Category: Federal Politics

Unfinished business

Posted by – 16 July, 2014

John Howard and his government did a great deal of good, but they let an incredible amount of unfinished business. It is reassuring that many current members of the Coalition are ready to finish what should have been started years ago.

An incoming Liberal senator has set out a radical libertarian program in his maiden speech, calling for the GST rate to rise to 15 per cent, federal health and education departments to be abolished and for the immediate sell-off of youth radio station Triple J, with the rest of the ABC to also be privatised if it fails to address perceived left-wing bias.

Apart from raising the GST, I agree with everything said. I’d look to build a community view that the ABC should be privatised. It is reassuring though that the ABC has been asked to make cuts and sack at least 80 people as part of the cancellation of the Australia Network.

Start preping for a double dissolution election

Posted by – 11 July, 2014

The Senate is a circus. We all know it.

Asked to repeat comments from earlier in the week suggesting money from a port account paid in by his Chinese business partners had been used to pay for a political campaign run by the management firm Media Circus, he (Clive Palmer) got angry.

“I never said that, what I said was that we paid Media Circus from money that was paid to us,” he said.

He said the money used to fund the political campaign which helped the Palmer United Party secure an amazing three senators and one lower house MP from the 2013 election, was owned by his company for services provided to the joint venture.

I don’t see how Australia can survive another six years of this madness. Abbott needs to start turning the around the polls and head to a double dissolution election as soon as possible. The national interest demands it.

How to stop the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC)

Posted by – 26 June, 2014

PUP, the Greens and the ALP all support the CEFC, which is basically a government funded bank lending up to $10 billion of taxpayer money to below grade investment proposals spruiking dubious green technology. CEFC is a CAC body, or in other words a quasi-independent government body that cannot be easily controlled like a department of state. The government has directed the CEFC to cease lending operations, but the CEFC has refused to do so arguing that their legislation requires they continue to lend money. The CEFC legislation stipulates that $2 billion be deposited in a special account, by the Commonwealth, every 1 July up to and including 2017 . The legislation does not state, however, that the CEFC must lend $2 billion every year. Any surplus funds not ‘immediately’ required by the CEFC have to be returned to the Commonwealth on the direction of the responsible Minister. So the CEFC could cease or greatly slow operations if it really wanted to. It is essentially a rouge government agency thumbing its nose at the elected government and the central government agencies (PMC, Treasury and Finance) that govern all other agencies. Unbelievable!

Notwithstanding the CFEC’s belligerence, under the CEFC legislation, the Department of Finance has to fund CFEC’s operating expenses ‘as soon as practicable’ and to agree to the level and period of the funding. Currently $18 million a year. There is nothing stopping the government from winding back the CEFC’s operating funding. If there is no agreement there is no funding and the CFEC’s operations would cease, or agreement could be reached at a lower level thereby frustrating CEFC’s operations. The government would continue to deposit $2 billion into the CFEC’s special account, in accordance with the legislation, but the CFEC would not have the resources to allocate the investment funding. The special account would grow and the Finance Minister would then direct the CEFC to hand back the unallocated funding. If the CFEC decided that the funding was ‘immediately’ required, as stipulated under the legislation, at least the special account funding would not be allocated and could be harvested by Finance at a future point in time.

This would all be implicit of course, in order to limit the possibility of legal action by the CFEC. However, if the CFEC did decide to launch legal action against the Commonwealth, CFEC’s would struggle to pay its legal fees. They would quickly empty their operating budget, possibly even attempt to borrow money to help pay the legal costs, and in doing so expose themselves to a damaging audit (just for staters) from the ANAO for unfunded liabilities. The CFEC would be committing suicide if they undertook such a course of action.

I didn’t know Al Gore was now running the country

Posted by – 25 June, 2014

This is ridiculous.

The Fairfax MP and leader of the Palmer United Party is also planning to propose an emissions trading scheme to tackle climate change - similar to the one proposed by the Labor Party…..Mr Palmer, whose party will hold three balance of power seats in the Senate from next Tuesday, is flanked by climate change campaigner and former US vice-president Al Gore…..Mr Palmer is set to also reveal that his party will demand the Renewable Energy Target and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation are also retained.

Gore then provided a sermon on reducing Co2 emissions. I didn’t realise that anyone voted for an ETS. Palmer is a fraud. He promised to get rid of the Co2 tax at the last election, and now he is just renaming it as an ETS.

Palmer is a fraud, or it least very tricky. Nothing is ever black and white. He promised at the last election to get rid of the Co2 tax, now he is simply renaming it as an ETS.

Time to prepare for a double dissolution election.

UPDATE

I’m not buying this whole line put forward by 2GB, Bolt and The Australian that Palmer was just fudging about the ETS. Once it starts, even at $1 per ton, it will be very difficult to undo.

Clive Palmer is not going away

Posted by – 17 June, 2014

Clive Palmer just gave the most coherent interview yet since starting PUP, on the Richo and Jones Sky News TV programme. PUP is not about to become a One Nation. I don’t necessarily support PUP, but I recognise that he is hooking into Australians that are fed up with the traditional parties.

The Abbott no apology tour

Posted by – 10 June, 2014

I can’t help get the impression that Abbott’s talk in Canada was directed as much to Obama, who Abbott visits next, as it was to Canada. Abbott said:

Australia should always do what we can to protect our citizens, to help our friends and to advance our values.

This Australian government will never be embarrassed or apologetic about doing what is necessary to keep our country strong and our friends safe.

Turnbull vs Bolt

Posted by – 2 June, 2014

Good summation of the Turnbull vs Bolt issue. In essence, Turnbull is a light weight who is failing as the Communications Minister (just as he failed as the Opposition leader and leader of the 1999 ‘yes’ case) and is not a team player. The NBN is still a financial disaster, the ABC continues to be a bastion of LabGreen dogma and free speech is still under attack. Turnbull intends to do nothing to address those Communications issues. It is a record of failure. As a note, Abbott is basically dismantling Turnbull’s Howard era water reforms. Turnbull has nothing much to show for his time in politics.

Obviously the ABC and the Canberra press gallery are on the side of Turnbull, which tells you all you need to know about Turnbull’s loyalties.

This is a distraction from the main issue: Turnbull is a hopeless Communications Minister.

Tony Abbott should have done more

Posted by – 6 April, 2014

The rise of PUP could have been contained by better managing Palmer when he was in the LNP:

With just under 70 per cent of the vote counted, the businessman’s Palmer United Party (PUP) has so far picked up 12.5 per cent of the vote.

That puts PUP’s WA candidate Dio Wang in line to enter the Senate when the new Upper House sits on July 1.

If you recall the story, Palmer wanted Abbott to stop party delegates also acting as lobbyists. Seems reasonable, but Abbott did not accept the proposal.

Will we change our flag?

Posted by – 1 April, 2014

In the unlikely event that Scotland votes to leave the UK, will we change the Australian Flag?

Rugby backs changing Section 18C

Posted by – 29 March, 2014

At least former Wallabies wing Clyde Rathbone does:

Racial discrimination is conquered by the very freedom we stand to lose if we let governments dictate which speech is truly free. A culture cannot evolve simply by criminalising the expression of bad ideas……Relaxing the laws that bound our speech will invariably lead to offence, which in turn will lead to debate. Open conversation, rather than legal intervention, is our best hope for a lasting solution to racial discrimination.

Wonder where the AFL stands? Remember ‘apegate’?