Queensland Labor Silent On Government Funding

With the ever increasing lists of projects being cancelled by the current LNP Government, any reasonable person would have thought that the Opposition would be scrutinising everything that tax payers money is spent on.

Except this hasn’t been the case.

As mentioned in the post Whats On The List Of Priorities For State Funding?, the LNP Government is committed to handing over $110 Million to “revitalise” racing in Queensland. This is despite the Queensland Premier saying that Queensland doesn’t have enough money to fund the Federally initiated NDIS, or a proposed $18 Million vet lab at James Cook University in Townsville. Even going as far as to say that unless government spending was reined in, Queensland would become the Spain of Australia.

And what has the opposition said about the proposed $25 Million Greyhound track at Cronulla Park?

Would you believe, absolutely nothing?!

Numerous attempts have been made to contact the Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk about this, with all of them going unanswered. I have even gone as far as to send a tweet to her twitter account, still with no response.

I don’t know about you, though I am starting to think that maybe all this talk about Queensland Labor getting out there and listening to people and holding the LNP Government accountable is just double speak for “We aren’t really that interested in what you have to say, we just want the media to say we are”.

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Same Song, Different Singer

Lately, it seems to be another day, another report/article comes out supporting the Gillard Government’s Carbon Tax.

This time around it is The Climate Institute, and their Climate of the Nation 2012 report.

According to this report, 28% of voters supported the Carbon Tax, with this figure jumping to 47% once it was explained to them that the tax revenue went to household assistance, business support and renewable energy.

Though I wonder what the figure would be if these people were also told the following:
* The Carbon Tax doesn’t target all industries, with the heaviest, agriculture being exempt
* The Carbon Tax doesn’t apply to imported goods, thereby making them cheaper when compared to a domestically produced item, putting pressure on our already struggling economy.
* That a majority of carbon credits that industry will have to buy  will come from overseas, also putting a strain on our economy.
* The household assistance package is distributed unfairly. If the looking after the environment is everyone’s responsibility, why should some be rewarded for it, and others penalised?
* That the Carbon Tax may not really change anyone’s behaviour. After all, they have already been compensated for any cost of living increase, so why should they do anything different?
* Or that a slaughterhouse in Queensland can simply close it’s doors for two weeks, and avoid a multi-million dollar Carbon Tax bill, which it’s competitors won’t have.

Once people have been told that, I doubt that apart from the most one eyed Labor or Greens supporter would come to realise that maybe the Carbon Tax isn’t as good as it is made out to be.

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Whats On The List Of Priorities For State Funding?

Hardly a day goes by where the media and the ALP opposition aren’t making some sort of noise about the withdrawal of funding for particular projects by the current LNP government.

In recent weeks, we have seen the closure of GoPrint, Q-Fleet, SDSFanfare, the Darling Downs Correctional Centre, and Skilling Queensland, because they were running at a loss or the Queensland Government just couldn’t afford to fund them any longer and work towards reducing the current debt level.

Yet, there is one project that is going ahead despite declining interest, the LNP government is willing to hand over a minimum of $110 Million dollars, which the state cannot afford, as part of an infrastructure upgrade and in a vain attempt to revitalise this ailing industry.

That industry is Racing.

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Cameron’s Rules

Sitting down the other night to watch one of my favourite Dr. Who episodes, ‘A Good Man Goes To War‘, there is a line that started me thinking.

Madame Kovarian – “The anger of a good man is not a problem. Good men have too many rules”
Dr. Who – “Good men don’t need rules. Today is not the day to find out why I have so many”

Whilst all of the Dr’s rules have never been completely listed, some of the important ones are:
#1 – The Doctor lies.
#7 – Never run when you are scared
#408 – Time is not the boss of me.

This then got me thinking about all the other people that have ‘Rules’. For example, Leroy Jethro Gibbs from NCIS has his rules, of which I think there are 50 odd. I discovered Clint Eastwood’s Rules many years and then not long after that I found Bob Parson’s Rules.

Having been to more than the occasional personal development seminar and training program I decided to dig out all those things that you write down while there and compile my own set of rules.

The complete set will soon be found on this page, once I have dug out all those pieces of paper, and typed up what I wrote down. I have included the first few here, just as a bit of a teaser.

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Silence Is Golden For The Media Too

Not long after the LNP took office in Queensland, the Fairfax owned Brisbane Times set up an opinion column titled The Watcher, as an expose of sorts of the inner goings on in the new government. The Watcher’s tagline is: The Watcher knows government. The Watcher knows media. The Watcher sees all. The identities of our contributors, who are not journalists, are verified but remain anonymous.

In it’s most recent column, The Watcher, is having a dig at the lack of information that is being released by the current government, and commenting on the scarcity of The Premier’s press conferences.

The author talks about the banning of TV cameras by the speaker for nine sitting days as if it is some sort of great injustice to democracy. Even though the media will still have access to the official news feed, public gallery and Hansard. It should also be pointed out that the speaker banned independent TV cameras because they breached the Media Access Policy when they broadcast the behaviour of protesters in the Public Gallery on a recent sitting day.

Then moving on to criticize question time in Parliament as the government’s chosen method for the dissemination of information. Basically equating it to a mutual back patting session where one government politician asks another government politician a question that will allow the to gloat about how much better than the previous regime they are, with the anonymous author remarking,  “So much for robust debate on the floor of the people’s house.”

Whilst the article does raise some interesting items to ponder, maybe the media should look a little closer at their own behaviour before they start pointing the finger at others.

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Democracy. Is The Media Or The Miner A Greater Threat?

If you have been paying any sort of attention to the media or pub talk over the past week or so, you could easily be forgiven for think that we have a free and independent press in this country, and that a shareholder wanting to have a seat on the board is one of the greatest threats to democracy this country has ever seen.

Though is it really?

First of all, it shouldn’t be too strange to see that most of this is coming from the media itself, mimicked by boffins in government who like the things the way that they are. After all it is only the media themselves who believe that they are the Fourth Estate, boasting that the media’s function is to act as a guardian of the public interest and as a watchdog on the activities of government.

Putting aside any personal opinion that you may have of Gina Rinehart and her desire to get a seat or seats on the Fairfax board, lets look at this objectively and from another angle.

With the exception of the taxpayer funded ABC and SBS, and privately owned 9 Network, the other media outlets in this country are publicly listed companies. 11 out of 12 of Australia’s capital city daily newspapers are owned by either News Limited or Fairfax.

Why should we treated these media companies any differently than those other companies that are listed on the Australian Stock Exchange?

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If Nothing Changes, Nothing Changes.

Here we are, a week into the Gillard Government’s Carbon Tax, a week where both sides of the discussion added their thoughts as to why the scheme will or won’t work.

Among the many interesting articles and one that stood out the most, was this one by Dermot O’Gorman, which you can read here, the first two paragraphs are below.

I WAS at a barbecue recently when a friend came up and said: “I’ve got a bone to pick with you, mate. You know I’m all for doing our bit to tackle climate change, but why should Australians pay a carbon tax when the rest of the world is free to pollute?”

My friend almost choked on his steak when I told him that 31 European countries already have carbon pricing, including Norway, Denmark, Finland and Sweden, where carbon taxes have been in effect since the early 1990s.

Whilst it is written from the point of trying to convince us how other countries are jumping on the carbon tax/emission trading bandwagon, the first few words of the second sentence highlight why it is pointless, and won’t change our behaviour.

Dermot O’Gorman is the current Chief Executive Officer of WWF-Australia, the same group that launched the Earth Hour campaign, and here he is at a social gathering where one of his friends is eating meat.

The time that Mr O’Gorman wasted trying to convince his friend that the Gillard Government’s Carbon Tax is a good thing and what other countries are doing with regards to ‘clean energy’ could have been better spent explaining the environmental impact of of animal agriculture.

Any half baked environmentalist would be hard pressed to deny the impact that livestock have on our environment. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization has come out saying that livestock are one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, exceeding that of transport. It has even been mentioned in an article about saving money on groceries, adding that it takes eight kilos of grain to produce a kilo of beef. Then there is the issue of fossil fuel and water use. It’s been estimated that it takes approx 1,800 gallons of water to produce a pound of beef, and 40 calories of fossil fuel energy to produce 1 calorie of feedlot beef.

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