between mining magnate Gina Rinehart and three of her children.


    Mr Windsor said it was time Senator Joyce spelled out his involvement in the dispute.

    “I think he really does need to answer; ‘Why would he involve himself in a personal family business?’,” he told reporters in Canberra today.

    “Is he in the business of writing to everybody who has children who might be in some sort of dispute with their parents?

    Mr Windsor said he would stop short of referring the matter to a parliamentary privileges committee but suggested others may do just that.

  234. CSIRO.

    Carbon levels highest for 800.000 years.

    The last decade the hottest, despite cooler weather for the last two years caused by el nino.

    Maybe the CSIRO has it wrong.

    I wonder how many scalps Ms. Rinehart will take out with her.

    Woke up to the news that Mr. Smith is having trouble carrying out his job and has lost the support of the forces. This wondrous news come from Mr. Abbott and the shadow ministry. Why did I not hear that Mr. Abbott and co are saying… More the truth.

    Since when it necessary for a minister to have to agree with everything his department say.

    Difference’s of opinion. it appears, is now no longer allowed.

    The big crime appears to be, he did not take questions from the soldiers.

    I was well aware when I worked as a PS, one did not question the minister when she visited the workplace. Not if I wanted to keep my job.

    The minister is boss, whether the forces and Mr. Abbott like it or not.

  235. Coalition introducing bill to prolong solar panels scheme.

    First bill I believe by the Opposition.

    Albanese is calling for the member no longer be heard.

    I think the government may have lost a bill on behalf of Burke, stopping cattle by the Victorian government in the Snowy. I may be wrong, but there was a division in the negative.

  236. The Coalition will be watching this with bated breath.

    FEDERAL Labor MP Craig Thomson is in hospital.

    A spokesman for Mr Thomson told the NSW MP, who is being investigated by the nation’s industrial umpire Fair Work Australia, woke up with abdominal pains and so is in Canberra Hospital for a check up.

  237. So, who’s going to “audit” Hockey’s completed costings?

    March 13, 2012 – 16:12 — Admin
    There was this ad in the Canberra Times Saturday…

    Surely not.

    Related Posts

    . Hockey has done it, so he says – savings found

    . Lib costings debacle – “auditors” fined

    . Costings aftermath: Joe Hockey is to truth as….

    . Coalition 2010 costings: The inexcusable, the inexplicable…

    Peter Martin is economics correspondent for The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald.
    He blogs at and tweets at @1petermartin.

  238. Hockey sat down and told not to defy the chair.

    I would imagine it would not be unreasonable to expect Mr. Thompson to be suffering from stress.

    I wonder if they are going to give him a pair. That explains the numbers in the divisions.

    It must be nearly time for FWA to release it’s finding. More questions asked in the Senate, than the lower house.

  239. CU

    thompson was given a pair, illness is automatic, but a minister was not.

    thompson may have appendicitis

  240. Glow Ball Warning alert the CSIRO has announced that CO2 levels have reached an 800,000 year high.

    What would the CSIRO know? just keep listening to El Gordo’s expert opinion.

  241. Traditional owners to fight nuclear waste dump
    AM By Simon Santow, staff
    Updated March 14, 2012

    People who say they are traditional owners of Muckaty Station in the Northern Territory say they will not stop fighting against a nuclear waste dump on their land.

    Federal Parliament has passed legislation that will allow a dump to be built on the station near Tennant Creek.

    The Federal Government insists it will not defy the wishes of traditional land owners in the area.

    But the Federal Court is still deciding who the traditional owners of the land are.

    ***Canberra dangles $10m nuclear waste dump carrot
    By Anna Henderson and Louise Willis
    Updated February 08, 2012

    None of the States would agree to providing a site for the nuclear waste dump, which leaves only the Northern Territory….. or the ACT… just kidding!

    The proposed waste dump is not only for low-grade waste, which is currently stored all around the country.
    France and Scotland will be sending their high grade nuclear waste material to Australia in a couple of years

  242. Pip this was part of a dirty deal Howard was discussing with the Bush administration, in particular Halliburton (Dick Cheney). It was to be pushed on Australia as a “security” measure to stop nuclear waste falling into the hands of “terrorists”. Why else would Halliburton pay for a rail link to Muckaty Station.
    So of course Australia would be the world’s nuclear waste dump. After all we must do our bit to fight terrorism, like for the next 200,000 years.

  243. Miglo…you see here that Bowler gives a date of 26,000 years BP.

    ‘The high lake level recorded in the beach deposits of Lake Tyrrell is in accord with data from elsewhere in southeastern Australia. This indicates that a major wet (lake-full) phase existed from prior to 50,000 years up to just after 30,000 BP.

    From the semiarid regions, the high lake phase was first recognized by Bowler (1971) at Lake Mungo as existing prior to 26,000 years BP and at Lake Frome before 30,000 years BP (Bowler, 1981; Callen, 1983). Elsewhere in southeastern Australia it was recognized as occurring prior to 25,000 years BP at Lake George (Coventry, 1976), at about 36,000 to 30,000 years BP at Lake Leake (Dodson, 1975), and at Lancefield Swamp (Gillespie et al., 1978) prior to 26,000 years BP.

    ‘The change from high lake levels to an environment conducive to lunette formation represents by far the greatest single hydrological change in northwestern Victoria over the last 50,000 years. Indeed, in order to produce a lunette at Lake Tyrrell, after drying of the lake conditions would need to be even more arid (at least seasonally) than they are today.’

  244. Lunalava, plus there were only a few black fellas living out there anyway, so what did it matter. By preference, the ideal location should be Canberra. 😉

  245. lunalava, i remember…

    Join the nuclear industry DOTS!!!!!!!

    Thu, 2007-10-25 10:45 — Cyber Activist

    by Dr. Alison Broinowski
    (Published with permission from the Author for not-for-profit public awareness purposes)

    “In late June and early July, just as the Howard Government was dispatching the army to Aboriginal communities to deal with sexual abuse, the U.S. military was involved for two weeks in northern Australia in the biggest ever joint exercise, Talisman Sabre.

    Most Australians saw no connection.

    Military training areas, uranium mines, sites for future nuclear waste dumps and now Aboriginal land seized by the Commonwealth are dots across the Australian map.

    Several of them are connected by the Adelaide-Darwin railway. Having been many times promised, the $1.3 billion link from Alice Springs to Darwin was surprisingly found viable in 1999. By January, 2004, the train was running. The only tenderer, according to research at University of Technology Sydney, was the FreightLink consortium led by Halliburton (then headed by US vice-president Dick Cheney), with state, territory and federal contributions.blockquote

    Halliburton’s Adelaide

    Plans for Australia to become world’s nuclear waste dump
    Posted On Monday, 18 Apr 2011

    Despite the Fukushima disaster, Alexander Downer has come out in support of Australia storing the world’s nuclear waste. Sandi Keane looks at the secret plans developed by John Howard and George W. Bush to turn Australia into the world’s radioactive waste dump, with healthy profits for all. Is this how Tony Abbott plans to pay for “direct action”on climate change?

  246. There will be no one left when QT finishes, Pyne dismissed for calling the treasurer a scrum-bag. Mr, Slipper must have better hearing.

    Another has gone.

  247. Interesting day. No hot water this morning, so had call a plumber. The plumber arrived, 6 foot tall, very very cute. As eye candy, an 8:10 rating.

  248. CU

    What is Morrisson on about, trying to push the PM with information on the raid on the post office and the guns?

    Oh well here it comes

    now another question on hand guns
    the police in nsw started investigations in november but customs were not invovled until february.

    so some scum coming from nsw govt, nsw state police towards fed police and govt.

    pm says cannot see politicking on firearms. PM; bi-partisanship is the usual on these matters but from performance of morrisson can see it is not.

  249. Well, the PM must be to blame.

    A Post Office was involved. The owner charged. So it appears, even when a business has been privatised, it is still the PM’s responsibility.

    They are off the move.

    Min, I came home to no hot water a couple of weeks a go. Much be catching.

  250. PM now attacking the cheap political stunts of ABBOTT

    He is trying to say budget cuts led to illegal importation of guns..

    PM to abbott what will the cutting of 12000 public servants lead to. Hypocrite

    now the usual sso

  251. Abbott … “can’t stop the boats… can’t stop the guns… crime gangs… blah blah blah”..

    Abbott’s shrill hysterical style is a joke.

    “government should be gone”…yeh yeh !!

  252. Well we have now gone to cuckoo land.

    This has got to be the most ridiculous SSO we have ever seen. Somehow a gun hoist in NSW means the PM is not protecting the borders.

    Mr. Carr got it wrong, it is not a second rate circus he comes from, but the asylum.

    Cannot go anywhere, as too many have been thrown out.

    He must be desperate if this is the best he can come up with.

    What about the small business and the tax cuts he is ignoring.

    We had the circus earlier today of division after division for no good reason.

    I am waiting for Albanese reply.

    He is warning that we are all in danger of being shot. A rein of terror. Yes, maybe if one belongs to a couple of a families. Otherwise I believe one is safe. We are now not only in danger of pink bats and illegal boats as well.

    Talk about the danger we are all in.

    I must be mad, I feel very safe.

    It is the incompetence of the PM not stopping the guns. Safety of the people in Sydney are put at risk. I better postpone my next visit to see my kids, since I am so much in danger.

    Somehow FWA got into the argument.

  253. Now do I get it. This government cannot stop the boats, That has led to cuts in customs, leading to guns being bought in.

    What they are ignoring is the number of arrests in the last few weeks, including last night.

    Customs have identified the breach and made arrests.

    It seems they are able to do their job.

    No wonder the PM was complexed about where the questioning was going.

    The PM did beg that it remain bipartisan.

    New comer is taking the lead, not Albanese.

    There is a MPI on the same subject.

    A major dismantling of a crime syndicate today by the combined forces.

    The system has worked.

  254. While the circus continues in the HoR, the government is doing what it is meant to be doing ….

    Small Business Commissioner to start new role

    THE small business community is celebrating another victory with the announcement of the appointment of a federal Small Business Commissioner.
    The undertaking by Prime Minister Julia Gillard comes just weeks after the position of Small Business Minister was elevated into Cabinet.

    Ms Gillard stopped by Smiths Alternative Bookshop, in Canberra, to make the announcement today.

    The bookshop is owned by outspoken small business advocate and Council of Small Business of Australia executive director Peter Strong.

    The commissioner, who will support more than 2.7 million small businesses employing 5 million people, will be appointed in the second half of this year.

  255. Who said parliament was boring.

    It is some of the best comedy in the country. Sometimes it can a little gloomy and far stretched.

    Reality TV has nothing on it.

  256. That was Jason Clare. Minister for Home Affairs and for Justice.

    Albanese not allow to speak. Wonder how that came about.

    Maybe we will hear what he had to say in the MPI following.

  257. Pyne wants the leader of the house expelled for the same reason he was. Speaker does not agrees.

    Icing on the cake as far as Pyne was concerned.

    Pyne is notorious for the name calling across the table, generally aimed at the PM, backup by Bishop with such words as slag and much worse etc..

    Time he is being called into line.

    Yes Pip, I know that but it is the first time I have seen it occur.

  258. For his SSO Abbott now needs the help of Barrel o’Lies

    ‘New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell says the case shows the system has failed.

    “It’s time the Federal Government stopped burying its head in the sand about the porous nature of our borders and our customs service,” Mr O’Farrell told State Parliament.”

    PM was correct, straight out politicking.
    abbott must be heading for the chop, he really is desperarte.
    the govt has his measure and it has been made so easy by the liberals will saying NO to tax cuts for business

  259. CU and Pip

    albanese has a bad throat. when he stood to talk it was just a delaying tactic . jason clare didn’t use up all the time allotted, the liberals tried to have a 3rd speaker,albanese then stood and used up the remainder of time explaining the convention of 2 speakers from each side of debate.

  260. Pip @ 3.15

    i saw the interview of PM at bookshop and the annoucment of thesmall business commissioner.
    the rep from small business was rapt, first a small business minister in cabinet and now a commissioner. he said the small business community has been proposing these points for ages. he was so, so happy. and to boot tax cuts from july.

    no wonder abbott needed a diversion in parliament, he has virtually gone about losing the business community

  261. Have we had this one yet? Perish the thought, not a bribe..just a coincidence that $250,000 is handed to Katter by James Packer.

    Mr Wilkie said Mr Packer’s donation was no better than handing over $250,000 in a “brown paper bag”, although he stopped short of publicly calling it a bribe.

    “For one of the Australia’s richest men, one of our biggest operators of poker machines and other forms of gambling, to hand over $250,000 to a cross bencher at the time the parliament is considering poker machine regulation is deeply unethical and should be illegal and is no better than someone handing over a brown paper bag in a developing country with $250,000,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

    Asked if he was saying Bob Katter, who also sits in the federal lower house, had accepted a bribe from Mr Packer, Mr Wilkie replied: “No”.

    He said he liked Mr Katter and he trusted him to act ethically.

    “I don’t have a concern with Bob, I have a concern with James Packer because you can’t tell me that someone doesn’t hand over $250,000 to a cross bencher in a hung parliament without some expectation of a return on that investment,” Mr Wilkie said in Canberra.

  262. That makes sense, he could hardly talk yesterday. The MPI is plain boring.

    Good to see Laurie Ferguson talking, he lives in the centre of the fly by shootings. I do not know if he still lives in the heart of Granville.

    They are talking about 11 positions that were lost.

    The point is they are talking about something that has already been dismantled.

    This is pure scare, dirty politics and should be seen as so.

    It is a little funny to see a governmental accused of waste and a over blown PS accused of cutting the same service.

    Do they listen to what they say.

    I get the impression that most of the government speakers are genuinely disgusted at this debate. I know I am. I do not like to be treated as a fool.

  263. Last night I read an article about the new Chairman of the Future Fund, Mr. Gonski being backed by six or seven of the Board members; sad to say I can’t find the article today, but it differed widely from Mr. Robb’s version.

    Gonski appointed Future Fund head
    March 13, 2012

    David Gonski, one of Australia’s most high-profile businessmen, will be the next chairman of the $73 billion Future Fund.


    Morgan Stanley Australia chief executive Steven Harker has also been appointed to the board for five years.

    “These appointments will bring a unique combination of experience and strategic insight across business, corporate governance and investment markets, and will position the board well for the opportunities and challenges ahead,” Mr Swan said in a joint statement with Finance Minister Penny Wong.


    In making the announcement, Mr Swan praised Mr Gonski’s extensive experience in business, law, investment banking and corporate governance.


    Opposition finance spokesman Andrew Robb said he understood Mr Gonski had recommended to the government that former Liberal treasurer Peter Costello be appointed to the Future Fund chairmanship.

    “It appears that petty politics has stood in the way of Mr Costello’s appointment,” Mr Robb said in a statement.

    “This is no reflection on Mr Gonski who is a person of great substance and ability, and his appointment is welcomed.”

    No that’s wrong-headed Mr. Robb and is an ungracious and spiteful comment.
    Mr. Gonski is far more qualified to Chair the Future Fund.

  264. No charges over Australia Day protests: police

    The police investigation into events leading up to the Australia Day protest in Canberra – which saw Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott rushed from a restaurant under heavy guard – has found that there was no evidence of criminal behaviour by protesters or members of Ms Gillard’s staff.

  265. “No charges over Australia Day protests: police”

    Gee whiz, no mention or apology from the Opposition today.

  266. Pip, thank you for that one. Ash’s conclusion summarises things well..

    Unfortunately, despite calling 44 of them, Abbott has never had good enough reason for the motion to be carried. Every single one has been defeated.

    The sad part of course is if one day Abbott actually has a good reason to suspend standing orders, no one would be watching as the public had suspended their interest in him.

  267. Last week Shadow for Foreign Affairs landed on her backside over this:-

    Indonesia criticises ‘unfair’ Opposition policy

    The Federal Opposition has been criticised by Indonesia for an ‘unfair’ asylum seeker policy which involves sending boats back to Indonesia.

    EMMA ALBERICI, PRESENTER: After hounding the Government over asylum seekers, the Opposition’s policy has been criticised by Indonesia as unfair.

    Part of the Opposition’s policy is to turn boats around and send them back to Indonesia.

    In an interview with the ABC’s Australia Network, the country’s ambassador says he’s told the Opposition the policy isn’t fair on Indonesia.

    But he says the Coalition’s Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Julie Bishop told him not all boats would be turned back.

    EMMA ALBERICI: Julie Bishop says the conversation’s been taken out of context.

  268. Min, in the unlikely event of an Abbott SSO getting a ‘yes’ he’ll miss it; after all he’s so used to hearing ‘no’, he’ll just sit down and pout as per usual. 😀

  269. Unlike the Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister ….

    Carr and Smith hold Indonesian talks

    Foreign Minister Bob Carr and Defence Minister Stephen Smith will meet with their Indonesian counterparts in Canberra for what are being hailed as historic talks.

    The Thursday meeting will be the first so-called 2+2 dialogue between Australian and Indonesian foreign and defence ministers.

    Senator Carr and Mr Smith said it was an “important and historic step” for strengthening the bilateral relationship.

    Senator Carr said he looked forward to wide-ranging discussions with Marty Natalegawa and Purnomo Yusgiantoro.

    “This dialogue with our Indonesian friends and neighbours serves as an essential forum for identifying areas of future bilateral cooperation,” Senator Carr said in a statement.

  270. Indonesia has always said that they will not take back boats which Australia sees fit to turn back, the reasoning being that Indonesia have a huge refugee problem compared with wealthy Australia’s miniscule one. Whether Indonesia might change their mind sometime in the future, depending upon some deal of diplomacy remains to be seen.

  271. 5.40pm: Fair Work Australia has issued a statement concerning its investigations into the Health Services Union.
    FWA says it has now concluded the probe of the Victorian branch of the HSU, and the report will be made available to Parliament.
    (This is a development on the previous position which was to keep the report private.)
    There are two FWA investigations: Victoria, and another probe into the national office (which concerns the Labor MP Craig Thomson).
    FWA has found civil breaches in Victoria (25 in fact will be sent to the Federal Court); but nothing strong enough to require a referral to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

    Read more:

  272. 5.10pm: As if Malcolm Turnbull’s appearance on the ABC’s Q&A show this week wasn’t commitment enough, the Liberal frontbencher is backing up with a live session on Facebook tomorrow.
    Mr Turnbull posted this on his Facebook page a little while ago:
    “Tony Jones is insisting on his pound of flesh – I’ll be following up Monday night’s #qanda episode by answering additional questions on the show’s Facebook page tomorrow from 3.45pm AEDT.”
    Mr Turnbull is therefore at your disposal.
    Do your worst folks.

    Read more:

  273. Politics wrap: March 14, 2012

    Julie Bishop was certainly busy.

    She must have had to cover for all those colleagues who were ejected.

    Six Coalition folks shown the door in a single session.

    5.40pm: Fair Work Australia has issued a statement concerning its investigations into the Health Services Union.

    FWA says it has now concluded the probe of the Victorian branch of the HSU, and the report will be made available to Parliament.

    (This is a development on the previous position which was to keep the report private.)

    There are two FWA investigations: Victoria, and another probe into the national office (which concerns the Labor MP Craig Thomson).

    FWA has found civil breaches in Victoria (25 in fact will be sent to the Federal Court); but nothing strong enough to require a referral to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

    5.10pm: As if Malcolm Turnbull’s appearance on the ABC’s Q&A show this week wasn’t commitment enough, the Liberal frontbencher is backing up with a live session on Facebook tomorrow.

    Mr Turnbull posted this on his Facebook page a little while ago:

    “Tony Jones is insisting on his pound of flesh – I’ll be following up Monday night’s #qanda episode by answering additional questions on the show’s Facebook page tomorrow from 3.45pm AEDT.”

    Mr Turnbull is therefore at your disposal.

    Do your worst folks.

    5.00pm: That red chamber really is another country.

    An informant from the Greens reports a motion has been passed by the Senate this afternoon in the name of Liberal Gary Humphries that subverts the original intention of the Humphries motion.

    (Read that again slowly, if confused.)

    The story goes like this.

    Senator Humphries put a motion that concerned itself with funding of schools.

    Greens leader Bob Brown then moved an amendment which made the Humphries motion say the precise opposite of what was intended. The motion was amended to criticise the Liberals for withdrawing funds from public education.

    It passed with Labor’s support.

    Thus the motion now stands in Senator Humphries name criticising his party for defunding education.

    Senate magic.

    Ain’t it something?

    Read more:

  274. Pip, In all the time that J. Bishop has been shadow Foreign Affairs has she ever held talks with anyone of any importance other than her stylist?

  275. Could someone with the know-how please start a new Open Thread. This one is too large for my mobile phone. Gracious.

  276. CU

    you have made my day. it started with me hearing humphries on AM criticising stephen smith, it has an amusing end with humphries being outwitted by brown.

    humphries goes on the record for criticisng the liberals for defunding education.

    hip hip hooray

    and what a twat

    miglo have a laugh and spread the good news

  277. As I said, the outcome that was always possible has occurred. More than one has been found to be suspected of being guilty, of only civil penalties.

    No criminal charges.

    One would expect the police to come to the same conclusion, as what was referred to them, was also referred to the FWA.

    FWA general manager Bernadette O’Neill said in a statement on Wednesday she had issued contravention notices to three former officials of the branch and another individual.

    The investigation report, which will be presented to the Senate for public release, found there had been 32 contraventions of Fair Work laws and union rules, including 27 contraventions which could result in civil penalties.

    ‘I have instructed the Australian Government Solicitor to apply to the Federal Court for penalties and other orders in relation to 25 contraventions of civil penalty provisions,’ she said.

    She said the investigation had not found any matters to refer to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

    Those being taken to court were not named in FWA’s statement.


    Ms O’Neill said an application would also be made to the Federal Court for ‘declaratory relief’ in relation to three contraventions which did not attract a civil penalty.

    ‘I have decided that this action is in the public interest in part because of the deterrence effect and the need to maintain proper standards of conduct for organisations and their officials,’ she said.

    In regard to the three former HSU officials, she said she was not satisfied that two of the contraventions were substantiated.

    In relation to the fourth person, she was not satisfied it was in the public interest to pursue court action despite agreeing with the investigation report that two contraventions had occurred.

    ‘This is in part because the individual was neither an employee nor official of the union,’ she said.

    The investigation was finalised on December 23 last year.

  278. WTF…… 😯 ……it had to happen sometime, I suppose, 😉 ….. someone has posted an comment longer than Iain… ever did….. and as meaningful it would seem 😆

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